“V” is for Virtue

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


Power is not alluring to pure minds. – Thomas Jefferson

The position of A.I.G. at the tippy-top of the pyramidal ponzi-scheme called “finance capitalism” is the same position as the Fairy Godmother in a Fairytale. But, obviously, we don’t live in a fairy tale. It has “Happily Ever After” as part of its DNA.

But life is something else and the secret of life is we create our own reality – and we reap what we sow.


Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.

Thomas Jefferson

Greed is a disease of an imperfect man and the only cure is an injection of virtue.

This is what “V” really stands for. The point of the “V” story is not one of Vendetta, but Virtue. It was the virtuous V who used his private pain and personal vendetta for the public good.

Virtue is strength. “Manly” strength; courage, bravery and daring. It is a word of action. Virtue is something practiced. It is not inherited but something fostered and maintained.

What it means to the intellectual is the strength of character to withstand the seductions of desire. The strength to withstand the Seven Deadly Sins, if you will.

In no particular order: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Anger and Sloth.

You’ll be happy to know I suffer only three out of the seven and consider myself lucky.

Who knows or cares whether it’s nature or nurture or bad luck or good fortune depending on our view, but a certain percentage of the population are prone to selfish greed, it’s simple as that. The percentage doesn’t have to be large – 6% will do – but proximity to power is the key. And so it is prudent, as a citizenry, to place into positions of power men and women who have, as Gertrude Himmelfarb said in defining virtue – “the will and capacity to put the public interest over the private.”

The men and women who fought for this country and the right of self-determination against centuries of Monarchical Entitlement, were serious people. They understood good government required good people. Power breeds temptation. Temptation breeds corruption. Corruption breeds secrecy. Secrecy breeds tyranny.

“The aim of every political Constitution is or ought to be first to obtain for rulers men who possess the most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.”

James Madison

So while we rant and wail about all the crooks that infest our system, let’s look beyond the headlines of their greed and understand the deeper meaning: Human beings in places of power must be above reproach and mechanisms must be put in place to keep them that way.

The problem is men and women who ambitiously aspire to power are usually unfit to serve. The responsibility of the citizenry in a Republic is to choose “good” people for positions of authority.

And now in our country, and fascism is a strong word, but what else can you call an America where Corporate Interests and Government Apparatus are ONE? When private banks dictate to the American Government what is best for the People, then first we must admit we’re not free and next we’ve got to understand we’ll never be free unless we resist corporate tyranny. Indeed, if Liberty is an inalienable human right, and we continually find our Constitutional freedoms ever diminishing, then how can we call ourselves human if we fail to fight against those powers who seek our enslavement?

And if you don’t think owing private banks trillions of dollars we don’t have – the debt dictated to us by the political class owned by private banks – is slavery, then you’d probably be interested in some beachfront property on Three Mile Island.

The predicament we’re in didn’t happen over night, but is the product of exactly what we’ve been warned against; lack of vigilance toward human frailty in high office.

The Oval Office or the Corporate Boardroom – it doesn’t matter. What’s required are good people to administer power. And if there is one thing which is clear to all with eyes to see is that the requirements of modern capitalism breed out virtue in favor of vice. The object of the game is to profit to the maximum degree. The truly vicious change the rules of the game or cheat to win.

The old adage about “it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but how you play the game” was invented for losers to feel noble while their betters won the game by hook and crook.

Now what we have, through generations of recruitment, is the Executive Crook Class. Sociopaths whose benevolence extends as far as a penis and whose empathy was aborted in youth as a measure of manly strength. This class of people has taken the opportunity presented to them by a citizenry incapable of action to disembowel the common wealth, wreak havoc upon the earth and then blame the game for cheaters.

The world appears to be run by war lords and criminal gangs. Perverts and mobsters. Life’s mission for some is the destruction of others for no reason but thrills. Steal a billion, murder the hopes of wage-slaves, and make a deal when you’re caught to give back some dough and spend a few years in Club-Med minimum security and get back out on the street to scam again.

The recidivism rate for murder is low (as most murders are crimes of passion), but very high for con-men (as crime is planned and executed coldly). Corruption is a hard drug to shake once the pattern is set. Winning at all costs is a disease of the player.

So, as we move forward we’ve got to understand that nothing will change, even if the system changes, without the process for putting people in place also changes. We’ve got to seek people of virtue and be fearless in our oversight and merciless in our judgment to remove malfeasant practioners.

There are plenty men of vice to carry a vendetta against. Men who are traitors to humanity. And some will carry out the vendetta in our name. Justice will be done.

But, moving forward, as the politicians like to say, we’ve got to ward against this disaster ever happening again – and that begins with Executive Recruitment for people (government and corporate) with the “right stuff” and regulations to guide behavior and defend against corruption.

A public man is not free. He works for the people. His private interests are sublimated to the public good. The system we now have encourages private engorgement at the public trough.

Never before has the content of one’s character been so important to the success of this nation.

Virtue is a vice only when corruption abounds. When “greed is good” then society is lost. The American People have a job to do if we wish to preserve our Republic which sits on the precipice of disaster:

Re-build from the ground up a Government responsible to the People and dedicated to the betterment of Life on the Planet.

Anything else is just perpetuation of melodrama.


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  1. We do indeed need to rebuild the system in a fail-safe way.

    Legislation should BY LAW not be allowed to be volumes of add-ons and snuck in graft.

    Representatives should work FOR the people, and have easy means of removal if they don’t stay virtuous.

    How to? I don’t know…

  2. …our own reality.  I had dismissive contempt for this phrase when it was used as a simplistic slogan of individualistic “New Age” Calvinism during the “Course on Miracles” of the 70s.

    But you have done something very different with it here, GL.  By weaving the phrase into the fabric of our collective evolution (or sorry devolution) you have aligned it with progressive growth rather than the selfish individualism of its earlier usage.  In its earlier usage, it contributed, along with a broad deviation in human thinking, to what you say below:

    …the requirements of modern capitalism breed out virtue in favor of vice.

    In addition to Gordon Gekko’s famous quote, one of my favorite proponents of this regressive thinking was Robert J. Ringer — investor, Wall Street consultant, and author.

    Two of his books published around 1979 and 1980 bore the estimable titles:




    May we successfully re-establish Virtue as not only “a” Virtue, but as “the” Virtue.

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