Thursday, October 1, 2009

Is there nobility in business ?

Are some sectors of business activity more "noble” than others ? Pure capitalism is completely agnostic in the softer emotions. But humans are not “pure”. They have emotions. So it is , but natural, that they rank some spheres of activity as more noble than others. Show me a human being who’ll say that being a real estate agent is better than being a teacher.

It is rare, but sometimes you come across something you read that perfectly matches with what you have been thinking at the back of your mind, but never expressed. For me, The genuine nobility of manufacturing by Luke Johnson was a light turning on moment. Here’s an excerpt from the article that perfectly captures a nagging doubt I’ve been having

“In almost any country, dealing in property, shares or companies will likely lead to riches far faster than running factories to produce the goods we all need. I would love an economist to explain to me the flaw in our system that leads to this far from ideal outcome.

Most intelligent entrepreneurs and executives desire to invest their work with meaning. They like the idea of improving the world while earning a living. And many of us who mostly shuffle paper secretly admire those in the Hard Industries, who manufacture things, in spite of all the obstacles”

Without manufacturing, there will be no economic activity. Most of the service industry is anyway targetted to service manufacturing. And yet society today has completely devalued manufacturing, to the point that its almost a dirty word.

I’ll stop. Luke Johnson has raised the issue far better than I ever can. I would love to hear what you think. Is it one of those fanciful, romantic, but impractical thoughts that tends to come with old age ? Or is it something you, young people of the world, relate to, too ?