Selfishness and Society

wil

UNeyeR1
Veteran Member
Messages
24,467
Reaction score
3,886
Points
108
Location
a figment of your imagination
..... What this has done is make selfishness a norm and the single greatest cause to all 'evil' is man's selfishness. As every evil to exist is based from this exact cause.

And every democratic society that ever existed had failed and even now it is failing again. The biggest problem with the model is the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. .
Without selfishness where would we be? Who would invent, who would create, who would aspire to something greater. Thanx to selfishness Bill Gates and Bill Clinton came together for the greater good of the world. Most of the largest universities, hospitals, and non-profit foundations are the result of massive selfishness in the beginning, a lot of extravagance in the middle and a ton of philanthropy at the end. Without the selfishness and capitalism to create such the end would not exist.

And yes democratic societies fail, hence the reason the US was specifically not created as one.

Which society/gov't has done better for its people and the world?
 
I've rumbled you wil; you want to set the record for the most number of replies.

heh heh. Spotted in one. ;)

s.
 
I've rumbled you wil; you want to set the record for the most number of replies.

heh heh. Spotted in one. ;)

s.
rumbled?
rum·ble play_w("R0343700") (r
ubreve.gif
m
prime.gif
b
schwa.gif
l)v. rum·bled, rum·bling, rum·bles
v.intr.1. To make a deep, long, rolling sound.
2. To move or proceed with a deep, long, rolling sound.
3. Slang To engage in a gang fight.

v.tr.1. To utter with a deep, long, rolling sound.
2. To polish or mix (metal parts) in a tumbling box.

n.1. A deep, long, rolling sound.
2. A tumbling box.
3. A luggage compartment or servant's seat in the rear of a carriage.
4. Slang a. Pervasive, widespread expression of unrest or dissatisfaction.
b. A gang fight.
record replies? spotted in one? I'm afraid I'm not understanding this at all.

I moved his quote over from JW Trinity thread as heaven forbid I derail another...
CCS said:
I'm for selfishness too. Me first, then you.
I got no issues with that! We should all be selfish simultaneously. I think selfish is a virtue, a benefit to society in the long run. I worked for a guy who had just under a billion dollars out in loans when he was bankrupted, 998 million to be exact. He owned property in 47 states and 14 countries. Every building he built employed over 300 hundred people onsite during construction, countless more at various manufacturing facilities. His ongoing operations employed thousands. After he was brought down during the savings and loan scandal he still had a couple hundred million and since the 90's has steadily been rebuilding his empire, which also includes millions in charitable donations.

I'd love to see you with the same success.

Oh he is one of those classic stories to. Worked his way over on a boat when he was 12, on the street in DC as a kid worked for a parking lot owner...saw the value in land, before he was 18 had his own parking lot, when he was 16 he worked across the street from the Mayflower Hotel befriended the porters and cooks, they let him in to eat and get warm and use the bathroom. The concierge caught him one day and tossed him out saying he could never come in the hotel again. He told the guy one day he'll own that hotel...and he did four decades later.
 
Bullshit.

Selfishness is not a virtue, and it is not a force for the greater good. Capitalism and industry create riches and prosperity for a few humans and impoverish the rest of the world. Even if capitalism and selfishness magically rocketed every human being's standard of living up to that of a Bill Gates--which is impossible, not to mention undesirable for many people-- it would still be totally destructive. Imagine the amount of resources that must be consumed to maintain the elite lifestyles of the topdawg capitalists. We would need hundreds of Earths full of raw materials and life to be exploited in order to propel the entire population to such a level of "affluence."

But that would never work anyways, because in order for people like Bill Gates to attain that level of affluence, they need human workers who are necessarily going to be paid less.

It's all totally ridiculous, this notion of unending progress and riches for all. We've had too many centuries of rugged individualism, look out for #1 arrogance. The sooner we can all really learn that this techno-dystopia (call it a paradise if you want, but it's not that to many) we've been striving for and deluding ourselves with is an abberation that cannot be maintained, the better off we will all be.

wil said:
I got no issues with that! We should all be selfish simultaneously. I think selfish is a virtue, a benefit to society in the long run. I worked for a guy who had just under a billion dollars out in loans when he was bankrupted, 998 million to be exact. He owned property in 47 states and 14 countries. Every building he built employed over 300 hundred people onsite during construction, countless more at various manufacturing facilities. His ongoing operations employed thousands. After he was brought down during the savings and loan scandal he still had a couple hundred million and since the 90's has steadily been rebuilding his empire, which also includes millions in charitable donations.

This sounds like a freakin' nightmare to me. I cannot imagine the stress of trying to maintain something like that. There is no way that I would ever want all of that. I cannot fathom how anyone would think such a mess would be desirable.

Dear Gawd. :eek: I don't understand. :confused:
 
Which society/gov't has done better for its people and the world?

Are you still asking this stupid question? What has the United States done that is so great for the world? Oh, here's a basic list you might like:
  1. Exterminated millions of indigenous peoples in the most inhumane ways imaginable, giving Hitler a nice model for his later extermination of Jews. The stealing of land and consigning tribes to reservations also set a nice example for apartheid in South Africa, and can be seen also in Israel's treatment of Palestine.
  2. Built an empire on the backs of slaves.
  3. Given the world the nuclear bomb, with a special demo on Japan.
  4. Handed immense power and legal immunity straight to corporations, who have systematically been draining and raping the natural world for at least the past 100 years.
Who had done better for its people and the world?

I'm sorry, wil, but I completely fail to appreciate where you are coming from. I don't know how you can continue to blithely promote U.S. supremacy and hegemony as if it is altruism, or worse, a natural force propelled by the virtue of selfishness.
 
Wait, wait! I thought of another gift that Capitalist America has given the world:

CONSUMERISM!!!

Yay! I made it big 'cuz it's a big'un!! Gee, can you imagine a world without consumerism? Gosh, who would want to?

Right?

Consumer Addiction:

"What most of us experience when it comes to addiction," says Erickson, "is a pattern of continually seeking more of what it is we don't really want and, therefore, never being fully satisfied. And as long as we are never satisfied, we continue to seek more, while our real needs are never being met."

"Addiction in one form or another characterizes every aspect of industrial society," wrote the social philosopher Morris Berman, and dependence on substances or corporeal pleasures is no different from dependence on "prestige, career achievement, world influence, wealth, the need to build more ingenious bombs or the need to exercise control over everything."

Are You Unhappy? Is It Because of Consumer Addiction? | Health and Wellness | AlterNet
 
Without selfishness where would we be?

Sustainable?

Who would invent, who would create, who would aspire to something greater.

People who like to invent, create, and aspire to stuff. It's not selfishness to have drive. It's just selfish to want a disproportionate amount of payoff. I say, get rid of the crazy payoffs and let people invent, create, and serve because these things are worthwhile endeavors on thier own.

Without the selfishness and capitalism to create such the end would not exist.

Really? Because last I checked, long before capitalism you had innovation, altruism, and education (in some form or another). Not like this stuff was invented in the 1700s along with capitalism.

Which society/gov't has done better for its people and the world?

For its people: from what I hear, most of Western Europe and Canada, if you limit yourself to current societies/governments.

For the world: any society that limits consumption. Capitalism is based on consumerism, which is unsustainble, which is not a benefit to the world.
 
I'm still confused. Both Paths, the one and the less have countered.

One says Western Europe and Canada, pardon me but aren't we talking capitalism, freedom and democratic voting countries?

Less states all the ills of the US and capitalism, that we are well aware of, but again, which active social system are we holding high? China's, Russia's, Nigeria's?? Communism? Socialism? Dictatorships?

Face facts, without Bill Gates we would not be having this discussion on this thing called the internet....period. Without someone with the vision of a computer at every desk...nothing Without capitalism, the drive to succeed and be rewarded for efforts...no computer at your finger tips, we'd be flying without a net.

So what are we in favor of serfdom, plantations, apprenticeship servitude, share croppin?
 
Firstly, I'd like to say that selfishness is a fact of life. What do I mean by this? Humans are animals. Just like any other animal we are bound by the laws of natural selection. If you can't compete, you don't survive. In a modern society there is room to be selfless because we are not in immediate danger. People don't need to compete directly with other groups for resources (although on a larger scale they still do) or kill other creatures to eat (although most still do). In the wild, however, humans naturally revert to being ruthless hunters and warriors in order to survive. That being said, a modern society certainly doesn't change the fact of selfishness by any means. no matter what you do you feed on death. Humankind always imprints its footprint upon the earth in the form of all the resources it consumes. These resources can be minimized, but in the end you have to kill to live.

Despite everything I have just said, I completely agree with pathless. Consumerism is the most terrible component of capitalism. Think about all the things you buy and throw away on a daily basis. Goods are becoming ever more disposable. Everything is designed to be bought quickly and thrown away quickly so the consumer can buy again. Corporations convince people that they must buy name brand products, and stay up to date with the latest trends in consumption. Greed is the driving force here. Corporations will stop at nothing to make a profit. The American lifestyle is utterly wasteful. A "moral" society cannot exist if everyone seeks affluence for themselves, because it is impossible for everyone to be affluent. This leads to classism and inequality.

One says Western Europe and Canada, pardon me but aren't we talking capitalism, freedom and democratic voting countries?

Less states all the ills of the US and capitalism, that we are well aware of, but again, which active social system are we holding high? China's, Russia's, Nigeria's?? Communism? Socialism? Dictatorships?

You seem to have a strong bias for democracy and capitalism. Many Americans assume that democracy is the perfect government system, and that anything related to socialism is evil. IMO the USA is not socialist enough. More government programs like universal health care would be extremely beneficial to society. I'm not saying socialism is perfect either. Pure socialism has the tendency to give the government too much power. I'm just saying, maybe you should be more open minded to other systems of government.

I worked for a guy who had just under a billion dollars out in loans when he was bankrupted, 998 million to be exact. He owned property in 47 states and 14 countries. Every building he built employed over 300 hundred people onsite during construction, countless more at various manufacturing facilities. His ongoing operations employed thousands. After he was brought down during the savings and loan scandal he still had a couple hundred million and since the 90's has steadily been rebuilding his empire, which also includes millions in charitable donations.

I'd love to see you with the same success.

success? How do you measure success? I personally would not want to live like that. In fact, my dream is to live simply. Taking only what I need and giving back much more. When I went to Europe, I was actually jealous of their smaller cars and sparse use of electricity. Sometimes I feel utterly ashamed to be an American. The trend here has been towards "living large". If everyone on Earth lived like an American, it would take five Earths to sustain all that.
 
I think that I should say first that I'm not an idealist. I don't share Wil's giddy appreciation of capitalist functionalism. I do think that the way to enlightenment is through the pursuit of one's own best interests. Self realization, self awareness, self actualization. Perhaps at the end of it all selflessness, but in the meantime one must make (or unmake) something of one's self, otherwise what are we doing here?

An astrological idea is that progression of the signs around the circle describes the emergence and learning process of life. So, In Aries you get a life (fire), Taurus a body (earth), Gemini a mind (air), and Cancer an emotional body (water). Then Leo gives you a personality, and Virgo rounds out with a sense of self and possessions. That's the personal half. The other six signs: Libra represents marriage, Scorpio sex and the occult, Sag is travel and higher thinking, and Capricorn is the goat climbing the hill of earthly success. After the goat reaches the mountain top he's supposed to come back and give it all away in Pisces, the house of sacrifice. And finally in Aquarius all of one's capital, both political and monetary, is converted to influence upon their death. Their reputation, fame, community or even global standing, all their money along with all of it's potential as economic energy becomes a motive force which either dissipates or grows on into the future beyond death.

But notice that the entire upper half of the zodiacal wheel of self's unfolding involves learning to share. In marriage, in sex, in intellectual intercourse, in civic involvement, in philanthropy, and in one's posthumous legacy.

Chris
 
Last edited:
rumbled?record replies? spotted in one? I'm afraid I'm not understanding this at all.

Sorry, that didn't cross the Atlantic very well did it?

I meant you have put up an OP of, shall we say, contentious assertions, likely to generate a lot of heat.

This one could run and run!

s.
 
I have a question:

Which is more cruel, selfishness/greed, or jealousy/envy? Which has the tendency to provoke the worst insane violence?
 
Without selfishness where would we be?

In an infinitely better state.


Who would invent, who would create, who would aspire to something greater.

People. For the good of all.

Thanx to selfishness Bill Gates and Bill Clinton came together for the greater good of the world. Most of the largest universities, hospitals, and non-profit foundations are the result of massive selfishness in the beginning, a lot of extravagance in the middle and a ton of philanthropy at the end. Without the selfishness and capitalism to create such the end would not exist.

The ends justifies the means?


Which society/gov't has done better for its people and the world?

I would never have expected this from you so clearly I don't know you that well! I think only an American could express should staggering arrogance. :)

Here's an alternative POV:

Which society/gov't has been more of a global polluter and threat to peace in the world? (Courtesy of selfishness).

s.
 
You seem to have a strong bias for democracy and capitalism. Many Americans assume that democracy is the perfect government system

success? How do you measure success? I personally would not want to live like that. In fact, my dream is to live simply.
No, I'm being serious. I am not tied to Democracy or Capitalism at all, as it has been said previously all democracies fail. It is this constitutional republic and its capitalism I am questioning. I see the ills, I'm looking to the future. What can we find that is better, what system can prove to handle 300 million or 300 trillion people? Where is the the test lab (country) I should explore?

Sorry, that didn't cross the Atlantic very well did it?

I meant you have put up an OP of, shall we say, contentious assertions, likely to generate a lot of heat.

This one could run and run!
No not my intention, I seek to understand and discover. At this moment exactly how do I translate "I've rumbled you" 'I've figured you out?' 'You can't fool me?'

I have a question:

Which is more cruel, selfishness/greed, or jealousy/envy? Which has the tendency to provoke the worst insane violence?
I could be warped, this is my statement, that selfishness/greed in the end wins out for others. Folks get sentimental as they age look back on what they've done and decide they want to do something for the good of the whole, sometimes at the end of their lives, sometimes in their will. Now if they don't their brat kids and grandkids take over run everything into the ground and spend like nuts...all that money goes back to the people.

I would never have expected this from you so clearly I don't know you that well! I think only an American could express should staggering arrogance. :)

Here's an alternative POV:

Which society/gov't has been more of a global polluter and threat to peace in the world? (Courtesy of selfishness).

s.
I think you do have me wrong. This is an investigation. I've repeatedly said I know the ills of this society. I've been ranting against it for years. But I'm stepping back and looking at results, could the ills have been avoided and how, could the benefits to the world been accomplished another way?

As far as global polluter, we were ahead of our time. We are reversing that trend and India and China are taking up the slack. In the 60's the river in Pittsburgh caught fire, and you could walk across the river in New York, I've seen the improvement in my lifetime, a long way to go for sure.

How do we measure success? Am I measuring it by selfishness, no but the results of it. 27 billion in foreign aid, twice any other nation is that a worthwhile guage, I don't know. Now we are 22 down as far as percentage of GNP, but if we were number one, over the years would our GNP stay as high and net less or more for the world?

Who is number one on the giving scale? Norway! Can we be compared to them? They've got health care, they give a lot, they take care of their people, how do they do it? Offshore drilling, they supply 40% of the oil to Europe and use almost none, why hydroelectric power. Talk about rich in resources, enough water energy to power their country, enough oil to fund all their needs, and they export crude, so most the refineries and pollution occurs in other countries. Unless you are a little country in the Middle East this model can't be duplicated.

I'm looking for the duplicable model that will handle trillions of us!

I'd love to live simply and that can work on a small scale, but can that work on a large scale. If we each only concern ourselves with our plot of land and feeding ourselves, low consumerism, we'll pay little or no taxes to pay for all the things that we ask of gov't, law enforcement, roads, schools, and health care...only more taxes, ie more income would pay for these social things in a society of this size.

Yes this could go on and on.
 
Originally Posted by wil
Without selfishness where would we be?
In an infinitely better state..
And I say with many less advances in medicine, science and technology. Forget getting to the moon or mars and all the discoveries they've made. Multiply the number of starving tenfold. Increase our response time in a crisis tenfold. Without greed I'd doubt we'd even have TV, or telephone, yeah it might be out there, but who would have manufactured it without profits, who would have advertised and transported it without profits, what shows would be on without commercials?
 
Selfishness is the enemy of society.

But I'm still not sure that your OP isn't a wind up. :rolleyes:


s.
 
One says Western Europe and Canada, pardon me but aren't we talking capitalism, freedom and democratic voting countries?

I thought you were implying U.S. society was best. I was pointing out that I think more socialist-leaning democracies are better in terms of what they provide to their people.

I think humans had it right when we were in band level society, but without a lot of people dying, we can't go back.

Communism? Socialism? Dictatorships?

All human systems seem to fall apart once put into practice. Why? Greed. Selfishness. Fear. Ego. All are good in theory, even dictatorships. If you have a dictator that is not greedy, selfish, egoic- in short, one that truly wishes to help and serve the people- that system would work great too. What messes it up is people's self-centeredness.

facts, without Bill Gates we would not be having this discussion on this thing called the internet....period.

Oh, no-- God forbid we lack the internet. Aside from that, people DID invent things and DID get creative long before capitalism. It isn't like people doing these things arose after capitalist society. Some people create and invent because it is inherently rewarding.

So what are we in favor of serfdom, plantations, apprenticeship servitude, share croppin?

Ideally? Hunter-gatherer bands. In reality? Some sort of socialist democracy.
 
Back
Top