"For whose benefit, for what purpose? - Utility, advantage, or self-interest considered as the determinant of value or motivation"
It must have come from Rome, born in empire and raised in conceit.
Whatever its origins, we are in danger today of utter destruction by a virulent virus identified as a cancerous self-interest run amuck. It's a malady currently without vaccine or correction, and presents a terrifying "moral hazard" attack of unprecedented proportions.
It is, and has been, spreading in a society collapsing both from within and without done in by a lack of real community, democracy, sovereignty, and simple human insight.
The Cui Bono virus affects our bodies, minds, and institutions. It creates angry, grasping, beings and Stepford-like representatives incapable of representing the public (big bono) interest - versus the interests of self-preservation, party, and forever money-raising. The signs of this sickness are often clear... it's always a little more bono for the cui.
The Cui Bono virus is then a disturbing malady of the ego an artifact of consciousness without remorse, and driven and propagated by a dream of separation, a fog of fear, and the ugly gangrene of greed.
The virus is also self-replicating as it asks "well, is it good for me or not." Of course, with the answer a foregone conclusion, it then seeks the advantage (comparative or not) and proceeds to run downhill into the sewer of human depravity. In its very nature it also seeks company and forms colonies, call them political parties all to maximize advantage and, like rats, to run and hide with a few more bread crumbs then others may gather.
Given the virulence of this dis-ease, we might consider that if a being can decide for self-interest over common interest, maybe the being should not be allowed to decide to run for office, in order to represent his or her own egoic self-interests primarily. Self-nomination may well be our biggest problem, an invitation to Cui Bono virus and a serious defect in the polis... second only to a lack of public campaign financing.
Re-election - now there is a manifestation of illness! In this example Cui Bono takes over the body of the re-electable host and its born-from-slime political party as all manner of greed, desire, and attachment surface. Morality, compassion, kindness, fairness, decency and independence are then overwhelmed by the need for more power and money... all to make sure our bono is more than their cui.
Health in the host body and body of society is thus ruined, and Balance is exiled as we suffer endlessly from contagious bouts of Cui Bono.
Curing any such virus and dis-ease is both difficult and simple, and simple is often the most difficult. We must be careful, however, as "reform" is often a trick of the virus, a deliberate mis-direct and pathetic placebo designed to anesthetize its potential enemies from gaining any ground i.e,.as in offering some fake bono for your sick cui.
In addition, a victim of Cui Bono will often exhibit transitory moments of what may pass for lucidity, but relapse is usually just around the corner. This is the reason re-hab for the ego, and for a society, remains an expensive, on-going, proposition - but nevertheless remains a must for our survival.
The real antidote to Cui Bono may well be more forms of common interest expressed via plebiscites, initiatives and stronger forms of effective democracy in which the self-interest of cui-bono-driven "representatives" and political parties are short-circuited. As a result, their cancerous self-interest is then vaccinated by a protective layer of common interest - wherein the big bono manages to remain in the big cui.
Author, The Case For A One-Term Presidency
and Cap-Com, The Economics Of Balance