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http://www.churchofreality.org/wisdom/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=343

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/106154/no-taxes-no-female-presidents-and-no-physical-attraction-ten-strangest-things-about

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jeremylott/2012/08/how-objectionable-is-john-allisons-objectivism/

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/8958-ayn-rand-made-us-a-selfish-greedy-nation

In my research on Objectivism, I see in so many places that people think Objectivsm and Ayn Rand espouse and extoll greed. I'm not aware of this as a fact. I've included sources above to show this is what many people think.

Is this true? If so, can you provide some examples in Objectivist literature of Objectivism espousing greed, or some quotes from Ayn Rand doing so?

If this is false, are these people lying, and if so, why are they lying on Objectivsm like that? And what is Objectivism's view on greed as a virtue or vice?

asked Feb 19 '14 at 02:05

KineticPhilosophy's gravatar image

KineticPhilosophy
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edited Feb 23 '14 at 14:57

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦
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Dictionary definition for greed is "excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions."

This question also presumes that there is such a thing as "excessive wealth". What does "excessive wealth" means? By whose standard is it excessive?

(Feb 19 '14 at 14:16) Humbug Humbug's gravatar image

I never thought of asking myself that. I always thought excessive greed meant that one is willing to violate others' rights in order to obtain more material things. Objectivism supports rational self interest, whereby people are greedy in the sense that they work and earn their wealth honestly.

(Feb 19 '14 at 14:31) Collin1 Collin1's gravatar image

The title of Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Chapter 3 is "Anti-Greed" (Chapter 2 is "The Utopia of Greed" and Chapter 4 is "Anti-Life"). In the podcast version I believe these chapters are labelled 22-24.

(Feb 19 '14 at 18:21) anthony anthony's gravatar image

See also http://objectivistanswers.com/questions/3039/what-is-the-meaning-of-greed

(Feb 19 '14 at 18:22) anthony anthony's gravatar image

So, basically, I was right in what I said.

(Feb 19 '14 at 19:38) Collin1 Collin1's gravatar image

I guess. My response was directed at the original post, specifically, the request to "provide some examples in Objectivist literature of Objectivism espousing greed, or some quotes from Ayn Rand doing so". I'm not aware of much, but that's one that I found a couple years ago when thinking of that question which I linked to.

There's much more if you include people associated with Objectivism who spoke about "greed" after the death of Ayn Rand, including Leonard Peikoff and Yaron Brook.

(Feb 19 '14 at 19:51) anthony anthony's gravatar image
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Whether or not Objectivism advocates greed depends on one's definition of greed. In popular usage, greed is usually considered to be a more intense form of selfishness, and selfishness is considered to endorse the sacrifice of others to oneself (perhaps even unavoidably so, since one person's gain allegedly always necessitates someone else's loss). As Ayn Rand noted in the Introduction to VOS:

In popular usage, the word "selfishness" is a synonym of evil; the image it conjures is of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends, who cares for no living being and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.

Objectivism, however, advocates rational selfishness, rational self-interest, rational egoism. Objectivism also denies that thinking and productive work necessitate the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. In Atlas Shrugged, there is an inscription above the door of the power plant in the Valley:

I SWEAR BY MY LIFE AND MY LOVE OF IT THAT I WILL NEVER LIVE FOR THE SAKE OF ANOTHER MAN, NOR ASK ANOTHER MAN TO LIVE FOR MINE.

If greed means pursuing one's own interests hungrily, passionately, for no one else's happiness but one's own (except incidentally through trade) -- and strives to do so through production and trade guided by reason -- then Objectivism enthusiastically advocates it.

answered Feb 20 '14 at 02:11

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦
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Asked: Feb 19 '14 at 02:05

Seen: 1,092 times

Last updated: Feb 23 '14 at 14:57