Altruism & Rational Egoism: A Moral Defense Of Capitalism


Capitalism has clearly won. Karl Marx wrote entire books, detailing his opinions of why and how capitalism would fail. And then the Socialists waited – expecting the apocalypse at any moment. And they kept waiting.

“Capitalism will fail any minute now,” the increasingly nervous socialist said for the 14th time that day.

On every measurable standard of wealth and comfort, the economic philosophy of capitalism has won every single competition, 1000 times. So why do the Socialists persist? Why do the detractors of capitalism continue blindly rooting for the ideas they afterward say “wasn’t real socialism”. Why does this ideological war continue?

Morality itself holds the answer.

“Group, or the individual?” The selfless sacrifice to the collective, or the selfish businessperson?

Philosophically speaking, ethics is the answer to “which system is right?”.

People who take their values, ethics, morality, and philosophy seriously, will always stand on the “system” that is the logical conclusion of their opinion on morality.

Ideological wars may seem political, but it has always been a war over morals.

Socialism is predicated on the moral ideal of Altruism. Ayn Rand defined Altruism as follows:

“What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue, and value.

Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.””

Socialism demands that man sacrifice himself for no value, to the collective. That the right to existence and life is gained by ridding yourself of values and giving the values to others.

A logical problem is encountered here. If it is wrong for you to selfishly keep value, and right for you to selflessly give away value, then why is it moral for a person to accept that which you give away? Your moral virtue, in this Altruistic theory, necessarily ONLY comes at the EXPENSE of another, when that other selfishly accepts your sacrifice.

If suffering is a virtue, why not let people suffer, so they can have their virtue? You relieving them of suffering REMOVES their virtue. In fact, causing someone to suffer gains them virtue! So why not cause someone to suffer, so virtue can abound.

Altruism demands that we continue sacrificing all of our wealth, all of our values, and all of our virtues for the “sake of others”, and bullying those who won’t sacrifice “enough”. Altruism demands that we continue this sacrifice, and self-destruction until all disagreers are shot in a shallow grave, and all food has been sacrificed away. Starvation, moral hopelessness, and collective mob bullying are the hallmarks of Socialism properly implemented.

There is another idea out there, called Rational Egoism. The idea that man must use his mind to pursue his rational self-interest, and deal with others not by force, but by the means of the mind; voluntary trade.

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” – Adam Smith.

Selfishness does not mean “doing whatever you desire.” Moral principles are not a matter of personal opinion, they are based in the facts of reality, that man is a rational being, who must think and act successfully in order to live and be happy. The study of morality is to identify the kinds of action that benefit oneself. These virtues (productivity, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, pride) are all applications of the basic virtue, rationality.

I advocate that all men and women have the right to pursue their rational self-interest, to make trades and produce peacefully, making transactions with others by means of reason and free will. Not with force, not with bullying, and not with sacrifice.

I advocate, that Rational Egoism, is the moral defense for capitalism.

You can read more from Jordan Matthew on Think Liberty here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here