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Can you give an example of how Objectivism is missing others in terms of relationships, or an example of what you think is valuable/important about people that Objectivism misses? My concern isn't with what is "true" Objectivism, just what is entailed by Rand's philosophical positions. You say a lot of emotion, but perhaps the apparent lack of emotional consideration is a bias due to your sample of an online forum, where probably you won't see the depth of emotion there is.

 

By the way, your "National Emotion Bank" is great potential for dystopian fiction... I'd say money already serves that purpose, and many non-monetary transactions use a sort of implicit social capital. Same with "likes", views, post count, etc. The program you propose is inflated in terms of implementation. Not only that, it addresses a problem that isn't really there.

That's fair. Living in America after Russia, I see that people here are really not sharing much commonality together - commonality not in a materialistic but in an idealistic or realistic sense. People are not interested in others' inner worlds, only in their own. Because of this, the relationships become shallow, unemotional. I see many psychological problems stemming from this. If people don't care about your ideas, philosophies, worldviews, but only with how you look (if even that) or what you like to eat or what kind of car you drive or something inconsequential like that, one is like in a prison here. Even speaking with you is not that important. At least there is an Objectivist forum and collective - thanks for that. Even speaking with a counselor is not about you but about your performance of talking about yourself without a guarantee of getting any kind of truly personal attention. When I lived in Russia, I was not like this. I was sociable, always went out with my friends to the forest, had picnics with kebab out on the fresh air, or I invited friends to my apartment or they invited me to theirs and played board games, discussed personal things, and such. It was not about living in isolation and only going out with others into some public, neutral place, and then returning back to one's ivory tower. Even family relationships are so neutral in America. Indeed, most people are probably raising their children with a complete disregard to their inner worlds or with a lack of interest in child's freedom and his or her guidance. Sure, so much freedom is great, but connections are lost and people become their own islands. In America, I am surprised not everyone is an Objectivist yet. They indeed contradict themselves, and Objectivism is perfectly suited for them. In Russia, things are very different. Even in the U.S.S.R., people had unbelievable freedom because no one cared about laws and did whatever they desired because the people are very free spirited. So, to reiterate, the values are not the people per se, but the ways to connect with those people, to feel emotions for them and with them, to be hospitable, caring, soulful, etc. There is no requirement for this, but there is seemingly no need for this in America either. But I feel even in my own isolation that you do not have to have something in order to believe in it. One can eat a cake with a friend and have some left over for another time. One can simply believe in such connections and be oneself. But Objectivism rationalizes that no such connections should be there. And that any form of belief is evil. Evil, evil, evil... that's what Objectivist main concern seems to be - it’s not about people, including oneself. I indeed see a problem with all of this. Relationships that are not economically reflected in the U.S. seem pretty irrational to me, and hence - useless. Why do something for which you receive no appreciation, no emotion back? However, emotional currency is exactly the cure, not a dystopian one like in Brave New World, but an emotional one, where one can value one's relationships a lot more.

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 The emotional parts are inseparable from you, but you try to ignore or misrepresent them in your philosophy. Yet, your philosophy is your lifestyle and the major part of your lives. This contradiction is what my intuition cannot accept. It is not a logical but a pathetic contradiction that, nonetheless, should not be ignored by any of you.

First off, I think Eioul hit off on something I missed. Positive propositions are much easier for me to process. The negative ones, while they may be logically sound, are more difficult to keep straight.

 

Are you familiar with Miss Rand's views regarding the role emotions play - as an automated response to the perceptual material, i.e.; a consequence of the sensory inputs processed by value judgments accepted as true from earlier in life? Your wording here indicates that a difference of comprehension may lay in this area.

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[...]

Are you familiar with Miss Rand's views regarding the role emotions play - as an automated response to the perceptual material, i.e.; a consequence of the sensory inputs processed by value judgments accepted as true from earlier in life? Your wording here indicates that a difference of comprehension may lay in this area.

Yes, this is an interesting topic. Rand claimed that she could supposedly give a reason for all emotions she ever experienced in her life. The emotions for her are an automated system like a machine that can be controlled by the mind. I only agree with the latter part about control. In fact, I think people ought to find ways to control their emotions. However, emotions are not physical. They have nothing to do with a binary logic machine, whereby the latter only helps with an initial firing. They are not artificial. The only thing that is artificial about a person is anything but emotions. His mind can be like a machine, as in transhumanists' case. Their bodies can be machines as well. But their emotions are functions of a free organism, a free soul. A zombie or a robot are unable to experience emotions. A truly free person has emotions; slaves or troubled individuals suppress emotions. And this goes back to the question of philosophizing or theorizing about emotions. That's fine, but it does not help in expressing them. I want you to show me any part of Objectivism or Rand's novels that shows a way to experience emotions, that is, experience through the heart, not merely having them in one's mind. Having emotions in one's mind without a reflection upon the heartbeat is an empty shell. One needs to keep in mind that, even while brains have an emotional center, hearts also have a neurocardiological brain that can be used to communicate with your mind of the central nervous system.

 

P.S. By "control," I mean regulation. By "not physical," I mean not studied in physics.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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The fact that an emotion is an automatic response would suggest that you experience emotions automatically, as a response to the sensory inputs.

 

When you see a friend you enjoy the company of, you feel elated.

If you find doing your tax forms an intrusive waste of time but necessary to comply with the law, you feel ambivalence from the time you receive your w-2, till the 1040 is filled out and mailed.

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That's fine, but it does not help in expressing them. I want you to show me any part of Objectivism or Rand's novels that shows a way to experience emotions.

I can think of many. The most obvious is any intimate/sexual scene. That is a direct and visceral way of experiencing emotions. Especially in the Fountainhead, when describing any state of pride when making his buildings. Repeatedly, Rand uses examples of self-esteem in her characters, or what happens with a lack of self-esteem. In Atlas Shrugged, Dagny felt a deep pride in her work that she didn't want to leave the railroad. She managed it by being involved in her work, being passionate, valuing working with railroads, and much more by listening to music, helping people she cares about (Cheryl came to her for advice), or even just being around people she likes. I can't see where there is a lack of emotion in any of her work. Perhaps there's more to say about expression, but it happens a lot, even if you don't get a manual of how.

 

One can eat a cake with a friend and have some left over for another time. One can simply believe in such connections and be oneself. But Objectivism rationalizes that no such connections should be there. And that any form of belief is evil. Evil, evil, evil... that's what Objectivist main concern seems to be - it’s not about people, including oneself.

What? o.O

I was explaining to you earlier, and in another thread, that there should be no connections between oneself and others. You shouldn't live for the sake of others; you should live for your sake. That does not exclude valuing others deeply. The idea is values should improve your life, and people do it all the time. You seem to think Objectivism ignores others or treats them as pure utilitarian value as opposed to any emotional value. That's not true. Really it's a philosophy of individualism of your whole life, which can and should include people that allow you to flourish more than otherwise. Some people who are Objectivists may be obsessed with evil and seem to forget any good, but that's a problem of their own psychology.

What I meant by bias earlier wasn't a bias due to you not liking or disagreeing with a viewpoint. I meant in certain environments, you see more of some personality styles, so you are probably overgeneralizing those personalities to what Objectivism prescribes. If you go looking, you may find really passionate, emotional, and rational people, all in one. I don't know how far your experience goes.

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dream_weaver:

Perhaps there's more to say about expression, but it happens a lot, even if you don't get a manual of how.

Indeed. But sex, even though it is under the same category, is a poor example because the sexual relationships that those characters had were shallow, come-and-go type of relationships. If they were living together, yes, I would say sex becomes a part that's inseparable from their lives. But otherwise, sex is just an activity removed from context and is not the actual life. The best example of expressing emotions in all books by Rand that I have read was in The Fountainhead, when Roark hung out with his friends during the construction and especially after the completion of the temple. However, they were friends because they were all "objective," and hence this makes me think that Objectivists would not befriend anyone else because you do not believe in friendship with people who cannot be categorized as objective (such as myself, for I consider myself to be beyond objective). Similarly, on some occasions in Atlas Shrugged, trade was categorized to be voluntary and only with the same type of people like oneself. This is a fragmenting hegemony, not a true trade or friendship that is boundless and can include anybody.

 

Eiuol:

there should be no connections between oneself and others. You shouldn't live for the sake of others; you should live for your sake. That does not exclude valuing others deeply.

How can you value others deeply if you do not connect with them? Are you talking about selfish values that do not reflect upon others? It's like an inner world that cannot materialize and be shared with other people. This is the biggest issue that I have with Objectivism. I call this fragmentation, and I prove in my model that it leads to alienation from existence. One cannot exist without one's context, and our current context is others and the market. I welcome you to disprove my model or find any contradictions in it. I welcome any counterarguments.
 

it's a philosophy of individualism of your whole life, which can and should include people that allow you to flourish more than otherwise.

How can you include people in your life if there "should be no connections between oneself and others"?
 

If you go looking, you may find really passionate, emotional, and rational people, all in one.

Those are the best people. I will keep looking. That is why I persevere, and I will not lose my hopes with Objectivism.

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Ilya,

 

The quote you listed under dream_weaver was from Eiuol.

Oops. I apologize.

 

Edit: here is something you said:

First off, I think Eioul hit off on something I missed. Positive propositions are much easier for me to process. The negative ones, while they may be logically sound, are more difficult to keep straight.

The neo-Objectivist oath is not the same as the Objectivist oath besides the first being an affirmation and the second a negation. The main difference is that your oath does not allow other people to help you. My oath does. The issue here is that it allows this only in Emotional economy. Hence the philosophy and the economic theory are linked and cannot be taken separately.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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In a private conversation with Repairman, some questions pertaining to the topic were raised, and I post them here in my wording to maybe clarify the topic more for some of you:

1) Is neo-Objectivism an ideology and an economic system?

2) Where are the goods produced?

 

1) Yes, neo-Objectivism is an ideology and an economic system.

2) The larger industries, like the oil industry, will have to wait until E is sufficiently developed. In the transitionary period, the monetary economy (M) will still control all the industries. However, there is a way to convert it into pure and ideal E. The manufacturing, labor, trade will happen the same way as in M, except payments will not be intrusive in the business and can be made without limit. Because of such limitless payments, there will be no material costs of production. One simply pays emotional debt for all the goods, pays his workers emotionally, and the customers will pay for produced goods emotionally as well. The prime motivation is to increase the individual reputation (i.e., the standard of living, which will be individualized like in Capitalism), and the fastest way to do that is through a mass-manufacturing company that will distribute profits to its owners. The distribution of profits happens similar to dividends nowadays. The more shares (i.e., percent) of the company you own, the proportionally higher profits will be distributed directly to your account, which will be connected to the company account. One wants to grow one's shares, right? This will be similar to how employees are offered to own the stocks of the company where they work. However, I do not see how trading emotions can happen on the stock exchange. Here, one needs to increase one's competence and use it as a means to directly persuade the owners of the company to give you a percent of the shares in order to hire or keep you in the company.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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One simply pays emotional debt for all the goods, pays his workers emotionally, and the customers will pay for produced goods emotionally as well. The prime motivation is to increase the individual reputation (i.e., the standard of living, which will be individualized like in Capitalism), and the fastest way to do that is through a mass-manufacturing company that will distribute profits to its owners. The distribution of profits happens similar to dividends nowadays. The more shares (i.e., percent) of the company you own, the proportionally higher profits will be distributed directly to your account, which will be connected to the company account. One wants to grow one's shares, right? This will be similar to how employees are offered to own the stocks of the company where they work. However, I do not see how trading emotions can happen on the stock exchange. Here, one needs to increase one's competence and use it as a means to directly persuade the owners of the company to give you a percent of the shares in order to hire or keep you in the company.

Wrong. One wants to profit. Profit is the only motivation for production; the two, profit and production, are corollaries. If one inflates the stock by any means, the value of the stock in reduces, until you are left holding worthless stock. Emotions are cheap. They are produced with absolutely no market value. Emotions may be all some people have, but the majority want finished goods for consumption, and precious forms of money, money that holds its value, are the only viable means of exchange. Try to buy crude oil from the oil producers with "emotions" and see what you can get it return. The only emotion you might solicit is laughter, and lots of it. People want gasoline, lots of it, and we are willing to pay with precious currency, and save our emotions for those who either really deserve them, or sell them to an audience willing to pay for some entertaining drama, tragedy, or comedy. That is the only way one can profit from sharing emotions. No rational person would accept an "emotion" as compensation for his honest effort, goods, or services. This "ideology," or whatever it is, cannot be considered as anything other than fantasy.

Edited by Repairman

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Wrong. One wants to profit. Profit is the only motivation for production; the two, profit and production, are corollaries. If one inflates the stock by any means, the value of the stock in reduces, until you are left holding worthless stock. Emotions are cheap. They are produced with absolutely no market value. Emotions may be all some people have, but the majority want finished goods for consumption, and precious forms of money, money that holds its value, are the only viable means of exchange. Try to buy crude oil from the oil producers with "emotions" and see what you can get it return. The only emotion you might solicit is laughter, and lots of it. People want gasoline, lots of it, and we are willing to pay with precious currency, and save our emotions for those who either really deserve them, or sell them to an audience willing to pay for some entertaining drama, tragedy, or comedy. That is the only way one can profit from sharing emotions. No rational person would accept an "emotion" as compensation for his honest effort, goods, or services. This "ideology," or whatever it is, cannot be considered as anything other than fantasy.

I sigh at your post. Emotional shares are merely a percent one owns of a company where one works. They cannot be inflated because they are not traded. They are shared. Appreciation is a better term for the emotion that is used for trade. One pays with appreciation for any goods or services. Just as monetary economy did earlier, emotional economy needs to develop first before entering the more advanced industries created by the mind. The growth of emotional economy would be slow, but at least it can happen without violence and/or destruction, at which Objectivists seemingly aim. Money avoids any emotion of appreciation - thus we have corrupt and impersonal business practices and our personal lives are lacking the genuine emotional aspect for the same reasons. Adding a bit of personality is what our business world needs right now and crucially. Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged that business and personal trade should be based on the same principles. Yet, you separate business and personal relationships. You value money and personal values differently. Why not connect them? For some reason that eludes me, you do not want to try to understand all of this. You think we have no souls, but only some automatic emotions. Who is a robot now?

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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Oops. I apologize.

 

Quite alright. 

The neo-Objectivist oath is not the same as the Objectivist oath besides the first being an affirmation and the second a negation. The main difference is that your oath does not allow other people to help you. My oath does.

Galt's Oath rests on the trader principle. I would have to respectfully disagree from within that context.

The issue here is that it allows this only in Emotional economy. Hence the philosophy and the economic theory are linked and cannot be taken separately.

A full understand the previous point essentially resolves this.

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Money avoids any emotion of appreciation - thus we have corrupt and impersonal business practices and our personal lives are lacking the genuine emotional aspect for the same reasons.

This is true if money is literally the only thing you want out of life. Money can have an emotion of appreciation depending on what extent you mean. I can easily approximate a trade of value for value with money by offering more for what I want and appreciate. For total strangers this works well, as there is little way to properly measure what value they offer. For friends and family,  money is often a poor way to trade, although in some contexts it might make sense. In those circumstances, there is social capital that works implicitly in most human social interactions. To me, what you've done is proposed a form of social capital similar to how money is used to approximate values of items in a trade as opposed to the interaction. I think you have no evidence that social capital will ever work on a national scale. It is too variable, subjective, and all around presumptuous of what emotions people ought to hold.

 

The main difference is that your oath does not allow other people to help you.

Did you read the same oath as me? Here it is for reference:

 

"I swear -- by my life and my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

Nowhere does it say other people should not help (or any synonym of help). What it says is that no one should live for your sake. To live for the sake of someone is more than providing assistance, it means living with them as an end to all your actions. Sure, we can argue if it's better for Rand to say "I will live for my own sake", but to say "I won't live for your sake" doesn't say anything about helping or receiving help. And beyond the oath, I literally don't know where you get the idea it's an isolated existence Objectivism advocates.

 

How can you include people in your life if there "should be no connections between oneself and others"?

You can't. Where'd you get the idea that the oath says there should be no (emotional) connection? Rand never even said anything to that effect that I ever saw. It seems that Roark's friendships to you indicate keeping oneself a-emotional, except we can't say precisely say why Roark had any friends. Who says it's necessarily about their objectivity?

For Objectivism, it's about "sense of life", not the person's level of objectivity specifically. Roark befriended a guy that almost murdered someone! So why did Roark befriend Mallory? Rand would probably say it's because Roark saw a potential of loving life despite Mallory's clearly depressed and probably suicidal state at the time of meeting. To some extent, this means finding similar people, as it would be self-sacrificial to befriend people you *negatively* value. I'd say Rand wrote too little about sense of life, which is what would provide pretty good answers.

 

Those are the best people.

You need to befriend people to see their goals and passions. Or ask me questions that may be a tangent via PM. I might share personal examples if I don't mind the questions.

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Harrison:

"To be a valuer in [Rand's] sense is to be a creator, not merely a critic."  -David Kelley

And you are confusing a mere critic (a hound dog) with someone who tries to help you build Capitalism without a revolution.

 

dream_weaver:

Galt's Oath rests on the trader principle. I would have to respectfully disagree from within that context.

In Objectivism, trading with money and with emotions are separate things. Emotional economy is perfectly reflected on the commonality of all trade in this quote from the trader principle: "Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect" (my italics). I interpreted this payment economically and literally. In my opinion, rational and emotional values should be inseparable.

 

Eiuol:

Money can have an emotion of appreciation depending on what extent you mean.

I am understanding what you said about money metaphorically. However, money is a purely rational currency. Emotions are not inherent to money; emotions are inherent to humans, who may or may not use money.
 

It is too variable, subjective, and all around presumptuous of what emotions people ought to hold.

If there is no such thing as free emotions, but only automatic emotions, surely it is restrictive. What is being restricted is the way you think. However, emotions are free and given complete freedom in Emotional economy (because negative emotions there are also very important), the lifestyles and worldviews can also be freed. The only thing that will not qualify as a value in the emotional economy is a lack of emotion. I argue that it is presumptuous to argue that all people can follow the Objectivist oath. People also want to help others not only because that's what their minds tell them, but because that is what their free souls desire.
 

Did you read the same oath as me? Here it is for reference:

 

"I swear -- by my life and my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

"to live for" I interpreted as "to connect to." Such connections are emotional as well as mental and they are the ways we live our lives. The idea of conflict with help involved I took from something I read in the review of a book on Rand's biography: “No one helped me,” Rand [... wrote], “nor did I think it was anyone’s duty to help me.” In fact, her family and American friends helped her quite a lot. She moved in with, and borrowed money from, relatives in Chicago, one of whom owned a theater where she watched hundreds of movies for free." I would agree with you that her relatives helped her and did not live for her, yet what they did was a big part of their lives (and hers as well).
 

Nowhere does it say other people should not help (or any synonym of help). [...] Where'd you get the idea that the oath says there should be no (emotional) connection? [...] For Objectivism, it's about "sense of life", not the person's level of objectivity specifically.

This sense of life is completely lacking from my reading of Objectivism. To me, emotional connections stimulate mental connections (when values are reflected/perceived in the person of another). Therefore, emotional connections are also values. Helping someone you like should be considered a virtue because you are doing something valuable for your own sake: connecting with another who is a value to oneself. In all the hate and criticism against "mystics," Rand had lost track of this because her enemies became a bigger part of her life than her friends. Here is a quote from The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Nathaniel Branden, who helped make The Virtue of Selfishness as well rounded as it is: "I don't know of anyone other than the Church fathers in the Dark Ages who used the word "evil" quite so often as Ayn Rand."

 

EDIT:

Additionally, Eioul:

I think you have no evidence that social capital will ever work on a national scale.

I am reading about social capital, and I am led to believe that it will be successful. We are comparing a small intransigent market in the middle of nowhere and a national and then global market. Wouldn't you want to be a part of a market with a GDP of a nation?

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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Ilya, your posts are mostly incomprehensible and arbitrary nonsense... a series of sentences put together to make it seem like they're saying something.

The Woody Allen parody of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky; 'Love and Death'.

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dream_weaver:

In Objectivism, trading with money and with emotions are separate things. Emotional economy is perfectly reflected on the commonality of all trade in this quote from the trader principle: "Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect" (my italics). I interpreted this payment economically and literally. In my opinion, rational and emotional values should be inseparable.

Clearly you are able to make the distinction between them. We can separate them for consideration, integrate them into the rest of our awareness, and they are inseparable in that man is an indivisible whole. My desire for the emotional value of happiness is satisfied by the rational understanding of what makes that possible, and rationally choosing such a course of action, resulting in that emotional sense of well-being.

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Clearly you are able to make the distinction between them. We can separate them for consideration, integrate them into the rest of our awareness, and they are inseparable in that man is an indivisible whole. My desire for the emotional value of happiness is satisfied by the rational understanding of what makes that possible, and rationally choosing such a course of action, resulting in that emotional sense of well-being.

This sounds great. In theory. How it's applied in practice for Objectivists - I have no idea. Do I agree with the whole then or maybe with only some of its parts? I still do not understand myself why I get so many intense negative emotions from Objectivism. I hated so many parts of Atlas Shrugged that, frankly, it was the hardest book that I have ever read. You can see from many comments I wrote on it that I radically disagree with many parts. I felt intense abhorrence for what Rand wrote. The Virtue of Selfishness was better, but maybe because some of the best articles were written by Nathaniel Branden. My only criticisms were for Rand's articles in it.

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This sounds great. In theory. How it's applied in practice for Objectivists - I have no idea. Do I agree with the whole then or maybe with only some of its parts? I still do not understand myself why I get so many intense negative emotions from Objectivism. I hated so many parts of Atlas Shrugged that, frankly, it was the hardest book that I have ever read. You can see from many comments I wrote on it that I radically disagree with many parts. I felt intense abhorrence for what Rand wrote. The Virtue of Selfishness was better, but maybe because some of the best articles were written by Nathaniel Branden. My only criticisms were for Rand's articles in it.

When it comes to understanding theory - others may be able to shed some insights, saving you the time of discovering it all on your own, by yourself. 

When it comes to putting something into practice - there is only one individual that can do it.

 

Isolate the theory. I said: My desire for the emotional value of happiness is satisfied by the rational understanding of what makes that possible - and then acting according.

My desire for an emotional value (love, happiness, enjoyment, fill in the blank) is satisfied by understanding what makes (love, happiness, enjoyment, fill in the blank) it possible.

 

To pursue love, identify the cause(s) of love. Love is an emotional response to a value we identify in another. Introspect. Identify what you value, in yourself and in others. Trustworthiness? Seek trustworthy people. Honesty? Seek honest people. Charitableness? Seek charitable people. A combination of the aforementioned? Seek those who exude those characteristics you value. When you encounter and identify those characteristics in others, you'll understand why you are drawn to and love them.

 

To pursue enjoyment, recognize when you are enjoying yourself. Assess what is going on, and what it is you enjoy about it. Pursue more of the same for more enjoyment.

 

Standing outside the record store and bemoaning you do not know what kind of music you like will not get you any closer. You need to go inside the store, put the headphones on and try listening to a variety of music. When you find something you like - make a note of it. When you find a number of things you like - see if there is anything in common among them - i.e., Jazz, Rock, Classical, New Age, etc.

 

The theory is, you have to step into the store and put on the headphones. The practice is whether you do it or not.

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Therefore, emotional connections are also values. Helping someone you like should be considered a virtue because you are doing something valuable for your own sake: connecting with another who is a value to oneself.

I agree. You seem to be saying that Objectivism says that one should avoid any emotional connections, though, which I disagree with. Keep Rand's personality out of that evaluation. She probably should've acknowledged the help she received and focus more on the positives in life. Maybe she was different in person. What you should evaluate is the literature that counts towards laying out her philosophy, and for emotions, I hope you read the Romantic Manifesto for more on sense of life, albeit the explanation is far from a complete philosophical theory, unlike her whole view of ethics and that selfishness should essentially be reconceptualized from its common meaning/distortion.

Would you explain more of what you mean by "connections" and "to connect to"? I'm asking for myself and someone else.

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Keep Rand's personality out of that evaluation. She probably should've acknowledged the help she received and focus[ed] more on the positives in life.

Thank you for mentioning this. I can see now how her followers, such as yourself, are making her philosophy into a truly positive and grand achievement.

 

Would you explain more of what you mean by "connections" and "to connect to"?

Connections are simply relationships, nothing more nor less. These relationships can be strong, such as intracommunal bonds in social capital, or weak, such as intercommunal bridges between individuals in different communities. A connection is initiated by one's free will. It starts with an emotional perception of another (through one's heart) and feeling the other's response to your action (words are also actions, as Kenneth Burke argued). Once the emotional connection is established, the mental connection is underway to find whether your thought patters cohere. Once coherence is found in both emotional and mental connections, the full relationship is established. Thus, relationships are both subjective and objective.

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Let me elaborate more. Emotions are automatic when they are directed at anything without a mind. For example, I like to play particular computer games and my emotions are automatically positive with some kind of games and negative with others. However, whenever another person is involved, there is an overlap of emotions because emotions are, through relational connections, reflected upon each constituent member of a collective, whether it's a friendship, family, community, or the entire society. The more emotional connections there are, the more difficult to define emotions as automatic. The possibilities become truly endless. For example, if my good friend wants to play a game with me - even a game that I hate - I might actually get positive emotions from that game. The same thing about other people. I like slim brunettes and do not like fat people (sexually), but if some slim brunette is cold and ignores me whereas a fat lady is happy and I like the emotions that she expresses, I might get more positive emotions from the latter than the former. To sum up, whenever people enter the equation of "emotions are automatic from mind," things get a lot more complicated and subjective and thus nearly impossible to predict, but not necessarily so.

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By the way, your "National Emotion Bank" is great potential for dystopian fiction...

So far, this is the only criticism of Neo-objectivism. I want to point out to you, from III.2:

"There will be more freedom than we have right now and less regulations and infringement in personal lives because E is a self-regulating economy. It will be a market economy where people will be truly responsible for their values and trade because they will internalize it."

The monetary corollary to the National Emotion Bank is The Federal Reserve Bank (and its 12 subsidiaries). The Federal Reserve is not a tyrant. The banks do not rule or condition your lives. They facilitate them. And the market cannot exist without a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve System was created "in response to a series of financial panics." Please, direct criticism at the Federal Reserve System, so I can more clearly see the problems that you have with Emotional economy.

 

P.S. Before coming up with arguments against taxation, I would like to point out that the Fed serves as a central nervous system of the country, that is, its brain. The Neb would then serve as the circulatory system, that is, the heart. "The heart" has no taxation, for it uses a non-material, unlimited currency.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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Reading about Rudolf Steiner here is what I found:
"Steiner disagrees with the kind of libertarian view that holds that the State and the economy are kept apart when there is absolute economic competition. According to Steiner's view, under absolute competition, the most dominant economic forces tend to corrupt and take over the State, in that respect merging State and economy." In other words, the state and the economy must be kept independent from each other, and cooperative economic life is the best way to do it.

 

P.S. Ibid.: "Steiner held that State and economy, given increased separateness through a self-organizing and voluntarily more cooperative economic life, can increasingly check, balance, and correct each other for the sake of continual human progress. In Steiner’s view, the place of the State, vis-a-vis the self-organizing, cooperative economy, is not to own the economy or run it, but to regulate/deregulate it, enforce laws, and protect human rights" (my bold emphasis).

P.P.S. Before you scream that Rudolf Steiner is a mere spiritualist and cannot understand Objectivism, here is another quote: "Since taxes are controlled by the state, cultural initiatives supported by taxes readily fall under government control, rather than retaining their independence."

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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