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Thereafter, she published her own work and lectured on the Objectivist moral ethic to which she often referred to as "a philosophy for living on earth" based on rational self-interest and the balance between the needs of the individual and moral principles based on a commitment to objective situational perception and analysis (Merrill, 1998).
In principle, Objectivism maintains that self-interest or rational egoism is a valid perspective but that the individual's perceptions must always be guided by an objective
(vs. subjectively biased) understanding of one's rights and obligations with respect to others and to society. While the main purpose of life according to and is self-
fulfillment, it is rational objectivity that both distinguishes appropriate from inappropriate moral actions and that establishes the role of the individual in society. Like other moral philosophers of her time, including the infamous physicist Albert Einstein and the philosopher and historian Bertrand ussell, and…… [Read More]
First, this viewpoint essentially discounts all abstract works from being called "art." This idea seems counterintuitive to many; numerous art critics, collectors, viewers, and even Rand (see below) consider abstract art to be art, based on the metaphysical emotions it re-creates. Rand's Objectivist philosophy does not completely accept emotions as having an existence independent of a subject, and therefore her view on non-representational art is at least consistent with Objectivist metaphysics. However, it seems that her definition of art as it pertains to music is incompatible with her dismissal of non-representational art, since she states that music re-creates reality by sound waves evoking metaphysical emotions (Rand, Vis Arts 109). It may be argued that her view of music is consistent with Objectivism if the music is combined with lyrics; however, Rand appears to be unclear on this point.
Rand's view that work of art must be judged by an "objective,…… [Read More]
Ayn and, "Antitrust: The ule Unreason" alleged purpose Antitrust laws protect competition; purpose-based socialistic fallacy a free, unregulated market inevitably lead establishment coercive monopolies.
emarks on Causation and Liability
This reading discusses the relationship between conduct and result. This mainly refers to an injury afflicted to a person because of negligence by another person. The writer specifies that an individual should be compensated for any injury they suffer that is directly caused by another individual's negligence Thomson, 1984.
The direct cause of injury might not be easily identified especially if there are two or more parties involved, but if the individual can prove that all parties were negligent then the parties should pay for the damages. The probability of negligence determines the percentage of payment by each party. The legal system is mainly concerned with justice and fairness. In the case presented in the paper, the plaintiff is injured, and…… [Read More]
Rand merely suggests that lacking any purpose in life is a moral failing of the individual. According to this view, a person who contributes nothing to others but lives very "purposefully" to satisfy an arbitrary personal interest in gardening, or cooking, or classic comic book collecting is living a life that is morally and spiritually superior to one who maintains no highly motivated purpose but happens to improve the lives of others through his profession.
This failure to distinguish between life purposes with a worthwhile effect and life purposes that are both harmless and useless to others implies that the comic book collector is necessarily a more fulfilling and moral life than that of the person who simply enjoys life and lives humbly and peacefully with others. In my opinion, the individual who lives for any unexamined purpose (or one that actually accomplishes nothing but self-fulfilment) may be lower on…… [Read More]
Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand
The Rationalization and Pursuit of Self-interest of Humanity in "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand's collection of essays in the book "The Virtue of Selfishness" provides insightful thoughts about the emergence of rationalization and individualism within the individual. The author discusses how the dawn of humankind had already seen the emergence of individualism and rationalization. It is only in the process of being nurtured by the social environment that the individual learns how to detest, even consider evil, the 'virtue' of selfishness.
In discussing Rand's "philosophy" that selfishness is a virtue, this paper discusses five essays, which the author of this paper considers as the most crucial in explaining the concepts that Rand introduces in the book. The discussion is followed by an analysis of the author's claims and premises regarding the topic and assesses each premise or concept introduced in…… [Read More]
Anthem, the author Ayn Rand once again examines the conflict between the individual and society. The story occurs in a fictional location and society where the individual possess no rights. It is the responsibility of the individual to serve the state and any form of independent thinking or action is strictly prohibited. Against this background, the hero of the story, Equality 7-2521, emerges as an intelligent young man who has a dream of being scientist but, instead, is directed by the state to be a street sweeper. In direct opposition to the state, Equality secretly performs scientific research and experiments and, in the process, he discovers the electric light. Equality is excited by his discovery and is hopeful that it will benefit society but he soon learns that the state looks upon his discovery negatively and the governing Council actually threatens to destroy it.
The struggle that forms the basis…… [Read More]
..and the profound contempt for man's nature is obvious." Therefore, man should not embrace values others than he has decided for himself. In terms of the relation with the community, this should be the result of the peaceful and moral coexistence between the individuals which are al driven by their rationale choices.
The philosophical perspectives of both Reich and Rand also consider the very essence of human nature and the role state has from this perspective. However, taking into account the differing points-of-view, Reich and Rand attribute different interpretations on these two points.
Reich has a more communitarian oriented perspective on the nature of man. From his writings, it can be concluded that in his view, the human being is good in nature, with moral values and an interest for its fellows' well-being. However, the changing society and the new accent placed on the continuous desire for "rich to become…… [Read More]
It is this attitude that places Roark upon the road of discover that leads to himself and his inner drive to create beauty.
From Rand's book, it becomes clear that she is presenting her philosophy of objectivism. It is a philosophy that promotes the spirit of individualism rather than the collective; and of the pursued of happiness for the individual in question. According to William Thomas, however, this is not an isolated type of individualism. It is acutely aware of the other human beings among whom the individual functions. As such, it is aware of the necessity of achieving individual happiness while keeping in mind the rights of others. In the act of building businesses, inventing technologies, and creating art (Thomas), individuals who subscribe to objectivism do so with an awareness of the community and its needs.
When applied to the world we know today, the spirit of entrepreneurship can…… [Read More]
hat is the Moratorium on Brains? Is there a similar moratorium currently?
In the novel Atlas Shrugged, author Ayn Rand discusses a dystopian condition which she calls the "moratorium on brains." By this, Rand refers to the death of individualism and individual thought. Instead of supporting unique thinking and the power of invention, the corruption of the government and the social hierarchy in its entirety has changed the national landscape. People who thought for themselves and tried to define their selves as individuals disappear entirely or they simply vacate their jobs and get replaced by sinister people who will neither question the authority figures nor try to differentiate themselves. Those who remain behind understand that they are discouraged from thinking or using their minds in any capacity other than to perform regular ordered tasks throughout the day. They are being shackled intellectually by the government and thus are…… [Read More]
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, depicts interplay of two forces: regulated economic freedom and free-market system. This paper describes the philosophy and the practical stances of both the schools of thought within the context of events that occur in the book.
Atlas Shrugged is a fictional account, which depicts the causes, the results, and the ultimate connotations attached to the moral and philosophical self-destruction that the mankind, in general, is slipping into in a gradual fashion. The most significant cause and hence the philosophy behind this moral decadence is the lack of belief in the morality of self-interest. And the vehicle through which this is perpetuated is the governmental control featuring diminishing economic freedom. Therefore the plot of Atlas Shrugged revolves around diminishing economic freedom resulting in intellectual stagnation. However there exists an opposing force that provides a directly opposite plan of action with a directly opposite belief…… [Read More]
Rand's Rational Self Interest
Rand’s philosophy regarding selfishness and altruism contains a crucial dichotomy, as virtually anyone’s philosophy regarding opposite concepts would. However, the opposition in Rand’s concept may surprise those who are not familiar with her philosophy. At a very basic level, Rand is stating that selfishness is actually good, and that altruism is really evil in “Introduction to the Virtue of Selfishness”. Thus, there is opposition found within this opposition, as most people would say the inverse of the aforementioned statement. However, the author reveals there are facets of selfishness which are morally beneficial, and aspects of altruism which are decidedly malefic.
Rand’s philosophy, then, is that the polarization of these terms is responsible for the moral boons of the former and the moral disadvantages of the latter. The author states that most people equate selfishness with a blanket “evil” (Rand 5), which they do not distinguish from…… [Read More]
Success cannot be genealized; too often the wod is used as a tem efeing to financial independence o owning one's own company. Yet the sanitation woke who goes to bed each night with a smile on he face also connotes success in the moden wold. I suppot a multiplicity of success, a divesity of deams fulfilled.
My success, howeve, definitely includes financial independence and caee ecognition, but it also includes the clea conscience that comes fom knowing that I did it all by and fo myself, with confidence and conviction. Like Roak in Rand's book, I got whee I am today due to my had wok and not hand-outs. Thus fa I have not compomised my beliefs o goals to fit with pevailing noms, just as Roak would not deign to design that which disgusted him o sell out. Like Roak I listen to intenal cues and heed not the…… [Read More]
Ayn Rand's The Ethics of Emergencies speaks about the value of selfishness or self-interest. Although "selfishness" might seem negative at first, Rand's explanation makes quite a bit of sense. Rand speaks about selfishness as a rational process in which a person sets his/her hierarchy of values and lives according to those values in order to achieve the moral purpose of life: one's own happiness.
Summary of The Ethics of Emergencies
According to Ayn Rand's The Ethics of Emergencies, the moral purpose of life is to achieve one's own happiness. Describing her belief in Objectivism in 1962, Rand stated, "Man -- every man -- is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest…… [Read More]
recurring dream in which I am standing at a podium in front of a large audience. I am the head of an organization, although my exact title and the nature of the organization are vague. In the dream, I deliver a speech, detailing some aspect of company policy. I am sure of myself; I speak with authority and conviction but for some reason I stand alone. Not one member of the crowd agrees with me, likes me, or supports me. When I wake up I feel a strange mixture of pride and humiliation. Yet like Howard Roark, hero of Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead, I realize that my unpopularity does not preclude my success. Roark succeeds not according to an external scale of measurement, based on societal values or norms and fueled by conformity. Rather, Roark is a hero and a success because of his unflinching individualism and his willingness…… [Read More]
Capitalists of the orld Unite! You Have Everything to Gain -- profit, individual excellence, and personal appeal!
In her fictional work of philosophy entitled Atlas Shrugged, one of Ayn Rand's central characters, Francisco d'Anconia, expresses outrage at the expressed ideal that "money is the root of all evil." He argues instead that money is the root of all human advancement and gain. Money provides motivation for humans to rise above the level of beasts and create unique works of human production and the imagination. Money is an objective standard of valuation, unlike airy systems of merit that are open to bias. It is for this reason, d'Anconia ominously says, why the systems of money evaluation and money production is one of the first things that are attacked by invaders, when attempting to destroy a country.
Rand's protagonist accuses those that spout "that phrase about the evil of money," as being…… [Read More]
Philosophical and Literary epresentation of Capitalism
Progress & Technology in Capitalism
John Steinbeck wrote the social The Grapes of Wrath during the interwar years, just after the Great Depression harrowingly illustrated the power of unchecked capitalism. His novel takes the position that revolutionary change is needed, is inevitable, and that a just and non-exploitive society can only come about when capitalism is eliminated. Steinbeck is reported to have made clear his intentions as he prepared to write The Grapes of Wrath. In his words, "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this" [the Great Depression and its widely destructive effects]." Steinbeck's collectivist-leaning voice at the time of his writing The Grapes of Wrath would become so altered over the course of three decades that it hardly seemed to belong to this writer who created on the very edge of moral fervor.…… [Read More]
When Henry Adams described the "task of education" as being "this problem of running order through chaos, direction through space, discipline through freedom, unity through-multiplicity," it appears that he was referring to something that people today would more readily refer to as the meaning of life. This may seem a loose phrase that risks cliche, but in fact it is the easiest way to make sense of Adams's set of paradoxes about education. After all, the events of life are a pure chaos of one event after another, unless one has obtained the mental criteria to evaluate them. Similarly, life is directionless unless one has a specific purpose, and life is marked by a bewildering freedom of options unless one is restricted to certain choices, and life can appear as numerous unique phenomena unless we have learned to recognize the underlying patterns and categories in those events. In some…… [Read More]
Helping others is not explicitly prohibited in Objectivist philosophy: it is just not considered the highest moral good, in contrast to acting in one's own, personal self-interest. It should be noted that acting in self-interest can result in assisting others indirectly: for example, in a capitalist society, my desire to sell a product and a consumer's desire to purchase a product frequently result in both individuals benefiting from this exchange. But this is not the ultimate purpose and goal of the capitalist exchange. People may also help others to make themselves feel better but and regards this impulse as inferior to self-interested actions such as creating art or working to sustain one's business.
Although in theory helping the poor is not banned in the Objectivist philosophy, all of Ayn and's writings show profound mistrust of altruistic impulses and question the idea that helping the weakest members of society achieves…… [Read More]
Fundamentally, the insurgents are fighting an enemy with superior weaponry, technology, and resources, so therefore, must seek avenues to mitigate these disadvantages. In other words, insurgent forces out vastly outdone in the traditional aspects of warfare, so they are forced to resort to unconventional modes of attack.
Early in his book, the Army and Vietnam, Krepinevich provides the broad game plan an insurgent force must follow to achieve final victory:
As developed by Mao in China and adapted by Giap in Vietnam, contemporary insurgency is a third world phenomenon comprising three phases: first, insurgent agitation and proselytization among the masses -- the phase of contention; second, overt violence, guerrilla operations, and the establishment of bases -- the equilibrium phase; and third, open warfare between insurgent and government forces designed to topple the existing regime -- the counteroffensive phase."
Primarily, this form of warfare consists of the formation of a political…… [Read More]
industry in America are a varied lot, ranging from self-righteous and mean-spirited individualists to community-minded altruists. The tensions among these capitalist types is as evident today as it was in the days when Ayn Rand first penned The Fountainhead. Since Rand was a Russian immigrant, it is not particularly surprising that her experiences with socialist and communist societies colored her perspective of capitalism, to a degree reminiscent of a defensive reaction formation. The protagonists in the film Atlas Shrugged engage in a capital strike that is intended to bring the economy to a standstill in order to emphasize the rightness and importance of laissez-faire capitalism. The decline of the transcontinental railway stands in for the future of America if it practices communism and upholds the values of moral relativism. The fundamental tenant of these industrialists was that they were entitled to function according to a natural order that encouraged individuals…… [Read More]
Moral Skepticism and Knowledge
Moral Skepticism and Moral Knowledge
Morality is a much debated philosophical idea, wherein the arguments range from ethical egoism being the perfect sample of moral ethics to altruism being the perfect -- and otherwise opposite -- viewpoint. Both ideas have strong followings, and ethical egoism along is broadened to even more branches within philosophical studies. There is still much reconciliation to be done between the various problems of philosophical thought and ethical egoism or lack thereof.
Ethical egoism is a particular form of egoism where one who is moral "ought" to do what is in one's self-interest. The morality behind egoism generally points toward the idea of self-interest; that a moral being's moral path is by focusing on one's self. This type of egoism should not be mistaken for psychological egoism, however. Psychological egoism makes a claim that beings act only in their self-interest.…… [Read More]
Throughout the novel, the theme of writing and literature is a heavy motivator for all the boys. Early in the book he says, "My aspirations were mystical. I wanted to receive the laying on of hands that had written living stories and poems, hands that had touched the hands of other writers. I wanted to be anointed" (Wolff 7). This is where the book becomes more like a memoir than a novel. While this is Wolff's first full-length novel, he began writing decades before, and has always been involved in literature and journalism. It is clear from this novel and its themes that he is in love with the craft of writing, and that he believes it can teach people about themselves and their abilities, just as the boys learn about themselves in the novel as they turn into young men.
One of the reasons this novel is so successful…… [Read More]
Virtue Ethics Beats Egoism
One of the reasons that philosophy is such a fascinating topic that has endured virtually throughout the course of human history is because it presents the crux of human existence in the basic forms of what is right and wrong. Moreover, there are a number of different philosophies that present alternative versions of what values encompass what is right and wrong. Two of the most eminent such philosophies include egoism, championed by Ayn Rand, and virtue ethics, supported by Aristotle. Examining those philosophies with inheritance examples proves virtue ethics is better.
Inheritance itself is the basic notion pertaining to the concept of personal property, and is inherently linked to capitalism (Haslett 143). Essentially, inheritance means that after an individual dies, his or her personal property goes to someone else. There are a variety of laws surrounding this particular issue. In certain instances, people must take action…… [Read More]
qualities of a man that make him an effective leader of the most intricate process in the modern world? Since taking the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan has demonstrated that whatever these qualities are, he has them. is wisdom and insight into the workings of U.S. economy have helped guide numerous administrations to construct positive economic policy. e as helped guide the nation out of the recession of the mid-70's, the hyper-inflation of the 1980's, and the fiscal short sightedness of the Clinton administration. is wisdom surprisingly does not ascend from any one particular classroom, but a life time of pursuing that which he loves. e has, according to biographer Stephen Beckner, been in the right place in the right time, making friends and influencing people for the purpose of personal well-being, and that of the nation.
Born in New York the only child of a Wall Street…… [Read More]
As if to say scientific achievement and technological advancement work together with agriculture and mining to produce. Each complements and supports the other with Integrity watching over all. There was a speech given by Ayn Rand about the New York Stock Exchange about money from Atlas Shrugged?
The interpretation was if you think money is the "root of all evil," think again. hy would someone make such a statement. hy not say "what is the root of money" instead. Money is nothing of itself, it is a tool used by men in exchange for goods and services. Money cannot exists without man. It is the principles of man that determine how money is traded. They give money power or value based on the decisions they apply to the tool. He further states that "Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the…… [Read More]
Already educated, she had the resources to -- and indeed did find - employment opportunities. Sociologically, she belonged in the lower middle classes. Both individuals had intelligence, courage and grits. But both also possessed existent privileges with which they could pull themselves up. Critics of the work-it-hard perspective omit these facts. Perhaps they do so because focusing on the ordeals of the working class would suck us in a web of responsibility.
The unfortunate fact is that individuals belonging to the working class castigate themselves unfairly for conditions that are beyond their control.
An example in Newman's book is illustrated by 'Jarvis' who, despite his experience, unable to find a job in a restaurant is still seeking employment. Yet 'Jarvis' still holds himself accountable for his lack of success "Some people are willing to try hard and therefore they can make it, regardless if the deck is stacked against them…… [Read More]
graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore. It is basically about what inspired Watchmen's themes, story, and characters. As well as what Watchmen has influenced and how it has been influenced by other comics and heroes like Batman and uperman among others. Watchman and its influences
Watchman, authored by Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colourist John Higgins was created in 1986 / 1987 in response to contemporary anxieties and as means of critiquing the superhero concept.
Watchman recreates history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1950s who helped the U..A. win the war against Vietnam and later is involved in preventing nuclear war with the U...R. Most former superheroes have retired or are working for the government, so contumely freelance vigilantes are arbitrarily and voluntarily doing the job of protecting the country. The protagonists actively fight and strategically plot to help retired superheroes survive and they work to stave…… [Read More]
Indolence is the record of the century. Introductory pages to Yahoo, for instance, minutely discuss an individual's fashion as groundbreaking news (the individual, incidentally, can be one 'star' amongst many), various ways to loose weight, or the latest toys on the market. Instruments devised to further communication from reality become increasingly more complex. Whilst supposedly linking us to people, Facebook, Twitter and ilk create a 'virtual space' reality, and virtual space has become the order of the day. TV, itself, is an undistinguished conglomeration of surreal images, which, although allegedly based on reality, are, with the inclusion of news documentaries, quite distinct. It is for this reason that this age has been called the post modernistic era with the term 'modernism' being insufficient. Ours is a collage of impressions, with concepts such as Truth, Fulfillment, and Meaning, being, as Foucault, Derrida, and Habermas amongst a host of other deconstructionists, post…… [Read More]
These assumptions encapsulate the notion of consumer sovereignty in neoclassical economics of consumption' (Jonathan Scheckter (2006). A Holistic Approach to Consumption Analysis in the Popular Music Market). While the concept is often criticized at an empirical level, or at an intuitive level, the origins of consumer sovereignty are seldom explored with reference to popular music.
The most important advancement of neoclassical economics arose as a sophisticated defense of this assumption of constant preferences. The argument asserts from the outset that, 'tastes neither change capriciously nor differ importantly between people'. (Becker and Stigler, 1977: 76) the starting point is the utilization of a reformulation of consumer theory, first expressed by Becker and Michael (1974). This new theory "transforms the family [consumer] from a passive maximizer of the utility from market purchases to an active maximizer also engaged in extensive production and investment activities," (Becker and Stigler, 1977).
The theory explained various…… [Read More]
William Shakespeare was born into a world of words that took him from cold, stone castles in Scotland to the bustling cities of Italy and the high seas of colonial change. An emblem of the Renaissance, the Bard of Avon was not only the conqueror of his own mind and pen, but also of the language of his own social, political, and religious reality. His theatre, the epic Globe, mirrors the stories of the early, bustling London and ever-morphing England in the duration of its own life, from plank and dirt to flame and fame.
By 1598, Richard Burbage was the practicing don of the London theatre world, extending his fingertips for production all over the lively center of British commerce and governance. His players, a collection of all-male actors, were widely recognized throughout the theatre world, one of the only sources of popular entertainment.
Burbage produced the works of…… [Read More]
According to Ayn and, rights do not relate to a prospective human being, but only to an actual human being. A child cannot attain any right until it is born. It is only on this criterion that we can safeguard the political right of the women to do what she opts for in this matter. No other person including even her husband has the right to influence as to what she may act in respect of her own body. That is a basic principle of right. (Peikoff, 2003)
While many of the endeavors to further confine the abortion rights are justified on the basis of advances being made in fetal medicine, actually they are motivated by a challenge to the right of women to exert regulation over reproduction. eproduction is viewed as a primary activity of the family, a crucial structure that forms society. If women can exercise full option…… [Read More]
The problem is stated clearly by Graham: "The legal community has paid little attention to the consequences for individual privacy of the development of computers" (Graham 1987, p. 1396). Graham does say that the common law has the capacity to protect privacy rights from invasion of privacy just as it expanded to combat threats in the past, but he also says that privacy law has lagged behind technology: "Privacy law has failed to respond, as it has in the past, to technological changes that influence the degree of privacy to which we are accustomed" (Graham 1987, p. 1396).
Technology has changed the nature of "privacy" according to some because technology has altered the meaning of "public." In an earlier age, people possessed greater anonymity than in the computer age, given that information is increasing with vast stores of data about everyone accessible by computer. The old concept of privacy…… [Read More]
Folk culture refers to the collection of "songs, tales, proverbs, jokes" that reflect a specific segment of society -- and can often refer to the expressions of marginalized groups like African-Americans. Popular culture is more mainstream, and is fabricated and consumed by the dominant culture. It would include newspapers, magazines, and books propagated throughout a country, as opposed to folk culture, which would be localized (either geographically or, if the group is geographically spread out, culturally). According to Levine, popular culture is "seen as the antithesis of folk culture."[footnoteef:1] There is also an impression that popular culture lacks the authenticity of folk culture in capturing the spirit of the people. As Levine puts it, popular culture does not emanate from the community but is created artificially for consumption by the community and usually with financial motives. For historians and other researchers, popular culture, "if it has to be…… [Read More]
hat is up with all Street? The Goldman Standard and shaded of Gray
The Goldman Standard and Shades of Gray was a case study which was focused on Goldman Sachs and their impact on the economic system. Goldman has grown large enough in which their operation were capable of affecting the economic structure of our banking system, stock shares, as well as the government to a large extent. The company is obviously profit driven, but to an extent that borders on being ruthless and perpetually greedy for more money and success. Furthermore, Goldman's culture is more "toxic" today than it was in 2005, when they were involved in inflating a housing bubble that would help crash the global economy, or in 2007 and 2008, when they began desperately offloading their housing-related assets to investors who hadn't yet realized the market was going to crash; if there was a…… [Read More]
John Rawls / Mencius
John Rawls's A Theory of Justice is concerned with distributive rather than retributive justice: there is precious little discussion of crime and punishment in Rawls's magnum opus, but plenty of discussion about equality and fairness. Rawls seems to be embarked on a Kantian ethical project of establishing universal principles, but his chief concern is to establish his principles without requiring, as Kant does, an appeal to God as the ultimate guarantor of the moral necessity of his conclusions. In place of God, Rawls offers a thought experiment, which he calls the "Original Position." The reader is asked to imagine himself or herself before birth, being offered a comprehensive survey of the different types of lives into which he or she could potentially be born. Rawls wants the reader to consider whether the available permissible options in a given society are, in themselves, an existing critique of…… [Read More]
Milton Friedman, "Social Responsibility"
Milton Friedman is absolutely blunt and direct in his 1970 critique of the notion that businesses have "social responsiblities" which require them to look beyond their balance-sheets at the real-world effects of their activity. The title of his article states his thesis outright: "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits." Anyone who states otherwise, says Friedman, is "preaching pure and unadulterated socialism" and leans on ideas "that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades."
Yet I think that Friedman's argument hinges on his selective and highly tendentious definition of terms here. Friedman switches between political and ethical definitions of the various concepts, so "pure and unadulterated socialism" is used purely as a scare tactic in his opening: in reality, socialism (whether in diluted or concentrated form) has nothing to do with the public calls for businesses to increase…… [Read More]
separation of powers and federalism. How do these central architectural features of American government seek to support Thomas Jefferson's perspectives; "That government is best which governs least." Why from the view of many business executives is government "gridlock" good?
Separation of powers is that element of the American government designed to protect the nation from tyranny and to, as far as possible, keep the power of the nation decentralized. Federalism, while certainly not designed to promote tyranny, is designed to strengthen the power of the government to act and govern the nation, centralizing power into a strong formal national government. Each of these aspects of modern American government have different implications for business.
According to Thomas Jefferson, "That government is best which governs least." The separation of powers helps to assure that the different branches of the government balance each other sufficiently that no single branch can govern so much…… [Read More]
Economics in the American Revolution
as the American Revolution motivated primarily by economic factors? To the observer in 2014, who is surrounded with economically-oriented ideologues who have adopted the title of "Tea Party" for their movement, the interpretation is inescapable. e must ignore the tendentious and flimsy view of history advanced by the twenty-first century Tea Parties though (reminding ourselves that the former vice presidential candidate who styles herself one of their leaders could not correctly identify in 2011 what Paul Revere had actually done during the American Revolution) and look at the view of reputable historians. I hope by examining the work of three historians -- Charles Beard, Richard Hofstadter, and Gordon ood -- to demonstrate the extent to which the Founding Fathers were motivated by economic circumstances.
Any discussion of the economic factors motivating the American Revolution must begin with the work of Charles Beard. Beard, influenced to…… [Read More]
Symbol is an image that conveys an idea to the viewer. For instance, the Golden Arches symbol used by McDonald's conveys the idea of fast-food -- a burger and fries with a Coke to go, picked up at the drive-thru window. One little symbol puts in the mind an idea and can even put in the will a desire for something that was not there a moment ago. Symbols have the power to ignite one's imagination and to move one's will to behave in accordance with the ideas embodied by the symbol. Thus, the Christian cross can be a symbol that reminds one to behave like Christ, to serve as an example of goodness, mercy, charity and truth to the world. However, not all symbols have the same effect on people. While the Golden Arches of McDonald's might inspire hunger in some, it can inspire revulsion in others (depending upon…… [Read More]
hat is needed, then, is a concept of free will that can effectively counter the claims of naturalists that there is no physical basis for free will. It requires a different kind of free will that permits moral responsibility to be leveled squarely at the individual without ignoring the reality that sometimes there are external causes to internal decisions. In fact, some philosophers have even used the conceptual tools of the naturalists to make the argument that free will can exist in a deterministic world. Daniel Dennet argues that the deterministic universe provides the reliable framework of reality by which informed, individual choices can be made (Bailey par. 14-17). ithout some determinism in the universe, it would be impossible for free will to functionally exist, because no one would ever be able to make a rational choice in a purely chaotic world. So free will requires some level of determinism.…… [Read More]
Meanwhile, Dwight R. Lee (writing in The Independent Review, 2001) points to a situation where a powerful environmental group (Audubon Society) has cooperated with an energy company and both have profited. Free market environmentalism has shown the way for profits and preservation at the same time in this case. The Audubon Society (AS) owns the 26,000-acre Rainey Sanctuary in the swamps of Louisiana, and while the group is opposed to oil drilling and gas drilling in 99 out of 100 cases, the AS has "been willing to accommodate the interests of those whose priorities are different" (Lee, p. 219). Those interests include allowing thirty-seven wells to be exploited for oil and gas in the Rainey Sanctuary.
According to Lee, the AS has received royalties of more than $25 million from those 37 wells, and in the meantime the technology used in the oil and gas development has prevented any spills…… [Read More]
These are subjective values that represent the altruistic view of ethical behavior, and they apply to corporations as well as individuals within the corporations. Thus, the employees of the organization that sell phones to individuals who fit the profile of a terrorist or criminal are acting unethically, and it is the corporation's responsibility to ensure that does not occur. They should require some kind of identification or registration from all customers, and they should maintain the records so they can be searched and identified if necessary. Moral pragmatism demands that the provider use common sense as one of its ethical solutions to problems, and it makes common sense for the provider to require some kind of identification to protect and serve others in the community.
In conclusion, this is a true ethical dilemma in every sense of the words. Ultimately, it seems senseless to allow cell phone companies to sell…… [Read More]
Full creativity allows the production of greater wealth, for a stronger and more evolved society.
Further in defense of the moral systems or perceived lack thereof in terms of newly created wealth, D'Souza asserts that most wealth currently created is the result of personal effort, rather than means such as inheritance. The wealth can then indeed be seen as the reward for effort, rather than wealth as a result of luck in its pure sense. Morality's role should then not be concerned so much with justifying the accumulated wealth, but rather with using it wisely for the benefit of humanity, creativity, freedom and evolution.
Another characteristic of freedom, as seen above, is the recognition of new and revolutionary ideas, and implementing those when they are superior to the old. In terms of economy this is as true as in terms of morals. Those in power for example refuse to accept…… [Read More]
The Definition of Ethics
In practically all areas of society ethical subjects are rapidly increasing. Professionals in the health field struggle with ethical questions in relation to abortion, transplants, birth control, informed consent, life-support systems, malpractice suits, patient privacy, human genetics, and high costs of insurance, as well as care on the whole. Ethical matters in relation to nuclear power accidents, oil spills, disposal of industrial waste, defense weaponry, lead and asbestos poisoning, acid rain, as well as ecological balance challenge those in technology, science, and industry. People in the political ground deal with ethical queries in relation to unemployment, homelessness, foreign policy decisions, Social Security, welfare reform, electioneering costs, law enforcement practices, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) activities, racial and gender discrimination, immigration control, drugs, crime, and lobbying actions. The legal profession is blamed of unethical customs like engaging in doubtful plea-bargaining practices, motivating a harmful litigious spirit,…… [Read More]
The ACA does not by any means fully resolve this, but it makes strides towards addressing this critical issue of morality. The individual mandate is similar -- where the profit of one individual leads to the suffering of another, the suffering takes precedence -- the money is not as important. Not doing harm to others is the more important imperative, so the sacrifice for the greater good in this case would be the moral course of action according to Kant.
Locke's moral philosophy comprises two parts. The first is natural law, in that there are divine laws, they are obligatory and humans can understand these. The second is more hedonistic, that pleasures and pains serve to "provide morality with its normative force" (Sheridan, 2011). That these two views seem to contrast is well-established and indeed they lead to different interpretations of the key tenets of the Affordable Care Act.…… [Read More]
TAXATION IS THEFT?
When Sam the mugger, decides to rob you of your valuable goods or hard earned money at gunpoint, you instantly know what the act is called: theft. You do not only receive sympathy from the public, but are also found entitled to police support and protection. The city administration upon learning of the incident would most certainly show some anxiety over deteriorating law and order situation and the government would certainly criticize the thug's immoral act.
However lets just suppose that Sam the mugger wants you money again. But this time, some respectable people like senators, parliamentarians, Congressmen etc., accompany him. Instead of the gun, he carries an official letter that says certain percentage of your hard earned money is now his. The tone remains the same i.e. threatening. You give him money O ... The dire consequences of not complying with his 'request' are repeated reiterated…… [Read More]
Monopolies and Trusts:
Appropriate Areas for Government Intervention?
Capitalism is the economic system that has dominated the United States virtually since the day of its independence. A social and economic system based on the recognition of individual rights; capitalism demands that owners' rights to control, enjoy, and dispose of their own property must be respected. In a capitalist system, the purpose of government is to protect individual economic rights, and to make sure that no one individual, or group may employ physical or coercive force upon any other group or individual. The success of capitalism is well evident. The surpluses that this system produces have enabled individuals to experiment; to create new products, and market new ideas. These private surpluses are traded in a free market in direct competition with other buyers and sellers. Such competition is best represented by the efforts of two or more parties acting independently to…… [Read More]