What is complained about is “excess greed”.
Socialists, statists, Occupy Wall Street protestors, general leftist culture… they talk about how corporations run without caring for their employees or customers, how everything to the elite is just numbers on a chart and not human faces.
We will for the duration of this post accept that these “elite”, whoever you or they might want them to be, are completely heartless bastards who have no humanity. Or whatever. It does not particularly matter how you wish to elaborate. Let us say they are greedy, evil people. When they want something, they simply plug it into their spreadsheets or hold a few high-class boardroom meetings. If they can get something to “work”, they put it into motion emotionlessly, destroying ecosystems, breaking up families, and ruining lives – just so they can profit and have a bigger number on their computer screen.
Let us also accept that those who oppose these monsters are the side of good and justice. They live to make a change in the world, and they change the world by living. They defend the world from destruction and the masses from oppression, and this is what they strive for every moment of their lives. It doesn’t matter if it’s unreasonable or unfeasible. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
“Greed”, and “Justice”. To be perfectly honest, even if I accept these things, I don’t understand why “Justice” is more respectable.
No king, emperor, or tyrant has ever believed that something he wanted could be accomplished without some cost. If he wanted a land that was occupied by another group or another ruler, he knew that either money or people must be spent, risked, and perhaps lost. Corporations today want profit, but they take into consideration the moves they must use to manipulate public opinion, how much inventory to keep at what time, and how much funding to put into R&D and what product lines to discontinue. On the other hand, protestors, revolutionaries, and mere commoners honestly believe that they should be allocated goods and services by the hand of god for the sheer belief that their actions are “right”. Today we have outrage when there is suggestion that people who want welfare – read: free money – have to go through drug tests and other restrictions. Everywhere you look there are self-righteous people. They aren’t greedy. They “just want what they deserve“.
Space-time dictates that a law of reality is opportunity cost: If you are doing one thing, you are necessarily not doing another. Economics expands this: You pay people to do things you want to do, but didn’t do because you had something else you wanted to do even more. All costs are opportunity cost. Greed acknowledges cost. Corporations must acknowledge the existence and desires of the people they want to reap profit from. This is why they employ thousands upon thousands of people to just take care of organizing numbers.
If “Greed” can’t get what they want, they tell their researchers to find new ways of doing things, to create better products to beat out the competition. If “Justice” can’t get what they want, they yell louder, destroy things, or get the most powerful mafia in the history of mankind to point guns at the people they don’t like. I speak, of course, of government.
I apologize, that last picture was painted incorrectly. There is one way for “Greed” to do things without acknowledging cost. That is for them to use the government as well.
If we remove this monopoly, then Greed must acknowledge reality once more. This is why free market supporters continue to use the line “voluntary exchange” and “win-win”: in the end given no “hand of god”, greed will arrive at the optimal situation – to convince you that interacting with them will get you what you want. Thus competition produces “truth” and value. However, there is nothing that can make Justice acknowledge reality. They will always pursue what they think is right, all else be damned.
Both Greed and Justice are unlimited desires (as are all desires). One works with reality. The other works against it.
“Reality”… is other people. Is mankind.
After all the evil people in this world are dead, will this world be peaceful?
In the sense that they are both categories of desire, they are identical. They are simply different versions of some other concept.
We could say, and not inaccurately: Greed is Humility, and Justice is Pride.
Justice is the “excess greed”.