I often wonder what motivates most people—is it purely the love of money—in a capitalistic society that would make sense. What makes people do what they do, and often act in such a way that seems to undercut others? Greed is one of the seven deadly sins afflicting all of us at times.
Philosophers have written volumes about motives—whether it’s possible for them to be pure, or not. Unfortunately, Google isn’t like a library—it’s hard to bring up information about “pure motives” that isn’t oriented towards the Biblical, instead of the philosophical. I do know that Immanuel Kant (and Freud) observed that people’s true motives may be hidden, even from themselves. Even when it seems that people are acting solely to further another person’s good, that might not be the real case.
Speaking of Google, as our source for all information; I did bring up this interesting result about the artist Raymond Pettibon, and his art installation, “Are Your Motives Pure?” From my days of following West Coast punk bands, I know of Pettibon, first as the bassist of Black Flag, the designer of their iconic logo, and later, an artist who did a host of album covers for them and others.
But back to motives—I wonder about individuals who consistently act in a way that seems to undermine our own efforts? Or, they simply exhibit a total disregard for work that we’ve put a great deal of heart and passion into? What are their motives in that case?