wisdom from fyodor dostoyvesky

by chaotarroo

Oh, tell me, who was it
first announced, who was it first proclaimed, that man
only does nasty things because he does not know his own
interests; and that if he were enlightened, if his eyes were
opened to his real normal interests, man would at once
cease to do nasty things, would at once become good and
noble because, being enlightened and understanding his
real advantage, he would see his own advantage in the good
and nothing else, and we all know that not one man can,
consciously, act against his own interests, consequently, so
to say, through necessity, he would begin doing good? Oh,
the babe! Oh, the pure, innocent child! Why, in the first
place, when in all these thousands of years has there been a
time when man has acted only from his own interest? What
is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that
men, CONSCIOUSLY, that is fully understanding their real
interests, have left them in the background and have rushed
headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled
to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it
were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately,
wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking
it almost in the darkness. So, I suppose, this obstinacy and
perversity were pleasanter to them than any advantage.