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    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"

    Invitation to Study-Group - FROM BURGESS LAUGHLIN BLOG “BkRev: Shaw's American Church”

    By RohinGupta,
    Continuing the tradition of honoring Burgess Laughlin, on his 73rd Birthday week, we study one of his blogs. The blog being studied here is part of series classified as “THE MAIN EVENT”. And its objective is to explain “IN TODAY'S PHILOSOPHICAL CONFLICT OF REASON VS. MYSTICISM: WHO ARE THE MAIN ADVOCATES ON EACH SIDE? WHAT ARE THEIR KEY IDEAS? WHAT SOCIAL ACTIONS ARE THEY TAKING TO WIN?” The particular blog is titled “BkRev [Book Review]: Shaw's American Church”. As in any study-group, we can summarize the blog, outline it, or do in depth study of some or all parts of blog. Complete blog can be viewed here - http://reasonversusmysticism.blogspot.in/2013/08/bkrev-shaws-american-church.html The study-group starts on Monday 3rd July, and ends on Sunday 9th July. Please confirm your participation, along with purpose for participating, in this thread. 
    Actual study-group will take place in the following thread.

    French elections 2017

    By gio,
    Since I'm French, let me keep you informed of what's happening in my country. Next Saturday, France will have the final result of the presidential election. Since the end of the first round (April 23rd) this result is already known: the next president of France will be Emmanuel Macron. Of course, when I write these lines, he's still competing against Marine Le Pen, but she has absolutely no chance of being elected. Although she's popular in a part of the French, she (and her party) is still extremely unpopular for the vast majority of French. She will not be elected because of what is called in France the "glass ceiling", which means that she can never exceed a certain level in public opinion. What happened in the first round? The current president, Francois Hollande, is extremely unpopular and didn't have the capacity to present himself again.
    So, in the first round, there were 5 important candidates (the other 6 are insignificant):
      François Fillon (The party "The Républicains", the main party of the right in France, the party of Nicolas Sarkozy, who was president between 2007 and 2012. Fillon was prime minister throughout this period. Emmanuel Macron (who was Minister of Economy under President François Hollande, but who launched his political movement since one year only.) Marine Le Pen (The party "National Front", the party considered as extreme right, nationalist.) Jean-Luc Mélenchon (His movement is called "Unsubmitted France", radical left, ideas close to Communism and Marxism.) Benoît Hamon (Socialist party, party of President François Hollande, main party left in France for 40 years.) The result of the first round was as follows: Emmanuel Macron 24% Marine Le Pen 21.3% François Fillon 20% Jean-Luc Mélenchon 19.6% Benoît Hamon 6.4% This is the first time in a French presidential election that none of the main left-wing (Socialist Party) and right-wing (The Republicans) parties are absent from the second round.
    A brief comment on what happened: Benoît Hamon represented the Socialist Party, the party of the current president, François Hollande. Even if he was part of a faction of this party that was critical of the President, he could not change the fact that he represented a party that had become extremely unpopular, since Francois Hollande was extremely unpopular. More than its predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy (who was also very unpopular). So the score of the Socialist Party is historically low. It was never so low since the 60's. Jean-Luc Mélenchon has almost doubled his score since the last election (2012). He withdrew the red flags and flags of the Soviet Union in his meetings to replace them with French flags, and he sings "La marseillaise" instead of "L'internationale". He was the most popular candidate for young people (18-24), because formally, he made a very modern campaign (despite his archaic ideas): he made a Youtube channel, he used the Social networks, meetings in holograms, his militants even made a videogame on him ("Fiscal Kombat"). Between Macron and Le Pen, he did not give his opinion for the second round, because for him Macron represents capitalism, and Le Pen represents fascism ...
    (In my personnal view, he is the archetypal dictator. He is an admirer of Chavez & Castro...) François Fillon was destined to win this election. But during the campaign, he was accused of fictitious employment (i.e. misappropriation of public money) for a situation dating back several years ago. This accusation has never been proved, but the presumption of innocence was not sufficient for public opinion to not considered him as guilty and corrupted. Especially since before that, Fillon said that if he was suspected of something, he would not be candidate. Some believe that these accusations have been secretly modeled by the current power in order to make the rival party losing (There are disturbing indications.). Anyway, these accusations made him considerably lower in public opinion, and prevented him from entering the second round.
    Politically, this was the first time that a major French presidential candidate said he wanted to significantly reduce the size of the state, reduce taxes, reduce regulations and take care of the public debt. It was also the first time I heard a french politician defending liberty (by using this word) in this kind of election. His speech with regard to Islamist terrorism (which he calls "Islamist totalitarianism") was without concession.
      Who are Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen? Politically Emmanuel Macron is center-left. He is supported by people from right, left and center. He governed as minister under the presidency of François Hollande (Socialist Party) but he was always perceived as different, iconoclastic. He is young (39 years old), doesn't have a political background, he had never be elected, he worked as a business banker at Rotschild. He studied philosophy (his thesis was about Hegel). He is in favor of globalization. His popularity in France comes from the fact that it embodies the image of a change, a renewal because:
    - He has a different style from most policies and he's young, he has an image of modernity.
    - He doesn't have a political career (except as minister during 2 years), he does not come from the traditional parties, he comes from the private sector.
    - He was still unknown 2 or 3 years ago.
    - He has the image of someone very smart, who knows his files, especially in economy. For the extreme left and far right, he represents capitalism, i.e. the evil. Actually it's true that when he was minister, his speech and his actions seemed "pro-capitalist" especially for a left-wing man. He's in favor of free trade, globalization, private sector... But since the campaign began, he wanted to show that he wasn't so capitalist, by multiplying social measures, protections, etc ... which makes him a centrist. Or a "pragmatist". Or a "moderate". Someone who want to "reconciliate", mix the hot and the cold, who is agree with everyone. He wants to be pro-capitalist and pro-protection in the same time.
    Marine Le Pen (who was the most popular candidate among the workers) is far-right and her economic program is clearly socialist and protectionist. The two main ideas of his party (the National Front) have always been the same since his father created the party in the 70s: "Fight against immigration and insecurity". Its aim is to "re-establish borders", to regain the sovereignty of the country, to fight against "globalized finance", "ultra-capitalism" and, of course, her speech against Islamism is radical. Never has his party and its ideology been so popular in France. But despite this, for many people, Marine Le Pen (and her party) is considered racist and xenophobic. Many also consider it fascist.
    She will lose the election, there is no suspense about it. If you have questions, it will be a pleasure for me to answer to you about this elections.

    Reblogged:Family Roots

    Practice Good Theory Blog
    By Practice Good Theory Blog,

    "We come from a line of strong Norse and Celtic mix. We take what is our due." This is a line I read from a father, to a daughter, advising her to demand something she considered her right.
    It is interesting how people look to their history in this way, because -- in fact -- this is myth. There's no biological transfer of philosophy across that time, and yet people invoke the myth, because it stirs emotion. It works like good heroic literature: it shows us what humans can do. We are inspired. If "these people could do so, so could I". The emotional reality is stronger, if we add "my own ancestors could do this,…" which translates to "people just like me could do this… and, so can I".
    I was always puzzled by Rand's mention of the TV series "Roots". Though she said the author's idea of tracing his biological ancestors was tribalist, she also praised him for producing "a representative image of black people in America, from an aspect that had not been presented before". Wait! Why would it be tribalist to look for one's biological ancestors, but praiseworthy to look more broadly, at "black ancestry"? Rand's answer is that he portrayed black slaves as moral heroes: as people who never relinquished the idea that they were human beings with equal rights, in whose hearts the desire for freedom would never be extinguished.
    Like the father in the quote above, the father saying "we can be heroes… because, this is who we are", the Roots series was saying "blacks can be heroes… because, this is who we are". Rationally, logically, factually ... we can be heroes because we are human, not because we are Norse/Celtic or Black. Yet, by narrowing down from "human" to "Norse" or "Black" or anything more specific, we make the picture more concrete, closer to reality, more achievable, and thus more inspiring.
    This is the role of literature in myth: it makes the abstract concrete. This gives it a reality that is more real, and makes it a more effective motivator of emotion. The point, then, is not to look for family merely to know the nitty gritty, but to look for inspiration. 
    It does not need to be all positive either. We look to myth for strength, but we can spin inspiring tales from negatives too. A jailed swindler in the family, can become a cautionary myth of "people like us can be tempted by short term gain". Or, if the swindler's children were regular folk: "people like us, do not simply ape our parents" (Yes, that's a bit ironic.) Link to Original

    Gender Roles In Sex: A Fresh Perspective

    By rameshkaimal,
    The following is from Chapter 19, Technique, Afterplay and Feedback in The Selfish Path To Romance: How To Love With Passion And Reason by Dr. Edwin A. Locke & Dr. Ellen Kenner:

    "For many women, sex feels like a chore when they don't achieve orgasm. Why is this pattern so common? One key is the fact that since most women cannot have vaginal orgasms, they seldom experience orgasms from traditional intercourse alone."

    "For women, physical stimulation comes mainly from the clitoris."

    "The penis rarely makes the needed contact with the clitoris during regular intercourse to bring a woman to orgasm. Many women feel self-doubt, guilt, frustration, and annoyance, wondering why their partners don't pay attention to their needs and why they themselves are too embarrassed to explain what helps them achieve orgasm. Sometimes they may not know. When sex feels like a duty, resentment escalates and the result is a sexually frustrating partnership."

    "In his book The Great Sex Secret, veteran sex educator Kim Marshall notes that women often lack sexual satisfaction because neither partner understands the essential role of clitoral stimulation in achieving orgasm. Marshall advises: "The key to long-term sexual happiness is having a strong love relationship and finding an effective, mutually satisfactory way to bring both the man and the woman to orgasm while they are together."1 This does not mean partners have to have orgasms simultaneously or that they can't have occasional lovemaking sessions in which one or the other does not climax. But it does mean that they both need to know how to bring the woman to climax when she wants it. (Stimulating the man to help him climax is more obvious and better understood.)"

    If it is true that:
    1. For women, physical stimulation comes mainly from the clitoris;
    2. The penis rarely makes the needed contact with the clitoris during regular intercourse to bring a woman to orgasm;
    3. Given 1 and 2, most women seldom experience orgasms from traditional intercourse alone;
    then, as Marshall says, the proper role for a man and a woman, during sex, is as partners working together to make it a mutually pleasurable experience.

    Such a view is radically different from the view that during sex since:
    1. it's the man who penetrates and the woman who is penetrated;
    2. it's the man, who, by repeatedly stimulating the woman's vagina with his penis, makes possible his own orgasm and hers too;
    3. Given 1 and 2, it's the man who causes the sexual pleasure of both;
    it's the man who has a dominant role and the woman who has a submissive (receptive) role.

    Now how does Marshall's view of the man and woman as partners-in-sex relate to masculinity and femininity?

    I would say masculinity refers to those aspects (mental content & physical action) of a male human that enable him to view himself as a man and femininity refers to similar aspects of a female human that enable her to view herself as a woman.

    So, in a romantic-sexual context, it's (also) the masculinity of a man that a woman is drawn to, and it's (also) the femininity of a woman that a man is drawn to, thereby enabling both to achieve psycho-sexual visibility of their respective gender identity.

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