Monday, February 1, 2016

Yaron Brook, Ayn Rand and the Virtue of Selfishness

Mars, courtesy of  NASA, a government agency
Last night I watched a video of Yaron Brook expounding on Objectivism in Tokyo, It was very interesting to me in a number of ways, which I will discuss in greater detail after you watch the video with me.

One of the things Yaron Brook pointed out is that due to government intervention, we have not had a real technological breakthrough in ages. Yes, there is Silicon Valley and innovations come from there all the time, but the scope of the innovation is very limited, and we still use the same mode of transportation that was developed at the turn of the twentieth century: cars, trains and airplanes. Why haven't we colonized Mars yet?

It is not clear to me that laissez faire would necessarily drive us to colonize Mars. I think we will only do it if we lose all our freedom here on earth. Freedom is not just freedom to innovate. Freedom is also about being allowed to maintain our lifestyle intact. Many people want that much more than they want to go to outer space.

If we do end up colonizing Mars, it is more likely to happen because we will have lost all our freedom here on earth and we will be desperately looking for a way out.

Freedom is a value in its own right. Technological advancement is not the justification for freedom -- nor is it the only thing that freedom is good for.

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