Just as a man’s actions are preceded and determined by some form of idea in his mind, so a society’s existential conditions are preceded and determined by the ascendancy of a certain philosophy among those whose job is to deal with ideas. The events of any given period of history are the result of the thinking of the preceding period. The nineteenth century—with its political freedom, science, industry, business, trade, all the necessary conditions of material progress—was the result and the last achievement of the intellectual power released by the Renaissance. The men engaged in those activities were still riding on the remnants of an Aristotelian influence in philosophy, particularly on an Aristotelian epistemology (more implicitly than explicitly).
When people call you “selfish”, they’re trying to intimidate you into doing what they believe you should do.
Failing to do what THEY want you to do, they say, is selfish — and therefore automatically and always bad.
So, what happens if you do what they want you to do? It makes THEM happy. But isn’t this selfish of them, to intimidate you into doing what they want you to do?
Let’s say I want $1000. You have $1000, and I don’t. “Don’t be selfish,” I say. “Give me $1000. You have the money; and I don’t.” OK. Let’s say you give in. “I shouldn’t be selfish,” you think. “ANYTHING is better than being selfish. So I’ll give it to you.”
I now have my money. And I’m happy. It pleased MYSELF, selfishly, to get that money from you. I shamed you into it. But if it was morally wrong of you to keep that money and be selfish, isn’t it just as wrong for me to keep the money, and selfishly enjoy it?
Always be wary when a family member, a friend, a religious person, or a politician tells you not to be selfish.
Shaming is their game … and the accusation of “selfish” is their most potent weapon. It’s more powerful than gulags, guns, armies, or mobs of irrational socialists. Those things are powerful, but the shaming is the means through which they never, ever get held accountable for their evil. Because nobody wants to be the “selfish” one to say, “You’re bad, and you’re wrong.”
Today, the issue is all around us. “Don’t be selfish. Wear the goddammed mask!”
What if the mask doesn’t work? And if the mask DOES work, then aren’t you already safe by choosing to wear one? Your mask keeps the germs out, right? And if your mask doesn’t keep the germs out, then how will mine?”
“That’s not the point,” we’re told in a foaming-at-the-mouth response. “The point is not to be selfish.”
The vast majority of people caved, on masks. Even post-vaccine, we’re told, “You still have to wear masks, because the vaccine won’t be enough to stop the virus. But you better get the vaccine — or else!”
Everywhere I look, I see compliance. ANYTHING is better than being shamed by a minority of people who are control freaks, “Karens”, sociopaths, narcissistic twits who would never, ever have achieved anything of value in any other way.
Now the powers that be — nearly all of them sociopaths and narcissists — realize they can get away with anything. “People will wear masks in order not to be selfish. So we can get them to do all kinds of things, in order not to be selfish.” Like what? Well, lockdowns that are permanent, as they are now in most states. (There are no plans to reopen, and you will not ever see reopening, in most states.) And gun confiscation, which has already begun, including in my own state of Delaware — where they won’t even pay you to hand over the guns. They’re saying (and legislating), “Hand over the guns in 90 days. If you don’t, you’re a felon.” They’ve started with “ghost guns” (guns without serial numbers), and they will move up the chain until all weapons of self-protection (including from the government) are gone.
There’s literally no end to what people can be coerced to do … when they’re afraid of being called selfish. Prove me wrong. Show me noncompliance, show me justified anger, show me even small acts of disobedience. You cannot find any. And the reason is: shaming.
If you stop being afraid of being called selfish, and you start seeing the self-refuting contradiction and inherent injustice in the whole catastrophe of our era, the game of the tyrants and nutjobs is over. There can be no manipulation in your personal relationships, and there can be no tyranny with your government, if you stop apologizing for being “selfish”.
At least, not without a major, major fight. And I’d much rather see fighting than the placid, fearful and morally pale compliance spreading — like the worst form of cancer — throughout our once vibrant, free society.
Fear of being called “selfish” is a far greater virus than any COVID germ could ever hope to be.
Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason
Politically, the goal of today’s dominant trend is statism. Philosophically, the goal is the obliteration of reason; psychologically, it is the erosion of ambition.
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live—that productive work is the process by which man’s consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one’s purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one’s values—that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others—that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human—that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind’s full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay—that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live—that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road—that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up—that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.
Productive work is the central purpose of a rational man’s life, the central value that integrates and determines the hierarchy of all his other values. Reason is the source, the precondition of his productive work—pride is the result.