Cops! Soldiers! Paramedics! School Teachers! They are all cannibals. They aren’t devouring other peoples brains. They are eating themselves for the greater good of society. Basically, we say that if you pick any of these jobs or others that involves you living for others or purely serving others you are doing a very honorable thing. After all, what is more, noble or more admirable than sacrificing yourself and your desires for the good of others? In reality, you are giving up piece after piece of who you are. Sooner or later you’ll have to give it up, and there goes your purpose for being.
I can honestly say I took this train of thought from Ayn Rand during one of her last interviews from the 1970s I had happened to see. Is that not an exciting thought? I do believe she brings up a fair point. A firefighter, soldier or cop are the most well known public servants that come to mind. Think about the supposed humble title they are given, “Civil Servants.” Even the name tells you they serve the greater good of society. Rarely do people think, even themselves I’m sure, what they are sacrificing for this idea of community. They are pouring in their youth, their life energies and even their well being so that others don’t have to be or do what they do. Rand is critical of this, she believed that to do good for a society for the sake of doing good. However, if it became your sole occupation, it depleted you as an individual because you were sacrificing who you were and who you could be for some made up collective consciousness.
Your life is your life. I do honestly believe that. I have no greater fear and can think of no greater evil than someone imposing their will on others. It comes in many forms and is easily disguised when a large group of people decides to live together. I decided to share her thoughts and mine because I do find the idea so appealing. It makes me think about the fundamental parts of our society. More importantly, what I choose to take from it is that I am my own person. The highest good I can achieve is to be the best person I can, and no one has the right to impose their opinions, beliefs or norms on me. Because I am a free American.
The smallest minority on Earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
– Ayn Rand