Monday, May 22, 2006

No self-made man is an island

What's wrong with self-made men? Why do so many people want to explain away self-made-men? "How many people does it take to make a self-made man?" say critics. "No man is an island." "It takes a village." The cliches go on, and Tibor Machan takes them to task:
This criticism totally misses the point of what a self-made individual is supposed to be. No one who has any sense conceives of the self-made individual as some kind of hermit or someone who sprung to life on a desert island... What a self-made individual is, however, has nothing to do with ending up all alone on a desert island. Nor does it have to do with someone who is anti-social, who distances himself or herself from all others, as the antagonistic caricatures would make it out. No, a self-made individual is one who thinks though the ideas and principles on which he or she bases his or he conduct before leaping to action.
And why then is there so much criticism of self-made men? You'd think they were some kind of a threat! Well, they are to a certain kind of non-self-made person:
One reason is that people who would want to be leaders of others, people who like to rule others, people who want to impose ideas on others find the self-made individual an obstacle to their program... Whenever you hear someone put down the self-made individual, look out—you are likely hearing from a would-be tyrant.
Good point.

LINKS: What's a self-made individual? - Tibor Machan
Cue Card Libertarianism - Not PC (Peter Cresswell)

TAGS: Ethics, Politics, Objectivism

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