Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Greater good for the greatest number . . .

One of the books I'm listening to is Robert Ludlum's The Bancroft Strategy, in which maverick U.S. intelligence agent Todd Belknap, known as the Hound for his superior ability to track his quarry, heads to Lebanon to try to find a fellow agent who has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, Andrea Bancroft, a brainy and beautiful hedge-fund analyst who has agreed to serve on the board of her family's mysterious foundation, begins to suspect that behind the Bancroft Foundation's benevolent facade lie sinister conspiracies. Unsurprisingly, those conspiracies intersect with Belknap's search.

Yes, it's a pretty entertaining spy-type thriller, but it raised for me an interesting question . . . the motto of the Bancroft Foundation's shady subsidiary, Theta, is GGGN - the greater good for the greatest number. They use GGGN to justify any means to a benevolent end. Is it ok to blackmail a South American politician who is preventing the implementation of a clean water facility that will aid thousands of individuals? And if that is ok, is it also ok to murder the Belgian diplomat that is holding up international debt forgiveness for many impoverished African nations? GGGN says it is . . . and then where does it stop?


Blogger prunella jones said...

I love a book that raises questions and those are some interesting ones.

Oh Di, I finally added you to my links. I'm sorry it took so long but I am a lazy, lazy girl.

9:20 AM  
Blogger v said...

I for one always (maybe, usually) believe in the adage that two wrongs don't make a right.

But I can sympathize with the frustration one feels when he or she sees a company like Bechtel buy a South American water utility and immediately raise the price of water 400%, and sees the world's richest nations basically force privatization (like the Bechtel incident) and further debt onto poor nations through the IMF and World Bank. But the best way to fight such injustice is to report it and to educate the people on why it is so wrong.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

And I haven't read any of Ludlum's novels, but I'm a huge Jason Borne fan. And anyone who created Jason Borne is a great writer in my book.

1:27 PM  

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