what kind of men are we if we can't remember or guiding principles?
worse yet, is the real trouble that we're so imbued with our interpretation of society's normal standard that we can't see we're lying to ourselves about what we actually desire?
is it better to admit you want something other people don't like and get it or is it better to claim a momentary lapse of weakness by partaking in something bad and pretend no enjoyment of it all?
objectively, i tend to think the former is the more acceptable behavior, logically (--to the point of infringing upon personal liberties, i suppose). it seems so much more respectable to see a man live his life honestly (and perhaps without remorse).
the latter leaves a man lying to both himself and his peers. but, somehow, i see this as the more socially acceptable course of action. how is it that society's norm leaves all men feeling guilty for their own personal desires but also absolved for their unwillingness to admit them openly (a.k.a. their tendency to deny the truth)?
i'm a firm believer in truth above all else. it sickens me that somehow we gave honesty the bum rap.
it's a cop out, an easy excuse, to shroud the truth under addiction and compulsion. it's an immediate reward of absolution--from those (ourselves included) who choose not to think for themselves, but to follow the tide of public opinion.
but who really determines public opinion? is it all men in a collaborative process? hardly. a select group of senators or news anchors? one man, the president, elsworth toohey?
and what is public opinion? it's what we think everyone else thinks we should be doing with our lives.
oh! what the fuck, people?
so, what then of the howard roarks of the world, the egotists, the selfish pricks in the eyes of the altruists? is their honesty really so deplorable? their integrity so offensive? logically, no. they embody many ideals we hold dear. but, they don't need us to do it. they don't need us for anything. not recognition or absolution or forgiveness.
and that's why we hate them. we're all caught up in this ridiculous notion that self-worth is not at all determined by self, but instead by any and all things, not-self.
they strive to their own personally-determined purpose. we aim for what we think other people think we should be shooting for. our only desire is to be accepted by the men we think hold those ideals in their hearts. but (to paraphrase rand), in order for a man to say he believes in something, he must first be able to say "I."
we are but blind sheep in a flock, waiting for someone to see the way for us.