Harnessing The Power Released by Expanding the Circle Self-interest

Been thinking from a number of angles about a line i read recently somewhere that said, ' the key to political power is harnessing the self-interest of the population' [or something like that]. The statement sure sounds and feels true for all types of societies. Even in brutal dictatorships the dictator retains political power because individuals surmise that their self-interst is best served by freely choosing not being shot despite their lack of choice about most everything else.

If the statement holds true in all cultures at all times [and it seems to as far as i can reason], then the defination of self-interest as difined by the individual members of a population is the key to how political leaders of all stripes acquire and hold onto power. Therefore it seems logical for us as individuals who are seeking change in the broader political structure to first and foremost examine the locus of our self-interest.

In the case where a brutal authority or a thug is holding a gun to your head it would appear your best chance of continueing the quest to spread your genes, our #1 self-interst according to evolutionary biologists, is outright ass-kissing in the first degree unless one of our children is also threatened in which case taking a bullet for them is probably the best choice. Either way, if successful and you or yours live to breath another day the focus of self-interest would probably change. Its circle might grow to include the broader family and friends by trying to warn them, tell them to duck or whatever. So the range of each person's self-interest isn't fixed, it's relative, it's dependent upon circumstances. Clearly though the more immediate the danger the smaller the circle each of us draws aroung the range of our self-interest.

Clearly we are facing a type of brutal gun weilding dictatorial thug who is threatening our greatest asset, our children and their children. The thug i'm alluding to is our own governments who are abetting the extinction of countless species, including perhaps our own, in the service of criminal consumer capitalism. We have allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked by our instinct to decrease the range of our self-interest in the face of immediate danger and in so doing we've lost the ability to harness the power unleashed by expanding the circle of our self-interest to include the flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and faeries that share our circle.