The Altruistic “Impossibility”

Everyone is a selfish, greedy and competitive individual. We look to maximize our profit and aim to seek what is best for ourselves. This is how the world works. Money runs it because money is top dog. If you don’t believe this you must be naive.

I’m speaking mainly to Americans, but this may be applicable to other cultures too.

This is what I get told by those who believe they are “realists,” those who see the world for what it is. It’s hard to see a compassionate society as anything other than a pipe dream taken from the coloring pages of an eight-year-old child. Why would people want to help one another for no reason? That doesn’t make sense, few people would ever do it, more unlikely that a whole community would right?

It’s the bedrock of our “capitalist” mindset. Survival of the fittest means a healthy, free market. Why should a person get money for not working, not giving back? Look at those determined forces of nature that sit atop high-rises! They deserve their million dollar salaries. They worked for it!

I think this is all a sham. Why does “hard work” all of a sudden normalize the selfish, gluttonous, and harsh manipulation that those in power exercise? Treat your workers like scum! Pay them nothing and make them work in dirt! Anything for a profit, it’s all in the name of the “free market” (which doesn’t  even actually exist).

This seems to trail back to the mentality that economic efficiency is positive for everyone. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” no? Not the case, we see those same executive positions constantly trying to squeeze the money out of the relatively powerless, the poor. Economic efficiency does not inject health into worse-off communities. Not when the efficiency only deposits more money into the pockets of the affluent at the expense of the poor.

It’s merely human nature though to selfishly insist on looking out for yourself at the expense of others, though, right? Surely we cannot act as a community, helping each other out at the expense of ourselves… no… clearly impossible.

What does money really achieve in a society? It appears to be the middleman to achieve happiness and security. People look to get money to secure a place to live and to have the capability to purchase food and provide for their family. That makes sense.

What else can lead to happiness and security though? Happiness is often shown to be brought by relationships and acts for others. We don’t need studies to show you that a close group of friends, people who understand and are there for us, increases our happiness. And it builds social capital and allows for networking to landing a job and is a larger safety net if something goes wrong. What I’m saying is that other people are the real deal when it comes to happiness. Money only goes so far when placed upon a pedestal and worshiped as the main goal of a society.

With this in mind, how could an altruistic society be impossible? It’s a clear path toward our main goal, happiness! Why haven’t we seen it before if it’s so obvious? Well, there’s many people out there, particularly wealthy, powerful people who would rather have us all fight against one another than against them, so we’re constantly reinforced with the idea that “survival of the fittest” is the best option. It’s naive to look at the past for what is possible. There is a first for everything. When people consider the idea of a compassionate, functioning society and dismiss it because there has never been one before I wonder if those who never comprehended the possibility of the holocaust also considered thought the same of that.

How would it be possible to have such a society built on such disgusting hatred and murder? Surely if humans can act like that in the name of happiness and security they can believe in helping one another and being tolerant in order to achieve the same.

The masses never seem to believe in something until it is accomplished. We are cynical toward the possibility of something a little out of the box, and that’s what those in power desire, they want to keep the status-quo.

There is a future with an altruistic possibility, not a utopia, but a place where people actually care about one another and sacrifice their own time for the greater good. But it will never exist if we deem it impossible.

 

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