Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Apr 30, 2012


So, here's today's XKCD.

Now, I don't really have (that much) of a problem if people just outright disagree with Ayn Rand.  But misinterpretation on this scale gets pretty annoying.  Or, worse, if it's not actually misinterpretation, and people somehow believe that letting people bear the consequences for their actions equates with "be a huge asshole".

Since the general consequences of being a "huge asshole" to people are that you wind up bitter and alone, I'd have to say that the philosophical recommendation of Objectivism (inasmuch as there is one) would be "don't be a huge asshole".  Why do people think that it's in your self-interest to be a hateful jerk?  It's so much easier to get people to do what you need when they have a reason to give a damn about what happens to you.  Heck, if you're enough of a jerk, people may not even be willing to help you out when it's otherwise in their own personal, immediate interests, because they'd rather suffer a little than tolerate you.

This doesn't mean you should go around handing out bits of your life and soul door-to-door, desperately trying to buy the affections of people who mean nothing to you.  It CERTAINLY doesn't mean that you should do this to try and buy the affections of people who are actively out to harm you.

If that's being an asshole, so  be it.

1 comment:

Steve D said...

Interesting, isn't it; that people persist in thinking that their interests are in conflict when the entire history of human civilization teaches otherwise.

I think Ayn Rand once made a comment to the effect that even a stranger deserved a base level of respect due to his/her potential value.