In this weeks podcast I am joined by Roslyn Ross, an author and fellow fan of the ideas of Ayn Rand. We discussed her new children’s book “City Family Farm Family” and the personal story of living half the year on a farm and the other half in a city. Roslyn spends part of the year on her farm in Nicaragua, and the rest in the city of Los Angeles.
We went on to discuss whether or not the Philosophy of Rand will survive in the context of the advancing collectivist global state. Individualism is giving way to collectivism and this can bee seen throughout western civilisation. The question is whether the core ideas of objectivism can help? Or, must they go underground until the collapse of our freedom is complete and the dust settles. Then, could reason once again emerge as the single guiding principle of genuine knowledge.
We certainly have different views. I remain convinced that rational thinking is an evolutionary advantage. Even when the rational man is surrounded by collectivists and thugs his reason will still lead him to conduct his affairs appropriately. And lets also remember that even the collectivists themselves need to use their faculty of reason to grow food, produce goods, build shelters, etc, when there is nothing left to loot.
Ross is a little more pessimistic, noting that intellectual conversations are increasingly out of fashion, people no longer read as much as they used to, and that the practice of objectivist ideas is more likely to end your genetic line than advance it! The core argument being that it all depends on the context of the group you are in. I say, the savvy objectivist isn’t in a group, but always looks for like minded people. Being an individualist does not mean that you shun other rational people in order to go it alone on your selfish path.
Core ideas of Ayn Rand
I argue that these core ideas are enduring and clearly life serving. They even have to be practiced by collectivists to the degree that they want to survive.
Reality exists as an objective absolute – independent of any consciousness, human or divine.
- Reality is knowable and that reason is our only means to know it.
- Truth exists as an objective absolute.
- Thinking in principles, and going to the fundamentals of any issue.
- Our conceptual faculty is what defines us as human.
- Capitalism is the only sociopolitical system that declares man free and thus is the only means to peace and abundance.
- Reason and freedom are corollaries.
Ideas that will endure
Any ideas that help men identify reality correctly and therefore act appropriately are life supporting. Conversely ideas that result in men departing from the facts of reality can only ever cause suffering and destruction.
Even while such ideas are becoming increasingly unpopular, this does not mean that they are wrong. Even if an insane culture punishes those rational men who practice them, it does not mean that the ideas themselves must be forfeited. They must simply go underground along with the rational men who hold them. When the political context once again permits they will inevitably re-emerge and the pendulum will once again swing men back into adopting reason as their guiding principle.
Freedom and human flourishment are matters of science
The video above is a great presentation of the facts that support the need for human freedom. I share the view that human flourishment clearly requires freedom. This fact remains no matter who disagrees with it. Not everyone wants freedom – parasites certainly do not. But this does not alter the fact that human advancement, peace and abundance require political freedom and the use of reason as a guiding principle. Only when these conditions prevail will humanity flourish.
The only question is this. How far will the west fall and how long will it take for reason to once again be recognised as the fundamental guiding principle that it is. In other words, how much suffering does the human race require before it draws the conclusion that is commensurate with the facts of reality?
What do you think?