The Disease and the Medicine
10/10/2008 9:25:00 AM
News that executives from AIG, the too-big-and-too-connected-to-fail insurance giant, went on a $450,000 (approx) spa/hotel junket last week, aays fter the big government bailout, was as shocking as it was immoral to most of us. It got me thinking about the actions that people take because they can, and what room lives led by principle vs. lives led by opportunity have in this world.
Mahatma Ghandi famously wrote:
"The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice."
I think, while we argue about the causes and cures of our economic, social, and diplomatic meltdowns in recent times, people can take solace in how remarkably clear such situations could be seen by great thinkers of our time. Mind you, a man like Ghandi, a community organizer and nonviolent revolutionary, was shunned by the very people he was trying to help - in addition to the institutions he was working against.
It's really only in hidsight that this kind of clarity and vision is popularly received. What a shame.