Self-Lovers and Self-Loathers
22 August, 2012
About a year ago I wrote a blog post, Aristotle on Egoism, with extensive quotes from The Nicomachean Ethics. In a nutshell: the egoism or self-love of a good man is good; the egoism of a bad man is bad – and he cannot even experience self-love, since there is nothing to love in him. A bad man has to experience self-loathing.
I came to think of this again yesterday, when I saw the following comment in a discussion thread on Facebook:
All Ayn Rand did was to give the OK for pricks all over the world to tell selfish assholes that it’s OK to be selfish.
You must have heard this kind of “objection” to Objectivism many times before; but perhaps not in this colorful language. ;-)
Only in a world populated exclusively by “pricks” and “assholes” would this statement make sense. But OK: there are some “assholes” in the world; and only a “prick” would advise them to also be selfish “assholes”; for the rest of us it would better to advise them to be totally selfless; then they would go sacrifice themselves, and we would get rid of them.
Good men and women, on the other hand, should certainly tell other good men and women that it is OK to be selfish. We are neither “pricks”, nor “assholes”.
I won’t delve further into this issue; it is a case of “examining a folly”, and it is enough to realize it is a folly.