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Chapter 10. Taking Charge of Your Irrati... > “Successful” Egocentrism

“Successful” Egocentrism

Though egocentric thinking is irrational by nature, it can be functional within a dysfunctional logic. For example, it often enables us to selfishly get what we want without having to worry about the rights of the people we deny in getting what we want. This type of thinking—though defective from the points of evidence, sound reasoning, objectivity, and fair play—is often “successful” from the point of view of self-gratification. Hence, though egocentric thinking is inherently flawed, it can be successful in achieving what it is motivated to achieve.

We see this in many persons of power and status in the world—successful politicians, lawyers, businesspeople, and others. They are often skilled in getting what they want and are able to rationalize unethical behavior with great sophistication. The rationalization can be as simple as “This is a hard, cruel world. One has to be realistic. We have to realize we don't live in a perfect world. I wish we did. And, after all, we are doing things the way things have always been done.” Conversely, rationalization can be as complex as that masked in a highly developed philosophy, ideology, or party platform.


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