“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
I’d always felt that “self-interest” is strictly defined in dollars and cents. In the economic context (read, strictly rational) at least, as mentioned by Smith, this is the case.
You see, economic is as much of a science as an art. It casts life in a 100% cost-benefit rational approach. But in life, how many people are rational? Look at Brexit. That’s stupidity in large numbers.
When it comes to choosing two evils, most UK folks had opted for the more evil one in spite of clear economic statistics suggesting otherwise. Because if they fail in the latter case, it at least is on their terms.
English folks are sick and tired of being leeched on, and they feel a strong sense of nostalgia towards their national glory, as in the past. They fear the social part of strange people coming into their country, while wanting to take a risk that EU will not really preclude them from any Economic Union.
Yet, can we blame the majority of UK for opting to be stupid? The heart is stupid. The heart wants to hope. The heart is sick and bored of status quo, broken promises, and nonsense.
Let us not overrate or prioritise rational thinking too much.
However, I’d grown to realise that in general, people are deeply influenced by pain and emotions. If you want to get someone to do something with high possibility, you have to appeal to pain points.
Pains are fears. Fears of loss.
Hopes are defined in relation to what the masses want. What the masses want is moulded by the media. Editorials can be either paid or sponsored, so if we follow the money, it is actually really a small group of elites that are influencing situations.
So if you don’t have money, be sure to own some media or have some good ideas LOL.
Comfort zone, status quo and hope are intricately related. If status quo is comfortable, why would someone need to step beyond it?
Answer: They would only step out of the comfort zone only if their neighbour does the same. 🙂
So, the principle underlying economic rhetoric is as follows:
“If we were to reasonably assume that people are not rational 99.9% of the time, it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own pain.”
On a brighter note, has it occurred to anyone that China would have more RMB to spend on other European countries instead, since investors’ confidence in UK would reach a new low? hehe.