Like Kira, I refuse to be bound to any collective. I will not adhere myself to either side. My highest priority is my own freedom as an individual, the freedom to choose my beliefs rather than have them chosen for me. But to my peers, that is almost worse than choosing the opposite side. They mistake independence for indifference.
About Mark Shupe
Mark Shupe is a contributing author at Center for Individualism. He is also an investment strategy advisor and fitness instructor. Mark studied economics and finance at the University of Notre Dame. His writing passion includes the history of Western Civilization, the moral case for Capitalism, and the promise of Individualism.
Entries by Mark Shupe
Chasing every possibility offered by the Soviet socialist criminal gang, she got Leo to a sanitorium in Crimea to save his life. Now, it was Kira’s turn, and this is the extraordinary and beautiful message of We the Living. Your life and happiness is your highest value; not Society, not God, not retribution, not “others.”
In 2020 America, we are faced with an important choice. It’s either the life premise of Ayn Rand and capitalism, or the death premise of the New York Times and socialism. Lives of motion and purpose or lives of stagnation and retribution. As Salsman explains, putting “democratic” in front of it does not make it humane.
You think everything that breathes can live? You’ve learned differently, I know. For Kira, her life, and Leo’s, were their primary standard of value. They were exceptional because they took ownership of their futures. “Now look at me! I was born and I knew I was alive and I knew what I wanted. Something that knows how to want, isn’t that life itself?”
Kira was selfish – she wanted to live as people were meant to live. Instead of pounding sand in a society of zeroes, Kira wanted to turn it into cement and glass, or maybe silicon wafers some day. Morozov’s looting was an evasion of reality and utterly selfless. It was his death sentence in the court of moral justice.
In Chapter 8 of We the Living, Victor Dunaev betrays everything he had ever claimed about self-sacrifice being a virtue and self-interest being a vice. He paid his dues by informing the Soviet secret police about his sister Irina’s ‘counter-revolutionary’ behavior.
Kira asks Leo, “This isn’t a joke you’re playing on me, is it? Or have you lost your mind entirely?” Leo replies, “I’m glad to find some use for it.” This neutering of the mind continues at Pavel Syerov’s house party, the one celebrating Morozov’s business deal with Leo that will make the three of them wealthy,
Peoples know nothing of the spirit of man, for peoples are only nature, and man is a word that has no plural. Petrograd is not of the people. It is a stranger, aloof, incomprehensible, forbidding. Petrograd does not need a soul; it has a mind.
Aunt Maria Petrovna had lived her life preparing for death. Her moral choices were guided by the mystics of the mind – the Church. Upon facing imminent death, Maria realized her error and turned to the only person she knew who chose to live. Andrei’s moral choices were guided by the mystics of muscle – the Party.
Vasili chose to live in a primitive environment, and used his impressive mental and physical energy to create wealth. Kira was imprisoned in a primitive environment, and using her prodigious mental and physical energy to avoid death.
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