And so the blame game has reached a new level. Apparently, it wasn’t just bankers who were to blame for the crisis of our times, it was blue-eyed, white bankers. At least that’s what President Lula da Silva of Brazil said yesterday, during a meeting with our own beloved Prime Minister.
Setting aside arguments about racism, and how the world would react if Gordon Brown had ever made similar comments, but rather, stereotyping the typical features of Brazilians, it does just go to show the dangers in overreaction.
Mr da Silva said: “This was a crisis that was fostered and boosted by the irrational behaviour of people who were white and blue-eyed, who before the crisis they looked like they knew everything about economics, but now have demonstrated they know nothing about economics.”
He then went on to talk about the so-called ‘gods of wisdom’ who turned out to be full of hubris.
Maybe all blue-eyed, white people should be blamed for the crisis and locked up, then throw away the key – a problem for this author, by the way, who himself has blue eyes, and, the last time he looked, was white.
But then, with protestors threatening all sorts of nasty things for bankers during the G20 summit, with marches planned for this weekend, the greed of bankers has turned to the hatred of bankers.
In an interview with the Standard, Chris Knight, an anthropology professor from the University of East London, said: “We are expecting up to one million people on the streets of the capital on Saturday afternoon and just before sunset thousands of us will fan out across the City to enforce Earth Hour.” He added: “We’re focusing on Canary Wharf but every office block in London with lights on will be fair game. We will go to the building and demand they switch off the lights. If they refuse, our agents will find ways to enter the building, even if it means knocking down doors and windows to break in.”
He “strongly suggests bankers should stay away from the City next week” and added chillingly: “If you’re thinking of coming in, my advice is ‘don’t’. People are incandescent about your bonuses and the way you’ve destroyed their lives. We plan to lay siege to the financiers who have brought us into this recession and who continue to pursue policies that are destroying our planet”.
But that’s what you get when the national mood vilifies certain sectors of the population. Most people don’t want to see bankers burned, or even see their homes vandalized, and their kids bullied at school.
But unbridled blame, without the willingness to accept a degree of self-responsibility, can only lead to extremism.
© Investment & Business News 2013