Always Wanting More

“Always wanting more” is an operational definition of “hedonism.” This brief article is my “mea culpa.” Inexplicably, I overlooked hedonism per se as a trait in my “psychoscope” of the evil superpower elite in America’s corpocracy. ((Brumback, GB. KABOOM! Wolves in Suits Leading Humanity to Doomsday and How to Stop the Doomsday Clock and End Human Misery. Penguin BookWritersGroup, in press.)) In my defense, I did briefly allude to “greed” as an outgrowth of ambition.

Why “Always Wanting More?”

The ancient Greek poet Ovid had an answer, “the Goddess of Plenty.” America’s power elite are like Erysichthon, the greedy timber merchant in Ovid’s ancient tale. Erysichthon cuts down a sacred tree, angering Ceres, the Goddess of Plenty. She condemns him to eat everything in sight including himself after all else had been consumed.

Well, “thanks Ovid,” but I’d like several other sources to chime in with their explanations, not that I expect them to be anymore edifying than you explanation.

The Journalists’ Answer

I always rely on good journalism as a source for my writings. Guess what I found? A handbook on hedonism, no less! It’s a step-by-step guide to gluttony. The author is a New York Times best-selling author. ((Flocker, M. The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering the Lost Arts of Leisure and Pleasure. Da Capo Press, October 13, 2004.)) I bet it is a best seller among America’s super rich!

The Philosophers’ Answer

While there must be millions of PhD philosophers on our planet who think for a living, trying to find them on the Internet is a chore. The first one I stumbled upon was a philosopher’s article entitled “The Feels Good Theory of Pleasure.” ((Smuts, A. “The Feels Good Theory of Pleasure. Philosophical Studies, 155, 241-265, 2010.)) In order to read it I would have had to pay $39.95 for a PDF copy! Had I stumbled upon a case of the greedy writing about greed?

The Psychoanalysts’ Answer

Whom better to turn to than the guru of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud? Human beings, he posited, were born greedy. That may be revealing about him, but not about me, nor I would guess about any readers of this article. Yet Freud may be right about one class of human beings, if we can call them that, namely, the evil super power elite of America’s corpocracy. While I did examine their upbringing in my psychoscoping them, I did not look at their birth certificates for authentication of their greed’s birth mark.

The Psychologists’ Answer

It is with some trepidation that I turn to my own profession. As with all other professions that of psychology is splintered into many different disciplines, 54 to be exact. I picked Division 23. Consumer Psychology for possible edification on the role of greed in selling and buying. A H— of a large role I should think!

There are no insights to be gained about greed in reading APA’s gloss about its Division 23. So, I went searching for ANY psychologist. I stopped after finding this one, a social psychologist, PhD. ((Azar, B. “How Greed Outstripped Need.” American Psychological Association, January 2009, Vol. 40, No. 1.)) He blamed greed on capitalism. Good Grief, I beg to differ, Dr. Kasser! I have written at some length that there is bad capitalism and good capitalism. ((Brumback, GB. The Devil’s Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch. Author House, 2011. See p. 155-180 Setting the Stage for True Economic Reform, and Appendix C. Creative Economic Thinking From A to Z Minus E for Economists.))

In Closing

1. Always wanting more is a matter of life and death due to America’s corpocracy. Greed plays a big hand in the power elites’ unquenchable thirst for more power and will lead to Doomsday if not stopped. The Doomsday Clock, created 23 years ago by atomic bomb scientists, is now only “90 seconds to midnight,” the closest it has ever been.” “We are living in a time of unprecedented danger” reports the president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

2. Readers, what are your answers?

Gary Brumback, PhD, is a retired psychologist and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. He is the author of The Devil’s Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch; and America’s Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying. His most recent book is “911!” Read other articles by Gary, or visit Gary's website. He can be contacted at Read other articles by Gary, or visit Gary's website.