A certain part of the denouement of any act presupposes an incentive. A similar principle is propagated in a verse of the Bhagavata Gita
Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana
One is entitled to perform a certain act but not to the fruits of the act.
Entitlement, here, dissuades a certain part of the logical compliance in the head. Therefore, let’s try and disintegrate the statement. I would put it in simple words- We simply cannot assume control over the nuances of the denouement of any act, whatsoever.
The concept of ‘purpose’, which has been deliberated upon in the verse, details the fact- the purpose is not the attainment of fruit, to act is the purpose.
Would you be able to work without being incentivised?
The answer to this question, pertinently, attains its importance only through yet another definitional premise. The premise is the concept of INCENTIVE.
Incentive, as a definition, would differ for all elemental forms of existential life. The attainment of the incentive is a thought presupposed to the initiation of dynamism, the denouement is the final result of the act.
The two differ only as a result of the incidence of chaos. This is the direct linkage which has been stated as a monologue through the verse. There is no claim on chaos; no claim, thereafter, on the distortions it produces in the ultimate occurrence of an event.
I am entitled to the work I perform because I can claim a sense of control over it (through my notion of rationality, work ethics, time invested et al; these variables can also be included as the entities to be considered when taking account of incentives. For instance, protection of ethics innate to a person’s manner of working can be considered to be the incentives driving a person to work).
What then should be the purpose to act? – An incentive?
What incentive do I have to write and create a meander of thoughts here on the computer? Simple, it’s the clutter that my head loads off, in words, onto the computer (or probably on you).
So, is a linkage between purpose and incentive justified to complete directness? Well, quite evidently, yes.
This conjecture would give birth to yet another, the one which will be difficult to explain. Incentives can be taken to be individualistically determined, so should then be the purposes. But purposes define the correctness of any act. If correctness cannot be relative, rather absolute, how can the term-purposes ever assume an individualistic essence to it?
The entire analysis would entail the supposition of rationality to be the same for all the elemental forms involved in dynamism. This supposition is a grave one.
Individualistic incentives—-individualistic purposes—-relative correctness
While reading through most of Ayn Rand’s work, I came across the same set of discrepancy. The vital areas of socio-economic structure in our present world also deal with this simple formulation of incentive and purpose. The bewildering state of world population is being curtailed through provision of ideas in sex education. Condoms are distributed at 50 paise in Bangladesh and its adjoining areas. Sterilization is encouraged in most countries. Would these three methods, however, lead to curtailment of world population? Wouldn’t conformity in ideas of individuals across the globe lead to a case for a reduction in the growth of population? However, what incentive do I have in saving the human species?
Such questions of individualistic nature have been harped all through centuries of wars and epidemics, of terrorist attacks and corporate espionages…revelling in the innate chaos as part of the human psyche: individualistic purposes. The effects often turn detrimental for a significant part of the society.
An economic system that requires constant growth generates a continuum of disasters itself be it military, ecological, cultural or financial. The demand for easy, short-term profits offered by speculative investment has turned stocks, currency and real-estate markets into crisis-creation simulators of the Asian financial crisis, the Peso crisis, the dot-com bubble and the like.
The lack of ideological conformism and the presence of philosophical delineation have created a whirling broth from which bits of efficiency are hard to pick. The very notion of incentives, albeit, was to ensure a rather efficient structure for prudent living. Considering this, the easier way seems to direct towards clearing the broth.
This concept of a blank slate, which has been the magnum opus of a famous economist, Milton Friedman, has inadvertently directed towards a state wherein a few people present ideas which are thereafter followed by the rest of the world. The notion of ideological revolution has its foundation set in the simple concept of illusion. This point would justify all military infiltrations, authoritarian reigns and autocracy. They all have reasons. Revolutionary carving on the veneer of social structure would entail working from scratch for which the structure has to lose its existential foundation. Illusion helps attain that. Some people who have the essential accord to create such a façade with illusions can do so amongst a large set of the world population. The point is: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, who will guard these guards?