The entire quote is from Paul Krugman of The New York Times:
Why corruption matters.
Hint: It’s not the money, it’s the incentives.
When money corrupts the decision-makers, the decisions they make may ultimately have nothing to do with right or wrong, the public interest or private needs — or anything but how the decision affects a business interest or pay-day.
If everything is about money, the moral and ethical elements that should be part of the decision-making process vanish. When the bottom line is the only line, decisions can be made by computers. And probably will be it they aren’t already.
There’s a lot of talk about suicide going around and I know I could never do that. It isn’t because I don’t get depressed or because I have not been through periods when life hardly seemed worth living.
“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).”
It’s just that I have to know what’s going to happen next. I realize this might sound a bit frivolous, but curiosity is a powerful emotion. I always want to know more. I always want to see how things will work out.
So, until I lose the interest in life, or my heart stops, or I get run over by an out-of-control beer truck, I think I’ll hang around.
It was the end of the movie. A man was undergoing a court-martial. It was unjust and Robert Mitchum, as his defense attorney, was having a difficult time securing justice. Just post World War II, there were a lot of highly placed and well-connected Army brass who needed the accused to be found guilty. Why? Because a guilty verdict would stop any further investigation of what really happened and who was truly involved.
If the story sounds familiar, it is. When important people, movers and shakers — no matter whether they are government, military, or major corporate players, “the truth” is, as often as not, one of the casualties of whatever is going down. Truth, honesty, justice, fairness … mere collateral damage in an endless war in which we are all pawns and the power is in the hands of the rich, powerful, and well-connected.
Justice is not done in this case, though the outcome could be worse, depending on how you choose to look at it. It’s a British production and there is a sense of frustration and futility that even after fighting and dying, regular people are still taking the hit for those in power.
Thus, at the end of movie, when it is pointed out to Mitchum that they didn’t win, he agrees.
But then he says: “Just because you can’t lick’em, doesn’t mean you have to join’em, either.”
Maybe, in the final analysis, that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes, we lose, but we don’t have to give up our sense of purpose, our honesty, or throw away the things in which we believe. We don’t have to join them.
My team, my beliefs, my principles took a major hit. But don’t think for a minute this means I’m about to passively join the mob of sycophants and “true believers.”
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