Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'selfishness'

C. S. Lewis on selfishness vs. self-interest

C.S. Lewis wrote much about the tension between self-interest and selfishness, offering renewed clarity on these topics, says Art Lindsley. To Lewis, there is a huge difference between self-interest and selfishness, and there is a proper place for self-interest in our lives: When Lewis first came to faith, he did not think about eternal life, but focused on enjoying God in this life. Continue Reading...

The Poison of Anti-Immigration Protectionism

As the number of Republicans vying for the presidency reaches new levels of absurdity, candidates are scrambling to affirm their conservative bona fides. If you can stomach the pandering, it’s a good time to explore the ideas bouncing around the movement, and when necessary, prune off the poisonous limbs. Continue Reading...

What ‘The Profit’ Teaches Us About Ethics and Enterprise

I’ve written before on how television can be a powerful tool for illuminating the deeper significance of daily work and the beauties of basic trade and enterprise. Shows like Dirty Jobs, Shark Tank, Undercover Boss, and Restaurant Impossible have used the medium to this end, and today at The Federalist, I review a new contender in the mix. Continue Reading...

Happy Smothers, I Mean, Mother’s Day

Augustine observes that humans are constituted in large part by their sociality. As he puts it in the City of God, “For there is nothing so social by nature as this race, no matter how discordant it has become through its fault.” I have written that a corollary of the natural law is a vision of society as one based on mutual aid. Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: Sacrifice and Self-Interest

In this week’s Acton Commentary, I take a look at the relationship between sacrifice and self-interest. One of the common complaints against market economies is that they foster selfishness. But as Paul Heyne points out, it is crucially important to distinguish between self-interest and selfishness: “Many of the most eminent and sophisticated theorists in the economics profession make no effort to distinguish between self-interest and selfishness or between rational behavior and greedy behavior.” The failure to make such a distinction leads to some pretty strange conclusions about the motivations behind human behavior. Continue Reading...