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Found 10 results

  1. Try as I might, I still do not know what laws and theorems in formal logic such as "A is A" have to do with government. To me, it makes as much sense if she started talking about dinosaurs and tried to connect that to how the government should be run. The two seem to have nothing to do with each other.
  2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ayn Rand made no real effort to engage with those whom she labeled "mystics" and "Subjectivists". I have read her notes, and although I have read records of her visiting places like steel mills to try to make that side of her Magnum Opus (Atlas Shrugged) sound more realistic, there are no records in her notes of her ever visiting "the mystics" or "the subjectivists" in order to truly understand the people she was criticizing. Yes, she grew up in Soviet Russia, but that was a regime that claimed the mantle of "logic" and "reason" and "objectivity" every bit as fervently as she. Now you or them or anyone else can argue as to who was the proper heir of that mantle, but the fact is that the Soviets claimed that mantle with equal fervor as she. There is no record within her notes of her delving into the world of people who were more or less self-proclaimed "mystics" and "subjectivists". If I had to guess, it's because she simply saw it as "beneath her". With other high-profile Objectivists it seems to be the exact same story. As far as I can tell, Objectivists don't really have a handle on "the other side"; they fire off criticisms of "mystics" without really knowing what "mystics" are saying.
  3. Guys, please help me with this quote from Atlas Shrugged. It may be at the very core of Objectivism. "She had thought that industrial production was a value not to be questioned by anyone; she had thought that these men's urge to expropriate the factories of others was their acknowledgment of the factories value. She, born of the industrial revolution, had not held as conceivable, had forgotten along with the tales of astrology and alchemy, what these men knew in their secret, furtive souls, knew not by means of thought, but by means of that nameless muck which they called their instincts and emotions: that so long as men struggle to stay alive, they'll never produce so little but that the man with the club won't be able to seize it and leave them still less, provided millions of them are willing to submit—that the harder their work and the less their gain, the more submissive the fiber of their spirit—that men who live by pulling levers at an electric switchboard, are not easily ruled, but men who live by digging the soil with their naked fingers, are—that the feudal baron did not need electronic factories in order to drink his brains away out of jeweled goblets, and neither did the rajahs of the People's State of India." This is the opposite of what we often hear. We often hear that civilized men are docile and tame, so they are easily ruled by a tyrant, whereas "wilder", primitive men are harder to control. This is often given as the reason for the rise of the Totalitarian States of the previous century. What Rand is saying in this section of Atlas (if I have interpreted it correctly) is the complete opposite of what we so often hear. Please help me with this quote.
  4. In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, in John Galt's Speech, there is a quote that seems to be central to the Objectivist worldview, but yet seems to be completely self-contradictory. "Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him to perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer - and that is the way he has acted for most of his history. A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long in the existence they affronted. But the history of man has been a struggle to deny and destroy his mind." Clearly according to Ayn Rand, man has done the opposite of what Objectivism says to do, for "most of his history". He has acted "as his own destroyer [...] through most of his history". He has been "a living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil". The next three words in the quote are "would not survive". But wait a minute! We're still here. Not only just man as a species, but Subjectivists and Subjectivism, are still here. Birds that "fought to break [their] wings" and plants "that struggled to mangle [their] roots" died out a long time ago. But Subjectivist human beings are still here. Indeed, the vast majority of human beings are Subjectivists, according to Objectivist philosophers. Assuming that Objectivism is true, how could this be?
  5. In The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand states that "The United States was the first moral society in history." In Atlas Shrugged, Rand states that "morality ends where the gun begins". If the USA was "the first moral society in history" and "morality ends where the gun begins", how does that square with the fact that it was created by violent revolution in which tens of thousands of people were killed and 5% of the population1 was displaced from territory claimed by the USA, the vast majority of whom ended up fleeing to territory still held by the "irrational" monarchy of George III? 1Rothbard, Murray. Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 4.
  6. It seems to be implied in Objectivism that there is going to be this giant catastrophe like in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged that is going to force human society to go from Subjectivism to Objectivism. I can personally remember during the Great Recession, whose worst years were approximately from 2008-10, at least some Objectivists saying "this is it! this is Atlas shrugging!" But that didn't happen. Here we are in 2016, the world got back on its feet and "Subjectivism" has kept on rolling. Also, the "doers" and "makers" according to Objectivism, such as Bill Gates, are not "Going Galt". I cannot even think of one single major entrepreneur who has "Gone Galt" because they're fed up with the "Subjectivist society" (please correct me if I'm wrong). So my question is what happens if this big catastrophe that is supposed to force society to become Objectivist never indeed happens?
  7. "Thinking is not a mechanical process", Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt's Speech But if atheism is true and man is a biological machine lacking what theists would call a soul, then how is "thinking not a mechanical process"?
  8. The vitriol that I encounter bogels the mind. People who are otherwise pretty level headed will straight up say: "I hate Ayn Rand." While I do not consider myself an Objectivist I am always happy to defend Ayn Rand against the most common objections. But rarely do I get a serious debate. The hatred of Rand seems almost visceral. Why? What it is about Rand that so offends? What makes her taboo among intellectuals? I'll offer what I suspect is a partial answer: There is a long tradition, tracing back at least to Plato, that practical concerns are vulgar and unworthy of serious thought and discussion. Rand stood that on its head validating the pragmatic concerns of ordinary life over the moral preening of those who claim a higher calling. Perhaps that is unforgivable. What is your assessment? What explanations have you heard for hatred of Ayn Rand?
  9. As a student, I often find myself arguing with socialists. I have organised many debates with socialists, and am holding conferences in Austrian economics. Doing everything I can with my knowledge, in order to persuade socialists to understand economics, capitalism and rights... I am still young however, so I'm sure there are better methods than I have used to convince people. (i.e. YouTube videos of Friedman, Sowell and Rand) Which tools and methodology (i.e praxeology, natural rights &etc) would you recommend to undertake this task? Thanks for all suggestions, Samuel Marks
  10. Well I did a search for "campus" and no related threads came up so here it is. I'm also not sure if this is the best forum for this thread, but it seemed as good as any. Here's the e-mail announcement from ARI: http://campus.aynrand.org/ Looks pretty cool. It's great they really are surrounding themselves and embracing modern technology to communicate their ideas. In this instance the AR Campus sounds like "open learning" some academic institutions have begun offering. I'll definitely check it out. Edit: Just so its apparent I don't work for ARI or anything, I only wanted to post this news.