Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Honest Greed


It is shocking hearing Alessio Rastani state in plain English that as a trader, he "is dreaming of the next great depression" because there is money to be made.  Other statements included that "governments don't own the world, Goldman Sachs does" and various others that left many incredulous that such blatant greed could come so naturally to this day trader. 

The lack of interest on how these horrific economic events could affect real human beings and his laser-like focus on the end-game made people wonder if this was a hoax.

It is like this with human beings, we immediately doubt the message and the messenger when a human being seems monstrous and lacking the basic elements of what we perceive as "humanity."
The conspiracy theories started to fly.  It was stated that he looks remarkably similar to someone who works for  "Yes Men"  - Immediate comments were that the BBC interviewer had been fooled and this was a hoax.

The bottom line is that very few of us can accept this type of blunt honesty because it is unpalatable.  We need to deny that these people exist and this is, in fact, the way they think.  Why? because they control most of the wealth in the planet and one way or another we are on the receiving end of all of their actions and decisions.  Also, because most of us can't imagine profiting from the pain and suffering of others.  It seems... inhuman.

"Yes Men" has stated they are not affiliated with Alessio Rastani and Mr. Rastani stated that the only error made was that he was referred to as a Wall Street trader.  He considers himself a technical trader who started trading in 2006 and spends time teaching others how trading works.

Contrary to popular perception all people are not shocked to hear blatant admissions of greed and opportunism.  I submit to you that only those who are "older" are the ones in shock.

Older folks were taught at home to be polite, maintain appearances, use diplomacy and "find a better way to deliver the message without offending or insulting" - These values were reinforced at school and by society at large.  What happened to our younger members?

Simply stated, they are shortchanged with few respectable role models and programming.  It is easier, and less costly, to bombard them with stupid shows like "the real housewives of..."

The behavior and vulgarity of the Kardashians or Snooki is glamorized instead of shunned.  Duplicate shows by different names offer a sameness that turns into acceptance and eventually, elicit compliance.  Self-indulgence is the name of the game both in programming and politics.

We live in times, where the message "every man for himself" and "pull yourself by your bootstraps" has become synonymous with stepping all over other people's rights in order to ensure self-preservation. Elisabeth Warren is one of the few voices that can counteract the negative messaging by speaking plainly with something rare: Common Sense.
What can we do to counteract the negative messaging and establish a palpable difference between a soulless society and what society should look like?

We need to provide a better environment and better role models.  This cannot become the standard by which people measure and value their own worth.

Join local unions as a member or volunteer. Coordinate with community organizers to effectuate fair changes and a course of action in your community.  Join MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, or The National Association of Free Clinics.

Lead by example - Show them what decency looks like by doing the right thing even when it is the hard thing to do. Volunteer at your local school, food pantry or hospital.  Show them what humanity is and how real life events affects them.

Support decent human beings into political offices, people who work for the benefit of society, not for self-indulgence.  For instance,  Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Allen Grayson.  Surely we can all find others at the local and national level worth of our efforts and support.

Organize for America is another way to be involved in whatever project or program you think your community needs.  Contact your local democratic party and get involved in community outreach.  

In other words, support those who support you and your community.


4 comments:

R. Renées Blogs said...

Nice post...

Anonymous said...

excellent suggestions for countering greed. greed is ugly and will probably destroy itself, like king Midas did.

Marie re67u

Michael said...

Olivia,
Thank you for a well thought out, deep yet concise essay on the dynamics of unbridled greed. I agree that the average person is in denial. This is the true face of the problem.

Marie said...

Olivia I just love the video You post, both are very telling of the path we can choose to develop our Society: Selfishness & Greed or Accomplishment In a Community based on mutual respect and values! I vote for Elizabeth!