Jan 24, 2011

Pure motives? "Even wisdom has to yield to self-interest"

It seems that just about every member of government is claiming the virtue of pure motives, unsullied by dirty self-interest. From Conor Lenihan's uncontrolled outburst on Vincent Browne last Thursday to Paul Gogarty on Morning Ireland.

I don't buy it obviously. Not only because both the maFFia and the Greens have used the financial crisis to advance their own interests but also because we have been consistently lied to. If you cry wolf...

Napoleon said "men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest"; G'Kar said "the galaxy is run by enlightened self interest"; but I think de la Rochefoucauld said it best “Self-interest speaks all sorts of tongues, and plays all sorts of roles, even that of disinterestedness”.

The best we can hope for is enlightened self interest and neither Gogarty or Lenihan junior strike me as being particularly enlightened.

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