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The Tyranny of Need and the Rational Alternative

Elan Journo, Peter Schwartz

Presented at: New Ideal Live

Date: Jan 26, 2022

An interview with Peter Schwartz on his book “The Tyranny of Need,” and the rational alternative to the prevailing morality of self-sacrifice.

Overview article available here

Among the topics covered:

• What the morality of altruism is;
• Why altruism is not the same as benevolence and goodwill;
• What altruism looks like in practice;
• The difference between sacrifice and trade;
• The pernicious psychological effects of altruism;
• Why real selfishness requires moral principles;
• Why mindlessness and crime are not in one’s self-interest;
• Whether need can be a factor in rational decision-making, if not the standard;
• The difference between abdicating responsibility for one’s own life and working to sustain it;
• Why one should care about whether other people are selfish or altruistic;
• The future of the battle between altruism and Objectivism’s view of rational self-interest.

00:00 Introduction
01:02 What is the altruist morality?
03:58 Benevolence and goodwill
07:53 Altruism in practice
14:12 Sacrifice vs. trade
18:43 Pernicious psychological effects
21:09 Principled selfishness
27:19 Mindlessness and crime
35:46 Need as a factor
39:40 Responsibility vs. abdication
42:45 Caring about other people's choices
45:16 Altruism vs. rational self-interest


Parts: 1

Handout: none