At the End of the Day

Most people tend to associate the phrase ‘thinking about the needs of others’ with vaguely charitable, religious, nursing or neighbourly applications. But in today’s world, not thinking about the needs of others is one of the root causes of our econo-cultural crisis. And in the end, it is ruinously expensive.

If you’re employed in marketing, and all you want is to enact a spectacular, newsworthy change to the main brand – in order to make a name for yourself and move on to a more senior position elsewhere – customers will probably lose something they genuinely value in the product, and the employees will eventually lose their jobs as a result of falling sales.

If you’re an investment banker keen to exceed targets for intra-bank sales – without much thought for the needs of the economy you serve – sooner or later millions of people will lose their jobs, and whole nations will lose their pride.

If you’re an accountant interested only in maximising bottom line to the Shareholders (and big bonuses for yourself and other Board directors) jobs will move offshore, indigenous unemployment will rise, and workless young people will at best become institutionalised to welfare, and at worst wreck the neighbourhood through rioting and crime.

If you’re a lawyer out to develop new markets to increase fees without thought for society, the culture will become more litigious, idiotic notices will appear everywhere, packaging will be covered in pointless warnings, surgeons will become wary of even picking up a scalpel, and everyone will feel at times frustrated, and at other times become worried, by warnings that are complete fantasy.

If you’re a copywriter or TV programme commissioner desperate to impress your mates rather than study the market thoroughly, sales will fall, ratings will fall, programmers and admen will become desperate to attract ratings at any price, programme and advertising quality will nosedive, jobs will disappear, and the highpoint of the week will be Simon Cowell.

If you’re a policemen putting personal career before social stability, crime will get out of control, the police reputation will be damaged, you will take bribes, fiddle target numbers, bang up innocent people, redouble the loss of respect for the Force, become politicised, and eventually turn into a glorified Gestapo.

If you’re a journalist for whom nothing matters beyond circulation, readership will fall, phones will be hacked, emails blagged, MPs threatened, policemen bribed, and Government policy compromised totally.

If you’re a senior civil servant whose only concern is a cosy retirement and avoiding decisions, the National Debt will double, the armed forces will be poorly prepared, soldiers will die, privatisations will be nonsensical, millions of pointless jobs will be created, the employees in those jobs will strike when somebody realises their pointlessness, Government will become distracted, the export deficit will balloon, and the Nation will find itself facing an unscaleable skyscraper of debt.

If you’re a politician in thrall to bankers, media gargoyles and mandarin civil servants – interested only in votes, power and Party success – then the needs of all those groups will come before the concerns of ordinary citizens. You will hire criminal liars, creep up backsides and thus be in the dark, offer your own bottom to the rich, sell irreplaceable national assets to profit-fixated insurers, and believe partisan politics to be more important than principle in every last instance.

People sometimes talk about all the institutional employees listed above as having “lost the plot”, but the reality is that they know perfectly well what the plot is – they simply choose to ignore it in favour of sectional, monied needs, personal gratification, and egomania. Brussels, Berlin, Greece, Westminster: the location is of no importance, and the end product is always the same: chaos, anarchy, suffering and – one day – collapse.

The bottom line on uncaring, selfish megalomania is that it costs. In some periods of history – and the current era may well turn out to be one – the egomaniacs and plot-ignorers pay for it with their lives…..and everyone else with their livelihoods.

19 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. Trouble is, where do you insert the solution. Everything has a target to meet. It’s how things work. If we say we dont want to play, we start sitting around in tents singing folk songs. But then hopefully some recording executive will hear our quality singing and make a single. The story could become a film. We can make a fortune……..Oh crap…

  2. And the meek will follow, that is until hope and salvation is offered,and then they will follow and all that you have been working for will fall between your fingers and evaporate and what you should have been working for,will be beyond redemption

  3. Well said, well said! It’s about personal integrity and character. It’s also (forgive me for sounding new age-y) but it’s also about consciousness. We’ve had far darker times – we are moving forward, however slowly.

  4. Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
    and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
    that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

    • “Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen”

      Oh dear. What on earth does this have to do with what I thought was a reasonable comment article about the prevalence of personal advancement over consideration for your fellow man and the common good?

      Given your name – and I accept I’m making an assumption here – I’m surprised you’re not whole heartedly agreeing with the article rather than coming out with this irrelevant sycophantic nonsense about an old lady living off the state at great cost to the tax payer.

      • Dear Andy; it’s a old collect derived from the Book of Common Prayer, which is the founding liturgy of the Church of England; it’s most certainly not some claptrap that a wayward Jehovah’s witness might randomly mumble into your intercom. Whilst I accept that there are a few steps removed from John’s article to the sentiment it expresses, it is highly relevant. Parts of the BCP have a genius for attempting to bind the institutions of English civil society and harness them for a higher purpose. However, the crown, as the head of those institutions which form our civil society, gets a special mention. It’s most certainly not modern flag-waving jingoistic-sycophantic nonsense, but rather an historical example of how the compilers of BCP saw the world in 1559, after the reformation had sundered England from an overbearing source of continental interference…. I thought that the high principle which follows on from the collect at least rhymes with a lot of what John said above.

        You don’t need to be religious to find meaning in such texts. For what it’s worth, I’m not religious. One point of view is that BCP is a fascinating historical document compiled by people who were trying to institute a dogma capable of moulding an entire, stable society. Take as an example the preface to the BCP marriage service, with the beneficial qualities of marriage for society as a whole coolly and rationally listed, intended to be enunciated in plain English before a gathering of people. No wonder modern priests hate it. Reading it makes one wonder that in recent years, our technological advances have given us a great ability to ‘zoom in’, but perhaps at the expense of our understanding of the “common good”, which perhaps the compilers of the BCP had a much better idea about than we do. The solution to all of the examples given by John above could include encouraging people to question the wider effect of their actions and their place in civil society. I believe the collect is just an old-fashioned way of doing that. Therefore it is relevant.

        So, many apologies if the initial posting was a little cryptic and subtle – I appreciate the BCP is a document hardly anybody will have experienced nowadays. Hopefully this extended explanation has laid things out in nice easy steps for you.

        ps…as an aside, the jibe about an old lady living at great expense to the taxpayer is a bit cheap/low-wattage.

      • CofE. Seemingly, can’t reply to replies. Anyway, thanks for that. It brightened my day; cool rationality has that effect, I find

  5. “collapse”when ?It should have been 2008/2009 yet Congress threw the entire treasury of the USA at this group of elite bankers and here we are,awaiting “collapse”.But mathematics will have its way,with insoluble time lines.

  6. If you are an oil company director you know that in the post peak world, despite the ups and downs of the global economy, there is ultimately only one way for oil prices to go , up, so you can make a killing in the next few years. But its not worth investing in new oil refineries as ironically the health and safety culture has made them so prohibitively expensive you will never make the return you could get by speculation. Thus the seeds of the collapse of our whole industrial civilisation are sown, not just the financial aspect of it. JW can I enquire whether you are a reader of the books and blogs of Dimitri Orlov or John Michaal Greer? They are both fine and insightful writers offering different views on the way collapse might proceed and strategies to adapt to it.

    • I wish people would get the big picture about ‘peak oil’. We are not nor ever likely to run out of Oil………there are many varied sources of oil and it can be manufactured instead of being pumped. SA makes all its needs from coal for instance and biological and synthetic sources are well founded and in production. The only issue is production costs. OPEC manipulates the costs by pumping a glut as ‘cheaper’ forms of oil come to market in order to make them less viable for mass production – then once production is slowed the OPEC pump is slowed down again. Eventually (and we are reaching this point now) that non pumped oil is being produced on a scale which will effectively break the ‘pumped’ oils ability to screw the market. OPEC will become a mumbling shop for wealthy Shieks to enjoy dinner in each others company.

      OK – this is a bit simplistic (for brevity) but ‘peak oil’ is not likely to ever happen (before the sun makes people themselves unviable – and oil will not be an ‘issue de jour’ when that happens).

      • @Morningstar: Sorry, you do not understand what peak oil is.
        It is defined as peak of production of cheap easy oil. It has nothing to do with running out of oil per se, although we will run out of oil eventually, but not for a long time. Anybody in the oil business knows the world has already run out of _or_ is running out of cheap easy oil. Meaning that the price of oil is rising. That is what is happening. Equally gloomy, as economies recover from depression the price of oil rises. Catch-22. Also, many people who talk about alternative energies fail to take into account EROEI and other factors eg pollution. It’s no good producing a new energy which takes the equivalent of 2 barrels of oil to produce if the output is only equal to one barrel of oil. Sadly, that is the case in many of the bright spark ideas…

  7. I figure this will probably fall on deaf ears because the 10pct of humans who I think you (but certainly I) identify as genetically sociopathic seem very effective at steering us constantly in this direction with the advantage that they are unflapped by criticism!

  8. For a short while, perhaps a couple of generations, people put their faith in government, the church, the military, the health sector, their sporting heroes, whatever. Helped folks to stay honest.
    Those times have gone, we are in for at least one generation whereby people say ‘I don’t trust anyone, so I’m looking after No.1′, and who can say they are wrong.

    • When was this heady era of altruism? Presumably it was on hold for holocaust, Vietnam, cold war, afghanistan 1, blanket bombing Iraqs retreating army, great war etc etc… Sounds like same shit, bigger guns and better phones

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