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The Prosperity Power of Selfishness

Posted By: Randy GageDecember 20, 2008

The room is filled with the smooth, sensual sound of Anita Baker.  You’ve got the candles burning, as the sweet aroma of your chosen incense wafts to your nostrils.  You step into the glorious steamy churning water and sink down into your new hot-tub.

The jetting water massages all your aching joints, teasing the tension of the day into a distant memory.  You sigh.  A deep prolonged release of pleasure as every nerve relaxes into sweet oblivion.  You smile to yourself and close your eyes letting the steam and heat envelop you.  The phone is turned off and the evening is yours; you won't be disturbed by anyone.  The perfect end to a brilliantly rewarding day.

Isn't it deliciously wonderful to be selfish?

Actually, if you’re like most people, the mere thought of doing something selfish for yourself leaves you consumed with guilt.

In fact, selfishness is your moral prerogative, and a necessity not just for your own prosperity, but the whole world.

If it feels so good to be selfish, why does the very word make us flush with guilt?  Ayn Rand wrote a book titled, “The Virtue of Selfishness. “ When asked why she chose to use a word that threatened so many people, she replied, “For the reason that makes you afraid of it.”

Like Rand, I also use the word to describe virtuous qualities of character.  The dictionary definition of selfishness is basically concern with one's own interests, without regard for others. That means you value yourself first, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Notice that there is no good or evil implicit in the definition.  That, 'without regard for others' does not mean that you are doing harm to others.  It simply means that you are well adjusted and sensible enough to meet your own needs first.  Now of course that’s not what ‘the herd,' would have you believe...

They tell you that your moral imperative is to put the interests of the many before the interests of the one.  That you should sacrifice yourself for the “greater good.”

This idea is very dangerous to your self-esteem and your life.  Relinquishing your happiness for the sake of others, known or unknown, verifies to yourself, and others, that you are small and unworthy of even your own attention.  It’s actually anti-humanity, and it makes you mentally sick.

Your survival and your pursuit of happiness must form the foundation of your value system.  To make your life, by your own means, towards your own standards, and for your own enjoyment.  Anything less than that is harmful to you.  And anything harmful to the individual is actually detrimental to society as a whole.

But don’t think “society” is smart enough to figure that out.  They’re not.  The herd will maintain that the needs of the individual be relinquished to the needs of the many.  They tell you that it is your responsibility to take care of the less fortunate.

(And by the way, don’t take this as a call to ignore those less fortunate.  Long time readers will know that I do everything I can to help those less fortunate that I.  I just don’t want to do it at the point of a gun, forced into wasteful, bureaucratic and corrupt government programs to do it.)

All of these billions of dollars of government bailouts are even now being couched in these terms and presented as helping the little guy, saving the system, and protecting the greater good.   This may be the biggest crock of shit sold to the masses in our lifetime.

Now of course it all sounds innocent enough and well meaning.  But the end result will be to enslave millions more people in lack, limitation and mediocrity.  That’s what we’ll explore in the next few postings.

Until then…

-RG

14 comments on “The Prosperity Power of Selfishness”

  1. Oh RG,

    Lovely!!! Thank you!

    Here's Ayn Rand on youtube... for those who are interested...

    At about 3:40 minutes: our moral duty is to live for ourselves:

    and

    5:25 - it's evil to be self-sacrificing!

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7ukJiBZ8_4k&feature=related

    And then speaking of her selfish support vs sacrifice of giving to her husband... if he ever needed it: "Selfish Pleasure!"

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zEruXzQZhNI

    Now I know were you Libertarians get your philosophy from... 😉

    🙂

    Your first paragraphs were luscious - I could feel my cells tingling in delicious pleasure. Thanks Randy!

    I'm going to have improve on my sensual writing... can I practice here? 🙂

    Tee hee!

    Delightful and joyous and full embodied selfishness to you,
    Natalie

  2. Ooooooo - your bubbling delights are wonderful - the sensory aliveness penetrating my cells...

    I think I need more practice with my "selfishness" writing... Can I practice here? 🙂

  3. Right on Randy. It has taken me years to understand this, and still some more time to engrave it in my Self, and it is the fact that I can never give to others what I haven't given to my Self first.

    Thanks for the courage to speak outloud what it's uncomfortable to the masses and not keeping it to yourself. The message will get to whoever's ready for it.

  4. Question for you...

    First I dont agree with the bailout... Its similar to me saying: oops I cant pay my laon so can some one bail me out?

    I wouldn't expect someone to help me. If those guys couldn't be effective, then why should they get bailed out. It's a crock that its saving the little guy - it's government backstratching lobbyists, who then help them... etc etc...

    So what's the solution, Randy? What do you think should happen instead of a bailout?

  5. Saw this telling ad:

    You wouldn't buy our shitty cars.
    So we'll be taking your money anyway.
    The bailout. Coming this January.

    You probably thought it was smart to buy a foreign import of superior quality, with better mileage and resale value. Maybe you even thought that years of market share loss might prod us into rethinking our process and redesigning our products with better quality in mind. But you forgot one thing: We spend a shitload of money on lobbyists. So now you're out 25 billion, plus the cost of your Subaru.

    Maybe next time you'll buy American like a real man. Either way, we're cool.

    GM, Chrysler and Ford
    We're The Big Three. We Don't Need to Compete.

    http://www.davidicke.com/content/blogcategory/30/48

  6. Thank u randy! this post was the exact thing i needed to read aspecialy this morning.

    I was dealing with some dilemas and your words got presisly to the heart of the question.

    So the dilema is finaly resolved, i feal hole again with the desitions I made, calm and happy.

    thank u so much for helping me with that one
    It is very important to me.

    Dan Gershinsky
    Israel

  7. About subject
    I think the words you (Randy) choose are to mean to shake peoples minds and to push them to think more critical.
    But the meaning of living for the greater good does not need to be undervalued as well.
    We all live in a society. Even ones riches may to be possible to achieve if worked and lived all alone by oneself. Especially the value of good partners are important.
    For me to live for the greater good is not meant to sacrifice your own happiness. But rather multiply and grow together and individually. Although to be independent from others is important.

  8. Thanks Randy, I will take a look at it.

    I noticed a missed word in my comment. One sentence should be read: "Even ones riches may not be possible to achieve if worked and lived all alone by oneself."

  9. Right on target, Randy.

    All my life I've given freely, never expecting anything in return. Well, half a century later I looked around and guess what? I discovered I got exactly what I was expecting. Nothing.

    Now I've shifted my mindset to one of delivering high value, and receiving high value in return.

    The economic pump needs to be primed with prosperity consciousness, not with the Federal Reserve's fake Monopoly Money.

  10. I am from one of former Soviet Union republic, so I am not really familiar with Ayn Rand. I read about her for the first time from your book. Now I watched here online.) My first feeling that came to my mind is that she is a lonely woman, having not been loved by a man. She resembled me a strict school teacher that does not have any children of her own. And she didn't seem very confident. But that is just my first feelings.

    She talked about sacrifice, altruism, love and selfishness. I am not sure about which brilliant thought you Randy meant in your comment.

    I want to bring more questions to what she talked in the interview. What if she has her own kids, and if some of them are not at very hign standard of intellect, emotions or spirit. Would she love those kids less than others? Or would she love her kids at all since every child requires some sacrifice from their parents, from their time, money, space and even freedom. I wanted to ask same questions to Randy too.

    And what is the LOVE at all? What do you mean by love and life for the greater good? I heard that Ayn would tell that one should never sacrifice his own happiness for the sake of others. But does the life for the greater good is meant necessary a sacrifice one's own happiness? Do you really think so? Is the greater good means that some should have less good and others have more good OR everybody must have more good, be MORE happy and wealthy.
    Is the life for the greater good meant a win-lose or win-win?
    In my interpretation the life for the greater good is a win-win strategy.

    And what is the love then? If some of your kids have more flaws than others would you just kick them out from your house or you try some ways to fix it?
    What Ayn meant that we should not love those with flaws and love more those with virtues?

    It is funny but actually I think what she meant is that we should love those with virtues and we should love those with flaws too. But we should love them in a different way. We spend less time with those people - why? In fact because we believe in values and virtues, and we believe that any man can change and become a better person. That is the very reason why we are strict with those people. When we do that we give them a sign that they are able to change and become better people. But how will you call such behaviour? Isn't it a LOVE toward those people? Yes it is! You don't behave with them in the same way as you behave with people with better values, simply because you love them. You may call it a father kind love a strict one in opposite to the mother kind love an embracing one.

    Its funny now but what Ayn actually advocates is that we should love everybody, but we should love them in a reasonable way.

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  • 14 comments on “The Prosperity Power of Selfishness”

    1. Oh RG,

      Lovely!!! Thank you!

      Here's Ayn Rand on youtube... for those who are interested...

      At about 3:40 minutes: our moral duty is to live for ourselves:

      and

      5:25 - it's evil to be self-sacrificing!

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7ukJiBZ8_4k&feature=related

      And then speaking of her selfish support vs sacrifice of giving to her husband... if he ever needed it: "Selfish Pleasure!"

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zEruXzQZhNI

      Now I know were you Libertarians get your philosophy from... 😉

      🙂

      Your first paragraphs were luscious - I could feel my cells tingling in delicious pleasure. Thanks Randy!

      I'm going to have improve on my sensual writing... can I practice here? 🙂

      Tee hee!

      Delightful and joyous and full embodied selfishness to you,
      Natalie

    2. Ooooooo - your bubbling delights are wonderful - the sensory aliveness penetrating my cells...

      I think I need more practice with my "selfishness" writing... Can I practice here? 🙂

    3. Right on Randy. It has taken me years to understand this, and still some more time to engrave it in my Self, and it is the fact that I can never give to others what I haven't given to my Self first.

      Thanks for the courage to speak outloud what it's uncomfortable to the masses and not keeping it to yourself. The message will get to whoever's ready for it.

    4. Question for you...

      First I dont agree with the bailout... Its similar to me saying: oops I cant pay my laon so can some one bail me out?

      I wouldn't expect someone to help me. If those guys couldn't be effective, then why should they get bailed out. It's a crock that its saving the little guy - it's government backstratching lobbyists, who then help them... etc etc...

      So what's the solution, Randy? What do you think should happen instead of a bailout?

    5. Saw this telling ad:

      You wouldn't buy our shitty cars.
      So we'll be taking your money anyway.
      The bailout. Coming this January.

      You probably thought it was smart to buy a foreign import of superior quality, with better mileage and resale value. Maybe you even thought that years of market share loss might prod us into rethinking our process and redesigning our products with better quality in mind. But you forgot one thing: We spend a shitload of money on lobbyists. So now you're out 25 billion, plus the cost of your Subaru.

      Maybe next time you'll buy American like a real man. Either way, we're cool.

      GM, Chrysler and Ford
      We're The Big Three. We Don't Need to Compete.

      http://www.davidicke.com/content/blogcategory/30/48

    6. Thank u randy! this post was the exact thing i needed to read aspecialy this morning.

      I was dealing with some dilemas and your words got presisly to the heart of the question.

      So the dilema is finaly resolved, i feal hole again with the desitions I made, calm and happy.

      thank u so much for helping me with that one
      It is very important to me.

      Dan Gershinsky
      Israel

    7. About subject
      I think the words you (Randy) choose are to mean to shake peoples minds and to push them to think more critical.
      But the meaning of living for the greater good does not need to be undervalued as well.
      We all live in a society. Even ones riches may to be possible to achieve if worked and lived all alone by oneself. Especially the value of good partners are important.
      For me to live for the greater good is not meant to sacrifice your own happiness. But rather multiply and grow together and individually. Although to be independent from others is important.

    8. Thanks Randy, I will take a look at it.

      I noticed a missed word in my comment. One sentence should be read: "Even ones riches may not be possible to achieve if worked and lived all alone by oneself."

    9. Right on target, Randy.

      All my life I've given freely, never expecting anything in return. Well, half a century later I looked around and guess what? I discovered I got exactly what I was expecting. Nothing.

      Now I've shifted my mindset to one of delivering high value, and receiving high value in return.

      The economic pump needs to be primed with prosperity consciousness, not with the Federal Reserve's fake Monopoly Money.

    10. I am from one of former Soviet Union republic, so I am not really familiar with Ayn Rand. I read about her for the first time from your book. Now I watched here online.) My first feeling that came to my mind is that she is a lonely woman, having not been loved by a man. She resembled me a strict school teacher that does not have any children of her own. And she didn't seem very confident. But that is just my first feelings.

      She talked about sacrifice, altruism, love and selfishness. I am not sure about which brilliant thought you Randy meant in your comment.

      I want to bring more questions to what she talked in the interview. What if she has her own kids, and if some of them are not at very hign standard of intellect, emotions or spirit. Would she love those kids less than others? Or would she love her kids at all since every child requires some sacrifice from their parents, from their time, money, space and even freedom. I wanted to ask same questions to Randy too.

      And what is the LOVE at all? What do you mean by love and life for the greater good? I heard that Ayn would tell that one should never sacrifice his own happiness for the sake of others. But does the life for the greater good is meant necessary a sacrifice one's own happiness? Do you really think so? Is the greater good means that some should have less good and others have more good OR everybody must have more good, be MORE happy and wealthy.
      Is the life for the greater good meant a win-lose or win-win?
      In my interpretation the life for the greater good is a win-win strategy.

      And what is the love then? If some of your kids have more flaws than others would you just kick them out from your house or you try some ways to fix it?
      What Ayn meant that we should not love those with flaws and love more those with virtues?

      It is funny but actually I think what she meant is that we should love those with virtues and we should love those with flaws too. But we should love them in a different way. We spend less time with those people - why? In fact because we believe in values and virtues, and we believe that any man can change and become a better person. That is the very reason why we are strict with those people. When we do that we give them a sign that they are able to change and become better people. But how will you call such behaviour? Isn't it a LOVE toward those people? Yes it is! You don't behave with them in the same way as you behave with people with better values, simply because you love them. You may call it a father kind love a strict one in opposite to the mother kind love an embracing one.

      Its funny now but what Ayn actually advocates is that we should love everybody, but we should love them in a reasonable way.

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