Confidence and respect in oneself


Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895), by Timothy Sandefur, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"Douglass ... insisted that former slaves learn trades and become self-reliant ... he denounced many proposals for government aid to former slaves because the aid would constitute a badge of inferiority. ... Blacks were 'not only confronted by open foes, but [also] assailed in the guise of sympathy and friendship and presented as objects of pity.' Government paternalism would undermine the self-respect blacks needed to break free of their second-class status. 'No People that has solely depended upon foreign aid, or rather, upon the efforts of those, in any way identified with the oppressor ... ever stood forth in the attitude of freedom.'"
The Fallacy of the Concept of "National Character", by Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government, 1944
Chapter 10, "Nazism as a World Problem", section 2; explains why it is incorrect to generalize from some supposedly representative persons of a given nation to a national "character"
"In the first World War British propagandists used to cite over and over again a few lines from Goethe's Faust. ... These verses do not at all express Goethe's own tenets. Faust concludes with a glorification of productive work; its guiding idea is that only the self-satisfaction received from rendering useful services to his fellow men can make a man happy; it is a panegyric upon peace, freedom, and—as the Nazis scornfully call it, 'bourgeois'—security."
The Wrong Filter, by Thomas Sowell, 26 Feb 1998
"American 12th graders fell below the international average in general mathematics and general science. ... American students led the world in one department: 'self-esteem.' ... students had the highest perception of how well they had done. Seventy percent said that they thought they had done well. This would be comic if it were not so tragic."
Why We Consent to Oppression: Self-suppression paves the way for political suppression, by Peter Breggin, Reason, Sep 1977
Examines the questions posed by La Boétie in his "Discourse" from a psychological perspective, particularly how childhood self-suppression leads most adults to more easily accept government oppression
"Closely related to self-respect, [self-esteem] has to be earned. When an individual conducts himself ethically or musters the courage and discipline to accomplish his aims, he feels good about himself. Self-esteem is like a barometer of our conduct: it reflects how we are doing in our own eyes. ... Self-esteem is 'judgmental,' and it should be. Human beings should evaluate themselves and others. But it is dangerous and even disastrous to base one's entire relationship to oneself or to others upon this conditional attitude."


Honoring the Self: Self-Esteem and Personal Tranformation
    by Nathaniel Branden, 1983
Looking Out for #1
    by Robert Ringer, 1977
Love 101: To Love Oneself Is the Beginning of a Lifelong Romance, by Peter McWilliams, 1995
Electronic text partially available at author's site
Related Topic: Romantic Love
Six Pillars of Self-Esteem
    by Nathaniel Branden, 1994
The Psychology of Self-Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding that Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology
    by Nathaniel Branden, 1969


Nathaniel Branden: Self Esteem & Libertarianism, by Nathaniel Branden, 2000
Talk given at a Libertarian Party of California event about "the connection between the workings of free-market capitalism, the self-esteem movement, and the Information Age"