posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 07:57 PM
This all comes back, in some way, to the theory of the Hierarchy of Needs by Maslow, as well as the evolution of civilization itself.
At the base level, humans need a certain amount of water, food, and shelter in order to survive. If you live day in and day out just scraping by,
there is not a whole lot of philosophizing going on. At some point, however, you figure out a system and are able to keep at least one step ahead of
starvation. Man, being a social creature, shares this with his fellow man, and eventually the situation arises where the entire tribe is no longer
just scraping to get by.
Around the same time, humans discover the capacity for functional specification - and thus, not everyone is involved in the feeding of the community
and leaves a much larger segment to pursue other things (thinking, inventing, etc...). As the society progresses, man is further and further removed
from the need to hunt on a daily basis, and finds that the more "materials" he accumulates, the easier life for him becomes, and it allows him and
his progeny to expand their energy into other areas.
The problem is that as man specializes, he becomes better and better at supporting large and larger segments of a populace - not everyone is
contributing to the baseline survival of the community, nor is there a need for them to. Soon society segments. At the bottom, you have the
supporters, those at the very base who contribute directly to the survival of the tribe through defense, food and water sourcing, and hygiene workers
(sanitation engineers, etc...). Next you have a class of craftsmen who's function is to create the tools which the supporters use to do their job.
The better the job the supporter does, the better job the craftsman can do.
As society grows beyond this, a third class of people arises - the servicers. Their job is to service the tools the craftsmen created, service the
population facilitating trade and road building, construction, and other "societal appropriate" services. This gives rise to a further group of
people - the intellectual class, which relies heavily on the other three classes (supporters, craftsmen, and servicers). Their job is to further
society through invention and efficiency improvements.Finally, no large society has shown to exist without a ruling or elite class.
The first heads of "tribe" were merely functional posts within a society to help guide and direct the societal organism. Their main focus was the
growth and betterment of the tribe. Unfortunately, as the "tribe" grows, it reaches a point where the ruling class becomes a product of their own
creation and therefore the interests of the society and the "ruler" slowly diverge.
So where does this "greed" come from? Back to the biological basics, man, in all his technological advancements, is still driven by the fundamental
need to procreate. In these structured societies, those who have the most resources are more able to support their offspring than those who have the
least - thus sex naturally flows to the top. A result of this, there is a drive for everyone to improve their resources.
Although there are people who "say" they would be happy living on the bare minimum, there are very few who, living at the bare minimum, would reject
the opportunity to ease their burden just a bit with a bit more resources. Luckily for most living in the modern world, we don't need to manage large
stores of food - instead we manage other resources (money) which will in turn enable us to procure our basic needs at a later point in time.
So to summarize.
1) A human being has specific needs they have to survive.
2) Having a surplus of "resources" allows the individual to focus on higher needs (self-actualization)
3) Having more higher needs taken care of makes an individual more happy, and thus individuals equate resource to happiness.