The need for greed and a bit of self-respect please.
Updated: Jan 8
Thoughts around free-market capital & self-interest.
I am all for greed and self-interest. Ayn Rand was right, there's no issue with basing an entire economic system on this. People are naturally greedy. It is a basic human instinct asserted Adam Smith. 'Show me a society which isn't' boasted Milton Friedman. The problem is not for interest to be self-serving. The self should be served and we should strive to serve it. Where the problem lies is with an understanding of the type of self to be served. If the self is an essentialist Cartesian notion of singular individualism that exists in a vacuum, or somehow miraculously appeared from nowhere, then I can see why this might be problematic. But I have yet to meet such a self as this. In fact, the chances are, if there is one they will be so far removed from the rest of society that frankly it doesn't matter what they do or think. They will be harmless. What we think of as the self is in reality teaming with other relations. A relational self, if you will, made up of family, friends, teachers, experiences. Made up of chemicals, physical properties and nature. Not only dependent on air, water and food but constituted from it. From worms that turn to the earth to bacteria. Thanks to deep time, shallow time and the present. In dialogue with objects animate and not. Absorbing from those things we are aware but mostly those we aren't. The self is the other. You is, not you are. To serve the self is to serve all of these parts that make it what it is. So yay for greed in abundance.