The Biggest Lie Ever Told
In 1943, Russian-American author Ayn Rand, published The Fountainhead.
It was 753 pages long.
It’d go on to become her first huge literary success.
The main character of her novel was Howard Roark.
A handsome, tall, young architect.
But more importantly, an individualist.
Roark refused to compromise.
He rejected the opinions of others.
He didn’t bend to anyone's vision.
As he said, “I don’t work with collectives. I don't consult, I don't cooperate, I don't collaborate.”
Roark was a dick.
Yet this character and its author, Rand, became idolized.
They became symbols of egotism.
They spread the lie that greed is good.
That society benefits from selfishness.
And this philosophy now makes up a large part of our culture.
The everyone for themselves mentality.
It’s behind cuts to welfare, lowered taxes on the rich, and lowered regulation.
It’s why economic inequality is at an all time high.
It’s why refugee camps are overflowing in Jordan and Bangladesh.
But this survival of the fittest mentality is wrong.
Not just morally, but evolutionarily.
Charles Darwin coined the term "survival of the fittest."
But what’s interesting is he rarely mentioned it.
In his book, Descent of Man, the phrase “survival of the fittest” shows up twice.
Yet the word “love” is included 95 times.
Because, as Darwin explained, the more cooperative we were, the more we survived.
It wasn’t about individual strength.
It wasn’t about brute force.
It wasn’t about greed.
Quite the opposite.
It was about trust, love and working as a collective.
As he wrote, “…a tribe including many members who…were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection.…”
We survived as a species because we depended on each other.
To be like Howard Roark is to reject our own evolution.
To build walls goes against our very nature.
We only survive when we build bridges.
We only become strong when we cooperate.
We are only fulfilled when we give.