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Frack Profits

June 12, 2015

As long ago as a couple thousand years, some cat (as Ferlinghetti called him), before he was put on a cross by profiteers and then exploited by international revolutionaries (or something like that) posed a key question: What shall it profit a man (or, but only rarely, a woman) if he gain the world but lose his soul? That’s almost an exact quote. Now, there we’re talking somebody with wisdom beyond his years. (Not to mention eloquence.)

Of course he had a prophetic tradition of preachers behind him, stretching back at least to Amos, calling out the rich for their hypocrisy and cruelty, explaining that God was aware and just, and calling on them to put things right. The cat quoted above even told one of the fatcats that if he wanted to get into heaven he had best divest (and more). Rad.

At this point in my narration there is need of a disclaimer: our author, while not directly employed by a fatcat, does derive part of his income from dividends made possible by corporate profits. And that does create real cognitive dissidents. At least he knows, and knows how important it is to know, that he is, in some ways, not so humanly different from the fatcats whose corporate actions are doing such damage, to the poor and to everybody else (including themselves, and himself). He’s culpable.

And at least he doesn’t pretend that the first principle of morality is his legal, contractual obligation to shareholders to maximize their profits (no matter what), or that the second principle of good morality is risk management. His moral decisions are not based on what behavior is affordable. He’s working at figuring it out, and he knows there’s no excuses. The Day of Divestment draweth nigh.

I, on the other hand, being strictly a figment of the imagination—his and yours—do not have to feel so humiliated. I’m not human. As your narrator, and his, I’m troubled and troubling in my own right; but the closest I come to body and soul is a growing accumulation of words. Corporations can all go broke tomorrow, and, not being dependent on their well-being, I won’t feel a thing.

Will I? Hmmm. Do I detect a note of dissidents? A vibration of cosmic dissonance?

A meow?

From → corporations

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