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Don't downplay greed | The Nation

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Joshua Clover's essay on the financial crisis is brilliant. Not only can the man write, he can see. I shall forward this essay to many of my friends. However, Mr. Clover's apparent dismissal of greed as the motivating force beyond the recent capitalist cataclysm is arguable. I say this because greed itself--surely a major constituent of our human texture--is the issue of ego. Descartes' Ego cogito, ergo sum is the battle cry of the European "Enlightenment," and in this, Descartes preaches an echo of Christian theology: Jesus Christ died for our sins, and so we are ultimately redeemed or, as our anthem says, "Conquer we must, for our cause it is just." And as Levi-Strauss, I think it was, pointed out, to know a people, we must know its gods. And 6 o'clock TV informs us, time and time again, that "You deserve this $1,000 Wide-Screen TV!" I'm here suggesting that we really believe this. In short, our ineluctably bizarre sense of our manifest destiny to obtain whatever is offered to us that tickles our fancy seems to me to be the ultimate support for our refusal to face the gangsta-rap music of ego-driven greed.