Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"If you made it yourself,....Why shouldn't you keep it, you made it..."

So says Ayn Rand, in an interview with Phil Donahue (thanks to reader Jeff for the link) when talking about citizens keeping money that they make themselves. Take notice of the audience reaction to Rand's ideas in the clip--people seem to love her. Imagine what would happen if she were on Jon Stewart's show in today's political climate. The boos and hisses would be deafening. Take a listen, it is really interesting:


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32 Comments:

Blogger Oligonicella said...

Yeah, that's true, buy there's a fundamental difference between Donahue and Steward. Well, two. The first is the desire to actually discuss. The second is who they stuff their audiences with.

6:02 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger Mario said...

When it comes to politics, a good portion of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, have devolved to the ranks of the most rabid British soccer fans. But, from the left, which dominates the discussion in the media and on college campuses, what you get is the practice of shouting down anyone they disagree with. Moreover, what distinguishes Donahue, and that time, from what goes on today is that he didn't have people on his program just so that he could incite his flunkies to their minute of hate. That's so much of what goes on today.

I have to mention, though, if you're watching Donahue interviews with Ayn Rand, don't miss the one he did in Madison Square Garden where she jumps ugly on a woman in the crowd -- not without justification -- and the crowd in that big arena turns on her. I used to joke that it was as if she had been thrown to the lions, and that the poor woman never felt more Christian in her life.

6:39 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Wow. I'd forgotten how Donohue would ask one or two questions and then shut up and let his guest talk. Especially amazing since from what I know of his politics, he would not have agreed with her. Pleasant, polite, letting her make her points.

His griping about the maldistribution of wealth, though - I suppose that he carefully calculated the average wealth of Americans and gave away all of his own wealth over that amount? Probably not.

7:35 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Laura, it is difficult to be a socialist when you get some cash! It is easy to talk like one, but very difficult to give capital away like one.

Trey

7:42 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger stuart said...

Socialist? the govt subsidiezes so many things that there is no "pure capitalism" for a long long time...How do you think the nation got spanned by railroads and then, later by interstate highways? Both done under Re;publican presidents.\

amusing that we take our :"ikdeas" from tv shows!

7:45 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Stuart, "the govt subsidiezes so many things that there is no 'pure capitalism' for a long long time" is true, but that's never going to be enough for people who wring their hands about the "maldistribution of wealth".

The sad thing is, when you look at societies like Russia right after the revolution, or parts of Asia that have fallen to communism, they're amazingly like Animal Farm: all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. And the stratifying happens pretty fast because it's human nature. There's no way, NO way, that everyone will have the same amount of wealth. Human nature just won't allow it. (And there's no reason why it should.)

8:12 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

To clarify: the reason why it's sad is that it's pushed by people like the Russian serfs who are truly being exploited and oppressed, and then they end up getting it in the neck again.

8:14 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger Randroideka said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:27 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger Randroideka said...

Another time on Donahue (not the same one Mario mentioned), Rand was insulted by a questioner - starting at about 6:00 in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q7cje1I3VM

The hypothetical Stewart audience would be similarly insulting, but likely with more snickering and arched eyebrows and fewer actual words.

The incident in the clip continues at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfqq4VKh1xM

The end of that clip is a poignant discussion of her husband's recent death.

8:29 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

Perhaps its because the notion that the people we're talking about made their money has been proven laughable.

12:09 AM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Leave the house every morning before the social workers start work, and don't come back until after they've gone home for the day. Have enough kids through the girlfriend to cover the bills. That's the way you do it.

5:42 AM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Bolie Williams IV said...

There is a perfectly good reason why SOME of the money you make reasonably should go to the government... it pays for things like defense and law enforcement. Civil courts (contract enforcement, dispute resolution) are also vital to a working economy.

Of course, our taxes currently pay for a lot of other stuff, too...

12:41 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Rob Fedders said...

Bolie Williams IV,

Those things aren't supposed to be funded from your income at all. Here is an article which explains things quite clearly

4:00 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I agree with Rand's political philosophy, but her ideas concerning charity go against my spiritual beliefs.

Trey

7:08 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Mine too, Trey.

9:54 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Laura, it reminds me of something our pastor said. "If you find a perfect church, don't join it. You will just ruin it."

Makes me chuckle every time I think of it.

Trey

9:21 AM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Seerak said...

I agree with Rand's political philosophy, but her ideas concerning charity go against my spiritual beliefs.

Her ideas concerning charity were merely this: it is morally optional.

That's it.

Is that what you are objecting to?

6:39 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

"What was Ayn Rand’s view on charity?

My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue."

The Ayn Rand Institute: FAQ

For me, and presumably for Trey, charity is a primary virtue.

Also, when I've bought food for panhandlers I've not worried too much about whether they were worthy of my charity. "Ma'am, I'm hungry" was enough for me.

8:33 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Also, from Matthew 25:

"31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

For a Christian, charity is not optional. We don't need to make other people be charitable, but we ourselves must be.

8:37 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger johngalt said...

Laura and Trey,
You may not need to make other people be charitable, but the leftists in our government do. Since you consider charity to be a "primary virtue" then you cannot fault the leftists for forcing others to "be charitable" (as you said you must be.)

This is how Christian altruism enables Marxist-Leninist policies to proliferate in western governments. (If something is "virtuous" then how is a government mandate for it not also virtuous?)

10:28 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

johngalt, if you don't want to get it, don't get it. But you need not try to explain Christianity to Christians. Jesus wants me to be charitable. He does not want me to force you to be charitable, your opinion of my beliefs notwithstanding. Maybe you are blissfully unaware that every Christian does not agree on every single thing, including the appropriate role of the government in society. Look at the Apostles' Creed, which states the beliefs that we have in common, (most of us,) and tell me where in there it says that to be a Christian we have to try to force other people to be charitable.

And this: "(If something is "virtuous" then how is a government mandate for it not also virtuous?)" is really stupid. Excuse me, but it is. It's virtuous for married people to be faithful to their spouses, is it not? Does it follow that we need a government mandate that married people's sex lives be scrutinized to make sure they're not having unauthorized sex? Government exists to do things for the people that we cannot do for ourselves: defense, as Rand mentions in her video, building interstate highways (which promote capitalism in both cities and out-of-the-way places) and things of that nature. It is not the government's place to try to force me to be virtuous. My virtue is my business. Do you disagree?

8:51 AM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Seerak said...

Laura: when you declare that, for yourself as a Christian, that charity is "a primary virtue" and is "not optional", do you specifically mean to say that charity is a moral duty that overrides any consideration of personal values?

If so, you are correct to identify the contradiction between Christianity and Ayn Rand. Rand rejected out-of-hand as arbitrary, the very notion of "duty" -- i.e. there are no such thing as unchosen obligations. I have no disagreement there.

Where the trouble lies, is that political freedom itself rests on the moral principle of individual moral sovereignty -- that is, that there are no unchosen obligations. No "duty". If you can be saddled with arbitrary moral obligations not of your own choosing, you are not free.

In the following statement, you appear to be agreeing with this idea:

"It is not the government's place to try to force me to be virtuous. My virtue is my business."

(Bold is mine.)

I wholeheartedly agree with this as stated. The problem is that it is not a Christian sentiment -- it finds its origins in the secular Enlightenment.

The Christian view of government, as openly stated by many contemporary conservatives such as Russell Kirk, and as evidenced by the type of governments we had for the thousand-plus years of unchallenged Christian political, moral and epistemological hegemony, was and is an unabashedly paternalistic one.

Not only did feudal society see the relationship of lord to serf as being quasi-parental, but even as political freedom was finally being realized in the world, in particular here in the United States, contemporary critics all expected it to fail because such a society did the unthinkable -- it vested moral and political sovereignty in the individual. "Every man a King, a sovereign unto himself", they mocked derisively -- and they predicted freedom's swift failure, on the grounds that human beings are innately sinners and therefore loaded with "evil tendencies", that they need leaders to take care of them, that they are sheep needing a shepherd etc.

This theme resonates throughout history, and is the same theme invoked by paternalistic conservatives when they are expanding the power of the State for their own purposes.

I understand that you, Laura, are not a paternalist, and I applaud you for that. But the credit for this does not belong to Christianity(*), but to the secular Enlightenment tradition which was the first to put forth the fully-fledged idea of individual moral sovereignty which is expressed by the statement "My virtue is my business"--- and it belongs to you personally for embracing it.

It is the rise of that secular tradition in the West which finally made long-term religious coexistence possible -- by separating them from the apparatus of State, and making them sit down and act like adults instead of parents.

(*) If someone wishes to make the case that Enlightenment principles have been adopted by Christianity and should be considered part of it, I am interested to learn about that. I would say, however, that Christians putting forth such a view are going to be at odds with a lot of the paternalists who call themselves Christians today. If there have been debates on this topic, I would appreciate any links or other references.

6:18 PM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Laura: when you declare that, for yourself as a Christian, that charity is 'a primary virtue' and is 'not optional', do you specifically mean to say that charity is a moral duty that overrides any consideration of personal values?"

Can you give me some examples of personal values that might be in conflict with being charitable? I don't beggar myself to help others, if that's what you mean.

"If you can be saddled with arbitrary moral obligations not of your own choosing, you are not free."

If by "being saddled with arbitrary moral obligations" you mean "choosing to obey God's commandments", you're right, except that being a Christian is a choice I made in the first place. Seems to me that when you make a commitment you should follow through. Count the cost first and then get on with it. "My yoke is easy and my burden is light," Jesus said, but it is a yoke and a burden. We know that going in.

As to the Enlightenment changing the kind of Christianity that coexisted with feudalism, I can only tell you that I grew up in the Southern Baptist church. SBs have a concept called "soul competence" in which it's stated that any Christian can read and interpret the Bible, understand it and have a valid theology. We can ask scholars for opinions and interpretations and so forth, but we do not need a go-between between us and God. Jesus is it. I don't think that came from the Enlightenment, I think it came from the fact that the original Southern Baptists were the you're-not-the-boss-of-me Celts who settled the Southern US. And that's kind of inspired my response to people who try to shame me (if I may borrow the word) into performing acts of charity. God can tell me what to do. You cannot tell me what to do.

8:05 PM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Michael said...

Interesting. Good to hear Rand in her own words. I really dislike to find out that things I've heard misrepresent or violently distort a person's views, whether it be Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Marx, Muhammad, Galileo, Newton, Lenin, Che, Jefferson or Mother Teresa.

Rand is clearly not "anti-child" or "anti-family" -- heck, she says people should help smart, talented children; she does not say to put them in forced labor nor does she dismiss Donahue's question with anything like "children don't matter; I won't talk about something so irrelevant" or "people shouldn't have children."

Why some people present Rand as anti-child or anti-family when we can hear and read her own words, I don't understand.

Those people's dishonesty/misrepresentation is brought into the light of day for all to see.

And Rand clearly says charity is OK -- if done for the right reason. Why do people say she is anti-charity? We can listen to Rand or read her ourselves to see that those people are wrong! Why do those people want to ruin their own credibility?

Rand simply does not want forced charity. What's wrong with that? Nothing.

In fact, she said in a 1964 interview (http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/charity.html):

"My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue."

This quote was not difficult to find on the Internet.

Whether we agree or disagree with a person, we should be honest and reasonable about their views -- if we are not, it is at our own cognitive peril.

11:10 AM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger Seerak said...

Hello Laura!

In your comment, you ask:

"Can you give me some examples of personal values that might be in conflict with being charitable? I don't beggar myself to help others, if that's what you mean."

I meant all of them; as I said, a moral duty trumps "any consideration of personal values." This is the essence of "moral duty" that Ayn Rand rejects -- the idea that the welfare of others comes first, period.

This is borne out by your later statement that you don't "beggar yourself". This is approaching charity in the fashion Objectivists do: you are considering the question of whether to help another person, against the context of your own personal "hierarchy of values" -- and that there is a line where you would say "no more".

As Rand would put it, that is where any further charity from you becomes sacrificial -- i.e. you would then be surrendering a greater value for a lesser one -- and you are saying "no" to this sacrifice.

That is precisely what Ayn Rand meant when she said that "charity is optional". You are balancing charity, at your option with your own values.

That certainly seems to be inconsistent with the idea, as stated by Trey earlier, that charity is "not optional" for a Christian, that "We ourselves [Christians] must be [charitable]". Is it?

Not necessarily. Laura tells us:

If by "being saddled with arbitrary moral obligations" you mean "choosing to obey God's commandments", you're right, except that being a Christian is a choice I made in the first place. Seems to me that when you make a commitment you should follow through. Count the cost first and then get on with it. "My yoke is easy and my burden is light," Jesus said, but it is a yoke and a burden. We know that going in.

In other words, the moral obligations of Christianity are part and parcel of the choice to be a Christian -- and are therefore not "duties" when seen in that manner. I'm fine with this.

So now, Laura, we are left with the original question: what exactly is your difference with Ayn Rand's view on charity?

The answer I have from what you've posted so far, is that charity IS optional, insofar as becoming a Christian is optional (chosen), and insofar as charity does NOT trump all personal concerns (i.e. Christians need not beggar themselves).

In this view as I understand it, charity is NOT a "duty", but is instead one of a Christian's moral values, which exists in balance with other values of different priorities.

The difference, then, between Laura's Christian approach and Ayn Rand's, is only a personal one of priorities. For Laura, charity comes much higher in priority for a Christian than it would for an Objectivist.

This is fine with me; if I am understanding Laura correctly, I am satisfied with this answer.

In closing: as regards the interesting "soul competence" concept held by Southern Baptists and its origins in the you're-not-the-boss-of-me attitude of the Celts who settled the South, I would hold that this attitude is certainly expressive of an individualistic attitude that fits well with Enlightenment culture, but I do not know enough about Celtic history to say whether those two cultural threads are the same one, or independent in origin and mutually reinforcing.

I do find the "soul competence" concept very interesting, however, and I would like to investigate it and its history further.

Thank you Laura, for the discussion and that interesting bit of history.

7:29 PM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger johngalt said...

Laura,
I certainly don't believe that government mandated virtue is virtuous, but was making the case that "charity as virtue" is part of the leftists' justification for implementing their statist policies within a government that, as Seerak so eloquently stated it, "vested moral and political sovereignty in the individual." Or at least did so at its inception. My intent was not to "explain Christianity to Christians" but to explain how the Christian tradition of charity is leveraged by non-Christians, anti-Christians even, to further their own collectivist, egalitarian aims.

The original subject here was Rand's opinion on charity, which you quoted from her as essentially "not a moral duty or a primary virtue." But one must also be consciously aware of the distinction between charity and altruism. Charity is, as Rand said in your quote, "helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them." But when a philosophy makes a virtue of helping other people without first making these individual value judgements or worse, after first judging them unworthy of help, then charity becomes altruism. This is the type of "charity" that is practiced by governments, for everyone must be treated "fairly" and "equally" in that context. It is not merely that this charity is forced upon the givers, but that the receivers can be completely void of any redeeming value and still receive.

At the beginning of the Donahue interview Rand said she regarded altruists as "evil." In an essay on Man's Rights by Ayn Rand she wrote: "America’s inner contradiction was the altruist-collectivist ethics. Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights. One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal." This is the moral and philosophical base for her assertion at the end of the Donahue interview, "If you made it yourself... then you should keep all of it. Why shouldn't you, you made it?"

For those who have further interest, I discussed this essay on my own blog where I attempted to show how America's founding fathers unwittingly laid the foundation for the socialist future we now see our country rushing towards. See: http://www.threesources.com/archives/006223.html

1:22 AM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Seerak, I have a personal virtue of integrity. This can't conflict with charity. I have another personal value of logical thinking and rational behavior. This conflicts with just giving out money to make me feel better, since it may not help or may even harm the person on the receiving end, and is a major reason why I dislike a lot of the government-run social programs. But it doesn't conflict with charity, which for me starts with loving the person on the receiving end, thinking about his situation and what he needs, and then the help with the food or whatever. If you start that way you don't do charity because it makes you feel good, might get you into heaven, assuage your liberal guilt if any, or is another thing you cross off your list. Sometimes I think the person on the receiving end needs to feel somebody gives a damn about as much as he needs his lunch.

I may choose not to help a panhandler with food or money b/c I think that help would be either unnecessary or actually counterproductive. That doesn't stop me from caring about him as a person and hoping he'll get his stuff together. And that's actually a part of charity too, which I don't think Rand would have gotten at all.

11:59 AM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

John, first of all, if other people are going to cherry-pick concepts in the New Testament and use them out of context to support their own agenda, I can't help that. It also does not require me to abandon those concepts.

Also, I don't agree with Rand about altruism - actually, about what the word really means. "Unselfish regard for the welfare of others" - well, she had a fit about that "unselfish" part. But when someone has said to me "ma'am I'm hungry" and I bought him a sandwich and a bottle of orange juice, that didn't do anything for me. So it was "unselfish". I don't think I was tearing at the fabric of a free society when I did that.

12:04 PM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger Seerak said...

Hi Laura,

Regarding your last point: I can't speak for Ayn Rand (and neither can she, since she's dead), but speaking for myself, I don't have a problem understanding the idea of caring about someone who is down on his luck, and hoping he can get his stuff together.

One of the most idiotic, persistent patterns among Rand's critics (none in this thread, mercifully) is the assumption that to care about others is automatically an "unselfish" thing... to the point of considering that as the very definition of "unselfish". This is, to put it mildly, poppycock.

To "care" about something or someone is to value that something or someone. In the latter case, to care about a person means that their interests become part of your interests. The more you care about a person, the higher the priority their interests are to you. I too would not "beggar myself" for the benefit of a stranger, but if I had to do that to save the life of my fiance or a member of my family, I would selfishly do it in a heartbeat.

By the proper definition of "selfishness" -- concern with and pursuit of one's own interests and values (notice that this contains no reference to "others" at all) -- caring about other people is quite natural, and properly selfish in the Randian view. I think we can agree that human beings per se are a good thing, and that when we meet someone for the very first time, we ought to treat them with goodwill on that principle.

Where I suspect that you would differ from an Objectivist like myself, is that I don't care indiscriminately. It is possible for someone to forfeit that goodwill; it is possible for a person to descend to a certain moral level where I become indifferent to their fate.

Regarding the meaning of altruism, I strongly suggest that you consider some of the words of that benighted doctrine's leading thinkers.

From the penultimate apostle of "moral duty", Immanuel Kant:

The principle of one's own happiness, however, is the most objectionable, not merely because it is false and experience contradicts the pretense that well-being always proportions itself to good conduct, nor yet merely because it contributes nothing at all to the establishment of morality, since making someone happy is quite different from making him good. --Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals (1785)

"To be beneficent when we can is a duty; and besides this, there are many minds so sympathetically constituted that, without any other motive of vanity or self-interest, they find a pleasure in spreading joy around them, and can take delight in the satisfaction of others so far as it is their own work. But I maintain that in such a case an action of this kind, however proper, however amiable it may be, has nevertheless no true moral worth, but is on a level with other inclinations. ... For the maxim lacks the moral import, namely, that such actions be done from duty, not from inclination.

Put the case that the mind of that philanthropist were clouded by sorrow of his own extinguishing all sympathy with the lot of others, and that while he still has the power to benefit others in distress, he is not touched by their trouble because he is absorbed with his own; and now suppose that he tears himself out of this dead insensibility, and performs the action without any inclination to it, but simply from duty, then first has his action its genuine moral worth."
Ibid.

When Kant says "to act from inclination", he most emphatically does NOT mean a mere emotionalistic "when one feels like it"; he specifically means to act from the pursuit of values, a.k.a. self-interest, what Ayn Rand calls selfishness.

Now a quote from the man who coined the term "Altruism":

[The] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service.... This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. --Auguste Comte, Catechisme Positiviste (via Wikipedia)

These men mean it. Ayn Rand was not exaggerating. There can be no mistaking the meaning of altruism in the words of its advocates -- and it is not benevolence or charity, or least of all "caring". Altruism is about living for others, about placing others at the TOP of your priority list, trumping all personal values and concerns -- including integrity, rationality, and your life itself.

Their idea of "true moral action" is not giving when you care, but giving when you don't -- but you have to.

So, Laura, in your last example: is it really true that when you bought a sandwich and a bottle of orange juice for someone, that it "didn't do anything for you?" That is a declaration of indifference.

That flatly contradicts what you wrote earlier -- that a part of charity is that you care about the recipient. If you do care about someone, their interests become part of your interests, to the exent that you care about them. Your lending assistance to them becomes an act from values, which I would call moral, but what Kant would deride as having "no moral import" because it was done from "inclination".

The only way that buying that person breakfast could really do "nothing for you" would be if it made no difference to you whether that person ate or not -- just like the miserable philanthropist in Kant's example.

We already know this is wrong. By your own words earlier, it does make a difference. You do care.

What you did was not altruism. So say the acolytes of altruism.

Good for you, say I.

9:56 PM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger dgpaynejr said...

Hmmm. I wonder about what I have elsewhere (http://minervashowl.com) called "pure passive altruism."

12:57 PM, March 31, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Well, I guess just about anything can be overthought. To me, unselfishness doesn't automatically mean self-sacrifice, it may just mean acknowledging that not everything is about me. If I want to sit at home and read a book and my husband wants me to go to a movie with him, I'll probably go, for a variety of motives. I want to please him. It's good for the relationship to do things together. I would have enjoyed my book but the movie will be OK too. I'm kind of glad that after 26 years he still wants to hang out with me. But I don't parse all of that - I just set the book aside and put my shoes on. In this case, it's a matter of courtesy, which some people think you can skip over when it comes to your family - I think your family deserves the best manners you have. He does the same when I want to do something.

Conversely, being selfish or self-centered can slide into narcissism if you don't have a healthy view of where you fit into the big picture.

I don't know if all of this is necessarily in direct conflict with Rand's philosophy, but if not, it definitely approaches from a different angle.

6:43 PM, March 31, 2009  
Blogger peter.w said...

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10:21 AM, May 01, 2009  

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