Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

'Just Business': Capitalism is an Anti-Social Disease

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 3   Supported 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 7/9/10

Become a Fan
  (54 fans)

opednews.com

By Dave Lindorff

Looking at the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, where impact of the greed of corporate executives at British Petroleum, TransOcean and Halliburton, not to mention the greed of paid-off regulators in the Minerals Management Service and the members of the House and Senate who took dirty money to water down drilling regulations is evident, I was reminded of a prominent business leader in New York, recently deceased.

Told by his sister of a young woman she knew who had posted a sign on her wall saying, "Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have," this executive, who had held a top position in the media, sniffed, "Ugh! That's terrible. If people thought like that, no one would strive to do anything."

Of course, hundreds of thousands of people--teachers, nurses, park rangers, musicians, writers, artists, small farmers and social workers--spend their lives working at low wages trying to make others happy, or to produce things that bring joy to others, content that their lives have meaning. Yet this same individual, who was worth a hundred million dollars, spent his life amassing ever more wealth, which is what the rich and powerful do. He worked hard raking it in, riding roughshod over employees, competitors, and workers, all with the goal of obtaining more wealth, though he had no hope of ever spending what he had. When he died, he left behind a family squabbling over the spoils.

And how different, really, was he from most wealthy, powerful people? To be sure, some give extravagantly to charity, especially when they die, but their bequests can never compensate for the harm they do in their lifetimes.

Let's face it. Capitalism is a disease--a raging infection that causes its hosts to become sociopaths.

When I lived in Hong Kong, where I worked as a correspondent for Business Week magazine back in the mid-1990s, my wife Joyce and I adopted a baby boy from a local Hong Kong orphanage. For the first six months, under the terms of the adoption process, we had Jed living with us in a foster-care arrangement, which required us to take him to regular visits to Queen Mary Hospital's toddler clinic. There we often met a British couple who at the same time as us had adopted two boys, both with physical disabilities--one affecting his walking, and the other his vision. The man was someone I knew professionally--a major figure in the international investment banking industry who worked for a large British bank. I knew he had been centrally involved in lucrative deals in Southeast Asia that had financed some poorly planned infrastructure projects that were displacing and destroying the lives of tens of thousands of poor people, and that he had actually been indicted in one country for having misled the government there about the risks involved in the loans. But here he was, with his two adopted kids, just a model father: loving, patient and kind.

I was struck by this man's ability to segment his personality into two discrete halves--a caring human being, and a profit-maximizing monster...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!. the new independent online newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!


 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0

Free John Walker Lindh, Bush's and Cheney's First Torture Victim!

What Nobody's Saying: The Bailout Will Kill the Dollar

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I think for a normal person the drive that makes o... by Stefan Thiesen on Friday, Jul 9, 2010 at 5:58:37 AM
Thank you Mr. Lindorff! At one time, capitalism in... by Debby Bodkin on Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 12:08:48 AM