How can anyone possibly justify stealing the accumulated wealth of a family? In the material world dignity is the first casualty of economic privation.
Could viewing stealing as a type of occupation add some light?
Whether any action is morally right or wrong depends on the circumstances. Humans need an overarching story or philosophy to help them navigate their life.
For example, the principle of self-defence creates the exception to the rule “Thou shalt not kill”. Soldiers during war operate on a different ethical environment and we saw during WWII, a philosophy of justified medical killing on a scale unprecedented in human history (see lebensunwertes Leben: A Life Unworthy of Life).
- Let’s make this very clear: The individuals involved in Big Franchising know exactly what they are doing and supporting. And they have known for decades and decades. Any experienced politician, regulator, journalist, lawyer…you name them, their families are NOT involved in mom and pop franchising.
The individuals understand 100% that they are profiting from the systematic re-allocation of assets and that creates some internal discomfort or cognitive dissonance. They reduce that stress in several ways. The primary one by shunning those that are willing to talk openly about their complicity. [Stewart, put your damn hand down.]
Another one of them is through a philosophy or series of arguments.
These are in no particular order and are perfectly valid reasons (from the burglar’s view) for solving your problem of having too much money.
1. Permanence: You thought money is solid. It’s a liquid or a gas. The history of commerce proves it. Money is attracted to those with the most competence and knowledge. I just know the physics better than you do and work exceptionally hard at my magnetic personality.
2. Efficiency: I am doing society a favour in taking your money. I will use that wealth (stored capacity) better than you, you doofus bozo. Since I am a more effective and efficient businessperson, society overall will benefit more with the new ownership arrangement. Stock markets accumulate capital for more efficient activities; I am just a humble free market soldier doing my bit in serving society.
3. Education: I am trying to teach you something. Ownership of any asset implies a responsibility to take care of it. Because I can take it from you, I have proven you have not learned certain lessons. You can continue to call me names and I just laugh. Instead, why not look inside yourself and discover why you fell so hard in love with a stranger? Do you really think making your wealth so important in your life (a golden calf) is without cost? If you have your health, spouse and family you have already won life’s lottery.
4. Competitiveness: If I don’t do it, Someone else will. Life, like nature, is the survival of the fittest and only the strong will (and should) survive. There are carnivores and herbivores and anyone that thinks differently, is living in la-la-land. The price for delusion can be steep.
5. Free Markets: My duty is to increase shareholder wealth. My legal duty is to my shareholder; end of story. If that means for me to meet your goals you don’t meet yours (a zero-sum game), well, I didn’t create the rules, I just live by them.
6. Situational Ethics: The Loser always take the High Ground. You wouldn’t be upset if I had made you money. As a matter of fact, you’re just pissed because you’re not wise to the con (ie. you would have done me twice as good if you could have).
7. Uniqueness: What makes your family so special? Every other family has learned not to trust strangers and that small business requires specific skills, perseverance and training. So you think you can just go out and buy this knowledge from someone who profits from only one-side of an argument? I’m not responsible that you failed to listen (arrogant) or were unlucky to not have this fraud-proofing as part of your upbringing (immigrant).
8. Objective v. Subjective Truth: Just one truth, eh?. You think that there is one universal moral code (objective truth) based in reality a la your five senses. I believe that power creates truth (subjective truth) and that reality is plastic. One of us is right but we won’t know until we die who that is. Since I am on the side of the powerful, I get to write the history of commerce and propaganda.
9. Awareness: Lack of thought is no defence. I have been paying attention how people actually behave and have developed my specialized persuasive skills over many years of study and practice. I have paid my dues in lower level cons and am now at the highest level of the Big Con…Big Franchising. When I screw up, I go to jail. You on the other hand, either inherited your wealth or worked at a deadhead job for 30 years and then suddenly decided you wanted to become a lion tamer. The cream rises to the top and visa versa…
10. Literalism: Words have several meanings. The word “apple” is not a physical entity; something you can polish and eat. It represents something else, it’s a construct: it’s meaning is created in your head. I am an expert at using words for my self-interest. I knew you were unemployed and increasingly desperate so I said the words that you wanted to hear. I get paid handsomely for spinning compelling illusions. The cut worm forgives the plow (or should, in any case.) It’s only a game: Lighten up for (your) God’s sake.
11. Past Indifference: Where were you? When I was going about my business “ripping-off” someone last year, you didn’t seem to be too concerned with my activities. Your new-found concern seems highly selective and, frankly, unduly selfish. You’ll get over it. And if you don’t, don’t blame me: Did you really expect me to be honest when your lower taxes laid off all the good sheepdogs?
12. Silence: Why didn’t anyone tell me? So you say you will never sign a Gag order? You will. I bet I could give you back 10% of what I stole from you and you’ll sign. Maybe 15%? 20%? And we both know that I’ll use the remainder to screw the next stranger, as if there is such a creature. Trading with the enemy, my ass: I do things that are inside of you but you’re just too afraid to run the risks I do. So evil is out there somewhere, some place in the past or in “the other”? lol
13. Duality: I want more “good” and avoid “bad” things in my life. Good and bad are impostors. Failure is just a step along the way. You create your own god ($, career, doing “good”) and you have to serve somebody. I perform a role in a play understood by educated people for centuries but you steadfastly cling to fairy tales. You call me cynical and black: I think I observe behavior accurately.
14. Pain: If I avoid it, my life will be worthwhile. Life is pain and loss and hunger and the best we can hope for is a good death. All work has dignity and life is only occasionally interrupted with a bucketful of bliss. Where you hurt is the area that you need to work on if you are to move along. Attachment is the source of all pain.
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty. Abraham Lincoln
Everyone gets to decide but we all come from different levels of understanding.