Friday, June 1, 2012

Jacob's Ayn Rands thoughts...

Since Kalli talked some Ayn Rand... I'd take some time to organize my thoughts so far on her philosophies...

I really like her emphasis on individual purpose and creation in life.

I appreciate how she glorifies our own ability to create... HERE AND NOW.. and how she creates a world in which human purpose and creation is so exalted.

I think she's speaks some half truths about human selfishness.

To a real sense, and whether we want to admit it or not... we all "look out for #1".

And it's fine to be successful, and even selfish to the degree that you aren't harming others.

I agree with Rand that the hate for successful, rich, and even "healthy" selfishness has gotten a bit skued.

To some degree, as Rand points out, our selfish interests CAN (not always) lead to innovations and productivity that blesses arbitrarily those around us.  It's the enlightened self interest idea.  And I think it's real.

However, "practicing selfishness" in every aspect and small issue in life... will only undermine your happiness.

Rand says that each man is the hero of his own story, and that his ultimate goal is happiness, and his means are rational thought.

I think we must BALANCE selfishness and altruism... Rand says altruism, is evil... the world says selfishness is evil... I think we need some of both.

If selfishness is evil then we should hate ourselves, and that's not good... for anyone.

I think Ayn Rand also underestimates man's social nature and how sociality is such a main contribution to happiness.

When we practice altruism... if only in small things... we beginning to see others as benevolent as well and that shapes our entire world view.

The opposite is also true.  If you rob and cheat others... you will eventually  believe others will rob and cheat you and paranoia will results.

If you help others (not even to your own detriment) you will eventually see others as helpful and kind... in general.

I'm not saying you'll be completely brainwashed... but I'm saying that how you act shapes your outlook and how you view the world around you.

I do think that you shouldn't sacrifice yourself to the point of your own unhappiness .. in general.  And that doing so also will hurt those around you.

If anything I think that economic policy should favor helping people innovate, and avoid creating systems that reward something other than productivity.  That can only encourage insidious trends.

Lastly, I think the idea of serving your own purposes... is NOT good for business.

1. If you think and understand others, and know how to serve them... you can become wealthy.  IMHO... but if you are so blinded by your own desires and don't understand others... you could be stuck in the mud.

2. Even if you are completely engrossed in some greatly innovative project (an Ayn Rand hero)... but if no one cares... you can't be wealthy and succeed, and will ultimately by like her beggars and looters. 

I'm just saying it's possible that your selfish interests AREN'T enlightened.. in some cases, and that you'll be stuck.  So you should try and align one or more of your many interests with that of the benefit of others... boom.. harmony ;)

Anyways, just some thoughts on the controversial Rand philosophies.

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