Let’s not celebrate the celebrities!!
I recently read on the Guardian that ex employees of the hit talk show “Ellen” have come forward with allegations of toxic culture at the work place which lead to sexual misconduct, racist attitudes and differential treatment. This revelation looked like a leaked script of “The Morning Show” on Apple TV, just that the leak happened a year too late. This does bring around the question though, whom can we really trust with power, may it be any field.
I am not really sure if anyone can ever be trusted with power for long. It has to corrupt. This became quite evident with the recent conversations I had with friends and family. Just imagine being in the place of a leader of a country. You decide what needs to be done with the resources that you have and you will not be paid adequately for managing these resources. What will you do with these resources? Wouldn’t you want to side pocket some? This brings us to a larger question of why can’t we leave behind the sham of politics being philanthropic in nature and adopt a more corporate world view of things and pay the politicians adequately for their services so that a leader of a country can earn atleast, if not more, as much as the highly paid CEO of that country. Wouldn’t that lead to greater accountability? Though greater accountability might not necessarily lead to fair practices but in lieu of the fair compensation, the only thing left with our political class is Power. And this they can and will exploit because there needs to be some motivation to fight for something. Many in the ruling govt. might thump their chests that they are not corrupt but the same govt. has been accused of abuse of power, time and again. Many of you would be aware about the sexual misconduct of priests in Catholic Churches around the world which was nothing but abuse of power as they were expected to be the human form of gods who were to solve the problems of many without any vested interest (You can watch this Oscar winner “Spotlight” to get more details about this scandal that shook the world). But it might so happen that even when you make good money, you may still abuse your power and that is because we expect those in power to be idealists. They cannot and shouldn’t go wrong and the fear of mistakes leads to cover ups. Why else would we get scandals like the Ellen’s. Yet somehow I believe that as soon as all of us make an effort to lift the veil from the “Socialist, philanthropic and nice” nature of jobs around the world, we can reduce the temptation to do wrong or go wrong to a great extent. Being good or humane shouldn’t be a job or end goal, it should just be a thing which is expected or is business as usual with no brownie points. If you end up making a mistake, no problem, it can happen and If one wants to do something for the greater good then that’s great but it shouldn’t be revered so much that we take that person to be god send who can’t falter. This is where we go wrong with our politics and this is where we go wrong with our celebrities. We project them to be an extension of the charade they put on the big screen. That of idealistic characters and buy into that as we want to escape our own reality which for most people is being tied up in a mundane repetitive corporate job yet somehow this mundane corporate world, which is the most hated, results in fewer heartbreaking scandals because it is not expected to be socialist or philanthropic in nature. It is taken as a human “JOB” where mistakes are bound to happen and no one expects idealistic wisdom. Case in point is Development Finance Institutions (“DFI”). These DFIs’ end goals are to help meet sustainable development goals set forth by the UN hence they provide capital support to private sector companies which help a country progress towards these goals. Despite the socialist/philanthropic nature of their work, they are quite objective about making good returns on their investment and usually don’t invest if the returns are not lucrative. This very reason has made many such DFIs like IFC, FMO, ADB be in business for years without any major scandal haunting them.
I wanted to keep this short as this topic is not one where I can forward my argument with many facts but can only use inductive reasoning to establish that any job whose prima facie goal is to be nice, humane and work for the greater good without any personal advancement or materialistic fulfilment is simply a trap wherein money will substitute power and power always corrupts