Money, happiness and eternal life – Greed | DW Documentary

“The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else”

Ernest Becker, The Flight From Death: The Quest for Immortality

Can money and power ever make us happy? How much is enough? Our constant desire for more is part of our human nature.

But is greed getting the better of us? Find out in GREED – A FATAL DESIRE.

From Buddhists and bankers to Eskimos and psychologists, we explore the phenomenon of greed with people from all walks of life. How can it be defined? What makes us greedy? And what are the repercussions?

People like to have a lot of stuff because it gives them the feeling of living forever,” says American social psychologist Sheldon Solomon. He thinks we have to come to terms with our own mortality before we can break the cycle.

Are there other ways to feel happy and content? Can we simply stop being greedy by changing the way we think?

We’re never happy with what we have. But excessive consumption is damaging our planet. Could greed lead to the collapse of the climate as well as our society? Find out in Part 2 of GREED – A FATAL DESIRE.

From Buddhists and bankers to Eskimos and psychologists, we explore the phenomenon of greed with people from all walks of life. How can it be defined? What makes us greedy? And what are the repercussions?

People like to have a lot of stuff because it gives them the feeling of living forever,” says American social psychologist Sheldon Solomon. He thinks we have to come to terms with our own mortality before we can break the cycle.

Are there other ways to feel happy and content? Can we simply stop being greedy by changing the way we think?


MECHANISM OF UTOPIA

E. M. Cioran

We shall never praise the utopias sufficiently for having denounced the crimes of ownership, the horror property represents, the calamities it causes. Great or small, the owner is corrupted, sullied in his essence: his corruption is projected onto the merest object he touches or appropriates. Whether his “fortune” is threatened or stripped from him, he will be compelled to a consciousness of which he is normally incapable. In order to reassume a human appearance, in order to regain his “soul,” he must be ruined and must consent to his ruin. In this, the revolution will help him. By restoring him to his primal nakedness, it annihilates him in the immediate future and saves him in the absolute, for it liberates—inwardly, it is understood—those whom it strikes first: the haves; it reclassifies them, it restores to them their former dimension and leads them back to the values they have betrayed. But even before having the means or the occasion to strike them, the revolution sustains in them a salutary fear: it troubles their sleep, nourishes their nightmares, and nightmare is the beginning of a metaphysical awakening. Hence it is as an agent of destruction that the revolution is seen to be useful; however deadly, one thing always redeems it: it alone knows what kind of terror to use in order to shake up this world of owners, the crudest of all possible worlds. Every form of possession, let us not hesitate to insist, degrades, debases, flatters the monster sleeping deep within each of us. To own even a broom, to count anything at all as our property, is to participate in the general infamy. What pride to discover that nothing belongs to you—what a revelation! You took yourself for the last of men, and now, suddenly, astonished and virtually enlightened by your destitution, you no longer suffer from it; quite the contrary, you pride yourself in it. And all you still desire is to be as indigent as a saint or a madman.

History and Utopia (1960)


PALEONTOLOGY

E. M. Cioran

Awakening is independent of intellectual capacities: a genius can be a dunce, spiritually speaking. Moreover, knowledge as such gets one no further. An illiterate can possess “the eye of understanding” and thereby find himself above and beyond any scholar. To discern that what you are is not you, that what you have is not yours, to be no longer the accomplice of anything, even of your own life—that is to see clearly, that is to get down to the zero root of everything. The wider you open yourself to vacuity, the more deeply you steep yourself in it, the further you remove yourself from the fatality of being—yourself, of being man, of being alive. If everything is null and void, this triple fatality will be so too.

The New Gods (1969)


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