The idea that a rich person is obliged to help the poor – not because it is a good thing, but because he is obliged – runs in public conscience as long as the society itself exists. For some mysterious reason people tend to believe that the rich are rich because they somehow robbed the poor. It may have been true – and only after a fashion – in the antiquity and the Middle Ages, when wealth has been considered as something static, that can be inherited or conquered, but not created and earned, when people whom we now call businessmen were considered to be maybe necessary, but still inferior members of the society, when production has been mainly based on slavery and serfdom. But why this idea is so popular now, when it is least true?
Egoism and altruism are almost always considered to be the two opposing ideologies or, at least, two opposing outlooks on life. But is it really so?
If we look at the definition of word “egoism”, we will see that it means an attitude towards life, the bearer of which always puts his interests before the interests of all the other people. But is it said that his interests are automatically concerned with doing everything that pleases him sensually, while torturing all the other people on the way – just for fun? Yet, it is the way most people tend to perceive egoists.