Letter to the Editor 3/19 #2

By Phil DiCicco

To the Editor,

I am writing in regard to Giles Howard’s March 17 column, “Keep the focus… To the Editor,

I am writing in regard to Giles Howard’s March 17 column, “Keep the focus on yourself in college.” Howard praised the objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand and stated that it’s the most logical philosophy for man to pursue. Rand, in espousing this belief that altruism is error, makes the assertion that all altruism is anathema and must be eliminated from human nature. And yet, Aristotle notes that man is a social being.

As an example of this social need, if altruism is abhorrent to true human nature, how does one explain the fact that human beings still marry and reproduce? Marriage, as commonly understood, is a forsaking of the rational self-interest for the good of another, the spouse, as well as for the children.

One cannot claim that this is evidence of brainwashing by religious or other authorities since atheists, agnostics and non-religious individuals also get married and have children. Where is the rational self-interest in that? Tax credits? The benefit doesn’t seem to outweigh the loss of “freedom” in the form of being able to do what one wishes most of the time.

Also, in emphasizing the rational self-interest, Rand seems to completely ignore the fact that human nature is, in itself, flawed. If it were not, there would be no infringement upon the rights of others in the forms of crime, war or theft. Utopia is utopia, be it Marxist or objectivist.

Phil DiCicco

Information Sciences