Money is a bad motivator

The so called developed societies today operate as irrationally as companies that employ telemarketers for a short time on commission and pay them according to numbers (statistics) they show without making sure that the sales are real.

Telemarketers think only about their personal income and may send people unfounded invoices without thinking a bit about the consequences their actions will cause. When they have got their pay they can quietly disappear from the scene, leaving the company and supposed customers argue with each other about own rights. The company is in a dubious situation, because it doesn’t even have a sales confirmation to show.

Companies are acting according to the same model when they take no responsibility of their actions. In that manner they cause more harm to the society than serve the people. The Thrive-movie presents many examples how companies operate even against their own goals in order to increase their profits.

Pharmaceutical industry, which was originally established to support public health is preventing the use of efficacious treatments, because the sicker people are the bigger the accumulation of financial benefits are. Doctors diagnose even mood swings of everyday life as dysfunctions that need medical treatment.

Originally factories were founded to supply people with commodities they needed, and it was an affair of honour for the companies to make as good quality as they could so that the commodities were long-lasting.

Nowadays too good a product is manufacturer’s nightmare. Long-lasting product, which is secure and durable and don’t need routine maintenance simply does not conform to the economical interests of a producer. A product, which needs periodic care and which has to be replaced every once in a while guarantees economical profits in the long run.

The world wide cartel of manufacturers begun with the Phoebus-cartel in 1924 as the life expectancy of light bulbs was restricted at 1000 hours. The same principle of planned obsolescence has spread out to every sector. The aim is not to solve problems, but to maintain them. The documentary Light Bulb Conspiracy gives a deeper insight into this issue.

Since I opened this blog I have been constantly irritated by the fact that the videos, which I have linked to my texts simply disappear because of copyright reasons. It causes me only multiple work when I try to keep the links active and look for similar videos in the great supply of the Internet. But a thought often crosses my mind: What grater meaning do the documentaries and movies have than share information and increase understanding among people?

The fact that knowledge is shared freely to people causes loss of income to individual citizens, but this disadvantage is very small compared with the benefits to the mankind. The wider the knowledge and understanding spreads the bigger the advantages to the society. This should be the most important thing and not the ‘intellectual property rights’ of some individual citizens.

I got the most horrible indication of the irrationality of the society as I read many years ago about the case of an American, who had spent decades in prison waiting for his death sentence to be carried out. He had been sentenced to death for a murder he had not committed. It had turned out that it was not only the claim of the defendant that he was not guilty.

A criminal, who had committed the murder had plead guilty to the crime. However, the defense attorney of that criminal was bound to secrecy. The rights of the criminal were more important than the right of the innocent man to be freed from prison. As I read the news the obligation to maintain secrecy, which bound the attorney had ceased for some reason and the truth was revealed. And the innocent man was released from prison.

I have wondered, if the legal system is also based on economical interests when the prison has been privatized: Someone gets worldly goods when someone – stigmatized as criminal – sits in prison.

When we think about irrationalism of Homo Economicus Alan Greenspan talks about it as if it was an exceptional state of mind to which people are exposed to in exceptional circumstances. But the examples I have described above show that irrationalism is a built-in characteristic of Homo economicus – people, who think only in economic measures and operate against the innate human nature.

The founder of the Venus Project, Jacque Fresco says in an interview with Larry King that people should get rid of their egocentric search for personal recognition and rewards. It is just rewarding to do things one wants and do everything the best way one can. The reward comes from within.


The Light Bulb Conspiracy
Jacque Fresco interviewed by Larry King (1974)