Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Lindsay Perigo: Self-Respect, Not Self-Obsession

Yesterday I was a tad under the weather from staying up very late the night before, talking & quaffing with friends into the wee hours. It was one of those "meaning of life" conversations, with some good-natured sparring punctuating its more serious threads. One of the participants must have been VERY distracted by it all ... a mobile phone announced its presence with some ghastly tune somewhere in my apartment yesterday afternoon, while I was otherwise engaged. I have yet to track it or its forgetful owner down.

Anyway, one of the subjects that came up was the mistake of equating individualism with unhealthy self-absorption. We had all noticed a tendency among some Objectivists & libertarians - usually American ones! - to have one topic of conversation only: themselves. They are unwilling or unable to acknowledge the existence or significance of anyone else other than as a sounding board for their own monologues. It's a kind of psychological solipsism, & actually, it's not confined to - nor is it by any means universal among - American Objectivists & libertarians.

It's a huge mistake to equate it with individualism. There is a crucial difference between self-esteem & self-obsession. An individualist has self-respect - or at least, seeks to earn it. He values himself, realistically. He knows that he is not the centre of THE universe, but makes himself the centre of HIS universe - in which he takes pains to include other shining stars. As an extension of his own values, he values others who embody them - makes time for them, listens to them, supports them if necessary - as a matter of justice, & self-interested benevolence. He shows respect for their status as human beings intellectually & morally, just as he respects their rights legally & politically. Just as he is not their doormat, neither does he treat THEM as doormats.

All of this is obvious & uncontentious. Sometimes the obvious bears repeating. I've seen enough of the mistaken kind of "individualism" to want to do a longer editorial about it in my magazine. I'll probably call it: Another Awry Alternative - Altruist or Asshole.

===========================================================
For Lindsay Perigo's daily "Politically Incorrect Show" editorials, visit: www.freeradical.co.nz or listen to Radio Pacific from noon to 2pm weekdays.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reactionary Politics Of Fear

What do you call a situation where the state tries to create panic among its own people for party political gain? As practiced by Theresa May and her faction of the Conservative Party, this has become a well-honed form of state terrorism… More>>

Viva Scoop 3.0! Rounding Up 2018 And Looking Ahead

2018 has been quite a year for Scoop. We are so thrilled to have successfully met the funding target for the first stage of the ‘Scoop 3.0’ plan raising $36,000. This means we can now proceed with the planning phase for the delivery of this bold vision for a community-owned, participatory, independent newsroom... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog