Readers, old enough to remember, the dramatic (1948) movie, (or later release) “All My Sons,” starring the celebrated actor, Edward G. Robinson, as protagonist, may recall the plot, and its timeless message. The picture, based upon a play, by Arthur Miller, told the story of an airplane parts manufacturer, who, in order to keep his business from failing, knowingly, shipped defective airplane parts, to the military, during the pendency of World War 11, causing the death of several servicemen. The narrative, [a morality play, in our estimation], leads to an inevitable tragic ending, morally portended, by the commission of the mortal sin, of exaltation of individual need, over societal and moral responsibility. We understand that the Miller play is being revived for current audiences.
In common with all great works of art, “All My Sons,” articulates an eternally, ageless issue, in its case, the vexing choice, between financial survival and social and moral responsibility. This specific issue is eternally important, but it is one that is, especially, at this moment in our history, inarguably and existentially, relevant.
If mitigation, to some minor degree, is compassionately, to be accorded the protagonist, in the movie, it might be conceivably based, upon the rationality of his errant choice, the objective fear, of financial ruin. No such minor mitigation, can justly be allowed, to the big oil magnates, responsible for climate change, and conceivably, irreparable injury to mankind and the planet. Google search, reveals that one partner of the Koch Brothers business entity, David Koch, has a net worth of $44.9 Billion, and his brother, Charles Koch, with $44.8 Billion, Dollars. Like the fictional protagonist in “All My Sons,” these irresponsible, or more accurately put, psychopathic entrepreneurs, secure their profits from death. In the case, of the detestable Koch brothers, and other merchants of atmospheric poison, the homicide and injury is not limited to man, but also, to the Earth’s entire fauna and flora.
The declaration, of the revered, ancient Hebrew Sage, Hillel, and its later iterations, by Emmanuel Kant, and in the Christian, “Golden Rule,” prescribes the fundamental, and morally essential, basis of all human justice and empathy, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The profit seeking entrepreneurs in the oil and gas industry, the saintly, Koch Brothers, are the elite, among the unapologetic perpetrators, and financial beneficiaries of, serious and possibly, permanent, anthropogenic damage to mankind; including, the biophysical environment and ecosystems, biological diversity, natural resources, global warming, environmental degradation, such as ocean acidification, extinction of species, ecological crises and ecological collapse.
We wonder what these Koch miscreants, think of themselves; do they have a conscience, or sense of morality? We, in the desire for accountable accuracy, term such people, ”psychopaths;” who would, intentionally, create the risk that our living, verdant, planet, and its inhabitants, would be degraded and reduced to the stage, of a lifeless, orbiting sterile moon- like rock, in their insatiable, neurotic, and psychopathic drive, for unlimited billions of dollars. Do these monsters have offspring? Do they go to some church? Do they examine themselves, introspectively? Can they sleep at night?
The protagonist, in the merely fictional, movie, “All My Sons,” at the end, commits suicide, in remorse for his immoral choices. The Koch Brothers, and like (non-fictional) entrepreneurs who psychopathically, value profit, above human life and planetary habitation, yet continue to thrive.
Such villains can thrive, however, only in a nightmarish environment, such as ours, today, where a miscreant, Chief Executive, can permissibly, legally and publicly, break up families, and install the separated and helpless young children, in governmental wire cages.