accampost

Africa's Development, Governance & Psychology

Self Interest

Posted by accamv on November 11, 2012

Over the years I have heard comments about other societies and countries progressing in all sectors of development and the question “Why not us?” These helpless comments have come from all manner of people, rich, poor, local, Diasporas, young, old, male and female. We as a society have not been able to fundamentally change this condition in which we find ourselves. Until we make changes, the majority of our citizens’ freedom of thought and speech would continue to be truncated rights.

It is my opinion that we have not unleashed one of the most powerful attributes of human nature in a manner that is harmonious to the interest of our society, to correct the self imposed deplorable conditions we find ourselves confronted with. It is true to some degree that we have not approached the running of our affairs with a nation building mindset, which would make available to us critical fundamental changes.

The powerful natural human attribute I make reference to is the phenomenon of self-interest (with reference to Adam Smith). This phenomenon has been unleashed in every successfully developed society. One would say it is also present in economically unsuccessful societies; the difference is that it is not subject to appropriate restraints in unsuccessful societies, hence becoming a negative rather than a positive force.

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