Faith of the Fallen

I find myself frightened lately. Scared that America is becoming a Socialist State. Already we hear how the Federal Government has taken control a private bank, and of a certain privately owned car manufacturer. Socialism in political thought refers to economic theories of social organization advocating collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equality for all individuals, with an egalitarian method of compensation.

Basically, the government controls everything and then redistributes money, food, housing, etc to based on need. Those who are able to work do so and help provide for those who are unable to work. Everyone works together for the good of everyone. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well it isn't. You see, in such a society, the ones who benefit most are the ones who can't work. Eventually what happens is people start to figure this out, and come up with reasons as to why they can't work, whether they're valid reasons or not. What ends up happening is that no one works. Those who can work have no reason to, because what will eventually happen is that their entire wages will be taken from them to feed those who "can't" work. Below, you'll find a conversation between Richard and Nicci. Richard is trying to teach Nicci the difference between Self-sacrifice and being selfless.

Faith of the Fallen, by Terry Goodkind (pg. 548-549.):

"'Self-sacrifice for a value held dear, for a life held dear, for freedom and the freedom of those you respect--self-sacrifice such as mine for Kahlan's life--is the only rationally valid sacrifice. To be selfless means you are a slave who must surrender your most priceless possession--your life--to any smirking thief who demands it.

"The suicide of self-sacrifice is but a requirement imposed by masters on slaves. Since there is a knife to my throat, it is not to my good that I am stripped of what I earn by my own hand and mind. It is only to the good of the one with the knife, and those who by weight of numbers but not reason dictate what is the good of all--those cheering him on so they might lap up any drop of blood their masters miss.
"Life is precious. That's why sacrifice for freedom is rational: it is for life itself and youur ability to live it that you act, since life without freedom is the slow, sure death of self sacrifice to the 'good' of mankind--who is always someone else. Mankind is just a collection of individuals. Why should everyone's life be more important, more precious, more valuable than yours? Mindless mandatory self-sacrifice is insane.'

She stared, not at him, but at the flame dancing on the pool of linseed oil. 'You don't really mean that, Richard. You're just tired and angry that you have to work at night, too, just to get by. You should realize that all those others you help are there to help society, including you, should you be the one in desperate need.'
Richard didn't bother to argue with her, and said only, 'I feel sorry for you, Nicci. You don't even know the value of your own life. Sacrifice could mean nothing to you.'

'That's not true, Richard,' she whispered, 'I sacrifice for you. . . . I saved what millet we had for you, that you might have strength.'

'The strength to stand upright when I throw my life away? Why did you sacrifice your dinner, Nicci?'

'Because it was the right thing to do--it was for the good of others.'
He nodded as he peered at her in the dim light. 'You would endanger your life to starvation for others--for any others.' He pointed a thumb back over his shoulder. "How about that thug, Gadi? Would you starve to death so he might eat? It might mean something, Nicci, if it was sacrifice for someone you value, but it isn't; it's a sacrifice to some mindless gray ideal of the Order.'

When she didn't answer, Richard pushed the rest of his dinner before her. 'I don't want your meaningless sacrifice.'

She stared at the bowl of millet for an eternity.
Richard felt sorry for her, for what she couldn't understand as she stared at the bowl. He thought about what would happen to Kahlan if Nicci wer to fall sick from not getting enough to eat.

'Eat, Nicci,' he said softly.

She finally picked up her spoon and did as he said.
When she had finished, she looked up with those blue eyes that seemed so eager for the sight of something he could not make her see. She slid the empty bowl to the center of the table.

'Thank you, Richard, for the meal.'

'Why thank me? I'm a selfless slave, expected to sacrifice for any worthless person who presents their need to me.'"

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