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"
Objectivism Online Chat
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By Guest kgvl,
Hi all ... I have been monitoring your website for a brief time now. The discussions are generally quite interesting to follow. Some of you seem quite knowledgable of Objectivist philosophy. I have admired Rand's Fountainhead movie since I was a child [nearly 50 yrs ago]. Unfortunately, I was brought up in the conflicts of religion, altruism, self-sacfirce, and the gnawing perception that 'something is really wrong with all this stuff they're feeding me'. After experiencing the full wrath of betrayals in the business world by people whom I thought were friends and trustworthy, I finally 'walked away' for awhile to sort it all out --- I immersed myself the last 4 years in philosophy from Socrates/Plato to Rand/Nozick/Nagle. I'm no expert yet, but the Fountainhead book was much better than the movie !! ... and when I read Atlas Shrugged, I saw so much of myself in Dagny Taggart and Hank Reardon that it made me wince with disgust of what I had been ... and regret for not figuring it out sooner. I have read the Fountainhead word-for-word and cover-to-cover 3 times, and Atlas Shrugged 4 times. Once I start, I go straight for several days til I'm done --- they're the best catharsis ever for what has ailed me ! I will read Atlas Shrugged late this summer again ... with pen in hand. I suspect it will be the last time for awhile ... I am now prepared to fully analyze it. Rand did something in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged that few modern pseudo-analytical thinkers do: she defined the problem !! You can't possibly construct a solution to a problem when you don't understand what the problem is. That has been the consistent failure mode present in so many of the business and academic venues I've been in. If you are the person who understands the problem, you generally are the one who will devise the proper solution to it. Then you spend months arguing with idiots around you who don't understand the problem, but offer dozens of irrational and unworkable solutions, til they finally figure out you were right all along. A lot of damage can be done in the meantime ... and for 'you', lots of missed creative opportunities were wasted in the process of convincing others. This is why I like Rand --- she figured out the 'problem' in our existence, and put it down on paper ... and for that she has a lot of supporters, and a lot of detractors --- some people just can't accept the truth when it contradicts everything they have either been taught, or more probably, everything they want to believe about themselves. I am currently a postdoc at the University of Florida in Gainesville ... a Physical Chemist/Chemical Physicist [depending on where people draw such lines]. My current research is in Plasma Physics and Astrochemistry. I'm not going to register for this forum yet --- honestly, there is a lot of good conversation in here ... but I have seen some respondents quick to berate and even censor others, and thus caution on my part is warranted. I'm tired of fighting over petty issues in life, and don't want a well-intentioned question or statement made on my part [perhaps in playing the Devil's Advocate] to generate a firestorm of adverse responses. I will continue to 'watch' for awhile ... perhaps it is still that part of me fortified from recent experiences that makes me very wary about 'whom' I associate with. No offense intended.
Just wanted to say hello to the group; my name is Brent. I've started a blog of rational hedonism called TheNewIntellectual.net. It's about the lighter side of intellectual life: pleasure, fashion, music, arts, food, health, a little sex and a lot of shopping. No political rants, no navel-gazing, just good clean rational pleasure and ways to improve your life. Stop by and say hello.
By Evangelical Capitalist,
Open letter from SCO So, anyway, I was reading the above letters, and they got me to thinking... First of all, they constitute a ridiculous example of what happens when you start from unclear or contradictory premises. In the first half, SCO seems to be advocating that Congress should, for reasons of "the common good," unilaterally invalidate the GPL (Gnu Public License.) When in fact, the same property rights that copyright laws protect give creators the ability to give away their product, if they so please. SCO's current litigation contends that IBM inserted proprietary code, licensed from SCO, into Linux, thus placing it under the GPL. If this is the case, which has been, is and will continue to be the subject of a rather protracted legal battle, then SCO's property rights were violated and they are entitled to damages. But it's not the GPL that's at fault, as they seem to contend. The second half contains a slightly more cogent argument in favor of property rights, but maintains the fallacious conclusion that the GPL somehow violates these rights. It even defends the profit motive, albeit only as a means to "the public good." What I found particularly striking was Justice Breyer's dissenting opinion in Eldred v. Ashcroft that the clause empowering congress to enact intellectual property protections "does not exist to provide spcial private benefit, ...but to stimulate artistic creativity for the general public good. The 'reward' as a means, not an end." The intellectual mess of the altruist ethic. The majority opinion was little better, justifying the "reward" merely as a necessary prerequisite to "artistic creativity for the general public good." If, in fact, FSF and RedHat are lobbying for the abolition of all IP rights in the form of software, then I couldn't disagree more strongly with their position. That doesn't make SCO's opposition to GPL any more valid, for precisely the same reasons. Lost in all of this is the only moral basis on which the discussion must proceed: the protection of private property rights, not for the altruists' standard of "the general public good," but in recognition of the fact that they are a necessary feature of life qua man, that each man must be free to keep or to dispose of (including to trade value-for-value) what he creates as he sees fit. Once that is accepted, the proper course, the right and the wrong, in all of the above arguments becomes clear. Certainly moreso than the current confusion brought on by a lack of any principled basis for argument. Just had to rant.
Can someone fill me in on the full story on what happened between George Reisman & ARI? So far I've only read this: http://www.jeffcomp.com/faq/ari/ It seems silly that his great work on Capitalism has to be boycotted by ARI because of his "excommunication."