Senthamil Things: Correlation Between Wealth and Behavioural Ethics

By: Senthamil Stefi

A collaborative series of studies done by the University of California, Berkley and the University of Toronto revealed an undeniable truth that many may consider to be common sense. However, when looking deeper, the conclusion definitely does not appear to be that easily conclusive as one would assume, as there are two angles to look at.

The upper and lower classes of society have quite the significant differences that are notably showcased openly. The lower class have far less resources, higher threats and more uncertainty in comparison to the higher class of people. Thus, it can be assumed that the lower class would practice higher unethical behaviour in order to adapt to the society and overcome their distinct disadvantages. On the other hand it can be perceived that the higher class practice a sense of disposable ethics as they have an abundance of resources and freedom, and due to their general self-centered tendencies.

Having both perspectives laid out, studies were carried out by both universities. It was found that laws were more likely to be broken by the upper class than the lower class. They also had a higher tendency to make unethical choices such as lying in negotiations, cheating to win, and endorsing unethical behaviour in the workplace. It was concluded by the mediators of these studies that the unethical behaviour by the upper class can be accounted for by their favourable attitude towards greed, the root of their self-centered nature.

Now lets look at the context of greed a little bit deeper. The teachings of philosophers, Plato and Aristotle can be pulled up. They outline how greed can actually be perceived to allow for immortality… to be invincible. This means that the self-centered nature is a way to preserve one’s life. This desire seems to be like the “survival of the fittest” if you ask me – Charles Darwin’s natural selection theory. But instead of it being “natural”, it is a selection theory that is manipulated by mankind in order to allow for the wealthiest and most powerful beings to survive beyond the far less fortunate. This is actually pretty sad, but very true.

To come to think of it…it’s as if movies that display such nature are just mocking the poignant reality… the undeniable truths behind Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby…

But remember… this is just a generalization… so there are many that lie as exceptions to this so-called theory of reality.


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