illustration by William Blake

Midway upon the journey of our life

I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Dante Alighieri: Inferno, Canto I
Illustration by William Blake
Libri Vox audio

So the ground-breaking innovation is that dishonest, unethical, self-serving misconduct (such as lying, cheating, stealing, dissembling, self-dealing and greed) followed by the evasion of all accountability are the sine qua nons for material gain.

Actually, I am not sure this is anything new or innovative.

Dante’s Divine Comedy comes to mind. In particular, Part I the Inferno; the seventh circle being reserved for usurers; the eighth circle for corrupt politicians, thieves, alchemists, counterfeiters, perjurers, grafters and their minion. Read and cringe.

Bravo to Herbert Gintis and Rakesh Khurana for their essay Corporate Honesty and Business Education, and to Fourteenth Banker and Bill Black for recommending it. Somehow viewing the current financial crisis as nothing new but part of a Divine Comedy makes it less depressing and may put things in perspective.

Noting Dante’s Inferno is a default option


The Last Word goes to Lucy Honeychurch: “the best way to fix it outside .. and inside the political system .. is to institute some real and painful penalties for the everyday moral transgressions that are rewarded as exemplary behavior in our country.