To:    Guardian CiF
Re:   All industries are bound to give absolute priority to economics
Date: Tuesday 5 June  07


In response to George Monbiot's article, "Don't listen to what the rich world's leaders say - look at what they do".

Link to article and thread at The Guardian.

So, the manufacturers of baby formula put their economic interests above everything else, including the lives of newborn babies whom their products are supposed to benefit (not kill), and in so doing are supported by their national governments.

But is there any large company or industry which behaves differently - which, if they can get away with it (legally, of course), does not put its own economic interests first? The tobacco industry, perhaps? Oil? Or ANY other industry?

The truth is that our socio-economic order is based on, and thus demands us, giving economics (i.e. making money) absolute priority over everything else, including human life and welfare.

This, of course, totally contradicts our sense of humane, rational and moral behaviour, and is quite unacceptable. "Home sapiens" (wise and rational man) could not possible behave like this! So we have to find ways of denying or rationalizing it, certainly of dissociating ourselves personally from any responsibility for it.

But the fact remains: this is the basis, the ugly heart that goes with the ugly face of capitalism. It is time we faced up to it, instead of sticking our heads in the sand or pointing the finger of blame at others (something political commentators, particularly on the left, make a living from, while still depending on and thus supporting the existing socio-economic order).

There is an evolutionary, anthropological explanation (deeply rooted in individual and group psychology and human origins) as to why we are bound to give priority to economics, which needs to be recognized and understood, before anything constructive can be done about putting it right.