Just finished re-reading Sense and Sensibility, as necessary a spring tonic for me as sautéed dandelion greens. A few pages from the end, Ms. Austen's caustic wit jumped out and gave me a quick slap on the cheek. 200 years have passed, but our culture of single-minded, mindless self promotion still predominates:
"The whole of Lucy's behaviour in the affair, and the prosperity which crowned it, therefore, may be held forth as a most encouraging instance of what an earnest, an unceasing attention to self-interest, however its progress may be apparently obstructed, will do in securing every advantage of fortune, with no other sacrifice than that of time and conscience."
That last clause is a killer. Snap!