Copyright © 2010 (Updated) By Ray Thomas

Have you ever wondered what is the single ingredient that motivates everybody, altruists and individualists alike? What makes people want to get up in the morning and go to work? What keeps them alive? For many years, I couldn't figure out the answer to that question. I looked at the world the way it was and saw people grow up, gain a storehouse of knowledge and even possessions--and then die. I thought of all the years they had spent learning the things they knew, and for what? You spend your entire life learning things -- and then you die. Einstein was no richer than the poorest imbecile after he died.

So what was the purpose of his life? Was it to enrich our lives through his work? Was the theory of relativity as important to him as it was to us? No -- his life was not there for our use without payment--and that's the key. He was paid handsomely for his achievements, although not as handsomely in money as he might have been if we, as a people, valued genius as much as we value being able to toss a football or basketball accurately. His payment--his profit, if you will--was in his own satisfaction at knowing. He didn't know, nor did he care, if you and I appreciated his work. His profit was in knowing what he had discovered.


Altruists (and forced altruists) will tell you that they are not motivated by profit. They are only motivated by concern for their fellow man. Panther poop. That's the same load they've been feeding us since altruism was invented, about the same time (right after) the wheel was invented (so the inventors could share in the profit from the wheel without having invented it or having to do any work).


It's true that altruists do not lust after the almighty dollar. Not for themselves, anyway, but for others. And the reason they want the money for others is that those others vote them into elective offices or support them to be appointed (by those the others have elected) to a bureaucratic academic, or political position, from which it is almost impossible to dislodge them. From that point the forced altruists can play God with other people's lives. The ability to control others is stock in trade to an altruist.

Now right here I must make a distinction between political altruists and nonpolitical altruists. A political altruist (aka: forced altruist) doesn't want to help others with his/her money or time. He wants to help them with your money or time. A nonpolitical altruist genuinely puts the welfare of others before his/her own. Not too bright, but he/she is honest about helping others, even at his/her own expense. The political altruist practices what I call "forced altruism," wherein laws and regulations are made to take money and time away from you, thus forcing you to be altruistic whether or not you wish to be. There's nothing wrong with being altruistic--seeing someone in need and making a decision to help. Where the forced altruist goes wrong is when he/she makes that decision for others and makes laws and creates taxes to take goods and money away from others with which to be altruistic.


To them, this is profit (although you'd never get them to admit it). But it is really faux-profit (phony profit). Real profit benefits both parties to a transaction. Faux profit benefits only one. There's an old saying: "Power corrupts--absolute power corrupts absolutely." And this can indeed be true. But I think in the case of the forced altruists, the corruption comes before the power has been realized because their entire philosophical premise is a corruption.


The bottom line with forced altruists is power. That is what they're after--period. They're not interested in owning your money or your property. You don't have to own something if you have absolute control over it. That's the same theory used by those who take advantage of the gullible in the TV Religion business. They exhort viewers to send in massive sums of money to build colleges or some such and then proceed to live the life of Reilly at the expense of the non-profit foundations they set up to run things. They don't own a thing. But they control how it's used. That's profit (Faux profit, but profit, nonetheless). Forced altruists take large sums of money from you at the point of a gun (taxes) for similarly good (potential) uses and then proceed to do the same thing with your money (If you don't believe it's at "the point of a gun," just try and refuse to pay those taxes and see how quickly the guns come out).


Just what is it that is the impetus for all those thousands, even millions of people all over the world who invest their time and money and their labor and ingenuity to bring you all the many things you want and need? Is it love? Respect? Friendship? It's none of these things. The man in South America who cuts down the bananas to send for your breakfast table doesn't love or respect you and he isn't necessarily your friend. In fact, he may even hate you and all that you are. The person who puts together the electronic gadgets we value so highly doesn't necessarily love you, either. The oil worker in Saudi Arabia or Iran is taught from birth to hate you. Why then, do these people and millions like them work so hard to send you these things? If they don't even necessarily like you, what is their purpose in doing so? Why do they do it at all? What's in it for them?


The secret ingredient here is profit. Real profit: The creation of new wealth from which that banana-cutter can benefit He can sell the bananas for more than it cost him to grow and harvest them). From which that electronics-assembler can benefit. And from which we, as the buyers, can benefit. Columnist Walter Williams said it was prices, private property and human lust for more that caused these people to work so hard for us. But if you examine his three reasons, you'll find that each is yet another description for profit.


Profit is not a bad thing, as forced altruists would have you believe. Profit is the lubricant that keeps this world operating--even in countries ruled by forced altruism (collectivism, socialism). They can't stop it--they can only hide from the populace the fact that they must engage in the pursuit of profit in order to survive. In Communist China, for instance, they rule by socialism (communism) but they supply the rest of the world with the products of the slave labor of their citizens--at a profit. Profit is also the fuel without which this world would grind to a halt. Profit is defined by the question: "What's in it for me?" And if the answer is satisfactory, you can get just about anything, from anybody--even if they hate you. There is nothing bad about profit for the simple reason that profit is the entire purpose for which two people, or for which two groups of people come together for a fair exchange--to trade what they have and don't need for what others need and don't have, and vice-versa.


Money is merely representative of profit in that it is based (in theory) on something valuable that everybody wants and so may always be traded, even for something not needed, so that the not needed product can later be traded for more money, and so on. When a good trade has been made, both sides have profited by the fact that each can either use, or trade what he (she) has obtained to others for more profit. A fair profit represents what each party is willing to pay--or give in a trade--and thus is not something taken from someone else, but is new wealth created.

Show me a forced altruist state which can create new wealth (real profit) and I'll show you a state that has engaged in free enterprise (with other countries)--no matter how much its leaders may deny it. Any time a sovereign state trades with another to obtain needed products and services, it must make a profit or be suffering a rip-off by the states with which it's dealing. Profit is indeed the secret ingredient in all dealings that do not involve the use of force and is indeed what really makes the world go `round.


Profit represents the willing agreement of both parties to a transaction. The use of force cannot produce real profit. All it can produce is theft. So profit is what motivates everything in this world, no matter what the forced altruist may tell you. If he/she denies it, he/she is either lying or is just ignorant ľor stupid. Remember that the next time someone criticizes the "profit motive," for without it, we would not have any of the good things we now enjoy.