When we think of greed we think of money. All greed is not monetary, or at least not exclusively so. I’d like you to approach greed that way for at least the next few paragraphs.
Greed is one of the seven cardinal sins prominently featured in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. In my theory, it is also one of the three pillars holding up the contemporary GOP. It is a fatal flaw in many. Today I’ll speak of one in fairly recent history and two who are contemporary.
In the late 1930s Adolph Hitler, the leader of Germany and the de facto leader of fascism (having overtaken Benito Mussolini) was enjoying huge personal success. In 1939 he got too greedy when he invaded Poland and the ensuing war eventually led to his demise. Greed of territory among other things.
For a variety of reasons one of the rules of politics is never to compare anyone to Hitler. I will not only break it once today, but twice.
Donald Trump was going along nicely by his standards. He had a lot of money (although not as much as he led on), a lot of women (we only know about a few), was somewhat of a celebrity (not an A lister as he wanted to be, but above Dancing with the Stars level) and pretty much did as he pleased only covered by the gossip level press which he could handle. A lot of his dirty deeds went largely unknown to the public at large and were largely ignored by the justice system. Then he made the mistake of getting elected President of the United States in 2016 and came under a microscope that he couldn’t handle. The jury is still out on him (literally in the case of grand juries) but his demise looks imminent unless death precedes it. Greed for power and prestige.
Today Vladimir Putin (although it is largely hidden) is widely considered to be one of if not the richest man in the world. He rules Russia his home country and the world’s number two nuclear power with an iron hand. In 2014 he was able to annex Crimea and still has influence over several nominally independent former state of the USSR. A few days short of a year ago he made the mistake of invading the rest of Ukraine. Then the international community stepped in. The final result is still unknown and the repercussion both to Russia and the West are evolving. The bottom line is that Putin got greedy wanting to control more.
When you look at the root cause of evil it is so often greed. Greed was the cause of the demise of Hitler. It looks like it may account for the demise of Trump unless natural causes intervene and I’m not sure I’d like Putin’s future. (The big thing Putin has going for him is that he is surrounded by other crooks and modern Russia has a history of simply “exiling” its deposed leaders.) I’ll just leave it there allowing you to ponder and speculate.
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