A man feels: He has emotions. A man thinks: He has the capacity to reason. A thinking man acts. An action results in emotions: An acting man feels. It is neither possible, nor desirable on the part of a man to act suspending either his thoughts that leads to the act or the emotions he derive as the result of his act. Man is not omniscient: He might not always be able, with utmost certainty, to predict in advance the results of his acts or the emotions which results from those results. Nevertheless, he expects some results and those results are not the ends, but a means to an end – which apparently is, happiness or an end to his discomfort. Ascetics hope to derive pleasure from discomfort, ‘humanitarians’ from mass-slaughters and masochists from pain. Nevertheless, pleasure is the end-No matter what its nature might be. It goes without saying that man is not a being which acts without giving a moment’s thought to the results or his emotions resulting from those results. Even the insane are not devoid of it.
No man can escape the fact that every human act is directed by thought, on a conscious level or not. No man can escape the fact the ends of his acts results in emotions, though those emotions might not be in his direct control. There is no getting around it. No amount of sophistry can alter these facts. Even when one acts contrary to his desires, those acts aim at a certain goal from which he hopes to derive a feeling of comfort.
Every act is an exchange and every exchange happens in the first place as man, at the moment of the action, values the results higher than the efforts. A man wakes up from the bed when he values wakening to the comforts of the bed. One enters or stays in a relationship only when he values it higher than the state of its lack. A man does a job he despises only when he values his wage higher than the labor. One pays a beggar a penny only when he values the payment less than the discomfort aroused. One gives up his life for an ideal only when he values it greater than his life without. Every human act is selfish.
When one bends forward to pick up a cake in front of him on a table, no one brands his act as ‘selfless’. When one exchanges a day’s labor for his wage, no one screams ‘sacrifice’. Yet, the very same men brands a mothers love ‘selfless’ and perceives a mother looking after her child as ‘sacrifice’. None of these men hesitate to state that he who asserts those acts to be ‘selfish’ holds a ‘materialistic’ & ‘rational’ view of life. It is of course, rational. No view, but, is more materialistic and offensive than what places a piece of cake or a days wages over the closest of relationships. Such men are of course, of ‘I fucked her, but I couldn’t have helped it” School.
It is often asked: Isn’t an act of charity selfless? What could a man hope to derive from such an act? One could feel any of the three: happiness, resentment or blankness. There is no other way one can feel. One might do it for the sheer pleasure of it. Apparently, there isn’t anything selfless about it. It just draws light on the character and real intentions of men branding such an act selfless. A man might act contrary to his pleasure: He might donate what he has to charity striving against all his ‘instincts’ hoping to derive pleasure or prestige. He might even ‘succeed’ in making himself believe his own magnanimity; not knowing repression is draining all his energy. Deep inside, he feels resentment. Nevertheless, he too had aimed at something. His betrayal doesn’t alter the fact that he too has emotions. What could now, be said of one who feels nothing at all-blankness? Man is neither a robot, nor a machine. It is neither possible, nor advisable for a person to act without giving a moments thought to the results of his act or the emotions he wish to derive from those acts. No man can act cutting off emotions and rationality. Even a robot or machine should be programmed or acted on by a rational man who aims at certain ends.
It is usually argued an act of charity is above an act of achievement as the intentions constituting the act are superior to that of an act of achievement. Who do you think to be superior-A man devoting his mind to a creative purpose, or a man who dispenses with the products of others creativity? Who has done more good to the world? To answer a question of this sort is to approve of its obscenity. Ends and means, obviously are far, far superior in the former.
A business man’s goal, they say is not alleviation of poverty, and it is just an unintended consequence of his acts. It is the same men who strive for ‘good’ (which they equate with charity) by governmental action: by initiation of force. Does ‘charity’ done by force say anything of the moral status of that person? Isn’t it too an unintended consequence, with the difference that the motive is not pleasure, but fear? Why do you state the first and evade the second, the principle involved being the same? Why do you consider ‘good’ motivated by fear superior to that of what caused in the pursuit of wealth? Why, then, do you persist again and again in what you pretend to believe in?
A similar mode of reasoning can be found in their argument that capitalism ended slavery and kicked out the feudal lord off his throne not out of mercy, but out of self-interest. The very same men argue Soviet Communism failed not because the system was intrinsically evil, but as human nature is flawed. They argue, the flaw isn’t in bureaucracy as such, but in individual men. They scream ‘evils of commercialization’ when it comes to a private enterprise. Why is value judgment passed on the system when it comes to the Free Market? Why is value judgment passed on individual men when it comes to bureaucracy or statism? One should ask one selves.