This is the final section of the Preface to The Moral Bias of Objectivism. Start at the beginning by going to the main site of this page, ExObjectivist.com.
What’s in this for you?
I admit that I originally struggled greatly with who my target reader is for this book. In truth, it’s unlikely to be Objectivists. It certainly will not be the ones still hypnotized by Rand, anyway, though I admit that my goal remains to burrow into their hijacked minds.
So, who is my specific target audience? Lots of answers are possible, but when I watched a semi-famous lawyer strip down a very genuine-hearted man, I knew instantly who my main target audience was.
The man was trying to start a software company to provide a service to counter Big Tech, who was censoring many people. The lawyer put the man on the defensive, making him answer all sorts of questions about where he stood on weighty moral issues. The man, intimidated, was sure to agree he was on board with certain highly politicized agendas. It was so clear to me that this man had no idea what he was going up against. (And if you knew, you’d know: they are pathetic—easily beatable). I realized, then, who my target audience was: anyone who wants to protect themselves or others from this type of abuse, which is heavily rooted in posturing, an air of moral superiority, and is designed to silence and even un-person others. And there is actually no more worthy or powerful audience than those in need of protection from this.
And, so, a few reasons of what is in this for you. Indeed:
#1: Protect yourself and others from abuse, personal or political
In his notes, Christopher Columbus described the people he found in the West Indies as the best people on earth: gentle, always laughing, and physically attractive. They were generous and easily did as asked. Columbus then wrote that they would be easily conquered and enslaved. The Europeans all but decimated them as a people.
Those people in the West Indies are, metaphorically and literally, the natural, wild human, as developed in a basically peaceful setting over hundreds of thousands of years. The Europeans who decimated them are, metaphorically and literally, the kind of predator we face. It is a human predator. The greatest predator to man right now is man. And I don’t think humanity has figured out how to deal with this kind of predatory force, yet. This is what I am aiming to resolve: the natural human inclination towards an assumption of kindness, which exists in the majority, that a certain type of human predator has figured out how to exploit. We otherwise remain sitting ducks to many forms of brutal war and dictatorship.
I find virtually no one wants to talk about the topic of abuse. People get very shifty, uncomfortable, and move to change the topic. Or they refuse to think that they could be a victim. But here is my best argument to face the issue head on: people familiar with abuse cannot be abused. The risk is reduced significantly, anyway. If you think you are already immune to abuse, without knowing the inner workings, you are in fact the most vulnerable. In this book, I outline abusers’ typical tactics: lovebombing (fictional books, movies, TV, etc., make this easy), gaslighting, triangulations, insults, belittling, etc. And, by the way, governments use exactly these tactics. If you want to fight big government, learn how to fight predatory human behavior, because that’s what it is.
I also outline how abuse is, totally contrary to popular mantra, not “unconscious.” It is, rather, inside a person’s explicit moral paradigm. Abusers don’t think they are wrong. They think they are profoundly morally justified. As such, no amount of “karma” or “time heals all” is going to stop them. We have to, at all times, be on guard for this predatory behavior. This is a fact of life: predatory behavior is built right into life. The lion eats the gazelle because it figured out how to hunt. These human predators exploit other humans because they figured out how to abuse and gaslight a mostly naïve and trusting populace. Predatory behavior will always be with us. But, as of now, abusers are ethically sanctioned. We are paying a dear price for it—one I fear can annihilate all life if not stopped. With current moral paradigms, abusers can wantonly abuse, and most are under the commandment to “turn the other cheek,” such that we are total sitting ducks to totalitarianism. People, as such, look to “kings” (or their equivalent) or “saviors” to stop it. No. You must accept that you will always have to be on defense against this, in big or small ways—and we should have power in numbers. People who “take the high road” to any of this are not morally righteous. They are sell-outs to humanity.
Carl Jung wrote,
Indeed, it is becoming ever more obvious that it is not famine, not earthquakes, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is man’s greatest danger to man, for the simple reason that there is no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes.
I am here to give you “adequate protection against psychic epidemics.”
#2: Better ideas on joy and success
I know it’s backwards to modern thinking, but flinging off toxic, abusive moral paradigms may be the very best thing you do for your everyday joy and your long-term life success. Moral paradigms attempt to control a person’s emotional core in order to achieve some heroic end goal. They change all the plumbing of your natural emotions in order to make it match what they think is necessary for successful living. I’m telling you that these moral paradigms are entirely in your way.
Instead, you are born with vitality, joy, talent, and the potential for success. This emotional energy—your life force—is what can carry you through life. Happiness is not an end goal. Happiness is fuel. A feeling of inner vivaciousness is everything. Feeling alive feels great, doesn’t it? I am arguing that any moral system that tells you how you are supposed to feel is inherently incompatible with this. Lift the veil—lift the controlling morality—and see what is possible to you.
#3: Shedding moral bias brings inner peace
Shedding moral bias is also truly powerful. Moral bias, as I will outline, operates by exploiting a person’s fear. Our leaders do this, over and over. It is crisis after crisis after crisis, in which groups are created and divided, one group is good and another is bad. There is always a war: a War on Drugs, a War on Poverty, a War on Terrorism, it just goes on. People live in fear and get riled up…later to realize that all of these wars were for absolute naught.
Moral bias, as I will argue, is a trait built right into the human psyche and is rather easily enflamed by fear. When unnecessarily enflamed, it causes a tremendous amount of unnecessary anxiety and work. People see problems where there aren’t any, and they sit, on edge, totally focused on it, to their great detriment. And be warned: even the threat of big government itself is one of those manufactured fears that they use to hang over your head to continue to control you.
Truly shedding moral bias (and I had my own that I had to shed) allows you to see your fellow humans as the humans they are—a wonderful thing, truly better than any man-made moral ideal. You’ve been kept from how wonderful and powerful this is for centuries. I’m looking to demoralize people in order to humanize them.
So, no, I’m not your local rosy, charismatic salesperson here to “sell” you on my system or to tell you I can solve all of your problems or guarantee you joy or success. Sorry, not sorry.
#4: Be more open to good ideas on living life
Though I can’t outline an exact path to joy and success for you, I might be able to uncloud your biases, such that, should you come across a better path, you are open to seeing it.
I am routinely flabbergasted that truly good ideas on health, finance, education, and more are produced, and yet cannot take hold in the majority. For instance, it is well established that you do not need someone “actively managing” your financial investment accounts. In doing this, “expert” financial advisers attempt to hand-select “better” stocks and charge a fee for this service (which ends up making them wildly rich). Just put your money in an index fund, perhaps the S&P 500 (which by the way already is “actively managed”: they pick 500 stocks for you), and it historically performs better than an “actively managed” account. Burton Malkiel utterly proved this in 1973 in his book A Random Walk Down Wall Street. And, yet, to this day—decades after 1973—people peddle the idea that you should pick a financial adviser who “manages” your account “like a pro.” Why? Why does this keep happening?
Because of moral bias. These predatory financial advisers need to be seen as dazzlingly morally better in order to exploit you. They need to be seen as an amazing, trustworthy, and responsible ideal, while they prey on your ignorance and fear. They are a sturdy, trustworthy, inviting house on a hill for a person lost out in the cold. And, beware: “humble” moral leaders can be just as bad—in fact they are inherently worse. One of the most predatory financial advisors out there now, as I write this, who makes overblown promises, who has horrible math, who happily charges you for actively managed accounts, and who relies on people’s ignorance and sense of shame, is Dave Ramsey, the popular Christian financial advisor. Yes. This is 100% moral bias in action.
Moral bias also prevents one from taking the tiny steps you might need to in order to improve their situation. Moral bias makes you believe that you need some big, heroic, grand, time-consuming, or expensive solution to solve your problems. For instance, to escape one’s abusive, narcissistic mother, one needs to go to the best architectural engineering school, in a college several states away. Meanwhile, they can barely pay their bills. Scrounging up some money to go to their local state school would jumpstart them and put them on the path towards betterment. Or, as another example, a person has been a local college DJ for years, working for free, but they are getting older and need real money. Jobs in the industry exist, but they won’t take them: it’s their next big break or nothing. This phenomenon, which I’m sure you are familiar with, can be explained by moral bias: people are too attached to their perceived ideal.
#5: Set the wild human free
I am calling for the liberalization of the inner world: a shedding of controlling moral paradigms. Just like how the liberalization of economic markets results in a greater abundance of goods, a liberalization of the inner world would result in more abundance. But, in this case, it would be a greater abundance of the stuff inside us: joy, peace, presence, inner vitality, sexuality, etc. It’s controlling moral paradigms that you have to shed.
I do think this is a far superior way to live. I use these principles in how I set up my own life and family. I take them to my community, in the work I do and the activities I do, as best I can. I’ve seen the benefits live. And do I really need to sell you on the raunchier sex thing?
And, so now, an attempt at the all-but-impossible: to cut through people’s inherent biases, likely buried deep in their unconscious. Perhaps it can pave the way for something truly ideal, what I think people naturally long for but can’t quite put into words: a world designed around the wild.