Greedy Business and CEOs have been blamed widely for the collapse of economy or what is called economic meltdown and economic recession that was followed immediately by sudden disorientation of government finances and budgets around the world. The banks are also blamed. One commentator once wrote “Bankers have done it again. After almost destroying the economy and strangling small businesses by refusing desperately needed credit, they are now declaring record profits and are again enjoying giant bonuses.”
Perhaps we can get an answer from way back from the pen of Thomas Hobbes about the root of this greed on a landslide scale that is ravaging and melting down markets and governments across the world. Thomas Hobbes’ book Leviathan was published in 1651. The term leviathan is attributed to someone or something that is inherently evil. In the book Hobbes seeks to provide a description of evil, malady and greed that we experience in society.
He wrote Leviathan while he was in exile in Paris took the current ideologies of that time about nature and human nature and turned them on their head. Before he came up with Leviathan, many people believed that human race is pure specie with good qualities of goodness, a disposition of uprightness was considered to be the essence of a human being.
Mankind, said Hobbes, is naturally wicked. He argued that man is not a social animal. People are purely selfish creatures always seeking their own advantage in every affair in life. People have no higher aims, no good except the satisfaction of the self. People have no freedom besides their freedom to follow their passions and pleasures.
Looking at way people behave nowadays it appears Hobbes is right. The god that is worshipped today is the god of greed and profits, and insatiable appetites and desires for fashions, fun and all kinds of self indulging base pleasures.
The basic principle of life, continued Hobbes, is selfishness and with everybody struggling and fighting one another seeking selfish pleasures, the natural state of man is what Hobbes called the state of war – the constant struggle against man and man. And in this unregenerate state of nature – the lives of people are solitary, nasty brutish and short.
It was on the same lines with the recognition of the immorality, greed and corrupt as well as the evilness of our heart that Blaise Pascal proposed answers. Blaise Pascal was probably the greatest French mind of the 17th century Europe. Pascal declared that all troubles of the human race come from the fact that people do not stay quietly at home in their own rooms – indulging in privacy of your own room in which you can find your own inner spiritual self and inner peace and fulfillment.