Must a blogger pay homage to the genius who awakened his mind? Without Ayn Rand my thinking would not be what it is, nor would my writing. Hence this post on…..Ayn Rand – My View
I recently followed an emotional smear of Ayn Rand courtesy of a writer for the ‘Huffington Post’ and posted on ‘The New Clarion’ blog site. It occurred to me, I hold an opinion suitable for public dissemination and here is a brief bit that I may still elaborated on at a later date.
I see Ayn Rand as the best ‘tool’ I’ve ever come across for understanding the world around me. Her ideas cut through an immeasurable amount of obfuscating fog. I don’t however, consider her to have been infallible, as some of her supporters do. Considering her infallible does more harm than good to her, but especially her philosophy, Objectivism. There are some positions she took, on homosexuality being one area, where I have seen reasonable dissenting viewpoints. Arguing to support some of her minor shortcomings serves only to overlook her monumental accomplishments and it feeds fuel to her critics.
As well, blind acceptance is utterly contrary to everything she stood for. She was the strongest advocate I know of for respecting personal, independent thinking, for each of us, as individuals.
She was not a god, rather she was a brilliant human being, showing the world man’s true potential. She opened a window into a rational world and built a new, super highway to knowledge. The depth of her perception and reasoning ability is even more evident now, today, given the global financial meltdown. Atlas Shrugged, now coming true before our eyes, was clearly foreseen by her more than seventy years ago.
Was she perfect, is an irrelevant question. Given the attitudes she fought to change and the state of society during her lifetime, and, keeping in mind she didn’t have a fully developed Ayn Rand to show the way, who else has influenced more thinking on ‘personal worth’ than she has?
She taught me, we are all equal, that my mind is my best tool for survival and my efforts belongs to me. Should she be criticized and condemned for her ideas, as her critics do? She wrote a few books and said that ‘a mind can not be forced’. Her vast influence is due to the fact that millions of people, seeing validity in her ideas, accept those ideas for themselves. They show a reluctant world that knowledge and happiness is accessible to all who seek it.
Once convinced, her supports become strident in the cause for individual liberty. They are literally the only voices protecting a largely indifferent majority from a return to primitiveness and poverty.
She constructed a clear lens into reality and offered us a view from the same place she stood, asking only that we acknowledge her authorship while standing on her shoulders.
She relied on persuasion to sell her ideas, and insisted that each of us think for ourselves. I use her ideas of my own free will. She said judge and be prepared to be judged, without guilt and as an individual. Take pride in all that you do.
One can not judge her for my actions nor me for hers – only I am responsible for me. She taught me that. I thank her.
Her critics? I wonder if it is not a bitterness that, despite knowing her or knowing of her work, they never have made it to that state of mind, to be able to clearly see their own personal individuality, of considering themselves unique beings, autonomous entities in a world of other sovereign, unique individuals. They fail to see that our morality begins within ourselves, not from an outside source. Shame…. it’s their loss.
Me on Objectivism.
When we link arms while standing on the shoulders of Ayn Rand, nothing can stop us from reclaiming the world for reason.
A thought on Objectivism.
We can use Ayn Rand to develop our personal philosophy … learn the means she used to evaluate the real world. Her conclusions though, are her own and while we can learn from them but they will not help us if we simply accept and repeat them. Any conclusion we hold will be but unjustified assertions if we have not followed the proper steps to reach those conclusion based on our own train of thought. All we can say is AR said so, that leaves truth an unjustified assertion.
We can use the tools of cognition but truly, cognition requires that we do the thinking ourselves.
Lesson: No one can think for you … it remains physically impossible
USS Objectivity I
Robert Tracinski, writing in TTL, regarding a statement made by Joseph Bottum in a National Review article mentioned, praise for William F. Buckley for throwing the Randians overboard some years ago. His triggering sentence, “The presumptuous assumption in this analogy is that the religious right is steaming along under its own power, and we Objectivists are trying to hitch our pathetic little dinghies to their ocean liner.”
It made me think of a response …
To those with ears and a still intact mind:
Your ship is sinking, rapidly. It has been leaking for many years and only the bailing and patching efforts of rational people, like my father, managed to keep it afloat. Some years ago you threw him overboard. However he survived, and started building a new ship, a ship with a keel made of reason.
Our ship is held together by an idea, an idea finally strong enough to combat the rot that is causing your ship to sink. We tried to rebuild your ship many years ago but the captain originally had my father’s crew confined to the bilge and the engine room rather than accept the report we presented, that the ship’s main member, its keel, was made from mysticism and needs to be replaced. That’s when he set my father adrift with only his mind.
Your leaders chose to ignore the warning, ‘shooting the messenger’ rather than fix the problem.
Our ship is now ready and we welcome you aboard with but one stipulation. You must accept reality as absolute and admit that ‘something for nothing’ means ‘something stolen from the person who created it’.
If you reject this stipulation, feel free to go down with your own ship. There is no one left manning your bailing can. And your captain has irrationally ordered the crew to scuttle the ship.
My father John, was convinced by Ayn Rand that society could be changed without the extreme measure of going on strike. She said “I’ll write a book as if you had gone on strike and let the ideas percolate through the world seeking out the receptive minds. We will be laying the necessary ground work for reclaiming a free society.”
We’ve named this ship in her honor, USS Objectivity I
If you’re still not sure of what is happening, read Atlas Shrugged.
that’s my response to the people who continue to believe that the way to cure the ills of our degenerating society is to return to the religious era, long rejected by thinking people, many years ago. Your thought are welcome.
Cheers, Garret Seinen