Summary of “The Four Desires Driving All Human Behavior”

Anyone who has much to do with children knows how they are constantly performing some antic, and saying “Look at me.” “Look at me” is one of the most fundamental desires of the human heart.
Love of power is closely akin to vanity, but it is not by any means the same thing.
What vanity needs for its satisfaction is glory, and it is easy to have glory without power Many people prefer glory to power, but on the whole these people have less effect upon the course of events than those who prefer power to glory Power, like vanity, is insatiable.
Love of power is greatly increased by the experience of power, and this applies to petty power as well as to that of potentates.
In any autocratic regime, the holders of power become increasingly tyrannical with experience of the delights that power can afford.
Since power over human beings is shown in making them do what they would rather not do, the man who is actuated by love of power is more apt to inflict pain than to permit pleasure.
A thinker of exceptional sensitivity to nuance and to the dualities of which life is woven, cautions against dismissing the love of power as a wholesale negative driver – from the impulse to dominate the unknown, he points out, spring such desirables as the pursuit of knowledge and all scientific progress.
Complement Nobel Writers on Writing with more excellent Nobel Prize acceptance speeches – William Faulkner on the artist as a booster of the human heart, Ernest Hemingway on writing and solitude, Alice Munro on the secret to telling a great story, and Saul Bellow on how literature ennobles the human spirit – then revisit Russell on immortality and why science is the key to democracy.

The orginal article.