Stabbed in the back –
Robbed blind –
Held to ransom –
Thrown to the lions
The axioms any top-drawer business person commits to; so as for these axioms to become a credo for life – usually so as to provide a person with a proposed trajectory for professional life – although often they can be committments to a life in general – these axioms are axioms which are identical to those that a mobster racketeer, or a petty criminal, would have to choose to commit to.
At their heart these axioms rest upon the proposition of one as far as possible living one’s life always in one’s own best interest. This, in the Newspeak of our age, is pledged by such persons to be the core business of life.
I do not want to look into the justifications which such persons muster for them making this life-choice; suffice it to say these justifications are nearly always after-the-fact revetments to the fabric of their tottering integrity. I do not want to talk about whether or not such a choice actually results in a life which has been lived – successfully in its own terms – but in fact necessarily therefore having been a life lived to one’s own worst interest. I want to register here only that I believe there is good evidence that a life thus lived is never in a person’s best interest; in fact it has been a waste of life.
I want to draw my readers’ attention to the identity of the axioms entailed in any life choice which avowedly accepts and psychically and exclusively commits to such a near-sighted and self-serving credo. This is the credo of gangsters and likewise it is the credo of people of business: morally there are no essential separations between their ways of life. The amounts of damage done; and the relative size of the evils and ills accepted, and to be brought into existence, by the taking up of these erroneous life-choices are of equivalent malignant magnitudes.
These statements are not mere rhetoric; nor are they tropes or exaggerations. They present literal truth; which is able to be demonstrated and supported by convincing evidence.
The traditional allegiance of the mobster is to ‘the family’. For the people of business it is to their companies. But these commitments are secondary. Prior to these allegiances having been pledged both the mobster and the company person has weighed-up the opportunities and outcomes likely to arise from deciding to choose to pledged to such an allegiance. The opportunities and outcomes which such a person, say, a mobster or a business person, foresees arising are not opportunities and outcomes beneficial to the oppressed peoples of the earth, or to the destitute and the lame.
The balance on which the expected prizes to be had are being weighed registers only big and egregious benefits accruing pretty exclusively to oneself. This concupiscence of self is the very core value in such person’s hearts.
It is a bargain struck. The secondary pledge is to serve the mob or the company; or for the petty crook to cheat, not like Robin Hood, but to adhere to socially destructive crime; all in exchange for that promise of preferment and increase which acts to balance the scale of the secondary pledge. This is the bargain struck. The mob, the company, the criminal lifestyles, in effect buy the sold-out loyalties of the persons who pledge themselves to them.
One ‘buys-into’ a fraternity; into a society of likeminded persons who have made the same calculations and who have come to the same decisions. Such a society, fraternity, offers solidarity and ‘family’; it offers a small world wherein what is considered good and bad, right and wrong, safe and unsafe, permissible and forbidden; are mapped out, sometimes encoded -and written down like the Masons do – so that in effect thinking about self and examining one’s motivations, considering wider and social criticisms, are all foregone and signed-away upon entry to the club.
This bargain made is a primal instance of, and it leads to all sorts of other, corruption. The badges of these various clubs, fraternities, families, societies, are the items upon which persons who are members build their personal identities. There are for the business aspirant places like the golf fairways and the squash courts; the obligatory lounge suit and tie, the clean cut appearance; coffee, and drinks evenings at functions and hotels; airport executive lounge passes; the working laptop or notebook; doing business on the train/plane etc etc. The people want to be so, to identify with, to assuage and so assure, to preclude a larger wider mindset and outlook; any passion for doing life better than the roads they have chosen.
The corruption is insidious – and for much of the time goes on behind closed doors within their minds. Only a few among them – those who are wider awake and who because of this are the most evil ones – who have slashed and burnt their ways to prominence by means foul and fair without differentiation, without concern for their differentiation – these people are deeply consciously corrupt and do not care that they are so. These are those who pull strings and adjust backdrops and supply props all of which they use to play upon the silly dreams and beggarly hopes of the troupes of camp-followers who have sworn the allegiance, taken the pledge, made the bargain, of a life for a life; the blinkered loyalty and curtailed mental lives of these purblind adopted for the sake of and in exchange for a few pieces of silver; a tasty piece of the pie. A pie which is in fact, in its own terms, divided up niggardly towards them; and one which is de facto poison for them; and for the string-pullers it is also srtong poison, but one which they have long since practiced and innured themselves into immunity from.
The pie, the poison, is of course dipensed as large sums of money personally sought after, adored, and obtained as a primary good; and such acquisition is ever accompanied by its enervating effects on standards of behaviour; the pie is also a complacent easily-borne insularity which ostracises from the mind and conscience those persons and events which do not impinge for good or evil on one’s personal and local sense of well-being; the pie is a gratuitous willingness to look the other way and so turn a blind eye and so accept the fuzzy deals and duplicitous dealings wherever there is to be seen due advantage or due payment or rabid gain to be made for accommodating such dereliction.
This is not all the pie. There is more. The pie much of the time is wholesome pie taken from another’s supper board; taken by means of wiles and by the use of treacheries within the law. The uneducated, insignificant, native guy in only a loincloth who in his late teens is standing waist deep in mud and swamp in the middle of an African mining camp, under the eye of militia men with guns, guerillas who are his foemen and his foremen, and he is digging out rare earths to be sold on world markets and exported for billions of US dollars profit; of which the young loinclothed miner himself sees parings and scrapings of poor food and inadequate shelter, hardly enough to keep him in strength, as the lungs and the eyes fill daily and cumulatively with a dust which will see him old and done for by 30 years of age; whereupon he is dispensed with and another whom he was like once ten years previously, fit and strong takes his place.
Still there sits Dives on his plush cushions in state and opulence and taking of the best material things, foods, raiment, drink, perfumes, women, entertainment, travel, comfort, ease and abundance; whilst at his gates sits Lazarus, chest whistling and eyes diseased, sores and the dogs licking at them. Over the world today continue to sit proud heedless Dives and at their gates today sit millions of crushed unconsidered Lazaruses, Legion of them.
This is what the aspirant ambitious would-be high-flyer – in business – in the mob – commits to when the life-choice to seek wholly for oneself is embraced by him and the unconscious unconscionable club, society, fraternity, family, of like minded blinkered, insular and insulated, self-satisfied, self-absorbed, initiates them to membership
Every choice a person makes excludes all other alternative choices once it has been accepted by a person. These excluded items of choice are then become merely might-have-beens. The more fundamental the choice, such as a life-choice of the kind we have been speaking about , is one which will come to define whom you are; what you stand for; who and what counts for you – and it will be – in the accepted parlance – formative – that is you will become it and it will become you.
Fundamental life-choices made, then, will exclude all other fundamental life choices which are available; and the knock –ons, the fallouts, the repercussions and concatenations from taking such huge decisions are likewise subsequently and exponentially sprawling and expansive. Such life-choices and their aftermaths are able to define one against one’s will, and stamp one against one’s better judgement; they are able to lock you into a way of life in the way a convict is locked away in a prison cell. It can be a life sentence.
I appeal to the persons who might have been intimately affected by having read and understood and taken to heart, suffered in the bones, what I have been saying here; he or she who might well ask in desperation: ‘What shall I do to be saved?’
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”