Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
dadmonson

What books should I read: I want to get more blacks interested in objectivism.

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Question is pretty much in the title: ...Affirmative action ,slavery, white priveledge, gangs, some rap music, selective knowledge of history etc. These things need to be dealt with,  Any ideas?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dadmonson,

Persuasion is not an easy task for many of us. In most cases, an individual must come to his/her own senses, and realize that they are an individual. To inform them about Objectivism may not be necessary; it may be best to let people be as they are. I know of people who would be quite naturally inclined to approve of Objectivism, but for the fact that they are weighed down with the conventional challenges of life, and won't take the time to read Ayn Rand. While there are only a few of these people that I know of personally, such people tend to take the necessary actions to achieving their goals and happiness. There is no reason to impress them with any details, when they already follow a rational code of behavior. Generally, I let them know that I support their lifestyle, and I might even ask some question to find out if they've any knowledge of Ayn Rand. 

3 hours ago, dadmonson said:

Question is pretty much in the title: ...Affirmative action ,slavery, white priveledge, gangs, some rap music, selective knowledge of history etc. These things need to be dealt with,  Any ideas?  

Are you sure these things need to be dealt with? In what way? If a greater understanding of history is what you're looking for, there are many books you could read until you become an expert on the subjects. But my experiences with African-Americans is that their metaphysics are firmly rooted in their religious background. Selling Objectivism to such people would be nearly impossible. If you meet anyone openly atheist/agnostic, exudes confidence in their industriousness, and disapproves of the welfare state, you might find an ally regardless as to the person's complexion. Knowledge is power. I hope you find as much knowledge as will inform you about the history of the march to freedom that led to the Declaration of Independence, and the continuing complexity of achieving universal liberty, for your own sake. Don't be disappointed that people resist reason; it's their life. Freeing one's mind is only a start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black Americans are part of American culture. All those ideas you list (revisionist history, affirmative action, etc.) are the products of American culture, not black culture. Blacks didn't come up with them, (mostly white) Americans did.

The way to change black people's minds is through changing the overall culture. There's no reason to focus on one racial group or another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Racism is a hot topic right now. There is an article on it in The Virtue of Selfishness. But I'd tailor suggestions to personal preference, no matter what race a person is. If they like reading fiction, set them up with one of Rand's novels instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, dadmonson said:

Question is pretty much in the title: ...Affirmative action ,slavery, white priveledge, gangs, some rap music, selective knowledge of history etc. These things need to be dealt with,  Any ideas?  

I suppose you need to read the books that your target cohort respects. Not sure what that would be: the Bible, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas, ... just throwing some names out, you can replace with actual examples. Do rap fans have some books they love? 

It helps to start from the context of your target. If I want to convince an average Muslim about an idea, it would help if I knew something about the Quran. 

Of course, that doesn't mean you'll be able to convince the person. If you tried convincing a hundred people and not one changed their minds, it would be no surprise. On the other hand, if there's some particular person you'd like to convince, then understanding their context would give you a step up.

Edited by softwareNerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd do well to point out that white supremicism, Jim Crow, whites-only voting and all the rest of it came from the Populists and Progressives. The locus classicus for this is The Strange Career of Jim Crow by C. Vann Woodward, a scholarly history that came out in 1954 and won a Pulitzer and which has been perennial in college history classes ever since. The author starts by refuting the common notion that blacks made progress after the Civil War only as long as military occupation prevailed. He shows that progress went on until the 1890s, when the Populists squelched it. (Shorter sample of Woodward) In the class where I read Woodward's book we also read excerpts from Slavery Defended. In one of the essays, as I recall, a mid-19th-century Marxist argues that a plantation with slaves is the perfect each-according-to-ability-etc commune; the master just happens to have greater needs.

More recent and more partisan sources are Liberal Fascism by Goldberg and Wrong on Race by Bartlett. They document a long history of complicity between racism and welfare statism. Some of this history has come back into the news in the past few years in connection with Woodrow Wilson, famous progressive and famous white supremacist. For example, he issued executive orders requiring segregation in the Capitol visitors' galleries and in Washington government offices. The people who wanted to take Wilson's name off the school at Princeton (where he was a history prof and university president) have apparently just discovered what libertarians have known for decades.

It went on for much longer than that. George Wallace was a big-government type and an early (pre-nomination) supporter of JFK; William Fulbright, founder of the Fulbrght fellowships and early mentor of Bill Clinton) and Albert Gore the elder are some more cases in point.

Another topic worth taking up is the ways in which the welfare state has hurt the poor regardless of race. Thomas Sowell's and Charles Murray's writings are the usual places to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 3:26 PM, dadmonson said:

Question is pretty much in the title: ...Affirmative action ,slavery, white priveledge, gangs, some rap music, selective knowledge of history etc. These things need to be dealt with,  Any ideas?  

The title of your OP asks :

"What books should I read"

 

While the stated goal of your OP states:

"I want to get more blacks interested in objectivism."

 

You will not be able to get anyone interested in anything simply by reading... obviously you are implying a step or action you will take after reading.   What is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few things to think about:

 

1.  Groupism / Victim's identification with or implicit sanctioning of erroneous concepts

An individual which is discernible by group/tribe/collectivist thinking (all of the mainstream currently thinks this way) is marginalized and "discerned" as part of or identified with that group in the culture (this is symptomatic of a rampantly erroneous philosophy generally throughout the culture).

Facts of skin color, "history", ancestry, and the projected particular divisive treatment by the culture becomes to some degree internalized.  Insofar as the mode of thinking of most everyone in society at large, the marginalized see through the same groupist lens - us /them, blacks/whites, men/women, rich/poor.

This results in SOME sense, feeling, or tendency of the person to identify with the group rather than to BE the individual he is.  This is one great problem, an incredibly strong psychological impediment that must be overcome by that individual.

 

First volley:  Point out that Rand was a woman, born Jewish, fled from the imposed poverty of a misguided society (this hooks the groupist mind).

Then show how she advocated the individual and herself believed that Racism is the crudest form of collectivism. (this shows a ray of light which is the freedom from the groupist mentality)

 

2.  Religion

Often, persons of groups which are marginalized lean on each other, form close ties and have a certain psychological dependency on the group or collective... they will cling to each other in the storm and wasteland of marginalization.  There is a need for closeness in the face of adversity.

Persons of these groups also, if resigned to the belief they are stuck in a world which persecutes them (whether or not this is true and to whatever extent), if open to supernaturalism, embrace the hereafter as a consolation and/or salvation for the earthly now, and aspire to a holiness and self-affirmation above the fray of the ugly realities of the day to day.  There is a need for hope and self-esteem in the face of adversity.

Religion has served to fill these needs, being a place for gathering, for song, for hope, for positive proclamations and affirmations.  It feeds off of the group/collective orientation and consoles the despair with comforting falsehoods.

This is not something which is easily given up by anyone indoctrinated by religion, it is doubly hard for those who are in a tight knit community of marginalized collectivized individuals who rely on religion as described above.

 

Second volley: This is the tough one.  It is the same battle every person who has escaped from supernaturalism has had to fight, whether marginalized or not... the fight must be led from rationality.  A realization that all knowledge and evidence comes from the senses and that a claim to the arbitrary is invalid.  My only idea here is make an appeal to living on earth, to success in life, HERE, NOW, and that this is only possible with knowledge and logic, and that they are power, the power to live.  By embracing that power together, encouraging it, valuing it, pressing your peers into education, achievement, one makes the group stronger and demonstrates a departure from false labels imposed broadly upon it (a little hook on the welfare of the community/group).  Superstition and supernaturalism are a dead end, a false hope, an excuse for inaction, and the group needs to change its direction and focus.

But in the end only the individual and his/her life are the crux of the matter, and if life is to be lived to the greatest level of flourishing it must be guided by rationality and objectivity, and based on the needs of the one.  In the end the single person to whom you are speaking must make the choices, the thoughts, the changes.

Rand excels here, providing both the basic material and the required elucidation and detail as one progresses.

 

The Virtue of Selfishness is my suggested starting material you could introduce to someone.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 7:29 PM, Nicky said:

 There's no reason to focus on one racial group or another.

I would suggest there is at least one reason: it seems that particular individuals, at crucial times in their lives, living in adversity, could benefit the most from discovering Rand.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really applaud the fact that there are ample resources for all to explore objectivism for all, including blacks.  Once each of them pursues Objectivism, then it will become apparent that:

1.  Objectivism strongly opposes racism

2.  Objectivism opposes anything related to ethnicity, race, even gender, in its stressing individualism over collectivism.

Books to read?  Perhaps any non-fiction work by Ayn Rand is fair game.  But first, there must be an effort to convince those that Objectivism is NOT Conservatism, NOT white supremacist, the aspects which have been wrongly spread by today's "liberals."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×