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Everyone is concerned with fairness. Actually the greedy, selfish people you know are the most concerned with it. But how could this be? From a psychoanalytic perspective it’s that their perception of the external world, and with it what constitutes fairness, is skewed.

Greed is a symptom of feeling empty inside and acts as a bulwark against a world perceived as hostile in the sense that if you can amass enough psychological, emotional and physical capital you’ll be not only fulfilled but also protected. From an objective standpoint, it’s obvious that trying to take everything you can from your environment without giving anything back, trying to help your own position at the expense of the position of others, is unfair.

But the greedy person sees it differently. To him, the scales are already ridiculously unbalanced and have been since he was very young. The world is an unfair, hostile place out to get him, and trying to get his piece of the pie through any means necessary feels justified. We can see that for the greedy person, his mentality and resulting actions feel like balancing the scales to finally make things fair, not like tipping the scales to the side of unfairness.

Of course the greedy strategy never works and anyone who takes the time to really look will see that under the veneer these people are desperate and miserable. The fact that greed is insatiable should serve as a warning sign that it cannot fulfill its promise as a life solution..

As strange as it sounds, the greedy attitude, from the perspective of the person who is greedy, is an attitude of fairness. Only by cutting through this fiction and through seeing the utter futility of trying to find fulfillment through constantly taking from the environment will the greedy person start to revise his outlook on life and change his behavior.