Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Quote of the Day: How come business students have never heard of rational egoism?

"My introduction [to students] of rational egoism—the idea that one should pursue one’s own happiness and interests, with neither sacrificing oneself to others or others to oneself, came as a revelation to many, if not to most, students. It also resonated, as the comments a number of them made after the courses were over suggested. They said that they had never heard of such an idea, only of [the false alternative of either] altruism or the cynical exploitation of others. With exploiting others having little appeal (although some students claimed exploitation is the nature of business, and everybody else is doing it, leaving little choice to those who want to be successful), the default alternative was altruism.
    "Now, the question is, how is it possible that business students—some of them with significant business experience—have never heard of the moral code of rational egoism (developed by Ayn Rand on the foundation of laid by Aristotle), that so obviously is the only moral code that makes long-term profitability and survival of business possible? Not only does rational egoism help business maximize long-term profitability, it also leads to win-win outcomes to all with whom a business firm trades: employees, customers, suppliers, creditors and investors.
    "The answer lies in the sorry state of today’s culture that holds altruism as the moral code. That culture is reflected everywhere: what parents teach their children, what they learn about morality in elementary school, what universities, including business schools, teach their students. Everywhere children and students learn that selfishness is evil and to give up one’s own interests to others is the good. (Peter Schwartz blasts all that in his new book, In Defence of Selfishness, with a penetrating analysis and one simple question: 'Why?')."
~ Business ethics lecturer Jaana Woiceshyn, from her article 'The Anti-Capitalist Appeal of Altruism and The Pro-Capitalism Alternative


1 comment:

  1. I did a BMS degree at Waikato University. Once I discovered Ayn Rand I asked the Business school why they were not teaching it. I got no reply.


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