There’s a new campaign slogan among Democratic politicians: “Abolish Billionaires.” Nobody can honestly deserve a billion dollars, they claim, so they want to impose radical new taxes on the super-wealthy. Indeed, people are arguing that the very existence of billionaires is some kind of moral outrage.
Wealthy people are being blamed today for all the world’s problems. Yet all of those problems are actually the result of the very ideas being preached by the same leaders and intellectuals who want to “abolish” the billionaires.
But instead of vilifying and hating billionaires, we should be thanking them for improving all of our lives on a massive scale with the products they offer for voluntary trade on a free market.
As Ayn Rand argued in her novel Atlas Shrugged, if anyone deserves thanks on Thanksgiving, it’s those productive Atlases who carry the whole world on their shoulders.
Join Keith Lockitch as he argues that the real moral travesty is the campaign to abolish billionaires.
Maybe you’ve heard of something called “effective altruism”? It’s a recent movement that encourages people to do research to figure out the best way to give away as much of their own money as possible, allegedly in order to help out as many people as possible. Now one wonders if calling it “effective altruism” implies that altruism up until very recently hasn’t been effective.
In any case, what is altruism really, what’s it all about, and what motivates it? Is it simply an expression of generosity and good will among men? Or is it motivated perhaps by something else? These are the questions that we need to ask and think about it if we’re going to evaluate altruism, an idea that most people simply equate with the very idea of morality. Are they right to equate it? And if not, why would anyone challenge that equation?
Join Ben Bayer as he asks one of life’s big questions: Is altruism good?
|If there is one thing that almost everyone agrees on today, it’s that selfishness is bad. From day one, we’ve been told, “don’t be selfish” or “selfishness is the root of all evil.”|
But what if the way we think about selfishness is completely wrong?
What if our conventional understanding of what it means to be selfish is totally confused—and it’s not just that we’re mistaken, but we’re mistaken in a way that actually makes it harder for us to achieve a happy, fulfilling life and a better world?
Throughout history, various thinkers have challenged us to rethink conventional wisdom. Copernicus and Galileo challenged our view of a motionless earth. Darwin challenged our understanding of how all of life’s species developed.
Ayn Rand, the writer and philosopher famous for her bestselling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, was a thinker who challenged our conventional wisdom about morality.
She was a moral revolutionary in the same way that Galileo and Darwin were scientific revolutionaries.
Join Keith Lockitch and explore Ayn Rand’s moral revolution. He’ll be addressing one of life’s big questions: Is selfishness the root of all evil?
One area of life where it can be hard to think about what it means to be an individual is in relation to your family. Growing up and gaining your independence is a natural process, but it can sometimes be a struggle—and is harder if one holds a mistaken view about family relationships. How would an individualist think about family?
Recorded live at Ayn Rand Student Conference 2018 on November 3rd, 2018.
This is the first in a series looking at Objectivism’s approach to Happiness. Onkar Ghate and Tara Smith join Dave to discuss the virtue of selfishness.
In this video, recorded at Objectivist Summer Conference 2018, Patrick Bet-David interviews Yaron Brook to discuss Objectivism and Capitalism. Brook responds to questions such as: Is Objectivism a philosophy for elitists? Is it sustainable to run a nation based on this philosophy? How is world peace achieved? Has religion done more good or bad for the world? Was Ayn Rand’s move to America as a young woman a “leap of faith”? What would the world look like if everyone accepted Objectivism? Does the virtue of selfishness work in every aspect of life? And more. . . .
Yaron Brook is chairman of the board of the Ayn Rand Institute and travels extensively as ARI’s spokesman.
Brook can be heard weekly on The Yaron Brook Show, which airs live on the BlogTalkRadio podcast. He is also a frequent guest on national radio and television programs. He is the coauthor, with Don Watkins, of the national best-seller Free Market Revolution; How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government and of Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality.
Brook serves on the boards of the Ayn Rand Institute, the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism and CEHE (Center for Excellence in Higher Education), and he is a member of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and the Mont Pelerin Society.
Mr. Bet-David is passionate about shaping the next generation of leaders by teaching entrepreneurship and disrupting the traditional approach to a career. His popular YouTube videos “The Life of an Entrepreneur” and others are available on Valuetainment, a channel for entrepreneurs. He has hosted one-on-one interviews with NBA Hall of Famers James Worthy and Magic Johnson; author Robert Greene; entrepreneur and NBA team owner Mark Cuban; Indy-500 winner Al Unser Jr. and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
In this talk, Yaron Brook discusses what it means to be selfish, what role selfishness has in politics, and how selfishness contributes to creating a happy productive life.
This talk was streamed live from Exeter University on November 13, 2018.
This talk integrates the moral perspective offered by Rand’s “trader principle” with psychological tools and insights for improving assertive communication. Attendees will learn how skills such as reflective listening, the “broken record” technique, perspective-taking, and ”I”-statements can deepen the intimacy and value derived from close personal relationships, largely by conveying respect for the other person’s volition and value-context while also demanding respect for one’s own. Recorded at Objectivist Conferences 2018
“Kill by Laughter”: Humor in The Fountainhead and Its 21st-Century Relevance
The Fountainhead is the novel in which Ayn Rand’s conception of humor (good and bad) comes across most clearly. The novel begins: “Howard Roark laughed.” Yet the villain Ellsworth Toohey, presenting his recipe for achieving power, recommends that we “kill by laughter.” This lecture discusses humor in The Fountainhead and the prevalence of the bad kind of humor in today’s culture.
The characters in The Fountainhead have differing views of what is important in life. The more sympathetic characters differ in the significance they place on the vices or inadequacies they observe in other people and in the culture at large. Dr. Salmieri explores the novel’s treatment of this issue and elaborates on Howard Roark’s distinctive perspective (which Dominique Francon comes to share).