Is Edward Snowden a hero?
Hell yes! His actions were moral.
Hell no! Put him away for treason.
Yes and no. It's a grey area.
Other (please specify)
Total votes: 11
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2010-12-06 07:15
All women are irrational, of course, and notoriously regard it as their birthright to have "minds" as changeable as the weather or the identity of those for whom they are prepared to position their legs behind their ears. Not for nothing is "Woman Is Fickle" the most famous aria in the operatic repertoire.
Even allowing for that, however, the philosophical promiscuity of my old friend and biographer, my deputy when I was leader of Libertarianz, Deborah Coddington, is hard to keep up with.
Deborah's most recent Herald on Sunday article has evidently caused quite a brouhaha. It points out the hypocrisy of those who affect concern about property rights but would deny them to Maori, or would oppose the legitimate redressing of past violations of Maori property rights when such can be objectively identified and meaningfully corrected. In principle, of course, Deborah is quite right—though I know for a fact that one of the "right-wing loonies" whose hypocrisy she purports to unmask, Don Brash, explicitly endorses the redressing of valid grievances in the very speech she, in her article, excoriates. He, as I understand it, is simply warning us to resist those professional Mordi who try it on at every turn and are intent on not letting a good gravy-train go to waste.
My concern here is not the Mordi question, and Deborah's latter-day apparent acquiescence to any old try-it-on that any old pseudo-Mordi charlatan engages in. My concern is this: in the process of looking up the article online, since I don't buy the tabloid trash that is the HOS hard copy, I came across an extraordinary piece of nonsense that Deborah had written a couple of weeks earlier. In it, she took to task those pesky realists who had pointed out that it was technology, not prayers, that saved the Chilean miners. Unable to dispute that incontrovertible point, she whined lamely:
Oh dear. A modicum of clarity would have told Deborah that "mysticism" is an epistemological corruption, "altruism" the ethical corruption to which it leads, that they are siblings rather than synonyms, and that one should not confuse the two. A modicum of research would have told Deborah that Ayn Rand's definition of "altruism" was not her own, something she made up, but that of the man who coined the term, the totalitarian collectivist philosopher Auguste Comte.
Here is what Rand said:
Here is what Comte said:
Now, there is a lot that could be said about this, including its evil positing of a false alternative between loving nothing outside oneself on the one hand and subordinating oneself—totally, indiscriminately, routinely, morbidly, and on principle—to others, on the other hand.
My puzzlement is that Deborah didn't really need to do a "modicum of research" to know this; she already knew it! I know she knew it because I taught it to her (I, of course, learned it from Rand). She seemed to get it at the time, and spent some years preaching it. If she's changed her mind on the matter, she should at least have the honesty not to claim that Rand "conjures her own definition of altruism" and to acknowledge that she, Rand, simply took the inventor of the term at his word.
If Deborah has become a believer in gods, goblins and taniwha, as I would infer from the above rubbish, that's no justification for abandoning journalistic integrity.
That said, I agree with Deborah about one thing:
Very few people now know what the term actually meant to the man who introduced it. (No Objectivist can object to "kindness, respect for others' rights, good will"—indeed, such qualities are authentically possible only to lovers of life, reason and freedom, as Deborah well understood once.) That is why I, as an Objectivist, have begun to make a point of using the term "sacrifism" instead of "altruism." The latter, as commonly understood, is good; the former ... well, as someone once said, "The world is perishing from an orgy of sacrificing."
More SOLO Store
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand