Tonight I attending a talk by Yaron Brook and Don Watins about their new book Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government. I am excited to read this book and a quick summary of the chapter titles will demonstrate why that is true [emphasis added]:
Part I – The Problem
1) The Incredible Unshrinking Government
2) Why Government Grows
3) With Friends Like These…
4) The 2008 Housing Meltdown: A Crisis that Government Built
Part II – The Solution
5) Rethinking Selfishness
6) The Morality of Success
7) The Business of Business
8) The Nobility of the Profit Motive
9) Selfishness Unleashed
10) The Dynamism of the Market
11) The Regulatory State and Its Victims
12) The Immoral Entitlement State
13) You Are Not Your Brother’s Health Care Provider
14) Stopping the Growth of the State
The key point from tonight’s talk is that morality drives politics with the key conflict being between rational selfishness and altruism, which literally translates into otherism. In the political domain, these moral ideas are expressed as individualism versus collectivism.
A corollary to that point is that it is ineffective to argue against statist and collectivist policies based upon either economics or pragmatism. The issue is that facts, consequences, and causality do not matter to those supporting the statist and collectivist policies; instead they chose to support that which is STUPID, because they think that such a choice is the moral thing to do. Altruism justifies stupidity as a moral act, because it benefits someone else at the cost of one’s own greater values. Note, stupid is my word choice not the authors.
Yaron Brook was very forceful in making the point that freedom advocating individuals need to reclaim the words that the statists have corrupted with invalid definitions. These corruptions rob the political discourse of the concepts required to express the argument for individual rights. One of those words cited by Brook is “selfish”.
Without selfish, there is no Selfish Citizenship.