Marcus Posted March 27, 2016 Share Posted March 27, 2016 Let me ask you a question: If a robber has a gun to your head, is it "evil" to "manipulate" a criminal from firing a gun? What about "manipulating" the tax code so as to pay less taxes? Is figuring out a way to double the response rate on an advertisement (and thus more money) through appealing to powerful basic emotions/needs "manipulation"? Here we come again to an interesting question. What exactly is "manipulation" and under what context is it "evil"? It is clear under the examples above, manipulation is not a clear-cut, black and white issue. "Manipulation" is simply cleverness. Finding new ways interpret and use the rules of a system to your benefit. Like a gun, it can be used for defensive or offensive purposes. Many forms of martial arts have used manipulation techniques for thousands of years. In certain cases, using or not using it could come down to a life or death issue. Objectivism looks down on "manipulation" as a strategy (this is actually irrational, as I demonstrate) , but makes no mention of manipulation as a defensive/neutral strategy, only as an "offensive" strategy. The Fountainhead depicts Ellsworth Toohey's machinatons, through his slick, slimy maneuvers to thwart the work of the main hero as the work of a "blond louse". The hero of the novel, Howard Roark, by contrast, does not even advertise his business. Early in the book, he goes broke needlessly because of lack of advertising and a failure to defend himself from an ongoing smear campaign. My question is, if he did how much *more* successful would he have been? How much closer and quicker would that have put him to his self-professed goals? In that context, how is "manipulation" not rational? Manipulation, in my view, is a rational strategy when pursued neutrally/defensively. Irrational/evil when used for offense. Thoughts? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now