Objectivism: The Collectivist Can Be Defeated

Philosophy.  Who needs it?  America needs it–especially our youth and business people.  Their futures are being consigned to economic slavery due to the false education they are being provided by Leftists…and not just Leftists but “compassionate conservatives” as well.  Without economic freedom there can be no social freedom; for gays, women, blacks or any other minority.  Whenever a society ceases to allow individuals to keep the fruits of their labor–they are then, by default, living for the state and they are no longer socially free.  A society cannot have it both ways and still call itself a “free nation.”

That philosophical truth is the basis for Ayn Rand’s novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, as well as her other writings on philosophy that followed…and it is within that philosophy, that which she called “Objectivism”, in which the collectivist can be defeated.  She arrived in America when she was young–having escaped the collectivist nightmare under which she was living in Russia. 

If this nation is to survive…collectivism must be defeated.  I recently posted on my Facebook page the following:

“There is no such thing as a compromise with collectivism.  You cannot state that, ‘We’ll just have a little socialism.’  There is no such thing.  It either is or is not collectivism. You cannot say, ‘I have self-esteem’ as an individual and then consign yourself and others to collectively live for each other. That is inherently a contradiction…and there are no such things as contradictions. There are only philosophical premises that are incorrect.”

From Atlas Shrugged

“Contradictions do not exist.  Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises.  You will find that one of them is wrong”.

An individual’s lack of self-esteem is what drives him to allow himself to be put in chains.  Conversely, it is also a lack of self-esteem (or perhaps hyper self-esteem?…certainly not a healthy self-esteem) which drives statist maniacs like Chavez and Hitler to exist.  It is the force of their minds that allow them to believe they can possibly know what is best for an entire collective population made up of individual brains. 

Philosophy, as we all know, can be complicated.  However, the basic premise of her philosophy is as follows:

Man’s only means of knowledge and survival is his own mind.  There is no such thing as a “collective brain”…there are only individual brains under which people can live together within the civil, lawful society our Founders created in our wonderful documents.  However, even in Ayn’s view our Founders almost had it right.  Their idea of limited governance was correct, however, economically she believed they left to many loopholes available to allow politicians the opportunity to assault true laissez faire capitalism.

You often hear politicians say, “It is for the public good.”  Who is the public?  What does the “public” consider “it’s good?”  There is no such thing as the public.  There are only individuals…because there is no such thing as a collective brain.  The idea of the “public good” is built upon a false premise–and is precisely why we are devolving into a nanny state.

We have had communal experiments in our country–almost since it’s founding.  They almost always failed and even if they survived it was usually because they were still sucking off the teat of the capitalism that surrounded them.  The collectivist will try to reason with himself saying, “The reason my collectivism doesn’t work is because all of you individualists keep destroying my effort.”  Accept, that’s not the case.  Collectivism doesn’t work simply because it is philosophically flawed in it’s very premise.  Even when you have an entire group of people who agree to the experiment it will fail.  Hypothetically, let’s say an entire group goes to a deserted island to try the experiment.  The commune must have some sort of rules by which it must govern itself…and usually it is up to an individual or group of individuals to exercise those rules.  Someone must decide who is more or less “equal” than someone else when handing out rations or responsibilities.  Inevitably what starts to happen are jealousies and resentments among the collective–and it devolves into chaos. 

Objectivism promotes what she called “rational self-interest”.  That is not the same as “selfishness.”  They are two very different things.  A man’s rational self-interest is that which benefits those things that he values as an individual.  Selfishness, as she stated in an interview once, is when you allow your spouse, someone you value as an individual, to perish because you decided to go out and spend money on that visit to the night-club rather than giving him the money for the operation he so desperately needed.  Her philosophy doesn’t necessarily condemn charitable efforts.  She only condemned charitable efforts if it meant that you, as an individual, were sacrificing your own rational-self interest–the means by which you need to survive.  She regarded altruism as evil…putting your own self-worth above others when doing so damages your own survival.

She once stated, “Look at Russia.  Communism is based on altruism.  Look at Nazi Germany.  The Nazis were more explicit than even the Russians in preaching self-sacrifice and altruism.  Every dictatorship is based on altruism.  You can’t fight it [altruism] by merely saying it is a difference of opinion.  It is a difference of life and death.” 

Man’s reason and logic is the means to his survival.  It is the ability to add two and two and get four.  Ayn rejected the Leftist, secular, “mystical” notions of feelings to arrive at knowledge–since feelings are subjective and not a true barometer of knowing objective truth.  It is also the reason why the collectivist attempts to convince you there is no such thing as right and wrong, good and evil, or even objective truth; it is their attempt to mold society to fit their emotional premises.  She also rejected those of faith who use their faith to know reality (and there are those both on the left and the right who use their faith to justify legislative decisions and collectivism).  Faith requires a leap of the mind.  It is personal for each individual.  There is no way to know for certain that what those of faith say and believe is real.  By it’s very nature it is contradictory and does not lend itself to scientific, observable proof.  She did accept morality as an objective truth.  Morality is man’s only means to deal truthfully in a civil society with each other.  Without morality and concepts of right and wrong we would not be able to live with our fellow human beings; society would quickly devolve into chaos.  On a side note, Ayn was an atheist.  I am not.  However, I have taught myself to base my political arguments and debates on reason and evidence–while keeping my faith out of it.

The individualist can defeat collectivism based on this philosophy…because it always leads you to the objective truth.  There are many on the religious right who find her philosophy uncomfortable because they feel their faith is threatened.  However, I would contend that there is no reason to have that fear because when you are dealing with a philosophy that leads you to objective truth–you simply cannot go wrong.  Of course, the Leftists have always despised her philosophy because it lays bare their emotional assumptions on which they base their debates.  There is a reason liberals and Democrats don’t like to debate.  Conservatives, while they sometimes use their faith to make their arguments (a habit I wouuld like to break them of), tend to approach things naturally from the rational, logical perspective as part of their inherent nature which already exists within them.

From the beginnings of this nation’s founding, a founding based on classical liberalism (free economics and a free society), there have been leftists who led our population to believe that–they were still classical liberals even while they grew government.  Then when the population figured out that lie and realized what some were calling “liberalism” was really “collectivism”–the collectivists then changed what they called themselves to “Progressives.”  The collectivist must always change what he calls himself to hide what he is doing…and this is why we can no longer compromise with these people.  It will destroy us if we allow it.  There is a reason they say, “No good crisis should go to waste.”  They use any crisis as an excuse to grow their political power–and it is ONLY about growing political power.  It has nothing to do with helping “the little guy.”  And…unfortunately, we have been subjected to these collectivist notions from both sides of the aisle.

“A leash is only a rope with a noose on both ends.”  The Fountainhead

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7 thoughts on “Objectivism: The Collectivist Can Be Defeated

  1. America proves Ayn Rand’s ideals. America was the only country that started a tradition of individual freedom and legal elbowroom for creative pebble droppers to lift the freedom and prosperity of community. We saw this expressed in how well local government worked, how vigilantes righted wrongs of the greedy takers, and the Tea Parties today challenge tyranny in Washington, D.C. Those who cower in the shadow of community interests criticize Rand for things that are not true, such as selfishness being held up as self-centeredness, which leads to pride, envy and anger. This she opposed, and Howard Roark sets the example of the outer-centered innovative individual, as expressed in his jury summation in Fountainhead. Her ideals are cited in SAVE PEBBLE DROPPERS & PROSPERITY on claysamerica.com.

  2. “There is no such thing as a compromise with collectivism.”

    It’s been about 9 or 10 years since I read any Ayn Rand.

    Is the use of tax dollars to build roads collectivism? I am certain private industry could build toll roads on their own dime. But would they build roads where they are needed or only where money can be made?

    Now I do know welfare and Social Security Disability are collectivism and this proposed evil national health insurance plan is the pocked face stinking foul head of a Hydra. Such things must be defeated.

  3. Very well-said, Chris. I remember seeing both of these books by Ayn Rand on my father’s bookshelf when I was a kid, and by the time I reached high school I was so intrigued about them that without a word, I sat down and read them both. I was stunned. It was the first time in my life I actually questioned using my faith to dictate my politics (although it didn’t come to fruition until I was 24 years old).

    Good to have you, buddy!

  4. Thank you all for the comments!

    John in CA: In regards to your question regarding the collecting of taxes for roads–I would argue that it is possible to privatize many of the things that we have convinced ourselves we need to collect tax dollars for. Police, firefighters, roads (local and international), etc. Things like schools, roads, and police and firefighters should be funded by the people whom are locally served by those institutions. There are probably a million ways it could be done without having to collect the money through governmental systems of any sort. Businesses in those areas could even be approached on the premise of Ayn’s trader principle (you give me something in exchange for something I have given you) and asked if they would help fund a little of those salaries in exchange for those groups then doing something special for the business. There are probably many ways it could be handled.

    Taxation is a very insidious practice that can be too often used by governments as hammers against their own people. Anyone who has had to deal with the IRS can attest to that.

    Mel: It dawned on me as well that morality really is something that can be taught outside the context of faith. Obviously much of what various faith have taught us over the years is valuable information. However, people get touchy when you try to suggest morality must be linked through religion or faith. You can take those principles (I think) and divorce them from the realm of faith and simply present them as civilized ways to live amongst each other. That way, faith can be kept private, but you can still have an educational basis which schools could teach children without having to get into the “God issue” at all. Frankly, I wish we had such things as ethics classes in schools considering how badly our youth seem to be slipping.

    Anyway, those are some of my thoughts. I’m not so sure we have leaders with enough insight to work on those things in any serious way…which is, of course, unfortunate. Then–that is the nature of the politician…isn’t it?

  5. Bravo. Great column.

    Ayn Rand doesn’t have to be a Christian or agree with the faith in any way for me to see that she agrees with what is part of my faith.

    We all answer as individuals to ourselves and/or God/or our god. That is so basic, bottom line that I fail to see how so many miss it.

    The less true to ourselves, the more we relinquish what we have to offer, therefore giving up the use of our best abilities and gifts.

  6. Great piece, Chris!

    The dynamics Ayn Rand expresses are important for individual survival and we must rid ourselves of the collective mindset. I agree, there should be no compromise. We cannot continue to go down a road of giving up individual freedom for the so-called “public good.” Like Letscheck said, “we all answer to as individuals ourselves and/or God/or our god.” Totally agree. There is no end to a progressive philosophy that seeks to control over the masses which then in turn is immoral. To give up ourselves for someone else, limits our God-given potential.

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