From time to time I have conversations on Facebook with various friends. Yesterday, I wrote the following, as part of a conversation:
I was hoping to have more time for this thread, but my day has been a busy one.
There is no common mind. There are only individual minds, and it’s the mind that assigns value to our values. Your husband Tom, for example, is a great value to you, and you would no doubt do much to help him, if he needed help. In like manner, there are people in my life that are great values to me, and I would do much to help them.
Now, what happens when you and I are forced into a situation where it’s either your values or mine?
Benevolence evaporates. We go to war with each other.
Isn’t that exactly what we are seeing in the United States today? Instead of benevolence towards each other, it’s nothing but a 24-hour hate fest.
This is the to-be-expected when people start forcing their values on others, at the point of a gun. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re right to do it, because the metaphysics doesn’t work out. You can’t think for someone else, and they cannot think for you.
On the other hand, when people are allowed to pursue their own interests, what we see is an explosion of benefits. This is what so many people are failing to see. All of these attempts at regulation, at controlling other people, at trying to dictate terms are making things worse.
Thanks for letting me have my say. You can have the last word, if you wish.
My comment provoked another question, however:
John, can you say more about the “explosion of benefits” that comes when people are free to pursue their own interests without regard for anyone other than themselves? Maybe give an example or two? And do you consider benefits that accrue to large corporations (generally the beneficiaries of deregulation) as equivalent to the benefits that accrue to individuals?
I was grateful to receive that question, but I didn’t answer it right away. I’m glad I did not, because it gave me the opportunity to make this short video this morning. If you choose to watch it, please do let me know your thoughts and any advice you wish to offer.
Here is some information on the device I am discussing in this video.