Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Thursday 28 January 2016

Greed or need is the mother of invention.

It's not often I agree with Eamonn Holmes. However, in a week that we find his hero, Alex Ferguson, visiting the home of Manchester City in search of good football, one must be charitable. Holmes has said on his Sky news program that he can't remember a more depressing time for the world and I agree. I suppose every generation feels that as they get older, life can never be as good as when they were growing up but this time, globalised twenty-four hour news programs highlight the disparity between those who have and those who have not.
Typically, as shown on tv last night, we have in Romania a community of Roma gypsies who have no prospects in life other than to forage in Europe's biggest rubbish heap. The favelas of Brazil, slums of  other South American and Asian cities are manifestations of this poverty and growing despair. In Europe, we have our own problems as widespread fighting in the Near and Middle East force refugees to flee the warfare and bombing to seek shelter in the West. Not in ones and twos but hundreds of thousands, often women and children. Add to this explosive mix we have North Korea threatening indiscriminate nuclear war, worldwide Jihad from a 7th century death cult and new mosquito borne diseases that threaten the new born of  the very people that need most help. It is not hard to see Holmes' point of view but yet, there is a class of people who are doing very well in this scenario; the stinking rich. I'm not talking of millionaires here, I'm talking of those who control assets of more than a billion dollars because with wealth comes power and with power comes greed and control. This financial duality is another example of the rule of two in action: see here

As this disparity grows, so does the likelihood of peasant uprisings that may take civilisation back to the seventh century world of Islam. So what is the answer? I don't know but should we be so scathing about greed, seeing what benefits it has brought.
In the Amazon forests and jungles of Papua New Guinea, tribes still exist in an 'aboriginal' ideal. They take from the land only what they need, living a life in harmony with nature. In this environment what motivates a drive for the civilisation with which we are more familiar? Is greed or need the mother of invention because in a world where the living is easy, the wheel doesn't get invented and without the wheel we wouldn't enjoy all those little items that make life comfortable. It is because someone had greed for more than the others that everything we understand as civilised life, became possible.
We can't be anti control either. Every community (or nearly) needs a leader; a chief who oversees the well-being of the tribe. It is, however, perfectly right that we expect the control to be fair and just and it is in this spirit that the Magna Carta was envisaged and enacted in the British Isles. This instrument transformed civilisation then and in these very troubled times its spirit needs to be revived in a new renaissance where aspiration takes the place of greed and good governance replaces control.

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