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Forcing others to obey is the issue, not greed

Many of those occupying Wall Street and the City of London object to corporate greed. Yet greed is usually harmless.

For example, I may well be greedy. I would like to earn more despite already earning what many of the protesters would consider more than enough. But my greed is harmless because I cannot force people to give me their money; I must persuade them to part with it. And I can do that only by offering them something they want in return. Given my impotence, my greed is beneficial to others. It inspires me to come up with valuable things to offer them.

Continue reading at City A.M.

5 comments to Forcing others to obey is the issue, not greed

  • Simon Bennett

    “Sometimes companies do wield coercive power but, ironically, never in the free markets that anti-capitalists despise.”

    I don’t think these protesters are anti-capitalist they are anti-crony-capitalist. The system is rigged, that is clear for all to see. Bail outs of trillions of dollars for failed institutions has nothing to do with capitalism. The financial system is riddled with fraud yet no one has been prosecuted for it. Our monetary system is inherently dishonest (fractional reserve banking), which allows the few, through expansion of the money supply, to profit from the many who can do very little to protect themselves from this theft. This is why I believe there are protests.

    I believe in capitalism, but I see little evidence of capitalism in our current system. True capitalism has honest money at its heart. We need to dismantle central banks, ban fractional reserve banking, reinstate gold as money and allow banks to fail when they make unwise decisions. Only in this way can we re-establish a capitalist system, and only then can you legitimately accuse OWS protesters of being anti-capitalist.

  • John B

    Capitalism in an abstract noun – it is a thing. It cannot think, speak, be honest or dishonest, engage in cronyism, be greedy and so on. People dot hose things.

    Free market capitalism is an expression for the distillation of the Human condition: to profit from one’s endeavours; to gain materially; to create and accumulate wealth; invest excess wealth for profit; to risk wealth; to advance; etc.

    As the sum of the Human condition it contains all its vices as well as its virtues.

    The notion that Capitalism, like much else in life, can be some pure, “honest”, saintly, virtuous thing is not to understand Humanity.

    There is no perfect Human state.

    Society too is an amalgam of the Human condition, yet in it we have murderers, robbers, rapists, dishonesty and other undesirables, should we then say we do not have real, “honest” society and have anti-society protests?

  • Paul Danon

    Greed could be a euphemism for being richer than me.

  • Simon Bennett

    I have just read this piece on Zerohedge:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-collapse-our-corrupt-predatory-pathological-financial-system-necessary-and-positive

    I think it so perfectly sums up the current malaise afflicting our financial system that it is worth copying in full. It also perfectly illustrates what I think the OWS protesters are protesting about.

    [ed: Sorry Simon, copyright issues aside, that’s too long for a comment here]