Michael Lewis exemplifies the persona that gives rise to the famous story about Lenin when he stated at a rally”we’ll live to see all capitalists hanging from the trees – they’ll sell us the rope.” In a recent article on “three lessons from Enron’s fantastic collapse,” Lewis says, “it’s a bad sign for any big company when its male executives all of a sudden begin to care about their personal lives. Having long abandoned any chance of· a rich inner life, having shunted aside wives and kids for the sake of commercial glory, they are unlikely to experience any sort of inner awakening, unless they sense there is no more glory to be had.” Why don’t businessmen immediately jump up and say that they treat their wives and kids just as well as other men?
Lewis is proud to proclaim that someone could have done a great service to capitalism by doing in Orville Wright. And he is proud that he will never invest in anything with more moving parts than a lawnmower or more electronics than a typewriter. Are we all latent mediocrities like Ayn Rand said? Is it insecurity and fear of greatness that makes us kowtow to these kind of sentiments? Or is it just that we lack a philosophical rudder?