I know you might say that Objectivists have a self-interested reason in saving the world from tyranny--that in so doing, they are also saving themselves from tyranny.
But doesn't the best and safest position, from the point of view of pure practicality (if we take survival and prosperity of ourselves and our small circle of loved ones as the goal of ethics and of life), lie in being one of the tyrants? Don't we see that well-dramatized in the movies (and novels) "The Hunger Games" and Orwell's "1984"?
Isn't it against the self-interest of leaders to teach the whole population of the earth to pursue self-interest and to never sacrifice themselves for the Nation, the People, the State, the Party, the Leader, the Corporation, the Team, the Movement, or the God of one's religion?
Haven't leaders in all periods of human history found it advantageous to train the masses to believe in sacrificing themselves for some higher cause, purpose, or person? How else could the ancient Egyptian pyramids have been built?
Aristotle was a firm believer in permanent enslavement for most of the people, so that the few aristocrats could lead lives of intellectual leisure, engaging in civic leadership, philosophy, the arts, and so on.
It seems like the Objectivist's educational activities directed to saving the world from tyranny go against what's best for the natural aristocracy, doesn't it?
It seems like the teachings of Objectivism should be kept within a small elite, and not disseminated for free to the masses as a sort of liberation campaign, which does seem like what is being done by leading Objectivist educational institutions and websites. Anyone can get a complete, full, and deep education in Objectivism for free with all the videos and texts made available on the Internet by Objectivists.
It is understandable that the Marxists would want to spread their doctrines to the masses, since their ethical aim (at least on paper) is the liberation of every person, and the improvement of the standard of living of the poorer people on the planet earth. Marxists, on paper at least, are altruists. Christians also want to covert everyone to Christianity, and, again, they have openly altruistic motives (at least on paper).
But Objectivists shun altruism. Yet, in seeming contradiction to that, Objectivists seem intent on saving the world (every single person) from tyranny. To me, this makes the Objectivist Movement look like a Liberation Movement for all the people of the earth.
Didn't John Galt give his big speech to the masses, to the whole nation, over the mass medium of radio? Wasn’t he trying to convert every American to the Objectivist philosophy? Wasn't John Galt and his small group working to liberate all of the people of the USA from the tyranny of socialists?
Wouldn't it have been better, from a purely practical point of view, for John Galt and his small group to have replaced the socialist tyrants and to have become the tyrants themselves? (While of course using intense propaganda to make the masses believe that that U.S. Constitution was still being followed). Isn't that essentially what the leaders have done in present-day nations such as Russia and China? Isn't that model of governance possibly coming to the USA as well, through certain well-known authoritarian "populist" leaders? Isn't this a natural development that makes perfect sense from the point of view of the self-interest of the leadership class (the so-called "one percent")?
I entirely agree that it is a great advantage (in business, politics, romance, the joy of living, etc.) to a person to be well-educated in Objectivism. But why would Objectivists want everyone to possess that advantage? Why would Objectivists want more people to be effectively and rationally competing against them?
This desire to educate the whole world in the philosophy of Objectivism seems to ultimately work against the self-interest of Objectivists. And the only explanation I can find for this anomaly is: unconscious altruistic impulses toward the great mass of people. In the Christian Bible, there is this passage: “When Jesus...saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” There we see a leader feeling pity and having thoughts and feelings of altruism regarding the great mass of people, and commencing to teach them things that would liberate them. Aren’t Objectivists feeling and thinking a similar altruism regarding “the people”?
Compare the Objectivist Movement to the Freemasonry Movement, back when men like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, John Hancock, John Marshall, James Monroe, and Andrew Jackson were Freemasons. In this era, the men of the Freemason Movement were very influential in government and business. The Freemason Movement taught a philosophy of reason, and subtly opposed the ancient superstitions of religion. But they did not attempt to disseminate the philosophy of Freemasonry to the masses. Only certain men were invited to join and to learn. The philosophy of Freemasonry was kept secret from the masses.
Well, what do you think? Is this a reasonable philosophical analysis? Do the seeming anomalies described in this comment point to a potential contradiction and hidden (unconscious) altruism within Objectivism? Does the drive within the Objectivism Movement, to save the world (the whole world) from tyranny and to educate every person to pursue self-interest and shun self-sacrifice for others, constitute a subtle form of altruistic sacrifice of self-interest?