But, even if you are not a Christian, the message of self-interest leading to being a better liberty-community-builder than one who embraces the myth of self-sacrifice is still one I hope you can still appreciate. This does NOT, however, mean that self-interest necessarily leads to being a better liberty-community-builder, but it is NECESSARY to be a better liberty-community-builder.
One of embracers of the reality of self-interest is a man that has been embraced by the American self-described left, even as they reel against ‘greed,’ (which encompasses any act of self-interest), and excoriated by the American self-described right, who allegedly embrace individual liberty, which Alinsky did as well, even as they too have other ‘values’ that contradict individual liberty, self-interest. The man I am describing is Saul Alinsky, who wanted the same things I want, the same things I wanted when I still advocated for coercive enterprises and believed they were part of the solution and not the problem.
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I have always wanted this (though my language has changed in describing what I want, or prefer), to have the power of self-determination, or, the power to satisfy my own self-interest. My understanding of the role I play in empowering myself has changed significantly over the years.
My understanding of the role coercive enterprises can or cannot play in helping or hurting my ability to walk further towards self-determination has also significantly changed, but the preference, to be self-determined, has not.
I could have walked more closely with Saul in this ‘governance’ fellowship than I could have MOST conservatives, who give lip service to this preference, but reflect lives that are wrapped far more in collectives that do little, if anything, to empower individuals to have more self-determined lives.
As a matter of fact, within ‘conservative’ circles, there is an aversion to such notions of self-interest, self-determinism. The ‘noble’ life of self-sacrifice, especially for country, is help up as being far more of a life’s goal than self-determination, self-reliance, self-interest.
I would say that the person who faces this truth, that everything we do is for our own self-interest, will come to be a far greater servant to others than the one who hides behind the ghost of self-sacrifice.
Even in Christian circles, they mistake the call to live for Christ to be something that is divorced from self-interest.
We Christians do not serve a god who arbitrarily judges, a god who does not show us love, mercy, grace, who did not deliver to us a gift that demonstrates both his awful power and his awesome mercy, the gift of redemption through Christ’s blood.
Fear is the BEGINNING of wisdom, LOVE is the journey. LOVE is born from knowing God, knowing you in relation to God and how He GAVE you the greatest gift that will ever serve your self-interest, the gift of eternal presence in the throne room with God.
OWN, as in understand, WHY you love God, and why, through His love, HE makes you a servant that, on the outside looking in, looks like a life 0f self-sacrifice, but is a love wholly self-serving. In serving the living God, you are serving yourself. Were He not who He is, and you not who are you, you would not love Him, you would not serve Him, for He FIRST served you, not because you deserved it, not because your arm is as long as His, but because He CHOSE to create a need for your fellowship, your familial presence in His Kingdom.
God is good. We serve a mighty God who calls us to know, to see, to feel, to experience the WAYS He is the ultimate gift, the ultimate prize that serves the ultimate self-interest we can ever have fulfilled, to walk in light, not dark, to walk in life, not death, for eternity.