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  • Posted by 9 months, 2 weeks ago
    ...........A Better Way to Spread Objectivism

    For all its success, Objectivism has not made much of an impact on contemporary American culture. Perhaps Objectivists are going about the business of spreading ideas all wrong. Perhaps they are taking insufficient note of the social fields they seek to cultivate, i.e., the context of our tumultuous times.
    This is not to cast aspersions on anything Ayn Rand ever said or wrote. It's a communications problem. Galt understood that you cannot tell anyone something he or she is not ready to hear. Americans are not ready to hear about philosophy - any philosophy. It's not that they're un-philosophical, it's that they're thoroughly anti-philosophical. That's no reflection on Ayn Rand or philosophy, as such. Nobody knows less about their profession than do professional philosophers. For centuries they have been giving philosophy a reputation of being senseless and useless. For the average American, philosophy has nothing to do with "the real world out there."
    There's another problem. Ideas are spread and come to exert cultural pressure from the top down. It is the Ivy League authors and professors who set the table. Ideas filter down from there. Today, the academic deck is stacked heavily against the good - against reason, egoism, individualism, and laissez faire capitalism. So what is there to do?
    I say spread Liberty from the bottom up. Not by spreading the philosophic ideas of Ayn Rand, so much, as by reconnecting with the quasi-Objectivist principles preached and (all contradictions aside) more fully practiced at the nation's founding than at any prior time in history. John Locke's principles of reason and freedom captured the founders imagination. Their remnants are alive and well, and living in America's heartland.
    The common man has not lost his common sense, and the principles enunciated in our founding documents still make sense to most (if only for a few hours before and after each Independence Day's festivities).
    Those principles promote reason and an ethical culture built on egoism, individualism, and healthy civic engagement. They implicitly know that government is meant to be a PROTECTOR, not a PROVIDER. It's all but self-evident that a Congress that confers special benefits on SOME, necessarily denies equal protection under law to ALL.
    It was the earliest violation of this last principle which, in time, turned America into the runaway Corporate/Social Welfare State that every American should be working to dismantle, brick by brick. How may the people be reached? By several practical (yet principled) appeals.
    The appeal to (1) pocketbook. Let your neighbor know, if he's paying upwards of 50% in combined federal/state/local taxes, he's already half-slave/half-free; (2) Patriotic Pride. America's cherished founding and quasi-Objectivist traditions and principles can reach and inform millions, especially as the threat of real tyranny builds further; (3) Patronage. Americans know that a politics of privilege, public power used for private advantage is a corruption of power. They will recoil at the corruption that fills the arena of politics, for they are paying the price; (4) Power. As government power becomes more obviously intrusive and oppressive, more will wake to the need for remedial political action (think Tea Party and a thousand Facebook groups alarmed by the Democrats' present push for more programs and more power).
    Finally, it's worth noting that since everything in reality is connected, any who want to know why Objectivism holds the solution to many contemporary problems and the facts that support that bold proposition will, over time, raise every link on the spiral staircase of knowledge (from Life as the standard down to A is A). This, as our forbearers used to say, is a work to be done.
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