Hasta la victoria siempre

Friday, February 29, 2008

Placeri gratuite sau foarte ieftine

La 1 noiembrie 2007 scriam ca placeri gratuite precum o baie, un pui de somn si o plimbare in parc sunt lucrurile care aduc cea mai mare fericire in viata, potrivit unui studiu realizat de cercetatorii de la Universitatea din Nottingham.
Dau mai jos multe alte asemenea surse de placri ieftine sau gratuite, pentru a ne convinge ca si fara bani si averi, posibilitatile hedonistului sunt nenumarate:

  • Realizing you have done the right thing no matter how badly it hurts.
  • Finishing an article or writing project.
  • Spending time with my girlfriend.
  • Watching the snow creep slowly over the mountains from my room.
  • The sound of natural running water.
  • Watching your kids sleep (finally) after a long day.
  • Taking a walk in the morning or after a rain shower.
  • Thinking about everything that is wrong with your life while realizing that you wouldn't change it for anything.
  • Having the sequel to the great book you just finished. (Especially Robert Jordan, Tolkien, Card, Friedman, and LeGuin.)
  • Taking off your shoes, and if you can: feeling grass with your toes, climbing trees, catching fireflies on warm summer nights.
  • Slowly savouring the first mouthfull of Guinness of the weekend, with live unamplified Irish music playing.
  • To finally realize what your ultimate goal in life is.
  • Learning stuff you actually care about.
  • Sleeping naked with a cool breeze blowing over your body.
  • Imagining!
  • Getting home after a long day and seeing my two children.
  • Returning home after a long trip.
  • A full body massage!
  • A dark room, midnight, your favorite music and introspection.
  • Watching my wife sleep.
  • Making others laugh.
  • Playing pool in the basement.
  • Taking a walk outside while it is snowing lightly.
  • The feeling of freedom when you finally tell someone the truth.
  • Waking up at 3:00 am and knowing you still have at least 4 more hours left to sleep.
  • Sitting outside on a windy, sunny day.
  • The smell of dinner cooking, in the early evening.
  • Waking up on Saturday and having the sudden realization you have most of the weekend ahead.
  • Sleeping with someone naked.
  • Resisting temptation and the satisfaction of knowing that you have won.
  • Music.
  • Hot shower after gym.
  • Spending a day without worries outside enjoying nature.
  • Taking a nap in the sun, flat on your back.
  • Finishing anything without giving in.
  • Enjoying nature, and being completely away from society, and the madness of man-made technology.
  • Finding a $5 bill in an old jacket pocket.
  • Eating freshly picked fruits.
  • Smelling fresh baked bread.
Pentru alte exemple, vezi: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wrader/pleasures.html

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Socializarea, nu averea, e cheia fericirii--episodul nr. 2936

Daca inca nu v-ati convins ca societatea de azi, capitalista, e contrara fericirii umane, aveti o noua sansa. Fericirea umana creste nu in functie de posesiuni si putere financiara, cele doua pietre de temelie ale capitalismului, ci in functie de relatiile sociale, carora capitalismul, prin competitia desantata si inmegalitati sfasietoare intre foarte bogati si foarte saraci, nu le este propice.

Doi specialisti care au fost citati in revista Daily Trojan a Universitatii Carolina de Sud, explica:

"But USC economics professor Richard Easterlin believes the old adage "Money doesn't buy you happiness" still rings true today.

Easterlin surveyed about 1,500 people spanning 30 years for his study, "Explaining Happiness," which followed the subjects and their levels of happiness as their incomes increased, stayed the same or decreased. The study found that, throughout the 30 years, there was no relationship between money and happiness.
Easterlin said he doesn't buy what most economists believe, that "if income increases substantially, then overall well-being will move in the same direction."
Most people aspire to live the "good life" - a home, car, television set, swimming pool, vacation home and the ability to travel abroad - Easterlin said in his study. But when they have it, they want more; their aspirations grow along with their list of possessions. In fact, Easterlin said that, judging from the average number of things people want later in life, "new material aspirations" are at the same level as the previous wants they have already attained.
Easterlin pointed to this insatiability as evidence that material happiness is not real and buying that new plasma screen television won't make people content for long. He argued, instead, for more intangible factors as the key to happiness.
"Is that sense of satisfaction lasting? We get a new car, and we get used to it. We get new clothes, and we get used to it again. Trying to simply pursue material goods is largely self-defeating because we adjust very quickly to the pleasure we get from that. That's not true with family life," Easterlin said.
Family life, Easterlin said, is a key component to lasting happiness.
"People don't spend enough time with their family and caring about their health, and they put a disproportionate amount of time into trying to make more money," he said. [...] A healthy relationship toward money, Easterlin said, is one that takes a backseat to relationships with people.
The happiness of married people is significantly greater than that of singles, according to the data Easterlin used for his study.

USC sociology professor and American family therapist Julie Albright said this form of happiness can be traced in evolution.
"If you think of it from a survival standpoint, if we didn't have a need to be with other people, we wouldn't have survived. It's a very basic need to be with others and form relationships and carry on our species at a very basic level," she said.
Even with people working nonstop in their offices or rooms, they still seek out human contact - just in different forms. Albright points to Internet chat rooms and the proliferation of Facebook as examples of people, even extremely busy ones, still desiring human contact.
"People want that connection somehow, some way," Albright said.
Albright said as a former mental hospital worker, she has seen firsthand what the lack of relationships will do to a person's well-being.
"People are more likely to be depressed if they don't have those friendships in their lives. They bring joy, stability and comfort in the bad times," she said.
People are "trained to think that money buys happiness," Albright said. And while a certain amount of income is necessary to survive "well," she said after attaining a comfortable life, money "doesn't add any more to the picture.""

Articol publicat la 28 octombrie 2006 de Nancy Chen: http://media.www.dailytrojan.com/media/storage/paper679/news/2006/10/27/News/Easterlin.Money.Wont.Buy.Happiness-2406381.shtml?norewrite200610271429&sourcedomain=www.dailytrojan.com

David Myers despre fericire

David G. Myers este profesor de psihologie la Colegiul Hope din Michigan. In lucrarea sa din 2004, "Psychology", Myers se refera inclusiv la relatia dintre fericire si bani, despre care scrie:
"The effect of dramatically positive events is similarly temporary. Once their rush of euphoria wears off, state lottery winners typically find their overall happiness unchanged (Brickman & others, 1978). Other research confirms that there is much more to well-being than being well-off. Many people (including most German citizens, and most new American collegians, as Figure 2 suggests) believe they would be happier if they had more money (Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). [...]
Yet in the long run, increased affluence hardly affects happiness. Even in Calcutta slums, people "are more satisfied than one might expect" (Biswas-Diener & Diener, 2002; Suhail, 2002). Wealth is like health: Its utter absence can breed misery, yet having it is no guarantee of happiness. [...]"

Asadar, banii nu sporesc fericirea odata ce pragul saraciei este trecut, in schimb relatiile apropiate cu alti oameni au un impact important in aceasta privinta.
Cum explica Myers faptul ca banii sunt incapabili de a spori fericire?

"The Adaptation-Level Principle: Happiness Is Relative to Our Prior Experience
The adaptation-level phenomenon describes our tendency to judge various stimuli relative to those we have previously experienced.
As psychologist Harry Helson explained, we adjust our "neutral" levels—the points at which sounds seem neither loud nor soft, temperatures neither hot nor cold, events neither pleasant nor unpleasant—based on our experience. We then notice and react to variations up or down from these levels. [...]
Thus, if our current condition—income, grade-point average, or social prestige, for example—increases, we feel an initial surge of pleasure. We then adapt to this new level of achievement, come to consider it as normal, and require something even better to give us another surge of happiness. [...]
Seeking happiness through material achievement requires an ever-increasing abundance of things. Here on Earth the unavoidable ups and downs of real life preclude a perpetual high."

Cu alte cuvinte, oricat de mult am avansa pe scara sociala si oricat am castiga, ne vom obisnui cu acest nivel, pe care il vom considera ulterior normal si nespectaculos, dupa care vom incepe sa cautam noi oportunitati materialiste pentru a castiga un nou moment, scurt, de euforie.

"The Relative Deprivation Principle: Happiness Is Relative to Others' Attainments Happiness is relative not only to our past experience but also to our comparisons with others (Lyubomirsky, 2001). We are always comparing ourselves with others. And whether we feel good or bad depends on who those others are. [...]
Such comparisons help us understand why the middle- and upper-income people in a given country, who can compare themselves with the relatively poor, tend to be slightly more satisfied with life than their less fortunate compatriots. Nevertheless, once people reach a moderate income level, further increases do little to increase their happiness. Why? Because as people climb the ladder of success they mostly compare themselves with peers who are at or above their current level (Gruder, 1977; Suls & Tesch, 1978). "Beggars do not envy millionaires, though of course they will envy other beggars who are more successful," noted Bertrand Russell (1930, p. 90).
"Our poverty became a reality. Not because of our having less, but by our neighbors having more."Will Campbell, Brother to a Dragonfly, 1977 Thus, "Napoleon envied Caesar, Caesar envied Alexander, and Alexander, I daresay, envied Hercules, who never existed. You cannot, therefore, get away from envy by means of success alone, for there will always be in history or legend some person even more successful than you are" (pp. 68–69)."

Deci incercarea de a obtine satisfactia intrecandu-ne apropiatii este sortita esecului, caci intotdeauna va exista cineva mai bogat sau mai sus decat noi pe scara sociala iar incercarile noastre vor fi conttinue si cel mai probabil sortite esecului.
Dar care este insa sursa numarul unu de satisfactie si fericire in viata? Myers raspunde: socializarea, viata sociala, legaturile autentice de prietenie intre oameni.

"Pause a moment to consider: What was your most satisfying moment in the past week? Kennon Sheldon and his colleagues (2001) asked that question of American and South Korean collegians, then asked them to rate how much this peak experience had satisfied various needs. In both countries, the satisfaction of self-esteem and relatedness/belonging needs were the top two contributors to the peak moment. And in both countries, the satisfaction of money-luxury needs contributed least. Similar results were obtained when asking others to reflect on the last month or last semester. Another study found that very happy university students are not distinguished by their money but by their "rich and satisfying close relationships" (Diener & Seligman, 2002). The need to belong runs deeper, it seems, than any need to be rich."

In concluzie, averea si statutul social sunt incapabile sa sporeasca fericirea, in schimb prietenia si imbunatatirea relatiilor sociale le sporeste.
Care este, bazat pe aceste descoperiri, organizarea optima sociala, care sa descurajeze oamenii preocupati de bani, comparatii intre ei legate de venit si statut si sa imbunatateasca coeziunea sociala? Fara indoiala, egalitarismul. Cand toti vom castiga la fel iar diferentele de statut vor fi atenuate, (sporindu-se democratia populara si importanta deciziilor oamenilor de rand atat la locul de munca, cat si in politica), goana dupa averi si statut va disparea de la sine sau, in cel mai rau caz, se va atenua. In schimb se va putea realiza coeziunea sociala, apropierea dintre oameni, caci vor disparea competitia, invidia si lacomia.
Intelegem, astfel, raul pe care l-a facut capitalismul romanilor, scazand coeziunea sociala si increderea intre oameni. Conform raportului „UE 8+2", realizat de Banca Mondiala si dat publicitatii la sfarşitul anului 2007, jumatate din romani nu au incredere in semenii lor, iar mai mult de 20% declara ca sunt total neincrezatori in aceştia. In anul 1989, numai 10% dintre romani spuneau ca nu au deloc incredere in ceilalti oameni.

Cum sa fii si sa ramai fericit

Citesc intr-un articol recent cateva sugestii scurte dar pertinente despre cum sa ne sporim si sa ne mentinem fericirea:

"Contorizeaza-ti bucuriile, insa nu in fiecare zi. Cercetatorii au demonstrat ca daca o data pe saptamana iti faci o lista cu cinci lucruri pentru care merita sa fii recunoscator, te vei simti mult mai fericit fata de cei care isi scriu aceasta lista de trei ori pe saptamana.
Muzica activeaza parti ale creierului care determina o stare de fericire, astefel eliminandu-se endorfina, ca atunci cand mancati sau faceti sex. Un studiu efectuat pe oameni in varsta care au ascultat muzica in timpul unei operatii a aratat ca acestia au trecut peste acest moment mult mai usor fata de cei care nu au ascultat muzica.
Danseaza, fa sport, alearga sau pur si simplu plimba-te. Miscarea determina un val de energie pozitiva care poate anula starea de anxietate sau chiar pe cea de depresie.
Razi cu pofta, pana cand iti dau lacrimile! Oamenii rad de obicei cand se afla intr-un grup, rasul fiind una dintre cele mai bune moduri de socializare.
Fa ceva dragut pentru cineva, orice, de la a tine usa deschisa pentru cineva la a face complimente colegilor, prietenilor sau membrilor familiei. Sa faci un lucru dragut pentru cineva, fara sa te astepti la nimic inapoi, te face de zece ori mai fericit decat constientizezi.
Convinge-te ca emotiile pozitive sunt calea ta spre succes si nu ca succesul e calea spre fericire. Oamenii care sunt optimisti sunt intotdeauna deschisi unor noi oportunitati si isi indeplinesc obiectivele.
Gata cu planificarea la nesfarsit a unor vacante in care nu veti apuca sa mergeti. Faceti-va curaj si incercati lucruri noi. Oamenii care experimenteaza lucruri noi retin mult mai usor emotiile pozitive si minimalizeaza emotiile negative.
Oricat de ciudat ar parea, spune-ti povestea vietii unui necunoscut. Cercetatorii arata ca daca povestesti atat evenimentele placute cat si cele triste vei avea o cu totul alta viziune asupra vietii tale."

Ce remarcam din toata aceasta lista de sfaturi? Ca niciunul dintre ele nu presupune bogatie materiala, ci eventual, doar satisfacerea nevoilor de baza materiale. Intr-adevar, cati bani ne costa sa tinem o lista cu lucrurile care ne-au adus bucurie, sa ascultam muzica (in conditiile in care aceasta se gaseste in mare parte gratuita pe internet, de pilda), sa alergam, sa socializam cu prietenii sau cu necunoscutii, sa gandim pozitiv ori sa facem mici gesturi altruiste fata de altii?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Intensificarea manipularii capitaliste

Goana dupa bani, subiectul central al atacurilor de pe acest blog, si care este incurajata si exacerbata de sistemul capitalist, incepe sai aiba, tot mai clar, urmari dintre cele mai periculoase pentru cei multi.

Scriam in articolele „Sufletul otravit al capitalismului”, „Otraviti de mici” sau „Consumerismul, produsul pervertirii prin mass-media” ca flagelul consumerist, tipic tarilor capitaliste, este cauzat in buna masura de manipularea prin marketing, de publicitate. Vestea proasta este ca in viitorul apropiat, producatorii de advertising vor avea o arma si mai eficienta in propagarea acestei isterii colective numita „consumerism”, ceea ce va insemna si cresterea veniturilor capitalistilor.

Advertisers, neuroscientists trace source of emotions in brain
First came direct marketing, then focus groups. Now, advertisers, with the help of neuroscientists, are closing in on the holy grail: mind reading.
At least, that’s what is suggested in a paper published today in the journal Human Brain Mapping authored by a group of professors in advertising and communication and neuroscience at the University of Florida.
The seven researchers used sophisticated brain-scanning technology to record how subjects’ brains responded to television advertisements, while simultaneously collecting the subjects’ reported impressions of the ads. By comparing the two resulting data sets, they say, they pinned down specific locations in the brain as the seat of many familiar emotions that ripple throughout it. (...)
Researchers showed the subjects three television commercials advertising Coke, Evian and Gatorade, respectively, as well as an anti-fur commercial and an ad promoting teaching. To guard against preconditioned response, all the ads were at least 10 years old. (...)
Morris said the results are preliminary, but that follow-up studies could allow researchers to hone in on people’s feelings with great specificity. That would be attractive to advertisers for obvious reasons, but psychologists might also find the techniques useful.”
Sigur ca sporirea cunoasterii modului in care creierul uman raspunde fata de reclamele de la TV este o posibilitate extrem de activa pentru advertisers „din motive evidente”: sporirea controlui, si asa enorm, asupra consumatorilor. Se pare ca in cazul in care omaneirea nu devine constienta de nocivitatea fantasmelor materialisto-consumeriste si nu abandoneaza radical acest mod de viata, o asteapta indobitocirea totala.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Este o lume a bogatilor. Dar pana cand?

Din statisticile urmatoare, compilate de jurnalista revistei Mother jones, Clara Jeffry, se observa usor cum in capitalism, principiul de baza este, intr-adevar, bogatii tot mai bogati, saracii tot mai saraci:

"IN 1985, THE FORBES 400 were worth $221 billion combined. Today, they’re worth $1.13 trillion—more than the GDP of Canada. THERE’VE BEEN FEW new additions to the Forbes 400. The median household income has also stagnated—at around $44,000. AMONG THE FORBES 400 who gave to a 2004 presidential campaign, 72% gave to Bush. IN 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires, a 62% increase since 2002.

ONLY ESTATES worth more than $1.5 million are taxed. That’s less than 1% of all estates. Still, repealing the estate tax will cost the government at least $55 billion a year.

ONLY 3% OF STUDENTS at the top 146 colleges come from families in the bottom income quartile; only 10% come from the bottom half.

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION, the federal minimum wage has fallen 42% since its peak in 1968. IF THE $5.15 HOURLY minimum wage had risen at the same rate as CEO compensation since 1990, it would now stand at $23.03. A MINIMUM WAGE employee who works 40 hours a week for 51 weeks a year goes home with $10,506 before taxes. SUCH A WORKER would take 7,000 years to earn Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s yearly compensation.

THE 5TH LEADING philanthropist last year was Boone Pickens, in part due to his $165 million gift to Oklahoma State University’s golf program. WITHIN AN HOUR, OSU invested it in a hedge fund Pickens controls. Thanks to a Katrina relief provision, his “gift” was also 100% deductible.

UNITED HAS CUT the pensions and salaries of most employees but promised 400 top executives 8% of the shares it expects to issue upon emerging from bankruptcy. UNITED’S TOP 8 execs will also get a bonus of between 55% and 100% of their salaries.

IN 2002, “turnaround artist” Robert Miller dumped Bethlehem Steel’s pension obligation, allowing “vulture investor” Wilbur L. Ross to buy steel stock and sell it at a 1,000% profit. IN 2005, DELPHI HIRED Miller for $4.5 million. After Ross said he might buy Delphi if its labor costs fell, Miller demanded wage cuts of up to 63% and dumped the pension obligation.

POOR AMERICANS spend 1/4 of their income on residential energy costs.

EXXON’S 2005 PROFIT of $36.13 billion is more than the GDP of 2/3 of the world’s nations.

FOR PERFORMING IN the Live 8 concerts to “make poverty history,” musicians each got gift bags worth up to $12,000. ONE OF MADONNA’S recent freebies: $10,000 mink and diamond-tipped false eyelashes. PARIS HILTON, who charges clubs $200,000 to appear for 20 minutes, stiffed Elton John’s AIDS benefit the $2,500-per-plate fee she owed."

Daca aveti nervii suficient de tari, noi astfel de date pot fi citite la adresa:http://www.motherjones.com/news/exhibit/2006/05/perks_of_privilege.html

Sursele acestor informatii sunt de gasit la adresa: http://www.motherjones.com/news/exhibit/2006/05/sources.html

O utopie care a esuat: capitalismul

William Allin este sociolog si filosof de origine canadiana, autorul lucrarii "Turning It Around: Causes And Cures For Today's Epidemic Social Problems". In articolul sau "Uncontrolled Capitalism Failed Us", Allin ofera, pentru inceput, o scurta trecere in revista a idealurilor capitaliste, asa cum au fost ele expuse de unul din principalii ideologi ai acestui sistem, Adam Smith, si realitatea care le-a urmat, mult mai dezamagitoare decat teoria.
Citandu-l pe socialistul Albert Einstein, care spunea ca "nu putem rezolva problemele utilizand aceleasi tip de gandire care le-a creat", Allin descrie teoria capitalista a lui Smith. Conform acesteia, in vreme ce bogatii devin tot mai bogati in sistemul cladit pe liberalizarea pietii, cei saraci vor beneficia la randul lor, caci primii vor avea nevoie de ei. Fiind necesari sistemului care creeaza din ce in ce mai multa bogatie, saracii insisi isi vor rounji veniturile. Impozitele vor garanta ca nimeni nu va fi lasat pe dinafara. Astfel, credea Smith, fericirea va spori in societate, caci toti vor avea bani ca sa-si acopere cheltuielile si chiar mai mult decat atat. In definitiv, liberalizarea accesului la imbogatire insemna accesul la fericire pentru toata lumea, caci fiecare isi va putea in capitalism spori veniturile, Smith echivaland fericirea cu castigul financiar. Lacomia devine o cheie a succesului si fericirii, caci cu cat o persoana este mai lacoma, cu atat are mai multe sanse de a acumula cat mai multi bani si deci de a fi mai fericit. In plus, lacomia va tinde sa niveleze veniturile masei mari de oameni, vazuti toti, in general, la fel de lacomi.
Ce s-a ales insa, in realitate, de idealurile capitaliste? Willaim Allin scrie:

"So how have we done? We don't have equality, as Smith promised, as most members of minorities will attest. That includes inequality for women who have to fight in many workplaces for equal pay for equal work. [...]
We have come to accept that the homeless will always be with us, even in cities where nighttime temperatures go far below the freezing mark in winter and the homeless can't get social assistance because they do not have a permanent address. The homeless are the most obvious signs of the failure of the system.
Everyone still seeks happiness, but so many do without it that they are no longer certain what happiness is. They seek it in thrills and prescribed and illegal substances as well as other forms of activities that can become addictive. Happiness has not visited capitalist societies, let alone come to stay.
The gap between the rich and the poor has widened so that the two sides no longer recognize each other. The once mighty middle class dwindles as it separates into the two options as some get richer and others lose their jobs, their families, their self respect and their grasp on life.
But the rich are delighted at what capitalism has given them. They are richer than any previous generation, they control the advertising that teaches everything from morality to fashion, governments pass laws that make their fondest business wishes come true and children consider few other options than conforming to the dictates of industry as to how a society should be run. [...]
The first step is not to think about how to change. The first step is to accept that change is needed. The process of change can only begin what it will be most effective, in the teaching of children."

Asadar, mai nimic din ceea ce anticipa Adam Smith nu s-a petrecut: idealul egalitatii, fie si in cadrul maselor largi, nu s-a realizat, daca ne gandim la salariile mai mici acordate femeilor pentru o munca asemanatoare barnatilor; putem adauga aici diversele conflicte inter-etnice si rasiste, prezente in societati capitaliste de-a lungul timpului; o intreaga masa de oameni traieste in strada, in conditii inimaginabile, si acesta este doar varful icebergului saraciei; toata lumea cauta fericirea dar mai nimeni nu a gasit-o, ajungand sa o caute in substante halucinogene; societatea tinde sa se rupa intre doua extreme, o minoritate ultra-bogata si o majoritate nevoiasa, in timp ce patura de mijloc isi pierde consistenta.
Singura categorie care a prosperat in capitalism este cea a oamenilor bogati, ajunsi mai avuti ca oricand, care au ajuns sa controleze intreaga medie si guvernele, manipuland in functie de propriile interese populatia si obtinand legi favorabile.
E nevoie asadar de o schimbare radicala, spune Allin, care in opinia mea nu poate fi decat schimbarea mentalitatii dominate de lacomia materiala. Atunci cand materialismul, dovedit ca ineficient in sporirea fericirii odata ce pragul saraciei este trecut, va fi abandonat, imensa bogatie creata de capitalism, dar concentrata doar in cateva maini va putea coperi nevoile materiale ale unor intregi generatii.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Supliciul muncii in capitalism

Principalul, daca nu chiar singurul interes al patronilor este maximizarea profitului personal. In acest sens, pentru a economisi bani de salariu, patronii au tendinta sa incarce fisele de post ale angajatilor. Astfel, in loc sa plateasca trei salarii, patronii platesc doar unul sau doi angajati. Rationamentul e confirmat si de specialistii in resurse umane. E adevarat, dementa muncii in exces nu se datoreaza exclusiv patronilor, ci si mentalitatii materialiste a unora dintre angajati, desi consumerismul este la randul lui produsul sistemului capitalist.

De pilda, in articolul „Riscurile muncii prelungite”, aparut in Evenimentul Zilei la 14 ianuarie, se scrie:

Munca pentru patron si in timpul liber
„Potrivit unui sondaj realizat de BestJobs, joburile a peste 30% dintre respondenţi presupun munca în weekend. Indiferent că au funcţii de top sau că sunt simplii lucrători, românii muncesc pe rupte pentru că vor să obţină cât mai mulţi bani. De asemenea, rezultatele unui alt sondaj BestJobs spun că 13,58% dintre români lucrează suplimentar acasă, în fiecare weekend.”

Exploatare capitalista
„Specialiştii în resurse umane spun că, de multe ori, angajatorii supradimensionează atribuţiile posturilor, astfel încât rareori ajung opt ore de lucru pentru tot ce este de realizat. „În fiecare business există tendinţa de a creşte producţia şi de a folosi cât mai puţini oameni, pentru a reduce costurile“, este de părere Camelia Buburuz. În multinaţionale, spune şi Mihaela Forgaciu, majoritatea poziţiilor cumulează două sau chiar trei joburi. „Ştiu situaţii în care un sales manager face şi distribuţie, şi vânzare. Practic, munceşte cât pentru trei oameni“, explică specialista în resurse umane.”

Materialism si regrete
„Ovidiu Sandu, 34 de ani, din Bucureşti, este agent de asigurări. El spune că abia acum apreciază timpul la adevărata lui valoare. „Când eram mai tânăr, stăteam zilnic peste program, pentru bani şi un post mai călduţ. Practic, plecam de acasă la ora 8.00 şi mă întorceam noaptea târziu. Acum îmi pare rău. Am pierdut din vedere ce era esenţial: «familia»“, spune tânărul. El le recomandă celor care vor să avanseze să încerce să se organizeze mai bine, pentru a avea mai multă eficienţă.”

Azi, 20 februarie, aflam dintr-un sondaj efectuat pe 395 de persoane intre 11 si 13 februarie, ca tot mai multi romani sunt stresati la locul de munca: „Rezultatele unui sondaj efectuat de BestJobs şi făcute ieri publice arată că tot mai mulţi români sunt stresaţi atât la serviciu, cât şi acasă. 86,6% dintre respondenţi au declarat că sunt stresaţi la locul de muncă, în timp ce 13,4% au spus că stresul este prezent în mediul familial. „Este important ca managerii să perceapă care sunt situaţiile generatoare de stres“, afirmă Adela Grama, HR manager al Neogen, care administrează saitul bestjobs.ro”

Asta dupa ce scrisesem la 13 februarie 2008, pe blog, ca stresul sporeste riscul de cancer si boli mentale. Totodata, practicile patronale de a incarca fisele de post pentru a nu angaja noi oameni nu face decat sa sporeasca somajul in tarile capitaliste, si tot in felul acesta este incurajat flagelul depresiei, ce face din ce in ce mai multe victime si la noi in tara, despre care de asemenea am mai scris.

In aceste conditii, sa ne mai miram ca Bogdan Hossu, presedintele confederatiei sindicale Cartel Alfa, ii banuieste pe capitalistii de la Nokia de intentia de a desavarsii sclavia la locul de munca?

Nokia – acuzată că practică „sclavagismul“ la Cluj
CNS Cartel Alfa a început lupta pentru drepturile salariaţilor de la Nokia. Bogdan Hossu, preşedintele confederaţiei sindicale, a acuzat ieri compania finlandeză că încearcă să destabilizeze piaţa muncii, practicând o exploatare ca pe vremea sclavagismului. „Se doreşte, pentru eficientizarea profitului, nu să se angajeze un număr adecvat de salariaţi, care să lu­creze în trei schimburi, ci se încearcă o exploatare a celor existenţi, încercându-se mărirea duratei medii de lucru de la 48 de ore la 60-70 de ore pe săptămână”, a declarat Hossu la Cluj-Napoca. (...) Mai mult, a adăugat preşedintele confederaţiei, trebuie avut în vedere că dacă, în prezent, România culege roadele delocarizării unei fabrici Nokia, peste câţiva ani se va confrunta cu acelaşi fenomen, or, „efectul este distrugător din punct de vedere social şi economic”. ”

Sursa: articolul semnat, pentru ziarul Gandul, de Catalina Berceanu, la: http://www.gandul.info/actualitatea/nokia-acuzata-ca-practica-sclavagismul-la-cluj.html?3927;2400893#photo

Iata, deci, ca munca in exces si intreaga pleiada de boli si suferinte care o urmeaza, este un produs tipic capitalist, bazat pe exploatarea muncitorilor si inocularea, in acelasi scop, a virusului materialisto-consumerist.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Legea scaderii satisfactiei date de avere

Marshall Brain este specialist in ingineria IT, autor a numeroase carti de popularizare a stiintei, rol pe care il are si saitul sau http://www.howstuffworks.com/.
Pe acest sait, Brain explica detaliat, clar si rezonabil legatura dintre bunurile materiale si fericire. Dupa cum stim de la o intreaga pleiada de psihologi, banii si obiectele nu mai sporesc relevant fericirea odata ce nevoile de baza sunt acoperite. Marshall Brain se foloseste de ceea ce el numeste Legea scaderii satisfactiei date de avere (The Law of Wealth’s Diminishing Returns) pentru a arata de ce abundenta de produse costisitoare este nula in privinta sporirii fericirii.

Placeri ieftine si necesare
„Imagine that you are recently graduated from high school or college. You are in your first job so you are making basically zero money and (if you were in college) you have a ton of debt because of your college loans. Therefore you don’t have a washer or a dryer, and you have to use the Laundromat. (…) Sometimes you get there and all the machines are full. Sometimes you go and it is raining or snowing. You know the drill. Laundromats tend to be no fun.
So you and your spouse finally scrape together $500, and you buy the cheapest washer/dryer set you can find on sale. Your beautiful new washer and dryer are now in your house, and they are installed and working, and you do your first load of laundry in them…
You know what? You are ecstatic! Your new washer and dryer are so amazingly great compared to going to the Laundromat that you can’t believe it. It is incredibly freeing. It is wonderful! And this is a form of ecstasy that lasts. (…) You are happy, and you are grateful.
What I would like you to notice here is the basic ratio between money and happiness. You spent only $500, and you purchased something that made you ecstatic. This new washer/dryer set is a miracle. It makes your life significantly better.”

Placeri costisitoare si inutile
„Fifteen years go by. Now you and your spouse are in a significantly better financial position. It is time to replace the old washer and dryer, so you go to the store and you pick out the latest and greatest front loading super washer and wonder dryer. The pair costs $3,000. They install it and the next day you use it and you are… well, it’s nice. The dryer is a little bit quieter than the old dryer. And because of the super eco-features, you save a quarter on electricity every time you use the washer with hot water. A week later you really could care less.
Do you see what happened here? When you spent $500 for the first washer and dryer, you were ecstatic. That $500 investment made a huge difference in your life. But when you spent $3,000 for the replacement washer/dryer - six times more money - it really didn’t have much of an impact at all. Spending more money didn’t really make you any happier. In this case, you spent six times more money for pretty much nothing.”

Spre un trai modest material si implinit
„The funny thing is, once this equation is understood, there is a tendency to stop buying extravagant things and to live more modestly. People look for happiness not in material objects, but in other ways. It changes the perspective. For many people this seems very, very weird, because our entire “culture” tells us the opposite. But in this case, as you can see from the examples above, the “culture” may be wrong. Money cannot buy happiness because of wealth’s diminishing returns.”

Cu alte cuvinte, ceea ce sustine Marshall Brain este ca e indicat, pentru a ne spori nivelul de trai, sa achizitionam obiecte necostisitoare care ne satisfac nevoile de baza, cum ar fi cele de timp liber si sporirea odihnei. Odata ce vom prefera insa obiectele de lux, de multe ori mai scumpe, satisfactia noastra e mult scazuta-spre inexistenta, caci acum nu mai e vorba de acoperirea unor nevoi elementare, ci de satisfacerea unor mofturi. O masina de spalat e necesara atunci cand suntem fortati sa spalam cosuri intregi de rufe manual sau traversand orasul, insa a inlocui aceasta masina de spalat cu una cu un design deosebit si care face mai putin zgomot nu mai inseamna nimic, chiar daca ultima e mult mai costisitoare decat prima.

Marshall Brain are o explicatie plauzibila si in privinta dorintei unora de a se imbagati in continuu: acestia o fac frustrati din cauza ca bogatia lor nu le aduce fericirea, dar incep sa simta perversa placere de a-i face pe ceilalti mai nefericiti, prin puterea pe care o au asupra lor si rin ostentatia si aroganta afisate.

„Unfortunately, for some rich people it goes the other way. It is a strange and perverse process. Unable to buy happiness, and with a lot of money lying around, it becomes pleasurable to make other people miserable. This is the Ebenezer Scrooge model, often taken to bizarre extremes by large corporations. It is an unfortunate but not uncommon side effect of wealth, and the cause may be a misunderstanding of the law of wealth’s diminishing returns.”

Articolul „Why money can’t buy happiness -or- the law of wealth’s diminishing returns” se gaseste integral, cu alte exemple si explicatii, la adresa: http://brainstuff.howstuffworks.com/2007/11/21/why-money-cant-buy-happiness-or-the-law-of-wealths-diminishing-returns/

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Superioritatea economiei socialiste

E suficient sa rasfoim doua ziare centrale din ultimele doua zile pentru a ne convinge, o data in plus, de superioritatea economiei socialiste fata de cea din prezent. Intr-adevar, in doua privinte cheie din punct de vedere economic--puterea de cumparare si construirea de locuinte, care sa fie si la la preturi accesibile--socialismul ceausist a avut rezultate (mult) mai bune decat capitalismul actual.

Puterea de cumparare a romanului, mai scazuta acum decat in 1989

Din ziarul Cotidianul de astazi, 13 februarie, aflam ca "Economia romaneasca s-a intors la nivelul din 2006". Dupa cum scriu cei trei autori, Ionut Tudorica, Serban Buscu si Florin Cojocaru, "Valoarea de astazi a celor mai importanti indicatori economici releva o intoarcere la nivelul de acum un an si jumatate. Inflatia, dobinda, cursul leu-euro, lichiditatea si indicii bursei au valori asemanatoare, daca nu identice, cu cele vazute in luna mai a anului 2006. Nivelul inflatiei anualizate, 7,26%, anuntat ieri de Institutul National de Statistica, este similar cu cel inregistrat in luna mai a anului 2006. Mai mult, in aceeasi perioada, dobinda de politica monetara era de 8,5%, iar evolutia preturilor urma un trend ascendent, fortind BNR ca la inceputul lunii iunie 2006 sa modifice dobinda-cheie pina la 8,75%, cel mai apropiat nivel din ultimii trei ani fata de valoarea actuala de 9%."

Daca ne intoarcem la informatia conform careia puterea de cumparare a romanului de abia in luna decembrie 2006 a ajuns la cea din 1990:
"Puterea de cumparare a salariatilor a revenit in decembrie 2006, dupa 16 ani, la valoarea din octombrie 1990, cand a inceput liberalizarea preturilor sI inflatia", http://www.zf.ro/articol.php?id=111472 deducem ca in prezent, dupa 18 ani de capitalism, puterea de cumparare a romanului este mai scazuta decat cea de la sfarsitul economiei socialiste din 1990, noi fiind acum la nivel de mai 2006, nu de decembrie 2006.

Criza de locuinte din prezent
Din ziarul Adevarul de ieri, 12 februarie, aflam ca tinerii au interzis la locuinte, acestea nemaiconstruindu-se, iar chiriile ajungand la preturi exorbitante: "În lipsa unor locuinţe pentru tineri în Capitală, aceştia se trezesc la sfârşit de lună că cea mai mare parte din câştig li se duce pe chiria unei cămăruţe pline de gândaci într-un cartier muncitoresc. (...) Cert este că anul acesta nu se va construi nimic în Capitală. Nimic de la stat pentru tineri, căci în rest investitorii privaţi construiesc pe sezon câte un complex rezidenţial."
Am aratat, cu alta ocazie, ca pretul apartamentelor a crescut dupa 1989 cu 500% si e in continua crestere. Astfel, un apartament de trei camere într-un cartier necentral din Bucureşti costa inainte de 1989 vreo 170.000 de lei, adică aproape 57 de salarii medii, iar la jumatatea lui 2007, acelaşi apartament costa circa 198.000 de lei, deci 291 de salarii medii.
In socialism insa, numai intre 1981 si 1985, s-au dat in folosinta 750.000 de apartamente, iar media anuala de apartamente construite in Bucuresti a fost de 20.000.

In concluzie, se demonstreaza o data in plus ca cei care argumenteaza ca inlocuirea capitalismului, aducator de lacomie, materialism, munca in exces, inegalitati sociale grobiene etc. cu egalitarismul ar insemna un pas inapoi facut pe plan economic, sunt complet rupti de realitatile economice.

Capitalism=Boli Mentale + Cancer

In editia de ieri, 12 februarie a cotidianului central Romania Libera, aflam, de la Ioana Georgescu, ca numarul bolnavilor de cancer creste vertiginos in Romania ultimilor ani:

„In Romania, in anul 2000 au fost inregistrate 43.941 cazuri noi, in 2001 – 57.863, in 2003 – 58.251, in contextul in care cu un deceniu in urma cifra era de 40.000 de cazuri noi pe an. "Se poate estima cu destula acuratete o crestere cu aproximativ 2.000 de cazuri noi pe an pentru urmatorii ani. De asemenea, se estimeaza o crestere de la 40.477 cazuri noi diagnosticate in 1994 la 68.317 de cazuri noi depistate in 2011, o crestere cu 67,77%", a afirmat prof. dr. Florinel Badulescu, presedintele Societatii Nationale de Oncologie Medicala.”

Care este cauza cresterii alarmante a cazurilor de cancer in Romania? Foarte probabil, stresul influenteaza consistent cresterea numarului de bolnavi:

„am putea face o corelatie cu cresterea numerica a populatiei, dar si cu stresul, mai ales in zonele urbane. Stresul creeaza o stare de imunosupresie", a declarat dr. Michael Schenker – Clinica de Oncologie Medicala Craiova. Cu alte cuvinte, stresul are drept consecinta faptul ca mecanismele de aparare imunologice nu-si mai fac datoria. "Este vorba de axul psiho-neuro-endocrino-imunologic, care este corelat cu aceste niveluri de stres", a explicat dr. Florin Bacanu, medic primar oncolog – Spitalul Clinic "Sf. Maria".”

Articolul din care am citat se numeste „Numarul bolnavilor de cancer creste exploziv”,

Dar care este cauza aparitiei si inmultirii sresului in randul populatiei? Capitalismul, oranduirea socio-economica manata de mentalitatea „profitul inaintea oamenilor”, de lacomia materialista, consumerism, munca in exces etc. Iata ce aflam dintr-un articol din Ziarul Financiar, scris la 2 aprilie 2004 si intitulat „Stresul capitalismului, o afacere de 36 milioane de dolari”:

„Capitalismul a avut la nivel psihic doua efecte in Romania: a adus stres pentru cei care s-au apucat sa faca bani si depresii pentru neadaptatii tranzitiei. (...) Studiile realizate asupra angajatilor europeni au scos la iveala faptul ca stresul profesional afecteaza circa o treime (28%) din salariati, adica peste 40 de milioane de lucratori din tarile Uniunii Europene. Femeile sunt afectate de stres intr-o masura mult mai mare decat barbatii, dar atat pentru femei, cat si pentru barbati, stresul poate fi o problema in toate sectoarele de activitate si la toate nivelurile unei organizatii. Potrivit datelor furnizate de Fundatia Europeana pentru Imbunatatirea Conditiilor de Munca si Viata si Organizatia Internationala a Muncii, una din cele mai frecvente cauze ale stresului este lipsa de control asupra muncii: 35% din angajati afirma ca nu au nici un cuvant de spus in privinta sarcinilor lor si 55 % se plang ca nu au nici o influenta asupra duratei muncii.”

E clar, deci: capitalismul creste uluitor numarul de oameni stresati, iar stresul e o cauza foarte probabila a maririi numarului de cancerosi. Lantul cauzal al bolii si mortii nu se opreste aici: stresul capitalismului duce nu doar la cancer, ci si la boli mentale:

„cifrele vorbesc de la sine: piata romaneasca a medicamentelor pentru tulburari psihice s-a triplat in ultimii opt ani, ajungand la 36,08 milioane dolari. Consumul a crescut cu circa 50% numai in ultimii trei ani iar ritmul de crestere nu da semne de oboseala, in conditiile in care cererea este inca foarte putin acoperita. La ascensiunea pietei au contribuit, spun reprezentantii companiilor de medicamente si ai corpului medical, atat cresterea numarului de bolvani (urmare a conditiilor de trai si stresului) cat si un timid inceput schimbare a mentalitatii societatii romanesti fata de aceasta categorie de boli.”

Are insa cineva de castigat din aceasta avalansa de boli mentale si boli fatale? Cine altcineva decat capitalistii, patronii companiilor de medicamente, care, dupa se arata inca din titlul articolului, castiga multe milioane de dolari anual. Iata, asadar, cum functioneaza sistemul capitalist: patronul te munceste pana la epuizare la locul de munca, pentru a avea cat mai putini angajati si a-si creste profitul personal, iar in momentul inevitabil in care te imbolnavesti, te asteapta dupa colt o alta clica de capitalisti, care iau pielea de pe tine ca sa-ti vanda medicamente, ca sa te vindeci (daca se mai poate) de bolile cauzate de ceilalti capitalisti!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Consumerismul, o laba trista

Din ziarul Gandul de azi, 11 februarie, aflam ca "persoanele deprimate tind sa cumpere produsele mai scumpe". Mai exact, un studiu coordonat de Cynthia Cryder, de la Universitatea Carnegie Mellon si de Jennifer Lerner de la Harvard, demonstreaza ca persoanele triste si lipsite de respect de sine tind sa cheltuie mai mult pe cumparaturi, in incercarea disperata si ineficienta de a-si spori astfel valoarea in proprii ochi.

"Clienţii posomorâţi speră că dacă merg cumpărături îşi vor „ridica” respectul de sine, dar această terapie îi va face să cheltuie mai mult pentru un produs şi se va ajunge să regrete acest lucru, arată un nou studiu.

Potrivit cercetării ale cărei rezultate au fost anunţate la congresul anual al Societăţii pentru Psihologia Socială şi a Personalităţii, persoanele introspective care sunt deprimate tind să cheltuie mai mulţi bani pe acelaşi produs comparativ cu alte persoane care sunt neutre din punct de vedere emoţional. Studii anterioare au trasat o legătură între stare psihologică şi cheltuieli. „Este o combinaţie între tristeţe şi atenţie care atrage efectul”, susţine Cynthia Cryder, dela Universitatea Carnegie Mellon. „Aceste persoane încearcă să îşi crească valoarea personală şi o modalitate de a face acest lucru este să achiziţioneze bunuri materiale”, a explicat cercetătorul."


Intr-o alta relatare despre acest studiu se mentioneaza:

"In the experiment, participants viewed either a sad video clip or one devoid of human emotion. Afterward, participants could purchase an ordinary commodity, such as a water bottle, at various prices. Participants randomly assigned to the sad condition offered almost 300% more money to buy the product than “neutral” participants. Notably, participants in the sadness condition typically insist, incorrectly, that the emotional content of the film clip did not carry over to affect their spending. [...]

Notably, the “misery is not miserly” effect may be even more dramatic in real life, as the low-intensity sadness evoked in the experiment likely underestimates the power of intense sadness on spending behavior. The effect could extend to domains beyond purchasing decisions, causing people to engage in increased stock trading, for example, or even to seek new relationships-- without conscious awareness that they are being driven by their emotions."

Studiul se numeste “Misery is not Miserly: Sad and Self-Focused Individuals Spend More,” si urmeaza sa fie publicat in numarul din iunie 2008 a revistei academice Psychological Science.

Ce concluzii tragem de aici? In primul rand ca se confirma, pentru a "n"-a oara ca materialismul financiar este apanajul oamenilor slabi, cu complexe de inferioritate si fara incredere in sine. In al doilea rand, ca banii si cheltuielile desantate sunt incapabile sa sporeasca fericirea personala. In al treilea, putem deduce ca oranduirea capitalista are, se pare, tot interesul sa tina oamenii intr-o stare deprimanta si sa le afecteze increderea in sine pentru a-i transforma in cumparatori (si) mai eficienti.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Filosofia anti-materialista a lui Manfred de Vries

Olandezul Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries este unul dintre cei mai apreciati profesori de "leadership development" din lume.
In volumul 36, numarul 3, din 2007 al publicatiei academice Organizational Dynamics, de Vries a publicat articolul numit "Money, money, money". O versiune premergatoare publicarii se gaseste la aceasta adresa:
Spre diferenta de majoritatea articolelor citate pe acest blog, lucrarea lui de Vries se concentreaza asupra materialismului financiar din perspectiva mai mult filosofica decat psihologica. Autorul reuseste din plin sa critice din acest punct de vedere mania imbogatirii, dupa cum vom vedea imediat, punct cu punct.

Despre penibilitatea incercarii de a cumpara un partener

" [Some people] think that money can buy anything, including a beautiful woman or a handsome man. But while money can trigger a relationship, it truly can’t buy love. The whole enterprise is counterproductive: if money is used as a relational tool, how much does the `purchaser` really care about the person he or she is `buying`? If a woman is `acquired` to be shown off, that’s just another form of one-upmanship.
Money can’t buy youth, either, though men and women concerned about a decline in physical attractiveness often use their wealth to hook up with a youthful partner who makes them feel younger themselves. In other words, they use money to compensate for aging. For people such as this, `buying' a partner is just a stop-gap measure to fight off depressive feelings. Whether seeking love or youth, some people are prepared to engage in highly destructive and self-destructive activities, as well as spend a fortune, to `buy` the right person. They are willing to do all kinds of things to `possess that perfectly attractive woman or man—things they wouldn't consider doing otherwise. [...]
But can such a collusion ever be the basis for a meaningful relationship? Only very, very occasionally. [...] Thus while money can't buy happiness, it certainly allows you to choose your own form of misery. And although money can't buy love, it improves your bargaining position in the pitilessly competitive sexual race. So what are the origins of the destructive competitiveness that leads to using money as a score card, and as a way to gain recognition?"

Materialismul, generat de complexe din copilarie
"We find some answers to this puzzling behavior in the roots of sibling rivalry. A close look at the background of money-scorers reveals that, in many instances, parents were unable early on to sufficiently dampen the competitive feelings between siblings. Unchecked sibling rivalry may have created the pervasive (and sometimes accurate) idea that the other was favored by one or even both of the parents. Because love was not shared equally (either in perception or in reality), it became a precious commodity. The feeling of being insuffiently appreciated caused what psychologists call a narcissistic injury— that is, an injury to a person’s self-esteem—which expressed itself in symptoms such as depressive feelings and feelings of rage, anger, resentment, revenge, and vindication."

Bogatia, daunatoare copiilor
"While growing up with no money can be a problem, there can also be too much of a good thing. In fact, as an English proverb states, "an abundance of money ruins youth”—in other words, having lots of money can be detrimental to the healthy development of a child. Often this happens because parents, busy with the acquisition and management of their wealth, alleviate their guilt at not being psychologically available by giving presents and money. In essence, they offer money as a substitute for love.
But can genuine care and love be replaced by money? Not with any hope of healthy development. Money is a poor substitute for love and care. Children raised on this model are generally left with ambivalent feelings toward their caretakers: they are unsure whether their caretakers really care about them; whether they themselves are viewed as lovable. The result is depressive feelings and a great sense of insecurity, beginning in childhood and lasting into adulthood.
Furthermore, these individuals may come to suffer from oniomania (literally, a mania for making purchases), meaning that they ward off lingering feelings of depression by seeking out the temporary highs they feel when spending money. Buying things for themselves makes them feel better. Unfortunately, these good feelings don’t last. They are nothing more than temporary Band-Aids. Because these people, as children, felt temporary, artificial highs when their parents gave them money or gifts, as adults they repeat that pattern. They spend money to feel better, creating an endless cycle of depression and temporary highs.
Money simply cannot give children the inner security and stable sense of self-esteem needed in adulthood. Instead, ironically, it impoverishes them. When money flows too freely, the probability increases that important developmental challenges will not be handled in an age-appropriate manner by either the child or the parent. The complex psychological work that a child has to tackle to grow into a healthy, responsible adult may be lacking. Just as power corrupts, money corrupts. And, to further paraphrase Lord Acton, a lot of money corrupts a lot. It impedes the establishment of deep, meaningful relationships that are the cornerstones of mature, healthy functioning and results in lifelong self-esteem problems and depressive reactions.
Furthermore, when youngsters possess too much money, other people find it difficult to deal with them in a natural manner. What’s more, wealthy kids given a privileged upbringing may have no sense of how the rest of the world lives. Their developmental experiences are too different from those of others. These two factors—their own lack of real-world knowledge and the discomfort other people feel in interacting with them—exacerbate the struggle to establish deep, meaningful relationships.
[...] In addition, the possession of too much money early in life frequently comes at the cost of achievement motivation. Youngsters who do not learn the value of money because it is always available to them do not realize the energy needed to obtain it. If they never learn what earning money takes in terms of their own efforts, they may never appreciate the value of hard work. And the effects go beyond mere finances: many youngsters who have too much money lose the urge to strive, to experiment, to reach out, and to try out new things."

Lacomia de bani, o panta spre minus infinit

"Is there such a thing as a sufficient amount of money? One would think so, but about the time we’re able to make ends meet, somebody moves the ends! Just when we begin to master our money, it gains the upper hand and we become its servants.
One tragedy of human existence is our ability to quickly accommodate ourselves to something we set out to accomplish, and then we become accustomed to and bored with it. In other words, we quickly grow restless with what we have. Evolutionary psychologists have argued that natural selection has conditioned us to quickly adapt to new situations and then strive for a little bit more. According to these theorists, enduring satisfaction with a particular stable state would not be conducive to our survival as a species. We need to be kept on our toes. Following this line of reasoning, some of us end up on a hedonistic treadmill, endlessly motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. And that treadmill never stops, because human desire is insatiable.
And yet couldn’t we accept these findings from evolutionary psychology and still concede that at some point enough is enough? Why is the concept of "enough so hard to understand? When are we rich enough? When are we successful enough? When are we good enough? Why is it that we can’t pick a moment of comfortable satisfaction and announce to ourselves and the world that we’re stepping off the treadmill?
The needs of the wealthy often undergo a visible shift: first the ladder- climbing executive wants the sports car, then comes the house on the Riviera, and then the private plane. Whatever people in the clutches of Mammon have, it is never enough. They can’t get off the treadmill, and they don’t even want to try, for fear they will get depressed.
And yet this preoccupation with possessions keeps them from truly living. It prevents them from asking what they are doing with their lives. If we really believe that the journey is more important than the destination—a conclusion with which most people concur in principle but ignore in practice—then we need to focus on our "travels rather than on our finances. We need to do things that we enjoy doing and concentrate on the small pleasures of the day. If we focus on finite material achievements, we will experience only a very temporary sense of fulfillment. As we have seen with people who suffer from oniomania, acquiring and spending is only a very short-term antidepressant, one that needs to be constantly replenished. Thus we become like Sisyphus, pushing boulders up the hill, over and over again. Instead of reveling in a gorgeous sunset or enjoying a family dinner, we stay late at the office doing things we dislike, to be able to buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t care about. How’s that for irony!"

Materialismul financiar este o pervertire a naturii umane care ne impiedica sa gasim fericirea
" People of great wealth are often the ones who suffer most from boredom, depression, and other psychological ailments. Most satisfaction studies have shown that once the minimum necessities have been met, money doesn’t really bring happiness. As the Greek playwright Euripides eloquently put it, `when a man's stomach is full, it makes no difference whether he is rich or poor`.
What is this elusive happiness that we struggle to buy our way to? Sigmund Freud argued that it is the belated fulfillment of an early childhood wish. Anecdotal evidence seems to support that claim: listen to people’s stories and dreams, and you’ll often hear happiness spoken of in terms of childhood simplicity and togetherness with early caretakers.
As our discussion of early need systems has indicated, money isn’t something that very young children crave. They want to be cuddled; they want their parents and other loved ones to be with them; they want to play and explore; they want to be listened to. Given that from a developmental point of view the pursuit of money is an acquired rather than an inherent need, we shouldn’t be surprised that suddenly coming into a lot of money doesn’t do much for one’s happiness, beyond an incidental, exhilarated mood state. Studies on happiness have shown, for example, that lottery winners, after a temporary high, return very quickly to 渡ormal.
The things that induce a more lasting happiness are far less tangible. People talk about feeling the joy of achievement, the excitement of creative efforts in working with others, the sublimity of religious celebrations, the rightness of a sense of unity with nature. They talk about enjoying their daily work routine and feeling useful and fulfilled on the job (and yes, as a bonus, sometimes making a great deal of money). And finally—perhaps most importantly—they talk about the warmth and closeness of intimate moments with family and friends.
As one wit once said, money may buy you a nice dog, but only love will make it wag its tail. Our true wealth lies in family and friends who care about us, and about whom we care. Having intimate, deep relations is what life is all about. [...]
As I have noted before, money and intimate relationships aren’t easy companions. The very rich are always subject to the danger that people who interact with them will tell them only what they think they want to hear. Psychologists would attribute this to idealizing transference—that is, the universal human tendency to admire powerful people. Money and candor don’t do well together. When people bearing big smiles or gifts approach the very wealthy, the recipients always wonder, Are these people true friends, or are they trying to take advantage of our wealth or power? As the TV personality Oprah Winfrey said, 鏑ots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. A Chinese proverb conveys the same essential message: `the day your horse dies and your money is lost, your relatives become strangers`.
Worse yet, the rich sometimes buy into the idealizing transference themselves. If enough of those sycophants waiting to ride in the limo tell a wealthy man he is the epitome of wisdom or beauty or skill, he may start believing them, all evidence to the contrary. This impaired reality-testing can negatively influence the quality of any interpersonal relationships that remain."


"Unfortunately, when money is seen as a solution to every problem—especially relational problems—money itself can become the problem. Frequently, the price we have to pay for our need for power, security, love, and victory over others through money is our liberty. Although wealth is often seen as the road to freedom, obtaining it can turn out to be the road to slavery. Instead of finding freedom through money, we become the prisoners of money, because it cannot bring us the control or the vindication or the peace of mind we seek. Like the Holy Grail, it remains compelling but elusive."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mizeriile materialismului financiar

Julian Edney este doctor in psihologie si preda psihologia si filosofia la Universitatea din California pe care a si absolvit-o. In articolul sau "Materialism, a deepening shadow", publicat la 15 iunie 2006 in Online Journal, Edney subliniaza cateva dintre abominatiile cauzate de goana nebuneasca si fara sens spre averi si bogatie materiala. Printre acestea, abandonarea de catre fiinta umana a interesului catre filosofie, iubirea de intelepciune, obsesia unui stil de viata dovedit stiintific ca incapabil sa sporeasca fericirea, toxicitatea competitiei capitaliste, inegalitati financiare si diluarea importantei conceptului de bunastarea sociala (common good).

Lacomia materiala, dusmanul preocuparilor intelectuale

"There are many ways to get detoured off the high path of life. Bad investments, bad marriages, the wrong occupation will all do the trick, and they all begin with legitimate-looking diversions. Whole societies can get detoured, trapped into crippling wars or imprisoned within their own borders by charismatic dictators. All start as sensible-looking ventures and on the way, nobody guesses destiny.
Our exorbitant materialism is a loss of the way. We did not come to a point of ownership-obsession overnight, nor did it descend one day like a sun-darkening cloud of locusts; it is a coloring that has been gathering slowly within. In 1966, when college freshmen were surveyed about what they were going to do with their lives, 44 percent said it was important or essential to become well off financially, but by 1996 that had risen to 73 percent. Conversely, back in 1966 a full 83 percent said it was important to develop a philosophy of life, but by1996 that had dropped to 42 percent [Edney citeaza in acest sens studiul Myers, D. G. The funds, friends, and faith of happy people. American Psychologist 2000, 55, 56-67. ].

On a graph, the ascending line crosses the declining line in a stark X; it is clear one motivation has displaced the other. Nowadays, it is rare to hear about a philosophy of life; money and property have become our main attention. We believe we are what we own. Where is materialism taking us?"

Bogatia nu ne face mai fericiti

"Does money make us happy? Actually, Jeremy Bentham led us astray when he stated that money is the most accurate measure of pleasure. Recently a collection of studies has revealed that in fact rich people are not happier, and that adding wealth to your life does not increase your sense of well being (unless you live below the poverty line) [vezi Ryan, R.M. and Deci, E.L. On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudiamonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology. 2001, 52, 141-166 ].
Moreover rich nations are not always healthier: the recent discovery is that people in egalitarian nations live longer than people in richer nations that are hierarchical" [vezi Sapolsky, R. Sick of poverty. Scientific American, 2005, 293, 92-99.].

Prosperitatea materiala si materialismul ca piedici in calea fericirii

"But people think money will make them happier, and that’s what motivates them. Psychological studies show that it is actually companionship and family that make people happier. So we are immersed in both sides. In practice, money corrupts friendship and money problems are second only to infidelity as a cause of divorce [Amato, P. R. and Rogers, S J. A longitudinal study of marital problems and subsequent divorce. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 1997, 59, 612-624.].
Observe, says Yale’s Robert Lane, a simultaneous national growth of wealth and depression. In The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies, he puts it this way: there is “a titanic conflict between the oldest human institution, and the newest, the market” [vezi Lane, R.E. The loss of happiness in market democracies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. p. 33.]. Statistics bear him out. We are richer than ever, and huge numbers are using prescription antidepressants. Severe depression is 10 times more prevalent that it was 50 years ago, and suicide is the third highest cause of death in young people. The triumphant free market does not care. Lane says it is Darwinian, indifferent, a winnowing process, amoral, with no concern for what happens to persons.
Psychologists have begun to focus in. Tim Kasser has a book The High Price of Materialism that investigates the type of person who should thrive in the market environment: the materialistic personality. Materialists, as we might predict, believe acquisition is the solution. They watch prodigious amounts of television that touts materialist values. But when they acquire, they are not satisfied. Research shows they are also poor at personal relationships; they are anxious, alienated, and depressed; they are competitive; and college-aged materialists are more likely to be conflictual and aggressive on dates. They drink more alcohol. Death plays a bigger role in materialists’ dreams [Kasser, T. The high price of materialism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.].
A single-minded pursuit of goods is justified by classical economics and it is loosely attached to the idea of liberty, but apparently our habit of making commodities our friends is not working. Why?"

Nocivitatea competitiei capitaliste
"Because the drive for material goods is competitive, and since the outcome of competition is inequality, materialism is spreading us apart. Competition erodes trust, and is a gradual poison in companionate relationships. The compensation is supposed to be freedom but in practice we are all encouraged into the same want-of-wealth by the same media, particularly television, and so we conform, which means we are not free. Summed up, over longer periods of time, the differences among us become more important than the similarities. "

Inegalitati daunatoare pentru societate
"Today the top 1 percent of the population owns more than 40 percent of the wealth [Kawachi, I., Kennedy, B.P. and Wilkinson, R.G. (Eds.) The society and population health reader. New York: The New Press, 1999. pp. xi-xii. ]. The differences between the wealthy and the poor are colossal. There is a kind of self-segregation underway, a “secession of the wealthy” into gated communities.
Robert Sapolsky makes the point that as differences grow, the wealthy also become less inclined to pay taxes that go to benefit the average person, or to invest in what is average. They are simply too different. So over time as the rich get richer the middle is not raised, and these differences will compound themselves. Radical materialism becomes a threat to the unity on which any well-ordered society is based. An obvious casualty is the concept of the common good. Nobody uses the term any more – and it’s not that the idea of common good has faded from fashion, rather, the concept has ritually been attacked by libertarians, especially by that demagogue Ayn Rand, who dogmatically and repeatedly stated that the common good does not exist. Instead, she vociferously argued for selfishness as a value. Without a common good, community values such as peace, justice and equality cannot survive. "

Remediul: ideologia bunului comun
`The writing on the wall is luminous. Unless we find a way to put the common good back in place, we can look forward to more atomization, more loneliness, more divisions, and more alienation, which sociologists will never stop reporting. This is a shadow on the land that will be increasingly difficult to lift. How will all this get repaired?
If philosophy and materialism displace each other, the antidote is to build a shared philosophy. It is called an ideology, basically a collection of ideas which describes a purpose. With the incessant commercialism we have almost lost our interest in ideas, everything being replaced by images. But an ideology puts ideas first again. It is a common sense. It states values, priorities, goals, and it prescribes a common path for action, giving continuity, which gradually rebuilds trust. It may start with a vision, which has also been missing."

Autorul incheie scriind: "This is a crisis. Because materialism is hostile to intellectual growth, it will be difficult, stumbling back, to find the right path. It is what we have to do. "

Ca sa realizez un joc de cuvinte ce precis este inclusiv pe placul lui Julian Edney, "the right path is the left path!".

Articolul prezentat poate fi citit integral la adresa: http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_910.shtml

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Minciunile capitalistilor inseamna boala si moarte

Capitalismul este sistemul socio-economic al carui motto este „profitul personal”. In goana scelerata spre imbogatire, detinatorii finantelor nu se sfiesc sa manipuleze cu cinism opinia publica, chiar daca stiu ca minciunile lor cauzeaza boala si moarte pentru masele de consumatori.
Conform cotidianului „Evenimentul zilei” de azi, 5 februarie 2008, un astfel de fenomen are loc in privinta alimentatiei. Alimentelor otravite cu aditivi si alte chimicale nocive li se face reclama inselatoare ca sunt sanatoase pentru a se incuraja consumul si deci profitul personal al capitalistilor.

Alimente cu reclame mincinoase!
Iaurturile cu fructe, margarina, supele la plic, alimente promovate ca fiind sănătoase, pot cauza boli de inimă, diabet, cancer şi alergii. Iaurturile cu fructe sau cu diverse arome, margarina, supele la plic ori chipsurile sunt câteva dintre produsele alimentare promovate ca fiind sănătoase. Specialiştii în nutriţie atrag însă atenţia că efectul lor asupra sănătăţii este nociv. Consumate frecvent, aceste alimente pot cauza boli de inimă, cancer, Parkinson, alergii, crize de gută ori dureri de cap. Efectele negative sunt mult mai mari în cazul copiilor, al căror organism este în dezvoltare. Medicii te sfătuiesc să ocoleşti aceste alimente şi îţi indică alternativele.

Aromele „natural identice“ sunt artificiale
Iaurturile cu arome şi fructe pot interfera cu absorbţia vitaminelor la copii şi pot cauza alergii alimentare. „Fructele conservate au agenţ i de conservare iritanţi şi neurotoxici mai ales pentru copii. Dacă pe eticheta iaurturilor scrie arome «natural identice» înseamnă că sunt arome artificiale. Iaurtul bun este proaspăt, din lapte pasteurizat fermentat, cu microfloră probiotică. Pe etichetă trebuie să scrie «culturi selecţionate din lactobacili şi/sau bifidobacterii»“, explică Gheorghe Mencinicopschi, directorul Institutului de Cercetări Alimentare din Bucureşti. (...)

Vegeta cu E-uri nocive
Chiar dacă sunt descrise ca fiind preparate cu „legume sănă- toase“, supele la plic conţin o cantitate prea mare de sare şi întă ritori de gust şi aromă. „Întăritorii de gust precum glutamatul monosodic, guanilaţii sau inozinaţii sunt E-uri neurotoxice care pot cauza crize de gută, senzaţii de greaţă, dureri de cap şi confuzii“, mai spune Gheorghe Mencinicopschi.
Nici produsele gen vegeta nu sunt recomandate, deoarece con- ţin aceleaşi E-uri. Dacă le foloseş ti de regulă la friptură, mai bine le înlocuieşti cu sare mai puţin rafinată şi condimente naturale precum piper sau ghimbir.„În loc să pui vegeta în supe pentru a le da gust, mai bine foloseş te produse naturale precum ţelină, morcovi, ceapă“, completează endocrinologul Virgiliu Stroescu.

Grăsimi cancerigene în chipsuri
Chipsurile şi floricelele sunt impregnate cu grăsimi arse cancerigene. În plus, conţin foarte multe calorii şi îngraşă. Dacă sunt preparate cu margarină, cresc colesterolul, iar aromele pot cauza crize de gută ori dureri de cap, te mai avertizează specialistul în nutriţie Gheorghe Mencinicopschi. Periculoasă pentru sănătate este şi margarina. „Margarina conţine acizi graşi-trans artificiali şi, consumată în exces, poate cauza boli cardiovasculare, renale, hipertensiune arterială, Parkinson, Alzheimer, artrite reumatoide, diabet de tip 2 sau cancer. (...)

Sucurile carbogazoase şi „naturale“
Băuturile carbogazoase despre care se spune că ar fi din fructe sunt în realitate bombe chimice ce conţin apă, zahăr rafinat, acid fosforic şi coloranţi de sinteză. „Aceste sucuri conţin o cantitate mare de zahăr rafinat, în jur de 110-120 de grame la un litru. Asta înseamnă că dacă bei un litru de suc consumi 100 de grame de zahăr alb. Acidul fosforic scade nivelul calciului atât la adulţi cât şi la copii, iar coloranţii de sinteză sunt neurotoxici, alergeni, pot cauza astm la copii şi tulburări cu deficit de atenţie (ADHD). În plus, inhibă metabolismul zincului“, spune Gheorghe Mencinicopschi, directorul Institutului de Cercetări Alimentare. Nici sucurile din concentrat natural de fructe nu sunt bune. Acestea conţin zahăr, iar prin pasteurizare se distrug vitaminele, enzimele şi sărurile minerale din ele.”

Articolul din care am citat a fost scris de Ramona Samoila si poate fi citit integral aici:

Inegalitatile financiare, incompatibile cu democratia

Walter Williams este profesor emerit de public affairs la Universitatea din Washington.
In cartea sa „Reaganism and the Death of Representant Democracy”, Williams explica modul in care liberalismul, care consta in reducerea taxelor si impozitelor si duce in practica la acumularea unor sume imense de bani in mainile unei ultra-minoritati, este un pericol pentru democratie. Monstruoasele inegalitati aparute intr-o asemenea societate nu pot insemna decat faptul ca o minoritate are o putere de mii de ori mai mare decat restul votantilor, caci capitalul ein financiar ii permite sa controleze in buna masura scena politica.

Democratia reprezentativa, ucisa de bogatasi
„One scholar argues that representative democracy is effectively dead – done in by the biggest shift of income and assets to the super-wealthy since the 1920s.
"President Bush's tax cuts increased the political power of the richest Americans," says Walter Williams, University of Washington professor emeritus of public affairs. "Their gains fueled the huge increase in campaign contributions and made big money the driving force in national politics."
Williams argues (...) that this "massive maldistribution" of wealth has severely weakened U.S. political institutions and democracy. The trend, Williams said, traces back to President Reagan, who sold a political philosophy blending antigovernmentism, deregulation and tax cuts for the most affluent. "Reaganism" continued to prevail even under the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton, who in essence "ratified" the philosophy by not repudiating it.
Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, is described by Williams as "the foremost disciple of Reaganism."

Inegalitati aberante
„In his conference paper and forthcoming book "Reaganism and the Death of Representative Democracy," Williams documents what he describes as epic shifts in wealth during the two decades of Reaganism – for example, that the top 1 percent saw their after-tax incomes rise 157 percent in real dollars, while the real incomes of the bottom 20 percent of the population actually fell.
By contrast, he writes, during the postwar years to 1973, blue-collar incomes posted the biggest gains and the ranks of the American middle class swelled.
Today's rising inequality, Williams argues, distorts the political system and turns ordinary Americans into second-class citizens. Wealthy individuals and major corporations have returned the favor of tax cuts and deregulation with a flood of contributions that give Bush a commanding lead for the 2004 campaign – which Williams describes as a key battle to maintain the plutocracy.
"By the time you or I get into the act," Williams said, "the candidates are pretty much served up for us by the wealthy interests."

Textul din care am citat, data 2003, poate fi gasit la adresa: http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2003/A/20037274.html

Iata deci ca egalitarismul financiar nu are doar marele merit de a stopa mania consumerista, de a imbunatati sanatatea si longevitatea populatiei, ci si de a asigura consistenta si coerenta procesului democratic: cand fiecare va avea aceeasi putere financiara, de abia atunci fiecare vot va cantari cu adevarat la fel.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Editorialul lui Tony Delamothe

In numarul 2005;331:1489-1490 (24 December) al revistei academice British Medical Journal, Tony Delamothe, deputy editor , a publicat un editorial in care sumarizeaza excelent descoperirile despre fericire realizate de cercetatori in ultimii ani. In linii mari, fericirea este data de relatiile de familie, prietenesti, de coeziunea sociala, dar nu de imbogatire si statut social. Totodata, aflam ca la randul lor, conditiile in care muncim (precum autonomia la locul de munca, respectul intre lucratori, participarea la luarea deciziilor etc.) sunt extrem de importante, insa munca in exces este daunatoare. Fericirea trebuie urmarita nu doar pentru ca este un bun in sine, afirma Delamothe, ci si pentru ca ne sporeste longevitatea.

Banii nu sporesc fericirea
„As everyone since Midas knows, acquiring riches is a poor long term bet in the happiness stakes. A recent review concluded that "money can buy you happiness, but not much, and above a modest threshold, more money does not mean more happiness." Individuals usually get richer during their lifetimes—but not happier.
As for individuals, so for countries. Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States all share similar life satisfaction scores despite per capita income varying 10-fold between the richest and poorest country. Per capita incomes have quadrupled in most advanced economies over the past 50 years, but levels of subjective wellbeing have hardly budged.
Researchers believe that it's relative income, rather than absolute income, that matters to people. However well we're doing, there's always someone else doing better. The pleasure of paying off the mortgage on one's modest abode is neutralised by news that a 19 year old footballer is erecting a neo-Georgian mansion, complete with indoor swimming pool, three car garage, and cinema. As we realise one set of aspirations, it seems we immediately trade up to a more expensive set, to which we transfer our hopes for happiness. As Samuel Johnson noted: "Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment."

Realatiile sociale aduc si mentin fericirea
„If money doesn't buy happiness, what does? In all 44 countries surveyed in 2002 by the Pew Research Center, family life provided the greatest source of satisfaction. Married people live on average three years longer and enjoy greater physical and psychological health than the unmarried. Having a family enhances wellbeing, and spending more time with one's family helps even more—as many British politicians can attest. Economists define "social capital" as the ties that bind families, neighbourhoods, workplaces, communities, and religious groups together and find that it correlates strongly with subjective wellbeing. In fact, the breadth and depth of individuals' social connections are the best predictors of their happiness.”

Fericirea la locul de munca
„Work is central to wellbeing, and certain features correlate highly with happiness. These include autonomy over how, where, and at what pace work is done; trust between employer and employee; procedural fairness; and participation in decision making. (...) Make sure you're not working so hard that you've no time left for personal relationships and leisure. If you are, leave your job voluntarily to become self employed, but don't get sacked—that's more damaging to wellbeing than the loss of a spouse, and its effects last longer. In your spare time, join a club, volunteer for community service, or take up religion.”

Fericirea ne prelungeste viata
„What's so great about being happy, other than, well, being happy? At the country level, evidence exists for an association between unhappiness and poor health: people from the former Soviet Union are among the unhappiest in the world, and their life expectancy has been falling. But how good is the evidence for the opposite—that happiness contributes to good health, or a longer life? An intriguing longitudinal study of nuns, spanning seven decades, supports this hypothesis. Auto-biographies written by the nuns in their early 20s were scored for positive and negative emotions. Nuns expressing the most positive emotions lived on average 10 years longer than those expressing the least positive emotions. Summarising this work, Barbara Fredrickson cites three more studies that, after the usual confounders had been accounted for, "found the same solid link between feeling good and living longer." Happiness therefore seems to add years to life, as well as life to years.”

Editorialul poate fi citit integral la adresa: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/331/7531/1489#REF3

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fumuri capitaliste

Un studiu recent, efectuat de Dr Anna Gilmore from the School for Health at the University of Bath, arata ca numarul fumatorilor a crescut infiorator de mult in Rusia dupa caderea Uniunii Sovietice. Cauzele raspandirii flagelului cancerigen? Privatizarea companiilor de tutun, marketingul agresiv si influenta colosilor corporatisti vestici in minimizarea legislatiei referitoare la fumat.

"The number of Russian women who smoke has more than doubled since the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to new research.

In 1992, seven per cent of women smoked, compared to almost 15 per cent by 2003. In the same period, the number of men who smoke has risen from 57 per cent to 63 per cent.
The researchers behind the study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, blame the privatisation of the previously state owned tobacco industry and the behaviour of the transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) for what they describe as a “very worrying increase”. Between 1992 and 2000, TTCs such as Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International invested approximately US$1.7 billion to gain a 60 per cent share of the privatised Russian tobacco market.
Tobacco advertising had simply not existed in the Soviet era. Yet as soon as the TTCs were there, it was rampant, say researchers. By the mid 1990s it was estimated that half of all billboards in Moscow and three quarters of plastic bags in Russia carried tobacco advertising. “There can be no doubt that the marketing tactics of Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and the like directly underpin this massive increase in smoking that spells disaster for health in Russia,” said Dr Anna Gilmore from the School for Health at the University of Bath, who carried out the study with academics from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and University College London, and has been researching tobacco control in the region for over seven years. “Following privatisation of the tobacco industry, TTCs invested heavily in developing the market, promoting smoking as part of the new ‘western lifestyle’.
“They aggressively targeted women, young people and those living in cities with their marketing and distribution strategies. This is now directly reflected in the smoking patterns we are seeing. Until this point women in Russia had simply not smoked.
“The situation was made worse by aggressive industry lobbying to weaken tobacco control legislation. “The fact that the TTCs have managed to drive up male smoking rates from already high levels is incredibly alarming because at this stage of the epidemic we would expect male smoking rates to be declining. “There is already a major demographic crisis in Russia and smoking, which already accounts for nearly half of male deaths, is making this far worse."
Relatarea completa a studiului se gaseste la adresa:

Un exemplu tipic de cum sistemul capitalist, al carui unui scop este de a face profit, calca in picioare viata si sanatatea a sute de mii de oameni!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Michael Eysenck despre inutilitatea castigului la loterie

Michael W. Eysenck (1916-1997) a fost profesor de psihologie la Institutul de Psihiatrie din Londra, autor a peste 50 de carti si a peste 900 de articole.
In cartea sa "Happiness: Facts and Myths", din 1994, sustine ca fericirea catigatorilor la loterie nu e cu nimic relevant mai ridicata decat cea a celor care nu au avut acest "noroc". Faptul ca bogatia nu aduce vreo satisfactie relevanta nici cand e castigata fara niciun efort si imediat, demonstreaza o data in plus neputinta materialismului financiar de a spori bunastarea umana.

"The impact of sudden wealth on happiness was also looked at by Philip Brickman an his colleagues at Northwestern University in the United States. The selected recent major winners of the Illionais State Lottery, nearly all of whom had won at least one hundred thousand dollars, and one-third of whom had won one million dollars. The views of these lottery winners mirrored those of the Bristish pools winners in many ways. They mentioned a number of changes in their lives (e.g., financial security, greater leisure time), but nevertheless only 23 per cent of them felt that their general life-style had altered.
The lottery winners were then asked about their level of happiness at three different stages of their lives: before winning the lottery; the present post-win period; and two years in the future. precisely as predicted by adaptation-level theory, the lottery winners did not feel any happier after their big win than before it, and they did not expect to be happier in two year's time. Moreover, winning a huge amount of money failed to make the lottery winners any happier than people who had not enjoyed such good fortune.
These findings are very relevant to the long-standing controversy between the growing army of materialists on the one-hand, and religious authorities and moralists on the other hand. The latter group of anti-materialists seem to have won a crushing victory with these findings, since even a huge increase in personal wealth failed almost totally to increase happiness or enjoyment of life. The findings are even more striking in that they were obtained in a society which is usually regarded as being very materialistic."

Fragmente din cartea "Happiness: Facts and Myths" pot fi citite la adresa: