He told me, over drinks, about Ayn Rand.
That she had changed his life, freed him from empathy, taught him that only action motivated by perfect self-interest could truly shape this world for the better. He told me her work had opened his eyes the tyranny of government, enforcing their laws, their “social contract” with nothing more than brute force, and that by following this “social contract” as though it were anything more than a means of control we would never be truly free.
And I was inspired.
So, when I felt the time had come, I made my exit, quietly, leaving him with the bill.
I didn’t want to pay it, you see, and therefore I left it with him, confident that I, the smarter, more capable of the two of us, had no responsibility to subsidize his social life by paying for my own drinks.
If he’d been the better man, after all, he’d have thought to ditch out on the tab before I had the chance to.
I’ve not spoken to him since, but I assume that, as he paid my bill, he rejoiced that I had seen the light and, finally, was behaving in a perfectly selfish way, the sort of way that, if only everyone did the same, would allow us to step boldly into a new, bright future.
And the joy this notion brought him, I do not doubt, was something he was more than willing to pay the price of my drinks for.
Libertarians are, after all, very intellectually consistent…