The term “interests” is a wide abstraction that covers the entire field of
ethics. It includes the issues of: man’s values, his desires, his goals and
their actual achievement in reality. A man’s “interests” depend on the kind of
goals he chooses to pursue, his choice of goals depends on his desires, his
desires depend on his values—and, for a rational man, his values depend on the
judgment of his mind.
Desires (or feelings or emotions or wishes or whims) are not tools of
cognition; they are not a valid standard of value, nor a valid criterion of
man’s interests. The mere fact that a man desires something does not constitute
a proof that the object of his desire is good, nor that its achievement is
actually to his interest.
To claim that a man’s interests are sacrificed whenever a desire of his is
frustrated—is to hold a subjectivist view of man’s values and interests. Which
means: to believe that it is proper, moral and possible for man to achieve his
goals, regardless of whether they contradict the facts of reality or not. Which
means: to hold an irrational or mystical view of existence. Which means: to
deserve no further consideration.