Saturday, March 5, 2005

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF THE STOCK MARKET. I ran across a 2000 column by Norman Solomon on AlterNet that parodied the worship of the stock market by then up-and-coming dot-com-ers. While the dot-com bubble burst, Solomon's "Ten Commandments" are eerily persistent in the hearts and minds of many. Here are a few of his "Ten Commandments" for stock market traders:
  • You shall not take the name of the Lord your Market in vain. It has little use for those who squander opportunity. It will not hold guiltless those who fail to appreciate Its transformative powers.
  • Remember the stock exchange and keep it holy. You may pause and reflect on the meaning of your labor, but for the long days and during after-hours trading -- with the help of cable TV networks and online brokerage firms as well as some of the hottest investment websites around -- the Lord your Market blesses every breath you take and hallows it, especially when earnings soar.
  • Honor your father and mother, for they made possible a balanced portfolio, taking into account the strengths of blue chips and Nasdaq, with careful attention to the most auspicious high-tech initial public offerings.
  • You shall not fail to make a killing, within the constraints of mortal fallibility, which must be reduced to aggregate the momentum of digital technologies and the markets. In the Canaan of the Web, you shall revere those who develop software to let there be cyberlight, making new fiduciary horizons dawn and rendering mere human form secondary.

Solomon add the following comment:

"The virtual commandments need not be belabored or even mentioned; they are mainly internalized by the faithful. Every month, hundreds of hours on national television and many large vats of ink go to prayerful meditations on how to better understand and analyze the Lord our Market, seeking to assess Its will to be done. Sanctified by an inexhaustible fountain of media reports and discussions, the Lord our Market reaches new and transcendent levels, nearing the iridescent light to shine on the human condition."

"As for others who fail utterly in the glorious quest for rich holiness of the techno-age, you shall not be distracted by their misfortune nor attempt significant aid. For I, the Lord your Market, am a zealous god, smiting each generation with inequities that favor the best and lay low those who cannot glorify the Lord their Market. This need not bother the followers who embrace me and with steadfast devotion keep my commandments."

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