When Marketing Trumps Character

When Marketing Trumps Character

“For them, the market is only a means to make money and not a way to improve society or its members.”

In the rush to sell products to consumers, some marketers often seek to create demand by appealing to lower appetites and desire for prestige.

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For them, the market is only a means to make money and not a way to improve society or its members. Whether pornography, subprime mortgages or truly useful products, such marketers are often indifferent to what is sold and how it affects society. Their focus is upon selling in general.

In a more balanced society, there should be a general concern for the well-being of society and the formation of character that should extend even to the economy.

Author and scholar Edward Skedelsky makes the distinction in this way:

“The writings of Aristotle and Aquinas express an aspiration to mould people’s characters, to make them less greedy, more generous, and so forth. Modern economists, by contrast, take people as they are, not as they ought to be. Their ambition is limited to changing outward conduct; they have no desire to transform the soul.”

(Taken from Edward Skidelsky, “The Emancipation of Avarice,” Samuel Gregg and Harold James eds., Natural Law, Economics, and the Common Good, Imprint Academic, Charlottesville, Va., 2012, p. 165.)



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  • Lewis Bishop

    I liked the comment about persons becoming, “less greedy, more generous, etc.” In that vein, I wrote this note to an organization recently:

    Dear Sirs:
    If you send me a
    personal reply, I will further consider giving additional amounts of my
    personal funds to your organization.
    Your request letter asking for a gift mentions your goal of “rapidly restoring the constitutional rule of “We
    the People.” That is very good, and it
    is sorely needed. The federal government
    of the USA has become a system of rule by men.
    It is no longer a system of rule by law. You say your efforts will give us a new birth
    of freedom. We need that. Below are my questions:

    1) Do you agree with me that freedom is for, and only
    for, righteous people?

    2) Is it true that the greedier, the more
    personally selfish, and the more criminally-inclined the masses become, the
    more and more they will lose freedom?

    3) Can the federal government, by making and
    enforcing more and more rules about how citizens run their personal lives, and
    about how they manage local affairs, lead us citizens to higher levels of
    personal integrity?

    4) Were those historical traditions of honesty and
    integrity that made possible the building of the USA born of: A) the government telling us how to conduct
    ourselves, or was it more heavily due to:
    B) Judeo-Christian leaders teaching and persuading us about personal
    rightness of living?

    5) Is (your organization) interested in influencing the
    federal government to return to a tradition of respecting, and indeed, lauding
    Christianity, instead of squeezing it out of the public eye, and especially,
    out of the public schools?

    President Eisenhower worked with a
    Congress that thought God/Christianity was the driving force that made this
    country great, and they put “under God” in the pledge to our flag.