welcome
cartLogin

Age of Entitlement

February 13, 2013

I was catching up on back copies of the New Statesman today and came across an outstanding article on the entitlement culture of the super rich from Bryan Appleyard.   The writing is a great example of controlled invective that really good journalists can command. Its title The Age of Entitlement is itself a wonderfully ironic play on words.

In parallel with that I am reading the latest Culture novel from Ian M Banks.  For those unfamiliar, The Culture is a society in which money has disappeared, its a post-scarcity society which focuses on enriching the life of its citizens.  To be clear it is very far from a Utopian series, the author of The Wasp Factory would be incapable of that!  But listening to the news and yet another horror story about rationing in the health service I did think to myself that there is no great reason for money.  The annual wealth of the super rich would remove poverty, its not that we don't have the capability to create a human society its that we choose to use money as a rationing device.

Now of itself that maybe no bad thing, money removed the needs for barter and allowed an economy to develop and grow.  But the essence of that was that the money represented value in terms of material goods.  Bankers now make their money not by using money to enable others to create value, instead they gamble on currency fluctuations and failure of crops and shares alike through options.  Instead of being an abstraction to enable value, the abstraction has become the objective, value creation has nothing to do with it which may explain the absence of value (in the sense of ethics) in the perpetrators of this elaborate global parasitism.

There is a complete illogic in having health workers out of work while ill people need care, for new schools to be needed while builders are out of work.  Add other examples for yourself.  What started as means of exchange is now an end in itself and a perverse end at that.

The world we live in cannot afford for wealth to be dissociated from real value and the only way to do that is for governments to stop providing legal protection in the form of limited liability and bailouts. The little Englander mentality behind the current uncertainty our government has created over Europe makes this less rather than more likely.   Maybe we need to create an island for the gamblers of the financial services sector to socially and morally degenerate without affecting the rest of us?  Rockall might be a candidate, although it might be harsh on the birds.

Enough, Brian says it better than I do.  I am not going to attempt to summarise. it in part because I want more people to read it, but mainly because it all needs to be read.  Two quotations to give you a sense of the tone and intent.

Firstly by way of diagnosis:

So, in the 1990s, a socially and politically quietist, narcissistic and self-seeking generation was well prepared to take advantage of the progressive deregulation of the financial system, primarily orchestrated by the then chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, a card-carrying believer in the doctrines of the hyper-libertarian fruitcake Ayn Rand.

and then his concluding paragraph:

What would definitely change the climate of entitlement would be a dismantling of its psychological basis, the mindset that has created a super-rich class with no allegiance, obligation or connection to wider society. The ears of the entitled need to be unstopped so that we can whisper to them, ever so gently, “If you’re rich be grateful and, here’s another great idea, earn it.”What would definitely change the climate of entitlement would be a dismantling of its psychological basis, the mindset that has created a super-rich class with no allegiance, obligation or connection to wider society. The ears of the entitled need to be unstopped so that we can whisper to them, ever so gently, “If you’re rich be grateful and, here’s another great idea, earn it.”What would definitely change the climate of entitlement would be a dismantling of its psychological basis, the mindset that has created a super-rich class with no allegiance, obligation or connection to wider society. The ears of the entitled need to be unstopped so that we can whisper to them, ever so gently, “If you’re rich be grateful and, here’s another great idea, earn it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.
ABOUT US

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.

© COPYRIGHT 2022. 

Social Links: The Cynefin Company
Social Links: The Cynefin Centre
< Prev

Perspective and contrast

- No Comments

Monday 11 Feb was a holiday in the province of British Columbia, Canada, as it ...

More posts

Next >

The roadside Bacon Butty

- No Comments

I drove down to Cleveland in Somerset today for a meeting, one of three in ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram