Bernard Mandeville's Fable of the Bees: A Country built on vices.

Essay by mrbl0ndeUniversity, Bachelor'sA, June 2006

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Human vices have commonly been known to man as ultimately wicked and in no way beneficial to society or to the well-being of the public. Selfishness and greed are frowned upon by the masses while virtue, prudence, and empathy are praised, which in most situations is valid as praiseworthy. To many the idea that the United States was found on such corrupt vices would seem absurd; however, as put forth by Bernard Mandeville's The Fable of the Bees, he evidently believes exactly that and is absolutely correct. This nation's foundation was built on humans' most horrible vices, and this nation's economical growth and prosperity are in great debt to such vices. Virtue, prudence and empathy are over glorified by moralists as provisions for a strong nation. This nation has progressed throughout the years due to humans' self-interest to increase public opinion, social reputation, wealth, happiness and power.

Moralists believe that the foundation to anything good and pure, should be founded on virtue, prudence, and empathy and that people lack such values leads to a corrupt society.

Mandeville had a totally different perspective which he proclaims benefited the entire nation and society. Through evil, good prevails. Not to transcend the idea that Mandeville didn't believed in virtue, Mandeville believed the truly virtuous were the good simple people such as farmers. Morality is over valued by human nature and tainted by the masses. There is no unselfish good act, for all good acts are done in self interest and beneficial in any certain aspect. Humans have appetites they need to satisfy, may it be power, wealth, or public honor, but only then will humans carry out what is suppose to be thought as an unselfish act. As Mandeville (1997) so strongly believes that "making use of this bewitching engine, they extolled...