This title may come as a surprise to some of you reading this. Then again, I’ve always declared myself, and continue to aspire to, lifelong learning. Core values, universal, non-negotiable principles, don’t change unless there is some life-changing event, but their expressions and manifestations do. What ought to happen is not a replacement or change of values, but finding new ways and contexts for their fruitful maturing in our lives.
The late Walter E Williams said that he is an advocate of greed. Not the cheating, deceitful sort of way it is usually conceived of expressing itself, but actual, normal, and very human self interest. As children, we were all taught that the fishmonger or the seller of clothing does not sell us the fish or clothes because of their love and care for us, although ideally that is also manifest in abundance, but because they love and care for themselves and for their own, as George Friedman puts it so well, “Love of one’s own…” Walter E Williams says that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to gain as much as possible for oneself, provided it does not steal private property. It has to involve value-for-value exchange, and not taking what rightfully belongs to someone and giving it to another to whom it does not belong. Thomas Sowell has put it brilliantly with his “Constrained and Unconstrained Visions”, also known as “The Vision of the Anointed” and “The Tragic Vision.” What nations advocating free markets have achieved, up to this point, is the establishment of frameworks where boundaries have been established for Man, whose propensity is to devolve into debauchery a la “Lord of the Flies” fashion more often than not. Within those boundaries, freedom of action and expression are encouraged. Laws are meant, not to control the sheeple for the rulers’ gain, but to prevent “Man Oppressing Man”, largely through theft of private property. Your possessions, life, virginity, affections, etc, are all private property and cannot be taken away without your consent. You will give consent if a fair value exchange is transacted, of course.
That is what I mean by the necessity of greed and regulation. People will always have the fear of loss and the desire for gain. Leaders who establish and maintain frameworks facilitating that are great leaders indeed. Do you know of any? How about growing some of your own? How about being such a leader yourself? Need help? Call me!