Friday, October 3, 2014

It brings out the worst in us

Paul Verhaeghe of The Guardian lists ways our current economic system, with its emphasis on financial success that vanquishes the opposition, is affecting our personalities and bringing out the worst in us. Some of the ways:

A person finds it important to: Win over people, even if contact is superficial. Sell yourself, even if most of what you say is hot air (leaving no guilt for the lie and no responsibility for behavior). Be flexible and impulsive, leading to risky behavior. Forge temporary alliances for the purpose of profit, leading to a breakdown in community. Submit to constant evaluations, leading to a loss of independent thinking, dependence on shifting external norms, and damage to self-respect, which leads to bullying of others over trivialities.

We are told we must be a success and can be one with enough hard work. We aren't granted any alternative. From the effort to reach that lie we feel overstretched, exhausted, humiliated, and ashamed. We need freedom. But the kind of freedom we are now permitted to have, such as being able to criticize religion, no longer has significance. We're becoming psychopathic.

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