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rameshkaimal

About Sanctioning The Sanctioners

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Given below is a hypothetical scenario involving 2 organizations, O1 & O2, and a group of individuals.

O1 believes in promoting Objectivism as a closed system whereas O2 believes in promoting Objectivism as an open system, or Open Objectivism (OO).

O1 also believes:
1. OO is dishonest because it evades the fact that Objectivism is the name Ayn Rand gave to the philosophy she created during her lifetime.
2. O2 is dishonest because its purpose is to use Ayn Rand's name and the name of her philosophy, to spread ideas she never believed in, and therefore, did not include in her philosophy.

Now suppose there are individuals who want to contribute money to both O1 & O2. These individuals can be categorized as:
1. those who have not seriously thought about OO & O2.
2. those who think they don't have to seriously think about OO & O2.

In other words, since both groups have not, unlike O1, morally judged OO & O2 as dishonest, they find nothing morally wrong with their wanting to also contribute to O2.

Given the above context, if both groups start contributing to O2, what is the proper course of action O1 should take?
1. should O1 decline contributions from all of them since they are implicitly sanctioning OO & O2, which O1 believes are dishonest?
2. should O1 accept contributions from all of them since they are, unwittingly not willfully, sanctioning OO & O2?
If so, is such an action morally consistent with its belief that OO & O2 are dishonest?
3. should O1, before accepting contributions from them, try to convince them to seriously think about OO & O2 and stop contributing to O2?
4. should O1, if it chooses 3, and fails to convince some of them, accept or decline contributions from those who are not convinced and continue to support O2?
If it accepts, is such an action morally consistent with its belief that OO & O2 are dishonest?
5. should O1, if it chooses 3, only accept contributions from those individuals who are convinced by it to seriously think about OO & O2 and stop contributing to O2?

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Let O3 be those who want to contribute money to both O1 & O2, but who have not seriously thought about OO & O2; and let O4 are those who want to contribute money to both O1 & O2, but who think they don't have to seriously think about OO & O2. O1 should happily accept contributions from O3 and O4. And, if no counter-endorsement is implied, then O1 should also accept money from O5, O6...O(n).

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O(my).

The real estate market provides for pre-qualified purchasers.

There have been advertisements on the radio lately of a firm that will purchase account receivables for cash, and assume the risk of collection.

Could this be combined into setting up a pre-screened donations organization? The organization could accept the donation on behalf of the intended recipient. The organization would then examine the books of the donor for eligibility, passing on the donation for those who qualify, keeping the donations of those who do not.

 

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Looking back upon our recent American history with only a sliver of perspective -- yet it is some measure of perspective nonetheless -- I can only lament that these are the exercises which have kept Objectivists up at night, and seemingly continue to do so.

Maybe it never actually happened, or has been exaggerated among those who have discussed it with me, but I've been led to believe that once upon a time there was an actual "Objectivist movement." Something with geniune pop-cultural purchase. What happened to that movement, I do not know. I do not know whether it simply found its time, its moment in the sun, and later fell gradually out-of-step, out-of-fashion... or whether it lived and died with the singular personality of Ayn Rand... or whether it was forcefully derailed by a series of schisms, denunciations, and purges, both during and after Rand's lifetime.

Yet here we find ourselves, today, with our political left crusading with increasing success for "safe spaces" and political correctness, along with their typically toxic progressive agenda, and our political right maintaining its typical religious fervor while also arguing against free trade, against immigration, and pro-xenophobia. We are potentially on the cusp of voting in a man like Donald Trump, a would-be Mussolini for all I can tell -- standing on what is possibly the actual edge of the abyss -- and yet Objectivists still wish to examine one another, or our closest theoretical allies, for agreement on issues like "sanctioning the sanctioners," in order to shun or otherwise punish the smallest disagreement we might find, resulting in a near cultural isolationism, and our own impotence.

Well, like the train crash in Atlas Shrugged, I guess we all have this coming, in our own way. We've piddled around, eating ourselves and each other in a quest to be the most pure, the most righteous. One day Objectivism will change everything: Rand's central ideas are right, and stunning; her writing is genius; and what few errors she might have made in application will finally come out in the wash. But it will not be the present generation who carries that banner forward, I'm increasingly (and distressingly) certain. I no longer expect to live to see it. It will instead belong to those future people who decide to emulate the American Founding Fathers, who had great differences of opinion between them on several crucial subjects, yet managed to set those at least temporarily aside for the purpose of achieving something tangible. Something important.

The ongoing disagreements between those who advocate for Open and Closed Systems, for instance, exist, and are meaningful in their way. But they are almost invisible next to the wide gulf between those who are "Objectivish" and the wider world. And when we push away those whom we should rather be embracing as our closest allies and supporters in the crucial struggles of our time, we only make the world a worse place for everyone, including ourselves.

_________________________________

Note: rameshkaimal, this is not directed towards you personally, or even towards your post. It's just a convenient launching pad for a rant I've been feeling my way towards over the last few weeks, as I've reflected on the sickening burgeoning movements in American politics. They are destructive in a way I've never seen them before, and it staggers me as to how ill-prepared the Objectivist movement stands to deal with it, and how we have not done a better job of changing the culture by now. We've had decades. We had a good start (including world-class novels by one of the all-time great writers). We've had the bloody truth on our side. Yet we've seemingly pissed those advantages away, largely with internecine struggle, and now we reap what we've sown, and I'm angry at many for it, including myself.

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In her answer to the question: how does one lead a rational life in an irrational society? Ayn Rand advocates that one must know clearly one's own moral evaluation of every person, issue and event with which one deals, and act accordingly.

So the individuals in both groups, by contributing to O2 without seriously thinking about OO & O2, are failing to know clearly their own moral evaluation of an organization they are dealing with. If one has not seriously thought about OO & O2, how can one morally evaluate them or even know clearly one's own moral evaluation of them?

Hence the proper course of action for O1 is to try to convince the individuals to seriously think about OO & O2 so that they can morally evaluate OO & O2 with a clear knowledge of what they are doing and why.

If, after becoming convinced, they seriously think about OO & O2, and choose to willfully continue their support of O2, O1 should decline their contribution because accepting it would not be morally consistent with their own belief that OO & O2 are dishonest.

But if they are not convinced they should seriously think about OO & O2, and continue their support of O2, O1 should decline their contribution because their action of dealing with O2 without judging it (and its ideas) would not be morally consistent with what Ayn Rand advocates.

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1 hour ago, DonAthos said:

Note: rameshkaimal, this is not directed towards you personally, or even towards your post. It's just a convenient launching pad...

Probably deserves a thread of its own, because this one will be more like quicksand than launching pad ;)

 

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Can I just not give a s**t? I mean no one sits around and wonders whether everyone at the Adam Smith Institute agrees 100% with everything Adam Smith ever said. In fact, that would be just plain. silly. 

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On 6/28/2016 at 8:27 PM, 2046 said:

Can I just not give a s**t? I mean no one sits around and wonders whether everyone at the Adam Smith Institute agrees 100% with everything Adam Smith ever said. In fact, that would be just plain. silly.

Why bother even thinking at all eh?

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