How does one measure the loss of life? Does a life have to have actually passed on to the next to be counted as lost? Or can one argue that loss of life includes loss of life as we know it, individually or collectively? Having lost multiple loved ones in my life, I do not want to minimize the permanence of death, but sometimes for the living, the emotions around the loss of continuity can be equally or more devastating than the emotions we face when we lose a loved one. Logically or not.
As a friend of mine noted, comparing the actions of the Lehman Brothers executive committee and board to that of the Third Reich might be inspired more by anger than intellectual logic. That is of course because Hitler was at least intelligent and unobscured. Slobodan Milosevic, however, might be a better example of attaching slander to anger over the hubris that took down Lehman Brothers.
Should we continue to attach a separate value on those who take biological life from those whose damage can be separately but equally devastating? Is being alive enough of a consolation prize that the rules in place to punish corporate hubris negates options that we impose on those who force a last breath of others?
Anger is certainly rearing its ugly head, and the anger is only bound to grow as more of Wall Street collapses. Those who were responsible for this collapse, all of them, need to be brought to justice. I don’t know if America will settle this time for a punishment that results only in those people selling one or two of their five homes, and selling their commodity exposure, a small portion of their investment portfolio, to pay fines equal to more money than most Americans earn in a lifetime.
To allow the greed and hubris of the last decade result in anything less than criminal prosecution for the loss of a great number of “lives” of the living would be the largest crime of all.
While the great divide between Wall Street and Main Street at the moment may be insulating “normal” American’s from the shocks of the last few days, it is my opinion that the collective anger will grow. 2008 is supposed to be the dawn of Aquarius. Maybe this anger will inspire the revolution. Or maybe the dawn of the new age has begun.