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Panel discussion on and art with Robert Mayhew, Onkar Ghate, and at .
OCON2019  aynrand  from twitter
25 days ago by mwickens
Ayn Rand Is a Dick – Mike Monteiro – Medium
"Silicon Valley has exhibited total comfort with destroying the social fabric of humanity to make a profit.

I got mine. Fuck you."
venturecapital  siliconvalley  aynrand  technology  mikemonteiro  uber  2019  libertarianism  californianideology  economics  politics  policy  via:lukeneff  objectivism 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Persistent Ghost of Ayn Rand, the Forebear of Zombie Neoliberalism | The New Yorker
Rand’s novels promised to liberate the reader from everything that he had been taught was right and good. She invited her readers to rejoice in cruelty. Her heroes were superior beings certain of their superiority. They claimed their right to triumph by destroying those who were not as smart, creative, productive, ambitious, physically perfect, selfish, and ruthless as they were. Duggan calls the mood of the books “optimistic cruelty.”
grausamkeit:ideologie  aynrand  rechts:diskurs 
5 weeks ago by MicrowebOrg
Ayn Rand, antichrist / Joel J. Miller (Patheos, 2012/09/08)
“Rand’s disdain for altruism is at root a protest against the cross. Christ’s crucifixion was immoral for Rand not because people took Jesus’ life, but because he volunteered it. And worse, because he sacrificed his perfect life for our imperfect lives.”
AynRand  Christianity 
february 2019 by cbearden
Ayn Rand's Paradox / by James Joseph (America's Future Foundation, 2012/09/06)
“Rand’s reasoning has utility when arguing with Stalin, but the claims of the American state are not those of Soviet Russia – not that an American Leviathan is good, but it defends itself on different grounds. In fact, American statism’s apologia is the individual freedom so touted by Ayn Rand, complete with her denial of the claims of the community on the individual. One need look no further than the ‘Life of Julia’ campaign to see that American statism is built around the idea of highly independent, atomized individuals that cannot be bothered with claims from direct community.”
AynRand  WelfareState  Statism  MustRead 
february 2019 by cbearden
What if we dumped Rand for Röpke? / Joel J. Miller (Patheos, 2012/09/11)
“If Röpke is right, then the last thing that we need is more of Rand. We should also draw a critical eye to the materialist answers of consumerism, which today corrodes our society and numbs us to the realities around and within us as surely as does socialism.”
AynRand  WilhelmRöpke 
february 2019 by cbearden
Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice Craig Biddle February 20, 2012
The fundamental political conflict in America today is, as it has been for a century, individualism vs. collectivism. Does the individual’s life belong to him—or does it belong to the group, the community, society, or the state? With government expanding ever more rapidly—seizing and spending more and more of our money on “entitlement” programs and corporate bailouts, and intruding on our businesses and lives in increasingly onerous ways—the need for clarity on this issue has never been greater. Let us begin by defining the terms at hand.

Individualism is the idea that the individual’s life belongs to him and that he has an inalienable right to live it as he sees fit, to act on his own judgment, to keep and use the product of his effort, and to pursue the values of his choosing. It’s the idea that the individual is sovereign, an end in himself, and the fundamental unit of moral concern. This is the ideal that the American Founders set forth and sought to establish when they drafted the Declaration and the Constitution and created a country in which the individual’s rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness were to be recognized and protected.

Collectivism is the idea that the individual’s life belongs not to him but to the group or society of which he is merely a part, that he has no rights, and that he must sacrifice his values and goals for the group’s “greater good.” According to collectivism, the group or society is the basic unit of moral concern, and the individual is of value only insofar as he serves the group. As one advocate of this idea puts it: “Man has no rights except those which society permits him to enjoy. From the day of his birth until the day of his death society allows him to enjoy certain so-called rights and deprives him of others; not . . . because society desires especially to favor or oppress the individual, but because its own preservation, welfare, and happiness are the prime considerations.”1

Individualism or collectivism—which of these ideas is correct? Which has the facts on its side?

Individualism does, and we can see this at every level of philosophic inquiry: from metaphysics, the branch of philosophy concerned with the fundamental nature of reality; to epistemology, the branch concerned with the nature and means of knowledge; to ethics, the branch concerned with the nature of value and proper human action; to politics, the branch concerned with a proper social system.

We’ll take them in turn.

Metaphysics, Individualism, and Collectivism

When we look out at the world and see people, we see separate, distinct individuals. The individuals may be in groups (say, on a soccer team or in a business venture), but the indivisible beings we see are individual people. Each has his own body, his own mind, his own life. Groups, insofar as they exist, are nothing more than individuals who have come together to interact for some purpose. This is an observable fact about the way the world is. It is not a matter of personal opinion or social convention, and it is not rationally debatable. It is a perceptual-level, metaphysically given fact. Things are what they are; human beings are individuals.

Frederick Douglass
A beautiful statement of the metaphysical fact of individualism was provided by former slave Frederick Douglass in a letter he wrote to his ex-“master” Thomas Auld after escaping bondage in Maryland and fleeing to New York. “I have often thought I should like to explain to you the grounds upon which I have justified myself in running away from you,” wrote Douglass. “I am almost ashamed to do so now, for by this time you may have discovered them yourself. I will, however, glance at them.” You see, said Douglass,

I am myself; you are yourself; we are two distinct persons, equal persons. What you are, I am. You are a man, and so am I. God created both, and made us separate beings. I am not by nature bound to you, or you to me. Nature does not make your existence depend upon me, or mine to depend upon yours. I cannot walk upon your legs, or you upon mine. I cannot breathe for you, or you for me; I must breathe for myself, and you for yourself. We are distinct persons, and are each equally provided with faculties necessary to our individual existence. In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living. Your faculties remained yours, and mine became useful to their rightful owner.2

Although one could quibble with the notion that “God” creates people, Douglass’s basic metaphysical point is clearly sound. Human beings are by nature distinct, separate beings, each with his own body and his own faculties necessary to his own existence. Human beings are not in any way metaphysically attached or dependent on one another; each must use his own mind and direct his own body; no one else can do either for him. People are individuals. “I am myself; you are yourself; we are two distinct persons.”

The individual is metaphysically real; he exists in and of himself; he is the basic unit of human life. Groups or collectives of people—whether families, partnerships, communities, or societies—are not metaphysically real; they do not exist in and of themselves; they are not fundamental units of human life. Rather, they are some number of individuals. This is perceptually self-evident. We can see that it is true.

Who says otherwise? Collectivists do. John Dewey, a father of pragmatism and modern “liberalism,” explains the collectivist notion as follows:

Society in its unified and structural character is the fact of the case; the non-social individual is an abstraction arrived at by imagining what man would be if all his human qualities were taken away. Society, as a real whole, is the normal order, and the mass as an aggregate of isolated units is the fiction.3

According to collectivism, the group or society is metaphysically real—and the individual is a mere abstraction, a fiction.4

This, of course, is ridiculous, but there you have it. On the metaphysics of collectivism, you and I (and Mr. Douglass) are fictional, and we become real only insofar as we somehow interrelate with society. As to exactly how we must interrelate with the collective in order to become part of the “real whole,” we’ll hear about that shortly.

Let us turn now to the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of knowledge.

Epistemology, Individualism, and Collectivism

What is knowledge? Where does it come from? How do we know what’s true? Knowledge is a mental grasp of a fact (or facts) of reality reached by perceptual observation or a process of reason based thereon.5 Who looks at reality, hears reality, touches reality, reasons about reality—and thereby gains knowledge of reality? The individual does. The individual possesses eyes, ears, hands, and the like. The individual possesses a mind and the capacity to use it. He perceives reality (e.g., dogs, cats, and birds, and death); he integrates his perceptions into concepts (e.g., “dog,” “animal,” and “mortal”); he integrates his concepts into generalizations (e.g., “dogs can bite” and “animals are mortal”); he forms principles (e.g., “animals, including man, must take certain actions in order to remain alive,” and “man requires freedom in order to live and prosper”). And so on. Knowledge is a product of the perceptual observations and mental integrations of individuals.

Of course, individuals can learn from other people, they can teach others what they have learned—and they can do so in groups. But in any such transmission of knowledge, the individual’s senses must do the perceiving, and his mind must do the integrating. Groups don’t have sensory apparatuses or minds; only individuals do. This, too, is simply unassailable.

But that doesn’t stop collectivists from denying it.

The relevant epistemological principle, writes Helen Longino (chair of the philosophy department at Stanford University) is that “knowledge is produced by cognitive processes that are fundamentally social.” Granted, she says, “without individuals there would be no knowledge” because “it is through their sensory system that the natural world enters cognition. . . . The activities of knowledge construction, however, are the activities of individuals in interaction”; thus knowledge “is constructed not by individuals, but by an interactive dialogic community.”6

You can’t make this stuff up. But an “interactive dialogic community” can.

Although it is true (and should be unremarkable) that individuals in a society can exchange ideas and learn from one another, the fact remains that the individual, not the community, has a mind; the individual, not the group, does the thinking; the individual, not society, produces knowledge; and the individual, not society, shares that knowledge with others who, in turn, must use their individual minds if they are to grasp it. Any individual who chooses to observe the facts of reality can see that this is so. The fact that certain “philosophers” (or “dialogic communities”) deny it has no bearing on the truth of the matter.

Correct epistemology—the truth about the nature and source of knowledge—is on the side of individualism, not collectivism.

Next up are the respective views of morality that follow from these foundations.

Ethics, Individualism, and Collectivism

What is the nature of good and bad, right and wrong? How, in principle, should people act? Such are the questions of ethics or morality (I use these terms interchangeably). Why do these questions arise? Why do we need to answer them? Such questions arise and need to be answered only because individuals exist and need principled guidance about how to live and prosper.

We are not born knowing how to survive and achieve happiness, nor do we gain such knowledge automatically, nor, if we do gain it, do we act… [more]
Individualism  Collectivism  Metaphysical  FrederickDouglas  Ethics  Epistemology  AynRand  Politics  Philosophy 
january 2019 by juandante
Twitter
RT : .⁦⁩ has trickle down hooey, supply side hokum and . ⁦⁩ has the science of economics and several Nob…
AynRand  from twitter
january 2019 by jameswagner
jendziura on Twitter: "I'd like to talk about why conservatives say things like this, ...
I'd like to talk about why conservatives say things like this, for my progressive friends who genuinely don't know anyone like this. I was a libertarian, sort of, as a teenager (I recovered) and have read Hayek, Nozick, and Friedman. Here goes.
twitter  politics  philosophy  libertarian  ethics  debat  salmahayek  aynrand  @jendziura  jendziura  robertnozick 
december 2018 by coslinks
Goal-Directed Action —Ayn Rand Lexicon
When applied to physical phenomena, such as the automatic functions of an organism, the term “goal-directed” is not to be taken to mean “purposive” (a concept applicable only to the actions of a consciousness) and is not to imply the existence of any teleological principle operating in insentient nature. I use the term “goal-directed,” in this context, to designate the fact that the automatic functions of living organisms are actions whose nature is such that they result in the preservation of an organism’s life.
aynrand  philosophy 
september 2018 by aleksandrxyz

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