You step out of the carriage and onto a red carpet. Cameras are flashing and well-dressed celebrities are posing for the eager paparazzi as they stream through the gates to film the next Hollywood blockbuster. A gaggle of young girls are screaming, “Tommy! Tommy!” and swooning at the sight of the nearby heartthrob. Tommy is patiently taking pictures with the girls, and even stops to sign autographs. The back of his leather jacket says “Hobbes” in bold letters. As he finishes taking pictures with the crowds, he motions for you to follow him onto the movie set where he is filming his latest Western action movie. “Are you surprised to see me?” he asks. “I bet you thought you’d find me with the other social contract theorists.”
“Yeah, I am kinda surprised,” you reply. “But I’m even more amazed to see you taking pictures with that bunch of teenyboppers. You really made their day; what a nice, goodhearted thing to do,” you remark.
“I guess so,” Hobbes responds. “But I wasn’t doing it for their sake. To be honest, I like the little boost in ego I get whenever a fan screams my name. I guess seeing the smiles on their faces makes me happy. But even more than that, I spend time with the fans because it increases my popularity and sells movies. In this business, ratings are everything! Fame brings power and power brings happiness. You’re only as good as your last movie, so I constantly have to stay on top. It’s an obsession.”
“So, really, it all boils down to your own self-interest? I thought that maybe you were being altruistic and unselfishly acting out of the concern for others,” you say somewhat disappointed.