by Belayneh Abate
It is the days our lives to hear individuals, leaders, rulers, and government representatives talking about self-interests. Government representatives often declare they took this or that action to protect self- or national-interests.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines self-interest as concern only for what you want or need and not about what happens to others. Similarly, the Oxford dictionary defines self-interest as one’s personal interest or advantage, especially when perused without regard to others.
Self-interest is not unique human behavior: Cats fight each other and with dogs for territories as dogs fight each other and with hyenas for carcasses. These facts illustrate that self-interest begets from the primitive brain, not from the higher faculties of the mind. Self-interest darkens as emotion flushes, but it fades as wisdom shines. Plato teaches desire has seat in the lions, emotions have seat in the heart, and knowledge has seat in the brain. Animals have loins for coupling; hearts for expressing emotions, but lack wisdoms for governing their desires.
The Narch philosophy categorizes self-interests as natural and deliberate motives. Animals lack deliberate motives, but humans possess both. Because deliberate motives are borderless, the universe cannot sleep in peace.
Poisoned with self-interests, dictators commit crimes against humanity and justify these atrocities with public peace. Similarly, religious fanatics murder people and justify their actions with creeds.
During the colonialism era, Europeans enslaved Africans, Latina Americans and Asians, and justified their actions with spreading civilizations. Similarly, the current world powers neo-colonize less-developed countries and justify their actions with spreading democracies and developments. However, these neo-colonizers are cultivating puppet dictators to promote their self-interests while weeding out dictators standing against their self- interests. These insatiable maneuvers demonstrate how self-interest defies reason, morality and conscience.
IMF and World Bank finance mass- murderer dictators, masking their self-interests with poverty reduction and development blankets. The World Bank has been funding the Ethiopian dictators, dictators that are accused of crimes against humanity and genocide. This bank has repeatedly ignored public outcries and humanitarian organizations’ reports about these atrocities. Who can arouse someone, who is acting as if he is in deep sleep?
How could World Bank and IMF reduce poverty while fostering heinous tyrants, responsible for endemic poverty and recurrent famines? The Ethiopian- beggar dictators have been receiving bulks of Western baloneys because they are ally dictators; whereas Zimbabwean dictators have been sanctioned from the baloneys because they are non-ally dictators. What could explain this differential baloney allocation other than self-interest promotion? Because these baloney delivering institutions focus on self-interest promotion, Ethiopian is still far below Zimbabwe in the developmental index despite two and half decades of baloney delivering services and spurious growth rates.
The world powers call these baloney delivering services humanitarian aide, humanitarian assistance, development loan and so on. These fancy-mischievous “nomenclatures” stab our intelligence even deeper. How in the world should the aide that goes to inhuman tyrants be considered humanitarian or developmental assistance? Under what circumstance would mass murderers carry out humanitarian or developmental tasks? What other motives could explain these intimate donor -tyrant relationships better than self-interests?
Immanuel Kant was right when he said the morality of actions lies in motives, not in the outcomes of the actions. If the world powers’ motives are developments and saving human lives, they should stop dating mass- murderer allies as they break up their love affairs with non-allies.
Since self-interest has no roof, it continues to pile up to the sky. When we have some to survive, we want a little extra, and when we have a little extra, we desire to have aboundant. Similarly, once we ruled the village, we desire to rule the province, and once we ruled the province, we want to rule the state, and once we ruled the state, we want to conquer the continent, and once we conquered the continent, we desire to conquer the world, and once we conquered the world, we want to rule the universe, and once we ruled the universe , we desire to create another universe to rule.
Self-interest is the mother of all conflicts. One’s voracious self-interests cannot be fulfilled without ripping others’ interests. These clashes of self-interests disrupt local, national and international peace. Blinded and deafened by self interests, we have failed to read and listen what the sages of the ages has taught, and what history has recorded about the catastrophes that follow unquenchable desires. Philosophers teach self-interests disguise the truth; religious creeds preach self-interests extinguish peace, and history warns self-interests instigate wars.
Considering desires as the sources of all human sufferings, Buddha and Ethiopian monks have demonstrated how to live in peace disowning self- interests. Living like Buddha and Ethiopian Monks is farfetched for the ordinary people; however, we can certainly restrain our self-interests to prevent conflicts within ourselves, between groups, communities, nations, and continents. No group or nation can deliver peace by covering self-interests with phony moral blankets. Self-interests cannot co-exist with truth, morality and peace since one seeks the demise of the other. Self-interests are the enemies of truth, morality and peace. If we beseech harmony and peace, we have to trim down these enemies of peace. Thank you.
The writer can be reached at [email protected]
by Belayneh Abate