Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Capitalism demands the best of every man...

"Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him."- Ayn Rand

The following piece advocates my personal views on the philosophy of Ayn Rand, as she pioneered the philosophy that helps support the rationality behind the manner for which capitalists hold themselves ethically accountable.

In order for mankind to succeed, evolve, and flourish as a whole, ethics must be applied as a rational method of conceptual knowledge derived from its values.  For Objectivism, is based on the reason for which everyone holds beliefs consciously or unconsciously and gives rise to a constant, at least, or subconscious set of principles.   

As ethics is an objective metaphysical necessity of mans survival.  "Not by the grace of the supernatural nor of your neighbors nor of your whims but by the grace of reality and the nature of life."  

Ayn Rand writes.....It is the ideology of Objective Ethics that holds man’s life accountable to its standards of value and his own individual life as the ethical aspiration of every individual man.  For man has to be man by choice and it is the task of ethics to teach him how to live like man.

In order for us to have a more transparent understanding on the rational philosophy of ethics, one must first begin by asking the question; what are values?  It is man that must make the rational choice and hold accountability towards its own actions by answering the question above in a way that integrates his actions in congruence to his personal values, beliefs, goals, and standards.  For upon answering the following ethical virtues at hand, he can than obtain final fulfillment by enjoying the ultimate value, the end in itself which is his own life.

Now one must understand that to speak of “value” as apart from “life” is highly antagonist.  For it is the conceptualization of “life” that makes the abstraction of “value” existent. Which leads us to the psychology of pleasure in regards to the state of enjoyment in “life’. 

Ayn Rand writes......In order to live, man must take the initiative to achieve his values.  In essence pleasure and enjoyment act as an emotional reward for successful execution and an incentive to achieving desired results.   Thus in letting man experience, in his own person the sense that life is a value and that he is a value, pleasure serves as the emotional fuel of mans existence.  

......Which leads us to the living entity that “is” which determines what the “ought” does.  As the capacity to experience pleasure or pain is innate in a man’s body’ it is part of his nature, part of the entity he is.  He has no choice about it, and he has no choice about the standard that determines what will make him experience the physical sensation about pleasure or of pain.  What is that standard?  His Life!

This ideology further dictates that man’s actions and existence require the admonition of conceptual values derived from conceptual knowledge.  In essence, conceptual knowledge cannot be obtained automatically. Therefore, man has no automatic code of survival that makes him pursue values automatically, as man has no automatic set of values.  Mans own consciousness must conceive what is right from wrong and good from evil.  Just like a computer, which his own mind has to program, and the programming is corresponded by the values his mind embraces as a rational reality.

The following conviction of using one’s own consciousness on the implication of ethics itself is quite intriguing.  As the term “conceptualizing” further supports the integration of every event and every observation into a conceptual context.   This process is known as “reason”, which further dictates the evolution of how man thinks, and thinking requires a state of full focused awareness.  Hence an unfocused mind is not conscious.

Objectivist Ethics holds man’s life accountable to his own choices, for he must choose his actions, values and goals by the standard for which he chooses to live his own life.    

Ayn Rand writes.....According to this process, values is that which one acts to gain/or keep –virtue is the act by which one gains and/or keeps it.  The three cardinal values of the Objective Ethics- the three values which, together are the means to and the realization of one’s ultimate value, one’s own life-are: Reason, Purpose, Self Esteem, with their three corresponding virtues: Rationality, Productiveness, Pride.

The virtue of Pride can be described by the term: “moral ambitiousness.”  It is this virtue that recognizes the fact “that as man must produce the physical values he needs to sustain his life, so he must acquire the values of character that make his life worth living.”  That he develops a self reliant attitude, and acquires ones own wealth himself alone, it is only than that he luster qualities of a self made soul.

This self reliant mentality accepts the fact that one’s own judgments are formed by one’s own mind.  Denouncing the ideology of mysticism and rejecting all non-rational and supernatural sources of knowledge, such as religion and faith.   It means that one must never sacrifice one's convictions to the opinions or wishes of others. Furthermore, acting independently and self reliant.

This self reliant attitude is also embraced by the social principle of Objectivist Ethics.  As man must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.

Ayn Rand writes.....To live for his own sake means that the achievement of his own happiness is mans highest moral purpose.  In psychology terms, the issue of mans survival does not confront his consciousness as an issue of “life or death,” but as an issue of “happiness or suffering.” Happiness is the successful state of life; suffering is the warning signal of failure, of death.

The subjectivist theory of ethics acts as a negation not merely of mans existence but of all existence.  This negation constitutes our current state of immoral culture as it undermines values and gives man a blank check on reality.  Such thought that man needs no objective principles of action to live bye, gives mankind the freedom to get away with anything. As long as he determines what is justified to be right from wrong and good from evil contingent upon his own reasoning.

The following three schools of ethical theory are anti life, not merely in composition, but also in their formula of conceptualization.  When put into practice, the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages are a transcendent example of mystic theory.  Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia are a brutal example of social theory, and the present state of our culture is a proficient example of subjectivist theory.

In conclusion, Objectivism declares that man can survive and achieve happiness only by the pursuit and means of rationality.  As Objectivism holds reason to be mans greatest and most admirable virtue.   It is the products of man’s reasoning and achievements that help us survive, live, and thrive today.  Hence the virtue of rationality gives rise to independent thought, integrity, and productivity.  Therefore, by concluding that it is moral to act in ones rational self interest, our society progresses, and life moves on.  


         Rand, A. (1964). The Virtues of Selfishness. New York: New American Library.

1 comment:

  1. Timothy S... BlackrockOctober 5, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    .....Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly...... excellent!!!!!!!