One of the guys in my membership program asked me a question recently that really made me think, regardless of the fact that I had already given it a lot of thought. I don’t normally discuss the topics we talk about in my membership program publicly, but this question was such a good one that I wanted to address it here. (I am reprinting the question with the permission of its original asker.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about whose well being I actually have a responsibility to. Is it the world? That seems impossible, and full of SP bullshit. Is it ONLY myself? That seems like an easy way to alienate everyone. Where do you draw the line? Family? Friends? Those you do business with? Your employees? Your local community? Those with a shared culture or ideology? Your country? At what point does altruism and self-interest end and SP begin? At what point are you not giving tough love, but just being an asshole instead? – Tim
Good question. Who exactly are you responsible for?
Before I give you my answer, it might make more sense to put this in context of other common answers encouraged by Societal Programming.
The Left Wing View
If you’re more progressive left in your worldview, your hierarchy of responsibility probably looks something like this:
1. Your very close family members (spouse, kids, and perhaps parents).
3. Your close friends and other family members.
4. The entire world.
Naturally you view yourself and your family as something very important. That’s standard human stuff. But then, you probably view the entire world and the entire human race as something you feel responsible for. Things like religion and nations probably don’t mean a lot to you, but things like problems with the environment and nuclear weapons you consider extremely important, since these things threaten “the world.”
You probably feel responsible for “everyone” to save and protect the entire world, particularly the poor and/or those you view as oppressed. Witnessing people not caring about the world or global humanity probably makes you very upset.
The Right Wing View
If you’re more conservative right, “traditional” in your outlook, and your hierarchy of responsibly looks very different from the left-winger. It probably looks something like this:
1. God, Jesus, or whatever your religion is.
2. Your close loved ones.
4. Your extended family.
5. Your nation.
6. Your race.
Like the left-winger, you hold your close family members as pretty important. Again, that’s normal human stuff. Very unlike the left-winger, you probably hold your religion, your nation, and your race as extremely important. To you, your nation (and possibly your race) comes first. That doesn’t mean you’re necessarily against other nations or races (though many of today’s angry conservatives are), but it certainly means that caring about “the entire world” doesn’t make a lot of sense to you. You feel a need to care about your nation/race first, and then maybe address other nations/races later (or maybe not at all).
While seeing people not care about “the world” makes left-wingers upset, seeing people not caring about your country makes you upset.
Ayn Rand’s View
Now let’s look at a polar opposite of these two societal viewpoints that were espoused by Ayn Rand and objectivists like her. In her view, your responsibility hierarchy looks like this:
That’s it! Her view was to be 100% selfish and not give a shit about anyone else unless you chose to, and even then, only if those people were worthy and deserving of such attention.
Obviously, this belief flies in the face of both left and right Societal Programming, and is thus not very popular, nor ever will be.
As you might imagine, my view is pretty far from both the left and the right. It’s a little closer to Ayn Rand’s view, though it’s not nearly as extreme.
My responsibility hierarchy looks like this:
2. Your inner circle, defined as your children (if any), your spouse or equivalent (if any), and possibly your parents.
3. Value-for-value relationships.
I shall explain.
My number one responsibility is to myself. Not my family, not my religion, not the world, not my nation, not my race. None of these things matter to me if my life sucks. Therefore, my first priority is me, to make sure my life doesn’t suck. Since everything in my life is my fault, absolutely no one is going to make my life awesome except me. I mean this. My girlfriend, my dad, my friends, my kids, my customers, Donald Trump, Jesus, Bernie Sanders, Milo Yiannopoulos, NONE of these people will make my life awesome or fix my problems. None of them! Not one!
Most of these people don’t give a shit and the very few that do care have their own problems to fix, thus they don’t have the time to make my life awesome for me.
Therefore, it’s up to me. This is why they tell you, during the airline safety speech, to put the oxygen mask over yourself first before you start helping other people with their masks. I can’t help the world (or my family, or my nation) if I have no money, am never getting laid, or have horrible health. It starts with me. I am the very first person or entity I need to address in my life. Everyone and everything else comes second. They have to.
Once I know I’m taken care of, now I can help others. I can address the next people on the priority list, those of my close family members. “Close” family members are defined as the family members I chose to have. That would be my children (if I have any, and in my case, I do) and my spouse or equivalent (again, if I have one, and I sort of do now).
In both these cases, you chose to have your kids (I hope) and you chose to have your spouse. No one forced you; you chose these people. This is unlike your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc. These people were forced upon you; you did not choose to have them. Therefore, you are not responsible for these people unless you choose to be.
In my case, I choose to be a little responsible for my parents. I have not chosen to be responsible for anyone else in my extended family, nor will I. I have many siblings and I love them all, but their lives are their own problem. I’m busy enough managing mine.
I personally chose my parents because unlike many people, I had a good childhood and have two really good parents. If you have shitty parents, I think it’s a mistake to choose to be responsible for them. Respect and responsibility is earned. If your parents sucked, they didn’t earn it.
I don’t care if they “had you” and “raised you.” They “had you” because they wanted to have you. As I’ve said before, having children is one of the most selfish acts you can employ. (That includes me when I had my two kids.) You didn’t have kids because you wanted to help the world. You had kids because you wanted to have kids for your own selfish reasons. This includes your parents when they had you.
In the case of your kids, I think you should be 100% responsible for your kids until they become adults, which in most societies is age 18. Both of my kids are now 18 or over, so I no longer feel responsible for them in the traditional sense, but when they were under 18, I was very much responsible for them. I selfishly brought them into existence so it was up to me (and their mother) to take care of them.
Just because my kids are over 18 doesn’t mean I’ll now throw them to the wolves and not give a shit about them. Of course I love them very much and care for their futures. One of the biggest reasons why I delayed leaving this collapsing country until (likely) 2025 is because I wanted to make sure my adult children were both settled into adulthood before I left. So obviously I care. It’s just that I’m not responsible for them anymore. They’re adults now. Their responsibility is to themselves.
When my girlfriend, Pink Firefly, moves in with me, I will feel a little responsible for her. I said a little. She’s not a child; she’s an extremely capable and independent adult; that’s why I love her. So I’m not going to take full responsibility for her; that would be stupid. But in terms of who I’m responsible for, she’ll definitely be number two on the list, right under number one: me.
So if you want to visualize my list more clearly, it would be me, then partially Pink when she moves in, then somewhat my kids, then somewhat my parents, but only if they need my help as they age. They may not or my siblings may step up and provide that care. Either way is fine with me.
That covers my inner circle of people that I am responsible for. I am responsible for literally no one else. Society, my race, my country, Jesus, the world, none of these things are important to me, since A) most of them are self-sustaining, self-correcting systems and B) many of them are behaving in irrational, suicidal ways, hate people like me, and don’t want my help, as I explained here.
The world? It will go on, regardless of what you or I do or don’t do. Even a world-wide environmental crisis that actually threatens humanity won’t ever happen, because humans will invent something that fixes the problem at the very last minute. They always do.
My country? If the USA fails (and it eventually will), no problem, I’ll be somewhere else, far away. If that country fails, no problem. As an Alpha Male 2.0, disconnected from the system and with location independent income, I’ll just move somewhere else. There will always be functioning nations in the world.
My race? Well, I’m white, and most white people these days are suicidal when it comes to the future of their race so I stopped giving a shit about that quite a while ago. If my race fails (and it will; white people are going bye-bye), I don’t give a shit. Today’s Asians are smarter and more industrious anyways, and mixed people are quite attractive. Hell, I’ve already created at least one white person (my daughter), so any obligation to my race I ever had was fulfilled long ago.
Religion? Western religions have already failed, so I don’t need to worry about that, particularly living the Alpha 2.0 lifestyle of location independence, financial diversification, and nonmonogamy.
If I’m not responsible for any of these things then what the hell am I responsible for outside of my inner circle? Am I just a selfish asshole who just sits around and rides on society’s success without giving anything back? Not at all. I’m responsible for the many value-for-value relationships I voluntarily create.
Societal Programming teaches you that you are responsible for certain entities (family, the world, God, your nation, your race, etc) because that’s “what is best for society.” Forget about you, society is more important, you unimportant peon. Sounds great. Where do I sign up for that?
Of course, this pre-assumes that you know exactly what is best for society, and you don’t. Neither do I. We’re just guessing as to what is best, mostly based on subjective factors such as Societal Programming, our own personalities, and our own current conditions.
A smarter way to go through life, and a path more conducive to long-term happiness, is to ignore all that subjective, emotional, philosophical crap, and focus on individual relationships you create that are based on value-for-value.
Value-for-value means I voluntarily give you something you value, and in exchange, you voluntarily give me something I value. Obligation has nothing to do with it. Societal Programming (usually) has nothing to do with it. You have something I want, I have something you want, so we trade, voluntarily. No one forces us. Value-for-value.
My only responsibility is to provide you the value you promise. Your only responsibility is to provide me the value you promise. That’s it. No worrying about the world, the country, Jesus, the environment, white people, black people, or anything else.
A simple example is that if you want to learn how to get laid more easily, and you buy one of my dating books, we engage in a brief value-for-value relationship where you learn how to get laid, and I get about $40. I personally think you’re getting the much better end of the deal, since I would have KILLED to pay around $40 or $50 to learn a proven system on how to get laid back when I was 23 years old. But that’s okay, since I have the ability to engage in many of these relationships instead of just one or two. I can sell many books a day, every day, and do. So you get laid and I get my financial goals met. Win/win. Value-for-value.
If, for some reason, I lie to you and my books don’t provide value, that’s okay, since I have a 100% lifetime guarantee on my books. You can return them any time and get your money back, no matter how long you’ve owned it. To my knowledge, I’m the only guy in the PUA community or manosphere who does this. This is because, unlike most other gurus in this space, I focus on value-for-value. I want to make sure you get value; that’s my only responsibility in life outside of myself and my inner circle.
Value-for-value doesn’t just apply to business transactions. If you have a FB, you give her value she wants (sex, and perhaps attention), and she gives you value you want (sex). If you have a friend you enjoy spending time with, you give him something of value (friendship, attention, support, social interaction) and he gives you back the same. Value-for-value.
You could argue that sometimes you get the shittier end of the deal, like the FB who sucks up a lot of your time for just a few minutes of sex. That happens sometimes, but remember, everything in your life is your fault, so you have the power to next that bitch and go get sex from someone else whenever you want (I have done this). You can also fire customers who are problematic (I have done this), dump friends who are toxic (I have done this), leave jobs that make you unhappy (I have done this), and even soft or hard next family members who treat you like shit (I have done this).
This is because I only do value-for-value relationships. I allow no other kinds of relationships into my life. My life and my happiness are too important. Value-for-value means I’m getting value too, not just you. If you’re getting value but I’m not, I’ll eject your ass out of my life and get back to being happy, providing value to others while receiving value in return.
When you base your life around value-for-value, suddenly, you don’t really give a shit about society, your country, or any of that other political stuff. You’re too busy being productive and happy. You live a happy life while making others happy. It’s a pretty good deal.
Even better, when you focus on value-for-value, you actually make the world better. The people who make the world worse are those focused on sucking value but not returning any, such as the guy who lives on government welfare while playing video games all day instead of working, the single mother who keeps cranking out babies with losers, or the millionaire hedge fund manager who rips off his customers but keeps getting bailed out by taxpayer dollars regardless.
By focusing on value-for-value, you actually improve the economy and the lives of those around you at least a little. You’re part of the solution rather than part of the problem, even if you don’t actually care about society.
This is why, despite the fact that I don’t give a shit about society, I actually help society much more than many people who accuse me of hurting it because of my lack of interest in it. I’m focused on creating massive economic activity and bringing happiness to others, while many other people are focused on voting for authoritarian politicians or trolling people on the internet whom they have political disagreements with. Which of us are helping society more?
Therefore, in my strong opinion, your primary responsibility is to yourself, followed by those in your inner circle (children, spouse, and perhaps parents), then followed by many large and small value-for-value relationships you create. I realize that what I’m saying conflicts massively with the Societal Programming in most of your heads, and I expect to get huge disagreements about that in the comments from both left-wingers and right-wingers alike. Regardless, if you focus on those three things and ignore everything else, you’ll always be happy, always be productive, help society even if you don’t give a shit about it, and be a good person.