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Ayn Rand's Philosophy
Ayn Rand's Philosophy

Objectivism's posts

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The alternative to independence is secondhandedness. A second-hander “is one who regards the consciousness of other men as superior to his own and to the facts of reality.”

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" I will not die. It's the world that will end"

In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustation for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours. “But to win it requires your total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence of that which is man: for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute recitude of knowing that yours is the Morality of Life and that yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth. 

Capitalism demands the best of every man,his rationality and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choice the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others and to go as far on the road of achievements as his ability and ambition will carry.

at first man was enslaved by the gods
But he broke their chains.
Then he was enslaved by the kings
But he broke their chains.
He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race
But he broke their chains.

It is important for a man to define his metaphysics.

Are you in a universe which is ruled by natural laws and, therefore, is stable, firm, absolute—and knowable? Or are you in an incomprehensible chaos, a realm of inexplicable miracles, an unpredictable, unknowable flux, which your mind is impotent to grasp? Are the things you see around you real—or are they only an illusion? Do they exist independent of any observer—or are they created by the observer? Are they the object or the subject of man’s consciousness? Are they what they are—or can they be changed by a mere act of your consciousness, such as a wish? The nature of your actions—and of your ambition—will be different, according to which set of answers you come to accept. These answers are the province of metaphysics—the study of existence as such or, in Aristotle’s words, of “being qua being”—the basic branch of philosophy.

Every philosophy builds on its starting points. Where, then, does one start? What ideas qualify as primaries? By the time men begin to philosophize, they are adults who have acquired a complex set of concepts. The first task of the philosopher is to separate the fundamentals from the rest. He must determine which concepts are at the base of human knowledge and which are farther up the structure— which are the irreducible principles of cognition and which are derivatives. Objectivism begins by naming and validating its primaries. Ayn Rand does not select questions at random; she does not plunge in by caprice. She begins deliberately at the beginning—at what she can prove is the beginning, and the root of all the rest.

Existence, Consciousness, and identity as the Basic Axioms

The essentials are: in metaphysics, the Law of Identity—in epistemology, the supremacy of reason—in ethics, rational egoism—in politics, individual rights (i.e., capitalism)—in esthetics, metaphysical values. If you reach the day when these essentials become your absolutes, you will have entered Atlantis—at least psychologically; which is a precondition of the possibility ever to enter it existentially.
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