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Hello, I'm Aurelia

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Hello Everyone,

I'm new to this site so I'll just tell you a bit about myself. If you don't care who I am, that's perfectly reasonable, you have no reason to. But please don't flame me, just don't read further.

I've been reading up on Objectivism for about 3 years, but I have no background in philosophy. So most of the advance topics are a bit beyond me. It's unfortunate that philosophy isn't offered in most high schools. That's why I'm in college, :D .

I joined this site mostly because I am interested in political activism in the objectivist community and want to learn more. Specifically, I want to learn why objectivism is such a black mark for any politican, and how that can be remedied. I also have a few ideas of my own. Another reason I joined is because my objectivist club only meets on sundays (which I think is fitting, and somewhat ironic.) and doesn't meet during winter or summer break, since it's campus based. I need to talk to rational people more than once a week.

I am a freshman physics major at ASU. I wanted to say, because I've read a few of the previous posts. Americo, I love the second part of your sig, the Atlas Shrugged qoute. That is the subject I am going into. I always thought that it was inexpressibly right that man should have the power to control massive amounts of energy. Like holding a star in our hand. I am interesting in very high energy astrophysics. There are some interesting new ideas about different methods of energy production (I love that phrase :D ), some of the more known ones are antimatter/matter collision, and nuclear fusion. They all have serious technical bugs to be worked out, but that doesn't make it impossible. It's very possible and right.

Anyway, since I can't really discuss philosophy with any credibility, for the time being, I will mostly just read posts. So this will probably be the longest post I write, although I tend to be wordy.

Aurelia :nuke:

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If I would choose a name, it would be this. But no, my name isn't Aurelia. I choose it because it is the fem. form of Marcus Aurelius, who was an incredibly competent man and he reminds me of Hank Rearden. Although I am not familiar with Stoicism, I like how he lived, no matter his philosophy.

GoodOrigamiMan, I have no idea what you mean. Is there another meaning I'm not aware of?

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Welcome aboard! :thumbsup::) I too am primarily a reader of this forum, and I'll be the first to tell you that you've come across a gold mine.

My sister went to ASU (Appalachian State University, right?). My family would drive up from Cary (around Raleigh, where I'm from) during October and visit her. I remember the mountains being beautiful at that time of the year (all of the leaves changing color).

Are you originally from NC, or are you from out of state?

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Welcome to the boards. As for Stoicism, it is not a very good philosophy for anyone to follow, primarily for its emphasis on not showing outward signs of emotion in public as the primary basis of virtue. It also has many other problems.

Marcus Aurelius was the last philosopher emperor of the Roman Empire and really the last gasp of a united empire. I've nothing against him in particular aside from his stoicism, but I see nothing particularly admirable about the man, after all he was a despot.

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its emphasis on not showing outward signs of emotion in public as the primary basis of virtue

Can you substantiate this claim? That's not at all what I learned about the philosophy.

Also, I'm curious what could possibly justify our claim that Marcus Aurelius was a despot.

But I don't want to hijack Aurelia's thread, so it'd be useful if we started a separate thread on the subject.

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[...] I tend to be wordy.

Here is a two-step cure for that problem:

(1) A slow, careful study of Ayn Rand's The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, edited by Robert Mayhew.

(2) Application of the principles learned, especially the subject/theme tool.

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...I have no idea what you mean. Is there another meaning I'm not aware of?

Aurelia means ‘to be golden’… some insects, specifically butterflies, have a golden chrysalis (the shell that protects the pupa while it matures into a butterfly) – a chrysalis with this color is referred to as an Aurelia.

Most terms in biology have a distinguished history, and it was the history part you were aiming for. However I thought it was possible you could be drawing an analogy between yourself and the metamorphosis of a butterfly. It might still be appropriate, but that is for you to say. Regardless, it is a beautiful name.

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I joined this site mostly because I am interested in political activism in the objectivist community and want to learn more. Specifically, I want to learn why objectivism is such a black mark for any politican, and how that can be remedied.

Welcome :angry:

Objectivist views on political issues and the nature of government are (sadly) so far from the mainstream views of people in this country that it would be nearly impossible for an Objectivist to be elected to any political office. Most politicians are Peter Keating type people (assuming you've read The Fountainhead), completely unprincipled, with views on issues changing with the direction of the wind. Under today's political climate, a politician stating he was an Objectivist would be political suicide.

The remedy to this situation is to educate as many people as you can about what capitalism really is and persuade them to understand why it is the only moral political system.

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My sister went to ASU (Appalachian State University, right?). My family would drive up from Cary (around Raleigh, where I'm from) during October and visit her. I remember the mountains being beautiful at that time of the year (all of the leaves changing color).

Are you originally from NC, or are you from out of state?

Actually, I live in the desert. Arizona State University. It sounds like a lovely place, though. I wanted to move to the east coast, because I prefer more of an urban setting. out west there is so much land that even the city's look like suburbs. It gets tedious. But ASU has one of the greatest physics programs in the U.S., so here I remain for the time being.

It's interesting that you'd choose Marcus Aurelius. Where did you learn about him, and in what sense do you relate him to Rearden?

And if this was in a class, then howcome they didn't teach you about Stoicism (not a bad philosophy in its own right)?

I never studied classics in high school, it wasn't offered. I once tried a mythology course, but I ended up checking the teacher's notes for her and lending her my books. It was a waste of time. I got into classics just by reading. Now that I am in college I am making Latin, classics, and philosophy a part of my ciriculum. But I still have a deplorable lack of knowledge in the subjects. So much to do! :thumbsup: . I came upon Aurelius while reading Echo of Greece by Edith Hamilton. I had just read No Man is an Island by Donne and I didn't like it, so when I read Hamilton describe Aurelius, "he is a man alone, facing that everlasting fact by himself" I wanted to know more about him to see if he knew why Donne was wrong. It was good timing.

From my precursory research I understood that Aurelius was the last of the great emporers, as Montesquieu stated so well :thumbsup: . At a time when the granduer of Rome was crumbling he fought off the invading barbarians, dealt with a plague that hit all of the empire, and managed a decaying internal government by enacting reforms. As far as I have read he did it all superbly. But he had family issues, his son was incompetant and his wife was plotting behind his back. I always thought that, like Reardan, he couldn't stand the outside world so he put on an indifferent face to make it unimportant. He was withdrawn, even the abstaining from joy is reminiscient of Reardan. The difference I discovered, is that Reardan learned that one doesn't suffer for greatness, you exalt in it. Aurelius ended up cursing his emporship as a long-suffering duty. I like considering the differences between these two men. I like Aurelius because he isn't a fictional character, and because I found him myself. Ayn Rand didn't tell me what kind of man he was.

Aurelia :angry:

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I think that as far as I can tell, someone who declares themselves committed to reason, and totally without Faith, cannot make it far in the Republican party. And someone who is anti-altruism cannot make it in the Democratic party. Most of the population doesn't want us as their political leaders, because we don't share their values. To change politics, we'll have to change the culture and the educational system. A politician can only change the culture a few degrees. I think an Objectivist would have their best chance in the judicial branch right now.

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Now that I am in college I am making Latin, classics, and philosophy a part of my ciriculum.
Wow!!! That is so incredibly rare! It simply breaks my heart how many students of Objectivism (me too, until just a year ago) have been ignoring the study and crucial importance of the Classics, but here you are, pursuing it by yourself with an utterly delightful determination. :D :D How did you come to study what many people consider to be a useless subject, and how did you begin to study what most call a pointless and "dead" language? I guess we're two of a kind then, because I'm taking Greek right now, and loving it :)

I like Aurelius [...] because I found him myself.
Great motivation, and I know the feeling too. :)

But I still have a deplorable lack of knowledge in the subjects. So much to do!
In that case I hope you stick around on the forum, because we can discuss it :) Check out the History section, which I took the trouble to populate with all the historical threads that have been spread around the forums before. Especially check out the threads on the Roman Republic, Cicero, and World's Greatest Civilization. I'm a huge fan of Rome, as you'll discover. :)

P.S. You must really love the movie Gladiator :lol:

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Wow!!! That is so incredibly rare! It simply breaks my heart how many students of Objectivism (me too, until just a year ago) have been ignoring the study and crucial importance of the Classics, but here you are, pursuing it by yourself with an utterly delightful determination. :D :D How did you come to study what many people consider to be a useless subject, and how did you begin to study what most call a pointless and "dead" language? I guess we're two of a kind then, because I'm taking Greek right now, and loving it :)

Great motivation, and I know the feeling too. :)

In that case I hope you stick around on the forum, because we can discuss it :) Check out the History section, which I took the trouble to populate with all the historical threads that have been spread around the forums before. Especially check out the threads on the Roman Republic, Cicero, and World's Greatest Civilization. I'm a huge fan of Rome, as you'll discover. :D

P.S. You must really love the movie Gladiator  :)

I started at high school with 2h/week classic history at age 13 and continued with 4h/week latin at age 14 to 18. In Europe, young kids having potential would be encouraged to choose the latin-greek, latin-mathematics or latin-science during high school (age 13 to 18). Things changed when it was my turn. Trough education reforms, Latin, Greek etc became optional courses. I mainly chose them to get out of art and music classes but the more I learned the more I liked it.

Making the classics optionnal was the worst mistake ever in the history of education. It's cutting young people from the bedrock of our civilisation :lol:

Fortunatly there are people like Aurelia who go against the flow.

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Thank you, a compliment coming from you means something.

How did you come to study what many people consider to be a useless subject, and how did you begin to study what most call a pointless and "dead" language? I guess we're two of a kind then, because I'm taking Greek right now, and loving it
I've always liked heros. [right now I'm looking for a book that is a serious study in american mytholgy, ie comic book heros. If anyone knows of a good one, please tell] I started by reading simple books in greek mythology in grade school. then I discovered that even though courses in classics aren't offered, advanced english classes usually cover greek/roman literature in the first semester. So I took those. Then, with that, I learned to connect modern classical literature to greek/roman ideas. I was trying to decide between latin/greek, i might eventually do both, because I would catch snippets of an idea I liked and wanted to explore. I wondered what the original intent of the author was. I eventually want to be able to read Roman documents. I am more interested in roman ideas and what they thought of the greeks than the greek ideas. also, I'd heard latin was more mathematical/organized and thought that would make it easier to understand.

P.S. You must really love the movie Gladiator

I hope you're not being sarcastic, because I did. Up until the point where he got stabbed. He couldn't have lost in an honourable fight against Commodus.Why does the hero have die in the first place?

I started at high school with 2h/week classic history at age 13 and continued with 4h/week latin at age 14 to 18. In Europe, young kids having potential would be encouraged to choose the latin-greek, latin-mathematics or latin-science during high school (age 13 to 18). Things changed when it was my turn. Trough education reforms, Latin, Greek etc became optional courses.
Reforms? Sounds like a good system, why would they reform it? There goes my plan to educate my prosepective-future-children in Europe.

I think an Objectivist would have their best chance in the judicial branch right now.

That's interesting, not something I had thought of. I'll have to read up on my judicial branch notes and get back to you. Could you recomend any articles I can look up online or books?

When I approached this topic I was thinking about the political parties and how, you're right, it's impossible to run in either party as an objectivist. I thought the problem was the party platforms. The predominant theory in objectivism right now is to "educate the masses" and modify existing party alignments. That could work, but in the meantime how does one educate the masses. Nobody seems clear about that, and any ideas I've heard are too inclusive (directed at existing objectivists). It would be much more effective to create a new party, the capitalist party. I think it could be wonderfully successful if both methods were used. The capitalist party would lead by example and advocate good business practices within the government and the "educate the masses" people would be right there to explain the theory behind. It's an idea I had and wanted to discuss with other objectivists. So...what do you think :worry: .

Aurelia :nuke:

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When I approached this topic I was thinking about the political parties and how, you're right, it's impossible to run in either party as an objectivist. I thought the problem was the party platforms. The predominant theory in objectivism right now is to "educate the masses" and modify existing party alignments. [...] It's an idea I had and wanted to discuss with other objectivists. [...]

The philosophy Ayn Rand created -- and named -- is Objectivism. Do you mean something else by "objectivism"?

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The predominant theory in objectivism right now is to "educate the masses" and modify existing party alignments. That could work, but in the meantime how does one educate the masses. Nobody seems clear about that, and any ideas I've heard are too inclusive (directed at existing objectivists).

I have been studying Objectivism for more than 40 years. I have not met any leading Objectivists who advocate "educating the masses" about Objectivism. Ayn Rand's own approach was to communicate to the "new intelletuals," that is, the one or two out of a hundred who take ideas seriously.

You might read the introductory essay in For the New Intellectual. She explains there the process of dissemination that always occurs in a society: from the philosopher at the top of the hierarchy of intellectual specialization down to the "man in the street." That way a philosophy gets in the hands of the intellectuals who can present it to those who lack the training or time to engage in philosophy fully. This process of dissemination is very thorough, but it takes a long time -- generations, usually.

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Aurelia, I wasn't sarcastic at all about liking the Gladiator. I loved it! I was also upset about the ending, but I suppose it makes a sad sort of sense, given what happened to everything the hero valued.

Also, I agree with the general meaning of your post: study of the Classics is essentially the study of heroes. That's what draws me to it as well.

I eventually want to be able to read Roman documents.
Just documents? Not books? I remember you saying you've read part of Aeneid by now.

I am more interested in roman ideas and what they thought of the greeks than the greek ideas.
That's interesting, I've never heard someone say that before. Can you explain?
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The philosophy Ayn Rand created -- and named -- is Objectivism. Do you mean something else by "objectivism"?
No...but I think, by what BurgessLau pointed out, is that I am confused about the current theories about expanding the role of objectivism in government. That is why I joined this site. I will be happy to know what you find wrong about my statement.

You might read the introductory essay in For the New Intellectual. She explains there the process of dissemination that always occurs in a society: from the philosopher at the top of the hierarchy of intellectual specialization down to the "man in the street." That way a philosophy gets in the hands of the intellectuals who can present it to those who lack the training or time to engage in philosophy fully. This process of dissemination is very thorough, but it takes a long time -- generations, usually.

Thank you! :D I will certainly read into it, I very much appreaciate your clarification. I have that book, but I might have missed something.

Just documents? Not books? I remember you saying you've read part of Aeneid by now.
Well, yes of course literature as well. I said "documents" meaning manuscripts, which is my catch-all word for ancient texts. I just meant texts in general, as in literature, drama, legislation, journals, etc., anything really.

That's interesting, I've never heard someone say that before. Can you explain?

I didn't mean to imply that I don't like the greeks, I just find the roman civilization to be more impressive. The Greeks had philosophers, architects, poets, scientists, etc. all of which founded the basis for western ideals through their masterpeices. But then the romans built off of that, adding imperial might. I was explaining why I chose to study latin over greek, though it was a hard decision. I would rather be able to read the treaties of roman emporers and a latin translation of plato, rather than the original greek plato.

Aurelia :D

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No...but I think, by what BurgessLau pointed out, is that I am confused about the current theories about expanding the role of objectivism in government. That is why I joined this site. I will be happy to know what you find wrong about my statement.

I was asking this: Why do you say "objectivism" rather than "Objectivism"? Why do you choose to not capitalize the name -- the proper name -- of the philosophy which Ayn Rand created (and named "Objectivism")? Forum Rules prohibit such misspellings.

In the history of philosophy "objectivism," at best, refers merely to a metaphysical (ontological) belief that there are objects independent of consciousness. Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, covers vastly more ground than that: epistemology, ethics, politics, and esthetics, as well as metaphysics.

Another reason for making sure to give Ayn Rand credit for her achievement by capitalizing "Objectivism" is that egalitarians deliberately use lower-case initial letters because they think "big letters" are elitist. A further reason is that some individuals are trying to hijack Objectivism by making it a common name (with "o") rather than a proper name.

Also, you might re-examine your last post, from which the excerpt above comes. You will notice other capitalization errors there: greeks, plato, latin. See the Forum Rules, "Spelling and Grammar." Erratic or erroneous capitalization makes reading difficult and introduces ambiguities. Both slow down reading for your audience.

Thank you!  :D  I will certainly read into it, I very much appreaciate your clarification. I have that book, but I might have missed something.

The very brief section of For the New Intellectual that I had in mind begins on pp. 24-25 (hb) with the words, "In this complex pattern of human co-operation ..." and describes the pattern of dissemination of philosophy from the "ivory tower" to the "man in the street." There is no way to short-circuit that pattern, for society as a whole, although some individuals -- the best ones, such as you -- can read and understand directly the works of a philosopher.

I admire your inquisitiveness, your drive, and your willingness to open your ideas to scrutiny. That takes courage. It can be, in the right place, very productive. I hope this forum is such a place. I wish you the best as you continue to learn.

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