Comrade MOT from Communism is a Religion has a good question
As a libertarian, are you an objectivist? Do you agree with “Not PC” that altruism(putting other people first as a matter of principle, or “otherism” – not to be confused with benevolence) is not compatible with libertarian principles?
My lead in to libertarianism was through reading Ayn Rand as a teenager back in the ’70s.
I was never a complete “Objectivist” as I could never accept Rand’s unshakeable materialism and atheism. I think agnosticism is a more rational and honest position.
Regarding the altruism vs rational self interest debate-I regard it as a bit of a red herring.
I am not impressed by those who claim to live mainly for others-they’re mainly bullshitters.
Nor do I admire those self absorbed individuals who put their own interests first on all occasions.
Basically I think we should put our values first, not particular people or groups.
I believe in freedom, personal responsibility, the glory of Western Civilisation and the survival of humanity-starting with myself, my family, my friends and my country.
By my values, sometimes it is best and noblest to put my own interests first. In some circumstances however, the survival of my family or my species, might necessitate putting my own life seriously at risk.
If I had to die to save Earth from an asteroid or a “superbug“, I hope I would have the courage to do the right thing.
Most “objectivists” I think would agree with that. Their philosophy is not “selfish” in the narrow sense of the word. It is selfish in the sense of being true to one’s highest values.
Whether that is your philosophy, your family or your religion, is a matter only the individual is fit to decide.
1 thought on “Self or Others First-A Red Herring?”
My introduction to Objectivism was also back in the ’70s when, as a young child, I was enthralled by the Dr Who episode “Dr Who and the Giant Randroid”.