A dead white woman comes into the picture….again…
I had this really long conversation with a friend of mine, we’ll call her the Attractive Afghani. This friend of mine has a connection with Afghanistan, as in a personal one. So anyway, due to her prior life e.t.c., she’s about as poles apart from me as can be, and yet we’re still extremely good friends. (Yea yea, opposites attract, and all that).
Anyway, what surprised me, is the extent to which the stuff Ayn Rand predicted about certain people’s behaviour is so true.
My friend, I love her to death regardless, leans towards the left..well she doesn’t lean so much as do a high-speed shuffle. Lean implies a pivot in the centre. There’s no center here…. I mean this woman is a pure communist in every sense of the word. It came as a shock to her that I don’t ‘believe’ that “Supply & Demand” is totally controlled by the government everywhere.
Now this wouldn’t matter so much, but the thing is, my friend works for the Red Cross, or used to work for them. Now Ayn Rand predicted that people who do Social Work, usually end up with a low opinion of humanity and end up with a huge chasm of guilt within them. And surprisingly enough, this is what came out of the long tiring debate that I had with my friend. A belief that human beings are just lowly, greedy petty parasites out to feed off each other and the Earth. I tried to explain that those definitions should be reserved only for communists, KEkta Kapoor and Bollywood music producers, but she remained unconvinced. I argued long and hard with her, but to no avail. Example: I am a greedy exploiting pig because I want to buy a Merc, not a Maruti. Why can’t I just be happy with a Maruti, she asked me. She asked why can’t we just be produce enough to meet our basic needs and be happy.
So I asked her, as I have asked lots of people before – please enumerate the basic needs:
Is a car with power windows extravagant? Air bags? What is enough? She answered it should get you from point A to point B. In that case, most cars are luxuries…
Someone said something about being able to provide basic healthcare for all at some point in my debates. What…is basic healthcare? Immunisation of which diseases? Is the ability to get an aspirin, but not a blood sugar check basic? Or below basic? How does one decide these things? There is this idea that everyone is entitled to a basic level of services, but my question is – who decides what those basic levels should be? There are two choices – either you have a government rich enough to meet all of your medical needs – in which every medical need is basic. This is the ideal solution, and one which every country should work towards. Healthcare (and Education) do need involvement from the government. They should not be left ENTIRELY to the Invisible Hand. BUT NEITHER SHOULD THEY BE ENTIRELY STATE-CONTROLLED. So if you don’t have the money to provide that kind of healthcare, STFU, and let the market help provide what it can, at the prices that it can.
This was just one of many topics. I asked my friend, time and time again, to elaborate, in simple steps, how my purchasing a Mercedes Benz exploits people. She wouldn’t do it. I told her I could explain, in very simple steps how my purchasing a Mercedes Benz employs people, and puts some money in their pockets. But that debate went nowhere. Sigh.