Rational Altruism

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= contrasted with Adam Smith's concept of "rational self-interest,"


Allen Butcher:

" Rational altruism affirms the positive perspective that all of our needs may be met, and that happiness is best provided, when we share. Since it is harder to share when we value everything in units of currency and hoard as much as we can, an economy based upon the ideal of rational altruism has to be based upon an alternative to monetary economics. A non-monetary economy, therefore, can not be an exchange economy, but must be a sharing economy, and work or labor, if not motivated by money, must be motivated by the nurturing-relationship value that it brings to the individual and community as a whole.

The focus in the dominant culture upon the monetary economy, represented by the concept of the "scarcity paradigm" in which economic demand is created by the emphasis upon possessiveness and property rights, preventing sharing and resulting in the exchange economy, is often explained via the theory of "rational self-interest." In contrast, the parallel culture of the "plenty paradigm" focusing upon the sharing economy of common property ownership is explained via the theory of "rational altruism." The scarcity paradigm asserts the negative perspective that the pursuit of happiness requires a struggle for private wealth and power, while the plenty paradigm asserts the positive perspective that happiness is best provided when we affirm that there is plenty for all when we share." (http://www.culturemagic.org/RationalAltruism.html)