The public interest should come before selfish interests, as far as politicians are concerned.
With that said, people who are self-interest, usually are not selfish. These two do not go hand-in-hand. A self-interest person can be selfless in their actions and do so because of honesty and love, when it comes to others.
Although vague I will disagree. Family and self comes first.
That's a little vague-- it would depend upon the circumstance. Hitler thought that 'his' people should believe that way ... so did other leaders.
It's similar to the question "should the individual submit to the greater good?" Since Hitler thought that the "greater good" consisted of killing vast swathes of people just because of their race/sexual preference/political beliefs, then I'd have to say that the answer to the question is "No, and certainly not unless you can come up with a hard and fast definition of "good"".
Sorry that was a bit long-winded lol.
Are you talking about whether every child should be vaccinated? Are you talking about eminent domain, like if your state wants to move a highway for instance?
Or, are you talking in a philosophical way....
I would agree that a politician should look out for his constituents public interest before his own self interest!
I would like to say public interest first, because as a member of that public, I would be included, but I don't reckon that is working all that well.
It's just a statement. Would you agree or disagree with that statement. It's just an odd curiosity of mine.
It isn't just a statement - it has inherent context.
According to Mao it is an absolute, since you as a free and sovereign citizen don't exist.
According to Jefferson it is folly to put the public first because only an individual can be a genuinely contributing member of a greater society.
Just sayin . . .
The only statement I agree with out of context is "Live Free or Die"...since I figure that one sort of carries its own context with it.
I say public interest over self interest. But this is too broad of a question to be able to be definitive.
Example: smoking in public. I hate all these new laws but I can't say that non-smokers should have to be exposed to second hand smoke. Even though I don't think it is nearly as fatal as the activists would have you believe
Neither agree or disagree with a naked general statement without any reference points.
The circumstance, the person making the statement,and the consequences of agreement or disagreement, all play a part.
Public interest is the goal in concern to a guiding principle for the greater good. The problem arises because the majority of people (past and present) are dominated by self-interest with no desire to change.
If this means that Fattie politicians and corrupt bankers should stop pandering to their own needs and give back the money they have robbed to the people....then yes....if it means us tax payers continuing to pay for the sins of the corrupt and the criminal (politicians and bankers) then No....
The gamut of answers has pretty much run the way I expected. The quote was a favorite one in Germany in the 1930's. Much like some people who responded, it was used selectively. People were willing to use it to silence the individual and force people to conform to a collectivist standard rather than an individualist one.
Thank you all for your answers and stay tuned. You've all given me a lot to think about and I plan to write a few hubs about this particular phenomenon.
To give you some background, I recently saw Nietazsche and the Nazis, a documentary of the philosophical basis for National Socialism. It gave me a lot of food for though and since we as a people seem to be struggling with many of the same questions as the Germans of the 1920's, I think a little investigation is in order. I'm not quite sure what topics I'm going to cover, but it should be an interesting ride.
Ooh yes, I'll definitely be interested in any hubs you have to write on this subject. You might be somewhat to the right of me politically speaking, but you've always got a good argument to put forward.
I personally think there is a fundamental problem with people who believe that the collective is more important than the individual. Namely, that at some point they always seem to decide that the end justifies the means. It's true of everyone from Hitler and Stalin, to religious persecutors (of whatever faith), to people like the neocons and Tony Blair ("It was OK to lie about Saddam's WMD because he was a nasty dictator and nasty dictators need to be got rid of, right? And the fact that it resulted in nice fat reconstruction contracts for our party donors is neither here or there.") Another example is left-wing social engineering and "class warfare" in British politics, about which I could rant on for hours but won't.
Hey, EF. It might be a while, I have a lot of reading and thinking to do. Nietzsche was one philosopher who described the "modern" man, but there were other influences as well.
Reading up on 19th century philosophy has really illuminated the why of many discussions we have on these forums. I'll admit to having been influenced by classical liberal philosophy, it will be interesting to see what sorts of rebuttals the anti-liberal groups had.
I would like to pose one question to those who put the greater good ahead of the individual. How do you determine what the greater good is? How do you know what is right for you is right for me and vice versa? OK that was two questions, but I'd like to see what sort of answers they get.
No. I would like to think that part of one's own interest is to contribute. But, they shouldn't be forced to.
Self interest without question! Everyone acts in their own self interest in spite fo what they might say. Even those that claim and appear to be acting in the public interests are really addressing a self interest of some kind.
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