On Self-Interest

Non-libertarians deride libertarians and free markets types as selfish and greedy because we argue that people should be free to keep the wealth they earn completely for themselves. Keeping your wealth to yourself is a personal choice aligned with the values you hold. No less aligning to the values one holds than is the life of service to others. What you freely choose to do with your time, no matter how greedy or altruistic, you do because you want to. Why you want to is always grounded in the values you hold. If you didn’t value helping others, you wouldn’t. Likewise, if you didn’t value holding your wealth for yourself, you wouldn’t do that either. Because everything you do is based on the values you hold, and not the values held by others, your free actions are always performed on the basis of self-interest, the interest in doing things your “self” finds valuable. And that’s today’s two cents.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.