A Simple Objectivist's Observations and Challenge

Posted by Zenphamy 2 years, 7 months ago to Philosophy
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It's been a while since I interacted with this blog and I'm disappointed to find in a 1/2hr review no positive change since that last involvement. Of note, there's still no category item mentioning Ayn Rand or Objectivism and I could only find two posts that were based on or developed from original thought of the posting member, Robert Gore and Wm Donway. Rather, the overwhelming majority of posts are simple re-postings or referrals to conservative news articles. And the replies follow the same apparent recipe.
Many serious objectivists that I interact with and follow on a regular basis bemoan the failing of AR's Objectivism to progress beyond the relatively narrow acceptance or understanding of the philosophy or it's impact on the life of the individual. Yet at the same time, I find many public intellectual types, men and women that utilize today's 'new media', such as the members of the Intellectual Dark Web, though adamantly denying such a defining title as 'objectivist', in essence espousing many if not most of AR's developments. In particular, the primacy of the individual in the societal and governmental realm, recognition of natural rights of the individual, the failings and dangers of ideologies, and the anti-humanism aspects of populists' subjects such as 'Climate Change', 'Socialism' indoctrination of youth throughout the full years of public education, 'group identity politics', 'cultural appropriation', 'toxic masculinity', 'equality of outcomes', etc.
Although those intellectuals as well as many others that have begun to notice the significant gains Socialism in it's Post-Modern Neo-Marxist disguise has made throughout the West, don't accept the societal/cultural/retro(ancestral) 'victimology' espoused by this ideology; but all advocate for systems that speak for the normally dispossessed of a normal functional society. That concern for the dispossessed expressed as 'altruism' runs into the 'Objectivist Brick Wall': Unapologetic self Interest.
So here's the challenge to those objectivists still on this site; Describe, expound, comment on the hows and whys of Objectivism's answers of today's hysteric socialist insanity and tomorrow's battles to maintain (regain) the Western culture and institutions that have led to the successful societies that we all enjoy and thrive within. Ayn Rand foresaw these eventualities as did Orwell and Huxley as well as a few others, though less comprehensively.

All comments, replies, or other Posts addressing any aspect of the above are welcome as long as such doesn't just refer to a news URL or other's article or essay. Let's see what develops.

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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 2 years, 7 months ago
    The vast majority of articles and commentary we post and comment proves Rand's predictions, she saw it's roots and saw it coming. Often, we referrence something in Rand's writings.

    But, there is a second purpose to sharing what we find in the news of the day...that purpose is to inform as many as possible, something we can't do else where, to discuss the issues and share knowledge of these issues, which again is something we can't do elsewhere.
    Not always, but often, each tries to approach these issues objectively but in a culture that is not, it's very hard to do and truth be told, there is nothing we could say or do to the 8% that represents the post modern, pc, cultural marxist nor those they have managed to create in their own image to change their thoughts, idiot-ologies nor their collective dysfunctional brains.

    We have hardliners that don't realize these realities, and still others that refuse to acknowledge anything at all, not My work with conscience, consciousness and history from that perspective, (which actually touches upon the things Rand discusses) to our understanding of what climate change is about, the cycles it ignores, etc and how all this applies to all philosophical thought in an as objective manner as possibly be manifest in this day and age.

    There is no easy solution, objective or otherwise and until we find a weak spot, understand all the perverted forces that be, we won't find one either.

    Many newcomers we see, and that's a good sign, but it won't beat the mobs short of tyranny, Which is no solution to the problem either. The producers are owned, the value creators thrown out or kowtow...so just like the slow creep that overtook us, so too must we creep slowly, covertly and win, one at a time to objectivism.

    So, in place of a real Galt's Gulch, we shelter here until real value creators can withdraw the values created from those that would take it away.
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 2 years, 7 months ago
    Well, firstly I'd point out that while there are many legit criticisms of ARI to be made, they are still better than the "Intellectual Dark Web".
    The IDW are not really intellectuals and certainly don't oppose any of the things they claim to. They are just another bunch of collectivists, but this time so completely disintegrated that they don't even realize it.
    Objectivism is ultimately about reason and individualism, the Intellectual Dark Web is NOT on our side.
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  • Posted by $ straightlinelogic 2 years, 6 months ago

    Excellent post.

    I echo one of your complaints and have one of my own. By now I can spot somebody bootlegging an Ayn Rand argument without attribution a mile away. I know in my own writings I've have used her arguments, mostly with attribution. Those who read her either enthusiastically embrace her arguments or reject her out of hand. There's not much middle ground.

    For the former group it's hard not to consciously and unconsciously adopt her arguments and often even her wording, or wording that mimics her style. I'm sure I've done so, without attribution, infrequently now that there are decades between when I first read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and the present.

    But you raise the key issue. Lots of people, especially conservatives, want to pick and choose which Rand positions they'll support and cite without tracing those positions' justifications back to first premises. As you note, the first premise they fear the most is that icky "Unapologetic self interest" thing. In my experience that is the bridge too far with people who say they like Rand and her stances on some issues but not her overall philosophy. As if they could be separated!

    My other issue goes the other direction. On this site and in other forums, I've run into people who call themselves Objectivists who are nothing more than insufferable Ayn Rand automatons. Rand promoted individualism and thinking for one's self, not recitation of her words, or formulations that sound very much like her words, as Holy Writ.

    I've been told on this forum that Objectivists "must" be hawks, supposedly because Ayn Rand was. The lady has been dead 36 years, and even if she was a hawk, if she saw what passes for current US military and foreign policy and the depredations of the "hawks," I think she might reconsider. I believe that even when she was alive, there were things about which she was wrong or inconsistent. As a fiction writer, there are stylistic elements of Atlas Shrugged that make me cringe, although I have carefully studied the philosophy espoused therein and am in agreement with it. Ayn Rand was great, but not perfect, and that should be, but is not in some quarters, a noncontroversial statement.

    Objectivism is not strengthened by worship and rote acceptance. It will be strengthened by continued study, analysis, and yes, criticism, of Rand's writings and her life when warranted. Neither is Objectivism strengthened by those who use some of Rand's arguments but shun her premises. At the very least, those who do so owe it to their readers to also detail Rand's underlying premises, and if they don't accept those, explain why.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      SLL, Great response. I doubt that she was a hawk, though I'm sure she was totally anti-socialist. And yes, she had her errors, but the premises of her thoughts were solid. I'm personally in awe of her work, but I've always believed she shunned 'fan' worship while appreciating the desire for knowledge and understanding.
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  • Posted by $ mshupe 2 years, 7 months ago
    I have introduced this site to a couple of colleagues I work with on another blog, and they are very impressed with the quality of the dialogue. They are very familiar with Rand's work but they are not Objectivist. I write and post and comment a few times each week, always trying to illustrate characters who think long-term and live their lives with reason, purpose, and pride. I also comment on some of the contradictions that are so rampant. It's an education project for those indoctrinated by the big government compulsory school system and allied media. We've entered a time where high time preference has replaced low time preference and mind boggling artificial complexity that is designed by the statists make people apathetic and more dependent on government.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 years, 6 months ago
    today's "conservative" is a Marxist/Leninist...today's "liberal"/democrat is a Marxist/Leninist...Objectivist epistemology is ignored...
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 years, 6 months ago
    Beware:Trigger Comment Ahead! Atlas Shrugged showed that current human governmental structures can not be reconciled with Objectivism. We, in Galtsgulchonline, have little recourse but to wait for the ultimate and painful failure of such...and maybe survive to begin again.
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  • Posted by floreo 2 years, 6 months ago
    A 50 year educational plan for the US would (hopefully) produce a second generation given some focus on the value of self responsibility in the greater context of a view towards any possible salvation (economically) of the US government structure. Without an enhanced level (broadly) of appreciation for the economics of entitlement driven government and its effect on the financial state of our nation, there will NEVER be the resolve to eliminate (once and for all) the stifling debt that the New Deal (and its bastard spawn of three and four letter government drains of our collective assets) foisted upon a gullible populace.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 years, 6 months ago
    In today's media (for me, radio; my TV reception was lost when they went digital) the "conservatives" who want to defend property rights do not recognize Objectivism; one announcer who used to often mention Ayn Rand's name seems to have "thrown her under the bus". (because she did not believe in God).
    A lot of people on these shows want to say that the values which created this country were the "Judeo-Christian" values, and seem to want to bypass the Enlightenment.
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