Monday, May 30, 2016


Greed: everyone's talking about it, but as with much of what remains of our uncommon language, everyone has his own definition and of course that's necessary, because everyone in his way, or more comfortably: everyone else in my way is greedy.  In fact, one could say that life itself is greedy by nature and without that lust for more, that innate, inescapable drive to eat and reproduce, thrive and survive this would be a barren planet. Greed is a force of nature, the breath of life.

But greed is bad, and every election cycle gives us reminders that the rich are greedy, the poor are greedy, the "corporations" and "Wall Street;" the bankers, the welfare queens, "Big Pharma" and all the "takers" are greedy. That's another way we have of expressing our greedy grudge, our greedy jealousy of everyone we don't think deserves what they have when we deserve it more.

As I said, everyone has his own dictionary and many words in it are of a double entry book keeping sort. If you support Bernie Sanders for instance, you have to discount his mad lust for the White House as something other than greed. You have to use the other definition. Greed is altruism. That greed is good. The greed that produces a Bill Gates or a Larry Ellison or an Andrew Carnegie? Well I'll leave that to you because all our dictionaries are edited by our own greed and self-importance and narcissism and the words are just things to throw at straw men anyway. It's all about winners and losers and how each hates the other.

I could mention that a fundamental drive for more is the force behind Capitalism, amongst other things, and although in some circumstances, altruism, compassion and a feeling for justice can control that force, at times and in places, we need more in the way of control, just as we need to control, in our greed, the other forces of nature to benefit from them.

But we can't say that out loud, because the greedy Libertarians would say your car would be more efficient without brakes or a throttle or a steering wheel. Regulation and the law itself is the enemy of freedom as every libertarian knows. I would suggest it, but that would make me a greedy taker, a Commie, a bleeding heart eager to hand out "free stuff" at the taxpayer's expense -- or something entirely different depending on the greedy eyes of the observer  It would put me in the pocket of greedy Wall Street too and Big Bad Pharma, unless you use some other dictionary or some other way of disguising your greed for power and control and dressing it up as a "vision" and selling your prejudice and jealousy as principle.

Are you a Gump for Trump?  Do you wan't to pillory Hillary or are you a bully for Bernie?  Does it matter. We're all a bunch of greedy bastards anyway.

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