Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Traitorous Greed

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed”  –Mahatma Gandhi

“He who is greedy is always in want.”  –Horace

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." –1 Timothy 6:10

The Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of the most objectionable vices which has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning (immoral) fallen man's tendency to sin. It consists of "Lust", "Gluttony", "Greed", "Sloth", "Wrath", "Envy", and "Pride".  –Wikipedia

 When you think about it, if it weren't for the uncontrolled, insatiable greed of a few, we would probably be a lot further ahead today as a country. The most obvious case in point for this argument is the politician who takes a bribe to change or introduce a law, but there are so many other ways that greed holds us back.

Imagine, a billionaire who made his fortune in our country, but made the country poorer in the process. His minions take his sizable paychecks in order to look the other way as he grinds us under his boot. Some of them are paid well enough to participate in the pillaging of our country with as much conscience as a serial killer. And some of those well-paid financial sociopaths are our own leaders, past and present. Make no mistake, our unlovable billionaire may be temporarily down, but he's not yet out -not as long as avarice rules us. We can be bought, he knows. Everybody has a price, he's sure of it.

Imagine, a politician who, with no pretense of conscience, commits the wholesale version of the very sins she once rallied the unions to condemn. She may have once been the hope of many, but now most just hope she will disappear. But think about this: if she does go, is her potential replacement any less greedy? Are his fellow councillors, in the main, innocent of all sin? Or are they merely waiting for their current leader's outsize greed to be moved out of the way so that they can have their turn at the feeding trough?

Imagine, a multimillionaire who has, over nearly forty years, achieved success by destroying his competition -not less than five companies- in Hiroshima-like fashion. Competition and a possibly superior product are not enough; it's best to smash bottles and sabotage factories -the enemy's bankruptcy is the only acceptable option. And yet, successive governments, generations of corrupt politicians, have been persuaded to look the other way, have even fought to protect him, while he's fed his insatiable greed, but only because he let a few tasty crumbs fall from his table into their gaping, voracious mouths. Only he must survive, and an entire country must be held hostage to please only him. The politicians profess to worry about jobs he provides, even as they carefully overlook the jobs he's destroyed. The stench of greed chokes us all.

For ten years, we watched one man control an entire government, the embodiment of vicious gluttony. You want something done? Best to go to this guy and pay your fee, he's more powerful than the actual PM. He can get things done, and no matter how evil he may be, he runs the show, so get over your morals or get out of the way. Think that mentality is yesterday's news? Think again, the demons have possessed new bodies and this year is no different from the ten or so that went before it. Greed pulls us under, fills our lungs, prevents us from breathing and growing.

But knowing all this, you're reading this and thinking 'okay, but what do we do?' We have to continue letting them know that we have no tolerance for greed and its ravages. Boycott the greedy boys' businesses; remind the corrupt politicians that they work for us, not the other way around; tell the Lands Department officer that you aren't paying and if your papers get lost, you'll report his suggestion of a bribe -do the same for that Customs officer at the border, and the cop who wants his piece for doing the job he's already paid to do. Tell your friends, your family, your neighbours to stand with you, for greed cannot survive in the face of defiance; it is fed by complacency, fattened by apathy. 

When you begin to realize that you can't wait for a savior to come along, when you begin to realize that it starts with you, is the day you'll begin to pull your country back from the edge of the precipice.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you're back. For a while I thought you had abandoned the cause.
    "Apathy" is our serious illness. We complain, beat our chests, get on the soapbox, rant and rave..but never in public. In a small country such as Belize, it is inevitable that the cause of our complaints are usually those who we may regard as influential "friends'- politicians, lawyers, businessmen with questionable ethics,and even our very own bosses. We keep silent, because to express how we truly feel, may have dire consequences. As long as it does not directly affect us, why should we take up someone else's cause? We do this, without realizing, that we may just be next. My poor Belize, how we have failed you. We have tarnished the perfect jewel we once had. The rich get richer, enough is never enough. While the poor get poorer, and the middle class gets extinct. WAKE UP MY PEOPLE, FIGHT THE FIGHT against corruption on all levels.