Tag Archives: Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand and Selfishness

Ayn Rand is a lightning rod.  A lightning rod for many many different reasons.  But I wanna discuss a single one tonight.  That is, that Ayn Rand promotes a certain degree of selfishness.

I’m not necessarily a Rand fan-boy.  I do think that her book Atlas Shrugged, the only Rand book that I’ve read, is an epic tale of government encroachment.  However, her views on virtually anything beyond what she spoke to in that novel is new to me.  With the exception of one concept, that of her aforementioned concept of selfishness.

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There’s been much talk in the last few days weeks months years about the need to compromise.  To reach out, walk the aisle and find partners in diplomacy in order to strike a deal, pass legislation. And I think, to a large degree, that such sentiments are noble and admirable.  In the end, a compromise or coming together, where both sides can walk away and succeed in front of their “bosses” is, or should be, the goal.

Much of what I do in my job is such positioning, or compromising.  There are certain jobs that have to be done, some that don’t of course, and they must be done, or sunset, by a certain group of people.  Often times, the group that SHOULD be doing the work doesn’t WANNA do the work.  Or, the converse is true as well, the organizations that own the work today don’t wanna give it up.  Either way, two divergent thoughts about how to get the thing done.  Only in rare circumstances do I advocate for a total power play.  Most often I urge an agreement that will allow both managers to succeed in front of their boss.

Politics should be no different.

However, it assumes that both players are moderates.  That they don’t have the dogma associated with the zealot.  Faced with conflicting ideas and paths toward success, they feel sure that the “other guy” has the same goal in mind.

Today, that is not the case.  We are dealing with a different kind of conflict today.  We’re debating the very essence of how our government should be organized.  We are NOT debating about how we are going to run an agreed upon government.

On one side, you have a group of people who feel as free and as open a market is best suited to bring about prosperity to a nation as a whole.  On the other, you find a group f of people who feel that by taking more and more of another’s property is the best way to bring about prosperity as a whole.

This is not a debate about a middle ground, this is a debate about which form we wanna live under.

Ayn Rand said it best:

There can be no compromise between a property owner and a burglar; offering the burglar a single teaspoon of one’s silverware would not be a compromise, but a total surrender—the recognition of his right to one’s property.

I can’t compromise with today’s Democrats when it comes to their larger world view.  It has come down to what system of government we will agree to abide by.