Sunday, 18 October 2020

"There is no future for the world except through a rebirth of the Aristotelian approach to philosophy...."

"There is no future for the world except through a rebirth of the Aristotelian approach to philosophy. This would require an Aristotelian affirmation of the reality of existence, of the sovereignty of reason, of life on earth — and of the splendor of man.
    "Aristotle and Objectivism agree on fundamentals and, as a result, on this last point, also. Both hold that man can deal with reality, can achieve values, can live non-tragically. Neither believes in man the worm or man the monster; each upholds man the thinker and therefore man the hero. Aristotle calls him 'the great-souled man.' Ayn Rand calls him Howard Roark, or John Galt."

          ~ Leonard Peikoff, from 'The Philosophy of Objectivism lecture series, 311'


  1. "I am voting for Trump. That's it, ok? I'm not arguing but I heard someone say that no Objectivist would vote for Trump and I'm still steaming over that. I'm trying to publicize the fact that whoever said that is crazy." - Leonard Peikoff 2020

    1. The same Leonard Peikoff who said in 2006 anyone who voted for Bush didn't understand Objectivism. Presumably he no longer believes a resurgent theocracy within the West is our biggest threat....

      Some would no doubt argue that we are effectively in an 'emergency' now, seeing an atypical threat in the Left, and that requires us to vote for Trump whatever his flaws. As Ayn Rand did for Nixon against McGovern in 1972. But on a geo-politial scale, I think we had much more to fear from an emboldened jihadism and anti-Americanism in 2006 (that at least Bush confronted, albeit imperfectly) than we do current leftists.

      I also think we have a lot to fear from Trump becoming the standard of what an acceptable candidate on the right looks like to gain our support. Trump in 2020 is less palatable to me than Bush in 2006.

      This may seem off-topic, but I think it emphasises the point of Peikoff's quote. When almost all political candidates have mixed premises and inconsistent actions, Objectivists should expect to disagree on who should get our vote. I'd be worried more if we all agreed. These differences don't bother me in the slightest, nor whether Labour or National win the election. It's fundamentals that matter, and in a political context I'm pleased that ACT are least heading down the right track and getting significant support.

    2. Also the same Leonard Peikoff that Peter saw fit to quote here.
      Bush as Leader was neo-conservative born again christianity - a trend in the Republican party that could have easily continued unabated
      Isn't that what concerned Peikoff so much at the time?
      Trump's move into politics however, could be seen as a black swan event - something unforseen then, that ended up wiping out the Clinton and Bush Dynasties.
      Trump has retained all the evangelical support while not being born again himself.
      He is also actively fighting anti-americanism that in 2020 is mostly within the country, not outside.
      I don't know Leonard's reasons but maybe this has a lot to do with it.

    3. Hi Nigel, it just occurred to me there's unlikely to be more than one Trump-supporter in NZ who quotes Leonard Peikoff, and has a first name of Nigel - so hope you're well.

      I think you may have missed my point. I'm not venturing an opinion on whether Trump is the lesser of the evils or not, nor taking potshots at LP. My point is how silly it is for schisms to form between Objectivists over who to vote for. It doesn't really matter who the highly coveted Objectivist voting block votes for. What does matter, and where we have the most impact is using our knowledge to promote the right fundamentals. On a political level that means criticising things that go against our principles, and supporting those that advance them (even if to a small degree) - whoever or wherever they come from. Your vote only matters if it leads you to tribal partisanship, limiting your ability to duly criticise or praise the actions of certain politicians whenever it's due.


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