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Vilifying Ambition

Don Watkins

Presented at: STRIVECon 2015

Date: Nov 08, 2015

Today’s leading critics of economic inequality tell us that, unless we’re “privileged,” success is impossible, that the “have-nots” cannot rise through their own productive efforts, and that the desire for extraordinary success is greedy and immoral. In this talk, I’ll argue that these ideas are false and pernicious. The ambitious pursuit of success is an expression of the best within us, and the achievement of success is something that is open to all of us, regardless of where we start. But ambition and achievement require us to cultivate the virtue of independence—the commitment to live by independent thought, productive effort, and the principle of win/win trade—and that virtue is precisely what the inequality critics seek to subvert.


Parts: 1

Handout: none