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From Maoist China to Ayn Rand's Objectivism

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I found Ayn Rand the way I did, only because I had escaped in 1956 from the tyranny and starvation of Maoist China (but at the cost of losing and forgetting my parents) to finally land in Canada in 1959, two years after Atlas Shrugged was published.

I first read Ayn Rand in 1968 because of a school friend’s recommending Anthem, which I enjoyed but did not grasp its significance at the time. Then in 1971, while waiting to start a summer job, I read The Fountainhead because of an army friend’s reference to it, and I was so moved afterwards that I read Atlas Shrugged, and thus began a life-long study of all her works and my full commitment to Objectivism.

At university, I changed my major from Astrophysics to Philosophy,  with little regard for career prospects, because I saw that, no matter what, to understand Objectivism and philosophy was of supreme urgency to me. In classes, papers, and meetings, I argued with professors and students while ignoring somewhat the cost in grades. Rand’s heroic genius was that empowering and inspiring for me.

By 1976, I arrived at a clear identification of my life-purpose, in the form of a succinct description of a romantic, philosophic vision of the future as being objectivist and astronautic, in an essay, “Project Starship”.  https://www.academia.edu/67747715/Project_Starship  Elaborating further, by 1985, I completed a thesis, Starship Astronuaut as Rational Egoist, https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/2343which qualified me for a M.A. from the University of Calgary.   A copy is also at https://www.academia.edu/40416024/Starship_Astronaut_As_Rational_Egoist_Ayn_Rand_s_Objectivist_Philosophy_Applied_to_Space_Civilization

While earning needed income from various jobs, mostly in Quality Management for IT companies, and, along with my wife, helping to raise 2 children and 3 grandchildren – I continued to engage individuals in seeing the value of Objectivism and the starship vision. One outreach project in 2004 was commissioning and producing the music album, Concerto of Deliverance, created by John Mills-Cockell -  http://www.starshipaurora.com/concertoofdeliverance.html  in his unique interpretation of Rand’s statement of the music’s theme in Atlas Shrugged.

I was last here at Objectivist Forum in 2004, when it was far from welcoming for me, but now, 18 years later, I'll see how it has changed.

Currently, as part of my continuing role as a private objectivist philosopher, I am a Mentor for the Astraean Individualist Society https://www.astraeansociety.org/  a new outreach organization to attract individuals to Objectivism.

So, for a most fortunate boy refugee that I was, born in 1950 in dark communist China, Rand’s sunlit, romantic, Objectivist world became my indomitable source of a lifetime of revitalization and self-improvement – a full and rich life that I firmly embrace and for which I feel a profound gratitude to the heroic Ayn Rand. The core and code she taught me I call Rand’s 4Rs:

Reality. Reason. Rights. Romance.

Reality exists. Reason knows. Rights protect. Romance loves.

Reality is objective and absolute.

Reason knows truth by sense and logic.

Rights protect reason's goodness against force and fraud.

Romance loves rights to life and its beauty.


A fuller statement is the attached philosophic-poetic precis, “Romance for Reason and Rights in Reality”


Romance for Reason and Rights.pdf


Edited by dream_weaver
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