public interest

A Quote by John Hospers on public interest, common good, public good, indiviual, and society

People speak of "the public interest." But what is the public interest? Strictly speaking, there is no such thing. There is only the interest of each individual human being. There are interests that many or all people share, but these are still the interests of individuals. When politicians say that something is "to the public interest," they usually mean it serves the interests of some people but goes against the interests of others -- and usually the interests of the people with the most political pull win out. Is it to the public interest for some to be forced to die so that others may be saved? Is it to the public interest for a hundred crazed men to lynch one man in the public square? Is it to the public interest for all the citizens of the nation to be taxed to pay for a federal dam in one section of it? In Sweden it takes a couple eight years on the average before they can obtain an apartment of their own (owned by the government, rented by them); but they are not supposed to complain, because "it's in the public interest." Just as there are only individual rights, so there are only individual interests.

John Hospers

Source: Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow 84 (1971)

Contributed by: peter

A Quote by Ayn Rand on public interest, common good, idealism, subsidies, legislation, power, liberty, and freedom

All "public interest' legislation (and any distribution of money taken by force from some men for the unearned benefit of others) comes down ultimately to the grant of an undefined undefinable, non-objective, arbitrary power to some government officials. The worst aspect of it is not that such a power can be used dishonestly, but that it cannot be used honestly. The wisest man in the world, with the purest integrity, cannot find a criterion for the just, equitable, rational application of an unjust, inequitable, irrational principle.

Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982)

Source: Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Contributed by: peter

A Quote by george soros on business, honesty, private gain, public benefit, public interest, universal principles, freedom, democracy, rule of law, and market forces

...Most businesspeople are upright citizens; but that does not change the fact that business is conducted for private gain and not for the public benefit. The primary responsibility of management is to the owners of the business, not to some nebulous entity called the public interest—although enterprises often try, or at least pretend, to be acting in a public-spirited way because that is good for business. If we care about universal principles such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, we cannot leave them to the care of market forces; we must establish some other institutions to safeguard them.

george soros

Source: Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism, Pages: xii

Contributed by: janos

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