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Sunday, 15 February 2009

Quit monkeying around...

I read with interest that the origin of our very human sense of morality is not something handed down by God as in the Ten Commandments, but in something much more mundane and organic.

According to the study done on primates by Professor Frans de Waal, who led the study at Emory University in Georgia, monkeys and apes can make judgements about fairness, offer sympathy and comfort and help and remember obligations.

This occurred because at some point in the past, probably through a perceived threat from Alpha males who hogged all the food supplies, or because of the Ice Age where food was scarce, cooperation was vital for survival, and this sense of a shared morality came about.

One wonders then about the wise monkeys in the finance sectors e.g. those corporate titans on Wall Street and elsewhere who caused the world recession. Was that why they were so greedy? Because there was no major external threat to their activities and therefore they didn't need to act morally? They didn't need to cooperate other than when it ensured a decent plunder of the financial system?

So are these people corporate monkeys or corporate flunkeys?

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