Monday, May 13, 2013
The term Hubris has a very specific meaning for the Greeks who invented it. It describes a tragic situation where the will of man becomes paramount.
In the Iliad, the heroes of the battlefield could effect no positive outcome when acting under the force of their own will and wisdom. It was only when the Gods literally entered them and controlled their every action that victories were achieved. This reflected a view wherein man's success lay in sublimating their will, their goals, their actions to those of the Gods.
Though we love to use the term hubris, the idea makes no sense to us. We love to laud business leaders as men of iron will and great vision. In other words we celebrate Hubris rather than fear and decry it. We never say "He was a great leader because he was able to sublimate his will to the common good." Rather "He was a great leader because he imposed his will upon the business landscape."
And the more an individual can suck out of the system, at the expense of his neighbors, friends and family the more we admire his Will and Vision.
Thus it is no surprise that we laud Bernanke to the heavens for his attempts at controlling the business cycle. Just as we did with Greenspan. Greenspan was a man of iron will and great genius as he highhandedly engineered prosperity. Until the entire system collapsed.
Now, few short years later, we laud Bernanke and another who has been able to impose his iron will on the business cycle. What a strong man. What will. What vision.
Until the system collapses yet again.
What man of Iron Will will rise from the ashes this next time?