They say power corrupts. And for good reason. Ethics is in constant tension with power. The more power or money someone has, the more they can get away with. 

A central concern of money and power is how those who have it should be allowed to use it. And a central concern of the rest of us is how people with money and power in fact do use it. 

Here are 11 books, films, tv shows and podcasts that consider the ethics of wealth and power: 


A Korean comedic thriller film about poverty, the contrast between the rich and poor and the injustice of inequality. 


An American satirical comedy-drama series detailing a powerful global media and entertainment conglomerate. Run by The Roy family, the unexpected retirement of the company’s patriarch ignites a power struggle. 

Animal farm – George Orwell 

A satirical novel of a group of anthropomorphic farm animals who rebel against their human farmer, hoping to create a society where the animals can be equal, free, and happy. 

Generation Less – Jennifer Rayner, FODI

In her Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2016 talk, advocate and writer Jennifer Rayner asks why is the gap between older and younger Australians – in terms of work, wealth and wellbeing – growing wider? Is Australia cheating the young?

The Colonial Fantasy – Sarah Maddison 

A call for a radical restructuring of the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and governments. 

White Lotus 

An American dark comedy-drama anthology series, which socially satires the various guests and employees of a resort, exploring what money and power will make you do.

The Deficit Myth – Stephanie Kelton 

An exploration of modern monetary theory (MMT) which dramatically changes our understanding of how we can best deal with crucial issues ranging from poverty and inequality to creating jobs, expanding health care coverage, climate change, and building resilient infrastructure. 

Squid game

A Korean survival drama series where hundreds of cash-strapped contestants accept an invitation to compete in children’s games for a tempting prize, but the stakes are deadly. 

Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women – Kate Manne 

A vital exploration of gender politics from sex to admiration, bodily autonomy, knowledge, power and care. In this urgent intervention, philosopher Kate Manne offers a radical new framework for understanding misogyny. 

The Lehman Trilogy – Stefano Massini  

Originally a novel, and since adapted into a three-act play, The Lehman Trilogy tells the story of modern capitalism through the saga of the Lehman brothers’ bank and their descendants. 

Life and Debt podcast 

Produced by The Ethics Centre, Life & Debt is a podcast series that dives into debt, what role it has in our lives and how we can make better decisions about it. 

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