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I mean, an altruist as defined by Rand, i.e., someone giving up a greater value in exchange for a lesser one. There are quite a few "altruistic" slogans floating around but whenever I had a chance to come across somebody actually living up to them, they turned out to be valuing more what they were getting (emotionally, at any rate) from their "sacrifice" than what they were "sacrificing". And frankly, I cannot understand how it can possibly be otherwise, assuming that people have free will. Why would anyone prefer anything other than what has a greater value (or, a lesser dis-value) in their eyes at the moment of choice? The answer: because they are "zombied" seems to beg the question, for, then, being brought up in a particular culture already means being "zombied", and it is, above all, through one's upbringing (and cultural experience) that one's values are developed. So, do altruists really exist? What am I missing?
This struck me today while I was reading a book. My thought is that totalitarians like Schicklgruber or Stalin or Mao didn't choose to do what they didn't because of "altruist" premises. Rand's argument is that no selfish (Randian sense) would commit the horrors that they committed. But, while I was sitting down, I reflected on how much time I spend thinking about politics and I came to the idea that these men did the things that they did because they had the desire to shape society/the world. Any thoughts?
http://news.msn.com/us/day-of-service-a-chance-to-give-back-to-the-communityItem for THE OBJECTIVIST "HORROR FILE" - Where are you when we need you? Did you know that TODAY is the NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE? Of course, you did! But in case you didn't, it was started with " Mr Thompson's" first inauguration. Did you miss it? Here's your chance! Did you foolishly think that working in your job or other creative personal endeavor might be considered as also contributing to the economy and general standard of living in your community? Well, of course not! YOU MUST SERVE! YOU MUST "VOLUNTEER" (for now) and drop any silly selfish activity and SERVE OTHERS? HOW? You want to know, don't you? This article http://news.msn.com/us/day-of-service-a-chance-to-give-back-to-the-community will give you the links to find local SERVICE in your community. If you need inspiration, consider how previous efforts have benefitted their people: such as the MAO'S "GREAT LEAP FORWARD" where up to 45 million were killed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward and followed-up by MAO'S CULTURAL REVOLUTION http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution in China during the 1960's, forcing selfish city dwellers to go out and work in the fields. Or POL POT'S PEOPLES REVOLUTION IN CAMBODIA which took inspiration from the Maoists in even a more direct application (see the movie, THE KILLING FIELDS). Perhaps, these past glorious attempts will inspire "Mr. Thompson". After all, there are still people who think like this: "I wished to come here and say that the integrity of a man's creative work is of greater importance than any charitable endeavor. Those of you who do not understand this are the men who're are destroying the world." "Mr. Thompson" (well, actually, his clone in The White House) has plans for you. And he is watching.