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How Did You Discover Objectivism?

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The unrelenting mischaracterization of her ideas in popular magazines actually made me more interested ("...why are these people acting so insane in response to Ayn Rand?...).

Proof positive: don't be afraid of detractors spreading falsehoods about Ayn Rand. It will just drive them to us that much faster :)

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I discovered Objectivism when I was 16. I was reading a newspaper which had an article about Conservative MPs thinking about splitting from the party and forming a much more capitalist and socially liberal party, so much they were using the question 'who is John Galt?' when communicating by email the article reported. Their leader was Micheal Portillo, a former Secretary of Defence, he made a leadership bid in 2001 but lost, despite everyone thinking he was going to win (he perhaps foolishly admitted he had homosexual experiences in his youth and many conservatives are homophobic). In 2005 he resigned as an MP and has left politics altogether sadly. I often think what would the UK look like if he had won.

Edited by daniel

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My dad and I were once talking about books and he told me that people (in India) read Ayn Rand books "to look cool". I found a copy and started reading. Ironically i was introduced to it because of the same principles she defines as being wrong.

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When I was a kid I read a lot and would go through bookshelves and read random books that looked interesting. One time I came across AS, read a few pages and went on to the next one. I think I was about 13 or so at the time. When I was 20 I got kicked out of the Air Force ( long story ) and was out of work for a few months. I came across Atlas Shrugged again and started to read it. I didn't finish it until a few years later. I used to read 5 books at a time and rotate them out. Finally when I finished it I went out and bought "The Fountainhead" and "Capitalism:The Unkown Ideal". After I finished those I discovered Capitalism.org and frequented the forum there.

I wish I had been exposed in school like some of you others, didn't hear a peep in school and went to quite a few different public schools. ;)

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A friend of my mom's suggested Atlas Shrugged to her, and I saw her reading it and thought it looked interesting. She would sometimes summarize pieces of the plot to me as she went. When she got around to finishing it, I snatched it, started reading it myself, and was hooked. It's kind of ironic, since (with the exception of epistemology, which we haven't discussed), my mom's philosophy is the exact opposite of Objectivism.

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I had read The Fountainhead in middle school, and read Atlas Shrugged during my first year in high school. My mom gave me her copy of The Fountainhead, and a friend of mine encouraged me to read Atlas Shrugged by offering to by an eighth of weed for anyone who would do it :thumbsup:. At the time I was sort of an anarchist/libertarian, and confused selfishness with hedonism. Needless to say, some of my habits at the time quelled my interests in academic pursuits.

My introduction to Objectivism came at the end of my freshman year, I borrowed my mother's copy of Philosophy: Who Needs It? I would come to read more of Ayn Rand's nonfiction (and some of Peikoff's) in high school, in between skipping class and ingesting poisons. It was fun, but seriously retarded the progress of my learning and ego. This is when I started to become an Objectivist. It wasn't until recently that I began to apply the philosophy consistently and quit the drugs.

Incidently, I implicitly hated everything that seriously messed with my mind. Hallucinogens were the worst, they made me feel like I had no control :sorcerer:, so I didn't do them much... I stuck to stuff like pain killers, speed and pot. The more I internalized the philosophy and integrated my knowledge of the nature of emotions, the more I started to feel uncomfortable with the small stuff (like pot).

So, being introduced to Objectivism sort of saved my mind in a literal/physical sense, too. I like to think it did the same for my friend, because he also cut out the substances.

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... a friend of mine encouraged me to read Atlas Shrugged by offering to by an eighth of weed for anyone who would do it :thumbsup:.  ...
Hmm! An idea for ARI perhaps :sorcerer: Interesting story. It gave me an idea that might appear unrelated at first glance: perhaps ARI should offer 100 "consolation prizes" of $50 each for the Fountainhead and Anthem contests.

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I think it's amazing that a lot of poster's parents were into/knew of Objectivism. Skap35, I am especially interested in the fact that you grew up on Objectivist principals. I'm 15, and have had a hard time battling myself over the point in life. It was not until I started to read The Fountainhead that I began to appreciate life. As you, Skap, grew up on Objectivism, I have thought about what it would have been like if I had too, and not brought up Catholic. A personal goal for myself is for when and if I have a child, to introduce Objectivism into my own child's life. I truly think that if Objectivism was part of a child's upbringing, that they would be able to live happier, more productive lives earlier on instead of battling through the cultural trends of today that are pretty much corrupting people.

As for finding out about Objectivism, it was a long process. I am an avid listener of Rush, and had known for a while that 2112 was correlated with Rand's Anthem. I never actually understood the lyrics to 2112 until I read Anthem though. Unfortunately, I did not pick up The Fountainhead for at least, oh, 6 months later. I had somewhat of a mental breakdown, and I contacted one of my teachers about my problem. They noticed that I was interested in Anthem (we discussed it for summer reading) and she encouraged me to look more into Rand's works (she's never read Rand herself). I loved Rand's writing style and I soon began to see why I was unhappy. Since then, I have been incredibly happy and have found reason to work hard and to love my life.

I tend to ramble...

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I'm another person who owes a lot to Terry Goodkind. A friend of mine is into fantasy books and he introduced me to the SoT series. Once I started reading them I just couldn't stop. I read all 9 of the books in 17 days...then went to Terry's website, which has a link to the ARI. I looked around and went get Atlas Shrugged at the book store soon after that. :dough:

Incidentally, my friend has a lot of views in common with me. He's an atheist/agnostic and is pro-capitalism and individual rights. I'm trying to pull him to Objectivism, but he's not all that into philosophy. Oh well, just about the only thing I can't convince him on is to get rid of the public school system. I think a lot of that has to do with his mother and sister being teachers.

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I discovered Objectivism when I was 16. I was reading a newspaper which had an article about Conservative MPs thinking about splitting from the party and forming a much more capitalist and socially liberal party, so much they were using the question 'who is John Galt?' when communicating by email the article reported. Their leader was Micheal Portillo, a former Secretary of Defence, he made a leadership bid in 2001 but lost, despite everyone thinking he was going to win (he perhaps foolishly admitted he had homosexual experiences in his youth and many conservatives are homophobic). In 2005 he resigned as an MP and has left politics altogether sadly. I often think what would the UK look like if he had won.

This is the same reason as me, although I was twenty-one I think (I think it was like 2001/2002)! I can remember the article in the Guardian talking about it. I went straight to the library but they did not have it. It was not until a lady I worked with lent it to me that I read "The Fountainhead". I thought it was phenomenal.

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I discovered Objectivism when I was 16. I was reading a newspaper which had an article about Conservative MPs thinking about splitting from the party and forming a much more capitalist and socially liberal party, so much they were using the question 'who is John Galt?' when communicating by email the article reported. Their leader was Micheal Portillo, a former Secretary of Defence, he made a leadership bid in 2001 but lost, despite everyone thinking he was going to win (he perhaps foolishly admitted he had homosexual experiences in his youth and many conservatives are homophobic). In 2005 he resigned as an MP and has left politics altogether sadly. I often think what would the UK look like if he had won.

I think I have exactly the same reason. I remember reading an article about the Conservative Party Conference, I think back in like 2001/2002. It said that Ayn Rand was the talk of the tories. So anyway, I went to the libabry but the librarian had never heard of her and there were none in stock. It was not until a lady at work (who did not seem the type - an old hippy she was) lent me "The Fountainhead" the following winter that I managed to read some.

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I discovered Objectivism through a book club I was a member of, the idea being that we read some works which advocated several different moral philosophies (Cultural Relativism, Subjectivism, Psychological Egoism, Utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics, Social Contract Theory, and a couple of books by Immanuel Kant). After reading the Fountainhead, I was so excited that there were in fact other people who believed as I did in the absolute dominance of the human mind over nature and circumstance. The rest is history...

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..The last page of the book is closed, bruised and bent, like all the pages before - read hard..real hard. The boy reads with a violence. The book hangs limply from his hand, the act of passion finished between his mind and the words. He sits on the couch, its rougher than carpet and seen more dirt, washed so many times its true colors lost. He sits there in defiance of that, of his surroundings. His face whispers innocence, like a young child and angry - like you made him share his toy with a bully.

Lyrics stumble through his gorged synapses and trip between his lips, ' i read dead russian authors volumes at a time..'. He laughs without sound and takes off his glasses with his other hand wiping his eyes with his fingers and his fingers (now salty wet) on the faded plaid couch.

He thinks, "So some one else knows. This changes everything. To bad she's a russian writer who died the year after you were born." He writes her name- "Ayn Rand". He circles letters, swiches them..writes "And Ryan." "Creepy", he whispers aloud.

He puts down the book and stands. He takes the first of many steps..

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In high school, my friends and I were very interested in politics and debate. As a result, I was always looking for things to read that helped me strengthen the logic behind my arguments. Somehow I came across a copy of "The New Left - The Anti-Industrial Revolution" and it blew me away. Such clarity, such razor sharp logic.... I was hooked.

I used to be in YAF in high school...
Wow, it's been a number of years since I've heard those initials. After getting an undergraduate degree I moved to Washington D.C. and starting working for a man named Terry Dolan and NCPAC (the National Conservative Political Action Committee). Terry had his problems later on, but YAF and NCPAC were fairly powerful organizations in their day.

My grandfather taught me about Objectivism when I was a teenager. He hosted a Michigan radio show that advocated Rand and Objectivism, called the Mark Scott Show. So my parents and grandparents basically raised me on Objectivist ideas. So I've known about Objectivism since I was probably in the sixth grade.

Skap, I used to love your grandfather's show. Mark Scott was on WXYZ radio (1270 AM) in Detroit during the late 1980s and most of the 1990s. He and his fellow broadcaster David Newman were far and away the finest talk show hosts in America - bar none. I didn't know Mark personally, but I was lucky enough to have met him a couple of times at different events. He was a great man and I was very sorry to hear that he passed away. Cheers to you and the memory of your grandfather.

Phil

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When I was 14-15 I picked up Atlas Shrugged on a book run to Barnes and Noble. It was reccommended to me by a friend, Mark. I had, up until that time, been a rather troubled conservative (specifically altruism vs individual rights. The conflict bothered me - I kept having the nagging feeling that in a moral system no such contradiction would have existed. I was right.)

And now, well...I'm here. I suppose that says a lot.

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When I was in high school (in the mid 1960s), I was a conservative supporter of Barry Goldwater and a follower of Friedrich W. Nietzsche and Oswald Spengler. I had some arguments about ethics and politics with a student of Objectivism. He lent a copy of "Atlas Shrugged" to a mutual friend. I borrowed it from that friend and read it. My intention was to understand my opponent better.

When I got to College, I met two more students of Objectivism and argued with them. Eventually, I decided that I agreed with them about almost everything except free will. So I decided to study Objectivism and began reading many more books about it.

I was active in the Libertarian Party in the late 1970s and early 1980s. But eventually, I decided that they were ineffective in promoting liberty.

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When I was in high school, Anthem was one of the novels required for my English class. I loved Rand's ideas.. and when I mentioned this during class discussion, my teacher made a remark to the class along the lines of "This author has written other books, but you guys shouldn't try those until you're older. They'll warp your minds.." and then turned to me, and added "But you can go ahead and read them now."

Now, I'm still not certain if she was implying that I had the capability to understand the ideas she thought the others too 'young' to handle... or if she was simply saying my mind was already 'warped'.. but either way, I moved on to AS and then FH and have loved Objectivism since!

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