10 thoughts on “Who Needs People Like This?”

  1. It has to be some kind of psychosis. These people disassociate the action from themselves. We need not I want draconian gun laws or whatever object they want to remove.

  2. I’m right in the middle of trying to get my son to understand the difference between “need” and “want”. I’m not demonizing “want” by any means, but I do want him to understand that there is a difference.

    He loves drill bits, and drilling into wood (he’s 4) and over the last 6 months has requisitioned all of my second rate bits, plus some new ones that I’ve bought him. He only actually uses one or two of them, but every time we hit a hardware store we’re right back to “Daddy, I NEED more drill bits”.

    I can’t wait for him to hit 7, the age of reason. Still, I think he’s going to end up with a huge gun collection.

  3. Hmm.

    What you need I suppose can be regarded as a statement about the nature of reality – but it isn’t independent of your goals. You need food, but you “only” need it because you want (sense 1) to continue living. You need power tools, but you “only” need them because you have some material you want to work for some other purpose of yours.

    What you want (sense 2) is more precisely a statement about your internal emotional/mental evaluations of your needs. If you’re right, then you do need what you want to do X. If you’re wrong, then maybe you can accomplish X through some other means.

    So basically, people who want you to seperate your wants from your needs are accusing you of not being fit to evaluate what will accomplish your purposes, or attempting to deny you from accomplishing them.

    Or they could just not like you.

  4. If I walked into a literal lion’s den, I would not expect the lions not to eat me because, as a human being, I had a right to life. Nor would I expect cancer, or old age, to leave me alone, because as a human being, I had a right to life.

    There is no right to life and retro active abortion is and always has been the status quo. The “right” to survive is something that each and everyone of us has to earn and trade for every day, it is not something that other people can simply give us. And even if it is given to us, it is not necessarily in our best interests to take it – to live beyond the best interests of our genes.

    The test of survival still applies – people are not too big to fail.

  5. And even if it is given to us, it is not necessarily in our best interests to take it – to live beyond the best interests of our genes.

    Or because there are some diabolical strings attached to the offer.

  6. How can anybody think that ‘you don’t need it’ is any kind of valid argument. You don’t need almost everything. Oxygen and water are mostly free. You need a limited amount of food and some protection from the environment. You don’t need to remain sane, so that’s pretty much it for needs.

    Anyone trying to limit you to your needs is unspeakably evil. Where’s my red button?

  7. For the the Marxist, “need” is the highest moral virtue, and since he or she seeks to “redistribute” accordingly, declaring that someone does not “need” a thing is equivalent to prohibition.

  8. Well, every armchair lawyer, e.g. adolescent, in years or spirit, from the time of H. neanderthalis on down has know that the fastest way to win an argument is to define contrary views as unthinkable.

    Define your point of view as a virtue, and the other guy’s as a sin, your desire as a need and his as a want — and it’s all over. As soon as you’ve got him arguing that virtue isn’t so desirable, or sin not so bad, or that his wants are important, too, then you’ve won. You have no real need to have a good argument, comparing apples to apples, because you’ve fooled him into agreeing his apple is actually dogshit, and you don’t need to have a very good apple to look and taste a lot better than dogshit.

    I think part of the last century’s problem is that we largely left the work on language to the Stalinists, because, well, they wanted to do it, and we figured it kept them out of trouble, and besides, it’s boring work if you’re the kind of person focussed on things and actions. Why spend hours of your life worrying about the words we use to describe things? They don’t change the things, do they?

    Unfortunately, they do, now. Or more precisely, at some point — as Orwell foretold — the words we use do affect how we see things, they do color our understanding of reality. We have been so infected by the words of the collectivists and social parasites that it’s very difficult to break out of the mindset. We feel like heretics in the church, when we really should be questioning the religion itself.

  9. Post-script: or, to address Rand’s post directly, the evil of the Marxist slogan (“To each according to…”) is not that the formulation is wrong, or incomplete. It’s that there is no unambiguous definition of ‘need.’.

    That’s not to say any particular individual can’t decide what, for him, is a “need’ or a ‘want.” We all can. But that’s an individual moral calculus, as idiosyncratic and unfathomable to others as the choice of which woman takes your breath away.

    But it is impossible to define ‘need’ at the objective, social, level. We cannot say what one man “needs” and another man “wants,” any more than we can say who one person should love, and for essentially the same reason. Any effort to define “need” at the objective social level — so we can legislate about it — is futile and dangerous, because it allows the opportunity for the crafty and cynical to insert “what I want” into the definition, for his own enormous benefit (which the fact that attracts social parasites to the philosophy).

  10. You can define needs. I find it interesting that people who are into space exploration think there are not any. At the very least you can define as needs the basic essentials to sustain life such as oxygen, water, nutrients, and shelter.

    This is why it was common for early societies to use grains as currency.

    It is only when you get enough productivity to go beyond the basic subsistence level that needs become increasingly irrelevant. Then it goes beyond what you need, to what you want, given your available resources.

    One of the issues with Marxism is that the elimination of profit reduces the incentive to increase productivity, making people poorer on average as a result.

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