Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 3a - Here Begins a New World.
page 250

      He said that the tide had changed. It had changed his life. He felt that he much rather wanted to support them, instead of play 'against' them. He explained that he wanted to enrich their lives, rather than profit by winning against them. This winning against them, suddenly appeared like a hidden process of injuring them. He said that he decided that this was no way to treat a friend, or anyone else for that matter.
      He told the audience that he collected back all of the cards that he had dealt out to his friends, and put the cards back into their box. He told us that everybody was perplexed by his actions, and even more so when he suggested that instead of playing those games they should all go out together onto the town. He invited them to come with him to listen to music, or to go dancing, have dinner together, that kind of stuff, or do some shopping, even if it was mostly just window shopping. He explained to the audience that he had greatly enjoyed this sudden transformation in him.
      He told us from the podium where he spoke that one of his drinking buddies had actually called him a traitor that day, during the dinner they had together. He told us that this person was right to call him that, because he had indeed become a traitor against his former self. He told the audience that he had been a devoted champion of greed for most of his life. "Greed drives the economy," had been his motto. He said, that as a successful banker, he had been one of the chief advocates of the floating exchange rate financial market system that operates strictly on a basis of greed, like greed driven international currency speculation, greed driven stock market speculation, greed driven commodity speculation, greed driven free-trade exploitation, greed driven cartel monopolization, and so forth.
      He laughed after that and said that the people in the financial industry have made huge profits in every one of these fields, and that society has been paying dearly for their greed, especially in the field of international currency speculation.
      He laughed some more. "Sure," he said, "we have marginalized entire nations with these games, but have we not made huge profits? Profits are good. They are respected. People bow to a millionaire. The mythology of making profit somehow excused everything."
      He paused and took a sip of water from a glass on the lectern. "Yes we made huge profits," he said, "but it dawned on me that day that we bankers were also deeply dishonest with ourselves. We couldn't even bring ourselves to admit openly that we were looting the world. We always used fancy words to hide the truth. We admitted only, on rare occasions, that we had 'marginalized' some people and some nations by what we had done. In real terms, this meant that we were physically killing many people who could no longer sustain their existence in the austerity that we forced onto people all over the world."
      The banker told us that free trade had been so successful for him, and for a lot of people like him, that the American people found it expedient to do away with their domestic industries that were no longer needed to produce things, since America was able to import from abroad whatever it needed, and this at a lower cost than domestic production would impose.
      "Yes, this was the world that I have helped to create, that I loved," he said. He shook his head at this point an smiled. "And then, suddenly, someone at this conference stands up and puts a different focus on this world by which everything that we had done becomes revealed as something terribly inhuman. That's what caused me to change most deeply. This is also what caused me to become a traitor to my former world. Yes, I became a traitor willingly, because I realized that this former world that I had loved had forced me to become a traitor against my own humanity, and against myself. This, I couldn't allow any longer."

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada