Simple Liberty  



God is an Anarchist

Self-interest or Greed?

Written by Darrell Anderson.

The pursuit of happiness often is called self-interest. Self-interest is partially fulfilled by a desire to accumulate property. There are only three ways humans can obtain title to property they currently do not possess. They can receive title to property by:

  1. Charity.
  2. Voluntary trade and exchange.
  3. Force and plunder.

Plunder can be performed directly, such as in a hold-up robbery; or indirectly through the color of law, such as through political processes.

Conflict often occurs when the self-interests of two or more individuals clash. Conflict occurs not because property exists but because of distorted self-interest.

The difference between self-interest and greed is the former is a normal, naturally occurring phenomenon — the pursuit of happiness. The latter is the willingness to usurp property boundaries to serve self-interests. Both avenues seek control of resources, but the latter process attempts to bypass the human exchange systems not only by avoiding or minimizing labor — a natural desire, but by taking from those who already have provided labor to possess the resource. Greed is adversarial raw acquisition. Greed tends to believe that other people exist to serve, as opposed to self-interest that acts in a mutually beneficial manner. Self-interest recognizes that voluntary reciprocity best serves the self-interest of all people and promotes mutual survival, while greed is a willingness that “anything goes” as long as the self is served. Greed is a desire to ignore the concepts of self, property, rights, contracts, and consent. Greed is a belief that people can be manipulated as an inanimate object, a thing, or a tool. Greed is a willingness to satisfy the pursuit of happiness at the expense of the happiness of others. Fundamentally, greed is unrestrained self-interest, a desire to live by the concept of “might makes right,” and ignores mutual survival.

The desire to bypass boundaries and pervert natural self-interest into greed is called coveting. Coveting is not trespass but opens the door to trespass.


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