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Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex Machina

By Deus Ex Machina

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Arts and Culture

Greed: Still Good?

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Posted on Oct 14, 2008
Gordon Gekko

Perhaps by now longtime fans of Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) might understand that “Wall Street” was not supposed to be a how-to manual for aspiring financial stars.

What would Gordon Gekko, the ruthless corporate raider from Oliver Stone’s 1987 classic cautionary tale “Wall Street,” have to say about the current state of the American economy? Well, we just might find out.

As Wall Street continues to capture headlines due to market volatility, 20th Century Fox is moving forward with a “Wall Street” sequel.

Allan Loeb (“21”) has been tapped to pen the screenplay, which is being fast-tracked by the studio as a Michael Douglas starrer, though the actor is not formally attached.

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By SteveL, October 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Now we have the same group that did the Katrina non-cleanup trying to fix the financial crisis.  Oh yeah this is going to work.

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By msgmi, October 18, 2008 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Treasury chief Paulson and SEC chief Cox should play themselves in the upcoming Hollywood production and deliver their personal message of how they enabled their friends on Wall Street to have carte blanche authority to torch and riddle the finance institutions like no other mafia film. Their personal performance no doubt will win an Oscar nomination. Two highly educated cretins who would never be considered to handle money for the likes of Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky et al.

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By eileen fleming, October 17, 2008 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

A personalist
is a go-giver,
not a go-getter.
He tries to give
what he has,
and does not
try to get
what the other fellow has.
He tries to be good
by doing good
to the other fellow.
He is altro-centered,
not self-centered.
He has a social doctrine
of the common good….

Business men say
that because everybody is selfish,
business must therefore
be based on selfishness.
But when business is based on selfishness
everybody is busy becoming more selfish.
And when everybody is busy becoming more selfish,
we have classes and clashes.
Business cannot set its house in order
because business men are
moved by selfish motives,
Business men create problems
they do not solve them…..

The world would be better off
if people tried
to become better,

And people would
become better
if they stopped trying
to be better off.

For when everyone tries
to become better off
nobody is better off.

But when everyone tries
to become better
everyone is better off.

Everybody would be rich
if nobody tried
to become richer.

And nobody would be poor
if everybody tried
to be the poorest

And everybody would be
what he ought to be
if everybody tried to be
what he wants
the other fellow to be.-Peter Maurin, 20th century Christian Anarchist excerpted from:

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 16, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

‘Greed is wanting and getting what others need badly and regardless of how important this need may be to them. ...’

That’s an example of what I’m talking about.  First you decide what others “need badly”, then fault someone else for getting or having it.  Let’s say Joe thinks that he badly needs a new car.  This need is extremely important because, being a schlub, he can’t get a date, i.e. get laid, without one.  But since he doesn’t work, he has no money.  Now, everyone in his neighborhood who has a new car can be defined as greedy.

The more general definition is:  Everyone who has or wants more stuff than I have is greedy.  Everyone who has less stuff than I do is a loser.

Greed is not good.  It’s largely meaningless.

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By Louise, October 16, 2008 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Truly a non-story, since we don’t know who will star or whether or not the bad guy learned his lesson, or even care. Well maybe a little. If the bad guy was a committed repub he probably hasn’t, and if that is the thrust of the story ... well, wink

On greed. Related to pride which always “goeth” before the great fall. Since childhood, those of us exposed to Sunday School have been warned about the pitfalls of greed. Depending on which Church you went to, it could be good or bad. Like some Christian Churches loose sight of the moral behind the story of the mansion covered with gold and precious gems. Teaching that the literal reward of material wealth is the sought after prize. Which goes a long way to explaining the obscene wealth that some of those preacher guys display.

Lets face it, if you function on greed, [and have no conscience] the quickest way to wealth and power is to create a version of God that will bring the suckers and their money through the door of your “humble” edifice. Provides even more guarantees than Wall Street! Certainly better security. At least for the preacher guy.

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By walldizo, October 16, 2008 at 2:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Greed is wanting and getting what others need badly and regardless of how important this need may be to them. Greed is the state where human relations are measured by ability to exploit others egardless of such exploitation.Now, for those interested to know the reasons behind the curent global financial crisis, a turkish newspaper has just released information on one of American banks controlled by Israeli Firsters, Leman Brothes Bank.This bank has illegally diverted $40 billion to Israel prior to declaring bankruptcy on sep 15th.This amount was transfered electronically to three major Israeli banks;Haboleem Group,Loamy Group and Discount Bank, if that is not greed what would you call it???

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

As far as I can tell from the rhetoric, greed simply means wanting stuff more than someone else thinks you should.  But everyone wants stuff, and most people want more stuff than they have; therefore, there is always a place to stand and moralize about other people’s supposed greed.

Now, even Bubbles Greenspan has gotten into this game; he says his nifty little program of constantly inflating parts of the economy with funny money was ruined by “greed”.  But wanting stuff it what economies are based on.  If nobody wanted anything there would be no reason to work, invest, produce or trade.  Which is fine, if you don’t mind living at a subsistence level, or off other people’s labor.

On the whole, I think describing people as “greedy” should start at home.  Here I am, for instance, plunking away at a computer in a posh office.  Why don’t I quit work, move into the great outdoors, and hustle cans for a living?  Because I’m greedy.  But then, my car is older and more economical than yours, so you’re even worse.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, October 15, 2008 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Greed has been around as long as humans havr been on earth.  Also, I believe some animals also exhibit greed.  It may be a survival characteristic.

Greed per se is not a particularly bad thing, but when it become institutionalized, then there’s trouble!  It doesn’t matter what political party is in power——greed is universal though it seems that Republicans because of their laissez-faire free market thinking propel greed to its limits and then there’s a crash!  However, if you have sufficient funds you can withstand the storm and be around for the next boom——thus the saying the “rich get richer.” As for the other side——they’re toast.  This cycle will continue until there is enough rabble to foment a revolution whether it be peaceful or violent.

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By eileen fleming, October 15, 2008 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

“We live in the midst of a suicidal economy, motivated by love of money. We have reached a dead end. What we need to turn it around are hearts in love with life. How do we do it?

“We first must move from domination to partnership, and we begin by educating our young in awe and wonder, not how to take tests. Awe leads to reverence, which leads to gratitude, which will reinvent our species. This is the task of our generation: to regain awe. The three R’s need to be balanced by the ten C’s: contemplation, creativity, chaos, compassion, courage, critical consciousness, community, celebration, ceremony, and character.

“In community, people remain united, despite everything that divides them. In capitalist society, people are isolated, separated, despite everything that should hold them together. We are in the midst of an epic struggle between community and capitalistic society. We need a new narrative. It is the economy of materialism; it is the virus of affluenza that has weakened family life.”-excerpted from:

“Modern society has made the bank account the standard of values…When the bank account has the power the Sermon on the Mount is declared unpractical. When the bank account has the power we have an acquisitive, not a functional society…It is about time to blow the lid off.” -Peter Maurin, 20th century Christian Anarchist

The Sermon on The Mount spun for the 21st century:

About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”

In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and sins honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.
How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.

God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” -Isaiah 55:8

Christ proclaimed more: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”

In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8

“Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”

In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy.’

“For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you.”
Christ warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God.”

In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.

“Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”

And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek justice and pursue it, for there can be none without the other.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven.”

And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb and man will make war no more and that is the Kingdom of God.

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