As we explore capitalism as a philosophy and a system of thought, I feel that one of the biggest fallacies in our assumption so far has been to expect that integrity is implicit. It is not.
Here’s what John Galt has to say as a definition of integrity: “Integrity is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake your consciousness, just as honesty is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake existence—that man is an indivisible entity, an integrated unit of two attributes: of matter and consciousness, and that he may permit no breach between body and mind, between action and thought, between his life and his convictions—that, like a judge impervious to public opinion, he may not sacrifice his convictions to the wishes of others, be it the whole of mankind shouting pleas or threats against him—that courage and confidence are practical necessities, that courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to truth, and confidence is the practical form of being true to one’s own consciousness.”
Very well, except, the “man” he describes above is an ideal man. How many ideal men do we know? The world we inhabit is littered with men and women who live their entire lives in fragmented, liminal states, straddled between their values and their actions as they oppose each other.
Barnie Madoff may be an extreme case of the fragmentation between values and actions, but to smaller degrees, a much larger set of people lack integrity.
How can we, therefore, build a system and expect it to function perfectly given that the system assumes that integrity is implicit?
This segment is a part in the series : Capitalism 2.0