Atlas Shrugged, 1957, by Ayn Rand One of the themes of Atlas Shrugged, and of the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand is the idea of all rights are individual rights. Growing up in the Soviet Union, she witnessed first-hand the evils of collectivism, the negation of the self. She believed in the rights of minorities, … Continue reading Analysis of John Galt’s speech: Individuality
Though the altruistic approach seems good on the surface, even to theists, especially Christians, upon further reflection on how this value actually plays out in the real world, one can see the cracks in the secular altruist's argument. Mainly, how do we define what is good for all of society? We as individuals, cannot determine what is best for society, for we can never have a complete enough picture of what society most needs, at least not to a moral certainty. Moreover, is the simple fact that no individual can act on behalf of society.
Altruism seems good, even Biblical, but cannot serve as a code of ethics. The problem with altruism isn't that self-sacrifice is bad, it's that it allows society, not the individual, to make the call on who is required to sacrifice their own best interests and why. Society is the majority, and altruism makes one's actions subject to the need of the collective.
It took much more violence for the Allies to remove the fascists from power than it took for the fascists to gain that power in the first place. The most common of all regrets is not saying saying or doing something earlier, or at all, then suffering the consequences.
All of the major topics I’ve discussed since the inception of the podcast will be covered in a planned multi-part series. I’d like to think that the ideas I talk about are of value to the listener.
Ayn Rand saw collectivism in all its forms as an impediment to human rights. "The good of society" cannot be the basis of rights, since society is merely a collection of individuals, and so the only proper rights are individual rights. When we base rights on what is good for society, that begs the question: Who speaks for society? Throughout history, such people who claim to speak for society inevitably turn out to be tyrants. You have a few, even a single person, deciding what is good for the people. Rand thought that people ought to decide for themselves, based upon rational self-interest.
Racism, as a collectivist pursuit, was anathema to her strictly individualistic Objectivism. To her, all forms of collectivism be they socialism, fascism, or racism were immoral on the basis that collectivism on the national level, ultimately and inevitably leads to authoritarianism and the trampling of individual rights by the government. Racism therefore, would necessitate that same authoritarian brand of government that all other forms of collectivism required in order to sustain itself on a national level.