The Virtue of Selfishness

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Wiseacre, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    The Virtue of Selfishness

    The other day I heard someone talking on the TV about Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness”, which caught my attention. I’ve seen many references on this board to the selfish rich guys who oughta pay more taxes, or the greedy Wall Street bankers and mega-corporations that should do more for their employees. It’s as if they’re not altruistic enough, or even unpatriotic. So I looked into it a little; understand, I ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but so far I have come away with some interesting concepts.

    According to Rand, everything we do is based on selfish motives, monetary, physical, psychological, some benefit we accrue even if it’s doing something for somebody else. And, there’s nothing wrong with that, that’s the way the world is and that’s the way we are. Was it a bad thing when Bill Gates invented Windows, or Henry Ford mass produced automobiles? They got filthy rich, but we all benefited, no? They did what they did for selfish reasons, but one could argue for some level of virtue regardless of what their true motivations might have been, even if it was soley for financial gain.

    Suppose we live in a society where selfishness is not rewarded, where would our innovations and tech advances come from then? Maybe some, but I’m thinking we’d have a whole lot less new ideas come to fruition. That’s what capitalism is all about, progress is built on selfishness. Doesn’t mean we should not make sure that no one’s rights are violated as an individual or as a company, or that the consumer and the marketplace are provided with honest data to make their decisions.

    So I’m thinking, selfishness is getting a bad rap, we need people to be trying to improve their lot in life. We need to be making sure selfishness pays off in our economy, we need to ensure it’s as easy as possible to be selfish in the marketplace, within the law that is.


    Here's a link to AR's book, for those who might be interested. I've just started on it, might take awhile to get it. Like I said, I ain't the brightest guy around.

    http://marsexxx.com/ycnex/Ayn_Rand-The_Virtue_of_Selfishness.pdf
     
  2. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    Innovators and people who create stuff are generally not selfish. Bill Gates didn't "create" shit..he bought it. Then marketed it. Which is what most selfish people do.

    The real innovators like Jonas Salk, Albert Einstein, Vint Cerf, Linus Torvald, etc...didn't wind up obscenely wealthy.

    Neither did, laughably enough, Ms. Rand. She died a pauper on the government dole.
     
  3. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    Congratulations for totally missing the point. :lol:
     
  4. Defiant1
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    Defiant1 Gold Member

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    Remember to put your oxygen mask on first before trying to help others.
     
  5. ABikerSailor
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    ABikerSailor Platinum Member

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    Never ceases to amaze me...........rich people pay lip service to God and Yeshua, yet they fail to get the lessons that were laid down in the Bible.

    Primarily, it talks a lot about sharing and helping. Remember the saying "be kind to strangers, for many people have entertained angels unaware".
     

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