I’ve been following Stefan Molyneux for about five or six years now. While the man does his share of formal philosophy, arguing for his theory of Universally Preferable Behavior and talking about data on child abuse, intelligence, the history of philosophy and political commentary, the heart and soul of his work has always been his call-in shows. There, strangers call in with questions and personal problems, and Molyneux talks them through towards a better understanding and an action plan, based in part on philosophy, and in part on his own childhood experiences.
Doing perhaps tens of thousands of hours of these shows, Molyneux has developed his already powerful natural speaking skills to be able to riff on a subject and give full-blown rants, off-the-cuff, that are some of the most psychologically and morally insightful stuff on YouTube. It is from one of these shows that he delivered what is, in my opinion, one of the greatest rants of all time. I couldn’t find it transcribed anywhere else, but I believe it deserves to be written down, and so I’ve transcribed it here.
It begins with an emailed question from a stranger, read by Mike:
MIKE: Given that in this world, it can be incredibly profitable to be evil, what is the elevator pitch for being a good, moral person?
STEFAN: Well, it’s love and hatred. Love and hatred. Do you want to fall in love, and do you enjoy combat? We all strive for peace, but we all love conflict. We are all lazy, but at the same time, we’ll put huge amounts of work in to achieve laziness. And so if you want to love, you have to be good, and I’ve made that case elsewhere, that love is our involuntary response to virtue if we are virtuous, and one of the primary virtues that generates love in others is the moral virtue of courage. And courage requires danger and opposition.
And so if you want to be loved, sadly, you cannot live a life of safety. You cannot live a life of safety, if you wish to be loved because you must be doing good in the world; when you are doing good in the world, you are harming the interests of evil people, who will then try and do you harm. So if you want a life of security, and safety, and inconsequentiality, life like a high-flung javelin that disappears into the stormy seas of history leaving barely a bubble in its wake, then you can have that life of security — and there’s comfort in that; I understand all of that, nothing wrong with it, in a way — but you’ll never know love, and you’ll never know real happiness. Real happiness, according to many studies, arises when you try to do something that is important, and difficult, and has an element of risk or danger in it. And the more important, the more difficult, and the more danger there is in it, the happier you are.
Everybody wants to have this continuum of happiness, like you just want to have an orgasm all day long. Sting excepted, it’s a little tricky to maintain that, so you must work very hard if you wish to be loved and if you wish to love others, and if you wish to have the joy of combat. We love combat! We love fight movies, we love mixed martial arts, we love war movies, we are viscerally excited by combat. We are a predator species — a very tricky predator species.
Why be good? Because fuck evil, that’s why. Because fuck evil!
Why would insane idiots talk about the sun-centered model of the solar system during a time when you could literally get burned at the stake for doing that? Because fuck superstition, that’s why.
Why would people talk about evolution when it clearly states in the Bible that the world is twelve and a half minutes old? Because fuck superstition, that’s why.
Why would we want to talk about the non-aggression principle? Because fuck sociopathic predators, that’s why.
Why would we want to talk about honest, secure, stable money? Because fuck intergenerational debt. Fuck the selling of fetuses off to foreign banksters for money to bribe constituents too dumb to know the consequences of their own voting. Because fuck evil! That’s why! Fuck ’em! That’s why!
And good, yes. You know, if you want to go into battle against the Nazis… because fuck Nazis! That’s why. You want to go into battle against communists? Because fuck communists, that’s why. Fuck the ever-swelling, ever-growing predation and swirly, tumbleweed from hell, gathering ball of tsunami bullshit that passes for thought in this world. Because fuck lazy people! Because fuck stupid people! Because fuck people who won’t — as they say in Fight Club, ‘I fucking hate the pandas that won’t even have sex to save their own species, fuck them! Because fuck evil.
Fuck the stupid teachers who do nothing but propagandize. Yes! They should be subject to the free market so they can fall down the economic ladder to the position that they are actually qualified for, which is to ask you if you want your fucking fries with your happy meal! Fuck the stupid teachers. Fuck the bullshit unions. Fuck the debt. Fuck the Fed. Fuck it all!
That’s why you get out of bed in the morning: to say ‘fuck evil!’
You can watch the full performance for yourself here: