Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Target Audiences

Rate this topic


Axiomatic
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is a subject that I have been mulling over for a while now and have come to a few conclusions I thought I would share here. A bit of background information first. I was once a socialist. The reason for my being a socialist was that it was the only political view that was compatible with the existing philosophy that I held in metaphysics and and the dominant ethics of this age.

I think that is why young people generally get involved with socialism and socialist activism. Republicanism and Libertarianism are intellectually dishonest doctrines as they both implicitly accept altruism as the fundamental ethics. Socialism on the other hand accepts into a complete political framework the dominant ethics of our age and builds a system not only based upon those ethical principles but allows for and supports the outright rejection of the supernatural.

Now onto Target Audiences. I think that young socialists are more intellectually honest and this is why they would be a more receptive audience to the overall philosophy of Objectvism. I have come to the conclusion that Republicans and Libertarians are the worst enemy as they corrupt and pervert the cause of Liberty by wearing the political clothes of Freedom and espousing the rhetoric of small government and individual rights. We have John Locke to thank for the this in the US.

"The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure." - John Locke

The Republicans and the Libertards are wolves in sheep's clothing carrying the ethics of altruism, allowing for the metaphysics and epistemology of religion whilst wearing the clothes of supposed Liberty. As such O'ists should guard against this worst of enemies and target as a valid audience of their views the left which by philosophical standards are at least more intellectually honest and semi-rational people.

This collaboration and agreement on political issues with the religious right and the libertarians that I see in the media and also within O'ist circles is disturbing and undermines the course of our future, by giving an unearned legitimacy to the irrational Right and the Libertarians and this is exactly what they are seeking and hoping for at this time.

This is just a warning, I hope it will be received well.

Edited by Axiomatic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 57
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Wouldnt this "association" of Objectivism with all aspects of Libertarianism and the right only be thought of as full for people who are ignorant of our epistemology and ethics? So that basically the only ones fooled or pushed away are those who accept second-handed ideas and do not penetrate the meaning of things on their own?

I know that Objectivism will have problems being accepted among the majority but I think it is better for people to investigate our ideas and really comprehend them in order to follow Objectivism. Not to mention that you can agree with some areas and still be differentiated from that philosophy. This whole argument has sort of been encompassed in the Brook on Beck topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If one looks at the student-age audience, I don't agree that those who lean left are more honest than their cohorts who lean right or libertarian. Many young people of all stripes honestly accept altruism. Many of those who lean toward the right do so for a simple reason: they think it is a practical way to achieve government-sponsored common good. The whole neo-Conservative movement was originally a Trotsky-ite group, that honestly confronted the notion that the traditional implementations of socialism are impractical. They figured that you have to let rich folk keep some of their money, and you have to let them have some fun. They realized that one must have a healthy host off which to feed. How are such people less honest than those on the left who refuse to see the blatant failures of socialism, and who evade reality while praising places like Cuba? More dangerous? Perhaps,... but more honest? I don't see how. A fair number of younger people who lean right do not lean heavily toward religion. Many are tired of issues like abortion and gay-rights being such a focus.

I would agree that there is a huge audience of rational, left-leaning folk who would make a great audience for Objectivism. The really important question is: how to address this audience? The ARI essay context will do so. However, when it comes to mass-media, there's a stumbling block. Getting on to MS-NBC seems too ambitious; but, I'm sure ARI would welcome the opportunity to become regular on something like CNN.

Part of the problem is that the most common topics on mass-media are related to politics, particularly related to economics. So, when it comes to advocating (say) against religion, there really aren't many mass-media opportunities. One problem is simply not debated very much, unless some specific law is up for consideration. So, ARI is relegated to doing that in college-lectures, like their Religion vs. Morality lecture. I agree that Objectivism should build a brand that is distinct from the American right, and I believe it will.

What's needed are some good ideas here: about how to appeal to the young left-wing college student in a way that he thinks: "this sounds interesting, and different from the typical right-wing rubbish I come across."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To make it more clear, which statement do you think is more intellectually honest:

"Let them have fun for a while and then eventually we will get around to sacrificing them"

OR

"We must sacrifice them right away because it is the right thing to do on ethical grounds"

???

Edit: I think I just summed up the the left/right dichotomy in the U.S right there.

Edited by Axiomatic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To make it more clear, which statement do you think is more intellectually honest:

"Let them have fun for a while and then eventually we will get around to sacrificing them"

OR

"We must sacrifice them right away because it is the right thing to do on ethical grounds"

???

Edit: I think I just summed up the the left/right dichotomy in the U.S right there.

I actually don't think idea is "... we will get down to sacrificing them in the long run". I think it is basically summed up as "there is a limit to the sacrifice that must be demanded; after a point, it becomes counter productive (i.e. mutual sacrifice)." So, one might phrase it as "we must sacrifice them on ethical grounds, but not too much".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or: "We can bleed them some, but don't want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."

Back in the day I was a utilitarian, I thought of it as utilizing the "bad" impulses in such a way that good ended up resulting. I still hear conservatives talk this way, see Thomas Sowell's constrained vision. (Actually discussed by Bill Whittle on Afterburner in PJTV.com--I'd get you a better link but this connection is glacial.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually don't think idea is "... we will get down to sacrificing them in the long run". I think it is basically summed up as "there is a limit to the sacrifice that must be demanded; after a point, it becomes counter productive (i.e. mutual sacrifice)." So, one might phrase it as "we must sacrifice them on ethical grounds, but not too much".

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When has that happened, can you cite any examples of Objectivists who represent Objectivist organizations agreeing with anti-Objectivist political stances?

EDIT: Changed "issues" to "stances" for clarity.

You are obscuring the issue by presenting an Objectivist and anti-Objectivist dichotomy in political views . The fact is that Libertards and Republicans have similar political goals 'on the surface', but do not really support such Liberties or a rational way to make them possible in reality. Therefore any agreement on those political issues with such persons give credence to those who are the worst enemies of freedom.

You know exactly which examples I refer too. There is already a thread on that particular issue that I will add to at a later date when I have the appropriate emailed response.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree with that premise of your argument which says that Objectivists currently collaborate and agree with the modern right and libertarianism.

If you prefer I shall ignore that disagreement as I do not think it has any relevance to your question.

I was a conservative before I became an Objectivist. I do not believe that members of the modern political left are inclined to be any more intellectually honest or rational than members of the modern political right, or than libertarians. I have met democrats who are nihilists, democrats who agree that we all can't help but be selfish, and that's why we should be sacrificed to those who need, and republicans who are trotskyites. Do you have anything other than anecdotal evidence to support the claim that democrats are more intellectually honest than republicans?

Do you feel that targeting -both- audiences is detrimental somehow? I do not see why one should not try to appeal to people of all political parties so long as in the process one does not compromise one's own principles or sanction immoral behavior of others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is utterly divorced of context. Check any work from any serious Objectivist, you will note the absence of "Dear socialists," or "Dear Libertarians" from the top of the page.

It is also worth pointing out that no examples of the supposed sanction or advocacy of libertarian or conservative movements have been cited.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is utterly divorced of context. Check any work from any serious Objectivist, you will note the absence of "Dear socialists," or "Dear Libertarians" from the top of the page.

It is also worth pointing out that no examples of the supposed sanction or advocacy of libertarian or conservative movements have been cited.

This whole post of yours is what is completely out of context.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Philosophical precedent is definitely relevant, however not all members of the modern political parties are aware or even agree with the philosophies which are their progenitors. Political parties are not cohesive philosophical movements, as they completely ignore the first two branches of philosophy. It is for this reason that Ayn Rand believed it is impossible to spread the ideals of Objectivism via a political party, as they are not about ideas at all.

Many members of any political party will have significant compartmentalization in their personal philosophies. Not everyone inside the party is a mindless drone just following any and all ideas spouted by the party's founding principles, or the leaders of the party. Because of this, ignoring an entire group of people simply because they follow one of the major political parties which has many mistaken views is irrational. It is possible that people who belong to the republican party or libertarian party are only there because they do not know what -they- want but they know that they do not agree at all with socialism. This seems to be an admirable trait.

I would also like to point out that ad hominem is neither pertinent nor honest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Philosophical precedent is definitely relevant, however not all members of the modern political parties are aware or even agree with the philosophies which are their progenitors. Political parties are not cohesive philosophical movements, as they completely ignore the first two branches of philosophy. It is for this reason that Ayn Rand believed it is impossible to spread the ideals of Objectivism via a political party, as they are not about ideas at all.

Many members of any political party will have significant compartmentalization in their personal philosophies. Not everyone inside the party is a mindless drone just following any and all ideas spouted by the party's founding principles, or the leaders of the party. Because of this, ignoring an entire group of people simply because they follow one of the major political parties which has many mistaken views is irrational. It is possible that people who belong to the republican party or libertarian party are only there because they do not know what -they- want but they know that they do not agree at all with socialism. This seems to be an admirable trait.

.

I agree to some extent that there are those on the 'right' that are only members of that group for sense of life reasons, but that is about as far as it goes. I also think these people are not anywhere near the majority that make up the conservative right.

Edited by Axiomatic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic deals with two separate but related issues.

The first is the target audience of Objectivist efforts, the second is the alleged appeasement of the right wing/libertarian movements.

On the issue of a target audience, I do not see any cause for concern. All philosophical activism by an Objectivist will merely be pointing out the truth, in some form or another. Nobody in the movement is playing up certain ideas to please a certain audience, while keeping hush about the ones they disagree with. As such, Objectivist efforts are always addressed at the same audience: anyone willing to think about them honestly, it makes no discrimination over what political ideas or philosophical misconceptions they currently hold. The only circumstance in which I can see this being an issue is in minor strategic decisions. For example, it may be the case that there are a greater number of intellectually honest people on the left (though this has by no means been established), and therefore left leaning newspapers should be targeted with greater priority. Is this the extent of your point?

The second issue is of far greater importance. I agree that sanction of the right, simply because of some political overlap, is suicide for any movement. When the truth is compromised for a falsehood, only the falsehood benefits. However - beyond the dwindling pseudo-Objectivist circles of David Kelley and the like I do not see any examples of this happening. Anyone who can show me a legitimate instance of this happening will have my full attention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the issue of a target audience, I do not see any cause for concern. All philosophical activism by an Objectivist will merely be pointing out the truth, in some form or another. Nobody in the movement is playing up certain ideas to please a certain audience, while keeping hush about the ones they disagree with. As such, Objectivist efforts are always addressed at the same audience: anyone willing to think about them honestly, it makes no discrimination over what political ideas or philosophical misconceptions they currently hold.

I'm wondering though, what Objectivist in recent years has communicated Objectivist-type ideas to any significantly sized audience, besides Yaron Brook? For the reasons Ax stated, I definitely think any self-defined liberal or even socialist would be most receptive to Objectivist ideas. It definitely matters who you tell your ideas to, whether or not you change the way you talk about ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a subject that I have been mulling over for a while now and have come to a few conclusions I thought I would share here. A bit of background information first. I was once a socialist. The reason for my being a socialist was that it was the only political view that was compatible with the existing philosophy that I held in metaphysics and and the dominant ethics of this age.

I think that is why young people generally get involved with socialism and socialist activism.

I can infer that by "dominant ethics of this age" you refer to altruism. You also are asserting a similarity in metaphysics, but I cannot guess on what basis. Both theist vs. atheist metaphysics can be compatible with the ethical altruism of socialism. Religious socialism is a real phenomena even if it is not something you have experienced.

Republicanism and Libertarianism are intellectually dishonest doctrines as they both implicitly accept altruism as the fundamental ethics. Socialism on the other hand accepts into a complete political framework the dominant ethics of our age and builds a system not only based upon those ethical principles but allows for and supports the outright rejection of the supernatural.

What do you think "intellectually dishonest" means? It is supposed to mean evading a truth or intentionally omitting evidence counter to your position. (I just looked it up). Are you asserting the dishonesty in being theist and altruist is somehow worse than the dishonesty in atheist altruism by socialists? No, I think you are saying the superficial identification of Republican and Libertarians with freedom and rights is dishonest while the economic authoritarianism of the socialists is not dishonest, and that 'not dishonest' means something significant.

My response to this is that you are splitting hairs. There is no such thing as "Republicanism", a political party in the U.S. is not a philosophy. "Conservatism" and "Libertarianism" are ideologies but also incoherent jumbles. Broad generalizations about the psychoepistemologies of typical conservatives, libertarians and socialists are as unjustifiable as any other psychologizing.

Now onto Target Audiences. I think that young socialists are more intellectually honest and this is why they would be a more receptive audience to the overall philosophy of Objectvism. .... the left which by philosophical standards are at least more intellectually honest and semi-rational people.

Your method of arguing for this case has been entirely based on what strings of words go together better, i.e. rationalism. The most common reason somebody is an atheist today is epistemological skepticism. This is not necessarily a more fruitful starting place from which to make the case for Objectivism than is theism.

The "Target Audience" is the whole world, whoever will listen. Fox News is a good platform to appear on by that standard because it actually has an audience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the other option is "death," we'll go with the Libertards, who have been saying they think that Individual Rights and Freedoms and Boundaries, Responsibilities and Rewards {all of which are necessary and when "others" usurp for themselves the right to dictate to me and any else of us who declined to contribute to a proffered act of defense against intrusion: the government may not initiate the use of force. Its use of the retaliatory powers vested in it to use force in retaliation against its initiation render it passive, a responder, not an Initiator. Only Individual Men may initiate the process of launching a retaliatory statement of defence and claims for costs as they arise. It begins cheaply enough. With the cost of some paper, a $25 fee to register the document - and that's how we raise honest funds. People who value a potential relationship enough to register its existence, to put the government on notice of its existence and establish a defence fund from the get-go. The cost of paying a fee to register the existence of a complex trade agreement between Two Intelligent Humans (which comprise all thinking individuals who signed up to become an Individual.

$25 please. In gold. Send it care of First Nations v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Torontario.

I'm saying it's time to claim back that portion of Canada that belongs to those who have always valued the Individual. An Indian.

* * *

The deal with the Queen, so they have told is that when the case came back to Court, it was time to re-tell the story of how the Treaty was really signed.

Indians were in the quest of discovering how Individuality actually worked, and we had earned a number of the first letters of the word Individual.

Earning Individualhood and a chance at an island in the suns' reach, was of paramount importance. It turned out that Altruism had saved them, so the story seems to unfold. But no.

A voice awoken. The men of the King who first imposed this syystem on us used force on our forebears to take from them what was theirs. That a Treaty was signed indicates that a peiod of many generations would pass before it would again come before the Court, to be decided its fate, with the World's future hanging in the balance.

An individual human girlwoman of the northern Hemisphere with southern exposure x 1 + 3. Politics results as soon as you cohabit, man wit woman. As soon as you have groups of generations working well together, with things getting better and better until there is reached a point at which continuing the same path will prove disastrous. A change need be made. And it happens that whomever wants to leave is wished a safe journey.

What we want is to achieve optimum freedom. That entails the recognition that the banning of coercion or "the initiation of force" is the achievement of retaliation, the only permissible use.

Edited by AllMenAreIslands
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the other option is "death," we'll go with the Libertards, who have been saying they think that Individual Rights and Freedoms and Boundaries, Responsibilities and Rewards {all of which are necessary and when "others" usurp for themselves the right to dictate to me and any else of us who declined to contribute to a proffered act of defense against intrusion: the government may not initiate the use of force. Its use of the retaliatory powers vested in it to use force in retaliation against its initiation render it passive, a responder, not an Initiator. Only Individual Men may initiate the process of launching a retaliatory statement of defence and claims for costs as they arise. It begins cheaply enough. With the cost of some paper, a $25 fee to register the document - and that's how we raise honest funds. People who value a potential relationship enough to register its existence, to put the government on notice of its existence and establish a defence fund from the get-go. The cost of paying a fee to register the existence of a complex trade agreement between Two Intelligent Humans (which comprise all thinking individuals who signed up to become an Individual.

$25 please. In gold. Send it care of First Nations v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Torontario.

Wtf??? What a bizarre performance. Don't do drugs and post on OO.net.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...