I'm continuing my reporting on the next installment from Conservative Estimate, the recently founded website that is devoted to demolishing Conservatism.
Yesterday, Alfred George showed that religion and science reject the Myth of Independence. He also made the case that society itself provides the evidence that human beings are not independent, but interdependent.
Today he shows that the beliefs of Mythers make them both ungrateful and unjust, and unfit to live in society with others.
We only need to cross over the orange pirouettes . . .
Mr. George begins by noting that the believer in the Myth of Independence is a hypocrite, because he remains in society,
[t]hat is to say, he is part of a collective of interrelated individuals that originally joined together for mutual aid and support. Despite this, such a person tries to maximize his own benefits and minimize his contributions to the society that continues to protect him. This is certainly ungrateful, and also unjust in the highest degree.
After remarking that there is such a thing as reasonable self-interest, Mr. George points out that there is a relationship between the Myth of Self-interest and the Myth of Independence that intensifies bad behavior in society:
[S]elf-interested independence that focuses exclusively on personal profit, that tries to avoid the obligation of supporting society while simultaneously enjoying its benefits—that degree of independence is indistinguishable from rank selfishness. . . .You can read the whole post here.
Since society is a collection of interrelated individuals, society will begin to suffer when reasonable self-interest passes over into selfishness—which is precisely what happens when many people start to accept the Myth of Self-interest. The Myth of Self-interest, reinforced by the Myth of Independence, hardens the hearts and minds of Mythers, so that they actually believe they don’t owe anything to the society that provides them with the benefits they enjoy.
When people believe such things, they try to limit their obligations in every way possible. They try to minimize continually the contributions they have to make to the general welfare. They insist on the right to pursue activities that damage or destroy society’s common resources. . . .
The Myth of Self-interest reinforced by the Myth of Independence generates a severe egoism that is the root of all evil in the social sphere.
On Monday, Mr. George will continue his treatment of the Myth of Independence. He will examine how believing the Myth of Independence corrodes the supports of justice in society.
I’ll be reporting back each day as a new installment appears.