|"I want to outline an alternative ethical philosophy, developed by Ayn Rand. It is an individualist ethics, which defends the moral right to pursue one's self-interest. Altruists argue that life presents us with a basic choice: we must either sacrifice others to ourselves, or sacrifice ourselves to others. The latter is the altruist course of action, and the assumption is that the only alternative is life as a predator. But this is a false alternative, according to Rand. Life does not require sacrifices in either direction. The interests of rational people do not conflict, and the pursuit of our genuine self-interest requires that we deal with others by means of peaceful, voluntary exchange....
How then should we deal with others? Rand's social ethics rests on two basic principles, a principle of rights and a principle of justice. The principle of rights says that we must deal with others peaceably, by voluntary exchange, without initiating the use of force against them. It is only in this way that we can live independently, on the basis of our own productive efforts; the person who attempts to live by controlling others is a parasite. Within an organized society, moreover, we must respect the rights of others if we wish our own rights to be respected. And it is only in this way that we can obtain the many benefits that come from social interaction: the benefits of economic and intellectual exchange, as well as the values of more intimate personal relationships. The source of these benefits is the rationality, the productiveness, the individuality of the other person, and these things require freedom to flourish. If I live by force, I attack the root of the values I seek.
In light of the many benefits we receive from dealing with others, it is natural to regard our fellow humans in a spirit of general benevolence, to sympathize with their misfortunes, and to give aid when it does not require a sacrifice of our own interests. But there are major differences between an egoist and an altruist conception of charity. For an altruist, generosity to others is an ethical primary, and it should be carried to the point of sacrifice, on the principle: give until it hurts. It is a moral duty to give, regardless of any other values one has; and the recipient has a right to it. For an egoist, generosity is one among many means of pursuing our values, including the value that we place on the well-being of others. It should be done in the context of one's other values, on the principle: give when it helps. It is not a duty, nor do the recipients have a right to it. An altruist tends to regard generosity as an expiation of guilt, on the assumption that there is something sinful or suspicious about being able, successful, productive, wealthy."
Labor alone does not produce a product, except in primitive goods and services. There is financial risk associated with capital investments and the pursuit of creating a product or service which is more valuable to the consumer than the laborer alone could provide. Or else, the laborer, himself could offer his services alone to the market and make what the company makes directly.
For example, building a house. The company (stock owners) invests in buying the materials, hiring workers and finding buyers. The laborer's effort is not the value of the finished product, it is a part of the whole. The management and coordination and risk assumption provides value to the buyer, by doing the buying of materials, hiring workers, etc for the buyer. The company provides a service to which they are compensated in aggregate, more than the laborer's added value. If the labor desires to provide the service directly, he could. There is no impediment to a laborer doing the management himself of himself, except for ability, time, risk assumption, etc. The laborer is not exploited, he chooses to provide labor. Or he does not labor. He can be his own company. It takes risk and investment to do so. THAT is what the company is compensated for.
All wealth accumulation (profits) benefits society. Accumulated wealth is either invested (ie. made available to others to use as risked capital) or spent. Money spent to purchase any goods or services distributes money to the laborer/society.
Yes, I believe that “forced handing over of funds”, also known as taxation, is stealing.
Btw, to Brigianna, I paid my own way through my private nursing education. I worked and paid taxes for roads. (No grants, loans or financial aid.) I prefer user fees for utilities. None of my public education had value toward my nursing education, imo. We homeschool precisely because of my perceived lack of value of public education. And no, I don't believe in publicly funded education.
|People die, but if someone dies as a result of someone else's choice, isn't that homicide? If I went to your house and slipped poison into your drink and you died, I would be prosecuted for your murder. But if I were a corporation and I dumped poison into the air and water of your village, and you died, there would be no consequences for me.|
The only post which causes me any discomfort, was this
|As soon as the first person staked out more land than he could tend and told others that if they wanted to get enough to eat they could work "his" land and pay him for the privilege by letting him keep some of the fruits of their labor the exploitation began and it has increased exponentially. When the first person claimed "hunting rights" and told others that they could only gather and hunt for food if they would pay him, thus forcing them to settle for less than what their labor was worth exploitation was in play in a huge way. Nothing has changed about that.|
And ftr, I am not a Christian and do not believe in the guilt of obligation to others. One can judge my beliefs. They are my own. And as a disclaimer/clarification, all who practice or embrace Consensual Living are not capitalist.