Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Altruism

That's how liberalism perpetrates the most evil. I'm about to tell you something important, so I want you to really listen to me. Just give me a minute to get rolling.

It turns out Ayn Rand was right:
"The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value. Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice - which means: self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction - which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good."
By preaching altruism and convincing individuals to gradually cede their rights to the Government for the Common Good (read "the collective"), liberals make us slaves - slaves to each other. Just so you know where I'm coming from (full disclosure).

If you are at all concerned about your Constitutionally protected right to free speech, I think you should read this Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal column by Brian C. Anderson, "Shut Up, They Explained: The left's regulatory war against free speech". It's long, but if that's all that takes to stop you from discovering how much danger America is in from itself, then I weep for my son's future. Go ahead, I'll wait.

***

I tried to tackle Campign Finance Reform a couple months ago and had a darn hard time figuring out what the problem was. That fundamental lack of understanding is what got us here today. It's sold as "getting the money out of politics", when it is in fact getting the "wrong" money out of politics. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) and campaign finance reform in general
"Seeking to rid politics of "big-money corruption," election-law reforms obstruct the kinds of political speech--political ads and perhaps now the feisty editorializing of the new media--that escape the filter of the mainstream press and the academy, left-wing fiefdoms still regulation-free. Campaign-finance reform, notes columnist George Will, by steadily expanding "government's control of the political campaigns that decide who controls government," advances "liberalism's program of extending government supervision of life."
Channeling Cliff Claven here, let me just say that it's a little known fact that the First Amendment (note that we capitalize that) was intended to protect political speech, though it's been extended to all kind of perverse forms of expression - and for the most part, rightly.

Anderson writes:
Campaign-finance reform has a squeaky-clean image, but the dirty truth is that this speech-throttling legislation is partly the result of a hoax perpetrated by a handful of liberal foundations, led by the venerable Pew Charitable Trusts. New York Post reporter Ryan Sager exposed the scam when he got hold of a 2004 videotape of former Pew official Sean Treglia telling a roomful of journalists and professors how Pew and other foundations spent years bankrolling various experts, ostensibly independent nonprofits (including the Center for Public Integrity and Democracy 21), and media outlets (NPR got $1.2 million for "news coverage of financial influence in political decision-making")--all aimed at fooling Washington into thinking that Americans were clamoring for reform, when in truth there was little public pressure to "clean up the system." "The target group for all this activity was 535 people in Washington," said Mr. Treglia matter-of-factly, referring to Congress. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot--that everywhere they looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."
You must understand how dangerous this is. It has nothing to do with corruption, but as Anderson says, "inequality of influence". All people are not alike and like it or not, some voices are louder than others. The left only considers the influence unequal when the conservative voices are louder:
That the [Fairness Doctrine] was also "chilling to free speech," as FCC head Mark Fowler argued, became crystal clear after it was gone: AM radio exploded with political talk shows. From under 5% of all programming, "informational" programming expanded to over 20% of the AM mix just seven years after the Fairness Doctrine's demise. Today, more than 1,400 stations feature the talk format exclusively--and the vast majority broadcast conservative voices, because that's what draws the listeners, desperate for an alternative to the liberal mainstream press.
As soon as restrictions were removed, suddenly people found out that there were other people who were conservative and they began sharing ideas. In an evironment of true competition, liberalism floundered. And boy, are they mad.

Naturally, they want their monopoly back.

John Kerry: "But there's a . . . submedia that talks and keeps things going for entertainment purposes rather than for the flow of information," he complained. "This all began, incidentally, when the Fairness Doctrine ended... You would have had a dramatic change in the discussion in this country had we still had a Fairness Doctrine in the course of the last campaign."

Howard Dean: "I believe we need to reregulate the media... so we can be sure that the American people get moderate, conservative and liberal points of view."

So Americans, left to their own devices, revert to the conservative ideals they held prior to the 50-year monopoly of liberalism in America and suddenly that's unfair; and reason enough to restrict your free speech so it doesn't infringe upon their incumbency and they can once again dominate conventional wisdom.

Please read the whole article, I didn't discuss the disgusting attempts to regulate the Internet - your blog. My eyes are open.

EDIT: Crap! They're on to me!

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Some Are More Equal Than Others?

2 Comments:

Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden bloody well said...

01 26 06

Hey Robosquirrel good and thorough post as usual. Your AynRandian love is clear. If you ACCEPT her definition of altruism, then what follows makes sense. But I don't accept that altruism is this:

"The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value. Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice - which means: self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction - which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good."

For some people who are motivated by religious mandates and obligations, perhaps that is true. But others are not motivated by a sense of self sacrifice. There are many philanthropists who didn't sacrifice their net worth to donate to charity. So I don't see the self effacement asepct to her definition. Let me see here, this is one dictionary definition of altruism. And here is another definition. The lack of selfishness is in the definition, but that doesn't necessarily lead to self effacement or sacrifice.

I guess that is why I can't be a true AynRandian-I don't look at altruism as a bad thing at all, but hen I don't accept her way of looking at it.
Good post as usual:)

26 January, 2006 05:49  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Well, I have to tell you, Rand makes a lot of sense to me. She expresses vague and confused ideas I've held all my life that were at odds with the way society wants me to behave. Reading how she tied it all together really hit home for me. She and George Orwell were more right than they ever knew.

The problem with the accepted definitions of altruism and selfishness is that they carry with them connotations which make us perceive one as good and the other as bad. Your links are absolutely correct in describing what altruism is, but I perceive those precise definitions as what is wrong with the world. If you donate to a charity, that's your choice; hopefully that charity is helping people who really need it, but most commonly they help those who can't be bothered to help themselves. On top of your charity, there is Government-enforced charity, and your choice is pay it or go to jail.

I thought the philisophical concept was relevant, since that's how the left has come to power - with the idea that everyone should be equally destitute and dependent, not successful. The left's idea of success is when everyone is dependent upon them. I think that is where all the stupid little things are pushing us. Toward of society of dependence. A government that is powerful enough to grant your every desire is also powerful enough to take it away.

26 January, 2006 11:56  

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