Thursday 26 April 2018

Ireland badly needs its own Mandela

Mandela celebrating his 89th birthday at the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund
Mandela celebrating his 89th birthday at the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

* Boris Johnson, the London mayor, recently made a proclamation that would suggest that modern unfettered capitalism turns traditional morality on its head. The traits that really matter are greed and envy. A politician, if intending to survive, is condemned to the ambiguous life of proclaiming the significance of certain virtues whilst living by their opposites.

In seeking to take on the mantle of Margaret Thatcher, Johnson has declared war on the traditional virtues. His recent speech, reported in your newspaper, drew the predictable ritual outrage from politicians of all denominations. All Johnson was doing was bringing to conscious awareness the role of the new morality of greed and envy in furthering economic success.

What he is urging is that we face up to the fact that a modern economy is fuelled not by declarations of humility and bonhomie, but by the raw passions of envy and greed. He sees these primal forces as key motivators in the creation of wealth.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss