This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Reversing The Culture Of Greed Essay

1158 words - 5 pages

In the article entitled “Reversing the Culture of Greed,” Jung-kyu Kim gives us the opportunity to explore current America’s societal breakdown, which we attempt to view through the eyes of George Herbert Mead and James S. Coleman. We will focus on James S. Coleman’s Rational Choice Theory and its ramifications on present-day society and explore George Herbert Mead’s theory of Symbolic Interactionism as a solution to these ramifications. Rational Choice Theory is well represented within the article; but rather than focusing on the literal component of Symbolic Interactionism therein, we will focus on its absence and necessity in preserving the cohesion of modern society.

“Reversing the Culture of Greed” begins by describing the current economic division of wealth in America and the burden that this state of affairs places on middle class America. While the rich focus on becoming richer, the commoners are merely trying to make ends meet. Due to the nature of politics, today’s political agenda is so preoccupied with special interest groups and reelection that government fails to take into account the need to reduce taxes in order to decrease this gap in income. Businesses are uninterested in individuals, their only interest being the obsession of profit maximization; seemingly oblivious to all other human, social and environmental considerations. (Kim, 2013). This philosophy, “in its short-sighted greed, precipitated the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.” (Kim, 2013).

The article offers a theory as to how the current state of affairs came into being, citing that “the main culprit was the widely held belief that pursuit of self-interest is the "rational" thing to do.” (Kim, 2013). He attributes the decline in social cohesion to the “unquestioning belief in rational self-interest.” (Kim, 2013).

Kim goes on to offer a possible solution to the prevailing American greed paradigm: doing away with the profit motive and beginning to regard each other as human beings as opposed to “money making tools.” (Kim, 2013). “For this to happen, though, we must recognize that selfishness (even of the enlightened sort) is ultimately a poor basis for morality and introduce a new philosophy based on the values of compassion, aesthetic sensibility and humaneness instead.” (Kim, 2013). After all, “a society which prizes profit-making above all else is destined to decay sooner or later.” (Kim, 2013).

The article focuses on selfishness and greed as being the root of all evil concerning the current economic crisis. This can be explained using Rational Choice Theory. Coleman’s Rational Choice Theory, as opposed to Marx’s group (macro) Conflict Theory, attempts to focus on the individual rather than society as a group and his wanting of more rather than less of a good. It is cold and calculating. “Action is undertaken to achieve goals to achieve objectives consistent with actors’ preference hierarchy.” (Ritzer, 2013). In other words: actors act only...

Find Another Essay On Reversing the Culture of Greed

The Pros and Cons of Greed

1225 words - 5 pages When the word “greed” is used it is most often in a negative connotation describing some sort of socially unacceptable behavior. Individuals who are described as “greedy” are often considered thieves or usurpers. Yet, is greed really that bad? Is it not greed that, ultimately, motivates one to excel? In a commencement speech at the University of California-Berkeley’s School of Business Administration stock speculator Ivan Boesky declared

The Greed and Capitalism of Milo Minderbinder

2342 words - 9 pages Joseph Heller's early sixties novel Catch-22 is a satirical representation of war and America's bureaucratic system. It is a comical and witty book which gradually seems to become more somber in its depiction of war and human suffering. In my paper I will mainly focus on Milo Minderbinder, one of the two main characters of the book, who as the personification of modern capitalism and human greed in general just like the mood of the book

Parable of the Sower, Dystopia, and Greed

2100 words - 9 pages book was written. In the Parable of the Sower, Butler is showing that greed is the cause of the dystopia. She is saying that in her time people are becoming more greedy and if we do not change our ways this future where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer until almost everyone is unemployed and homeless will come into fruition. One part in the novel that shows that Butler believes the cause of this dystopia is greed is when Lauren’s

The Evil Virtues of Greed and Corruption

928 words - 4 pages their miseries on the farm. The animals’ memories of their misery on the farm prevent them from celebrating their newfound freedom. Throughout the novel, Napoleon attempts to gain power through diabolical strategies and extensive manipulation, just as the humans once did to him. In an attempt to grasp power, new leaders apply the same tactics previously used on them, promoting the evil virtues of greed and corruption. Throughout the novel, Napoleon

The Strength of Envy and Greed

1103 words - 5 pages continues to desire more land. He continues to buy more and more land until this desire causes his death. At the end of “How much land does a man really need?” Pahom is given the opportunity to pay a thousand rubles for whatever land he can walk around in a day. Motivated by his greed he walks more than his body is capable of enduring and eventually collapses and dies. Of course, in the end he gets six feet of land on which to be buried. This example

Ethics: The Human Imperfection of Greed

993 words - 4 pages resulted in the United States government creating new regulations and laws to prevent similar actions. In the more recent case of KeySpan Energy Corporation, it was difficult for prosecutors to find a specific law or rule that was violated and once again laws had to be reviewed and rewritten. This seems to be an endless cycle. In conclusion one could suppose that the major problem is the human imperfection of greed. These particular examples show

Power Failure : The Inside Story of How Enron's Culture of Arrogance and Greed Led to the Biggest Bankruptcy in American History

674 words - 3 pages “Based on the never-before-published revelations of Sherron Watkins, the Enron Vice President who blew the whistle, POWER FAILURE is a gripping account of the greed, ambition, and arrogance that fueled Enron's rise--and the internal rivalries and financial chicanery that brought the company crashing down. In the late 1990s, Enron was hailed as the model company of the new economy.” (Power Failure: The Inside Story of How Enron's Culture of

Greed In The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

1179 words - 5 pages The Modernist movement took place in a time of happiness, a time of sadness, a time of objects, a time of saving, a time of prosperity, a time of poverty and in a time of greed. Two novels, written by Steinbeck and Fitzgerald, portray this underlying greed and envy better than most novels of that period. These novels, The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath, show that despite the difference between the 1920s and the 1930s, greed remained a

Literary Analysis- - The Presence Of Greed In "Cat's Cradle"

1248 words - 5 pages Literary Analysis-- The Presence of Greed in "Cat's Cradle" Do you feel the need for greed?! To some, that corny phrase may just be the melodramatic theme to the now-defunct television game show, "Greed". To the enlight- ened reader of Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Cat's Cradle", however, it symbolizes the under- lying message behind one of the novel's more prevalent literary themes: Greed. A vari- ety of lifestyle themes dominate the pages of "Cat's

The Negativity of Greed is Stronger than Jealousy

994 words - 4 pages The way people feel about something or react to it is most of the time not optional or tempted more by their desires or by their nature. “The pearl” is a great example of how people completely turn over into different creatures because of their human characteristic or because of their human desires. Jealousy is a great factor that helped in leading to the climax and the tragedy of the novel, whereas greed was the most important one because of

Greed and Power…The Death of a Society

1093 words - 4 pages In his satiric essay, A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift proposes eating children in order to highlight the fact that other plausible measures for fixing Ireland’s economic problems are being ignored. Swift implies that a nation’s most significant problems stem from the greed of the wealthy. He asserts this through his use of diction, satire, and ethos. Diction is used by the author in order to imply that those who are financially blessed

Similar Essays

The Greed Of Man Essay

862 words - 3 pages The poem The Greed of Man shows readers what is bound to happen to the Earth because of the selfish nature of men. Through the tone of the speaker, the figurative language and rhetoric devices used, and the rhythm and rhyme, the poem exemplifies the Macbeth theme of insatiable greed, and its eventual destruction of the Earth. The poem The Greed of Man begins by describing many of the Earth’s pleasures and attractive features. The unknown

The Epitome Of Greed Essay

988 words - 4 pages Since the beginning of time, man has had an issue with greed. Adam and Eve, who had more than enough to eat, just had to have the “forbidden fruit”. According to Merriam-Webster, greed is defined as, “a selfish desire to have more of something (especially money) than needed”. It is very obvious that time after time, throughout history, greed has not only been problematic, but has essentially been the undoing of one society after the next and

The Definition Of Capitalism: Greed Essay

1022 words - 4 pages the rules of nature . Which raises the question, if we are above nature what are we ? Some would say greed incarnate , I would have to agree . In the present day, we have a concept similar to feudalism, it is called a sweatshop . A sweatshop is defined by the US Department of Labor as , " a factory that violates two or more labor laws, such as those pertaining to wages and benefits, child labor or working hours. In general, a sweatshop can be

Learn About The Greed Of "The Crucible"

758 words - 3 pages Greed can be a very destructive part of everyone's life. It can control our every action at times. Some people let their greed get out of control, which was exactlywhat happened in Salem during the witch trials. Three people's greed brought up this whole tragedy of the trials, convictions and hangings. These three people are Reverend Parris, Thomas Putnam and Abigail Williams. Thomas Putnam was a "well-to-do, hard-handed, landowner." He valued