The Twentieth Century is an Age of Greed! English Essays
Do you agree with this opinion?
It is an undeniable fact that the growth of materialism has surpassed all known limits and the present century is the age of greed. Just as there were previous periods which were known for different characteristics, like the stone age, the bronze age and also the age of faith, the age of reason and enlightenment, our century is the age of greed. The source for this perhaps is the growing industrialization and urbanization. Rural society is in many ways conducive to close personal relations while urban society is not. People in over-crowded cities are more than ever-conscious of keeping up with the Joneses whether they do it on bank loans or hire- purchase systems. Everyone seems to be caught in the rat-race.
In today’s world, heart attacks, psychological problems and the increased number of people who are victims of high tension are a standing testimony to our greed.
Often one wonders why this has happened. There is a strong nostalgia for the peace and leisure of the bygone ages, but the man feels helpless in the present set up. It is difficult to be a loner when so much importance is attached to the rank and status which money brings. How did it all come about’? I suspect that the growth of individualism which has, on the one hand, led to freedom and personal development, on the other, has led to an increased concern with the self and personal glory. Another reason which has contributed to this sense of greed is the increased mechanization of the age.
With better and still better gadgets available, men long to possess them and are led to work for these. One major factor has also been the political history of the present century. The two World Wars demonstrated the fragility of human existence. In fact, the Second World War, with the use of the atom bomb, brought finality to it. Ever since then, men have been constantly living under the shadow of a nuclear war. The glaring lack of spirituality and the large- scale displacement of religious faith have also led to this growth of greed. We are a generation condemned to our fat with nothing to look forward to.
This greed is by no means a by-product of the affluence of the developed nations and it has made its presence felt in the developing countries. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that corruption seems to have infiltrated all sides of life in developing countries. Patriotism, national interest – all seem to have been pushed into the background. Armaments, airplanes and other similar products are also ordered because of the money which is exchanged and not because of their mechanical soundness. Expediency has become a byword in political life. A code of conduct is entirely absent from public life. The motto seems to he “Each one for himself and no one for others”.
The twentieth century has been labeled in various ways – the age of affluence, the age of illusion, the age of atrocity. The age of greed is perhaps as good a label as any other.
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