By Amy Nasir · May 26th, 2009 1:14 pm · 5 Comments
Brother-love need not get in the way of the “public interest” in China. An angry passer-by pushed a would-be jumper off a bridge after he held up traffic for five hours. The pusher’s reason – the jumper was “selfish” and his action “violate[d] a lot of public interests.” Notice the initial false gesture of helping the jumper:
Retired soldier Lian Jiansheng, 66, broke through a police cordon and reached out to shake the hand of would-be jumper Chen Fuchao before shoving him off the bridge.
“I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish. Their action violates a lot of public interests,” Lai was quoted as saying by the China Daily newspaper.
This is just one small example where the morality of altruism – living for the sake of others, or the “collective” – gives the excuse to any thug to kill, pummel or push another’s life. When a perpetrator loudly proclaims that the victim was “selfish,” he is projecting his own motivations of cynical egoism, or range-of-the-moment gratification, onto the victim. This thug was eager to prove that his actions were moral and his victim’s weren’t.
Under altruism, brother-love does not apply to the individual – only to the greater good. Individuals are expendable, and thugs are justifiable.
In contrast, a couple weeks ago on my side of town in Michigan, a would-be jumper on a pedestrian bridge closed a freeway for over eight hours. It was reported that he had lost his job. Dozens of people gathered around to offer encouragement and finally talked him down without incident. Benevolence and compassion are based in the minds of people who understand that they, themselves, are individuals and that individuals are more important than the collective “good.” Rational self-interest is the only moral code that keeps the thugs at bay, is conducive to compassion and allows for human beings to flourish.
By Amy Nasir · March 25th, 2009 3:46 pm · 5 Comments
One company refusing to be shackled, FedEx, backed out of a $7 billion Boeing order after Congress threatened to unleash the hordes of the wealth-plundering Teamsters on them, as reported by today’s Wall Street Journal, “FedEx Threatens to Cancel Jet Orders.”
Actually, FedEx did not “threaten” to cancel the order, it was arranged in their contract to begin with. A condition was stipulated that if the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a bill facilitating workers’ unionization within the shipping service, FedEx could simply not afford to purchase the Boeing airplanes:
“It is exceedingly unlikely that we would purchase those airplanes” should Congress change the law, said FedEx spokesman Maury Lane. “The legislation could cripple the company and eliminate the need for the extra planes,” Mr. Lane said.
Among FedEx’s 290,000 workers, only the company’s 4,700 pilots are unionized. At UPS, about 240,000 of the companies 425,000 employees are union members, mostly Teamsters.
But according to Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MN), FedEx will stay in business “somehow”:
“That’s huffing and puffing, that’s all that is,” said Rep. Oberstar, in response to FedEx.
So FedEx should not be angry, and just smile approvingly, when a government thug forces them to hire more employees at higher wages, buy more planes, run at loss and keep everyone on payroll and benefits regardless of the loss. Indeed, this would be an opportune set-up for a future bailout and nationalization.
The Teamsters quip that FedEx intends to “blackmail Congress.” Except the contract was between Boeing and FedEx, not FedEx and Congress. They say FedEx will “fire another torpedo through the American economy.” However, the economy does not run on the power of brute labor (or the union rajahs who collect dues), but by the exacting, long-range-thinking, value-making mind of a businessman. The Teamsters and Congress are the ones wielding the torpedo, and FedEx needs to find a big enough moral shield to fend off the attack.
Contact FedEx and tell them they are morally right to abide by their contracts regardless of what the slave-masters in Congress or the power-lusting Teamsters say. Kudos to FedEx if they stand their moral ground and assert their right to exist.
By Amy Nasir · March 22nd, 2009 5:13 pm · 13 Comments
On Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., in contrast to the dubious “Earth Hour,” there are a couple of new movements celebrating the achievements of Thomas Edison and those men and women who—as Ayn Rand eloquently phrased—”took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.”
In honor of Edison Hour, which was coincidentally established by the University of Michigan Students of Objectivism and myself, and also in tribute to Human Achievement Hour, households and businesses across the nation will be keeping their lights and other electrical devices on, and refusing to concede the unearned guilt that environmentalists want to establish in our culture.
We live in the most innovative, life-sustaining and “money-making” country in mankind’s history, and we should never apologize for human happiness and success. So please remember to keep your lights on this coming Saturday. You may want to spend the hour by sitting down by the bright light of your lamp reading Ayn Rand’s Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal or revisiting her uplifting novella, Anthem, from which I’ve selected a quote from its main character who rediscovered electricity and the light bulb:
I have learned that my power of the sky was known to men long ago; they called it Electricity. It was the power that moved their greatest inventions. It lit this house with light which came from those globes of glass on the walls.
Let’s make sure that the precious inventions that freed the world from darkness are never taken for granted, and especially not destroyed by the anti-man philosophy of environmentalism and “Earth Hour.” Let’s change the tide of the culture by celebrating human achievement and literally fending off the darkness.