Well compromise is a good thing right? I mean all reasonable people compromise now and then.
All good politicians learn the skill of compromise. New legislation wouldn’t get passed unless both sides compromised and agreed to something in the middle. People write books about the “art” of compromise.
But is compromise all it’s made out to be?
As we discussed in the last post, it is usually touted as an effective way to deal with complex issues, such as free trade, political unrest, or moral dilemmas.
But what would you think if I told you that in most cases, compromise solves the immediate problem, but actually creates more complexity, and more challenges for the future?
Ayn Rand once said that reason is our only means of perceiving reality. She saw reason as our only source of knowledge, our only guide to action, and our basic means of survival.
Like Rand, I live my life based upon the values of reason, purpose, and self-esteem. And that based on these values, I have formulated principles I live by.
Just before the publication of “Atlas Shrugged,” a publisher’s rep asked Rand whether she could present the essence of her philosophy while standing on one foot. She hopped up and said:
1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality
2. Epistemology: Reason
3. Ethics: Self-interest
4. Politics: Capitalism
Some big words there. What does it all mean?
If you pressed Rand to come up with simple words to describe the above, I believe it would be:
1. Wishing won’t make it so.
2. You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.
3. Man is an end in himself.
4. Give me liberty or give me death.
If you hold these concepts with total consistency, as the basis for your own convictions, you have a full philosophical system to guide your life by. But to actually do this — to really understand, define, prove and apply them — requires a lot of intellectual exercise.
Which is why philosophy can’t be discussed while you’re standing on one foot. And why it can’t be understood while you’re standing with one foot on each side of a fence.
And unfortunately, this seems to be the prominent philosophy in the world today. So after centuries of this bad philosophy, most people actually have no principles they follow, or a philosophy to live by.
Give that some deep intellectual thought and share your thoughts below. And we’ll pick up there on the next post.
P.S. What a trip I’m on! Six countries in six days. Kazakhstan was a treat. Very cool mix of Asian and Russian culture with really wonderful people. Then today had more than 1,200 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Another wonderful crowd. And the city is simply dripping with history everywhere you turn. Going out to explore it more tonight, then head back to Riga, Latvia in the morning. I’ll try and check in from there.
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