A Society Without Trust

Ronn Torossian makes an important point, although I’d argue that his observation is a small part of a much broader issue:

There is now an inherent distrust of the “system,” from the White House to local car dealerships. Trust has been broken in all facets of American business, because for far too long, top brands have been making decisions in an environment where they stand to gain without personally taking on risk or responsibility. This atmosphere breeds recklessness, as it’s easier to play dangerous games with money that’s not your own, and you aren’t responsible for.
Not since the Great Depression has the global economic outlook been so bleak. My solution as an entrepreneur and a marketer is to stress the importance of brands earning trust — good old-fashioned entrepreneurial trust — by working hard and taking responsibility, long term and short term. And no one knows how to earn basic trust more than the entrepreneur, an individual who takes significant responsibility for the inherent risk and outcome of his or her enterprise.

Although they can mitigate the effects around themselves, I’m not so sure that individuals can really make a tremendous difference here, at least acting within the business world. One could take the problem of trust as far as desired, whether through cultural cynicism, political bifurcation, atheism. It all comes from the same place: a belief that life is a prison of isolated action, founded in nothing more than biological processes.

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15 years ago

Interesting topic. I heard Michael Medved say a good point on this yesterday. He said that the corruptness problem was a result of money given to government by the people, but the money/give-aways given to the people by government (or those with power). I agree that this a result of deeper dependence on government and not an argument for further government intrusion, as some have suggested.
I don’t agree that atheism is necessarily a source for corruptness. I think corruptness starts with a sort-of “ends justify the means” mind-set and takes it to its farthest point. Of course, spiritual faith can be a path to avoid corruptness but there are many examples of people taking their religion to the point where corrupt behavior ensues. I think this is more about selfishness and the greed for power, which in my view, are not exempt from religion.

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