Visiting Machiavelli: Luxury Also Corrupts

The devil may not wear Prada, but science knows he likes luxury. Mere exposure to luxury items can change the way we perceive the world, changing our thinking and our choices. People who were exposed to luxury made more choices based on their own interest than those who weren’t. Despite prioritizing themselves, they did not seek to put others at risk. This does not seem new since the American crisis that shook the world was a consequence of people who did not intentionally seek to harm others and were only concerned with maintaining their standard of living. Luxury seems to function as Power or Money. While money and power bring us a sense of independence, luxury motivates our personal desires, in a hedonism that tends to ignore the interests of others. Exposure to luxury encourages people not to consider others. Just look at the Brazilian political class. Espinosa knew this very well, and Gandhi said that a certain degree of comfort is necessary, but above that it becomes an obstacle rather than a help. To paraphrase Machiavelli, luxury also corrupts.

This text is based on the article by Chua & Zou (2009) The Devil Wears Prada? Effects of Exposure to Luxury Goods on Cognition and Decision Making. Working Paper Summaries, 10-034. Harvard Business School.

kate-spade-new-york-flag-stripe-multi-stripe-kite-bow-back-dress-product -1-558440546-normal.jpeg

Written by Feitosa-Santana

Leave a comment