Defining “Greed” and “Selfishness” in Objectivism

Ayn Rand used the words “greed” and “selfishness” to describe virtues in her philosophy for its outrageous shock value, knowing that they would get noticed and attract attention if she said that selfishness was a virtue. She made her point, but, in the Post-Randian era, I think that Objectivists should abandon the terms “selfishness” and “greed” and replace them with “rational self-interest” and “the desire to make money”, respectively. They don’t mean the same thing…

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The Invaders

“We’ve received intel from the CIA agents embedded in the ambassadorial party that was invited aboard the mother ship. The purpose of the aliens isn’t trade. They plan to demilitarize Earth and then strike while our defenses are lowered. Their goal is conquest.” The television screen in Colonel Shaw’s office shows a parade in honor of the aliens’ arrival marching merrily down 5th Avenue, with the Mayor of New York City and the aliens’ leader…

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Project Utopia

“Dr. Flores, no one else involved with Project Utopia has been given more resources than you, and no one has accomplished less than you. You must produce results. And at least if your experiments in genetic engineering and early childhood subliminal signaling are failures, you must be learning something from those failures. But your progress reports are conspicuously vacuous. What are you accomplishing?” “Sir, gentlemen of the Utopia Council, I know that I haven’t done…

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Who Will Protect Us from Our Protectionism?

Who will protect us from Trump’s protectionist trade policies? Who pays for “Made in America”? Donald Trump ran on a very specific campaign promise of curtailing free trade and using the threat of tax penalties combined with the promise of tax breaks to pressure American companies to end outsourcing and bring back jobs to the USA from China and Mexico. In my book “Golden Rule Libertarianism,” and in my blog posts on RussellHasan.com, I have…

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Contract vs Status Thought #2

In ancient history, there was only the world of high status. The kings and nobles had status, while the serfs and peasants did not. A turning point came in Europe during the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution: for the first time, the poor, the peasants, could become workers, and could define themselves by contract, and achieve a social status based on their work, not their birth. A rising middle class, and merchants who were not…

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Necessity from Essence: the Counter-Kantian Revolution

I will try to keep this post short and easy to understand, despite dealing with the most sophisticated intricacies of philosophical epistemology, a subject where even the name strikes fear into the intellectual capacity of most people, let alone the ideas. Since the birth of philosophy, philosophers have wondered how to achieve knowledge of the things in the physical world, which is, after all, the world that we see and live in within our own…

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Contract vs. Status

I am going to make a complicated argument in this essay, but let’s begin it with some simple thought experiments. Assume that a man devotes 20 years of his life to developing a very difficult and high-paying job skill: for example, in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, a man could have spent years developing the skills of mainframe computer maintenance and how to manage hole punch-cards for programming computers. The man works, studies, makes sacrifices to…

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The Unsealed Heart

Septimus the magician looked down at the arrow sticking out of his arm. A small red bloodstain was beginning to form on the white silk sleeve of his smoking jacket around the arrow’s shaft. He looked up at the masked man standing twenty paces in front of him, and Septimus smiled. The masked man was holding a crossbow. “Poor marksmanship from such a close range, my friend,” Septimus said. “I was aiming for your arm,…

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A Long Time Ago (In a galaxy far far away)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is actually the first Star Wars movie I have ever seen in my lifetime that is, in my opinion, as good as the original Star Wars trilogy. George Lucas’s three “prequels” are, of course, excrement, and J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, which I refer to as the “requel” (the remake sequel) was okay, but not a mind-blowing experience. In The Force Awakens, Abrams was so afraid of having another…

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GOLD Thought #3

There are two types of libertarians–the right-wing libertarians, who like capitalism because they think it’s good for the rich, and the liberal-tarians and left-libertarians, who like capitalism because they think it is good for the people, in other words, for the majority of humans, the working class and poor and lower middle class. Most libertarians, the Objectivist-influenced ones and the Rothbardian Austrians, are the former, while some notable university professors are the latter. I confess…

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TANSTAAFL: A GOLD Analysis

Every libertarian is familiar with the term TANSTAAFL, the abbreviation of the sentence “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” from the bestselling science fiction novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, where a group of libertarian radicals overthrow the government of a lunar colony. This idea, that free stuff is an illusion and doesn’t really exist, and that when someone tells you they are going to give you something for free it…

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Hooey and History

I have tried to argue, to libertarians, that a truly libertarian federal government in the United States could actually end poverty, completely, if libertarian policies were enacted and a libertarian utopia was created. Not overnight, obviously, but after about 30 to 60 years, which is how long it usually takes for a political sea change to take effect. The federal budget is about $3 trillion annually, and it seems clear to me that if that…

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The Upward Spiral #2

I would like to elaborate upon my theory of the Upward Spiral, which I presented in a recent blog post. My previous description was flowery and illustrative, whereas here I will be more academic, clear, and concise. According to GOLD economic theory, the paradigm of economics a trade where Mr. X creates goods or services Y, Mr. A creates goods or services B, and X trades Y to A in return for A trading B…

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Economic Efficiency and Outsourcing

I firmly believe that if a President were to enact protectionist laws to force American companies not to outsource jobs to Mexico or China, as seems to be the trend in the rhetoric from both the Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates, this would constitute theft of money from the Mexicans and the Chinese, and the American government does not have the right to engage is massive theft. Let me explain why. I will present two…

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The Upward Spiral

In order to explain an idea from GOLD economics that I refer to as the Upwards Spiral, let’s consider the example of a sculptor who finds some red clay in a field and molds and bakes it into a clay pot. I use this example a lot in the context of explaining the right to own private property, as it nicely encapsulated the reasons why the sculptor should own her clay pot, and why she…

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The Choice Theory of Value

GOLD economics posits the choice theory of value, in contrast to the labor theory of value, which is Marxist, and the subjective theory of value, which is Austrian. I am well aware that many, perhaps most, libertarians are Austrians or are fond of Austrian economics, so I am sure they will be angry for my taking on Austrian theory, and will try to discredit and attack me. I come from the Objectivist-influenced school of libertarianism,…

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Windows and Doors Theory

Everyone has heard the saying “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” I summarize an important principle of libertarian political policy with my own spin on this, by saying: “When the government opens a window, it closes a door.” The funny thing about doors and windows is that, when you think about it, you can escape to freedom through a door, but not, usually, escape out a window. I call this principle, summarized…

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GOLD Thought #2

This post follows up on my last post, in which I explained the economic theory as to why increases in the supply of oil and natural gas due to new fracking technology ended the Great Recession in circa December 2014. A GOLD economic postulate is that the value of a dollar equals the total pool of value in the economy divided by the total number of dollars in the economy. Thus, with newly created wealth…

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Your GOLD Thought for the Day

Economists are constantly trying to analyze data to find principles. On that note, let us consider the Great Recession. We may debate what caused the Great Recession: Wall Street greed in reselling mortgage-backed securities of subprime mortgages, or government backing for these same subprime mortgages. The issue is debatable, and it all probably contributed. But it is undeniable that the Great Recession ended in December 2014, coinciding with a massive drop in the price of…

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An Introduction to Hasanian Economics: Making Money vs. Theft, Fraud, and Force: A GOLD Analysis

Making Money vs. Theft, Fraud, and Force: A GOLD Analysis “He didn’t want to make money, only to get it.” –Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged,” Part One, Chapter X, page 273 (Signet Edition). In my opus of libertarian politics and economics, the nonfiction treatise “Golden Rule Libertarianism” by me (Russell Hasan), I present a bold new theory of economics, which I call GOLD. In the book, I explain the GOLD economics theories of how trade and the…

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GOLD vs. Nudge

I see the theory of GOLD articulated in my new book “Golden Rule Libertarianism” as the equal but opposite of the “Nudge” theory of law professor and Obama crony Cass Sunstein. He argued in his book of the same name that government policy should let people be as free as possible, which he calls the “Golden Rule of Libertarian Paternalism” (not to be confused with MY Golden Rule Libertarianism). But–and this is an important “but”!…

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My E-Books are Now Up for Sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Please Buy Them!

My philosophical treatise The Apple of Knowledge and my political essay Golden Rule Libertarianism are now both live on Amazon and B&N. If you enjoy my blog, please consider buying them. Each one is available for Kindle and Nook. The links for Apple are: The Apple of Knowledge: Amazon Kindle The Apple of Knowledge: Barnes & Noble Nook Book The links for GOLD are: Golden Rule Libertarianism: Amazon Kindle Golden Rule Libertarianism: Barnes & Noble…

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Cover Reveal!

I am presenting the ebook covers for my two new books, both of which should be available soon at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore (and I am also changing the cover for my novel Rob Seablue). These covers were designed by Graphicz X Designs, and they did a great job.  Take a look!      

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December 2013 Update: Staying Power, “Friends,” The Hobbit, Upcoming Titles

Staying Power: In one week, on December 20th, I celebrate the four year anniversary of quitting smoking cigarettes. How did I stay quit? In all honestly, I drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee everyday, so I get my upper fix from caffeine instead of tobacco. That, combined with iron determination and willpower, is the reason why I haven’t had a smoke in the last 4 years. “Friends”: My most recent legal document review project…

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Just Checking In

I have been “working like a dog” recently, billing 55 to 60 hours a week at my job in Manhattan doing legal document review. My project ends soon, so expect a longer blog post around Christmas. I continue to plan to release my two independently published nonfiction books soon, so anyone reading this should have something to look forward to. Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, belatedly!

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Work Portrayed on Television

The essay Thoughts on Work and Working in the October 2013 issue of The Freeman is the inspiration for this blog post, which will discuss the portrayal of working and jobs on television. In the essay, author Sarah Skwire reviews the book “Working” by Studs Terkel, which contained oral narratives of different types of workers talking about their jobs. The author uses her analysis of the book to argue that the public’s view of free…

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Deconstructing the Motives of Marxist Professors

Deconstructing the Motives of Marxist Professors By Russell Hasan Most ideas which are too smart for their own good eventually end up in a Woody Allen movie. Continental philosopher Jacques Derrida’s theory of deconstruction was no different, showing up in the movie Deconstructing Harry. Deconstruction looks at something, typically a text, and peels away the layers of explicit meaning and logical order in order to see the bloody reality that lurks beneath. It is interesting…

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Author Update

My two new nonfiction books, the first about the politics of libertarianism and the second about the philosophy of science, have now both been completed! The first drafts are written and I am editing, and I hope to release them within the next 6 months. Of course, the indie ebook self-publishing phenomenon has been driven by fiction, so indie nonfiction is something of a charting a new path, but hopefully it will go well! Although…

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