Organizations Act Out Of Self Interest Unrestrained By Ethics Or Empathy

Your government, your bank, your employer, your insurance company have the most power over you & are the greatest threats to your liberty and your wealth.

Image by Tuna Ölger from Pixabay

By David Grace (Amazon PageDavid Grace Website)

The Primary Human Motivation — The Pursuit Of Gain & Avoidance Of Loss

To effectively protect our wealth and our liberty we first need to understand what motivates people to act the way they do.

The fundamental truth of human nature is that the overwhelming majority of people act in ways that they believe will:

  • Gain them money, power, sex, and positive attention in the relatively short term, and
  • Avoid costing them money, power, sex, or positive attention in the relatively short term.

In other words, most of the time, most people act in the pursuit of their own self interest.

Ethics & Empathy Restrain Self Interest

When People Do Something Charitable

If the cost to the person is small and the benefit to someone else is great, ethics, morality, empathy, and altruism may motivate most people to act contrary to their own self interest. That’s the basis of charity.

Likelihood Of Charitable Action

When People Avoid Doing Something Harmful

If the damage to another person is huge and the benefit to themselves is small, ethics, morality, empathy, and altruism may motivate a person to refrain from acting in a way that harms others. That’s the basis of restraint.

Likelihood Of Taking Harmful Action

Groups Are Far Less Restrained By Ethics Than Individuals

The Larger The Group, The Less Ethics Restrain Its Self-Interested Conduct That Harms Others

The restraining effect of ethics, morality, empathy, and altruism diminish as the entity grows larger.

The individual members of a group routinely subordinate their personal ethics to the goals of the group which means that entities (governments, armies, religions, mobs, committees, corporations, institutions) will regularly do things in their own self interest that are contrary to the morals and ethics of the individuals who control them.

Boards of directors will regularly endorse actions that their individual members would never approve if they were acting solely for themselves.

Level Of Ethical Restraint In Relation To Entity Size

Organizations Want What’s Good For Them, Not What’s Good For You

The IRS is not your friend. Wells Fargo is not your friend. Allstate is not your friend.

None of these entities exist in order to make your life better. Their primary motivation is to protect or increase their own power and wealth.

We’ve learned that the leaders of the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts acted in ways that they thought were good for the organization but were very, very, very bad for its members.

The list of organizations, institutions, businesses and governments whose managers chose to wreak havoc on their members, customers and employees in order to protect or enrich the entity is endless.

The entity will take as much of your money and your freedom as it can get in its pursuit of gain and its avoidance of loss.

Because Entities Act Without Ethical Restraints, Humans Need Other Ways To Protect Themselves

To protect their own wealth and freedom, humans are constantly struggling to limit and restrain powerful entities by

  • Forbidding both governmental and commercial organizations from acting in ways that unreasonably infringe on the wealth and freedom of human beings
  • Denying organizations financial gain from acting in ways that unreasonably infringe on the wealth and freedom of human beings.
  • Penalizing organizations for unreasonably infringing on the wealth and freedom of human beings.

Governments need to both

  • Be restrained from and
  • Restrain entities from

the exercise of power in ways that are unreasonably damaging to the wealth and freedom of human beings.

The People Who Betray The Wealth & Freedom Of Individuals By Advocating For The Entities

Anyone who tells you that businesses should be unregulated so that they can be free to do whatever they can get away with is:

  • Advocating for the wolves and against the sheep, for the corporations against individuals
  • Claiming that it is “wrong” for the sheep to hire a shepherd to protect themselves, wrong for individuals to empower the government to protect them
  • Pretending to believe that the sheep without a shepherd are capable of defending themselves against the wolves, pretending that without government regulations Joe Sixpack can effectively protect himself against Allstate and Wells Fargo
  • A believer in the idea that if the sheep are unable to protect themselves against the wolves that the sheep therefore deserve to be eaten, that if Joe Sixpack can’t protect himself against United Airlines and Big Pharma that he deserves to have them take his money.

The conservatives and libertarians who preach that businesses should be unregulated and set free to do whatever they can get away with want powerful organizations to be free to take your money and your freedom.

In a real-world, practical sense, an American without access to

  • A job that pays him enough to support himself
  • The internet
  • Reasonably-priced life-saving drugs & medical care,
  • Safe working conditions,
  • Clean water and clean air

has access to neither substantial wealth nor substantial freedom.

— David Grace (www.Amazon.com/author/davidgrace ; www.DavidGraceAuthor.com)

To see a searchable list of all David Grace’s columns in chronological order, CLICK HERE

To see a list of David Grace’s columns sorted by topic/subject matter, CLICK HERE.

Follow David Grace on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/davidgraceauth

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