Joan recently said
>Doing the wrong thing does damage to us and denies us the
>good feelings. It is the difference between being like Mother Teresa or
>being closer to the scum of life.
Just a comment on absolute values - there has fairly recently been
criticism in the English media (I forget where - maybe Channel 4's Without
Walls?) of the work Mother Teresa does in Calcutta. I think the basic
substance of the complaint is that she encourages Hindus to die a
Christian death away from their families, or something like that. I don't
want to debate the rights or wrongs of this criticism, just to point out
that a sincere, intelligent person has a value problem with one of the
great moral icons of our time. Having a business partner who is a member
of an ashram, and being a worshiping Christian myself, I do recognise some
fairly fundamental differences in our values. We usually manage to deal
with these, but they exist.
So on to wealth. My problem with a lot of our business conversations is
the basic assumption that even though we may agree that too much emphasis
is placed on shareholder's or stockholder's interests, and not enough on
employee's, customer's, society's and the earth's, there is a moral right
to unearned income. I actually feel quite uncomfortable with this, not
through envy, as I have substantial unearned income myself, but from a
moral point of view.
In terms of the values of a business, how would it be to create an
organisation which specifically rejects the notion of shareholders and
unearned income - as the Christian Church in the Middle Ages nominally
rejected money-lending. I think that could produce an interesting set of
values and goals for a business. Remember, Shareholder capitalism is not
very old in the context of history, and some of us would say not very
efficient, even being judged on its own values.
Just some thoughts if anyone's interested.
Productivity Europe Ltd
firstname.lastname@example.org (Malcolm Jones)
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>