Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Human Nature to Human Failure? (Comment)

"The United Nations says the world economy faces its worst downturn since the Great Depression" (BBC News, 1/12/08). It is apparent that the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from it. It keeps repeating itself. And one would surely think that given modern technology, instantaneous forecasting methods, a plethora of data and economic indices, 'stronger' democracies and a shared sense of 'promoting peace, security and justice' (UN Charter), the world economy would be in safer hands nowadays than in the 1930s. Though all these developments have helped us to improve, the 'human system' is far from perfection. Indeed, it is human nature to experience failure. It goes without saying that the recent financial crisis has taught us many things; but perhaps the most important lesson can be reduced to just 5 letters: greed. Is greed one of the handful biological instincts that have survived from our bipedal ancestors or is it ultimately the product of an increasingly capitalised society?

Human greed has thrown us into a financial ratatouille. The greed to succeed has led us into a sea of failures. It's therefore quite clear that our human failure sprang from our very human nature - whether we learn how to 'trick' nature or accept it as an invariable biological eventuality remains to be seen.

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