Friday, November 12, 2010

Bulbs and Seeds, Bulbs and Seeds

I recently had a piece in the Canberra Times, 'The big four are well overdrawn on humanity'.  I'm arguing that the banks' profit-seeking is unbalanced, and has the wrong priorities.  A sample:
For governments to take notice, community resolve needs to be strong and clear: banks must behave in the public interest. This sounds simple, but it involves a change in consciousness many are unable or unwilling to allow: a recognition that we can prioritise community well-being over big business, when there’s a conflict between the two. And that it is neither irresponsible nor utopian to do so.
This is in keeping with basic principles of social utility, and a fair go. As Victorian philosopher John Ruskin quipped, the acquisition of profit for its own sake is absurd: like bulbs and seeds producing more bulbs and seeds, instead of fruits and flowers. In other words, profit is not an end in itself, it's a means to an end: human flourishing. Without this, the big banks may well keep laughing - but the joke will be on us.
(Photo: O'Dea)

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