Despite having the ability to exploit others, the selfish can never be successful because their efforts can only win fair-weather friends and a poverty of purpose, while being constantly aware that the only thing they cherish—them self—must end. So a sense of unavoidable doom haunts the selfish and invariably gives rise to notions of universal catastrophe such as the current (circa 2000) fad of 'Global Warming'.
The notorious examples of the selfish Roman emperors make it evident that their indulgences inevitably brought them only fear, isolation and misery. When tired or sick they would be haunted by their own crimes and the fear of revenge. Unable to trust themselves, they were unable to trust anyone. So their life became filled with increasing anxiety and growing uncertainty, ruled only by the impulse of the moment. Tiberius was unable to continue his official duties and confessed his life was a nightmare. Caligula (the furious) seemed to be driven by alternating impulses of fury and terror, being forced to gamble to obtain regular satisfaction, though there was nothing he could win that he could not take. Nero became so dissolute that he slept with, then murdered, his mother, and ended his life by a lonely suicide when he felt the whole world was pursuing him for his crimes.
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