Gordon Fell.

Gordon Fell.

Has it ever struck you as perverse that from the moment a child understands language, we bullshit them?

Santa, fairies, the Easter Bunny, eat your carrots or you'll go blind.

The cruelty of fairy tales is a fave topic of academics, but I'm just as flummoxed by the almost constant deceit involved in interacting with children.

By encoding kids with untruths or virtues that clearly only existed amongst 300 rich nobles and priests 900 years ago, we're essentially pushing our kids into the machine gun fire of modern life in chain mail.

By normalising untruth in children, youthful comprehension becomes an intellectual death march, whereby long held certainties are revealed to be convenient parental lies. Or worse.

What bothers me most is if I'm actually disadvantaging my child encouraging virtues such as kindness, honesty and justice?

It might go OK if she wants to be a yoga teacher, but business? Media? Finance? Ruthlessness is by far the most valuable commodity she can internalise.

There's a penthouse near me that's just been sold by the investment banker Gordon Fell, for a reported $5.6 million.

Fell was behind the collapse of the Rubicon Property Trust and mates with the late financier David Coe. He ran the Allco Finance Group into the ground, losing $10 billion in investor money, while both pocketed tens of millions in fees, of which Fell used $30 million to buy a harbourside mansion.

Asked after Rubicon's demise whether he'd consider giving money back, Fell answered incredulously: "Would you do that? No one's children were kidnapped and held up at gunpoint until they invested in the trusts."

As journalist Paul Barry noted in The Monthly in 2010: "Coe, Fell and their colleagues were so money hungry even investment bankers and lawyers thought their snouts too deep in the trough - quite an achievement."

This is why I struggle with what is "right", because it's obvious there are two sets of rules.

One is for the punters, occupied with their mortgages, footy and shopping; and then there's the ones for the elite, who perpetuate the noble lies that keep society intact: justice, a fair go, equality.

Around 2400 years ago, a dude named Thrasymachus argued with Socrates that "the unjust man has always more and the just less." Trading in injustice was "sheer simplicity ... sound judgment" while following the rules "well-bred simple-mindedness".

You cannot tell me that belief doesn't beat at the heart of much of corporate and political life and so I feel I'm almost breeding my daughter to be a sucker, to be the victims of theses grubs we see wriggling through ICAC and the Supreme Court.

Despondent, I then read from the final pages of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, who writes, "Belief is both prize and battlefield ... if we believe humanity is a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation and bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being.

However, "if we believe humanity may transcend tooth and claw, races and creeds can share this world, leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable and riches shared equitably, such a world will come to pass."

Gordon Fell would probably think - "Have I got an investment for you."

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