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What Can One Do?

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[The following article is inspired by Ayn Rand's "'What Can One Do?'" and "Don't Let It Go" (in The Ayn Rand Letter Vol I-Nr7,4,5 republished in Philosophy: Who Needs It). This article is a philosophical, perpetually youthful, romantic resolution for real noble best living.]



What Can One Do?                                                                                      1 Jan 2024


When one is faced with the challenges of life, or when sometimes demoralized by doubts about one’s choices, or when oppressed by others’ irrational or criminal acts – but always seeking to effect right causes and make good changes – what can one do?

For a start, one can just begin: begin with another chance and another choice. Each morning, one can begin with the thoughts, the philosophy and the arts, that support this focus, this aspiration, this declaration:


I am at my best. I am becoming better and better. Today, I will get better in everything I do.

I will grow smarter, stronger, straighter . . . more serious and serene. I will act more alive and be really real.

Really, I am always at my best, at my best personality, my best individuality, my best self. To be my best self, I must live well. To live well, I must act. To act, I must know. To know, I must think. To think, I must look and listen, touch and taste. To be really alive, I will make life, not fake it. I will seek true values of goodness and beauty. I will be sensible, logical, reasonable. I shall mind my rational, romantic morality.

Morality:  the motor of morality is the mind. The mind drives morality to the achievement of a successful, happy life. Minding my morality is the way to doing right, being good, and living well. The mind matters most. A mindful morality is the motive power that moves me with integrity and courage towards beauty and joy. I won’t mangle or mess with my mind. or it will become meek and mushy. A mangled or messy mind gives a mangled, messy morality and a mangled, messy life – life without power or drive or aim, drifting away to a deadening mortality. Without mind, there is no reason for living, no rational morality, no romantic happiness. My morality, I shall always mind.

With my mind, I am powerful and effective in making my values, but I don’t know everything and I may mis-understand, mis-remember, mis-take illusion for reality. I may get unlucky, get sick and tired, get fooled or mugged. I may get distracted or be tempted by fantasies of false shortcuts or by excuses of being meek, lazy, or unready. I may face intimidation or bribery for my conformity and dependency. I may get diverted or overwhelmed by intense fear, anger, hatred, disgust, contempt, pity, grief, or guilt. Depression and despair may threaten to demotivate and immobilize me. I may become numb to suffering and get deluded into complacency or stupor. . . . I may lose my mind and let go of my love and joy.

Let go of my self I may, but I shall NOT. Misery and shame I do not want. If I weaken, I will find a way to get stronger, straighter, smarter, more serious and serene. I will act better. I will not lose sight of reality and abandon my reason. My rights and romance for the best life, I will defend and honor. Not for pain and suffering will I let go of my mind and morality. For truth and beauty, for joy and happiness, I will act and achieve. For a better life will I persevere.

So, given the gift of life, and having the freedom to act with it, what can one do?

I can, today, starting right now, I can and will do better:  act by act, thought by thought, choice by choice, step by step, breath by breath, from here on.

At my best, I shall be, every day every way, at work and at play. This I vow, each morning now, when rises here, another chance, another choice.

Proudly, for my happiness, with my head up and forward, I shall be, at my best, my very, very noble best.



“What Can One Do?” is also a title to an article by Ayn Rand, in her January 3, 1972, The Ayn Rand Letter Vol I-7. Republished in Philosophy: Who Needs It?

The article’s theme is:  “The role of the individual in the philosophical re-education of the country.”


“The battle is primarily intellectual (philosophical), not political. Politics is the last consequence, the practical implementation, of the fundamental (metaphysical-epistemological-ethical) ideas that dominate a given nation's culture. You cannot fight or change the consequences without fighting and changing the cause; nor can you attempt any practical implementation without knowing what you want to implement.”

“If you want to influence a country's intellectual trend, the first step is to bring order to your own ideas and integrate them into a consistent case, to the best of your knowledge and ability.”

“. . . when you ask "What can one do?"—the answer is "SPEAK" (provided you know what you are saying).”

“If a dictatorship ever comes to this country, it will be by the default of those who keep silent. We are still free enough to speak. Do we have time? No one can tell. But time is on our side—because we have an indestructible weapon and an invincible ally (if we learn how to use them): reason and reality.”



Edited by monart
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

“What Can One Do?” -- What Some Have Done.


After reading the above article, see an extended example of what some have done, what some members of this forum have written in response to a challenging and controversial topic, "Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny" posted here.

From among my comments there, the following point to the fundamentals of the discussion. (The discussion has just been closed by a moderator. One other topic of mine, "Concerto of Deliverance", from 2004 was also closed by another moderator then.)


Why you keep going…

…Because you seek to know truth, to show it, to let it be known and shown. You resist and defend against the truth being denied, distorted, or defiled. And more so with fundamental, radical axiomatic truths. Objectivism is such a fundamental truth.

Objectivism is an integrated system of philosophy you come to know as truth by way of looking at reality by your own mind and reason. You did not give trust to experts, not to professors or priests, as to whether Objectivism was true or false. You know for yourself that Objectivism is true.

In the same independently thinking way, you come to know and defend the truth of covid. Or not?


Reflecting on all the facets of the covid pandemic tyranny, there is much to think about - even if to most people, it's like a nightmare better to be forgotten, or even if, to a few others, it's like a comedy gone stale and no longer amusing.

What's more to look at? The murky reality of "SARS-CoV-2" and "Covid-19" raises doubts in the minds of independent thinkers about the objective existence and identification of a distinct, "novel" virus causing a new respiratory disease, deadly enough to justify a pandemic tyranny. But why then do so many people, the overwhelming majority, including most Objectivists, believe in covid?

Consider this: For thousands of years, nearly everyone believed in some God/gods. Even today, in our enlightened, scientific age, according to surveys, 85% of the world population reportedly believe in a God, over 6 billion people – including 2.4 billion Christian (1.4B Catholic), 2 billion Islamic, and1.1 billion Hindu – all preaching and practicing selfless service to God and the needs of others.

Why do these mystical beliefs in unproved, non-existent beings and irrational concepts endure and persist? What's similar, and what's different, between belief in God/Christ and belief in covid?


What's different is that the belief in covid is based on science, so say the covid believers. Our belief, they say, is based on observation, experimentation, evidence, logic, and all the methods of reason; whereas, the belief in God is based on revelation, authority, testimonials, intuition, faith.

So, do you, the covid believers, know that covid exists by your own reason? Or, do you know it by reliance on the authority of (some of the) experts in virology and epidemiology?

For most of us, of course, we have to trust the consensus of experts; we don't have the knowledge or time to learn and know it for ourselves, which is normal and to be expected, for all knowledge outside our own fields.

Isn't your trust in covid experts similar to that of the God believers' trust in their pastors, priests, popes, and theologians?

Not at all. Our trust is based on science and the science of the experts.

So it's rational for you to trust the covid experts, but not rational for the God believers to trust their God experts.  Yet you both don't know for yourself the existence of covid/God. What if belief in either is unjustified because the experts haven't told the whole truth? How do you find out?


Many tips and clues are posted by the participants here. The fundamental question is: Has the alleged cause of covid, the "novel SARS-CoV-2", been scientifically proven to exist and be identifiable by a process of isolation and purification? In answering this question, there may be distractions and diversions from its primacy and the controversy that, after 4 years,  the answer may still be in the negative.

Edited by monart
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