Rugged Individualism in Times of Pandemic Endangers Human Life Everywhere – The Good Men Project

Posted: April 18, 2020 at 7:04 pm

Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose. from Me and Bobby McGee by Kris Kristofferson

It appears obvious that the thousands of people demonstrating in an increasing number of state capitals and other places across the country against their governors stay-at-home mandates never got, or rather, never read Kristoffersons memo.

From Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia to California, conservative coalitions are out in force pressuring local and state governments to rescind mandates to shelter in place and allow businesses to reopen immediately. The coalition includes groups of conservative veterans and a network of right-wing and corporate financiers bent on reducing taxes and regulations on industry.

Protestors garnered support and encouragement by the White Houses Anti-Science-In-Chief himself, Donald J. Trump in a series of Tweets:

LIBERATE MICHIGAN! Trump tweeted. LIBERATE MINNESOTA, he continued. LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!

During his daily press Coronavirus briefing, Trump defended his tweets by asserting they were in response to the tough state guidelines. He continued that the protesters demonstrating against the governors, seem to be very responsible people to me.

At this point in the pandemic and its impact on the United States of America, with the extreme lack of a coordinated effort from the White House, the shortages of testing devices, tracking procedures, and medical equipment including personal protective gear, increasing numbers of people infected as deaths mount each moment of every day, how could anyone claim the demonstrators responsible?

Researchers have charted cultures as falling along a continuum with several variables, including Individualism versus Collectivism: the degree of support for and emphasis on individual goals versus common or collective goals. Most of these same researchers place the U.S. and many other Western nations on the Individual side of the continuum

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being,

with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive

achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand, who has become the intellectual center for the economic/political/social philosophy of Libertarianism, constructs a bifurcated world of one-dimensional characters in her novels.

On one side, she presents the noble, rational, intelligent, creative, inventive, self-reliant heroes of industry, of music and the arts, of science, of commerce and banking who wage a noble battle for dignity, integrity, personal and economic freedom for the profits of their labors within an unregulated free market Capitalist system.

On the other side, she portrays the looters represented by the followers, the led, the irrational, the unintelligent, the misguided, the misinformed, the corrupt government bureaucrats who regulate and manipulate the economy to justify nationalizing the means of economic production, who confiscate personal property, who deliver welfare to the unentitled, the lazy, who thereby destroy personal incentive and motivation resulting in dependency.

Welfare Ayn Rand terms unearned rewards, while arguing for a system of laisse-faire Capitalism separating economics and state. In other words, Ayn Rand paints a world in which the evil and misguided takers wage war against the noble and moral makers.

Ayn Rand bristles against some long-held notions of collectivism, of shared sacrifice and shared rewards. Rather, she argues that individuals are not and should not be their brothers and sisters keepers; that one must only do unto oneself; that one must walk only in ones own shoes and not attempt to know the other by metaphorically walking in their shoes; that personal happiness is paramount; the greatest good for you rather than the greatest number of people; it takes the individual to raise a child, not a village.

Ayn Rands Objectivism accords with the axiom, live and let live. Ayn Rand advocates for a rational selfishness. She titled one of her non-fiction books, The Virtue of Selfishness.

As Rand, the current crop of conservative anti-stay-at-home protesters believe in the notion of ruthless individualism and selfishness while society be damned. The days of wild West rugged individualism, however, are over. Either we as a nation change our style of living to consider more so the common good, or else we will certainly and very quickly increase our chances of dying individually and as a nation.

The theory of a Social Contract developed as far back as ancient Greece. Though iterated, reiterated, and reformed by numerous philosophers and public figures, the foundations of this social contract stand on the premise that people live together in community with the agreement that establishes moral, ethical, and overarching political rules of behavior between individuals, groups, and their government in the formation of a civil society.

A violation by any of the signatories individuals, groups, governments jeopardizes the very stability of that progress toward a fully civil society.

We witness politically conservative figures either refusing to sign this contract, or for those who may have previously etched their names, reneging on the terms and stipulations. For them, they abide by the motto: That government is best that governs least.

If these conservative protesters and the White House dont care about or trust politicians, if they dont care about their own health and that of their loved ones and neighbors, they should at least care about and trust the frontline workers police officers, firefighters, members of the National Guard, medical professionals, caretakers, essential services workers who are risking their lives to save ours, and yes, to save the lives of the protesters in this war against an invisible enemy.

SO STAY AT HOME until it is truly safe to venture out.

#StayatHome!

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Rugged Individualism in Times of Pandemic Endangers Human Life Everywhere - The Good Men Project

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