Posted by dwlievert 5 years, 6 months ago to Philosophy
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On the long drive back to Colorado from Georgia, I have been reflecting (as opposed to “texting”) on the unfolding “scene.” No doubt such reflection has been triggered in response to the spectacularly blatant and absurd ruminations now emanating from many of those of prominence in our culture.
Those among us who consistently support individual freedom, often mistaken for those who comprise the traditional “Right” on our country’s political spectrum, possess an abiding respect for human nature. Specifically, that said nature will, if properly nurtured and left free to properly manifest itself, almost always tends to search for the most elegant and “proper” solution(s) to Nature’s dictates – her rules, impositions, and opportunities.
The rest among us seem unconcerned with said nature, except to the extent they decry it, while citing its “evils.”
Ever mindful that for Nature to be commanded she must first be obeyed, us humans can easily, if not suitably focused, tend to make no distinction between Nature’s dictates, and those resulting from human constructions and fabrications – rules, impositions and “opportunities” arising not from Nature, but from the “man-made.”
Just as is the case when dealing with Nature, our natural response when dealing with the man-made, implores the most “practical” among us to action. Depending upon the degree of success in such actions, this causes the most successful of these “action-oriented” people to potentially rise in prominence in the affairs of life – both when dealing with the natural world, but most especially when they seem to so successfully deal with the man-made.
Further, making no distinctions between Nature and the man-made, these “practical” souls tend to become distracted; distracted into believing that, just as when dealing with Nature, when dealing with the man-made, the why simply “is.” Consequently, it commands little of their focus. Their concern remains riveted on what or how.
With respect to Nature, as Ayn Rand so compelling argued, the why is relatively clear and self-explanatory. Thereby and there from flows moral clarity - clarity that tends to be self-evident. An individual’s actual existence depends on their recognition of it as such. Rand pointed out that Man MUST act morally when dealing with Nature. He is always under the potential penalty of death for failing to do so. Perhaps, among her many, her most profound insight was that the moral and the practical are ALWAYS the rationally same choices.
However it is with the man-made that the issue of why? can be “lost.” It can also become foggy, misleading, and potentially destructive. It becomes so when in response to that which we choose to deal, we quite naturally concern ourselves only with the what, the how. Thus, as our nature manifests, our focus tends to be directed, just as when dealing with Nature herself, only at ease, efficiency, risk/reward, means & ends, - i.e., what “works!,” with whatever the basis for why, relegated to the abstract concern of “less practical” others.
Keep this perspective in mind as you go about your affairs, while taking note of the “cast of characters” as I have termed them. Take note of their focus on what and how, with a remarkable absence for a rational examination of why.
This cast of characters clearly demonstrates our current political tragedy. Their abilities are directed at the political reality as it now exists with little, if any, regard for why it does so. Consequently, they continue to set into motion the causal chain that precipitates the worst of that which other aspects of our nature(s) are capable.
Our founders understood the political implications of these things as none before – and I might add, with but a few remarkable exceptions, few seemingly since. Ayn Rand’s conceptions and integrations remain at the pinnacle of such exceptions. For she understood the moral foundation upon which said political implications must rest.
In order to appreciate her insights however, we must not become seduced. Seduced into relegating our concern for only the what and the how. Instead, the why must clearly remain in the forefront of our awareness.
Ultimately, just as when dealing with Nature, our survival depends on such a recognition…………

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  • Posted by Wonky 5 years, 6 months ago
    From "Philosophy: Who Needs It", chapter 3 "The Metaphysical vs. the Man-Made"

    "Most men spend their lives in futile rebellion against things they cannot change, in passive resignation to the things they can, and – never attempting to learn the difference – in chronic guilt and self-doubt on both counts” &source=bl&ots=ODVWVdrSpc&sig=iZR1u4hW_j_f13sJWFGX6MqQmUA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5-NdVaigJ4WiNu3ygQg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false
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