No, this is not about the Von Stroheim classic, though it could be…
A couple of weeks ago, the Department of Political Science had an afternoon discussion on the Lokpal bill where, among others, Jaiprakash Narayan was present. One of the M Phil students, had made a presentation on what UoH students understood by ‘corruption’, and how it came about. One respondent traced it to just this: Greed.
There is this amazing scene in the Von Stroheim film. I saw it years ago (in the days when I was catching up on early cinema and sitting through Potemkin and other such silent greats, and when I should of course have been more gainfully employed). There is nothing really left for the protagonists to fight over- they are in Death Valley, with desolation stretching for miles in all directions and there is no possibility of survival. So no benefit to the man who takes, nothing really to lose for the man who loses. And yet, greed, more the pity of it.
The person at the Pol. Sci. seminar was quite right- so much of corruption that we see around us is due just to greed plain and simple, though not always as pointless as in the movie.