Of Positional Goods and the Lust for Gain

 

“Many of the best things in life—beautiful country houses, unspoilt holiday resorts, top schools—are essentially limited in supply and so accessible only to the richest.  Such positional or oligarchic goods are one reason why the lust for gain remains powerful even in the wealthiest societies.”

—Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky, How Much Is Enough?: Money and the Good Life, 2012

 

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Comments (4)

  1. magnocrat

    Where do you think the list for gain is centred?

    May 21, 2017
    1. rallen2

      The lust for gain comes from within each of us. It is an aspect of human nature, and if it is accepted, encouraged, and rewarded, then it will be openly and freely manifested. If the lust for gain is adopted as a virtue, then it will be paraded as a normal and natural value to be allowed freedom of expression in a civilized society. The lust for gain is an aspect of human nature, but it is only one aspect, because human beings also view their own lust for gain as an embarrassing, ignoble, destructive, dishonorable vice. Civilized and socialized human beings do not act out every feature of human nature. That some vice is a facet of human nature does not justify or excuse its practice. Civilization is a process in which human beings resist and repress those parts of human nature which are anti-social and criminal.

      May 22, 2017
  2. magnocrat

    Do you not think that religion has been teaching the evil of lust for gain for a very long time? Also religious believers have openly exhibited this lust within there own lifestyle. If we should look for an example of a lust free life surely the religious should teach and practice it.
    Can we as a whole ( not as individuals) successfully suppress this part of human nature? or must we admit nature will out.

    May 22, 2017
    1. rallen2

      Magnocrat wrote:  “Do you not think that religion has been teaching the evil of lust for gain for a very long time?”  If you go back far enough, the gods become more and more like humans, with all our flaws and foolishness.  Magnocrat wrote:  “Also religious believers have openly exhibited this lust within their own lifestyle.”  This is very true of Christians, who are too easily conformed to the world they seem unwilling to change.  Perhaps if Christians would join the socialists and actively work to change the world, then the temptations of the world could be minimized.  Magnocrat wrote:  “If we should look for an example of a lust free life surely the religious should teach and practice it.”  But power corrupts, and so organized and established religion is corrupted by political and economic power.  Magnocrat wrote:
      Can we as a whole ( not as individuals) successfully suppress this part of human nature? or must we admit nature will out?”  Human beings can succeed and be victorious over their primitive natures if they believe they can, and if they work at changing both the self and the world, together.

      May 23, 2017