|(d) The person has only extrinsic worth|
If the person is not responsible for behavior, then the person has only extrinsic worth. He or she cannot be blamed for bad behavior but, by the same token, cannot take credit for good behavior. The person cannot then gain intrinsic worth and must thus seek extrinsic worth - that is, acquire possessions. The fact that such extrinsic worth is not an adequate substitute for intrinsic worth does not make it any less potent as a motivator. Indeed, it makes it more potent. Intrinsic worth is real and can thus be attained; extrinsic worth is an illusion and thus cannot be attained. It is therefore pursued more and more ardently. The person accumulates more and more possessions in a futile search for satisfaction. Thus consumption becomes compulsive.
I shall argue later that self-esteem is a genuine need of our species. This need will not go away simply because behaviorists do not recognize 'self' and hence 'self-esteem'. The person cannot gain self-esteem through possessions. You may be able to fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't really fool yourself at all. The person attempts then to gain prestige (worth in the eyes of other people) rather than self-esteem (worth in one's own eyes). Prestige is not a satisfactory substitute for self-esteem. Other people are never really impressed by your possessions and, indeed, may be offended by them. They too may be seeking extrinsic worth by accumulating possessions. The bigger your pile, the less impressive their pile. Your greed clashes with their envy. Accumulation continues to escalate, however, because of - rather than in spite of - the fact that it is futile. Once you set out to impress, the less people are impressed, the more you try to impress them. The function of a thing is not its ostensible function, but to impress and thereby gain prestige. As many people as possible must know that you possess it. Thus consumption becomes not only compulsive but conspicuous.
(e) The person is an interchangeable part
If the person has only extrinsic worth, then the person is an interchangeable part. A person can, for instance, be fitted into a job. A job is defined by its functions, and the person who performs those functions can be replaced by any other person who performs those same functions . Personnel officers fit the round pegs of people into the square holes of jobs. The person becomes defined by the job. People answer 'What do you do?' in terms of occupation, 'Who arc you with?' in terms of organization, and 'What are you worth?' in terms of remuneration . People with trivial jobs (that is, most jobs in an industrial society) see themselves as trivial people.
This further contributes to a lack of intrinsic worth and a compensating search for extrinsic worth. The fitting of the person to the Procrustean bed of the job also contributes to the irresponsibility mentioned earlier. If the driver of the bulldozer mentioned above ever had a twinge of conscience about his contribution to defacing the environment, he could rationalize it by saying 'It's my job.' Stanley Milgram discovered that people who would not normally hurt another person will do so when commanded by an authority figure. He called this the Eichmann effect, because of Eichmann's defense during his trial for exterminating Jews in a Nazi concentration camp, that he was merely doing his job as requested by his superiors. The crowd is less responsible than the individuals of whom it is composed. A corporation is a crowd.
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