Unveiling the Inner Workings of Desire and the Nature of Firms


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 01, 2023

4 min read


Unveiling the Inner Workings of Desire and the Nature of Firms


Understanding the nature of desire and the functioning of firms is essential in navigating both personal and professional spheres of life. Desires, unlike needs, stem from an intellectual appetite for things we perceive as good, even without a physical or instinctual basis. Meanwhile, firms represent a distinct organizational structure that supersedes the price mechanism in resource allocation. By exploring the commonalities between desires and firms, we can gain valuable insights into our personal aspirations and the dynamics of economic systems.

Desire as a Social Process:

Desire is inherently tied to social influences, often shaping our wants long before we consciously recognize or understand them. Mimetic desires, those we mimic from the people and culture around us, play a significant role in our aspirations. Identifying the individuals who influence our desires, both internally (those we interact with) and externally (celebrities and media), allows us to gain a deeper understanding of our own wants. It is crucial to be aware of the impact internal models have on our desires, as they can lead to volatility and unnecessary competition. By recognizing the social nature of desire, we can exercise agency in cultivating the desires we truly want to own and develop.

Mapping Out Desire Systems:

In addition to identifying influential models, mapping out the systems of desire in our lives provides critical distance and self-reflection. By understanding the historical development of our desires, we can differentiate between deeply rooted desires and fleeting wants. Some desires may originate from external influences, while others may be more personal and independent of mimetic processes. Taking ownership of our desires allows us to become the authors of our own aspirations, regardless of their initial mimetic origins. Just as Ferruccio Lamborghini's rivalry with Enzo Ferrari fueled his desire to expand beyond manufacturing tractors, we can infuse intentionality and creativity into our desires.

The Pitfalls of Mimetic Rivalry:

Mimetic desire often leads to unnecessary competition and rivalry, driven by a constant pursuit of what others want. This internal struggle can manifest in various relationships, including romantic partnerships. By recognizing and addressing this mimetic rivalry within our relationships, we can foster healthier connections. Engaging in acts of generosity without expecting anything in return can help break free from the zero-sum game mentality. Furthermore, it is essential to assess the desires cultivated by the people we follow and to consider the unintended influence we have on others through our own actions and desires.

Taking Ownership of Desires:

To cultivate desires that align with our values and bring true satisfaction, we must exercise intentionality. Being anti-mimetic involves freeing ourselves from the herd mentality and pursuing desires that have substance and authenticity. While restlessness of desire can be a driving force for seeking more, persistent dissatisfaction may indicate that our desires lack the power to satisfy. Embracing wonder and an openness to reality's surprises can bring about genuine fulfillment.

Connecting Desire and Firms:

The emergence of firms within economic systems signifies a departure from the price mechanism in resource allocation. Firms minimize the costs associated with marketing and coordination, allowing for more efficient organization and decision-making. Uncertainty, division of labor, and the need for forecasting future wants contribute to the existence of firms. The size and growth of a firm depend on factors such as decreasing returns to the entrepreneur function, the optimal use of resources, and supply price fluctuations. The concept of a firm aligns with the legal relationship between employers and employees, emphasizing the role of an entrepreneur in organizing and directing resources.


Understanding what we truly desire and how firms operate sheds light on both personal fulfillment and economic systems. By recognizing the social nature of desire, mapping out our desire systems, and taking ownership of our aspirations, we can cultivate desires that align with our values and bring genuine satisfaction. Meanwhile, comprehending the nature of firms helps us grasp the organizational dynamics and resource allocation mechanisms within economic systems. Ultimately, by integrating these insights into our lives, we can make informed choices and pursue a path that resonates with our authentic desires.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Reflect on the individuals who influence your desires and assess their impact on your aspirations. Consider distancing yourself from negative influences and seeking inspiration from those who align with your values.
  • 2. Take the time to map out your desire systems and identify the origins of your desires. By understanding their history, you can differentiate between deeply rooted aspirations and fleeting wants.
  • 3. Foster an anti-mimetic attitude by embracing wonder and remaining open to reality's surprises. Cultivate desires that have substance and authenticity, and prioritize values that provide stability and resilience against temporary mimetic desires.


  • "How to know what you really want | Psyche Guides"
  • "The Nature of the Firm"

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)