Enlightened ramblings of a minarchist libertarian with Objectivist tendencies

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Rational Self Interest

I get a lot of really shocked looks from both conservatives and liberals when I tell them that I live by the principle of rational self interest.

The liberals immediately call me greedy, heartless, etc. etc. They cannot conceive of someone not devoting their lives to the needs/wants of others. The thought of placing your own interests before those of the needy masses is tantamount to sacrilege to them.

The conservatives immediately call me a sinner and start quoting various biblical verses in which we are told to help our neighbor, yada yada.

At least the conservatives are happy if I tithe my 10% to the church. The liberals want me to tithe 50%+ to their god, big government.

The problem is none of them stop to find out what rational self interest is, let alone ask me what my rational self interests are. For instance, I consider it to be in my interest to give to certain charities and I have been doing so on a yearly basis since I was 18. This makes me feel good, therefore it is in my self interest.

I almost always stop to help if someone is broke down on the side of the road. Again, because it makes me feel good. I help friends and neighbors when I can. I do a lot of things that others might not immediately be able to connect to my self interest, but rest assured that everything I do has some benefit to me.

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