Is Self-interest Wrong?


“Our dinner comes not from the butcher or baker’s benevolence but from their own self-interest” -Adam Smith


The butcher did his job because of his self-interest. He sliced an animal so he could feed himself and his family. His self-interest caused him to produce goods to the market.

The baker produced a cake because he wanted to profit and live. His self-interest caused him to create good.

The world is governed by self-interest. It is the cause of human economic operations. There are overboard self-interests, there are right self-interests. As evidenced by the butcher and the baker, the pursuit of their self-interests led to economic growth and sociological prosperity.

If they commited an overprice, the market will punish them and they will lose customers. If the butcher goes way below the right price, he will lose profit and growth. He and his family would suffer. So the prevailing issue is whether or not a society will embrace Truth and Righteousness.

This is the principle of the Golden Rule, “love your neighbor as yourself.” The moment someone violates this rule, he loses balance, he loses control and his world suffers.

The love of one’s self isn’t a perversion. It is a virtue. Only if it exceeds the love we for God and for our neighbors, then the wreckage begins.