Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh... Now This is an Interesting Post

While running through the backlog of articles over at H+ (archive panic! I haven't been over there in a month or two, so there's a huge amount for me to sift through), I ran across this very interesting and this very relevant article.

John Galt is Homeless.

And I bet that selfish bastard expects us to take care of him, too...

Selfishness used to be a virtue. It was a way to advance ourselves in capitalist society. We were supposed to put ourselves before other people, and this was supposed to be the gateway to success. Yet this was not the way of the future, and many of us were in for quite a surprise. We saw more and more poor conservatives who were too selfish to make it in Corporate America. We saw brilliant people struggle for survival simply because they were disinterested in the will of the group. For the first time in history, it appeared that kindness was winning. We need to face the fact that Randian capitalism is no longer a way to advance oneself but a way to make oneself poor. The roles have now been reversed and it is no longer survival-of-the-fittest but survival-of-the-most-willing-to-please. As unique and individualistic as we are, we must accept that the real way to prosper in this society is to make other people happy. Thinking only for ourselves will not bring us to the top but leave us socially ostracized and starving.
The only time I ever recall selfishness coming anything close to a virtue was with the Cattle Barons and Oil Barons of the late 19th century. That was how you made it to the top - the myth of social mobility, that through hard work and an application of elbow grease, everyone can be like you and everyone can make it to the top of society. You could have a home, two cars, 2.5 children and possibly all of this without the accompanying mountain of debt. This "success story" has happened with enough white people that they've convinced themselves that everything is there for those lazy minorities, they just have to work for them. It was, and still is, a skewed view of society that is nothing like the reality of the situation. This is still the marching tune for the Republican party.

I saw no poor conservative who was selfish make it in Corporate America. The problem with poor conservatives is that they tend to have values. They have the wrong values in some cases, but their values tend not to be uncompromisable. When a poor conservative tells you they are against marriage equality, they mean it. You can't have values like that - you can't have values at all - and expect to get anywhere in Corporate America. Corporate America is the ultimate shark pond. It's the place where man-eating lions come out to play in the dead of night. Mammon lords over this domain, ruling from his throne on Wall Street. This is Corporate America - sure, a lot of conservatives may have the delusion that they can make it here, but the bottom line is this; if you've got anything remotely resembling a human values system, you're not getting anywhere here. Non-sociopaths need not apply.

Randian capitalism was never a way to advance yourself. None of the richest men in the world today are that way because they started small and worked their way up to that position. They made their money gaming the system and leeching off of the government. And they don't want people doing the same thing they did, so they're attacking the government now - apparently, foresight isn't their strong suit. A variant form of socialism is what made these people rich. They used the rest of us as stepping stones to get where they needed to go. That's not pure capitalism. Pure capitalism, as pure as it can get, is when the market decides who stays and who goes. You look at the banks and you look at oil companies and the agribusinesses and the MI complex and the telecom industry and tell me that they're running in a purely capitalist economy. I've got a chair leg of truth to crack you upside your skull with.

The only way people can compete with the boogey-men at the top is to group up. Society is a contrast between the exploited poor and the exploiting rich, and their puppets, the middle class. The middle class, who are deluded into thinking that they have this myth of social mobility so long as they can ascend the ladder and, in the end, leave behind the poor and forcing them to stay behind. This is why those who work against the will of the group tend to end up poor and starving; because the rich don't want them and they cut their own throat with the group by working against it. See: Right to Work laws all over the country.

Of course, all of this misses the point of the article. The point is that Objectivism is a dead end philosophy that will have no place in our technological future. As we move towards a more integrated world, John Galts become less and less capable of functioning. It's not what you know, it's who you know. And it's always been like that. And when you get places based on contacts and who you know, well... you're not really a self-made person, now are you? You're relying on the support of the collective to get you places, aren't you? So doesn't it fall in your best interest to support the will of the collective, and the collective itself, because the collective is the thing that's getting you placements and advancements? This is why John Galt is homeless. He shunned all his facebook contacts who were trying to link him to blockbuster deals on real estate due to his outlook.

No comments:

Post a Comment