Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Personality Division of Labor in Society

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

I had a thought from the thread on personality types. I want to discuss it, but I have made a new thread and categorized it under miscellaneous because I'm mostly asking for ideas on a question at the end of the post. I encourage you to consider the question in particular, it has to do with activism.

To explore the context for personality types, I want to think of society as a whole - not as an organism (that dreadful doctrine) - but as a marketplace. Basically, personality types may represent an intellectual/social division of labor.

Some qualities can be valuable in certain contexts, but not fundamentally. Consider that someone may value their elderly parents, or their young children; for their wisdom, in return for being valued, or in the children's case for their potential. Yet, this person may not have enough patience to happily remain productive and provide for the specific needs of those who aren't very self-sufficient. Enter those with tremendous patience, even an irrational obsession for providing for the needs of these people. While this compassion needn't be an imposed societal value, as a virtue it has value in certain contexts: like the one I mentioned.

Thus, the compassionate serve a hugely valued role in certain contexts, as compassion generally is a value in many contexts. That's not to say compassion is a fundamental value, such as life, or self.

Under such a division of labor, perhaps the INTJ's (this is also a test to see how much this personality type values validation) or similar personality types, as I have speculated elsewhere, are the guardians of value. Without them, societies collapse as the subjective is valued over the objective. With them functioning as the intellectual/industrial leaders, society achieves immense objective value. In both contexts, other types serve valued roles as well.

Going along with the theme of AS, if the objective-value personalities wish to obtain the objective values they are inclined towards, they must sanction only ideologies and practices that achieve or maximize objective values. When they withdraw from society, there will be a lesser emphasis on these values, and they won't be achieved as successfully.

I've laid it out like this to suggest the implications for bringing Objectivism to those not inclined towards it. That is, from the other thread it seemed that many posters on this site are INTJ's. In the hope of creating a more objective society, it is probably necessary to reach those who are disinclined intellectually to the objective. Perhaps the personality division of labor does exists and is important. If so, the INTJ's and like are the 'Objectivists', and maybe they need not offer Objectivism to the rest, only objective values.

The question then is, in what manner do you offer objective values to society, so that they will accept an Objectivist world, without having to accept intellectually full Objectivism?

The Strike, of John Galt, is one way. But his was so perfectly orchestrated. Can we achieve it, and would we ever want to? Wasn't his a method of last resort?

Granted, there is the possibility that an Objectivist society must nearly wholly accept Objectivism. I don't contend that that is not necessarily the case. However, I am asking here for specific ways to offer (or withold) the products of Objectivism to non-Objectivists so they will accept Objectivist leaders, an Objectivist world, without having to accept the whole philosophy. I justify this according to the personality division of labor I have laid out. With the Objectivists as the intellectual and productive leaders of a philosophically pluralistic society.

My two cents are that I would support but not sanction groups that speak of objective values in subjective terms. By support and not sanction I mean, reward correct thinking as correct thinking, without sanctioning incorrect thinking. This is probably not entirely possible, so according to the division of labor, you have groups that stand with one foot in each room. In the real world you have ARI, representing Objectivism, then you have Glenn Beck. ARI need not sanction Beck, but he is free to talk about individual rights (borrow and adapt) as much as he thinks he can. In the end, you may have enough people accepting enough Objectivism so that ARI/OAC/future group is at the intellectual forefront - the fount if you will - even if there are many disseminators that are decidedly not Objectivist. When a religionist says that God punishes sin on an individual level, at least he is admitting that the non-existent value of righteousness must be properly obtained, and not received. That is, as Objectivism takes center stage, religion may turn from grace to works - the unfortunate acceptance of grace tempered by a greater emphasis on works. If the balance favors works strongly enough, the believers may be objective enough in their place in the division of labor.

I propose two fronts - intellectual purity in academia, which seems to be functioning well now - coupled with a less rigid approach in broader circles. As an example, my mother will never accept Objectivism, because doing so would invalidate most of her life choices, a reality I don't think she'll confront. But if I offer her conclusions from Objectivism, perhaps she will.

For instance, I could not say, "My first concern is my self and my life morally," no matter how clearly I explained the reasoning behind it. I have had marginal success saying, "My first concern is my values, and my moral judgment." At that point she agrees, and begins to open up to the idea that values cannot be values unless they are held personally, and that morality must originate from the self. And according to that line of thinking I almost had her admit that a healthcare mandate was wrong because it invalidates morality by stealing from me my moral judgment. But then we hit the wall of political fidelity, and frankly Republicans are just always wrong supposedly, or something, and we stopped there.

But more broadly, I've had good success focusing on the difference between benevolence and altruism. Since benevolence is an objective virtue, and therefore real, and altruism a false virtue, and so nihilistic and non-existent, it is relatively easy to have people accept that 'benevolence' describes their approach to their subjective values, and not altruism. It's a good start I think. They can make the intellectual leap, and accept limited government more easily, without having to challenge the subjective values that frankly sometimes seem ingrained in their psychology and personality. And as I said at the beginning, perhaps there is some value to having those personalities around.

Thoughts? Please ravage, bad thinking must be identified and repudiated. But also, add, support, no need to challenge what is good thinking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've laid it out like this to suggest the implications for bringing Objectivism to those not inclined towards it. That is, from the other thread it seemed that many posters on this site are INTJ's. In the hope of creating a more objective society, it is probably necessary to reach those who are disinclined intellectually to the objective. Perhaps the personality division of labor does exists and is important. If so, the INTJ's and like are the 'Objectivists', and maybe they need not offer Objectivism to the rest, only objective values.

You seem to be asking the question, and correct me if I'm wrong, "Is it possible to acquire values without understanding the philosophy which is the means of acquiring those values by telling you why they are valuable?" How can something be of value if you do not know why it is valuable? Ayn Rand once said that non professional philosophers do not need to be able to explain things like the analytic synthetic dichotomy - or advanced definitions of certain terms - but the laymen's definition of something does not contradict a more advanced definition of something from the professional philosopher, granted that they are both objectively right and not making things up. As far as making a standardized list of personalities and occupations goes, I think that is a misintegration and most definitely not a method of "giving people values" without them knowing why they are valuable. The ant caste society, where individual ants toil based upon their birthright does not necessarily apply to human beings - though division of labor does. Every individual has to decide for themselves why something is valuable. Put ten objectivists in a room with the similar advanced values/personalities and they will not all want to be rocket scientists and want to wake up at the same time as each other or all start families at the same time or whatever. Everything is in context based on the life of the individual.

I know it seems difficult to teach someone objectivism who is surrounded by subjectivist art/culture and was raised with it - though in the end they will apply objectivist values when the situation comes close enough for them to see it, if they have any self respect. It is more abstract actions - like for example deciding as president whether or not to tax the hell out of people or implement advanced government regulations which give most people a hard time, because all they have as knowledge in place of objectivist principles are a fog of collectivism/emotional apparitions. The two go hand in hand.

If someone is truly committed to the truth and to reality, they will listen to what you have to say - and intelligently argue. They will not stop at some straw man or ad hominem like the all Republicans are bad lady did. In the end you cannot force objectivism on anyone. If someone wants to destroy themselves, so be it - and our democratic - aka majority rule country is operating on collectivist principles and not those of individual rights. The culture reflects the sighs of impotent philosophers of our age, in the form of even hard sciences now such as psychology (which has turned into anything but a hard science). It is even true that such division of labor where its practitioners walk into a field and preach things not evident in reality in pursuit of some unearned value with the idea that they can simply inherit it end up self-imploding and turning into witch doctors at the expense of all the people who come to them for help. Sooner or later the people will stop coming though - because they are not dumb.

Ultimately, you cannot shortcut the process of valuing, or that of understanding, or that of truth seeking. Maybe you need to improve your spiel. There is nothing wrong with explicitly stating what you claim to be uninclined to state in your post. This is because you have not figured out what I just wrote - otherwise you would openly live and state the principles if you wanted to teach someone. Ayn Rand did live her principles- she was not a preacher who turned around and did the opposite thing. She was a producer. If you want to convince someone of something its best to make sure you can prove it. It has taken me years to improve my ability to abstract upon ideas using objectivist principles - but lucky for the people that have not spent years reading Ayn Rand, all they have to do is look out the window to verify Objectivism's statements. Call it objectivism or truth, but it is what it is - and the results of context dropping/evasion by its critics can be seen all over as well in the recent pragmatic mush of supposed "government stimulus plans". In the end, the average citizen will wake up when they have no job and refuse to go to work for the government doing menial work. The blame can only be passed so long before it is quite obvious who the perpetrator is. We live in the age of information - and the dark ages of mediocrity and tacit government intervention will be seen for what they were/are.

Edited by MoralParadise
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...