Can money and power ever make us happy? How much is enough? Our constant desire for more is part of our human nature.
Some call it a useful dowry of evolution, others a fault in the human genetic make-up: The old mortal sin Greed seems to be more ubiquitous than ever. Why can’t people ever get enough, where is this self-indulgence leading – and are there any ways out of this vicious circle of gratification?
“People like to have a lot of stuff because it makes them the feeling of living forever,” says American social psychologist Sheldon Solomon, who believes today’s materialism and consumerism will have disastrous consequences.
Anyone who fails to satisfy his or her desires in this age of the Ego is deemed a loser. But with more than 7 billion people on the Earth, the ramifications of this excessive consumption of resources are already clear. Isn’t the deplorable state of our planet proof enough that “The Greed Program,” which has made us crave possessions, status and power, is coming to an end? Or is the frenzied search for more and more still an indispensable part of our nature? We set off to look for the essence of greed. And we tell the stories of people who – whether as perpetrators or victims or even just as willing consumers – have become accomplices in a sea change in values.
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