By P.J. Malone
Hubris: Someone deciding that he wants your property so badly that he will do whatever it takes to get it. Hubris: That individual not having a conscience and being prepared to visit all manner of evil against you because he can. Hubris: That individual audaciously deciding that he wants a different political party running the country, despite who the people have chosen; so he does whatever it takes to get his way.
The actions of hedge-fund billionaire Louis Bacon, attorney Fred Smith, and their Save The Bays cohorts are prime examples of the hubris that the Greek philosopher Aristotle describes!
A literary website quotes Aristotle as having defined hubris in this way:
“Hubris consists in doing and saying things that cause shame to the victim… simply for the pleasure of it. Retaliation is not hubris, but revenge. … Young men and the rich are hubristic because they think they are better than other people.”
A Wikipedia discussion of hubris gives a more detailed description of Aristotle’s hubris:
“to cause shame to the victim, not in order that anything may happen to you, nor because anything has happened to you, but merely for your own gratification. Hubris is not the requital of past injuries; this is revenge. As for the pleasure in hubris, its cause is this: naive men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater.”
There are a number of ways that Bacon, Fred Smith and their Save The Bays counterparts have displayed hubris:
Bacon by apparently deciding that he wants Peter Nygard’s property even though Mr. Nygard doesn’t want to sell it and doing everything in his power to destroy Mr. Nygard.
Fred Smith by deciding that he can do whatever he wants using the law and the court system to condemn the Government of The Bahamas and using the international human rights community to condemn the Government of The Bahamas.
Save The Bays by labeling themselves as an environmental organization with a 501(c)3 status but acting like a political organization constantly attacking the Government of The Bahamas; and choosing to attack one man with groundless accusations in order to please their benefactor.
What Bacon, Fred Smith, and the Save The Bays cohorts seem not to realize is that there is a price to pay for such unjustifiable behavior. A Forbes article “The Price Of Arrogance”, gives an apt example and description of what can happen to individuals exhibiting hubris unchecked:
“Few figures in history are as venerated as Alexander the Great, the young Macedonian king who believed that ability, focus, and determination in a leader would enable him to conquer the world….
“The ugly stepsister of success is often a loss of discipline. The same drive to win that propels an Alexander to unimaginable heights of power and wealth can just as easily result in out-of-control behavior with disastrous consequences….
“The real story of Alexander is a tragic case of what happens when too much power is concentrated in hands not strong enough to use it constructively or wisely. Each successive conquest and the power and wealth that came with it bred arrogance in Alexander instead of caution, moderation, and reflection. He not only destroyed himself but carried with him an entire civilization that believed his success was confirmation of its cultural superiority over the rest of humanity. Ancient philosophers termed such arrogance hubris.”
We are already seeing the hubristic attitude of Fred Smith and the Save The Bays 5 that made them make questionable claims to the international community and erroneously sullying the good name of The Bahamas—since the Save The Bays 5 are not in any real danger as displayed by their going about their business as usual, their reports to the international human rights organizations must have been made because they can. Such hubris!
Is The Bahamas going to become Alexander’s ‘civilization lost’ due to Fred Smith’s extreme hubristic actions involving the international community?
There are many descriptions and discussions of hubris but they make similar points. Fred Smith and his associates should take heed most especially to this literary discussion of hubris:
“Hubris is extreme pride and arrogance shown by a character that ultimately brings about his downfall.
“Hubris is a typical flaw in the personality of a character who enjoys a powerful position; as a result of which, he overestimates his capabilities to such an extent that he loses contact with reality. A character suffering from Hubris tries to cross normal human limits and violates moral codes.”
Fred Smith and Save The Bays principals may be riding high now. However, they would do well to pay heed to these expressed warnings and stop their farcical actions born out of hubris.