Sunday, April 03, 2011

LTE: Bothwell and Rand

Bothwell’s opposition to ideas of Ayn Rand termed off-base
Asheville Tribune | April 7

Dear Editor,

I was confused, but not surprised, to read in your paper (“Bothwell to seek Shuler seat”, March 31, 2011) that Congressional hopeful Cecil Bothwell "opposes the views of Ayn Rand." Mr. Bothwell's main disagreement with Rand centers on her advocacy of Individualism; where every person has the moral right to live for his own sake rather than an unearned obligation to live for others. In countering Rand, Mr. Bothwell says, "We are a cooperative species. No one can make it alone. We're completely interdependent."

And yet, this is precisely what Rand supports: "Cooperation is the free association of men who work together by voluntary agreement, each deriving from it his own personal benefit." Interdependent cooperation is only possible so far as those doing the cooperating respect each others individual rights to life, liberty and property. And no group has any rights beyond the individual rights of the members composing it.

Rand states that, "any group that does not recognize this principle [of Individualism] is not an association, but a gang or a mob." Is it the gang or the mob that Mr. Bothwell prefers over Ayn Rand's rights-respecting cooperation of individuals, each properly living for his own sake and pursuing values in his own self-interest? I'm confused.



Individualism in America