I am happily reading comments from the young Indians on social media on the news alleging how Amazon was playing with e-commerce laws of India.
I have always noticed that when the alleged dirty underbelly of any corporate giant is allegedly exposed, we humans get disturbed by what we see.
If what is in the news is true, the executives at Amazon were being matter-of-fact as executives who are to run any profit-making venture. The problem with us humans is that we instinctively don’t like to be objects to be profited from and that is why we get angry when any candid boardroom conversation is leaked.
Thankfully for business houses, the anger of humans on such episodes is extremely short-lived.
In no time most humans, especially the young ones settle back to reading “inspirational” stories of how Elon Musk’s one “causal” tweet sent the price of a certain stock skywards or how Stanford University’s “academic” report proved that US law can’t regulate Jeff Bezos’s activities meaningfully and helped him recover from losses caused by government’s stand against Amazon.
With the young lapping up such stories, it is clear that the heroes of the next-generation are the businessmen that rule the planet today.
While we may not notice it, this is a massive new development, as for the first time in human history, we have profiteering humans placed on the pedestals as heroes, icons and peers.
It is not that the Zucks or Musks have invented money and money-making.
It can be safely argued that sans money, there is no real motivation for humans to go beyond the family/clan bonds and form large organizations that a civilization must have; so, money and money-making are undoubtedly core social activities since a long time.
If money is the cement we have used to be civilized, why don’t we find the names of great businessmen from the past in any history book as peers of a given era?
The reason can still be sensed in the way we feel when we read news like the one of Amazon. We humans instinctively don’t like greed.
Greed is an eternal human quality that we all have as individuals. But never ever in the past history of humanity greed has ever been celebrated at the social level.
A human/e society is formed by greedy individuals whose greed is kept in check by social rejection of it as a virtue.
So what we are seeing around us now is a massive social change.
Probably thanks to industrial revolution and the “renaissance” it led to, naked greed has stepped out of the closet to sit unashamedly on a pedestal and is getting applauded for it.
As the greed has caused technologies to grow and has increased our power to exploit the planet and all its inhabitants (including humans), we humans are awed by its brilliance and have become blind to what it is doing to us at the collective and hence social level.
Greed is bound to ask for freedom from all bounds, be it legal, moral or human, and hence we can see that we are fooled into asking for freedom by our greed and more so by the greedy ones who have a lot to gain from being it.
What we are unable to see is that a greed-driven and greed-cherishing organization can never be human or humane.
As the young humans love to explore and thus have an instinctive drive to be free, they are the first target of the greed and the greedy.
As a businessman with only a profit motive will want to sell everything possible without being asked by the law or social morality not to, the top business houses at this point in history are focusing on dismantling all traditional human constraints in both social and legal arena.
While the young may feel that they are heading for a better world of freedom and equality, the truth could be exactly opposite.
An ideal society that a business house will dream of would be the one where it can maximize its profit and not where humans are free or even happy. So, if a businessman finds him/herself to be the peer of a society, he/she is most likely going to use that power for the sole objective a business has, i.e., profit.
If the brave new world is ushered by the greed and the greedy, the future of human society is bleak.
While greed looks to be taking over humanity, there is one ray of hope that in now shining through and that is unsustainability of greed.
As the planet is not designed for unabetted expression of greed, mother earth is our only chance to escape from the grip of greed and return back to her fold as her children.
The war is on, but this planet is an old hand at winning wars, so there is still hope for us provided that the next-gen wakes up in time to the need of finding the right kind of peers that it needs in the dark days ahead.
Our success as a species is not because we are greedy but because we have the foresight to correct our course whenever we get derailed. We have found messiahs appear amongst us and the time has now come for one more to appear.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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