Rational Interests and Ron Paul
As Ron Paul and others are waging a war on the government in the name of liberty, it is time to tell what they would rather not have you hear. And that is as follows: Without what they are attacking, they would have very little of what they have.
I have nothing against people whose interest is monetarily denominated. I have everything against those people claiming that that is the only valid interest to have. Without scientists, who work for the government, whose interest is acquisition of knowledge, and whose value is service to humanity, business would have very little of what it has to sell. And it is important to remind people of that once in a while, especially in times such as now.
The capitalist ideologies are right to assert people's right to pursue monetary interest. They are dead wrong in claiming that that constitutes the only valid direction of human endeavor. Scientists whose interest is acquisition of knowledge; teachers whose interest is cultivation of minds; and artists whose interest is creation of beauty; are just as rational as are the monetarily interested, and without them the monetarily interested would have very little of what they have. The first has given the business world the work that is at the root of all inventions and technologies being sold. The second gives people the knowledge and skills that they need to be employable. And the third is behind all architecture, film, and designs of technology from cars to computers. Which means that the business world owes vastly to all three.
The monetary interest is one of a number of rational interests; but let it never be said that it is the only rational interest. It is a pursuit that depends to a great extent on other people pursuing other interests, such as knowledge and education. If there were no science to come up with usable knowledge - if there were no educators to make people employable - if there were no government projects, such as the Interstate and the Internet, that vastly facilitate prosperity - people would be living the way that they did in the Middle Ages: A time that did not have any aspects of Communism or socialism, but that was poorer than were the Communist countries for lack of science, education and other rational pursuits.
The scientist, who is driven by acquisition of knowledge, is just as rational as is the businessman who is driven by acquisition of money. The teacher, who is driven by cultivation of young people's minds, is as rational as either of the preceding. Rational interest is not exclusive to monetary interest and has many other directions, to which the monetary interested vastly owes. And it is time that this be said enough in the public discourse before the discourse turns into
foolishness that results in foolish deeds.