“There will probably never be anything I can do to make my lifetime impact net positive”, Sam Bankman-Fried wrote in his diary after the collapse of his cryptocurrency company FTX. His high-profile criminal trial for corporate fraud is giving us another glimpse into capitalism’s moral abyss.
Why do we compete so much? Every year, tens of thousands of year 12 students have their academic merit precisely graded from top to bottom with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. We compete for our livelihoods—for jobs, housing and promotions. Companies compete in the economy for market share. Countries compete for global influence. The outcome of these competitions determines the fate of everyone in the world. Frequently, competition leads to war.
On one side of Sydney’s College Street, the rich and powerful friends of Cardinal George Pell stepped out from luxury cars and entered St Mary’s Cathedral for his funeral service. On the other, about 250 protesters gathered around a huge rainbow flag and chanted. A sign painted in giant letters informed funeral attendees across the road that “PELL IS IN HELL”.
“The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question of what kind of people we want to be”, Marxist geographer David Harvey writes in his book Rebel Cities. “What kinds of social relations we seek, what relations to nature we cherish, what style of life we desire, what aesthetic values we hold”.
Nurses and midwives across New South Wales are striking on 15 February. With 73,000 members—48,000 of which work in public hospitals—the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) is the largest union in the state.
UPDATE: The United Workers Union has claimed victory in this dispute.