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"
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In another thread, a troll sneered at the very notion of objective concepts. I would like to use it to talk about the topic. This presumes that cognition is subjective, that any conceivable definition of a word is valid EXCEPT the one offered by Ayn Rand. The problem with dictionary definitions of philosophically important words is that they are often rationally unusable. Package-deals and anti-concepts are what most peopke expect for words like "selfish". You cannot use the mental short circuit that this word connotes for most people, even if you wanted to. A package deal conflates two exact opposites, in this case production and destruction. In a different thread, someone used the word "externality." This word is often used by economists to mean "a secondary or unintended consequence" (www.m-w.com). Pollution is the textbook example. The problem with this word is that it serves to obliterate the concept of "rights". One does not think of the absolute right of property, but the myriad of potential secondary consequences of one's actions. Ultimately, the reference for one's concepts is reality. Do one's mental units subsume essentially similar instances, or do they obfuscate and conflate essential differences? The former is not only necessary for communicating with other people, but also for clear thinking.
In many of her essays, Ayn Rand analyzed different works of art. Did she ever analyze the film version of The Fountainhead? I seem to recall she made mention of the line which was cut from the film. And she has spoken of the comments made by Cooper after filming. But did she ever substantially address King Vidor's directing of her script - meaning more than a sentence or two in passing?
I am sometimes asked whether I think Capitalism works. Do I support it? I hesitate. To answer, it is going to be necessary to differentiate between the questions; 'is it working?' and 'can it work?'. I believe it can do, the free exchange of values, whether money, love or hope is something fundamentally human. Suppress it, it creeps out wherever it can, it mutates, it will die to survive in a different form, it is life. But the quality of it, the values being exchanged are the means by which we judge a capitalism a success or failure. One uses reason to assess the value of what is being offered relative to certain key axioms. What key axioms hold together are reason? Life. If there are two things any human wants - its life and happiness; quality of life and quantity of life. Happiness, by its very nature can be derived from any number of things - from sex, drugs, religious fervour, satisfaction of a job well done etc. Surely, the most logical means to by which to acquire happiness is by acting in such a way that the length of life is extended. Was not the very creation of society itself a step in that direction? People bind together because they share a common purpose, that which the greatest majority share is life, and that most commonly misunderstood element about life is that are greatest power over it is to shorten/extend it at our will, whether as an indivdual or an association of individuals. Capitalism will work, when people exchange that which contributes to this greater purpose, any commodity that is in its use and purpose destructive, decadent and shortsited will example capitalisms misuse, its going wrong. Does Capitalism work? It is a tool, it depends on its use. It is a great tool for that which I have described, though as most tools, it can be applied in more than one way. In games of power, where the parties involved are not in contract out of mutual advantage or interest, but - as I believe is the case throughout a great deal of our enterprises (particularly the entertainment/media) out of fear, out of compulsion. Those who waste their time concerning themselves with the wrongs of the system are missing the point entirely, the system will change as it suits the will of those who use it. It is the will of the user that counts, each conscious beings purpose that matters. Education is the crux of it all, it is from the media, our social origins, our experience that our wills are by and large defined. They say you can judge a society by its criminals. I say you can judge it by its millionaires. If football stars and porn barons are those with the biggest means at their disposal - then it reveals a great deal about the kind of people that country is encouraging to exist. If those with the biggest wallet, the most means, blindly consume it - then that capitalist nation is doomed. When people have the forsight and rational to spend wisely, the capital any individual holds will be proportional to the type of man he is. We are a long way off from there.
I have tried so many times to post here. Everything has gone wrong, ad i can only help but think that perhaps some unseen force has tried to keep me from the other mids of this world. who am i? you may say. My name is Jason... or so you shall know me because names are irrelevant in my form of reality. i do not seek yoour names, i wish to know your minds and be able to share my thoughts with all of you. I find this may be the only place where i could trully speak as i am, amongst others that live by the same convictions that i have. people who have seen something more i the books of ayn rand than the basic story line. i can't imagine what it meant to the rest of you. all i know is that, i hold to those books as others would to bokks of Dante, or shakespeare. i have never found perfection in books. i know ayn rand's books too have their flaws and in fact i've spotted a few typos and stuff like that, which makes the book only more perfect. I fear that if it had been any better i would have indeed done as dominique had with the sacred statue of helios. i would buy out every copy of atlas shrugged and the fountainhead, read and absorb them, then later burn them. i wonder if you guys understand this. i hope you do, but i still get the feelig that someone out there may see me as some hateful maniac. I know that point will come, when i'll have to make the detruction of those copies that i have....but for now, i need them too desperately. i can't explain what thos books did to me. it isn't only about the philosophy, even though that is the o ly thing i live by. For me.... it started out with a single question. one i'm sure you have been faced with and pondered about as well. "who is john galt?" I reacall from page 64 of the 50th anniversary edition with the introduction by leonard peikoff, from that scene where dagy speaks to the old man that cells cigarets. he spoke of that question. of how it entered my life as this desperate plea within me. it wasn't about the ma who stopped the motor of the world. i rather wish that here, we could set up a post about the various meanigs of that question. what it signified as people uttered it. they feared it.... they dreaded the soundof such a name..... me, i was in search of something. Of this site. Of the eyes that are reading this and are able to understand my desperation.... i must find the minds out there that can understand it, that can make it possible. i oce found a man of this sorty and he wrote me a letter saying "I now the loneliness, i know the isolation" and that meant everything to me. it is hank readen in need of Fracisco D'aconia, it is Dominique in need of Howard Roark. There is so much i wish to say to those out there that lead the same battle as i do. i hope you are able to see this. though the last 4 things i attempted to post, simply disappeared. my mind is an anallytical one. i live within the words of my conscience and those marked down by my pen. i was here to introduce myself and i hope i some way, i have. all i want is one response...from anyone...and that'll make the burdens of this week worth bearing. i sometimes become a charfacter of atlas shrugged. My problem is... i cannot allow myself to shrugg...not yet....i am not yet ready for my destroyer and so i live through each day cliging to the only things that offer me meaniong and reason. my mind is like a scavenger searching for the tiniest phrase to keep me going. I can do this. sometimes i convince myself it isn't necessary to breathe....i just have to fullfill my tasks, because i can bear them....because i will not allow them to break me...or even the people that are imposing the slavery. it does notmatter. i'll post again when i get a chance....if this doesn't make it to the site....if it is never seen. then i'll desist right now, and seek my answer elsewhere.