Much of the search traffic to this site involves a combination of terms that include selfish.
Today, someone was looking for the “Top 10 Selfish Politicians”; limited to current politicians, I am at a loss to come up with 10. I can name one: Paul McKeever, the leader of Freedom Party of Ontario. How many actually selfish politicians can you name?
Our politicians lack a self and are instead an empty reflection of the electorate, which contains a solid majority with an anti-selfish worldview. Look at the crises created by the anti-selfish character of our politics, which I have called our orgy of self-sacrifice.
Given the band wagon momentum, why go against it? Why be a selfish citizen?
Popularly, there is a serious misunderstanding about what it is to be selfish. In the 2008, President Obama claimed that his opponents wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness. Of course, that “charge” is not true of McCain/Palin and the Republicans, who are fully on board for accelerating our orgy of self-sacrifice; however, it is true for Obama’s actual opponents…selfish Americans. Are you on board for today’s orgy of self-sacrifice, or opposed to it?
Popularly, selfish is used to refer to anything that the accuser thinks is evil…but selfish is not a synonym for evil. Literally, and ironically, when an individual disdainfully hurls the accusation of selfish that individual is saying, “I disagree with the choice that person made and I think that person should subordinate their own judgment to mine.” Don’t get me wrong, those accusers are not being selfish; it is not selfish to assert that someone else should be your slave.
So what is it to be selfish? Literally, it is to be concerned with your self. You are concerned with your self, aren’t you? Or does your lack of self-esteem cause you to believe that you are unworthy of concern? By self, I refer to your life, your person, your passions, including the people you love, the values that you actively pursue, and hopefully the virtues of America.
To be a selfish citizen requires one to see and pursue the centrality of your life and values in our politics; in other words: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is about your life, your liberty, and your pursuit of happiness. Such considerations are not based upon the whim of the moment (“me want free stuff” or “me want to force others to give free stuff to whom I say”), but in the rational context of one’s lifetime and values.
The following quote focuses on man’s nature and moral redemption. As our country is an aggregate of independent individuals, such redemption of many individuals creates the momentum to redeem America. Via the Ayn Rand Lexicon, quoting from the introduction to Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness:
The first step is to assert man’s right to a moral existence—that is: to recognize his need of a moral code to guide the course and the fulfillment of his own life . . . .
The reasons why man needs a moral code will tell you that the purpose of morality is to define man’s proper values and interests, that concern with his own interests is the essence of a moral existence, and that man must be the beneficiary of his own moral actions.
Since all values have to be gained and/or kept by men’s actions, any breach between actor and beneficiary necessitates an injustice: the sacrifice of some men to others, of the actors to the nonactors, of the moral to the immoral. Nothing could ever justify such a breach, and no one ever has.
We Americans are fortunate to live in the context of the greatest country that the minds of individual men have produced. The inconveniences of our current politics are small compared to the obstacles that were overcome to create in reality the ideas of America. To overcome the vacuous dolts who are destroying this country, we begin by being selfish in our personal lives, which includes being selfish citizens of our republic.
Extra Point: Today’s offering is the 100th post at Selfish Citizenship. Below are the top ten posts since July 4, 2012.
- Obama Attacks Free Speech Again
- A Tale of Two Homeless Men
- Open Letter to Gary Johnson
- Obama Using Accounting Cheat to Hide $761.5 Billion in Deficit Spending
- Bipartisan Deal – Status Quo Continuing Resolution for FY 2013
- On Foreign Policy, American Founders vs. Ron Paul
- 6 Causes of India’s Mega-Blackout, Lessons for US
- IRS’ 401k Early Withdrawal Penalties vs. Americans in Reality
- Top Three Reasons to Vote Obama for President
- Cannibal Culture