Not necessarily incorrect, just not necessary or sufficient. The Objectivist
philosophy was a reaction to socialism, whose principles were widely accepted
in the 30's amoung the college educated. Human nature, however, caused certain
problems with socialism in practice as 'enlightened self interest' is not a
widely distributed trait. Objectivism and Libertarianism are in a similar
position today - nice theory, but unproven as to practicality or resulting
Competition and selfishness can provide motivation, which may be directed
towards productivity and wealth creation. They can also distroy wealth and
aggressivily fight against prosperity for any but self (or group).(There is a
hidden assumption of a zero sum game, while weath creation implies a positive
sum) War is a degenerate form of competition where energy is focused on
destroying the competitor, rather than merely doing better at the task at hand.
I suspect the war model of business was propagated by the defense conversion of
American industry to support WW2 and Vietnam, and the population of management
(and business schools) with of people who received their 'management training'
in the military during the wars.
OTOH altruism and cooperation (e.g symbiosis, families) have been shown to
exist widely in nature as an effective survival pattern. It _is_ selfishness in
the sense that the behavior does promote the survival of ones self or one's
shared genes (and mnemes), but that is not the individual's perception.
As a test, is cutthroat competition (every person for themselves and the devil
take the hindmost) a desirable environment within a family or workgroup? Does
the clan structure within many oriental societies serve to promote collective
I think that some studies have indicated that intra-group cooperation with a
degree of inter-group competition produces some of the best productivity. It
minimizes the amount of energy an individual must spend watching their back.
One can argue that selfishness (desire for best outcome) and conflict are
mutually exclusive. The motivational power of competion can be oriented towards
such infinite supply items as respect, recognition, or social status.
Paul George email@example.com
Engineering Methods, EBPA.