Baby and Tiny are strong proponents of the peace through strength doctrine. Above, on alert just under the fence at the top of the drive facing Marginal Street yesterday afternoon, scanning the horizon for aggressors.
"In my experience, most people are motivated by some sort of self-interest when they engage in an altruistic act," writes Dr. Helen in her "Ask Dr. Helen" column at Pajamas Media:
I used to have discussions with a psychoanalyst I knew who said, like Heinlein, that no one really does anything unless it is in their self-interest in some way.
We would agree, as blogged here early and often:
We believe deeply that the denial of "life's dark side in ourselves" is the key to what's wrong with the utopianist world view . . .
It's the tragic view of human nature -- vs. the left's utopian, blank-slate, noble-savage one that denies any such thing as human nature -- that acknowledges the dark side in all of us and tries to design political institutions -- the U.S. Constitution comes to mind -- that channel our potentially destructive human nature into productive self-fulfillment (can you say invisible hand?) that redounds to the good of the larger community.
But what about those firefighters and police officers who gave their lives on 9/11? "Was that altruism, or was there underlying self-interest there that perhaps we don't know about?" asks Dr. Helen. We answered in her comments:
As for those firemen running into burning buildings, I do think it's an evolutionary survival thing having to do with avoiding shame and capturing honor among one's chosen peers. In today's parlance it comes down to "feeling good about oneself."
Approval amongst the members of one's group is all important for the psychological bonding that can mean the difference between survival and extinction, but some groups have more to feel good about than others, especially in this politically correct, self-esteem-without-effort era. We hold within us the potential for both extreme evil and extreme good . . . It all depends upon what we do with our human nature.
Update: One group that has a lot to feel good about are the cats that blog. Indigo hosts Carnival of the Cats #175 at This, That & The Other Thing.
Update II: Pajamas Media links.