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Hi, I am a long time objectivist from New York. I attend Binghamton University, where I am frequently repulsed by the massive liberal/communist movement on campus. There are two campus papers, "Off," the communist rag, and "The Binghamton Review," the vehicle of conservative dribble. I read both, take what I can, and disregard the rest (they are "free", AKA paid for by ME and the rest of the students in one of the many fees we pay). I am often struck by how these two feel they are juxtaposed. They are two sides of the exact same coin. They are both about coercion, the commies are for the dictatorship of the masses, and the conservatives are for the amalgamation of church and state, a dictatorship of a false morality. I always wonder why either side feels entitled to refer to themselves as champions of "Liberty." I tried to start a paper on campus called "The Freedom Fighter," which would (obviously) defend true freedom, individual liberty, rejecting anything in any political ideology which had no basis in reality and therefore is unable to be detected using rationality, reason. I wasn't allowed to; they said I couldn't be "classified." What a shock! Ha. I also was prevented from starting an Objectivist Club, but this time they were more blatant about their hatred of objectivism and Rand. It's funny, in a very morbid way, how every time I say I love Rand, I get disgusted looks or condescending head shakes, people telling me I'll "grow out of it." Really, they all were Rand fans at some point and COMPROMISED, the vision of a woman of integrity jars their comfortable little sense of conformity and collective betrayl of values. I have experienced this exact phenomenon repeatedly. I always felt the things Rand gave me words for, and I'll never be able to be another way (nor would I want to!). I don't think it is easier to conform, to betray yourself, to be "normal." I can't imagine betraying myself, and no matter how hard the path I've chosen supposedly is, I find the alternative to be simply inhuman, impossible, unfathomable. Besides, I always have me, whereas all these Rand-denouncers have no self; they are nothing but vessels of consensus. I love being able to love myself, and how could I if I was like THEM?! So you see, I don't think our path is the harder one. There is never anything that can rip the "us" away from us; the "me" away from me. We're always safe because we save ourselves, we are our own Lord and Savior. It's the most beautiful life, and I don't understand that other way. I am often baffled. This is my only issue: being totally unable to fully understand those who betray themselves. The problem is they are everywhere.

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Hello fanofayn, I must say that I have experienced very similar attitudes where I go to college: Drew University in New Jersey. The student body (which is very small) is generally apathetic and conformist and therefore leans to the left. Thankfully, there aren't any very large group of idiots in a club or a newspaper, although one of the schools of the university is a graduate school in theology. I have experienced a few examples of the "you'll grow out of it" phenomenon, mostly from professors who do not have a full knowledge of Rand's ideas outside what is commonly known. However, I have had some good experiences with the majority of my professors in terms of Objectivism, at least, their appreciating the fact that I study extremely hard and use my independent mind (as opposed to the majority of the student body). I have received some resistance from a group of people I like to call the neo-hippies. I too attempted to start an Objectivism club, and so I posted flyers all around the campus. One of them was a quote from Rand about nothing being worse in a culture than moral agnosticism. In response to this, the neo-hippies stole one of these posters and put it up next to a poster of their own that they made, with a quote saying, "Moral indignation is nothing but jealousy with a halo." Oh, so I suppose my moral indignation of murderers is due to my jealousy of wanting to be them? LOL.

I do feel quite sorry for the majority of people there, it still amazes me how easily people give up their minds and follow the crowd.

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"The student body ... is generally apathetic and conformist and therefore leans to the left."

This is (obviously) the same at my school, and it never ceases to amaze me. You said that you have trouble with the "neo-hippie" movement, right? Well ME TOO. I am constantly getting into philosophical debates with these druggie chompsky fans. (People over Profit, right?) The thing that gets to me, though, is how they don't seem to know they are in fact conformists. It was obvious to you, it is obvious to me. Yet they think they are members of some kind of new, imaginative, completely innovative "revolution." How can they pretend that East Germany and the USSR didn't happen? How can they pretend that they are saying something NEW? This is the part that amazes me. If that is the popular face of individualism, no wonder. It is such an interesting phenomenon (interesting, and sickening) that the collectivists still use the same tactics, and are still largely successful at it: appropriating valid terms and re-defining them in such a way as to render them not useless, but, much more dangerously, vicious. Selfish, Self-Righteous, Capitalist, all these terms are deemed "evil," and terms such as "non-conformist," "humanitarian," and "individualist," are made to be the sole property of the collectivists. How?

I think I have a clue:

At one of the first parties of the spring semester last year, I was talking to a couple of girls who I considered to be nice enough, and funny, and since I had just read Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and been totally moved by it, Rand was on my mind (but really, what's new about that). Anyway one of the girls mentioned The Fountainhead, and before we could even discuss it we got stuck on the definitions of Selfish v. Selfless. We proceeded to debate on this for three and a half hours, and when I say debate, I mean twelve people alternately screaming at me, crying, leaving in indignation, and all the time I was sitting on the couch answering in a flat, objective tone, proving every point, answering every proposition, leaving no challenge un-met, and in the process driving these people absolutly insane. They'd never seen an argument form such as mine (aparently, they'd never encountered reason before). In the end of it all, the girl who had cried and then been silent for the rest of the night, looked at me with the coldest, glassiest eyes and said, and I QUOTE: "You are evil." When I said, "Why do you say that?" She said, "I don't know, and I don't have to know. I just feel it. I know you are evil because I feel like you are evil. I don't need to know everything with my mind." And she stormed out. The girl who had yelled at me plopped down easily on the couch next to me, and to my gaping horror she added this side of the same coin: "Margot," she said, "You proved every point, you won every argument. There is no denying you are obviously right. But, I am never going to think about it ever again." After a minute, I said: "Why." Although at that point nothing needed explanation, nothing needed to be said, my brain refused to function in such a world. She didn't seem to notice. She went on, "You see, it's just too hard to think about things that way. I mean, we mean the same thing, right? So who cares what word I use and what word you use. It's too hard to think all the time, to work all the time, to have to understand everything. I just want to be loose and be able to agree with people." I swear to whatever people mean when they say God, to MYSELF, that is all quoted directly. I ran to the car and wrote everything down. I had felt something click inside of me; it was like living a scene from a Rand novel, being confronted with situations she might as well have scripted. This kind of thing happens all the time now, but that first experience with it was really jarring. I think that is how they win. They offer ease. For the life of me I don't know how that is supposed to be easier.

Have you had these types of experiences? How do you even begin to fathom these kinds of people?

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I have tried my hardest not to engage in "debates" with these neo-hippies and all such people who are not open to reason. Thankfully, I have not had such experiences with the neo-hippie crowds (mainly because I do not go to any parties whatsoever). Actually, I did have one experience with one of the neo-hippies where he actually listened to everything I said without crying about a lot of nonsense (mainly because I treated him with a calm manner and reason I think.)

One area where I have experienced things such as you are talking about is in my classes. Whenever the professor asks the class to discuss a certain topic, I always jump on the opportunity. This has happened in such classes as Intro to Sociology, Intro to Ethics, History of Modern Philosophy, Business Ethics, etc. The majority of time that I made comments, either the professor disagreed, the majority of the students, or usually both. They have never disagreed with a rational argument, but rather something along the lines of, "how can you possibly say something like that," or "such a foolish attitude, but don't worry, you'll grow out of it [Rand]." I've had entire classes (and professors) laugh at me, gang up on me, the works. I remember one time in Intro to Sociology I suggested that there should be no welfare, social security, or government involvement in education (that was fun, haha).

I have experienced EXACTLY what you are talking about with my former friends from high school. It amazes me how people are so willing to evade reality because they think that wishing something is so (such as being happy) will make it so. I've experienced, at first, annoyance towards my ideas, which then evolved into pure hatred towards me on the part of my old friends. My ex-girlfriend, who I went out with for 10 months, was furious that I pronounced moral judgment on others (what an absolute waste that was). I don't particularly want to fathom why such people exist, but this is my idea as to why:

Most people do not properly understand that a wish alone will not make something in reality true. Most people believe in some sort of fate, destiny, divine intervention, or some other variation of "everything happens for a reason." Because of this, when most people want something, they believe that their wanting that thing will SOMEHOW put into motion that which is required to achieve it. I believe that either all or parts of this attitude are the cause of what you and I have experienced. They do not want to expend effort by thinking about what is required to achieve what they want, because they believe that they will get what they want SOMEHOW. Why expend effort when I'll get what I want based on following the crowd or praying to God?

So yes, I've had many of these experiences, and I try very hard to avoid them wherever possible. I refuse to engage in a debate with a nonsensical moron unopen to reason. Any such attempts are a waste of my time. Unfortunately however, there are not all that many people who are open to listening to a rational argument.

P.S. I always laugh extremely hard when I see someone wearing one of those shirts that say Independent all over it. Those really crack me up!!!

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I don't know if it's the "Independent" shirts or the "One Less Car" shirts that get to me more.

You said: "I have tried my hardest not to engage in 'debates' with these neo-hippies and all such people who are not open to reason." My approach is to try and engage everyone in a debate, and then I find out if they are open to reason or not. I don't just assume that people who are communist, neo-hippie, or subscribers to some other nonsensical ideology (if you can call it that) are unable to utilize (or even recognize) reason, although if I did I'm sure I'd be justified in doing so, and those who do--as I understand you do--are also justified in doing so. The reason I don't is because I have seen people switch over, I know there are people who have not ever, in their entire lives, been exposed to reason and that when they are they are able to recognize it and embrace it. It only happens once in a very very long while, but it's worth it to me to try. There are people (like me) who feel genuine self-love and as such, they desire their environment to be pleasing to them. They might be brought in by environmentalist groups, unable to see through the fact that environmentalism is so fundamentally contradictory. They might love themselves to the point that they feel love for all those around them, and then they might be brought into communism, thinking it is that "lofty, noble ideal" so many try to pawn it off as. At the very least, I get entertainment out of these debates, and a minimal challenge at having to prove and re-prove my point; I always try to see how many different ways I can prove that Objectivism (and any aspect thereof) is right. It appeals to me as well (engaging any-and-everybody in debate) because I am always hoping that perhaps someone will have some kind of NEW argument I've never been confronted with, and maybe I'll have a DIFFICULT time proving myself right. This actually does happen, very occasionally, and these instances also prove to be entertaining enough to sustain me through all the drivel.

Like you, I always comment in class, for the reasons I stated above, and also because I feel the only right I have to the title of "educated" is if I actively participate in my education. By the end of a semester I am usually either best friends or total enemies with my professor, and every time I disagree with some subjective statement made in the tone of stating a fact, a long debate usually ensues. However, the whole class won't turn against me, only a very few students and the professor will, because in my school interest in the actualy learning process is minimal at best. I've never tried it in a Sociology class though. Nice move. :lol:

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What I meant by engage was initiate debate. I do not initiate a debate and/discussion with anyone who either does not appear willing or tells me that they are not willing. Not only does it save me a lot of time, frustration, and wasted effort, but I do not think it is right to force debate/discussion on others who are "not worth talking to." I do agree with you that many people are open to reason, however I know from experience that most people do not appreciate a person who initiates debate constantly when it is not warranted/wanted. I am willing however to discuss Objectivism to an extent with anyone who is either interested in it or is a serious student of philosophy and/or politics.

However, I don't like engaging in 5 hour long debates with people who have no knowledge of Objectivism and form ludicrous allegations and conclusions based on false knowledge. In such cases where I am talking with a person interested in Objectivism, I try to stick to discussing some basic principles. In those cases, I ALWAYS recommend that they read one of Rand's books and learn the more complicated principles (and the basic ones too) for themselves. If such people do so, I am willing to answer questions and clarify points, but not debate basics. I have no desire to debate basic principles for a long period of time, nor do I want to sanction the irrationality of those involved.

In those cases where I am discussing/debating a point with a serious student of philosophy and/or political science, even in those cases many times, the majority of the argument is caused by a lack of knowledge of Objectivism on their part. So, I try to limit myself to answering questions, clarifying points, and recommending sources of information about Objectivism. I find 5 hour long debates with irrational fools to be a complete waste of my time.

The only way that Objectivism will make any progress is by attempting to let people use their own independent minds to reach the conclusions that will save this country and this world. Objectivism will get NOWHERE by attempting to force debates on everyone and attempt to "save" all irrational people, which is why I do not attempt to do so.

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I would never force anything on anyone. I don't know how you extracted "force" from my comments, but my only thought is that I must not have been clear enough. An environmentalist, or a communist, or anyone who actually subscribes to a specific ideology, is always up for debate (at least in my experience, maybe you've met different kinds of fundamentalists than I have). If/when I have a 5 hour debate, my opponent is always the one who keeps it going, not me. They certainly aren't forced to do that, and I don't feel forced to continue; if I get bored, or feel they have nothing to offer me in the way of a challenge, then I simplify the debate to "I disagree with you," and walk away.

As for people's lack of information or experience regarding Objectivism, you are right, in the sense that there is a tragic lack of general awareness of/knowledge on the subject. I VERY rarely meet people who have ever read Rand. And I too (of course) suggest to everyone who it is relevant to that they read about it. But, I will NEVER give as an answer "You obviously haven't read Rand," or any such comment, because if I can't defend any statement I make or overturn any statement they make on my own, in my own words, I am just as bad as any phoney. I feel like a response such as: "Read such-and-such and THEN we'll have a conversation" would be the same as saying "If you don't know then I can't explain it to you." If that's not what you meant than I don't mean this applying to you: I hate that. People do that all the time with Heidegger and Chompsky and MARX! They say: "Well, if you haven't read The Communist Manifesto, then you can't discuss communism. You don't know what it is." That's such nonsense. First of all, I have read it, and I didn't have to read it to know what I know about communism. It's in a definition. It's in every statement uttered by the reds. If I can't back up any statement I make about capitalism or reason on my own, without referring to other people's written work, then I had no right to make that statement. It makes it a lot easier to have a discussion if someone else has read what you have, because you may make references and save time by not having to explain everything yourself, but a longer argument isn't necessarily a less valid one. I understand that these types of arguments don't interest everyone, but they interest me, as practice, because in most of my formal education I never got to give reasonable arguments. Irrationalism rules public schools. These arguments and discussions are my informal education. They are my self-prescribed homework. I don't necessarily think my style should be everyone's, but I absolutely think what I do is Good and Right for someone like me, in my situation. I don't think I am violating any of my ideals by doing this. Do you?

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I never try to support anything I believe in my saying, go read this and it's true because Rand said it here. Everything I believe in is the result of rational thought and the strictest of logical examination. Have you read OPAR at all, specifically the chapter on concept-formation and objectivity? The reason why I do not engage in debate with such people is because their beliefs and knowledge are so filled with stolen concepts and anti-concepts that it would take me hours upon hours to uproot them all. I do not have any personal desire to "save" anyone nor to fix their epistemology. That being said, I have no problem with (and I do this myself) demonstrating to people how certain concepts they hold are invalid. However, I do not have any desire to go around fixing the epistemology of everyone I meet nor of communists, environmentalists, hippies, etc; and then attempting to personally change their entire belief structure.

I have spent almost 2 years now learning about Objectivism, fixing my belief system, and fixing my method of learning and discovering the truth. In this time, I have read roughly 17 books on Objectivism and thought about it extensively. This being said, I consider it ridiculous to attempt to try to show people what Objectivism is by spouting out debates with them constantly. It is good to attempt to plant the seeds of Objectivism so to speak, by talking about basic concepts, fundamental principles and such. But I consider it ridiculous to attempt to reverse an entire person's belief system by debating with them. The only way to become a proper student of Objectivism is to be exactly that, a student; not listen to someone else argue with you. Not only is it a complete waste of time, but it actually hinders what you are trying to do (save the world). The only proper way to "reverse a person's belief system" is to demonstrate to them how their fundamental principles are flawed and let them take the majority of the work from there which entails reading about it on their own and using their own independent mind to reach their own conclusions. You will accomplish very little by attempting to demonstrate the merits of capitalism to a person who has a completely flawed epistemology.

Any philosophical system is an INTEGRATED view of existence. You can not properly validate capitalism without properly validating egoism; you can not properly validate egoism without demonstrating the correct methods of epistemology; and most importantly, you can not validate anything without properly understanding the axioms of existence and basic metaphysical principles. That being said, unless you spout out OPAR in its entirety everytime which you debate (which you can't possibly do) you are debating nonsense in a vacuum.

This is different from a forum such as this, where it is assumed that both parties have at least a basic knowledge of all of the principles preceding the topic which is being discussed. For example, my long discussion with Don Galt was based on the assumption that he had at least a basic knowledge of all of the Objectivist principles preceding the nature of government.

All that being said, I believe that what you are doing is wrong. It is right to demonstrate irrational fundamentals to those who are willing to listen or who as you to, but it is wrong to engage in countless debates about those fundamentals. By engaging in "debate" with a communist or environmentalist, etc, you are morally sanctioning their evil ideas. If a dictator of a country challenged the leader of a free country to a "debate," would it be right for the free leader to engage in such a debate? ABSOLUTELY NOT. A debate gives sanction to the evil side that perhaps the evil is correct and the good is wrong. When you are engaging in debates with these people, you are saying that perhaps you are wrong and they are right. Perhaps Objectivism is wrong and Communism is right.

If I can't back up any statement I make about capitalism or reason on my own, without referring to other people's written work, then I had no right to make that statement.

I agree with you completely there. That is not what I am questioning. It is perfectly alright to answer questions, demonstrate the irrationality of another's fundamental principles, to clarify aspects of Objectivism for those who ask, and to refer others to bigger sources of information regarding Objectivism. It is not alright to debate the merits of Objectivism vs. Communism and then claim that you uphold the ideals of Objectivism. Objectivism is a closed system: either you believe in it entirely or you don't. Additionally, it is not proper to refer to yourself as an Objectivist until you can succesfully identify and defend EVERY principle of the philosophy, and you agree with all of it. Until then, or if you ever reach that point, it is proper to either call yourself a student of Objectivism or something else entirely.

Finally, it is definitely important to constantly question and study Objectivism while learning it and while in a modern college institution. And, in some respects, debate with others about certain principles helps you to learn the philosophy as well as the defenses to it. However, this can best be done in the format of answering questions about Objectivism, NOT engaging in a debate with the purpose of proving/disproving principles of Objectivism. Do you see the difference between the two? Do you consider it your duty to prove Objectivism to all of the irrational, nonsensical evaders who have no "desire" to use reason or logic?

I would suggest rethinking what your "debates" with others are all about, and what is really most beneficial to you.

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I should have added to the previous post that I understand why you enjoy engaging in those debates and I sympathize with you in some respects. In many ways, I feel very frustrated that most of the world doesn't accept the fundamentals of Objectivism, let alone even know them. Also, I used to engage in such debates that you were referring to. However, based on what I said in the earlier post, I still stick to my opinion that engaging in 5 hour long debates with people who have completely flawed epistemology is not going to help very much. If you really want to get out there and expose your ideas, I would suggest writing articles and sumbitting them to a school paper, local paper, or internet publication; try starting a formal or informal Objectivism club, and engage in the kind of discussion about Objectivism that I referred to in the earlier post.

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You said:

"By engaging in 'debate' with a communist or environmentalist, etc, you are morally sanctioning their evil ideas. If a dictator of a country challenged the leader of a free country to a "debate," would it be right for the free leader to engage in such a debate? ABSOLUTELY NOT. A debate gives sanction to the evil side that perhaps the evil is correct and the good is wrong. When you are engaging in debates with these people, you are saying that perhaps you are wrong and they are right. Perhaps Objectivism is wrong and Communism is right."

I disagree emphatically, and here is why:

It is true that institutions such as the UN, which assert that they represent legitimate government etc, and then proceed to admit the US and Red China, are sanctioning the ludicrocity of Red systems. They are saying, in effect, "Communism is just as valid a system as Capitalism, they are merely two different approaches to the same end." This, of course, is obscene. If this was what you meant, then I do of course agree with THAT sentiment, but two members of the SAME CLUB is not the same as two diametrically opposed groups debating. As a student of Objectivism, having read everything Rand wrote three times over, I can not imagine it existing without the constant dialectic she engaged in, even in her writing. I don't think a debate is necessarily you-say-what-you-think-and-I'll-say-what-I-think, with equal chances of either side "winning." When I say I engage in a debate, I am saying that someone has made incorrect assumptions, and I correct them. If they don't accept that, then they are wrong. I continue to prove them wrong until one of us tires of it. If this is not "debate," if this is more like "lesson," then please forgive me for using the improper word. However, I do not think it is the improper word.

Debate: 3-To engage in a formal discussion or argument. 2-To engage in argument by discussing opposing points.

This is the textbook definition and if you have reason to believe the def. is otherwise, and if your reasons are valid, then I would of course revise my definition and we would have to argue on that definition. However, according to this definition, a debate recognizes that the two sides are opposing. If it recognizes the fact that reality works on a system of binary logic, then it does accept the proper premises for me to continue in good moral conscience. Binary logic has two truth values: True, or False. What I say is True, what they say is False, and I am there to prove it. I don't think that Good, looking at Evil and proclaiming: "You are Evil," is against Objectivist morality. In fact I think it is crucial. If I were to sit back and listen every time some moron made some idiotic assertion, the ones I (and you) have to hear every minute of every day, I would feel just as dirty as they are. I don't want to sanction with silence. I want to disrobe their filth and display it to the world. I don't want them parading around as The Right and The Good, I want it to be known that they are perversion of perversion, and they are absolutely the farthest thing from The Right or The Good. I can't fathom how I am to be considered as sanctioning their evil by naming it as evil. I enter an argument, or a debate, or a lesson, with the absolute knowledge that I am right, and that now I have to find the most precise words to convey the fact that I am right. I am right because I agree with the only philosophy on the face of the earth that is right. If I am espousing Objectivist principles, and someone else is spouting collectivism, I know they are wrong, and I know I am right. I know, going into a debate with them, that I am right and they are wrong. It is never, EVER, a question that this might not be so. I don't understand how entering a debate, the purpose of which being to say to evil that it is in fact evil, to disallow any more illusions about it, to forbid any more feigning of reality in that manner, could ever be read as a SANCTION of that evil. I am saying this in the utmost sincerety and solemnity because if you can answer this and I agree with you, I will change my approach so as to conform with the correct principles. But, as far as I can understand, there is no flaw in my understanding of these principles or my practice thereof. If you see one, please do explain. I, of course, derive the sanction of my method of practice from Rand's model, because I do what she always did, in her Letters and in every book she ever wrote. That manner is my manner. If you would not refer to it as debate, please tell me what it would rightly be called.

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In my experience on my high school debate team, the purpose of each debate was to prove one side to be correct and the other side to be wrong. I think our disagreement simply comes from the use of the word debate. As I see it, one enters a debate under the assumption that which side of the argument is right is UP TO DEBATE.

What you say you engage in I would not call debate, I would call it discussion. As long as you enter in such discussions by making sure your "opponent" knows that the principles you are talking about are not "up to debate," then you are not sanctioning their irrational ideas. If you are simply saying, here are the fundamental errors in your argument, and here is where Objectivism fixes them, then you are not giving any moral sanction. But, if your discussions with them are along the lines of let's debate whether or not these principles of Objectivism are true, then you are giving moral sanction. From you earlier posts, it seemed as those you were doing the latter. However, from your last post it seems as though you are doing the former, and that is perfectly fine.

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Since we start from the same premises (as I gather from all your posts), I knew it had to be a matter of opposing definitions. I agree with you completely. Oh, and:

I think our disagreement simply comes from the use of the word debate. As I see it, one enters a debate under the assumption that which side of the argument is right is UP TO DEBATE.

Touche! Hahahahaha. I think you gave me a bloody nose with that one. Or at the very least a fractured argument...:lol:

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Hahahaha. Good to know that it was only a matter of opposing definitions.

I can't believe that you were openly blocked from creating an Objectivist paper and a club! I made an effort to start an Objectivism club (and if there were enough members with interest I was hoping to start some sort of paper.) When I first sent out a campus wide e-mail, I was shocked that I got about 20 responses with interest about the club! However, when I had the two actual meeetings, there were very few people who actually attended and very few with genuine interest. Then, I ran into some red tape BS from the school: I could no longer have meetings until the club had officers, but I couldn't get officers until I had meetings for people to gain interest! So I don't know if that was just ignorance from the school or an attempt to block the club from forming. I certainly hope it was just ignorance (as weird as that sounds). Despite the BS from the school, there is really very little interest in anything intellectual at all at my school. The majority of clubs are diversity clubs, or religion clubs, or altruist clubs. I've found only two somewhat intellectual clubs: the Philosophical Society and the Chess Club (both of which I am a member of). The Philosophical Society was good because the president was a student of Objectivism (the only other one I know of on campus), but he just graduated. We actually read a few passages from OPAR and an op-ed or two from ARI. I might become the president of the society next year, so if I do, the occasional Objectivist readings will continue. Last semester we suffered a real lack of interest though, as many of the meetings had very few people.

While my attempts failed last year, this upcoming year I plan on looking for interest in a club again, plus I plan on trying to get a permanent position at the school paper to write opinion articles. If I can get a permanent position or even somewhat of a regular submission and acceptance of articles into the paper that will amaze me. I'll doubt that they would even accept the majority of articles I write.

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...Then, I ran into some red tape BS from the school:  I could no longer have meetings until the club had officers, but I couldn't get officers until I had meetings for people to gain interest!  So I don't know if that was just ignorance from the school or an attempt to block the club from forming.

It's probably a little bit of both. From what I've heard, I think that kind of red tape is pretty typical of many schools. However, I think that many of those schools probably only enforce it strictly when it's a club they don't like.

I would like to start an Objectivist club at my school next year (2004, not this fall), but I'm not sure how much interest there will be. It's a good-sized school, and it's not too incredibly uncommon that I encounter someone on campus reading one of Rand's novels, but most of them are much more committed to liberalism (since the school is the bastion of liberalism in the state) or Christianity (since it is Utah--most of the ones I see reading the books are this type, since the liberals try to avoid even reading anything that threatens their position) than to Objectivism. So we'll see. Good luck with your club, though.

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I think it's admirable that both of you are persisting in your efforts to start Objectivist Clubs. I will not. I really wanted to start it for the very selfish reason of meeting fellow objectivists; to be exposed to intelligence, something someone like me is always searching for in my contemporaries. It was not to further the movement, or awareness of Objectivism (although that would have been a side-benefit I'm sure): I do that independently. Having found other methods (this being one of them) to fulfill my selfish desire, I am contented and focusing my energy on other endevors. There are only two other objectivists that I know of in this school of 13,000 anyway. The thought would depress me if I could be depressed. HA!

Why would anyone want to think reality is ugly and mean, so much so that they pretend it only exists in their MINDS, when it is in fact so beautiful and wonderful? Why do they prefer misery? Their choice isn't even an option to someone like me. I can't fathom it. Sorry for the tangent...:D

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I went through some periods of depression when I was sorting through some very mixed premises earlier in my life. But now my attitude toward it is similar to yours, one of incredulity that I ever fell into it. I have a hard time even sympathizing with others who approach life with a fundamentally negative attitude. When people I'm close to even have a relatively brief period of depression, I find myself getting annoyed with them. :D I really probably shouldn't, but it's difficult not to.

I think that the psychological root of depression or of any basically negative outlook on existence and life is a set of mixed premises, the contradictions of which make the achievement of one's values impossible.

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