Self-Love, Part 4 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Government"
To the individual, other than to himself, justice counts for nothing: what drives man, primitive or otherwise, is self-love. Man by his nature is driven to seek "power, ambition, lucre, lust"; and will take from others to achieve his goals, unless restrained. The principal constraint for any one individual is this: he does not want to lose what he has in the attempt in getting more; and, above all, he does not want, himself or his family, to get hurt -- worse, yet, to lose his liberty, or his life. Primitive man had to spend, at least, as much of his wealth and his time defending himself as he would in taking away the wealth of others. He would be ahead, if only he could trade one off against the other. But how to do that? One way, it seems the only way, is to have every one, within striking distance, submit to a common power, such as a great king, one to be supported, to be made and to be kept powerful, so to fight off enemies from abroad. "All join to guard what each desires to gain." Thus, it is this very same "self-love" that drives man to collect together under "government and laws."
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