Bringing selfish back

By Katie Kieffer

Construction worker working hard in cold weather

Image credit: “Working Hard In Cold Weather” by Glenn Euloth on Flickr via Creative Commons.

When politicians, journalists and college professors use words like “share,” “fair” and “redistribution,” they are trying to make socialist ideas sound sexy. Socialism isn’t sexy; it’s suffocating.

Here’s what’s sexy: “Selfishly” working hard to secure your own financial independence and making free choices with regard to your career, romantic relationships, children and estate. Let’s bring selfish back, y’all!

The problem with words like “share” and “fair”–words five-year-olds use when they want to play with their big brother or sister’s toys–is that they’re innocuous. They are inappropriate for describing government policies that ultimately replace freedom with thralldom.

Liberals will tell me things like: “Socialism is not communism. Socialism merely levels the playing field; it prevents rich people from creating monopolies and controlling everyone else.” My response is: “Um, have you read The Communist Manifesto lately?”

Marx believed that socialism was the natural first step toward its full realization, namely communism. When and if liberals actually read Manifesto, they’ll notice that Marx lays out ten steps that are “generally applicable” to establishing communist socialism. At least six of these steps look quite similar to current and pending U.S. polices.

  1. “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax” (we have this now and it will become even more progressive if the Buffett Tax is implemented).
  2. “Abolition of all right of inheritance” (think excessive and duplicative estate and inheritance taxes).
  3.  “Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly” (think Frank Dodd and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s monopoly on guaranteeing mortgages).
  4. “Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state” (think net neutrality regulations and the TSA).
  5. “Establishment of industrial armies” (think labor unions).
  6. “Free education for all children in public schools” (yep).

All I’m saying is that America succeeds when she plays to her proven strength, namely capitalism. Just as a football coach adjusts his game plan when his quarterback is repeatedly sacked, America should change things up when she begins following significant parts of Marx’s playbook.

My problem with socialism is that it takes the fun out of life. Many college professors won’t admit that by “sharing” all your private property with the state, you’d surrender your ability to freely choose. And when you can’t prefer one thing, person or activity to another, life becomes drudgery.

As socialism progresses it eliminates career preference. The state decides what career you will pursue from an early age. You pursue a role the state deems best, not the career you discover and prefer.

Socialism also nixes romantic preference. Radical socialists like Marx teach that capitalism leads to prostitution. Marx says capitalists instituted marriage to keep their capital within their own family by procreating and carrying on their family line. He thinks socialism removes the “claptrap” of love by freeing every woman from allegiance to one man and her biological children.

Marx also expunges parental preference. Manifesto directs parents to hand their children over to the state to be raised. This prevents capitalists from passing their capital along to their children and keeping their wealth within their family instead of sharing it with the nation.

I think we should be free to prefer and raise our own children. We should also be free to pass on the fruits of our labor to our own flesh and blood. There is nothing wrong with exclusive love. There is nothing wrong with inheriting your parents’ money.

Ayn Rand was a teenager in Soviet Russia. She wrote a short novel, Anthem, where she envisions what could happen to man when society fully embraces collectivism: Preference of any kind becomes evil.

Her nameless hero, “Equality 7-2521” relays how the law “says that men may not think of women, save at the Time of Mating. This is the time each spring when all the men older than twenty and all the women older than eighteen are sent for one night to the City Palace of Mating. And each of the men have one of the women assigned to them by the Council of Eugenics. Children are born each winter, but women never see their children and children never know their parents.”

Equality 7-2521 struggles because he prefers one woman (the Golden One). She also prefers him. They feel suffocated because they are unable to express their exclusive love within the socialist society.

I’d rather choose my own career than have the state decide how I can best serve the common good. I’d prefer to bequeath my estate to my family and my favorite charities than to the government. I’d prefer to love one person than to owe sexual allegiance to every man in the nation.

Bottom line, I cherish property rights and freedom; I am selfish.

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  1. Mark-Anthony says:

    I love it when people reference Ayn Rand … gives me goose bumps. I am working on a paper right now exposing the fatal flaw to the implementation of Marx’s Progressive Income Tax in America, in his work he makes the assumption that wages are fixed by the state. Since we mostly have a price system for wages in this country, the people who earn $250k a year or more have superior position when negotiating their wages … so when you increase the rate, the demand raises to compenstate, thus the net impact to them is zero but those with less bargining power suffer the cost.


  2. Brenda Donato says:

    love it!

  3. GraceD says:

    Thanks for a great article and for rescuing the word “selfish.” It needed to be said. In practice, the difference between being selfish and being forced to share is the difference between freedom and slavery.

  4. Joe Alston says:

    Excellent post, Katie. The country needs well informed, young professionals like yourself. I was excited to see that Townhall published “Bringing back selfish…” My young (liberal) friends are going to screech with even more frustration when I forward them your work. Keep it going, Miss Katie. 🙂

  5. billbrent says:

    Well said, Katie. Good to see your views reaching a national audience in Townhall.

  6. Marie Frances says:

    Katie, have you seen the documentary films, Inside Jobs or Too Big to Fail?
    If any of us care about our future, we should go and see both films.

  7. Mike says:

    Nice post. I wish more people shared your views.

  8. rkruithoff says:


    I just discovered you from Townhall. Your article is fantastic!! How did you miss all the liberal education regarding “fairness” and come to your conservative point of view?

    I am 52, you have just given me hope for the younger generation!!!

  9. Lodzia says:

    Marx’s The Communist Manifesto truly shows what is happening today.

    How many people are even aware of this? Students should be studying this instead of some of the garbage that they are forced to read.

    I like your post! Keep up your writing.

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