In worship of “I”

The Times of India asks “Is the first person pronoun sacred? Or should it be in the lower case, as it has appeared on our editorial page for the past few months?” and prints an article titled “Me, Myself and I

“Why do we capitalise the word “I”? There’s no grammatical reason for doing so… (some uninteresting history here)
So what effect has capitalising “I” but not “you” — or any other pronoun — had on English speakers? It’s impossible to know, but perhaps our individualistic, workaholic society would be more rooted in community and quality and less focused on money and success if we each thought of ourselves as a small “i” with a sweet little dot.”

I cannot frame a more eloquent response to this assault on my values than this excerpt from Chapter 11 of Ayn Rand’s Anthem

I am. I think. I will.
My hands . . . My spirit . . . My sky . . . My forest . . . This earth of mine. . . . What must I say besides? These are the words. This is the answer.
I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears gives its song to the world. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgement of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect.
Many words have been granted me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy: “I will it!”
Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the loadstone which point the way. They point in but one direction. They point to me.
I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.
This god, this one word:

So far I have kept my writings on this blog free from emotion. This undisguised assault on my highest values calls for a proud and passionate assertion. My quoting the excerpt above is a statement of worship for my highest value – me. This assault also calls for a proud and passionate rejection. No one who reads the excerpt and fails to be inspired can claim to be alive in a human sense.

Aristotle The Geek also has a similar response on his blog. Thanks Aristotle.

2 Responses

  1. Wow, that article is truly nauseating.

  2. To pick up a peculiar usage of the English language that has already become wide-spread in the USA, esp. in conversations and in writings by, say, office-secretaries, psychologists, counsellors, artists, journalists, cinema and fashion industry people, professors in the humanities departments, (all) Californians, and many many other Americans of their ilk, and then combining this peculiarity with the way Delhi people and the Page3 Mumbai people use English, one might arrive at an even more peculiar formulation—a formulation that seeks to explain the choice made by the Editor-in-Chief (a single person) of Times of India:

    They (#) are like that only!

    (#) meaning: the Editor-in-Chief of Times of India, a single person.


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