TED Conversations

Johnny Mac

Role? Who defines that?, I need to get organized.

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Does "Liberty" mean the pursuit of one's self interest?

Explanation: Liberty in economic terms. By seeking one's own gain, they make gains for everybody. The economy is a mechanism for transforming private gain into public benefit. Each person is a cog in this machine.
Or are all social systems built on the proper understanding of the human person...This person I the source and end of all social and economic value. Which is it? or do you think it is something else?

+4
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 7 2014: "Each person is a cog in this machine."

    If it is the case, and i think, it is, then 'Liberty' means liberation from the need to belong to this machine.
    • thumb
      Jan 7 2014: Very succinctly put!
      And the irony is that without the cogs there is no machine.
      Liberty and the pursuit of whatever one likes is an attractive proposition so long as your tummy is full, your blood warm, and you are free from pain and fear.
      When Hard Times hit, 'Libertarian' values quickly lose their sparkle.
      • Jan 7 2014: What if this machine is oiled by fear ?
        We think we need it for security , but do we feel secure ?
        ' Machine ' generates Hard Times we fear and seek protection in the machine that generates them.
        A kind of vicious circle :)
        • Jan 7 2014: What if our fear of the machine is part of the machines mechanisms to feed it fear?
          What if the need for security is part of the machines mechanisms to feed it fear?
          ' Machine ' generates enemies we fear to feed upon the fear that generates and to have us seek protection in the machine that generates them.
          Kind of like racketeering extortion scheme set up by the thugs where businesses pay the thugs to be protected from the thugs ...
        • thumb
          Jan 7 2014: Hmmm. Interesting thoughts. Very interesting.
      • Jan 7 2014: Sumesh, in the comment below you said '...pleasurable wants that our minds sometimes misinterpret as needs."
        Probably it's what we should deal with: our minds. The machine we belong to is the function of who we are at present state of our mind.
        • thumb
          Jan 7 2014: Agreed 100%
          True liberty is a state of mind, not a state of being. It's probably why we will never have true liberty, we are nowhere ready as a species I think.
      • Jan 8 2014: So, it's the state of our mind that slaves us and sells us to the machine it created to guard the status quo till the last syllable of the recorded time.
        Is it what you are saying ?
        I would be more optimistic :)
        Have you noticed that as a species we've become antagonistic to the planet we inhabit ? This situation can't be tolerated any longer. Crisis is the opportunity, we have to evolve as a species.
        If we don't , why should we survive ?
        • thumb
          Jan 9 2014: :)
          T(ouch)é. I can't argue with that. Even though your question is rhetorical, It begs an answer because at the back of my mind is the nagging suspicion we would somehow rather choose extinction than evolution.
          All in all you make a convincing argument.
        • Jan 9 2014: Natasha,

          Note that depending on which state our mind holds and cultivates there emerge different influences over what happens within us and within the machine, the state of our mind can help direct the workings of the machine! Yea I have noticed that as a species we've become antagonistic to the planet we inhabit... and to our fellow creatures ... some have even become antagonistic to themselves and others rather than finding an enriching way to synergistically collaborate. I have also noticed that some individuals within the species do care about the planet we inhabit... and for other fellow creatures ... some have even begun to do what needs and ought to be done in themselves and with others seeking an enriching way to synergistically collaborate.

          Some will choose evolution of extinction while some will choose a better road... and hopefully the latter will thrive ... extinguishing the extinction notion once and for all through a better road... Life sustains life to those who seek to live. life is also the death of death and the life of death. we could have life without death (only life with enduring beginnings) BUT we could not have death without life (the death of death leaves life live once and for all... the singularity that endures forevermore (where death exists as a bygone possibility that will remain forevermore as just a possibility).
      • Jan 9 2014: Esteban, there is no reply option on your post, hope you'll find my response here.
        You say,
        "Some will choose evolution of extinction while some will choose a better road... "
        As a species we share one destiny, don't we ?

        " ... some have even become antagonistic to themselves .."

        Those ' some' are, actually, 'us' , iow. we become antagonistic to ourselves. If you think, that personally you don't, think again. Do you use electricity ? Do you drive a car ? Do you eat food , which is delivered to your place via air from far away? Do you address to a doctor...a lower...etc..if necessary ? No need to continue, probably you understand what i am trying to say , we are one complex system and as all complex systems it is governed simultaneously. The system we've created is us and it's antagonistic to us.
        Don't take me wrong, i don't want to say, that there is no use of doing the best you can with what you have, it does matter. But i think, we would be in a better position to understand what actually is going on , if we didn't entertain the idea that there are 'others '

        Who are those bad guys who are ruining the planet ? :)


        Sumesh, sorry for hijacking your reply button :)
        • Jan 9 2014: Natasha,

          Indeed at some point there are no more replay options so we have to do as you did or respond at the top and ideally provide the context to what we are responding...

          I was going to say that as a species we do share one destiny ... until... I realize that meant and was only applicable if such a destiny involves everyone dying... rather than some carrying on the torch.

          When I stated "" ... some have even become antagonistic to themselves .." I did had in mind that 'some' included 'us personally'. i think, we would be in a better position to understand what actually is going on , if we entertain the idea that actually corresponded to what actually is going on... entertaining the idea that there are 'others ', the idea that there aren't 'others' becomes secondary and subservient to what is done with them ideas. From a perspective where it's just 'us' (no others) what we/you/'other'/me do corresponds to a personal/shared decision by each and all to do what we do. 'new agers' tend to have the notion that we are all one until this one tells to do as one tells; then 'they' display a spectacular reticence to do as one tells; the transformation 'they' suddenly display to the one telling a story which isn't part of 'their' system becomes quite evident. What's rather amusing to me is how they get into all sort of contradictions with themselves and others rather than just do what ought to be done. For example consider the relativists and the absolutist it turns out that when the relativists rejects the absolute way they deny being a relativist and when they accept the absolute way they deny being a relativist. Curiously the absolutist can ALWAYS choose that the absolute truth be the relative truth and legitimately become both an absolutist and a relativists simultaneously. That feat is only possible for the relativist under one particular case where they just happened to choose the right answer. I prefer the option that actually provides more freedoms.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.