Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

To the principle of Individual Rights
     We owe our joy, wealth, Life
Secure the Declaration by moral might
     Honor freedom: pay the debt forward!

Fight! That the Founders live on
     Think! That innocents will breathe reason
Extol precious Liberty! By right: cheer!
     To freedom lovers: Happy New Year!

Response to CNBC: Ayn Rand on “her promotion of greed, unfettered self-interest, and her rejection of faith in God.”

In this video - Ayn Rand is criticized for “her promotion of greed, unfettered self-interest, and her rejection of faith in God.”

Ayn Rand did not advocate FORCE. Hence, her atheism, like private faith, is no one’s business. Those promoting faith in God should not equivocate between theocracy and religious freedom: do you aim to use force, i.e. government, to ram down your religion-based values?

Ayn Rand used reason and persuasion to advance INALIENABLE rights, the principle which sanctions unfettered self-interest. In freedom, the greed to pursue one’s own interests is limited only by the equal rights of others. Many have surrendered inalienable rights and have sanctioned the use of force. Consequently, the US has a mixed economy, not a free market.

Theocracy and collectivism employ FORCE. Capitalism employs reason and persuasion. Neither the rich nor the selfish have the power to coerce. Only the government has the power to use force. When the government enters the realm of production and trade, of science, of religion, or of education: it dishonors its noble mandate to secure rights – it becomes a tyrant because it uses force against innocents.

The enemies of freedom decry the greed of creators in generating wealth and jobs. Yet these destroyers celebrate the greed for coercive power and the greed for the unearned.

John Mackey of Whole Foods, a critic of Obamacare, says in this article, “I was very inspired by Ayn Rand’s novels… However, … I don’t think selfishness is a virtue and I don’t believe that business primarily exists to make a profit… Renee and I didn’t begin Whole Foods Market to maximize profits for our shareholders. We began it for three main reasons: we thought it would be fun to create a business; we needed to earn a living; and we wanted to contribute to the well-being of other people....”

Mr. Mackey evades that having fun and earning a living are selfish. As to “contributing to the well-being of other people” – he must mean charity, not trade. Mr. Mackey advocates that the primary purpose of a business is to serve moochers. Self-respecting individuals would reject Mr. Mackey’s charity. Howard Roarks would tell him, “Hands off!” John Galts would say, “Do not live for my sake.”

Some say Mr. Mackey is a Libertarian. Libertarians claim they are for freedom and that they reject government because it is force. They evade that without the proper function of government, unfettered force would reign and might would trump rights.

From Royal Serf:

To value is a function of the self – it is selfish to care for loved ones; their well-being or happiness is not divorced from the valuer’s. That good people live and prosper is in one’s own self-interest. One benefits from the advantages of social existence: exchange of knowledge, trade, division of labor, and defense from force. One wants to live in freedom and in peace – therefore, to cherish a society that respects individual rights is selfish.

The virtue involved in caring for loved ones and doing the right thing is integrity: you love, so you care; you think it is right, so you do it.

Individualists do not need sacrificial lambs. Men with self-esteem, i.e. selfish men, take pride in independence. One cannot achieve happiness without self-esteem. Without self-respect, life is not worth living. This explains why men of integrity do the right thing no matter the cost. No matter how difficult, they cannot do otherwise - they cannot sacrifice their sacred honor. Doing the right thing is not sacrifice – it is upholding the precious, not renouncing nor destroying it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I wish everyone best premises, the best of health, good fortune, great jobs, and everything good and wonderful for 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stossel on ethics, politics, Ayn Rand, and TV ratings

[Response to this article]:

The right to the pursuit of happiness is “acerbic”, says a Libertarian, i.e. Anarchist, and fellow Libertarian John Stossel writes about it. I translated what was said, formulated as follows: Rand’s “Virtue of Selfishness” is acerbic.

The principle of inalienable rights is “dogmatic”, says Mr. Stossel – he said it this way: Rand is dogmatic.

Ayn Rand is in glorious company – Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson also held rights as absolute.

It is elitist to admire the Founders and the Thomas Edisons, say Libertarians. Their words: Rand “… is … elitist, cold and laser-focused on the supermen and superwomen of the world.”

The Founders and the Thomas Edisons EARNED the veneration of Ayn Rand and her kind. Justice demands that the virtuous be extolled.

Pander to moochers in order to sell capitalism, say Libertarians. The defense of self-interest and rights is not good for TV ratings, they claim. They are like the publishers who rejected The Fountainhead, believing no audience existed for it.

Ayn Rand appeals to thinkers, to individuals who respect themselves, to freedom fighters. The endurance of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is proof that they exist in great numbers.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Ethics of SELF-INTEREST: the pursuit of one's own happiness

The Facebook group “Objectivist Ethics and Virtues” does not mention Objectivist Ethics: SELF-INTEREST. The group claims that  Objectivist ethics is the only rational code of ethics, evading – contrary to the virtues of rationality and honesty – the Declaration of Independence: the pursuit of one’s own happiness.

“… Learn the morality implied in the Declaration of Independence, a document that today isn’t quoted enough nor sufficiently understood. The Objectivist ethics is merely the philosophically-worked-out proof of what the Founding Fathers implied in the Declaration. …” -- Ayn Rand Answers pg. 47: "What political steps should be taken to achieve your goals?"

This group states, “Objectivism stands opposed to religious ethics…”

The ethics of an INDIVIDUALIST, a moral descendant of the Founders, is self-interest. One need not be an atheist to be an individualist, to achieve glorious feats:

"The concept of individual rights is so prodigious a feat of political thinking that few men grasp it fully—and two hundred years have not been enough for other countries to understand it. But this is the concept to which we owe our lives—the concept which made it possible for us to bring into reality everything of value that any of us did or will achieve or experience." -- Ayn Rand

A proper philosophy is integrated. An honest man does not drop context. Yet, this group does not mention the ultimate goal of Objectivism: capitalism, the only social system concordant with individual rights.

One need not be an atheist to fight for rights and capitalism.

As to private faith:
“The only good which men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is — Hands off!” -- Howard Roark, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Objectivist Intellectuals and Rational Businessmen are Heroes

I posted the following on Goodreads on September 3, 2008:

I’ve just read Why Businessmen Need Philosophy – “… a posthumous collection of essays by Ayn Rand and other Objectivist intellectuals, published in 1999…"

I thank Ayn Rand and other Objectivist intellectuals for their virtues and precious gifts [e.g. their books]. They make it much easier for me to understand, and to form convictions.

Objectivist intellectuals and rational businessmen are heroes.

The book is not just for businessmen. It is also for thinkers who want to understand business and the government’s policies toward businessmen, like the jailing of businessmen, insider trading, antitrust laws, etc. It is for decent men, who wish mankind happiness, who impose on no one, who want to check if they hold false premises and could unwittingly hurt themselves, their loved ones, their heroes, or other good people.

I bought the book on July 4, 2006 at the Ayn Rand Bookstore of the 2006 Objectivist Conference [OCON] in Boston. The book was autographed by Dr. Edwin Locke. After attending OCON 2006, I started writing REASON REIGNS.

I have a simple common-sense philosophy when it comes to things that I do not yet fully understand: I ask myself, “Does this violate anyone’s rights?” If yes, I deem it to be bad. If not, I further ask, “Would it make me happy, or could it make someone happy?” If yes – then it’s good. Objectivism helps me understand.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The 16th Amendment and Free Speech

I posted the following comment on a Facebook page called "Revocation of tax-exempt status from churches engaging in political action":

Repeal the 16th Amendment! Taxation, the 16th Amendment, incinerates property rights. Exemptions violate equal rights. But revoking tax exemptions due to political speech/action is rights-infringement.

I am against taxation. Slaves, not free men, are taxed. I am for equal inalienable rights, most specially free speech. Everyone should be free to speak out, to advance their convictions using reason and persuasion. If theocracy warriors use freedom of speech to advocate theocracy - it should be combated with opposing speech.