Selfishness (closely related to greed) is a variable characteristic of humans that the state channels into (often) productive behavior in capitalism. Without state-organized large-scale restrictions on when to permit selfishness, we wouldn't have capitalism: we'd have organized crime. Where selfishness is insufficiently regulated, we have enormous harms.
- Greed Is Good (2 links)
- Libertarians like to think their greed is good, but think labor unionists are greedy and thus bad. Greed is different than desire for wealth: it is desire for wealth without enough regard for whether others are harmed.
- Homo economicus (15 links)
- AKA Economic Man. The idea that humans are individualistic, rational, economic maximizers. A common, simplifying assumption in most economic models, also known as economic rationality. It is also commonly agreed that this assumption is false. Behavioral studies with the Ultimatum Game are good evidence that it is false.
- Libertarians, Conservatives and Human Nature [More...]
- Eddie SantoPrieto points out that libertarian (and especially objectivist) models of humans are grossly at odds with anthropological science.
- Self-interest vs. Greed and the Limitations of the Invisible Hand [More...]
- "In order for greed to contribute to the economy positively, it is necessary not only to have rule of law but to have an ideal system of laws and enforcement. Given imperfections and uncertainties in the legal system, economic value and general well-being would be greater without greed."
- What’s the Matter With Libertarianism? [More...]
- "Its models of human nature and society are terminally deficient."
No quotations found in this category.