No. of Recommendations: 6
Quotation of the Day…

"… is from page 140 of the late Christopher Hitchens’s beautiful little 2001 tract, Letters to a Young Contrarian:

Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the “transcendent” and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself…. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.

He’s absolutely correct.

I especially like the last sentence in the quotation. It’s a superb expression of one of the greatest canons of civilization – the golden rule – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or, alternatively, “do not do unto others that which you would not suffer them to do unto you.” It is a principle of peace that, when expressed in the Bible (“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” – Luke 6:31) is justly celebrated. But when the very same idea is expressed by Ayn Rand it is somehow thought to be uncivilized and absurd.


And note that even if many adults are eager – even when taking a long-run perspective – to enter with other adults into a pact of mutual slavery (“I’ll live to sacrifice myself for you if you live to sacrifice yourself for me”), this fact does not morally require those of us who don’t wish to live to sacrifice ourselves for others to follow in the footsteps of these mutual enslavers.

So simple. So true.

We should be able to opt out of mutual slavery.
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