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So Your Interest Is Always The Compass That Our Opinions Follow

Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian

So your interest is always the compass that our opinions follow. Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian

Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian, born in Sauve on 6 March 1755 and died in Sceaux on 13 September 1794, was a French playwright, novelist, poet and fabulist.

It is difficult to assess the sincerity of our convictions, a fortiori if they are political. We tend, consciously or not, to adopt opinions that follow our interests, as Claris de Florian reminds us here. Nevertheless, it can be said that if we have positions that run counter to our interests, they are likely to be sincere, unless we take advantage of them in some other way. So this explains why there are few animal breeders who are activists for the vegan cause. It makes sense for the vast majority of them to support speeches that support their industry and do not question their livelihood. Of course, because their arguments are biased, they cannot be given much credit. The same is true of the major political speeches. They are there above all to remind people of the group they belong to and the interests that the candidate who makes them defends. We are more sensitive to the preservation or acquisition of privileges, rather than to the idea of justice.

Nevertheless, there are people who put their lives at the service of a cause that does not serve their interests. This happens, and we must be inspired by it. Those who have succeeded in putting the idea of justice above all else can achieve such a result. Very often, this means giving up the comforts and benefits we enjoy and which are the result of an injustice we enjoy without even being aware of it. For example, depriving ourselves of eating meat takes away a pleasure from the table that is nevertheless lawful in today’s society. But if we see this as an injustice and we are willing to sacrifice this pleasure, then we could start with this example to build an opinion that no longer reflects our own interests alone.

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