Motivations Are ALL Oriented In the "Self" I have been thinking about motivations, or the basis of any action. I believe that all people do what they do for "self" reasons, even seemingly, "alturistic" ones.
Children, who have not developed a sense of "self", but gain their identity from their families will "fight" over whose father is bigger, or whose tricyle is faster. These childish arguments are humorous to adults, but adults have similar fights. Fights don't end up in name-calling and yelling, but can end up in "shunning", de-valuing another's difference and right to voice or outright political black-ball.
People are motivated by what kind of "image" they want to portray or what outcomes they desire. Even when these "outcomes" are ones that are "universal", or "global" in scope, they are motivated by the value of that particular person and how that particular individual understands their value system and on what basis their values are "valued". But, the "outcome" of their motivation is for "image" and "influence" to be enlarged, upheld or protected from imagined or real threat.
Some "universalists" are motivated out of concern for others, because they think this is what they "should" be or do. These are culturally influenced to benefit society by serving society's needs "unselfishly". These individuals have been "trained" by their family of origin to protect the "family name", or culturally influenced to "protect cultural values".
Other "universalists" are motivated because of concern for limited resources. These are fearful that the world's resources will limit future life. But, while these are driven by "containing" wastefulness, they end up determineing another's life choices, this is a "selfish alturism", because scientism has no way of gauging difference of value, between the human who chooses and has reason for that choice, and any other living entity. Everything is dependent on everything else. So, which is to be the most important "natural" value? The environment, or the free market?
Some are driven only by material gains, which disregard any other "end" or "outcome" and these are what drive beauracries, or corporations. The larger the "collective" then, the more "lost" are the individuals in the "collective". And the more limited their choices will be, because of 'regulation and/or control over distributions, or "profits".
The enviornmentalists must determine or decide which form of life is of highest value. The highest value in nature is what is of necessity for the earth to survive. Without this resource, the other dependent life forms are doomed. But, which form of life? Or which natural element is most important? Even though science knows enough to predict what we can or can't do without, what of future innovation? Should what we know now determine what the environmentalists limit today? If so, the environmentalists might limit the very resource necessary for the free market and a free people to discover another resource that would help alleviate such dependence.
Even the humanists value the "moral image" of being humane. Don't the humanists take pride in their fight for "right" of all mankind? This is "self's" value. And the fight is for image, one that underwrites the humanist's "cause". Even Mother Teresa was invested in "moral image" through her association with the Sisters of Mercy, setting an example for others. Some might call it "self sacrifice" for the service of Christ. But, in essence, it is seeking Christ's affirmation, example, or reward for the "self".
What "should" drive our greatest value? If there is an acknowledgment that we have different values, but all of them support our image of ourself, then we would be a better nation. Then, we could be honest with ourselves, and not demand that another have the same value as we do, calling it "right", unselfish, 'moral', etc....
If liberty is valued for oneself as well as for the other, then a liberal democracy is what will uphold the rule of law, maintains equality in the courts, and allows freedom of expression. Then, all of "us", the "collective" will be able to be individuals, who determine and better their lives as we see fit. Liberty within the bounds of civil society, is of most importance to uphold as an ultimate value.