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Ayn Rand: The Greatest Philosopher On Earth

February 16, 2010

Ayn Rand left the greatest “legacy” for living on earth, which, I think, is greater than the contribution of Aristotle.

Ayn Rand's legacy live on...

Ayn Rand's legacy live on...

Many people, including businessmen, reject the idea of self-interest. They thought that self-interest is evil and immoral, and believed that it is man’s duty to serve others—to put the interest of others above their own. They believe that every man is his brother’s keeper.

Most people today are simply speaking the language of our time. If there’s a dominant ethical system that is being preached by high school teachers, college professors, absurd intellectuals, media columnists, politicians, religionists and televangelists, it is the morality of altruism. Altruism holds that for man to be moral, he must put the interest of others above his own, and that he is the means to the ends of others. But the question is, is it possible to practice this self-sacrificing code of ethics? No!

Many of us were told by the media, intellectuals, politicians, religionists, and altruists that the ongoing global economic downturn was caused by unbridled greed or self-interest. Since they claim that it is greed and self-interest that brought us all to misery, they now demand, under the banner of “common good” and “social welfare, that the government must issue more controls and regulations. They declare that it is uncurbed ‘selfishness’ that makes people irrational and reckless. As stated by a misguided, altruist blog critic, “it was inadequate regulation of financial markets, where people were making decisions that were in their short-term interest, but for which the rest of us will have to pay for the long term.” But the only way to deal with an irrational is to say, “I don’t agree with you.” It is impossible to argue with people who take government lies and biased and interested media reports on faith.

It was Ayn Rand who defended the virtue of “selfishness” through her seminal, life-changing philosophy of Objectivism. Throughout her lifetime, Ayn Rand was ridiculed by intellectuals and religionists who clearly did not understand the nature of man and what makes life possible, and underrated by college professors and media hippies, who asserted that her ideas were ‘unoriginal’ and ‘amateurish.’ But most geniuses, innovators and thinkers were misunderstood and persecuted in their lifetime. Galileo Galilei was imprisoned by the Pope for supporting the heliocentric view that the sun is at the center of the universe. In recent history, Michael Robert Milken, one of the best examples of a victim of envy or hatred of the good for being the good, was persecuted and imprisoned for developing “high-yield bonds” that saved thousands of businesses and created millions of jobs. Between Milken and Mother Theresa, the former left one of the greatest contributions to the survival of mankind.

Today, there are still a lot of people who regard Ayn Rand as an “irrelevant” philosopher. Her modern-day critics love to link her name to Alan Greenspan who played a major role in causing America’s recession. They refuse to see and admit that it was Greenspan who disowned Ayn Rand. No, this former chairman of the Federal Reserve did not betray Ayn Rand; it is his soul that he betrayed.

In this age of lies, envy and mediocrity, Ayn Rand’s best ally is reality. It is reality that now slaps the murky face of humanity. With a smile on its face, it is reality that proves the prescience of the philosophy and works of Ms Rand. Like she said, “I will let reality speak for me, it usually does.” Reality is our absolute, final arbiter. History tells us that if we go against reality, we would only reap our own destruction.

It is reality that tells mankind— “you cannot have your cake and eat it too.” It is reality that tells everyone of us that the solution is not to return to morality and reason, but to discover them. If people would only use their mind, they would discover that every economic crisis was created by statism, and every government program that led to privation and misery was justified by the morality of altruism and issued under the name of “common good.”

How many millions of people were killed, sacrificed and persecuted under the name of “common good?” How many social programs have been issued under the premise that the good is intrinsic in certain actions or things, independent of man’s consciousness. One grotesque example of this mindset are government programs that seek to redistribute wealth, like universal health care, anti-population laws, public education, collective farming, collective livelihood, and so on. If this is the kind of mentality that dominates most societies today, people will not hesitate to sacrifice others to perform the good.

It is ironic that one of Ayn Rand’s most denounced books by absurd intellectuals, leftist professors, and modern-day mystics—Atlas Shrugged—predicted almost every catastrophe that is happening today. Yes, it is reality that now proves Ayn Rand’s relevance to modern civilization. Wall Street Journal states that “the current economic strategy is right out of ‘Atlas Shrugged.” It further states:

“The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That’s the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies — while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers. With each successive bailout to “calm the markets,” another trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, as “Atlas” grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate “windfalls.”

Did Ayn Rand live up to her philosophy? Absolutely yes! Like she said, her life is the postscript to her bestselling novels. Did she ever commit any mistake? Yes, but her achievement and great “gift” to mankind outweighed whatever mistake she did in her lifetime. When the influenced of Aristotle vanished about two thousands year ago, the world fell into the claws of the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle. It was Aristotle who saved mankind from the mystics of the Dark Ages through the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, thus the rebirth of reason or the Age of Enlightenment.  The United States of America was born as a result of this philosophical reawakening. But it was Ayn Rand who left the greatest “legacy” for living on earth, which, I think, is greater than the contribution of Aristotle. This legacy— founded upon its fundamental tenet that existence exist and under the premise that man is an end in himself— is the philosophy of Objectivism.

Ayn Rand carefully, clearly, objectively and strictly defined her philosophy of Objectivism. According to her, “Objectivism is a philosophical movement; since politics is a branch of philosophy, Objectivism advocates certain political principles—specifically, those of laissez-faire capitalism—as the consequence and the ultimate practical application of its fundamental philosophical principles. It does not regard politics as a separate or primary goal, that is: as a goal that can be achieved without a wider ideological context.”

Politics is based on three other philosophical disciplines: metaphysics, epistemology and ethics—on a theory of man’s nature and of man’s relationship to existence. It is only on such a base that one can formulate a consistent political theory and achieve it in practice. When, however, men attempt to rush into politics without such a base, the result is that embarrassing conglomeration of impotence, futility, inconsistency and superficiality which is loosely designated today as “conservatism.” Objectivists are not “conservatives.” We are radicals for capitalism; we are fighting for that philosophical base which capitalism did not have and without which it was doomed to perish.

I’ve encountered a lot of people who denounced Ayn Rand but  never read any of her works. These neo-Ayn Rand critics simply echo the old canard manufactured by her dishonest fabulists and equivocators who were simply good at myth-making and unscrupulous propaganda campaign.  There are some who even claimed they clearly understood her philosophy, yet uttered nothing but downright lie and/or distortions of her works and ideas. Like I said to that blog critic I mentioned above, “If there’s a philosopher of the past century who was a victim of grave injustice, ignorance, and leftist-conservative propaganda, it would be Ayn Rand.”

  • The photo of a boy with an Ayn Rand book appears on Queen’s University The Journal. Click here for the link of The Journal story.
  • Thanks to Bill Bucko for the wonderful Tea Party photo showing a placard bearing the words “Ayn Rand” and “Atlas Shrugged.”
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14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2010 3:38

    “It was Aristotle who saved mankind from the mystics of the Dark Ages through the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, thus the rebirth of reason or the Age of Enlightenment.”

    Though heavy on the ‘faith’ issue … the book ‘Aristotle’s Children’ by Richard E. Rubenstein gives a fairly detailed account of how Aristotle’s works were re-discovered and helped bring about what is now referred to as The Renaissance.
    Ed

    • February 17, 2010 3:38

      Ed, that would be interesting to read.

  2. January 29, 2011 3:38

    Greatest philosopher on earth? I would hope not. She died 30 odd years ago. The implication would be that life has stopped. She was not the start of freedom, she will not be the final word. She is merely a step. Stop reciting folk law and build upon those ideas.
    For an advocate of freedom, its remarkable how unoriginal Randian adherents are. The fatal flaw I would suggest a lack of critical thinking. I swear the people in my Objectivist group were ‘religious’ in their belief, i.e. The start of any debate would be ‘Well, what did Rand say about that’, and that was about the end of it.
    She is great though! A great start or entry into philosophy…but why stop?

  3. January 29, 2011 3:38

    “For an advocate of freedom, its remarkable how unoriginal Randian adherents are. The fatal flaw I would suggest a lack of critical thinking.”

    I would like to see how you’re goin’ to elaborate on that statement.

    “I swear the people in my Objectivist group were ‘religious’ in their belief, i.e.”

    “In your Objectivist group…” So you’re claiming you have an Objectivist group. I want to see some proof and not just some stupid claim. Religious in what way? Any proof to this another stupid claim?

    “She is great though! A great start or entry into philosophy…but why stop?”

    What “stop” are you prattling about? We’re not Kelleyian, if you know what that term means. Nobody’s stopping you. You have all the right and freedom to start your own philosophy. Spread it if you have the courage and ability to do so…

  4. January 29, 2011 3:38

    Well, I would argue that Rand was goal-orientated. Her goal was to be a great novelist. Having a coherent philosophy was her means of developing coherent characters; and of course that would serve her broader life, to the extent that reason is the standard of value.
    Given that most Objectivists are not blazing any trails, at least none of the one’s I’m associated with, then I am inclined to think that they are compartmentalised, resting on the laurels of Rand, and defining themselves by others standards. That is a criticism for you to assess within the context of your own life. So that is my elaboration. Am I to believe that Rand left no stone unturned?
    This is really not a criticism of Rand so much as her followers because she does advance the importance of ‘moral ambition’.
    Yes, I was part of an Objectivist group years ago…Proof? It would mean nothing to give it to you, and it would be unfair to critique that since it was people as they were. They might have changed, it will incorporate new members. Understandable perhaps that people in their childish enthusiasm would adopt a package of ideas, but the older I get the more I realise that she did not outline a comprehensive system, nor an entirely adequate one. It is the best I have read, to be sure. I know Kelley and a few others. He and a few others are the exception, not the rule. But I don’t want to hitch my wagon to his wagon for a different reason. It makes more sense to develop your own, knowing that if reason is the standard, they ought to be compatible. So, I think in that sense most Objectivists are passive readers of her philosophy without acting analysing it. By ‘religious’ I am not suggesting necessarily a ‘mystic or revelation’ value system, more a question of rationalism.
    Well, this is not good philosophy….I believe you should wait for the response before you make such statements.
    “Religious in what way? Any proof to this another stupid claim?”
    Perhaps you should have gone with the first question….withheld your contempt for those that ‘apparently’ disagree with you, and wait for the reply. That was one of my faults I think. Engaging in moral condemnation out of context. Sure, you have spoken to many frustratingly poor commentators before. That is the reality you have to contend with….but let’s put your moral condemnation aside….because I’ve been there and done that.
    Let me explain the difference. Rand could be critical of everyone, as I am. But she is most critical of places like the Middle East, where her ideas do not resonate. Why? Because people there have no context in which to appreciate her value. i.e. They have scant education and no experience of the Western world. She should have made a distinction between virtue and responsibility for one’s actions. A well-educated, Western person has more reason to be virtuous by her standard than an Arab growing up in a war zone. In the Saudi world,
    She praises empty symbols. i.e. Business people are generally as morally repugnant as socialists….yet she praises them as symbols. I think that was one of her failures if she intended to be a ‘great philosopher’. So I identify her as more as a novelist than a ‘great philosopher’. If one is going to look for change its among the Western World, not the Arab world; among Objectivists, not government-funded academics. So if Rand’s followers think they have an efficacious mind; if they think this is a basis of pride; then either they think philosophy is unimportant (hard to believe), that Rand did it all, or they are not really engaged where they should be…based on the state of contemporary society.
    That is the “stop” I am “prattling about”.
    The issue is not – what is stopping me – the issue is – what is stopping most Objectivists?

    • January 29, 2011 3:38

      First, you simply evaded a few questions I raised, which shows you’re nothing but a dishonest prick, and then you went ahead with a flurry of unsupported claims.

      “I would argue that Rand was goal-orientated.”

      So what the heck is this argument, Andrew? I don’t think it makes an iota of sense at all. Does that support your rants about “lack of critical thinking”? And what is this lack of CT you’re talking about? Your fatal flaw is, your making lots of nonsensical, stupid claims without even backing them with solid proof and evidence. What makes an idea original and unoriginal? Are we to invent things up just to be “original”? That’s a very stupid thing to do, Andrew. That’s the very reason why we have post-modernists and stupid people today.

      You said: “then I am inclined to think that they are compartmentalised…”

      Compartmentalized in what way? Kindly elaborate? Another stupid claim, Andrew. Kindly give an example of some thinkers or a group of people who are not compartmentalized? Kindly give some of your ideas that are not compartmentalized? Is that what you call critical thinking? That’s plain idiocy, Andrew.

      Another unsupported claim: “resting on the laurels of Rand, and defining themselves by others standards.”

      Any proof? In what way? I can also tell that about some other people, but I won’t be that stupid to make generalized, unsupported claims because I’m NOT that stupid LIKE YOU.

      You said: “Yes, I was part of an Objectivist group years ago…”

      That’s actually most stupid critics say… So what about the Objectivists in your group? That’s a fatal contradiction to your new claim that you were part of an Objectivist groups years ago.

      You said: “So, I think in that sense most Objectivists are passive readers of her philosophy without acting analysing it.”

      Any proof? Any analysis on this matter. All you can do is read some of my blogs and make a little stupid analysis. What are you? Mr. STUPID CLAIM-BOY?

      So what’s your opinion about your Saudi rants? Kindly explain further?

      This is so stupid a claim, plain and simple: “She praises empty symbols. i.e. Business people are generally as morally repugnant as socialists….yet she praises them as symbols.”

      Kindly elaborate on this UTTER STUPIDITY? What kind of drug are you on?

      No one would ever stop you, as no one could ever stop a mad man like you…

      Since you’re questioning Ayn Rand’s status as a philosopher, I expect that you make some valid points focusing on the flaws of her metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics and aesthetics. Instead, you focused on some stupid, unrelated things like some claims about her so-called “followers”, about their “unoriginality”, their “compartmentalized” views or mentality or whatever that is, etc.

      That won’t qualify you as a critical thinker but a STUPID claim-boy, Andrew.

      • Juan Galdo permalink
        June 5, 2011 3:38

        Judging from his response, Andrew Sheldon is indeed stupid.

  5. homosapiens permalink
    November 6, 2011 3:38

    ayn who? the greatest…what the heck was that all about? lol sorry, that name doesn’t ring a bell. seriously.

  6. April 24, 2012 3:38

    he he… the randians have been owned in their own backyard lol.

    typical rand fanboys though… starts calling people names (like stupid and prick) when they and their precious ayn rand gets criticized.

  7. April 24, 2012 3:38

    also, its very hard to actually find people beyond the age of 12 who actually take ayn rand seriously. that takes some doing. lol

Trackbacks

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