Jennifer Burns, author of the Ayn Rand book “Goddess of the Market” claims “Ayn Rand is dead. It’s been 35 years since hundreds of mourners filed by her coffin (fittingly accompanied by a dollar-sign-shaped flower arrangement), but it has been only four months since she truly died as a force in American politics.” Does that indicate the death of Objectivism?
In her article “We just might miss the ‘heartless’ Ayn Rand” she also states “In electing Trump, the Republican base rejected laissez-faire economics in favor of economic nationalism.”
She calls Ayn Rand “heartless.” You can bet a lot of people believe that…even if it isn’t true. No wonder Objectivism gets kicked around.
In the article, Jennifer Burns tells it like it is. She explains how the Republican Party has always diluted Objectivism into something almost unrecognizable. In addition, she points how liberals might miss her defense of individual autonomy and liberty. Obviously you can see why our social, economic and political system has slowly decayed. The combination of neo-conservatives and progressive liberals makes a deadly weapon that obliterates personal liberty and economic freedom.
Laissez Faire Capitalism and The Mixed Economy
Through no fault of its own…capitalism is in disrepute. It’s blamed for our economic woes. It’s the modern day scapegoat. Objectivism supports laissez faire capitalism while the Elite and its Soldiers impose a mixed economy on us. The Mainstream Media convinces the masses that Federal Reserve scams and cronyism is capitalism…when in fact it’s a system of government interventionism stumbling towards Fascism.
You probably know some people were catching on. It was a perfect opportunity for Objectivists to enlighten these men and women about the benefits of reason, individualism and capitalism. Instead, they allowed them to slip into the Trump camp of extreme Nationalism. Now we must ask. Is it too late to open up another opportunity for Objectivism?
Our first step is to find out why a mixed economy must eventually lead to collapse and full scale socialism.
In the great book Human Action, Ludwig von Mises states “The interventionist interlude must come to an end because interventionism cannot lead to a permanent system of social organization. The reasons are threefold.
First: Restrictive measures always restrict output and the amount of goods available for consumption. Whatever arguments may be advanced in favor of definite restrictions and prohibitions, such measures in themselves can never constitute a system of social production.
Second: All varieties of interference with the market phenomena not only fail to achieve the ends aimed at by their authors and supporters, but bring about a state of affairs which—from the point of view of their authors’ and advocates’ valuations—is less desirable than the previous state of affairs which they were designed to alter. If one wants to correct their manifest unsuitableness and preposterousness by supplementing the first acts of intervention with more and more of such acts, one must go farther and farther until the market economy has been entirely destroyed and socialism has been substituted for it.
Third: Interventionism aims at confiscating the “surplus” of one part of the population and at giving it to the other part. Once this surplus is exhausted by total confiscation, a further continuation of this policy is impossible.”
As you can see the mixed economy modern progressives advocate is absurd; it defies logic and reason. Unfortunately, mystics of he muscle and of the mind (modern progressives) downplay the individual’s primary means of understanding reality…his mind.
Ayn Rand puts the final touches on the lunacy of government interference with market forces. “We are not a capitalist system any longer: we are a mixed economy, i.e., a mixture of capitalism and statism, of freedom and controls. A mixed economy is a country in the process of disintegration, a civil war of pressure-groups looting and devouring one another.
A mixed economy has to reach the day when it faces a final crossroad: either the private sector regains its freedom and starts rebuilding—or it gives up and lets the absolute state take over the shambles.”
Progressives call Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises “heartless” for revealing the facts of reality. How dare Rand and Mises demolish their fanciful illusions and flights into economic and social fantasies.
The Problem with Objectivism
If Objectivism is on its death bed, its advocates are partly to blame. Some of their methods of promoting this marvelous philosophy of reason, logic and individual rights alienates people. I admit…I’ve been guilty of turning men and women off with my moralistic fervor. Objectivists must realize that proper communication includes beneficial dialogue…not trying to pound the teachings into someone’s head. All you get from that is resistance.
Men and women want to be understood. They possess desires they would like to satisfy. If you show no understanding…and instead prefer to judge average people as inferiors…you will never convince them on the wonders of Objectivism. Tragically, you will push them away and re-enforce their beliefs in irrationality and anti-capitalism.
In addition, once your internalize Ayn Rand’s teachings…you face the danger of your ego growing to a bloated size. You might feel a sense of superiority because you’re a being of impeccable reason. Suddenly non-objectivists seem like mindless idiots.
Leonard Peikoff wisely notes “Most people know nothing about psycho-epistemology. They take their habitual method of thought for granted, leaving it unidentified and unquestioned. Yet this kind of ignorance can be disastrous. . . . Men can automatize wrong methods of thought without even knowing it. In order to achieve intellectual control, therefore, in order to enjoy the full power over your mind that volition makes possible, you must identify your psycho-epistemological methods, and correct those, if any, which are not consonant with your adult knowledge.”
Any Objectivist will agree with him. However, what happens when you start believing most people are psycho-epistemological nitwits? You begin harshly judging them. Do you think that’s conducive to building relationships?
I went through a period where I don’t think anyone liked me. The consequence? I almost abandoned Objectivism. Mysticism started looking good. Bye, bye logic and reason…down, down, down the long slide of illusion…all the way to failure and frustration. It’s all fun and games until you lose touch with reality. Then you’re in real trouble. For a while, I entertained the idea that reality is an illusion. Fortunately, I rebounded because I had absorbed an abundance of Rand’s Objectivism and Mises’ economic theories.
Objectivism: A New Beginning
I captured three major benefits from my walk through the forest of irrationality. Even BS philosophies of life occasionally stumble on to truth.
- I realized that it wasn’t a higher awareness that resides somewhere in the ozone I was seeking…but an accelerated awareness of reality.
- I developed more compassion and understanding towards fellow human beings. That really helped my relationships.
- I quit alienating people. I learned how to communicate with almost any man and woman. It’s all about dialogue. Now it’s time to use the learned skills to promote Objectivism…before it becomes a permanently faded philosophy of life.
Almost everyone has something of value to trade…even if he or she accepts some irresponsible nonsense and is hopelessly a non-objectivist. Certainly, Objectivists still believe in trading value for value. Why alienate someone who could have something beneficial to offer. Unfortunately, we’re not living in Galt’s Gulch. We have to deal with neurotic people…and it’s best to do it successfully. You don’t have to love them or form permanent personal and business relationships with them. You can temporarily trade value for value. Obviously, you purchase goods and services from people who have never heard of Objectivism.
We must demonstrate through beneficial dialogue that Ayn Rand and Objectivism is not some mean, heartless philosophy of life…but is driven by heart and passion for the virtues of reason, individualism and laissez faire capitalism.
RA Meyer – The Objectivist Masters the Social Maze
Note: In previous articles I referred to the Objectivist Warrior. I decided to change that for two reasons.
Some Objectivists…and other men and women interested in Objectivism might prefer to drop the Warrior label.
The term Objectivist stands alone…strong and heroic.
The previous articles will remain unchanged.