Root: The Strike – As Ayn Rand Predicted

As Ayn Rand Predicted, the Wealthy are Going on Strike Against Obama.

By Wayne Allyn Root, Former Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee and creator of ROOTforAmerica.com

The U.S. economy is crumbling. Businesses are collapsing in record numbers. Jobs have disappeared. Tax revenues are down dramatically. Coincidence?

Everything happening today under Obama resembles the storyline of Ayn Rand’s famous book, Atlas Shrugged, one of the most popular books of all time, selling over 7 million copies. Now, under President Obama, Atlas Shrugged has come to life. Rand prophesized a country dominated by socialists, Marxists and statists, where looters, free loaders and poverty promoters live off the productive class. To rationalize the fleecing of innovative business owners and job creators, the looter class demonized the wealthy, just as Obama and his socialist cabal are doing in real life today.

The central plot of Atlas Shrugged is that in response to being demonized, over-taxed, over-regulated, and punished for success, America’s business owners were disappearing — dropping off the grid, and refusing to work 16-hour days to support those unwilling to put in the same blood, sweat and tears. They were going on strike. Because of that the original proposed title of “Atlas Shrugged” was “The Strike.”

They were going on strike to teach that civilization cannot survive when people are slaves to government. That without a productive class of innovative business owners willing to risk their own money and work 16-hour days, weekends and holidays, there are no jobs and no taxes to pay for government. If you punish the wealthy, the risk-takers, the innovators, you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. In Obama’s America, fiction is becoming fact.

The lesson of Atlas Shrugged is that without the $100,000+ earners paying into Social Security, there are no pensions for the poor and lower middle class. Without the wealthy owners of million-dollar mansions paying $25,000 and $50,000 annual property tax bills, there is no funding for public schools. Without the wealthy paying into Medicare, there is no “free” healthcare for the elderly. Without capitalists motivated by profit, there are no discoveries to eradicate polio or create miraculous cancer and AIDS drugs. Without capitalists motivated by profit, there are no jobs, period! That is what happens when the producers of society go on strike to protect themselves from the looters.

Ayn Rand was warning the looters that there are consequences to their overzealous actions. She was warning that if the productive classes felt used, demonized, ripped off, and taken for granted, they would go on strike — stop working, retire early, go underground, or move to places where achievement is celebrated and they feel appreciated.

The latest U.S. Census proves Ayn Rand right. Under Obama the wealthy are striking, voting with their feet. They are moving to low-tax red states in droves, escaping from high-tax blue states where they are being demonized and punished by the millions.

The Census proves that Obama’s tax and spend philosophy is a dismal failure, an economic disaster killing jobs. It is no coincidence that 1.9 million FEWER Americans are working than before Obama’s stimulus. It is no coincidence that jobs are not returning to the private sector. It is no coincidence that tax revenues have dropped dramatically and cannot support Obama’s bloated Big Brother government. The innovators, risk-takers, and wealthy he demonized and punished are on strike.

The high tech revolution has killed the progressive-liberal tax-and-spend dream. Because of the Internet, email, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Satellite TV, I-phones, I-pads, and cell phones, business owners are no longer prisoners of Big Brother. Take a look at states where the latest Census shows Americans moved during the past decade: Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alaska, Virginia — all low- or no-tax red states, states that lead the USA in economic freedom.

Now look at states they escaped from: New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan. Taxpayers, business owners, jobs creators, retirees with assets are fleeing the high tax, big spending, Big Brother states — the states being run like Obama is running the nation.

Progressives be afraid, be very afraid. If Obama is re-elected, these valuable producers will pick up and leave America altogether. There is a big world out there begging them to come. Places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Monte Carlo, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Bahamas, and Cayman Islands are low-tax havens that appreciate business owners and their sacrifices. They welcome wealthy ex-patriates. They celebrate individual achievement. They reward instead of punish business owners and financial risk-takers. They are wonderful places to live and are aggressively pursuing Americans.

I am just one small businessman, a third-party Libertarian political leader. Yet I personally have heard from thousands of fans, friends and supporters who have left America, are thinking of leaving America, are visiting other countries right now to decide where to go, or making preparations to leave in case Obama is re-elected. Just as Ayn Rand predicted, business owners are going on strike. Permanently.

The high tech revolution has freed them to run their businesses from anywhere in the world. The same high tech tools and toys that toppled a powerful and invincible 30-year dictator in Egypt and now threaten to topple powerful leaders throughout the Arab world, also offer mobility and freedom to U.S. taxpayers. Obama better learn the lesson of Mubarek before millions more business people decide they do not need to put up with looters, free loaders, and politicians who despise them.

Atlas is shrugging. Ayn Rand is saying “I told you so.”

And The Strike has begun.

Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His web site: www.ROOTforAmerica.com

61 thoughts on “Root: The Strike – As Ayn Rand Predicted

  1. Darryl W. Perry

    “Obama’s America” talk of “red state/blue state”… If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this were written by a member of the Elephant faction of the political duopoly…

  2. it Paine's me...

    What makes this article more ridiculous than the self-serving and laughable claim that the wealthy class is the productive class, is the fact that all the while there is an ACTUAL general strike going on in Greece where the poor, working and middle classes are refusing to accept debt-slavery. Go ahead, America’s capitalist class, go on strike; we’ll gladly take your capital off your hands and run our workplaces ourselves.

  3. wolfefan

    1) If this is a trend over the past decade, it has as much to do with Bush as Obama – maybe more. I wish the article recognized that.

    2) Whether an individual state is a low-tax or high-tax state has little to do with who the President is and more with who the governor is. Here in Virginia, the statehouse has been in Democratic hands for most of the last decade (Warner and Kaine) and by far most of the population and job growth is in Northern Virginia, definitely not a red area.

  4. Jinn N. Jooz

    Don’t mean to sound too flip there, but seriously…the logic of Atlas Shrugged does not suggest that capitalists in this situation should be on the national and state committees of minor political parties, or that they should become radio and TV commentators.

    It suggests, that if we find ourselves in such circumstances – as Root suggests we are – that they should do things like move to tax havens, go into hiding, live as outlaws (Danneskjold) or swindle less savvy businessmen into making bad investments (D’Anconia, or, in real life, Bernie Madoff).

    John Galt does not run for office; he approaches businessmen one on one, in private, and convinces them to go on strike without announcing their plans or seeking any publicity.

    If Mr. Root finds this to be an apt model of what should happen, or what is in fact happening, why would he not follow his own logic and move to the Caymans or wherever? It seems to me that by remaining in the US he is simply wasting his efforts in trying to salvage what his guidebook suggests is an unsalvagable system. Per Rand, the sooner he realizes his efforts are futile and abandons the failing larger society to its comeuppance the better.

    No?

  5. AroundtheblockAFT

    Hey #2, the children in Greece are throwing a temper tantrum. They pissed and shat their own bed, let them lie in it.

  6. Republican Baloney

    More Republican nonsense:

    As Ayn Rand Predicted, the Wealthy are Going on Strike Against Obama.

    The U.S. economy is crumbling. Businesses are collapsing in record numbers. Jobs have disappeared. Tax revenues are down dramatically. Coincidence?

    No, delusion. Let’s look at Federal tax revenues under President Obama:

    http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/index.html Monthly Receipts, Outlays, and Deficit or Surplus, Fiscal Years 1981-2010 (all numbers in millions of dollars):

    First five months of

    2009: 825 751
    2010: 858 171
    2011: 951 554

    If you want collapsing revenues, compare with the first five months 0f 2008, and the revenue collapse under the Bush Republican war crimes regime.

    Remember, if you send money to the LNC, you are funding the distribution of this Republican tripe on LP.ORG.

  7. The Greek People Are Right

    They reject the position of the PASOK socialists that Greece should sell off its resources to enrich Papendreou’s EUBanker friends.

    And, yes, it was my Grandfather who was a major leader of the Justice for Greece committee.

  8. Herr O'Dawg

    Per Rand’s logic, most people are deluded, weak-willed and/or ill-motivated, leeching off an elite few that they resent. If this is true, it seems to logically follow that no system based on majority voting could ever work. Thus, why would Randians ever involve themselves with politics, which are played by “plurality prevails” rules? How can they hope to succeed under such a system?

    Additionally, in Rand’s novel, the economic and political system unravels quickly once it begins to reach a crisis stage. If Root believes that we are in such a critical stage, how does that square with his previous proposal that he can spend three or four presidential elections getting to the point where he could be viable? Do we have that long to wait?

  9. Steven Wilson

    1. Root is a Republican.

    2. Ayn Rand is one of the worst writers of all time.

    3. Objectivism is not meant to function within modern political systems. Accordingly, your ACTION is your consent which is the same as a vote.

    4. Big Tent Craptown is built by consent.

    5. Root should ask Ayn what she thinks of his central plan in Nevada.

  10. Herr O'Dawg

    If Obama is re-elected, these valuable producers will pick up and leave America altogether.

    Therefore, we can’t afford to let Obama get re-elected. Thus, we can’t run anyone against him, lest that person pull votes from Republicans and cause this apocalyptic collapse.

    Right?

    If this is not the only possible inference from what Wayne Root writes, why not?

  11. George Phillies

    @13

    Libertarians pull marginally more votes from Democrats than from Republicans. “We’re pro-choice about everything” simply is not salable to most tea partiers and Christian rightists.

    Do I think we should change to accommodate the Christan right? No, for the same reason that I do not think we should change to accommodate the Republican fascist warmongers. They are different from us.

    @12 “3. Objectivism is not meant to function within modern political systems. ”

    That’s

    “3. Objectivism is not meant to function. ” PERIOD FULL STOP. Objectivism is the old NeoPlatonist claim that there are self-evident axioms, and that there is a process called ‘logic’ that lets you ‘derive everything’ from those axioms. The claim has been dead for about 1500 years now, even before our understanding of logic was improved. It’s also the exact contrary of the Newtonian world view, which unlike all those other philosophies actually works.

    The deduce claim is faith-based, in the sense that it is contrary to the known processes of logic, which is a bit peculiar for a belief system that rejects faith.

  12. Michael Cavlan RN

    Herr Dawg

    You are understanding.

    David Cobb did it to protect the Democrats with the Green Party.

    The National Green Party is just about dead.

    From a friend who has no real dog in the Libertarian fight.

    Do NOT allow Wayne Root and his allies destroy what you have.

    Never mind that he is constantly challenged on what appears to be flat out lies and refuses to address them.

  13. Steven Wilson

    Objectivism would’ve worked during times of a political systems infancy. Objectivism is short-term functional.

    It was meant for discovery only, so when a new country was forming, objectivism would’ve been functional as the people within that new country were “becoming” whatever they will end up being.

    Doubt comes after certainty. This is why Rand is a ghost in a house with no corners.

  14. Deran

    Root is a crazy malthusian. Just like Rand. “Productive class” v “looter class”? Root and Rand have flipped history on its head and made the parasite class the productive and the working class the unproductive.

  15. Marc Montoni

    How’s that, Tom? Can you clarify what you mean?

    The way I see it, the moment the political class realizes they’ve bankrupted their own country with promises they can never deliver upon, and that they must reduce government largess, the communist/socialist left immediately takes to the streets in violent outrage. Seems to me the “gimme” people doing all the rioting are the children in that particular playground. They want free health care, free school, free college, free housing, free everything, and when it appears that they will stop getting those things, they start tantrum-ing.

  16. Michael H. Wilson

    Wayne once again nothing mentioned as to what the Libertarian solution to this problem is.

    Secondly did you ever consider that you are on welfare just like most of Wall Street? The taxpayers subsidize college and professional sports to the tune of millions each year and add to that Hoover Dam. Without the dam Las Vegas would be a sandbox.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    Marc @ 19,

    The Greek political class achieved election, re-election and perpetual power by making promises it couldn’t keep.

    The Greek productive class believed those promises, worked, paid taxes, etc. … and is now being told by the Greek political class “you have to keep working and pay even MORE taxes than you already were, to cover those checks we wrote — but you no longer get what we promised you. Oh, and BTW, we have no intention of giving up our power just because we fucked up beyond all reason.”

    Yes, the “benefits” have to go. They were a con game from the beginning.

    But let’s not get mixed up about who’s the perpetrator versus who’s the victim here.

    The Greek productive class should repudiate the Greek political class’s debt, and make that repudiation stick.

  18. JT

    Phillies: “Objectivism is the old NeoPlatonist claim that there are self-evident axioms, and that there is a process called ‘logic’ that lets you ‘derive everything’ from those axioms.”

    Nonsense. First, axioms aren’t “NeoPlatonist.” Aristotle was the philosopher who upheld objective reality and the fact of identity. Second, O’ism doesn’t hold that logic let’s someone “derive everything” from axiomatic concepts (those that can’t be denied without contradiction). Axioms are just implicit in any claim to knowledge, but knowledge depends on perceptual evidence. Don’t opine on something you’re so obviously ignorant of.

  19. George Phillies

    “Axioms are implicit in…” more objectivist nonsense.

    “The fact of” no, that’s a math statement. More objectivist nonsense.

    Complaints about contradiction A great deal more objectivist nonsense.

    In upholding reality, Aristotle is lined up with more or less every other word chopper forward to Mao Tse-tsung and Martin Luther.

  20. Steven Wilson

    Objectivism requires that you form a circle.

    1. Discovery
    2. Certainty
    3. Doubt

    The philosophy of the one cannot engage the group dynamic. It would be like you living within a dream. This is why Rand cannot find a home.

  21. JT

    Phillies: ““Axioms are implicit in…” more objectivist nonsense.”

    Is this supposed to be an argument? That very statement relies on and upholds axiomatic concepts.

    Phillies: ““The fact of” no, that’s a math statement. More objectivist nonsense.”

    What? The law of identity precedes mathematical statements. Math depends on identity.

    Phillies: “Complaints about contradiction A great deal more objectivist nonsense.”

    Complaining about contradiction is nonsense? You think it makes sense to contradict yourself?

    Phillies: “In upholding reality, Aristotle is lined up with more or less every other word chopper forward to Mao Tse-tsung and Martin Luther.”

    If you think Aristotle’s metaphysics is anything like Mao’s or Martin Luther’s, you’re very confused.

    I’d like to know from what exactly did you get your ideas about Objectivism.

  22. JT

    Further, when I say axioms that are implicit in any claim to knowledge, I mean that any statement of knowledge=There is (existence) something (identity) I know (consciousness). That applies even to the statement “Objectivism is nonsense.” If you deny that, then you’re saying that nothing exists and you’re unconscious.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT,

    Phillies may be referring to actual objectivism (of which Plato’s idealism is in fact a version). Rand, as was her usual practice with words, ripped off the name.

  24. JT

    Knapp: “Phillies may be referring to actual objectivism (of which Plato’s idealism is in fact a version).”

    Possibly, but I don’t think so because his claim that AR’s Objectivism holds that everything can be deduced from axioms is a fairly common and false claim.

    Knapp: “Rand, as was her usual practice with words, ripped off the name.”

    What do you mean “as was her usual practice with words”?

  25. JT

    The way I phrased that is confusing. I should have said, “Possibly, but I don’t think so because his claim that objectivism holds that everything can be deduced from axioms is a fairly common and false claim made about AR’s Objectivism.”

    On the other hand, if he’s talking about objectivism-related idealism in response to someone who was talking about AR’s Objectivism, that’s a pretty huge confusion.

  26. Tom Blanton

    Root-speak translated:

    Vote Republican in 2012 because if Obama is re-elected, the world will end. Then vote for me in 2016.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    wr: The latest U.S. Census proves Ayn Rand right.

    me: This reflects a 10-year period. Unless it dramatically spiked in 09, this trend has been going on for decades. A lot of it has to do with immigration to places like FL and TX, or an aging population migrating South. BHO has nothing to do with this trend, I suspect.

  28. George Phillies

    I had the dubious privilege, while at MIT, of listening to a long series of notorious members of objectivist study groups — 2 were room-mates — explain in great detail their claims — one of the more amusing of which being that quantum mechanics was wrong because it contradicted Aristotle. And on. And on. And on.

    @27 is a fairly good example of the bizarre level of objectivist thinking.

    After a while, I discovered the apotropaic schema for dealing with these and many other people of similar bent, who would rant ‘you `1

  29. George Phillies

    can’t believe X and Y they are contradictory’. (Well, usually X and Y were on two unrelated topics, let alone two statements about the same object.) ‘I don’t believe in your religion.’ ‘I don’t have a religion’ ‘Yes you have the faith based belief in word-based logic chopping.’

    It might be called Euripidean logic, as it appears in one of his plays as one of the two types of logic taught by Socrates. The other logic was called ‘right logic’.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT @ 30,

    The idea that Dr. Phillies was referring to historical objectivism rather than Randian “Objectivism” was just a guess on my part. It seemed to fit the facts.

    As far as Rand ripping off words goes, she ripped off the name of an existing school of philosophy for her own school of philosophy; she ripped off and attempted to re-define “selfishness” and “capitalism” to name two others. I suspect I could find others as well.

    I happen to have been greatly influenced by Ayn Rand, but Dr. Phillies’s criticisms e.g. @ 34 are not unjustified.

    I consider the basic tenets of Rand’s “Objectivism” completely sound, but both she and her followers have over time displayed a pronounced tendency to leap across knowledge gaps to incorrect answers, then reconstruct a path backward to those basic tenets to “prove” those answers correct.

  31. Rand Was Ignorant of MUCH

    Rand, as was her usual practice with words, ripped off the name.

    Or perhaps Rand was merely ignorant that the word “objectivism” was already in use?

    Rand was notoriously ill-read as to the literary classics or any serious non-fiction book.

    Her criticisms of Christianity indicate an ignorance of Christian theology, as if her sole knowledge of the subject came from whatever out-of-context snippets she picked up from televangelists or heard second-hand from people who knew people who claimed to be Christians.

    Then there was the time she threatened to sue Rothbard because she thought that he’d plagerized the concept of “liberty” from her.

    Rand also hated the Libertarian Party partially because she thought they likewise stole the idea of liberty from her.

    Rand lived in a bubble, imagining that she was the only truly original thinker of any worth since Aristotle.

    She never bothered to read or try to understand her opponents (religionists, progressives, etc.). Perhaps she thought it’d be “sanction of the victim.”

    Nor was she intellectually challenged by the young cultists she surrounded herself with.

    Who did Rand read for intellectual stimulation? Mickey Spillane? Ian Fleming? Good thrillers, but hardly heavy reading.

  32. Michael H. Wilson

    What bothers me about much of this is that there is a whole world out there beyond Rand that is not discussed. Many people act as if she alone created this movement. And in most cases many of these same people have never picked up another book.

  33. NewFederalist

    “Who did Rand read for intellectual stimulation? Mickey Spillane? Ian Fleming? Good thrillers, but hardly heavy reading.”

    You don’t think Mike Hammer and/or James Bond is “heavy reading”? Ask Nathaniel Brandon about it.

  34. Humongous Fungus

    Phillies

    Libertarians pull marginally more votes from Democrats than from Republicans. “We’re pro-choice about everything” simply is not salable to most tea partiers and Christian rightists.

    “pro-choice on everything” hasn’t been promoted by the LP much in quite some time. Nevertheless, you are correct that the LP pulls about equally from the Ds and Rs.

    However, it’s clear that Root’s emphasis is to appeal to right-leaners, so it seems to me that the point you were addressing @13 stands.

    By Root’s own logic, he (or any other candidate with views similar to his) should not run for president in 2012, as they could cost the Republican candidate the election, and thus, as Root explains in this article, doom this country to a terrible fate.

    However, perhaps by his own logic here, Root should help the LP pick a candidate that will help draw more votes from Obama than he or she would from the Republicans?

  35. Humongous Fungus

    Rand lived in a bubble, imagining that she was the only truly original thinker of any worth since Aristotle.

    Her debt to Nietzsche is rather obvious, albeit unacknowledged.

  36. Humongous Fungus

    Vote Republican in 2012 because if Obama is re-elected, the world will end. Then vote for me in 2016.

    If the LP does not run a presidential candidate in 2012, it will have to petition to get on more state ballots by 2016. It will also probably lose too many members to ever recover. Parties which stop running presidential candidates generally stop being national political parties of any consequence whatsoever.

    If Root’s plan is NOTA for 2012, he will most likely not have a Libertarian ticket worth capturing by 2016.

  37. Humongous Fungus

    Personally I think the LP candidate should call for Obama to be impeached. That might get some attention.

    That, and war crimes trials for Bush (and Obama when he leaves office).

  38. Jill Pyeatt

    HF @ 45. I agree with you; in fact, I think every member of our party should be demanding impeachment and trials for the Bush regime and now Obama’s.

  39. Michael Cavlan RN

    Humungus Fungus
    @#44

    This point that you make about the Libertarians running a presidential candidate ( a real one it must be said ) is critical. As you point out, if the Libs do not do so with an attitude of “to hell what the Dems or Repubs think” then as you point out, the Libs will loose ballot access but more importantly your volunteer base.

    That is what the real issue with the Greens and Ralph Nader was.

    David Cobb effectively helped kill the GP. Do not let Wayne Root be your David Cobb.

    Just a heads up from a voice of experience.

  40. George Phillies

    @48

    Michael,

    Do you have sources of factual information on what is happening with the National Green Party? Their FEC reports indicate a half year of zero income.

    George Phillies

  41. Michael Cavlan RN

    George

    There are a few things out there written about it.

    I have done some, Kat Woods and others have done so as well.

    Kind of too busy organizing right now.

    But I am giving my Libertarian friends and allies a heads up.

    Based on my own experiences

  42. Michael Cavlan RN

    Waring you all that the dynamics I see with Wayne Root appear to be the same as David Cobb.

    Do not let that man or his allied destroy the Libertarians.

    Like I say, I have no real dog in this fight.

  43. C. Al Currier

    @#37
    “Her criticisms of Christianity indicate an ignorance of Christian theology”

    I think her understanding of Christianity came from Russia at a time when it was popular to dismiss religion with Marxist jingoism.

    I noticed a similar problem with a book called ‘Age of Reason’, where critism of Christianity comes from someone without a solid grasp of science, and limited to a dumbed-down English version of the Bible. The ‘Age of Reason’ is an embarrassment to both religion and science.

  44. Kleptocracy and You

    @ 49 – ZERO income for the GP is bad news! For all of us if you think about it.

    Not that it matters much to some, but Obama is almost assured of reelection if he receives NO challenge from his left. The EC is stacked HEAVILY against the RP and they have a slim chance to win as is, with little or no opposition to erode Obama’s left flank he is almost a LOCK for four more years !!!

    When there is a choice between full speed socialism and galloping socialism I must prefer the latter. But as I so often attempt to inform there isn’t a real difference between them (Rs&Ds). Either win, WE LOSE !!! Foreign policy is headed the same way no matter who sits in the OO. I just don’t care for B.O. and would like to see him go.

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” – Carroll Quigley (after two years studying the CFR private files)

    Explaining the left-right paradigm to a co worker!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kw7j4lbDB4

    ” When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence. ” – Gary Lloyd

    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” – Noam Chomsky

    Truer words have never been spoken , Noam ! Doesn’t seem the MSM want to hear much ANTI-War talk from anyone !! It is “UNacceptable opinion” !!!

    Libertarian National Committee has passed resolutions calling for U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan: http://www.lp.org/military-withdrawal-resolutions

    LP Fundraiser – Get INVOLVED !
    Spirit of $17.76 BEFORE midnight July 4 at NLP!
    Will you donate today by clicking here
    ( https://www.lp.org/contribute ) ?

    If we raise $1,776 in online donations before midnight on the Fourth of July, one of our stalwart Libertarian supporters will immediately donate another $1,776 to our party in MATCHING fund$!

    Please help get that EXTRA $1776 for the LP send them $17.76 or even better $176.60 today !!!!!!

    THX

  45. Rand Was Ignorant of MUCH

    @ 40 You don’t think Mike Hammer and/or James Bond is “heavy reading”? Ask Nathaniel Brandon about it.

    I’ve read all of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books, some of them more than once. No, I don’t think they’re “heavy reading.” Fun, but not heavy.

  46. JT

    Knapp: “The idea that Dr. Phillies was referring to historical objectivism rather than Randian “Objectivism” was just a guess on my part. It seemed to fit the facts.”

    I knew you were just taking a guess. Then I said possibly, but I don’t think so and here’s why.

    Knapp: “As far as Rand ripping off words goes, she ripped off the name of an existing school of philosophy for her own school of philosophy; she ripped off and attempted to re-define “selfishness” and “capitalism” to name two others. I suspect I could find others as well.”

    I don’t think “ripped off” is the proper term here. First, AR wanted to originally call the philosophy “Existentialism,” but realized that term was already taken. Second, AR thought the essential referents of certain terms were ignored or corrupted, so she tried to address that.

    Knapp: “I happen to have been greatly influenced by Ayn Rand, but Dr. Phillies’s criticisms e.g. @ 34 are not unjustified.”

    Yes, they are. He isn’t even attempting to validate his judgments; he’s just dismissing things out of hand with words like “bizarre”–just as many people do with libertarian ideas.

    Knapp: “I consider the basic tenets of Rand’s “Objectivism” completely sound, but both she and her followers have over time displayed a pronounced tendency to leap across knowledge gaps to incorrect answers, then reconstruct a path backward to those basic tenets to “prove” those answers correct.”

    I can’t respond to that because there’s nothing concrete there.

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@56,

    You write:

    “I can’t respond to that because there’s nothing concrete there.”

    OK, we can do some concrete things.

    Rand’s metaphysics is based on objective reality (“existence exists”) and identity (“A is A”). The binding between her metaphysics and her epistemology is non-contradiction (“to arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking”).

    When confronted with quantum mechanics, Rand jumped to the conclusion that it conflicted with her metaphysics (it doesn’t) and that the error in thinking thus revealed must be on the part of quantum physicists, not Ayn Rand (it wasn’t).

    That particular case seems to be the exception in that it disappeared pretty quickly under the heavy weight of proof that quantum mechanics was in fact an accurate description of objective reality, and that Rand just hadn’t understood what it meant or entailed when she dismissed it.

    However, that particular case was also symptomatic of Rand’s way of doing things. For example, I have yet to see a serious discussion of abortion from organized Objectivism. Rand decreed — on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, but simply because she decided it was that way — that an embryo is just “a piece of protoplasm” and that “a child cannot acquire any rights until it is born” because it is “not-yet-living.” And organized Objectivism has stood by those words ever since, the facts of biology notwithstanding.

  48. JT

    Knapp: “Rand’s metaphysics is based on objective reality (“existence exists”) and identity (“A is A”).”

    Fair enough. Consciousness, as the faculty of awareness of objective reality, should also be included. So should causality, as a corollary of identity.

    Knapp: “The binding between her metaphysics and her epistemology is non-contradiction (“to arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking”).”

    I think the connection is that consciousness itself has identity: that it’s a volitional faculty that must be properly directed and used according to a particular method to gain knowledge of reality. But I understand what you mean and non-contradiction does apply metaphysically as well as epistemically, so that’s a fair statement.

    Knapp: “When confronted with quantum mechanics, Rand jumped to the conclusion that it conflicted with her metaphysics (it doesn’t) and that the error in thinking thus revealed must be on the part of quantum physicists, not Ayn Rand (it wasn’t).”

    Oh, it does. I don’t want to get into a discussion of quantum physics here, but someone can watch David Harriman’s lecture “The Crisis In Physics–and It’s Cause” if they’re interested in knowing how quantum theory reverses the primacy of existence over consciousness and violates identity/causality.

    Knapp: “For example, I have yet to see a serious discussion of abortion from organized Objectivism.”

    I’ve argued with you about abortion before and whether an embryo is a human being or just human cells. I don’t want to do it again here.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    57 tk, I was not aware that Rand had even attempted to address quantum physics. That I’d like to read. Cite?

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT @ 58,

    You write:

    “I’ve argued with you about abortion before and whether an embryo is a human being or just human cells. I don’t want to do it again here.”

    Neither do I.

    But the things, is, we are just blog commenters and yet we’ve managed to explore the issue in some detail.

    As promulgator of what purports to be a complete philosophical system capable of addressing all issue, Rand did herself and her legacy a disservice by treating important issues in an offhand, “make up a dismissive answer, including off-the-cuff factual content, on the spot” manner.

    Bob @ 59,

    My recollection, which may be incorrect, is that the quantum mechanics material appeared as part of the after-matter (interview transcripts, etc.) of An Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

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