The Pathogenesis of Corporate Runaway Greed
“At present, the world doesn't work. It's ridiculous that one per cent own 40 per cent of humanity's wealth.”
John Pilger, La Bouche Issue 3
Greed, one seventh of the deadly sins, the excessive desire to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves. It is a flaw that has reeked havoc throughout civilisation, from ruthless emperors and dodgy popes to crazed dictators and bonkers bankers.
Today, Globalization permits those at the top of the system to acquire and hoard humanities' wealth often at the expense of some of the world’s most desperate people and also to the severe detriment of our environment. War on Want have supplied many examples of those who profit from global devastation and poverty over the past two years in La Bouche, from Supermarket Power to the Private Military. In this issue they look closer to home and at the alarming cuts in public spending whilst the rich are allowed to dodge tax n get richer.
This compulsion to obtain way way way beyond ones needs is a highly irrational behaviour (how many ipods, or in the case of the billionaires in question, Islands does one person need?) and most psychological illnesses are diagnosed on such a characteristic. But for some reason this behaviour is celebrated not incarcerated in our society. None the less, could we, La Bouche Zine, upon exploring the pathogenesis of such a phenomenon ripping our world to pieces be on the brink of confirming what we knew all along? That our planet is being run by a utter nutters?
We step away from politics and turn to psychology to determine what exactly drives and reinforces the godfathers of runaway greed...
Money = Power
"I would like to thank The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine ‘and other great publications whose directors have attended [their] meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. The work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries." A huge Banking Mogul, June 1991, in an address to a meeting of The Trilateral Commission
"At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties." John Francis Hylan, former mayor of New York, on what he famously described as an "invisible government" excercising control of the US government through the Federal Reserve
We know it ain't rocket science (or perhaps we should say Rockefeller science) when we say money = power, and whether elite bankers fully control our world or not and what their exact motives are, is something we usually leave to our Conspiracy Theorist, currently on maternity leave. However, as the above quote (originally spotted on The Times Website) suggests some of the banking and oil giants do indeed seem to display a strong desire for world domination. Could this be a symptom of personality problem?
Egocentrism, megalomania, lack of responsibility and the desire to experience sensations of control and power are positive symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Other common characteristics of APD include superficial charm, shallowed emotions, a distorted sense of self, cruelty to animals, a constant search for new sensations (which can have bizarre consequences) and manipulation of others without remorse or empathy for the victim.
New evidence points to the fact that children often develop Antisocial Personality Disorder as a cause of their environment, as well as their genetic line - Indeed many of the big bankers/oil tycoons keep the business in the family and have done for many generations The prevalence of this disorder is 3% in males and 1% from females, as stated from the DSM IV-TR.
Narcissistic personality disorder (formally known as Meglomania)
The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness.
The Greedy Gene?
The most puzzling feature of extreme acquisitive behaviour is the desire to gain and to stash away assets that is not needed for ones immediate well-being or even to uphold ones lavish lifestyle. For example, the Saudi Royal Family reportedly kept 20 empty boltholes in Hampstead's Bishop's Avenue aka, millionaire row last decade. At first La Bouche could only put this down to a sort of hoarding behaviour and begun to read up on odd primal behaviour in sophisticated homeusapians. Then we came across Richard Dawkins' legendary book The Selfish Gene...
Dawkins boils it all down to survival: “To a survival machine, another survival machine (which is not its own child or another close relative) is part of its environment, like a rock or a river or a lump of food. It is something that gets in the way or something that can be exploited.”
In some instances, says Dawkins, 'survival machines of different species do not impinge on each others’ lives, for example, blackbirds and moles don’t eat each other or compete with each other for living space, although, of course this regard for other animals is not evident in the case of modern mankind. However, according to Dawkins, animals should not fear man as much as man should; ‘Survival machines of the same species tend to impinge on each others’ lives more directly.’ One reason for this is that half the population of ones’ species may be potential mates, and therefore may contain a desirable means of perpetuating ones’ genetic line.
Could therefore this bizarre behaviour simply be explained in terms of Darwin‘s ‘sexual selection’? As the male peacock displays his feathers to broody females in a bid to be the most beautiful and therefore suitable mate, does the tycoon strive to become king of the jungle by amassing a ridiculous collection of houses and yachts to ensure competition is kept at bay and sexual selection is probable? By flashing his riches (or probably just banging on about them in All Bar One), chances are an equally materialistic mate‘s eye may well be caught, one who is looking for a grossly luxurious nest high above the rest of the decaying population.
Another reason survival machines of the same species impinge on one another, argues Dawkins 'is that members of the same species, being very similar to each other, being machines for preserving genes in the same environment and same way of life are particularly direct competitors for resources necessary for life.' Perhaps therefore for those with dominant selfish genes the removal or depletion, where possible, of the general population' basic welfare and resources ensures plenty float to those at the top of the resources chain. By doing so, the survival of like-minded people (namely the elite) is also guaranteed.
Doin it for the thrill!
It's not about the money, it's about the game", Donald Trump
There has been the suggestion, or the excuse, that bankers are so removed from reality - working up to fifteen hours per day - that they have come to believe that the money they are playing with is paper money, not real life peoples', and that life is one big monopoly game.
However, many who work in finance are gamblers, both in profession and in leisure, or suffer from another addiction problem of some kind, making us think again that our lives are in the hands of the mentally ill. Harris Stratyner, a psychologist with Caron Treatment Centers, a leading non-profit addiction treatment foundation, says creatures of the financial world were by nature more likely to display risky and extreme behaviour. "There's an adrenalin rush that's connected to economics," he said. "Why are so many people attracted to that world? Many already are adrenalin junkies, and are looking for the high highs and the low lows."
A penis extention? Psychoanylytic Approach
It was under the father of Psychoanalysis himself's roof the other day (at a book launch at the Fraud Museum) where a guest remarked that those who seek extreme wealth were struggling to compensate for loins which nature had not blessed them with too generously. We did find ourselves musing over what Freud's take on greed would be and hopped off to the British Library the very next day to check it out... We found lots of interesting bits n boobs, I mean bobs...
Well, Freud actually reckoned that the chances of becoming greed is rooted in an infant's breastfeeding experience, and whether or not this triggers an irreversible emotional arrest. According to the Freudian theory of psychosexual development, the mouth, and the pleasure experienced by sucking as an infant, manifests itself as the prime part of the body vested in the libido. However, if the libido is denied this pleasure the resulting anxiety, tension and frustration are counter-balanced by the desire to take in more and to hoard as much as possible for oneself, an anamoly, which if not resolved in the early stages of development, can continue into adulthood. Psychoanalyst Karl Abraham, 1927, suggested that this kind of emotional arrest is comparable to that of the alcoholic who replaces one bottle for another - possessions are sought not because of need but for the pleasure, rooted in this early childhood experience, of taking, holding and hoarding. However, the more recent psychoanalysis theorist Klein, 1975 suspected that greed actually began when the child is taken away from the mothers breast, when in some cases object are sought as a substitute for the loss of this nurture.
Well, after all this diagnosing, we conclude that the super greedy do appear to be rather unstable and could do with spending them millions on acquiring some help! LB!
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