Food for thought – In Selfishness I trust

Cartoon by Ryan Fletcher
Cartoon by Ryan Fletcher

Founder of Objectivist philosophy, Ayn Rand, came to be one of the greatest proponents of Individualism. She was born in Soviet Russia, a place which represented the bipolar opposite to the ideas she would become renowned for, and died as one of the greatest icons of the West.

Recently I’ve been glossing back over some of her books, interviews and speeches. In her essay entitled “Racism” (September 1963) from her book The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism, Rand writes:

“Individualism regards man—every man—as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights— and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.”

With that said, nothing epitomises rational selfishness more, in my opinion, than vigilant criticism of the Islamic ideology. Though some may characterise such opposition as altruistic (being concerned for the welfare of others), fundamentally it boils down to a question of individual survival. Do I submit to savage enslavement or resist this “tribal warfare of prehistorical savages” which would rob me of my freedom?

There are plenty of notable individuals who convey this self-determined aversion to the totalitarian ideology of Islam. However there are those who preach solidarity with this ideology and who collectively band together to denounce it’s critics as bigots.

Frankly I am happy to be labelled a bigot of an ideology which would have me as a slave than a master of my own abilities.

Food for thought