Greed, Capitalism and Human Nature

“…The often-assailed greed and avarice associated with capitalism are in fact characteristics of human nature, not of market capitalism, and affect all economic regimes.” — Alan Greenspan, Financial Times Deutschland, January 31

“The mutual-aid tendency…is so deeply interwoven with all the past evolution of the human race, that is has been maintained by mankind up to the present time, notwithstanding all vicissitudes of history.” — Peter Kropotkin (1842–1921), Mutual Aid: A factor of Evolution

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4 responses to “Greed, Capitalism and Human Nature

  1. Evidently, Greenspan is still blinded by his love for Ayn Rand. AP

  2. The first statement is obviously true; the second is jargon and impossible to understand.

  3. Michael Gundy

    Both statements are silly as there is no mention of the quest for either power or the striving for good, beauty, etc.

    In other words, yawn.

  4. king townsend

    Murderous violence is also a part of human nature which has been partly inhibited to varying degrees by national and international laws. Avarice and greed have similarly been constrained by regulatory laws despite the widely prevalent view that regulation is morally worse than the A and G it seeks to moderate. Kropotkin simply says that human nature has a sunny side: concern for the well-being of others. Cynics maintain that altruism is another aspect of self-preservation. Others might say that it may also be an aspect of self-realization.