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Linz's New Book
Who Should Be the Republican Nominee?
Total votes: 8
Once More with Feeling!
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2005-11-18 07:50
“He who fights for the future lives in it today.”
[Listen to this announcement] When I founded SOLO it was with a view to finding kindred spirits who had eluded me thus far in the Objectivist world. That world as I had encountered it was dour, repressed, pedantic, mean-spirited, inverted. It was the intelligent-but-crimped person’s equivalent of the religionist’s church, purveying a religion of self-righteous anal-retention. It was the domain of monologuing blowhards on the one hand—egotists rather than egoists—and their cowering sycophants on the other. I didn’t see “unclouded exaltation”—I saw sunless gloom. I didn’t see “total passion for the total height”—I saw no passion at all except for heresy-hunting, nit-picking and the eschewing of passion. If Objectivists were aware of Ayn Rand’s words, “The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live,” I saw scant evidence of the fact. If they had listened to Leonard Peikoff’s Understanding Objectivism, which set much of this to rights, there was no evidence that they had absorbed it. I saw people not being moral in order to live but living in order to be moral. There were exceptions, of course, but by and large, this was the world I saw.
It was not for me. Nor did it remotely resemble the world of Ayn Rand’s novels, where the good guys made up an informal community of rationally self-interested, benevolent and passionate characters dealing with each other by mutual consent to mutual advantage, finding joy in their own and each other’s achievements, characters, personae and, yes, bodies. Where to find such a world? How to show that “The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours”?
Create it, that’s how!
And so SOLO was born.
SOLO was not an invocation to self-sacrifice for the sake of a future one would never see. It was not an exhortation to create a better world for one’s grandchildren. It was a clarion call for those who wish to inhabit such a world to create it for ourselves, now!
And so it remains.
To be sure, the results thus far have been mixed. Our world is not hermetically sealed off from the conventional one. It is not Galt’s Gulch in a secret location. Part of our mission is to engage the conventional world and, by shining example, bring more people to ours, to the point where, ultimately, ours prevails over it. In dealing to post-modernism and anti-rationality generally, we must deal with its advocates, including those who disguise themselves in our garb. We must remind ourselves that, comprachicoed as they are, many proceed in good faith. Disputation should be seen as healthy and necessary—though it shouldn’t swallow us up or cloud our view of the Big Picture. The latter is what was happening at SOLOHQ, necessitating time out and a regrouping.
Now, here at SOLOPassion, to mix metaphors, the slate is wiped clean, we gain our second wind, the battle is rejoined. At the forefront are the magnificent spirits of such stalwarts as Marty Lewinter, Derek McGovern, Andrew Bissell, Duncan Bayne, Julian Pistorius, Peter Cresswell, Tim Sturm, Marcus Bachler, Joe Maurone, Andy Postema, Ciro D’Agostino … No doubt, too, a certain diabolical doctor will emerge from invisibility from time to time, and Machan will continue to Muse prolifically. (I am not committing at this point, however, to our running daily articles, since one of the lessons from SOLOHQ is that we must pay more attention to quality over quantity. Please feel free to submit quality articles to Andrew Bissell expeditiously!) Controversially, no doubt—and most happily as far as I’m concerned—James Valliant and Casey Fahy will be here, and I’d be surprised if their Brandenian nemeses stayed away! These latter, it must be said, sullied SOLOHQ somewhat with sarcasm and smart-assing, and I would ask them in particular to observe the new posting guidelines linked to the front page.
Here, though, in what amounts to a second inaugural address, I want to focus not on the details of what lies ahead but the overarching vision thereof. Let me repair to those much more poetic than I. First, Tennyson:
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Second, Ayn Rand:
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. 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 frustration 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.
Finally, to paraphrase the words of the old communist anthem, The Red Flag:
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
More SOLO Store
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand