This is Big-Government philosophy
"My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.
–PlayboyÃ¢??s 1964 interview with Ayn Rand
Can you imagine how embarrassed I am right now. Having read all of Rand’s works multiple times, literally thousands and thousands of pages, only to discover I could have got it all in edited form from reading Playboy.
Actually, this is an example of the classic “bait and switch.” We were discussing the concept of altruism, and you seamlessly transition to a out of context quote concerning charity.
My whole point was that they are not the same. That they have become conflated. Her battle was not with charitable action. She was neutral on the topic, as it fell into the area of individual self interest and ones value hierarchy.
Again, the issue becomes one of coercion or force. Who’s values are supported? Who gets to decide?
Charity allows me to give as much or as little to any person or entity that I value to the degree that I value it.
Altruism is an aberration of the concept of charity in which others get to chose how and where to give charitably of my money, time, or life.
This is why I said I was hesitant to enter the discussion. It always seems to turn into some tortured version of Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine.
As it turns out, I am not a follower of Objectivism. As I have stated elsewhere, I believe Rand to have overestimated man’s ability to consistently act in his rational self interest. I do, however, think she best conceived and expressed a critical stage in mankind’s development.
I have no problem with valid criticism of Rand. Unfortunately, I find most of the criticism of Ayn and Objectivism based on misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Few have actually read her works, yet have come to think of her as the philosophical equivalent of Gordon Gecko (“Greed is Good!”) They pervert her message to one of self gratification at the expense of others. “Do what you want and fuck everyone else!” This is simply wrong.
For those that have an interest in digging deeper, this topic is covered in much depth in this previous thread: