In this post I’m investigating the terms ‘Lobby’, and ‘Interest Group’, and how they actually represent how we exist as Humanity currently.
Let’s read the Merriam-Webster definitions:
“1lob·by noun \ˈlä-bē\
2: a group of persons engaged in lobbying especially as representatives of a particular interest group
2lobby verb: to try to influence government officials to make decisions for or against something
: to try to get something you want by talking to the people who make decisions
“Lobby.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 30 Dec. 2013. .”
“interest group noun: a group of persons having a common identifying interest that often provides a basis for action
Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 30 Dec. 2013. . “
Most of us are familiar with these terms in the context of industries such as the tobacco industry, or the fossil fuels industry hiring lobbyists to represent their interests to the government with the goal of influencing policy formation in a way that will benefit the industry. Lobbyists are typically lawyers.
Well for example in looking back at our childhood, we can see that essentially we learned to function as a lobbyist for our own individual interests very early on in our lives. We initially discovered there are certain things we like – like candy, or play time, or watching TV for instance, and we learned that our parents have certain rules about these things – like when it’s okay and when it’s not okay, and that if we do or say certain things in the way our parents want us to, then we’ll be rewarded, and if we do or say things in a way that our parents don’t want us to, we’ll be deprived of what we want, or punished.
And, many times we weren’t necessarily given a real explanation as to WHY to do this and not that, or WHY to talk like this and not like that, or WHY not to make that noise, or WHY you can’t have this or that, etc, etc, but gradually we learned that we better just do what they say because — then at least we get a reward and we won’t get yelled at or punished.
So, we in fact learned to function within the protection of our Self Interest as ‘what I want’ / ‘what benefits me’ / ‘what makes me happy’, and this kind of personality was shaped by a reward / punishment system. And within this we started becoming ‘lobbyists’ for our interests, often presenting our cause to one parent, trying to get permission to do or get something, when the other parent has already told us ‘No’ — just like industry lobbyists trying to influence particular congress members to gain favor for the interest group they represent.
We know also that from early on we learned to do things like deceive, lie, hide our behavior, in order to make sure that our parents believe we are following their policies / rules — so that we can protect our interest of being happy / getting what we want / avoiding punishment. We learned essentially that we can ‘bend the rules’ and ‘get away with things’.
Now, as we got older and entered our school years we started accumulating and adding to our individual interests / wants / desires / preferences, and we started doing something we’re all familiar with which was to accept or reject / like or dislike others based on whether we found we could ‘relate’ to their interests and their personality, and vice versa. We started forming friendships and social groups which — are Interest Groups, aren’t they?
Fast forward a few years to where most of us now have some kind of job or career, and we become quite industrious in our actions of earning an income — so that we can do what? So that we can protect and further our interests, and the interests of those with whom we’ve formed Interest Groups with – which is our Relationships.
So in a way our lives very much mirror the Capitalist Economic System, where we initially start out as our own Company with our own interests, and eventually we form Interest Groups with other Companies that share our interests – which becomes the ‘Company we Keep’, and then we start ‘having Company over’, right? lol.
We’ll continue opening up this point in the next post.