Wednesday, 17 February 2016

"So, what if people did behave according to Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism?”


Writing at NPR, respected research psychologist Denise Cummins expresses her fascination with the growing popularity of Rand's ideas among young people, asking the question: “So what if people behaved according to Rand’s philosophy of ‘objectivism’[sic]? What if we indeed allowed ourselves to be blinded to all but our own self-interest?”

She answers the question herself with several straw men thoroughly debunked by Ben Bayer at the new Check Your Premises blog, to which Landon Walsh adds this excellent comment:

I think it's important to answer the question she posed for herself:

        "So, what if people behaved according to Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism?
        “What if we indeed allowed ourselves to be blinded to all but our own self-interest?"

Well, you might build a school that gives children a quality education rather than what is found in government schools. A school that gives children a grounded knowledge of the entirety of Western history, writing skills that exceed graduate student levels, and understanding in science that takes them past advanced Physics by the time they graduate the 8th grade, like Lisa Vandamme's "Vandamme Academy" or Dr. Peter LePort's "LePort Schools". Similarly, you might develop an epistemologlly correct science curriculum like David Harriman.
    Or you might do like John Allison at BB&T and build up an enterprise on Objectivist values and virtues. Under Mr. Allison’s leadership from 1989 to 2009, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion to over $152 billion in assets to become the tenth largest financial institution headquartered in the USA.
    ‘I wrote the BB&T philosophy booklet [says John Allison], which we use to this day. It’s an integrated world view. I wrote it but it was edited by Leonard Peikoff, who is Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir. Leonard’s book, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand had enabled me to fully integrate my world view for which I owe Leonard a great debt. Our executive management team bought into the philosophy because it was a clear foundation for future success."
    Or you might defend capitalism by developing careers in public speaking, like Yaron Brook who gave up a lucrative career in the financial sector to teach and lecture around the world.
    You might decide to take control of your own like, and start your own business like Jimmy Wales's Wikipedia.
    Or you might become a philosophy professor like Tara Smith of UT Austin, and write treatises on ethics and judicial review...
    All for your own selfish interest...
    However you would NOT become a snivelling, whining, lying, envious leftist....

I thought he was very well restrained. Don’t you?

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