Whom Should Man Serve?

Atlas sculpture, New York City, by sculptor Le...
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Though free market capitalism is the most successful economic system in the history of the world, both in terms of its correlation with high national GDP and in terms of allowing the great majority of citizens to raise their standard of living, no country on the face of the planet currently has free market capitalism.  It seems counter-intuitive: why would peoples forego establishing an economic system that permits them to prosper?  The main reason is that the state hates free market capitalism: it is an economic system that allows individuals to serve themselves.

We see a continuing culture war in Western civilization carried out against The Enlightenment since Marx and Nietzsche declared that God did not exist:  Whom should man serve?

Those on the reactionary left perceive a spiritual emptiness in capitalism deriving from its “materialism,” which they magnify to capture and encompass all of man’s aspirations and relations with others.  Since they desire to create a modern world religion to replace the old religions, they disdain the individualist underpinnings of free market capitalism.  There seems to be have been a void left at the core of Western Civilization since “God’s death,” and great thinkers have sought to fill it with their own totalitarian systems. Nietzsche saw a world crisis of nihilism stemming from the implication that “God is dead”and proposed heroic myths to fill the void. This perhaps is the meaning of Ayn Rand‘s novels: the creation of “heroic myths” to provide quasi-spiritual support to free market capitalism.

But to get back to the point of the article, solely serving oneself and one’s family is now castigated as selfish, and not just by one party, but frequently, by both parties. While the Democrats are the “welfare” party demanding that producers “sacrifice” for the greater good, the Republicans are doing likewise as the “warfare party” with their nation-building exercises; but essentially, both parties are simply different aspects of coercive altruism (I’ll coin this term to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary altruism) – the negation of serving oneself.

In conclusion, Americans must assert themselves as sovereign individuals, and unite in common political defense of the essential principles of our Constitutional republic. There has to be this bedrock principle firmly and explicitly embedded in citizens’ minds to prevent the politicians’ further erosion and destruction of the Constitutional republic under cover of sophistic or legalistic rhetoric. Simply put, we must hold to be sacred and inviolable the individual’s right to serve himself and determine his own destiny; in practice, this entails such institutions as private property, sound money, contracts, due process, and equality under the law. All else flows from the core principle of the individual’s right to serve himself.

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