Thebastidge: Self interest or altruism?
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    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Self interest or altruism?

    Which would you rather see in in society? Pretty intuitive, right? Everybody seems to think people should be more altruistic. Especially other people should be less selfish. I'm already socially aware and concerned, man. Right? Scourge the money lenders, filthy lucre, etc. etc.

    Screw that. I'm just the opposite. I'd rather people would just operate on the principle of enlightened self interest. Long term evaluation of what is good for me and mine is to contribute a reasonable amount to society in general (not necessarily through taxation, or even charity, it may just be productivity), and live within some mutually agreed-upon framework that has at its base some kind of rule of law and basic trust.

    I can reliably predict and adapt to people who act in a reasonable, self-interested manner. Altruists on the other hand, often behave in irrational and unpredictable ways. They're far scarier than profit-oriented business people. Far more likely to want to hurt me "for the common good" or even control me "for my own good". Totalitarians invariably couch their aims in terms of what is "good for everyone".

    Here's a couple prime examples.


    Blogger A-6Dude said...

    Math theorem



    10:11 AM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    They see themselves that way, yes- quite often. Espeecially those that label themselves "progressive".

    As opposed to those of us who are "reactionary"- they usually claim they are more enlightened and less self-centric than we are. Their goals are noble, ours are motivated by greed and evil.

    As a side note, if you haven't read Steven Den Beste on "Transnational Progressivism", then hie thee thither.

    12:18 PM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    Also; this.

    12:44 PM  

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