A new toxicity in society

Those who don’t have it pursue it, and those who have it perhaps pursue it more
"This abnormal addiction to money (Money Madness) procures no peace but profit or hedonism in our society, creates a big breach between rich and poor. Some are caught in ‘luxury trap’ and some struggle to survive." [Representational Image]
"This abnormal addiction to money (Money Madness) procures no peace but profit or hedonism in our society, creates a big breach between rich and poor. Some are caught in ‘luxury trap’ and some struggle to survive." [Representational Image] Pxhere [Creative Commons]

Humans are ‘Homo-Economicus’ (Economic Man) and for the pursuit of profit, they are born to shop on the axis of earth. Money is making the world go around. Those who don’t have it pursue it and those who do have it perhaps pursue it more. It is the movie screen on which our lives play out.

It richly rewards society, resists poverty and creates culture of utmost importance. It moderns our mind, allays our fears, placates our pain and sends us to heights. Money, nonetheless, is not ‘mere money’ rather it is a ‘privileged commodity’ as held by Karl Marx that on its exchange not only cultivates buying behavior but also develops interpersonal traits/ethics.

This interaction or social exchange connects society as a whole, inculcates desired social ethics to see society sail smooth. Money, besides purchasing power, soaks societies with love, loyalty and respect/recognition. It empowers people and puts them in the position of ‘creative minority’ to govern through superior social and psychological attributes.

Money is, therefore, crucial to see societies growing reciprocally and its exchange or fungibility fosters social networking, as is also pointed out by Robert Putun. This social networking aids all (both poor and rich) to gain much needed social glue, i.e., social solidarity with which societies remain intact and maintain their unison/parity.

Money, as also held by Max Webber and G. Simmel, therefore, improves relational behavior in the society, gives hope to the hopeless and keeps communities’ coherence. Any disconnect/rift between ethics and economics can be suicidal in the society.

Primitive societies behaved ethically, believed in the commonality of resources for feeding both cobbler and courtier in their society. They fed poor and plenty to maximize their economic pursuits and live their lives peacefully.

This was because they followed the Aristotelian aphorism that ethics are important for economics to manage social and psychological pathologies. This ethics coupled with money sharing assured greatest happiness to greatest number of their people and avoided deviance, discord or division in their society.  

Today, however, new economic ethics in society are in place where we are more economical than ethical in our sharing and caring. We are sacrificing our all sleep and solidarities. This new economic ethic or ‘money madness’ which is relentlessly drugging us more and more.

Today ‘more is the motto’ that drives our economic ethic, therefore, we no longer live life, we rather consume it. Under this new money mythology or ‘Power of the Purse’, we believe that money is a God given blessing through which one can buy everything, from ‘peace to power’ and from ‘hope to happiness’.

This abnormal addiction to money (Money Madness) procures no peace but profit or hedonism in our society, creates a big breach between rich and poor. Some are caught in ‘luxury trap’ and some struggle to survive.

This drug effect of money, which is without ethic of doing good, is with a choking effect as it can badly perform for social, psychological and spiritual pursuits. This other side of the coin causes corrosive effects in the society.

First, the drug effect of money today ends in society an essential conditioning called ‘empathy’. Therefore, promotes selfishness and causes dissolution of social bonds/communal values.

Our money mania today diminishes social connectedness and encourages social split in the society. There in society is different ‘Savoring Strategy’ which asks for ‘more money’ to be happy.

For achieving this ‘unassailable point of sufficiency’ every one among us is in rat race, feels insatiable and frantically believes that ‘more is better’ and desperately searches a ‘vantage point’ to scout out ‘how much is more’. Despite well-heeled we have lost our life and liberty, feeling divided, depressed, deprived, lonely and loathed in our own society today.

Second, our over-aspirational etiquette socializes in us a ‘money mindedness where we save more than we spend and it is very fatal flaw with the money.

This obsession causes hoarding of money, freezes money circulation and poor people fail to feed their families as their only hope of selling their services/labor against fixed cash goes unheard in the society.

We feel pain to pay cashless people in their hour of need by not hiring their services and ignore the very societal proverb, ‘Ubuntu, i-e, ‘I am because we are’. It is hurting us more than helping us in our society.

Third, for want of becoming palatial people and avoiding chronic or churning poverty we savagely sever ties and rebuild our community’s core values/bonds on ‘cash nexus’.

This connects only moneyed and corners poor who first get alienated then eliminated under the pressure of poverty. This making of better off one and not the other in the society is trapping us deeper in debt and despair. 

Fourth, this ‘money mania’ nurtures ample ambiguity, saps all vitalities of society and makes one less skilled sailor to sail through the troubled waters. Diligence and hard work is no watchword today rather short sighted strategies/ short cuts like ‘Internet Gambling’ or ‘Dream Eleven’ are religiously resorted to negotiate financial constraints.

Our tricks of trade look largely dystopian as in our pursuit of ‘more is better’ we aid and abet criminal behavior in the society. It, therefore, corrodes creativity and critical culture in society which are indispensably essential for societies and civilization to propagate and prevail.

PS: Today we are living like a consumer tribe in our community with a capitalist creed to always buy for our good comfort and not for the comfort of others which is melancholic. We develop social contacts more by cost-benefit analysis.

A spendthrift marries a spendthrift and tightwad with a tightwad. Any change in the above wrecks more marriages in the society and causes deviance.

Moreover, economic conditions like sticky wages (wages that can less likely meet the market requirements), stagflation (Inflation, unemployment and low growth) and our rising expectations-outstripping our incomes are creating chaos.

Some live luxuriously and some have fewer opportunities to meet their rigid expectations. They later are finding no chance to swim safe but suffocate/suicide as was proved by Seerat from Sopore. So long as we are economical not ethical in our social meaning of money, the Veth (River Jhelum) would continue to wreath her shores with the human bodies.  

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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