Economic Behaviour As If Others Too Had Interests
238 Pages
English
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Economic Behaviour As If Others Too Had Interests

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238 Pages
English

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In the instinct to survive those who are able to dominate the competition go about their activities as if others (humans and non-humans) did not matter or did not have interests. Selfishness becomes more prevalent as a people move from elementary economic systems to modern economic systems. The major reason why economic systems collapse is human selfishness. Despite all the achievements in science and technology, there are still poor people in the world and environmental cataclysms have become daily occurrences. This is because the would-be agents of development, such as Multinational Corporations and states, are largely motivated by selfishness. Unfortunately, poor economies pursue development using borrowed models formulated for selfish reasons. Needless to say, the solution to current economic and environmental challenges does not lie in abstract economic jargons or more advanced technological machinery but in taming the evil of human selfishness. This book makes a strong case for a vaccine against the virus of selfishness, namely, education for altruistic egoism.

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Published 17 September 2012
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EAN13 9789956728985
Language English
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ECONOMICBEHAVIOUR ASIF E ON M C BEHAVIOUR AS IF OTHERS TOO HAD INTERESTS
Raymond Chegedua Tangonyire, SJ & Lawrence Kyaligonza Achal, SJ
Economic Behaviour As If Others Too Had Interests Raymond Chegedua Tangonyire, SJ & Lawrence Kyaligonza Achal, SJ Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.comwww.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com ISBN: 9956-727-43-1 ©Raymond Chegedua Tangonyire, SJ & Lawrence Kyaligonza Achal, SJ, 2012
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
Table of Contents Acknowledgements………………………………………………….. vii Introduction………………………………………………………….. ix Chapter 1: The Hegemony of Human Egoism………………………1 Humans as Egoistic Beings……………………………………………... 1 The Human Instinct for Survival: the Origin of Egoism and Altruism………………………………………………………………… 2 Society as a School of Both Egoism and Altruism………………………. 4 Degrees of Egoism………………………………………………………8 Solipsism……………………………………………………………… 8 Selfishness…………………………………………………………….. 11 Self-interest……………………………………………………………. 18 Chapter 2: Altruism……………………………………………………23 Absolute Altruism………………………………………………………. 23 Acquired Altruism………………………………………………………. 24 Altruistic Egoism……………………………………………………….. 26 Deferred Gratification………………………………………………… 27 Symbiotic Reciprocation………………………………………………. 29 ScrupulousBenefactors……………………………………………….. 34 Composite Beneficiaries………………………………………………. 35 Emotively Egoistic People…………………………………………….. 35 Advertisers……………………………………………………………. 36 Consanguineous Altruism……………………………………………... 38 Deontological Altruism……………………………………………….. 39 Philanthropic Altruism………………………………………………… 39  Community Formation………………………………………………….. 40 Chapter 3: Economics and Selfishness……………………………….45Human Needs Vs Resources……………………………………………. 46 The Limitedness of Resources…………………………………………... 47 Natural Scarcity………………………………………………………….48 Artificial scarcity........................................................................................ 50 The Illusive Endlessness of Human Needs……………………………... 51 Wants……………………………………………………………………53 iii
Unlocking Private Property……………………………………………... 55 Chapter 4: Economic Systems as Institutionalized Selfishness……..59 Primitive Economic Systems……………………………………………. 59 Subsistence Economics…………………………………………………….59Communitarian Economics………………………………………………...61Feudalism……………………………………………………………….63Mercantilism……………………………………………………………..64Modern Economic Systems……………………………………………... 65 Liberal Capitalism……………………………………………………….66Socialism………………………………………………………………...78Mixed Economies………………………………………………………...82 Requirements for a Mixed Economy to Achieve Economic Development……………………………………………………………..89 Geocentric Economics………………………………………………….. 91 Chapter 5: Development or Egoism?.................................................... 99 Development…………………………………………………………… 99 Economic Growth or Growth mania…………………………………. 101The worship of Economic Growth…………………………………………..104 Toward a Better Definition of Development…………………………….107Chapter 6: Egoism and Multinational Corporations……………….. 111 The Power of Multinational Corporations………………………………. 112The Multinational Corporations and Advertisement………………………….114 Knowledge is Power, Ignorance is Impotence…………………………………..116 Unholy Alliances between African Governments and Multinational Corporations……………………………………………………………..118A Case Study of the Multinational Oil Corporations in Nigeria………………119Ghana, Discovery of Oil and Multinational Corporations…………………….124Chapter 7: Egoism and the Environment……………………………135 The Anthropological Error…………………………………………….... 136Contemporary Politics of Environmental Degradation…………………..142 Chapter 8: Contemporary Environmental Crisis and Responses….. 147 State of the Environment: the Global Perspective……………………… 147Global Dispositions and Responses to Environmental Issues…………... 150iv
The Solutionists and their proposed solutions to environmental problems………… 151 Chapter 9: Industrialized Countries’ Development and Environment Experiences…………………………………………………………….163 Responses of Industrial Societies to the Environmental Crisis………….. 165 Chapter 10: African Development and Environmental Experiences……………………………………………………………169 Strong Aspirations amidst Many Dilemmas…………………………….. 169Poverty: the Persistent but Unwelcomed Guest………………………… 170Conceptualizing poverty: Definitions, Dimensions or Nature and Measurement…………………………………………………………….171Who or What are Responsible for Poverty in Africa?................................. 177Effects of Slave Trade and Colonialism on Africa…………………………… 183Global Forces and Lack of Technology………………………………………188Economic growth: Africa’s new god……………………………………..189Chapter 11: Education for Altruistic Egoism…………………………195Home Education for Altruistic Egoism…………………………………. 195School Education for Altruistic Egoism………………………………… 196Civil Society Education for Altruistic Egoism…………………………... 198 Religious Education for Altruistic Egoism……………………………….200 Education for Sustainable Development in Africa……………………….201Conclusion……………………………………………………………...209 Bibliography…………………………………………………………...213
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Acknowledgements We are greatly indebted to many people whose moral, editorial, and material support led to the composition and logical completion of this book. In gratitude, we remember Rev. Professor Laurenti Magesa of Hekima College whose unrelenting encouragement and guidance led to the composition and completion of this book. He is our highly revered lecturer, mentor, and friend who is always available to show us the way to academic heights. In a special way, we would like to thank professor Emeritus Dominic Kofi Agyeman, fellow Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, and formerly of University of Cape Coast, Ghana. We are grateful to you for your insightful contribution toward the enrichment of the manuscript and the final title of the book. Our gratitude will be incomplete without mention of Dr. Charles A. Abugre, Director, United Nations Millennium Development Campaign, Africa region, for providing us with the conducive space and all the necessary material needs that enabled us to put together the first draft of the manuscript. To our Jesuit family, we are also grateful but more particularly to Rev. Dr. Gabriel Mmassi, SJ rector of Hekima College, Rev. Dr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ, the Provincial superior of the Eastern Africa Province of the Society of Jesus, and Rev. Dr. Odumaro Mubangizi, SJ for their invaluable editorial support and encouragement. Their insights helped to deeply enrich our manuscript. Finally, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Rev. Fr. Kevin O. Odey, SJ, a true friend whose unwavering and unfailing love, inspiration, and moral support were useful to the realization of this book.
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Introduction The twenty-first century has witnessed the dilemma of seven billion people having to share only one Planet Earth. Each of the seven billion people needs to survive and so the competition for resources has become stiffer than it used to be in those days when world population was still a few millions. Moreover, the world is not only crowded by human beings but also by visible and invisible non-human entities. Thus, twenty-first century humans and nonhumans need sober and moderate ways of meeting their interests. In this book, we wish to discuss two levels of competition in which human beings participate. The first level is among human beings themselves while the second level is between human beings on one hand and non-human entities on the other hand. At the first level, human beings compete among themselves basically to meet their interests in order to survive. Usually some individuals or groups of individuals dominate the rest. Those who belong to the domineering group go about their activities as if the rest of humanity did not have interests. This is what we shall be referring to as human egoism. However, human egoism manifests itself in different degrees: solipsism, selfishness, and self-interest. There is no such thing as pure altruism; nobody ever actsonly in the interests of other people. People usually act in their own interests. The most ‘altruistic’ people you can get are those who act in their own interests and at the same time in the interests of others. Such a mixture of egoism and altruism is what we shall be referring to as altruistic egoism. Instances of altruistic egoism include deferred gratification, symbiotic reciprocation, scrupulous benefactors, composite beneficiaries, emotively egoistic people, advertisers, consanguineous altruism, deontological altruism, and philanthropic altruism. The sphere of economics is usually the most fertile ground for selfishness. People who have strong economic muscles pursue their goals as if they are the only ones who have interests or as if other human beings do not matter at all. Resources are said to be scarce while human needs are assumed to be unlimited. Private property is locked up for private use only. Economic systems are nothing but institutions of selfishness. Selfishness becomes more prevalent as a people move from primitive economic systems such as subsistence economics, communitarian economics, feudalism, and ix