Individual and Humanity
It is likewise rightful to recognize within each person the orientation toward self and orientation toward humanity. Each human being exists both as self and as part of humanity; and while some philosophies, such as the capitalistic portrayal of human being as possessing “rational self-interest,” work with that aspect and see it as the totality of human being – and others, such as the more collectivistic-minded ideologies, see human being as rationally part of humanity and as such being most natural to serve its collective - both are part of human nature. They are, furthermore, both part of human nature necessarily: As a being that exists both as oneself and as one’s species. This means the following: That both self-interest and humanity-interest are natural to all human beings, and that the complete fulfillment of human existence means making the most of both and of their positive interaction.
The capitalist ideologies and socialist ideologies each describe one side of human nature – one as self-interest; the other as species-interest. And as with respect to nature and civilization, it is of merit to see the full picture and to arrive at solutions that are optimal thereto. Both self-interest and humanity-interest are real, rational, and inextricable from human nature. They are both equally valid aspects of a non-valued duality – which, like all non-valued dualities, must be treated from the position of optimization of benefit for each component, each other, and their interaction and its effects on the rest of the world.
The logical result of it is this. That both self-interest and humanity-interest are valid, and that while the quantities of each will differ among individual people, all will have some of both. Achieving optimal outcomes in this matter means making the most of both orientations, and each human being possessing the freedom to not only define and pursue what is to them their rational interest, but also being free to contribute to the benefit of humankind what they have to give. The affirmation of liberty and individuality – affirmation gained from recognizing the self-directed aspect – stand to check the propensity for totalitarianism, massacre and oppression that is inherent in purely collectivistic ideologies. The affirmation of the humanity-interest stands to check the short-sightedness and destructive rapacity that we see in those who solely believe in self-interest and out of that consideration poison the planet, run mortgage scams, or deny the reality of global warming and federal debt.
The full affirmation of both individual-interest and humanity-interest, allowing both to maximize and to feed into each other while checking each other’s destructive potentials, in the framework of Pareto-optimization, means seeing outcome as valid when it benefits both humanity and individual people – and not valid when it hurts individual people more than it helps humanity, or hurts humanity more than it helps the people involved.
Such incentives stands to create a climate that is conducive to both individual freedom and collective benefit, with incentives toward what adds to both and disincentives for abuses against each. This stands to result in maximized freedom, quality of life, accomplishment of the civilization, and long-term benefit of humanity – the benefits of both individualism and collectivism - while minimizing both destructive rapacity and totalitarian oppression that are the downside, respectively, of each.
The model also requires checking potentials for destructive collaboration – as when, for example, it is in interests of both individuals and humanity to burn down the rainforest. The context in which humanity exists is as much reality, if not more so, than arrangements made by people. This has been addressed in the previous section. Individual and humanity is one non-valued duality; civilization and nature is another.
So that while purely capitalistic approach has no value and even much hostility against action directed toward benefit of humanity, and the collectivistic beliefs both religious and secular inweigh against self-interest, the optimal outcome is one that allows people to benefit both themselves and others. This is summed up in one phrase:
DO GOOD AND DO WELL.
People should have the freedom to work toward both ends, and the result of this action will be humanity benefiting at the level of each individual and as a whole. The more this is a reality, and for the more people, the better both their condition and that of the world.