Archives for posts with tag: ayn rand

I love books because I’m a mind peeper. It’s fun to find out things you think by reading what other people think. Sometimes books have something to teach, sometimes they have something to entertain you with, and sometimes they are a demonstration of a stupid mind. Books can take more time to go into something than a blog post. When somebody has an idea big enough for a book – not an idea stretched to fit a book – then it takes time to soak in. Most books are stretched ideas or non-ideas, they don’t offer anything. As I understand it, Fifty Shades of Grey offered some moist panties because it mentioned butt plugs. That’s cool. I think that book probably made a lot of lives better. Once the end came and you found out she was on heroin the entire time and her lover was actually a fourteen year old boy (I’m nearly positive that isn’t the case) the magic was over. There aren’t a lot of books that you remember. There are even fewer books that take your mind and warp it so hard that you can never forget what they taught.

A lot of my close friends read solely non-fiction. “HA! Childish stories? Have fun Kyle…” Read the rest of this entry »

what an honorable fellow

It’s terrible to be selfish. It’s bad for you and it’s bad for me. Altruism is the ideal! You must sacrifice everything for the good of whatever isn’t your good. Don’t you dare do that thing for you!

We share some very confusing morals. Whoever proclaimed sacrifice Read the rest of this entry »

David Kelley wrote a great piece for the Atlas Society entitled Life: Your Adventure in Entrepreneurship. It deals mainly with how we all have the responsibility of an entrepreneurial life. Not meaning that we all need to own our own businesses, but own our own lives. (The article has been taken down since.)

He makes great points about the necessity to take responsibility for everything in our lives- our values and decisions. This means reasoning with every aspect of our lives instead of accepting the status quo. We are not being responsible- and cannot be truly happy- unless we know why we do what we do.

My favorite pieces:

-(Opening Paragraph) The entrepreneurial spirit is the spirit of enterprise: ambition to succeed, initiative in taking action, alertness to opportunity. It means being proactive rather than reacting to events and opportunities as they come along. It involves a full acceptance of the responsibility for initiating action to achieve one’s goals, and for dealing with the consequences that arise as one does so. [Accepting responsibility for everything you do is, to me, key. This is what allows you to really consider yourself and your life as an achievement] Read the rest of this entry »

This doesn't look civilized

I had a great talk with a good friend this morning about the idea of sacrifice being a positive or negative.  Sacrifice is usually considered the greatest good one can do.  Selfishness usually defines the worst people on the planet.  I think the reason for this is because we generally use loose definitions for them.  Definitions that really don’t make any sense.

Objectivism offers more accurate, effective definitions.  My friend helped me realize the simplest way to differentiate is to recognize whether love is involved or not.  “Sacrifice” out of love is rational selfishness (which I’ll just call selfishness).  “Sacrifice” without love is sacrificial.

I heard Oprah has been talking about how she “sacrificed” having a family so she could work 24/7 on her show.  Assuming she loves her show, Oprah was not sacrificial in her actions, she was selfish.

When I give up a night working on a project to go see my sister play in a volleyball game I’m being selfish.

When I give up a night partying to study, I’m not sacrificing, I’m being selfish.

When someone makes me feel guilty for some group of starving people and I give them money to rid the guilt, that’s sacrificial.

When I take time out of my day to help someone I don’t like, that’s sacrificial.

So selfishness is not hoarding all good for yourself unless you don’t love anyone.  Selfishness is acting in your highest good; in Atlas Shrugged that meant John Galt giving his life for Dagny Taggart.

Well, make a couple. Divide and conquer! Wahooo!

(I’m using the terms “liberal” and “conservative” very loosely in this post.  Liberals traditionally had great ideas, it’s progressives that I’m talking about.  Why not use “progressives”?  They all think they’re liberal.  Also, this isn’t a Republican/Neocon vs Democrat comparison.  It’s more of a Libertarian/Ron Paul Conservative vs The World.  So most Republicans will probably fit into the  “Liberal” title.)

There is the popular idea that liberals are the heartfelt givers and conservatives are the heartless takers.  Liberals want a world where everyone loves one another and everybody shares everything and everyone is healthy and happy.  Conservatives want to hoard what is theirs and enslave lesser people to poverty.    Liberals believe altruism, sacrifice, is the ultimate good.  Conservatives believe that they must be completely selfish (not the rational kind) to get ahead.  Liberals love life.  Conservatives love money (and eating kittens).

The ironic thing is that when these ideas take physical form, liberals are shown to be hypocrites over and over again.

Givers Takers

Liberals tend to like the idea of redistribution of wealth.  The evil fat cats who have all that money don’t deserve it.  I deserve it.  Why?  They have too much and I don’t have enough.  So their idea of giving is taking money from people who they feel don’t need or deserve it and give it to the people who in their estimation need it.  That is a philosophy of theft.  Beyond that, it also means liberals have less faith in humanity than conservatives do.  Those who believe the government needs to steal money from one group of people to give to another are offending both parties.  They don’t believe the rich will provide for the poor and they don’t believe that the poor can survive by their own means.

If the philosophy of theft is morally fucked, just think of the incentives in such a system.  The rich are punished for creating wealth, stupid.  Maybe even more stupid, though, is what it teaches the poor.  “It’s okay to steal from other people, you deserve what they’ve created.”  “You don’t need to worry about living, we’ll take care of that for you.”  “And don’t do anything to provide too well for your family, because then we’ll start taking from you instead.”  This incentive structure has to lead to less of everything.  Not only does it destroy the great production pie but it also creates social divides where there really shouldn’t be any.  Now the rich despise the poor because they are sucking on their bank accounts and the poor despise the rich because they have to rely on them.

Capitalists end up being the true Givers.  Entrepreneurs make money because they make value in excess.  They have to make something that you want and give it to you at a price equal to or less than you are willing to pay for it.  So in order to be a successful businessman you have to give more than you take, you have to be a net Giver.  (Any and all instances of businesses fucking the public are either short lived or made possible by the government, the vast majority of the time it’s the latter.)  Let’s look at the incentives in a community that believes in the philosophy of creation.  The wealthy entrepreneurs are encouraged to keep creating wealth, jobs, and value.  The poor can see that in order to be a consumer they must first be a producer.  When incentives aim at a bigger pie everyone wins.  History shows us that the only reliable way to create a better standard of living is to create a bigger pie.  If you want a bigger middle class then stop taxing away entrepreneurship.

‎”Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible.  The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.” – Ayn Rand

“one of the hallmarks of the man who lacks self-esteem —and the real punishment for his moral and psychological default—is the fact that all his pleasures are pleasures of escape from the two pursuants whom he has betrayed and from whom there is no escape: reality and his own mind.”. Ayn Rand in the Virtue of Selfishness

Rand makes a great point here. Why do we have this escapist mentality? Shouldn’t we be making our reality and our mind places we can enjoy?

Consider alcohol for instance. Isn’t it sad that we want to alter our own existance so that we can enjoy ourselves more?

I have no real answers or these questions… So I’m going to go have a drink a try to enjoy myself…

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