Selfishness. Part II: To Follow

Now, let’s consider this:  If right action was spurred on, not by understanding on the part of the person who feels they SHOULD be doing something but by the very necessity of the should?  A person’s need of acceptance, of belonging, is now dependent upon the action that was dictated to them.  Instead of the benefit of rational thought that comes from the development of a healthy ego and thus superego we, developmentally, are stunted into needing the comfort and pleasure of a satisfied id and a momentarily comforted, but flawed, ego.  The question WHY it would be a good idea to do x,y and z can not be asked to good and useful effect without the sense of self.  Furthermore, without the question why the action is simply followed through a dictum because it’s what someone is SUPPOSED to do.  This means the notions of morality and ethics are completely reliant upon that person doing the ordering being moral and/or ethical.

The person to be held accountable for an action that might be considered bad or horrible is the person doing the action.  Very rarely is it laid upon the person who used a subtle tyranny to accomplish such matters.  A few circumstances this calls to mind:  People being ordered to do things that are expressly forbidden in writing somewhere, but that directly conflicts with other oaths as well as training; historically a message taught seems to lay the blame of atrocities upon one person whilst the masses (apparently without healthy egos?) merely bowed their heads and acquiesced to the orders above BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID/MISLED/WEREN’T BREASTFED.  This is not being used as a defense of wrong action, but in the notion that people who literally do jobs that require them to follow orders in such a manner are being held fully accountable for the moral and ethical fallibility of superiors who were completely wrong in doing the ordering; just as those who wanted to commit and willfully took part in wrong action escape fault due to the encouraged lack of responsibility.

The self-assured person would be less inclined to make way for some other person’s ethics, if they’re completely divergent from their own, to run their lives.  While it’s true there are many such instances that could compel a person thus it would take that wrong action of force to do so.  There is, of course, the flip side in that the person doing the ordering can be having good done; but the truth is, that malleability of an ethically submissive/ambivalent person will more than likely not discriminate.  It is up to the dictator in the situation to order well, charismatically or in a brilliantly tyrannical way to get things accomplished.  Unfortunately, history indicates little more is necessary.  [Please note:  When I’m talking about a self-assured person I am not talking about world domination.  Truly.  The balanced and healthy person will not seek to rule over anyone else as a tyrant or dictator.  The need for power of this sort is a different manifestation of a similar problem.]

The third and FINAL PIECE of this (yes, actually about selfishness) will be up in one week.  Thanks for hanging in and, as always, I look forward to the convo!

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13 responses to “Selfishness. Part II: To Follow

  • reSource therapy

    The way I see it, the only reason to do anything is because it makes me happy. However, I am aware that there is a problem with that if I choose to do something that makes someone else unhappy. My philosophy is do unto others as you would have them do unto you–always! But I do not expect others to return the “favor.” That would be compulsion.
    I am thinking you write more like Rand than Orwell.

    • kimberlyloomis

      I agree with you – unfortunately, many do not have such a notion as the self has been stunted. Yeah, these blog posts do sound a wee bit like Rand, but my fictional work is what garnered the response of Orwell. Thank goodness. I like Rand and all, but heaven help me if I wind up being that preachy. 😉

  • Good Worker

    Agree with the comment before. If you know you wouldn’t be happy if someone were to do something to you, then don’t do it yourself to others.

    Be nice to others.

  • Linton

    To get along one must go along.
    Everyone has a price.
    The reward one gets must be worth the setting aside of ones values.
    Values change with time and life experiences.
    A balanced and healthy person owes leadership to those who are inferior and seek it.
    Homo sapiens have a pack mentality that craves leadership.
    The use of power and its acceptance is embedded within us by nature.
    I anxiously await, Diva, your treatise on power.

    • kimberlyloomis

      Linton – I was totally not going to do a post on power until I saw your comment and now I feel compelled to do so. Personally, I do not think any reward is worth setting aside one’s values as the reward itself would be forever tainted by what I would deem wrong action. Just as I do not crave leadership outside myself unless it is from a person I know directly on a specific event/issue. To be willing to do so easily, I think, is an issue of what we’ve learned our roles to be and not necessarily biology. Will consider your words here before moving much further with those notions.

  • Hart

    I’m not sure if you want the garbage or not, but this calls to mind FOR ME the religions that demand devotion and following without THINKING and EVALUATING. It dovetails nicely with some of the posts I’ve seen relating to that Church in Florida that plans to burn the Q’urans out of ignorance and some displaced sense of righteousness. They’ve been misled, and now they are making matters worse.

    I had a friend dishonorably discharged from and elite military branch for refusing to do something extremely inhumane during the Reagan era. It began a cycle of events with some very ugly consequences because he couldn’t shut off his ego, but HE was not the one in the wrong.

    • Linton

      Me thinks you doth protest to much.
      First of all I don’t support these koran burnings but for you to divine the reason for them to be ignorance and displaced righteousness is displaying an ignorance in itself. In my opinion, tomorrow, on 9-11, many korans will be burnt and not just in Florida but all over the country and for one reason, Hart, pay back. Pay back for 9-11 and pay back for trying to build this mosque near what the burners perceive to be hallow ground.

      • kimberlyloomis

        Linton – I agree with your assessment as to the motivations behind some of the burnings. When it comes down to it, though, many will justify their actions of hatred and bigotry by standing behind an atrocity. The question that forever seems to be missing in all the talk of the mosque has been this: What makes America great/unique?

        My answer is simple and infuriating to many: The Constitution and, as such, the Bill of Rights. Terrorists can’t win until we sacrifice our ideals and notions of freedom, of equality in the eyes of the law as a result of their attacks. We give up the freedom, we lost. Freedom willingly ceded is an acknowledgment and acceptance of tyranny.

    • kimberlyloomis

      Hart – I agree with you on some of this. Will get back to you on a more thoughtful evaluation on Islam when I get done reading the book I have on it. The part I will agree with you on COMPLETELY is the necessity of people (whether they be leaders or followers) to forget reason and analytical thought in favor of their belief. There are some very spiritual people in the world who know how vital it is to question faith and ideals – but they are few and far between.

      I say kudos to that ex-military friend of yours. There are always consequences to our actions, some far graver than others, but the price we pay by forgetting our own morals or ethics is almost always too high.

  • RD Carter

    Loomis,

    As always, what a great conversation!

    First, I will say, the ID exists for a reason. It is the first psychic seperation because it is our driving desires, our most base self. The ID wants and the other two do everything they can to deny the ID or make sure its wants don’t get the body harmed in any way. The “SHOULD” has nothing to do with the ID. The ID cares nothing for SHOULD-it is the ego and superego that rationalizes the should.

    Acceptance and belonging are goals because they help the species survive. Just look at the discussion about those wanting to burn the Qur’an in protest. The religious and others burning the text, do so to exert their authority, to cement the idea that they will NEVER be victims again. They are acting out in a way that they believe will make their god or GOD allow them to live forever, for the same reasons Jesus was crucified-because they are acting in their own self-preservation. The BIBLE says, anyone impersonating the MESSIAH should be killed, so they kill in order to live forever in heaven.

    The “SHOULD” dictates that those being targeted, Muslims, SHOULD tuck tail and go into hiding before society goes after them with torches. Instead, the group continues with their plans, even with the threat hanging over them. For religious zealots and believers, the survival of the ideals are more important than the corporal body and so they sacrifice acceptance and belonging for higher ideals, like the person dishonorably discharged from the military. His sense of self-preservation should have dictated he do whatever he had to in order to stay fed and paid, instead, his ideals have inspired a test-how powerful is he? The most powerful person is theone that withstands the pressure to acquiesce when the road gets tough.

    In order to shuck the SHOULD, all ideas of self-preservation must be sacrificed. Martin Luther King Jr, and Ghandi are two recognizable leaders who shucked the SHOULD. King led by abandoning his self-preservation and fighting for the dignity his ID could not live without, would die to have. Ghandi was THE most powerful, influential person during his lifetime, but he never assumed a figure head of power. A truly self-assured person has no need to acquire power because the ID’s satisfaction is all the power they need.

    I think a true sense of self comes from the satisfation of the ID, and everyone and everything else be damned. 😀

    Extreme enough for you, Loomis? 😀

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