Objectivism: Selfishness dressed up in it's sunday best

Discussion in 'Politics' started by TheDudeAbides, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. I'd like for a moment to discuss the phillosophy of objectivism, an offshoot of liberterianism that is so popular around here.

    Now the core tennet of objectivism is that selfishness is good, and by being motivated by our own self interest mankind will be able to create utopia, free from any outside interference.

    Of course this completely bypases any sense of reality on the idea that equality will be brought upon by freeing us from the tyrany of having to help those in need.

    Imagine this sort of thought proccess extrapolated to Katrina, or 9\11.

    The scary thing is, intellectualy, it's not that big of a leap from kookoo puffs objectivism to liberterianism.

    Commence the flaming!
  2. Well, since I suppose you are going to grossly misstate a philosophical principle like objectivism then I guess the flaming you get is probably warranted.

    Rand speaks of selfishness not in terms of ignoring others or doing whatever it takes to get to the top but rather is looking after your own self-interest. While it is fine and good to help others you should first do for yourself before you consider that of others. The principle is that all persons act in a selfish manners. But society is by and large helped by such things. Take business as an example. The rich man sets up shop so that he can in turn earn more money. It was a selfish desire for more money that drove him to set up that business. While he might have done so out of greed and selfishness his actions have helped his fellow humans. In order to operate his business he must have employees and because of the nature of competition if he wants good employees then he is going to have to pay them a good wage. He is also going to need suppliers for his business who in turn hire more employees. While taxation is a morally bankrupt idea the city, county, state and federal government benefit by the taxes he and his company pay. His employees take their money and buy houses, food, cars, electronics, invest and save. It is from the actions of his employees that more people find jobs or are able to get a loan to start their own business.

    I'm not an expert on Randian philosophy but I have a basic grasp of what her idea of selfishness is and it isn't what you paint it out to be.
  3. How is taxation morraly bankrupt? What's moraly bankrupt about providing infrastructure? Is not bob the buisness owner benefitting from well maintained streets and roads? And how about the fire department that keeps his building from burning down? Or how about the coast guard and the navy which secures the ports that import the goods that he sells?
    Is it not true that objectivism doesn't quanitfy any of that, and actualy argues the world would be a better place without this sort of system?
  4. Yup its the "screw you i got mine" philoshopy, which really isnt far away from the right-libertarian philoshopy.

  5. rofl, it's provide for yourself, don't become dependent on me, just because this is the 21st century and so far the common self interest of man has provided all the luxuries which you are ABLE to have access to without of contributing anything. But if you want those luxuries which were made possible by self interest of others, then you have to PAY for those luxuries, you think back in b.c. people helped others build their home for free? helped them heard sheep or grow grain?
  6. #6 UnbyJP, Sep 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2009
    Actually, for some of us, its the "I respect that you worked hard to get yours, so I won't feel entitled to it, even though I don't have my own yet" philosophy, which really isn't that far away from how I'd like others to treat me when/if I do get my own.

    Oh, its also the "Can the govt please not take taxes out of my paycheck when I'm still working to get mine, if they do, can they at least ask me what I'd want to pay taxes on, and show me in painstaking detail how what I get is worth the exact value of what I pay in taxes, not one dollar less, or one dollar more, as opposed to what my neighbor gets for what he pays, etc, etc, SHIT THAT MAKES SENSE" philosophy.
  7. Wow, what a bunch of intellectual virgins converging on one thread.

    First of all, I have seen absolutely zero Objectivists in this forum, but then again I've only been here a few months. Second, Objectivism is not 'screw you, I got mine'. That is a naive, and uneducated view. What Rand advocates is rational self-interest. She rejects altruism (Forcing people to be nice), and wishes people to do goodwill voluntarily.

    You guys seriously have a naive view of capitalism if you think it, or Objectivism is 'screw you, I got mine', but I guess that isn't say much from people, who when proven wrong, resort to argument such as;

    'w/e duuude i think ur rong'.

    Man, there are so many undereducated (Borderline uneducated) people that post here, it's unreal. For the last goddamn time, learn something about capitalism before making stupid statements.
  8. Objectivist tend to agree with the idea of limited government and taxes to support it. They aren't going to argue that taxation is inherently immoral. Being an anarchist I argue that they are inherently immoral because they are collected by means of force. I believe that the use of force, or even the threat of it, is never justified unless it is for self-defense. Since taxes must be collected either by the direct use of force or by the threat of direct force then taxation is a form of violence and thus immoral. I can't argue for Objectivist views on taxation really since I do not accept Objectivism as a sound moral philosophy.

    Roads and fire protection are in reality services and all services can be provided by the market. Bob the Business Owner would benefit from roads with or without the government. If the government wasn't providing the roads then ABC Road Company would. If the government wasn't providing fire protection services then XYZ Fire Protection Company would.

  9. Were you alive during Katrina or 9/11?

    Well I volunteered in BOTH of those catastrophes, and nobody forced me to do it. I was inspired by ethical egoism, not altruism. Volunteers were helping in Katrina before the state ever considered helping.

    It's not coincidence that the coercive apparatuses that people who think like you designed to enforce altruism FAILED in both of those instances.
  10. fuckin owned

  11. This is what happens when you evaluate politics emotionally rather than rationally. Altruism is a nice ideal but when you think about it practically it has implications contrary to the necessity of, well, FREEDOM.

  12. Fucking awesome.

    Can`t +rep though
  13. I'm surprised no one here has taken the time to notice that Objectivism and Rand do not advocate selfishness, they state that selfishness is an innate human trait that can not be overcome (nor should it be overcome).

    People always act in accordance with their own wishes. Period. Every action you make is selfish. Maybe you like to think you are better than others, so you advocate altruism. You are being selfish, because you desire a means to think highly of yourself.
  14. I see both sides of this fence.

    It would be terrible if people lived off the "screw you I got mines" philosophy. On the other hand, when shit breaks down and then SHIT HITS THE FAN, 90% of society resorts to this. It's human instinct. The "Fight or Flight" theory. However, there are people who live like this day-to-day. Those are the last people who I want to meet. They truly live off that one line of "screw you I got mines". Sociopaths...their out there...

    If I could some up my philosophy in one line, it would be, "Do to others what you would have them do to you".-The Golden Rule. Can't beat that!
  15. Just because something can doesn't mean it would be a good idea. What about if you didn't pay the fire department? What then? What if you didn't have to pay to use a road but one of your empoyees did? You're still going to end up having to spend for it by a higher sallary for your employee so they can come to work, so what makes it inherently better then a publicly owned road?

  16. this post makes no sense.

    first of all the road and fire department are paid by taxes such as gasoline and property tax goes to fire department.

    if you want to live on that acre, pay taxes on the acre and you receive a fire department and police station.

    They are trying to get to the point, where you don't need a government to provide every little thing. Like with health insurance, just because it's a modern invention, doesn't mean everyone has the right to BENEFITING from it. If you want to pay to benefit, by all means enjoy what you pay for. If you want a public option where people have to contribute to you getting that health insurance, is where people have the problem.

    i could be really off base, but i think that's where everyone is some what trying to get at.
  17. Uh no guy. Objectivism is directly opposed to this sort of funding. It's considered immoral and wrong and should idealy be left to the free market to determine it.

  18. it's just a philosophy, does this mean you believe Obama's advisors are using means through their publications and experience in the field of population control, through contaminating water, food, and air.
  19. if obama stated that as part of his platform i might be more inclined to believe it.

  20. well how can one not agree with this philosophy, but you're making it mandatory for them to carry out each plan, following it to the very core of the beliefs. Where as Obama has these advisors at his dispense, he hires them, pays them, talks to them, he just doesn't tell you he is planning to kill your unborns slowly.

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