Quote of the week...please share your favourite line from Ayn Rand's writings

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.”

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Force And Mind

Recently, the department of science and technology (DST), government of India decided to sanction grants to science departments of different colleges and universities in Bihar for strengthening their infrastructure, including laboratories. The Indian government is actively encouraging universities to make use of government support, on the guarantee that there is no dearth of funds. The government is trying to bring together two opposites-mind and force, not giving a moments reflection to the fact that both are incompatible.

Government funding of science is an outright infringement of individual rights. It attracts all kinds of rogues to science, who wouldn’t have otherwise in the field, and are more interested in the politicization of science than in the pursuit of knowledge. It would be irrational to expect the government to accept ideas which threaten its existence, or prevent the expansion of its power. Government funding of global warming alarmism and the green movement is a case in point. So, is the fact that the leading universities breed all variants of collectivism.

Take the case of embryonic stem cell research. If the government is to fund it, it should collect the funds from people who may or may not approve of it. Once this is recognized, its inherent immorality becomes visible irrespective of whether the reasons people hold for opposing it are rational or not.

It should be obvious that there can be no moral or economic justification for taxing individual for the alleged benefits in the future. Taken to its extremes, The results would obviously be the slaughterhouse of Soviet Russia. If there is any difference, it would be a matter of degree. People will have to wait and wait while giving up all their pleasures and important needs. As Ayn Rand wrote on the Soviet Union, “Soviet Russia is still unable to feed her people— while the rulers scramble to copy, borrow, or steal the technological achievements of the West. Industrialization is not a static goal; it is a dynamic process with a rapid rate of obsolescence. So the wretched serfs of a planned tribal economy, who starved while waiting for electric generators and tractors, are now starving while waiting for atomic power and interplanetary travel. Thus, in a "people's state," the progress of science is a threat to the people, and every advance is taken out of the people's shrinking hides.”

It is of course true that the pursuit of science is important for human beings. However, to say so is far from proving that the Government should fund it. The Government shouldn’t fund it, precisely because it is important and can’t be left to the arbitrary whims of the state and its parasites. As Ayn Rand noted, when people ask whether science is necessary, it is an out of context goal. “Is science desirable? To whom? Not to the Soviet serfs who die of epidemics, filth, starvation, terror and firing squads—while some bright young men wave to them from space capsules circling over their human pigsties. And not to the American father who died of heart failure brought on by overwork, struggling to send his son through college—or to the boy who could not afford college—or to the couple killed in an automobile wreck, because they could not afford a new car—or to the mother who lost her child because she could not afford to send him to the best hospital—not to any of those people whose taxes pay for the support of our subsidized science and public research projects.”

1 comment:

  1. Hi there.
    Could you help me with the Hindi version of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead. I want to gift it to my mother.