Anyone who knows me knows that hypocrisy and fanaticism are tied for first place on my list of things-that-I-detest.
Political, religious and business hypocrisy continue to make headlines; rarely do I find myself laughing, but this time I did.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the undisputed king of monopolistic uncompetitive practices is boo-hooing to both US and European regulators that Google has an unfair advantage in search.
Ballmer said Microsoft believes Google Inc. has done a number of things to gain an unfair advantage in the Internet’s lucrative search advertising market. He didn’t specify the alleged misconduct.
I am not alone in considering this totally ludicrous. And it’s not what Google does or does not do, but that Ballmer has the audacity to complain in the wake of Microsoft’s own track record.
And therein lays the real problem.
The idea that if ‘they’ do it it’s unfair, immoral, or illegal, but if we do it it’s OK.
We saw it in the arguments of torture being acceptable on the detainees at Gitmo.
We see it in the political and religious leaders who preach high moral codes while practicing immorality.
We see it in business leaders who preach ethics and practice them only as long as it’s convenient.
We see it in parents who demand better education and then condemn any teacher that doesn’t give their child a good grade.
We see it in colleagues whom we complain of slacking only to do something similar ourselves.
We see it in friends who share our private information even as we share someone else’s.
To paraphrase Walt Kelly’s Pogo, “We have met the hypocrite and he is us.”
Image credit: Kain Kalju on flickr