Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why is that we accumulate more money than needed

Periyar EVR's observes that humans have a major weakness ..they are so insecure that they accumulate wealth for tomorrow. I know that some animals also have the habit of storing food ...but this tendency of humans to accumulate much more wealth than is required for a couple of generations is something that is strange ...for even if one were to spend as much as possible on oneself and one's kith and kin - there is an extent beyond which it is not possible. One look around , and one sees a lot of people accumulating more - lots more that that....their hunger for wealth seems insatiable, and appearing to border on obsession.

There is a saying in Tamil which translates thus 'There are only rare instances of a family flourishing for more than 3 generations or of families being impoverished for more that 3 generations' ...while I am not sure about the latter part , I am reasonable convinced that the first part is by and large true ( 3 may be 5 but generally not beyond that )

And that brings back the question - why accumulate so much ? If money is what money does - then accumulation does not appear to be rational. If it is a store of value - how does one realize and recognize value when there is no transaction in the forseeable future ? ...the only explanation that appears sensible is that it is a sign of insecurity.

Some decades back, this society valued its scholars and intellectuals also valued people for their valour and philanthophy ...these days it values the 'wealthy'...probably some where it has collectively decided that if you are intellectual , you must also be able to use your intellect and become wealthy or conversely, if you are wealthy , it must be because you were smart, sensible (and intellectual ?)... I dont know, but if accumulation of excess wealth is a sign of insecurity - then the society is valuing the more insecure of the human kind and that certainly does not make sense ...