I decided to make this thread in the interest of promoting the philosophy of Objectivism. Many of you may have heard about this philosophy, but suffer from misconceptions about it. Others may never have heard about it at all, most likely due to a profound lack of interest in philosophy. This is what I'd like to address.
The above quote is taken from the book "Philosophy: Who Needs It?", and is highly accurate. If you do not study and understand philosophy, you are a helpless victim to the philosophies of others. You passively accumulate bits and pieces of philosophy from the society and culture that you are exposed to, and end up living by a subjective, irrational and contradictory semi-philosophy, which in turn will influence your life for the worse. This is the major cause behind the many types of collective mentalities, such as those of environmentalists, evangelicals and "paulbots" alike. Due to the fact that so few people are capable of independent thought, a small handful of intellectuals (more often than not on the goverment's payroll) are able to set the tone of large cultural movements -- and sadly, most of the current cultural movements are directed towards destroying man's confidence in his own self-reliance and ability to reason. I think we're close to seeing the climax of this trend today.“The men who are not interested in philosophy need it most urgently: they are most helplessly in its power”
I'll give a very brief introduction to Objectivism, and go more in depth if you show interest in it.
Objectivism is the philosophy of reason. Unlike other philosophies, which dictate that you need to take certain things on faith and/or appeals to subjective feelings, the ethics of Objectivism are epistemologically and scientifically proven as absolutes (and among these absolutes are man's right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness). Objectivists are first and foremost advocates of reason, and by extension of that, advocates of rational self-interest and free market capitalism; the American way of life. Due to the large degree of individual freedom, America (the only country founded on philosophy) is the morally superior country in the world today -- because of this fact, Objectivists advocate a foreign policy of self-interest. I very strongly recommend that article, which primarily deals with the war on terror (of which Objectivists are ardent supporters -- although they greatly differ on the way that the war is currently being waged).
Objectivism is currently advanced by the Ayn Rand Institute, which is dedicated to spearhead a cultural renaissance that will reverse the anti-reason, anti-individualism, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist trends in today's culture. Ayn Rand herself, as you may know, is the American philosopher who lived in New York from 1926-1982. Her best selling book, Atlas Shrugged, is regarded as the second most influential book of the 20th century, and has recieved wide acclaim -- primarily from Republicans (as well as Libertarians, though they are perverting everything that Objectivism stands for).
I'll end this opening post by providing you with a few interesting resources, in the event you'd like to learn more about this philosophy. If you already consider yourself a critic of Objectivism per se, you will benefit regardless -- in the best case scenario by clearing up your misconceptions, or in the "worst" case scenario by improving your ability to defend the basic principles of liberty, as well as free market capitalism, of which I believe you're all in favor of here.
- The Ayn Rand Lexicon, where you'll find information on the Objectivist stance on all major issues, grouped from A-Z.
- The Ayn Rand Institute's media channel on YouTube, where you'll find lectures and panel discussions on foreign policy, capitalism, and more.
If you're interested in gaining a deeper knowledge about Objectivism, I strongly recommend that you sign up at the Ayn Rand Institute. Its free, with no strings attached, and you won't recieve any mail from them unless you specify so. What you will get however, is free access to over 200 hours of lectures. The following, which may be found under "ARI Lecture Series" on the member's page, may be of particular interest to you:
You'll also find some public lectures on ARI's front page. For starters, I'd recommend the short commentary on Independence Day, to give you a sense of what the philosophy is about.The Rise and Fall of Property Rights in America
The Separation of School and State: The Case for Abolishing America's Government Schools (VERY POWERFUL -- EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS)
The Virtue of Selfishness: Why Achieving Your Happiness Is Your Highest Moral Purpose
The Road to 9/11: How America's Selfless Policies Unleashed the Jihadists
Totalitarian Islam's Threat to the West
America's Foreign Policy: Self-Interest vs. Self-Sacrifice
The Morality of War
Thanks for taking the time to read this -- I hope you found it informal. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have.
“A country without a political philosophy is like a ship drifting at random in mid-ocean at the mercy of any chance wind, wave or current. A ship whose passengers huddle in their cabins and cry "don't rock the boat!" for fear of discovering that the captain’s brig is empty."