In this post I am going to tell you how my altruist upbringing nearly destroyed me. I am as of the fourteenth of June eighteen years old. Not long ago, I stumbled upon Ayn Rand's work through Nathaniel Branden's books on self-esteem (which to this day I consider the most valuable information I have ever read). Since I read the Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism and Libertarianism, I've worked to change my points of view and my thoughts about the world and experience. I learned:
--> There are absolute principles, and they are reached only by means of reason, despite my education on the philosophy of Friederich Nietzsche
--> What my senses percieve is reality, and it would continue to exist without me. Reality is objective, despite my education on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.
--> Even though there are many perspectives on a single matter, it is possible to attain certain, objective knowledge, despite my education on José Ortega y Gasset.
--> My actions are my responsability alone, not my parent's or the society's, despite my education on Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud.
And I have recently added to this list the discovery that altruism is destructive. See, my parents have been life-long altruists (and socialists, by the way). They were the ones who taught me that man is valued not by his ability, but by his need. Not by his wealth, but by his scarcity. That businessmen are the incarnation of greed, and that the poor are the moral righteousness. That is the code they taught me. And worse: it is the code they lived by. Therefore, I was taught that I owe my existence to them. That the fact that I have an education is only because of them. Hell, I even felt guilty about the food I ate. They told me I was selfish for craving excellence and despising mediocrity. The country I lived in didn't help either. A country which has only made the transition from a dictatorship to a democracy recently, and even then a socialist, looting democracy. So at school teachers told me it is evil to want to be rich. Hell, if the state can give you a menial job and a retirement, why do you want to strive for greatness?
I was taught I lived for others.
I was taught enjoyment was unfair if others can't have it.
I was taught I shouldn't live for myself.
I heard the words of Midas Mulligan in my mind. The most evil of men is not he who does not have pity for others, but he who uses the pity of others to attain his ends, and disguises it in the name of justice.
I will only live for myself for now on. I will not sacrifice myself for others, nor will I ask others to sacrifice themselves for me.
I had an argument with my parents. They disaprove. They said I was selfish. However that won't reach me anymore, because the final veredict on who I am is only up to me.
Thank you, Ayn Rand.