George just doesn't quite get it, does he?


A quite wonderful rant from George Monbiot. Apparently all those firms that pay their employees lots of money are in fact just vampires sucking the lifeblood and all that is good and holy out of said employees:

To seek enlightenment, intellectual or spiritual; to do good; to love and be loved; to create and to teach: these are the highest purposes of humankind. If there is meaning in life, it lies here.

Those who graduate from the leading universities have more opportunity than most to find such purpose. So why do so many end up in pointless and destructive jobs? Finance, management consultancy, advertising, public relations, lobbying: these and other useless occupations consume thousands of the brightest students. To take such jobs at graduation, as many will in the next few weeks, is to amputate life close to its base.

I watched it happen to my peers. People who had spent the preceding years laying out exultant visions of a better world, of the grand creative projects they planned, of adventure and discovery, were suddenly sucked into the mouths of corporations dangling money like angler fish.

It is just ever so slightly odd to hear a man reputedly of the left complaining that the workers are receiving too much money. We did rather think that was the point of said left, to ensure that the workers by hand and brain received their just allocation of the moolah.

Other than that it's the arrogance on display here from Monbiot that is so breathtaking. It may be that he thinks that the meaning of a good life is to teach, to create. But that's his view of life, one he's entirely welcome to of course, but he's not welcome to impose it on others. Others can, and do, have entirely different conceptions of what that good life is. Perhaps to be able to raise and take care of a family: something that a decent income does make rather easier. Heck, some people even enjoy being bankers.

Or to be more serious about it, what on earth is anyone doing calling finance "useless"? Or indeed lobbying? Finance is the mobilisation of the savings of this generation into the building blocks of the better world of tomorrow. This is useless? Or badgering a minister into dropping one or other of their foolish and ill thought out plans as a lobbyist does not add value to all our lives?

So it's not just that he's wrong in trying to impose his own view of life upon others, it's that he's not even got a reasonable view of what those others are in fact doing.

So, situation normal on the Guardian comment pages then.