The World is What We Make it

Olivia's picture
Submitted by Olivia on Wed, 2019-10-30 03:19

By Olivia Pierson
https://www.oliviapierson.org/...

Politics is essentially philosophical in nature for it addresses the ethics of a social system by posing the question: how ought men to be governed?

This question of how men relate to each other has lain at the very heart of all human civilisations, from the ancient Sumerians to the modern American Republic and everything in-between, instructing us that above all things, ideas matter, since getting them wrong can wreak destructive havoc on the human spirit, to say nothing of human lives.

But this question of a social system also draws on other philosophical disciplines, specifically the nature of reality (metaphysics) and the nature of how man acquires knowledge (epistemology). If a civilisation believes that in ultimate reality man is the play-thing of the gods, gods who demand propitiations to be appeased in order to stave-off plagues and pestilence or cause man’s crops to grow, then bloody human sacrifices can be rationalised, as they have been in many early civilisations, such as the Sumerians, the Carthaginians, the Incas, the Aztecs and the Native American Indians.

If some leaders believe as the communists do: that individuals exist for the sake of the State (or the collective, or society) instead of for their own independent happiness, then individual human rights are worth nothing and such leaders will sacrifice – without a moment’s hesitation – whole groups of individuals to be slaughtered for their own “more noble” aims, as we saw in the 20th Century under the regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Tojo and Hitler.

The individual rights of citizens furnish a civilisation with the principles of liberty. At their most essential these rights are:

-the right to freedom of speech and the open exchange of ideas,
-the right to a fair trial and due process under the laws of a sovereign nation (not the UN),
-the right to defend oneself and one’s property against force and theft,
-the right to practise one’s own religion (or not to) without interference,
-the right to create an honest livelihood and keep the fruits of one’s labour.

Without these important rights, our civilisation would be just another shit-hole. With them intact and jealously guarded, we inherit a cultural climate of incomparable value.

But these rights are now constantly under bombardment.

There are many examples of this constant attack, but to cite just one: in New Zealand last year, two speakers from Canada, Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern, were blocked from speaking to a paying audience when Phil Goff the Mayor of Auckland arrogated himself to the position of Lord and Master presiding over which ideas New Zealand citizens can and cannot hear in a council-owned venue, the Bruce Mason Theatre.

When a privately owned venue was on the agenda for the two speakers, as it had done with the original public venue, Auckland Peace Action (NZ’s version of Antifa – a thuggish, fascistic, activist group of the Left) threatened noisy blockades and protests, which turned the proposed event into a “health and safety” concern. Leaders from the Muslim community had already called on Immigration NZ to ban the pair from entering the country to speak, so Peace Action stood in solidarity with them.

In other words, bullies threatened chaos and possible violence, and everyone cowered to them. Molyneux and Southern never got to speak.

Though not one single member that I know of either agreed with, or even liked Molyneux and Southern (I actually do, though had no intention of going to the event), the Free Speech Coalition then formed in order to uphold an important cornerstone principle of our democracy by taking Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) and the mayor to court for:

Violating the right to free expression in this country, a right enshrined in our Bill of Rights
Setting the precedent of a “thug’s veto” by allowing controversial speech to be shut down on the basis of so-called “health and safety” concerns, perceived or imagined.

The appalling upshot of this High Court case was decided a few weeks ago.

Regional Facilities Auckland won on the basis that they operate as a “private” commercial concern rather than as a public one. Their clever-dick ownership structure shielded them from public and legal accountability, despite the fact that RFA are subsidised by citizen ratepayers to the tune of 24 million dollars per year in order to serve the public via its venues.

Member of the FSC, Dr. David Cumin, wrote:

“This High Court decision sets a dangerous precedent for free speech and provides a blueprint for other public bodies to control public platforms by hiding them under the guise of trusts and CCOs. The High Court basically said that because the venues weren’t owned directly by the Council, they don’t have to consider freedom of speech or the rights of Aucklanders to hear from whom they want to.”

The Free Speech Coalition is appealing this decision, seeking to have it overturned in recognition that this legal precedent in our country bodes extremely poorly for the future of one of our most precious civilisational principles.

Disgustingly, some libertarians came down on Goff’s side.

Peter Cresswell of NotPC blogspot (who ought to change its name to VeryPC), wrote that this debacle was never about free speech, then doubled down on that line of argument on the basis of “property rights" after the High Court case was decided.

The great irony of Cresswell’s argument is that he tries to draw on an example laid out by Ayn Rand in the 1960s (these people can’t fart without a written doctrine prescribed by Rand) when the Berkeley University free speech protests erupted on campus. Cresswell parrots Rand’s view that in a “mixed economy” - as opposed to a fully privatised one - the principle of ownership is “unresolvable” when it comes to the use of a public venue which is funded by the rate-payer. Ownership in these situations is deemed ambiguous.

Foolishly then, in this shady copse of ambiguity, Cresswell came down firmly in favour of less free speech, rather than of more, which is very sinister when one considers that Goff was hysterically petitioned by the Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ (FIANZ) to have Molyneux and Southern decidedly muzzled. The culture of Islam is hardly famous for its tolerance toward freedom of speech, but we ought to have seen a much more vociferous stand for liberty from so-called libertarians, not hair-splitting quibbles about ownership ambiguities in the face of threatened violence.

To make matters much worse, Cresswell’s multiple posts writing in agreement with Goff having the two speakers de-platformed said not a word about the "thug’s veto," which saw the pair shut-down from speaking in the private venue of Auckland’s Powerstation.

The thug’s veto was always the most ominous factor in this whole controversy, but a leading libertarian didn't see fit to pass any public comment on it until October this year, after the FSC lost the case. What really beggars belief is that I’ve just seen a post on his website in which Cresswell recently writes Free Speech Under Attack: “The Thug’s Veto” where he promotes a new book that he has written some chapters for and cites the Molyneux/Southern debacle! I guess this was about free speech all along, and the very peecee NotPC blogspot happened to be AWOL on it in real time.

It is up to every free man and free woman to demand that our representative politicians stand up for our essential rights – and more than that – we must each stand up for them ourselves whenever they are disparaged, overridden or not understood, for the world can only ever be what we as individuals make it.

If silent acquiescence is the default position of many peaceful folks who think about liberty enough to know they’re lucky to have it, but flaccidly shrug “whaddya do?” when they see it squelched, then get used to speaking about our civilisation in the past tense as it dies a quiet death from passive neglect. The price of liberty has always been eternal vigilance – and vigilance is the very antithesis of passive apathy.

If exhortations to vigilance are not enough, about the only thing I can repair to is a line of poetry, in this case from the heart of Dylan Thomas, who contemplated all things pertaining to death quite a lot – as poets have a tendency to do:

“Do not go gentle into that goodnight. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!”


Outstanding by Douglas Murray!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Rational passion and passionate despair!

No set of ideas

Bruno's picture

Richard,

"But there is no particular set of abstract ideas that are part of the natural order."

The human so-called "conscience" does in fact exhibit a quality which indicates a good-and-evil radar is embedded in it.

Ayn Rand's theory of psychology is her weakest point, as pointed out by most commentators.
She attempted to resolve all human higher functions to the rational mind.

In contrast, the evolutionary biologists and psychologists will take the angle that there are "evolved predispositions" and the like.

However, there is no strictly evolutionary reason why what we call good is more advantageous than what we call evil; which indicates they are inexplicable through evolutionary categories.

The fact that ants do what they do (with seemingly rational precision), without any apparent use of their own rational mind, indicates the rational imprint comes from elsewhere.

The way in which Objectivism explains seeming rationality in the universe is by stating "it couldn't be otherwise" because of A is A and causality and so forth.

Hardly a very satisfactory explanation.

The reality is that Rand's rejection of the existence of any God, even a simple God of Nature, as with Aristotle for example, comes down to her distaste of the concept; her distaste that something could be higher than her Ideal Man.

"God-like"

Bruno's picture

The fact that Objectivism-proper compares Man to God; the fact that it uses the vocabulary of the sacred; all it demonstrates is our subservience to these higher concepts.

Ayn Rand is incapable of explaining her concept of ideal Man without appealing to our sense of the sacred, our religious sense.

On this last point, those who do have the religious sense actually respond to the "exhalted sense of life" of Objectivism; those who do not are the Randroids.

This forum is the sense of life forum, the ARI conference is the robot conference.

Objectivist "monkeys"

Bruno's picture

Ayn Rand is closer to God than contemporary "Objectivists".

As pointed out years ago to me by a religion teacher in high school, the fact that someone hates God means at least they have some relationship with Him. So, when I say Ayn Rand ended up resenting or hating God, I mean she is in fact closer to Him than contemporary "Objectivists" of all stripes.

There is something wrong with Charles Darwin's "the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life".

When Ayn Rand "brings back" (to use an Objectivism-ism) into the realm of Man the sacred which belongs to God; the reason she does so is because she in fact does not see man as simply an "evolved monkey."

Contemporary Objectivists/Obleftivists do in fact see themselves as evolved monkeys for the most part. That is not part of Objectivism.

Monkeys are not rational animals. Reason is a difference in kind, not degree. Whatever "evolutionary biologists" have to say notwithstanding.

A monkey is a monkey is a monkey is a monkey. 

----

What I admire about Rand on this score is that she brought the virtues and traits attributed historically to God and placed them rightly within the realm of man, so man had an ideal to strive toward that was not just mystic.

God is "the Good", "the True" and "the Beautiful"; there is very little "mystical" about that. The idea that something like Catholicism can be lumped in together with voodoo magic is evidently absurd and ridiculous.

To the extent "the West" has followed the Christian virtues, it has produced the greatest music on Earth, the greatest empires in history, the most moral and good systems of law and government; more importantly, the best societies to live in, the most just. The most "human" rather than "sub-human", to use a Randism.

We are currently, in the post-Christian West, going very clearly backwards as far as civilization is concerned; i.e. as far as Goodness, Beauty and Justice are concerned.

So-called "American" - "mass-media culture" is literally disgusting and depraved.

So much for "the Enlightenment" ideal country.

"Modern" society is hardly capable of producing offspring, the few children it does have it feels the urge to brainwash into one depravity or the other; and it somehow feels justified in stealing the future of their offspring and gift it to strange foreigners; modern society has decided to punish those who speak the truth and reward the children of the Lie.

The Obleftivists will say "everything's great!" but in fact Ayn Rand was so disgusted with the world she couldn't bring herself to ever write ficition again after Atlas Shrugged.

Obleftivism and Goblianity

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Lady S says:

What I admire about Rand on this score is that she brought the virtues and traits attributed historically to God and placed them rightly within the realm of man, so man had an ideal to strive toward that was not just mystic.

She was right to do this as an earth bound philosopher and I’m glad that she did, for though nothing more than a natural creature, man can be so magnificent and worthy of awe, as Shakespeare observed in Hamlet:

Can be.

And so seldom is.

I've always argued we must retrieve the sense of the sacred from the goblinites in all their guises. Secularise the sacred!

Yet right now, the face of the secular left is so evil I'm impelled to the conclusion there is a devil. Because what we see in Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Soros, Bwook et al is truly diabolical beyond their particular evil. There are no words to capture the vileness of these grotesqueries. And if there's a devil, there's a God!

Thinking aloud. Aloud is allowed on SOLO. Nowhere else. Especially in "Objectivist" circles. Poor ex-Mormon Luke ran a mile as soon as he saw it! Back to the ARI, his natural home. Obleftivist HQ. Vote Dem-Scum across the board!

Bruno

Richard Wiig's picture

"These communities exist by nature; they are part of the natural order."

But there is no particular set of abstract ideas that are part of the natural order.

"Rand does not recognize the natural order,"

She recognised that man cannot escape philosophy, and that philosophy is part of a natural order that shapes the way men interact. That seems to be pretty clear recognition of a natural order to me. I take her overall message to be that the natural order will be for better or for worse in accordance with the ideas that are adopted, so best think carefully about the ideas.

"she has to give unlimited power to the will of her ideal man (i.e. "free will")."

She has said that ideas that embody individualism lead to a better social order. Is she wrong?

"All human organizations according to Rand must be contractual, i.e. willed by man."

All human organisations does not make sense. All interactions between free and consenting adults should be contractual, but family and community is not contractual. It is something you are born into and have no control over.

" No violations of the will of her ideal man can be accepted in this context."

Nor should there be any violation of his will if his will is peaceful and rights respecting. There is nothing to defend against.

Luke,

Mark Hunter's picture

And expose fine young people to Richard Minns?

Bruno...

Olivia's picture

You say:

Given her rejection of God is in more than one place indicated as being based on "moral" grounds (i.e. her distaste), she in fact comes out to be a hater of God and anything that could possibly be above human beings.

Her "ideal man" is in fact her god; in other words she is an idolater.
Her idol is a fictional character of her imagination, and her philosophy is the attempt to change human nature to become such a being.

All ‘idols' & ‘gods’ are fictional characters of human imagination, including the Christian God and Christ. This is what humans do.

What I admire about Rand on this score is that she brought the virtues and traits attributed historically to God and placed them rightly within the realm of man, so man had an ideal to strive toward that was not just mystic.

She was right to do this as an earth bound philosopher and I’m glad that she did, for though nothing more than a natural creature, man can be so magnificent and worthy of awe, as Shakespeare observed in Hamlet:

What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

Y'All Have Fun

Luke Setzer's picture

Thanks for making it abundantly clear that this is no longer an Objectivist site.

Y'all have fun.

I will be sure to renew my monthly contributions to ARI this coming week despite my disagreements with them on immigration since they expose fine young people like this one to the philosophy.

At least they are not prattling about how rotten are the foundations of Ayn Rand's thought while also praising the rationality of God and concurrently saying they want to MOGA, a hash of contradictions if ever I heard one.

Also, the online Objectivist Voices Toastmasters Club is populated with some of the most rational, productive, proud, and benevolent people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  They are all ARI supporters.  Jean Moroney, wife of Harry Binswanger, is one of the kindest people I have had the pleasure of meeting.  Readers here would do well to join a local Toastmasters Club and then become a dual member of this club.

As I said, y'all have fun.

I 100 % agree with you Bruno!

Olivia's picture

If the world of Objectivism actually bred “first hand” thinkers, the movement would be successful beyond words.
Appallingly, it did not, hence the cultism... and the “Ayn Rand said... Ayn Rand said” squawking mentality which always relies on a written prescription from her on every single topic, for all time.

Luke’s “anyone who rants this is clearly not an Objectivist” line is a classic example.
Just like many Christians say “anyone who doesn’t believe such-in-such, is clearly not a Christian.”

As a thinking human being, I have been influenced by many philosophers, writers and thinkers, but what sits well in my own conscience when everything gets weighed up in my own mind will be the motivating principle into actions or arguments.

First-hander

Bruno's picture

I speak for myself alone.
I am not the spokesman for someone else's philosophy and nobody asked you to follow me.

"Rand held reality as the final arbiter in all things, and the ideal man as the gold standard in literature. The latter is always subservient to the former via reason."

Thanks for the original contribution, as always.

God versus The Ideal Man

Luke Setzer's picture

Rand held reality as the final arbiter in all things, and the ideal man as the gold standard in literature. The latter is always subservient to the former via reason. I am not sure what the problem is, but Bruno seems to want to eviscerate Objectivism and make it into some sort of quasi-religious gobbledygook based on his earlier rant in this thread. No thanks.

Anyone who rants this is clearly not an Objectivist:

"Since Ayn Rand's philosophy spawned from her concept of ideal man, and her view of human nature is so inherently flawed, it is clear her entire philosophical edifice sits on rotten grounds."

Repetita iuvant

Bruno's picture

Useless non-contribution.

MOGA

Luke Setzer's picture

Make Objectivism Godly Already

Useless

Bruno's picture

You useless cucks, who contributed NOTHING to MOGA, can you argue with what I said?

Useless.

Luther

gregster's picture

It's worth asking. Bruno's resembling Anoop Verma. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

War

Bruno's picture

Linzio,

Rand was a pacifist compared to her "successors.." !

 

Bruno

Luke Setzer's picture

Are you a Christian?

Here is the nub

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Aristotle very clearly explicates the ontological bases of basic human forms of organization; the family unit, the town, and the state.

These communities exist by nature; they are part of the natural order.

Rand does not recognize the natural order, she has to give unlimited power to the will of her ideal man (i.e. "free will").

All human organizations according to Rand must be contractual, i.e. willed by man. No violations of the will of her ideal man can be accepted in this context.

The state as a contractual entity is based entirely on "enlightenment" ideals (floating abstractions), which have caused the evolution of the old-order societies into the "man-centered" societies of today (as opposed to God-fearing societies based on the natural order ordained by Him). Societies which have objectively caused the greatest number of human deaths in recorded history. Starting with the French revolution, it has just continued to no end. Millions of deaths by war. Something absolutely out of the question in the old-order of Europe (Christendom) where the line was drawn so very clearly between civilian and combatant.

On this last point, the blood-lust of any "Objectivism-driven" person is clear. War becomes good, killing of civilians becomes good. The reign of the free will of man must be established on earth, whatever is in the way must be eliminated.

I cannot argue with any of this. Yawon's insane advocacy of nuking entire nations even as he plays down the menace of Islam ideology makes sense only in the terms explained here. I think Rand would have disagreed with Bwook though: right, but not the duty.

The whole point

Bruno's picture

Since Ayn Rand's philosophy spawned from her concept of ideal man, and her view of human nature is so inherently flawed, it is clear her entire philosophical edifice sits on rotten grounds.

To the relatively small extent she used an Aristotelian basis to go from, she made some good points.

One of her philosophy's most crucial points is complete and total atheism, as opposed to agnosticism.

Given her rejection of God is in more than one place indicated as being based on "moral" grounds (i.e. her distaste), she in fact comes out to be a hater of God and anything that could possibly be above human beings.

Her "ideal man" is in fact her god; in other words she is an idolater.

Her idol is a fictional character of her imagination, and her philosophy is the attempt to change human nature to become such a being.

To the extent her idol is a "light bringer" he is very close to being a satanic symbol.

Rationality, which in its pure form can only be of God, as recognized by nearly all the major philosophers, is in her philosophy given place only within man. However, since a man can obviously never obtain pure rationality, because he is in fact a creature of dual nature - animal and rational being - he can never attain this ideal.

Objectivism is not an empirically based philosophy, but in fact a system created backwards vis a vis such models, more in line with Platonism and other idealisms.

Aristotle would have little to nothing to do with Rand in my estimation, and it is appalling the way she represents herself as some kind of perfective subsequitur.

Aristotle very clearly explicates the ontological bases of basic human forms of organization; the family unit, the town, and the state.

These communities exist by nature; they are part of the natural order.

Rand does not recognize the natural order, she has to give unlimited power to the will of her ideal man (i.e. "free will").

All human organizations according to Rand must be contractual, i.e. willed by man. No violations of the will of her ideal man can be accepted in this context.

The state as a contractual entity is based entirely on "enlightenment" ideals (floating abstractions), which have caused the evolution of the old-order societies into the "man-centered" societies of today (as opposed to God-fearing societies based on the natural order ordained by Him). Societies which have objectively caused the greatest number of human deaths in recorded history. Starting with the French revolution, it has just continued to no end. Millions of deaths by war. Something absolutely out of the question in the old-order of Europe (Christendom) where the line was drawn so very clearly between civilian and combatant.

On this last point, the blood-lust of any "Objectivism-driven" person is clear. War becomes good, killing of civilians becomes good. The reign of the free will of man must be established on earth, whatever is in the way must be eliminated.

Seymour

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Gutless Gormless Goofy has gone quiet on the issue. S 61 of the Human Rights Act must be repealed and the Human Wrongs Commissariat abolished as I've argued in many articles. That came to be GGG's position, but he's very reticent about it currently.

The push for "hate speech" laws is coming from the Muslim Federation, who want to criminalise criticism of Islam. GGG will never acknowledge that.

Oh, and of course I wouldn't expect attribution every time my names are used in casual conversation. The more frequently the better. Smiling

I have deleted a line from my previous post for fear it might have been seen as directed at Lady Slapper. It wasn't.

I

Mr_Lineberry's picture

must confess Lindsay that I regularly nick some of your nicknames - "Demoscum Party", "Obarmarx", "Muslime" etc - most find it hilarious.....and quickly find themselves using those terms as well.

But Olivia is correct the banning of those two last year was a low I never thought this country would sink to, and I say that as someone who despises Stefan What's-his-name. On the other hand we now live in a country where the Police took everyone's guns (to keep us all safe, naturally) and 15 minutes later created Mobile Murder units specifically designed to patrol ethnic neighbourhoods and kill brown people (you won't see one in Remmers or Wadestown), so there is seemingly no 'low' the State won't sink to in order to impose tyranny upon us.

What I would like to see is freedom of speech, expression, thought, and religion entrenched in the Bill of Rights Act but with criminal penalties attached. Rather than certain University Vice Chancellors or Mayors banning people they disagree with only to stand back like the cat who got the cream and say "what are you going to do about it?" - there should be a stiff, mandatory, 6 months in the clink for doing so. That should be Seymour's bottom line in 2020.

The question of how men relate to each other ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... has been gotten horribly wrong, not just by OrgOism, which is psychopathic, but by Ayn Rand herself. She had no idea of convivialism—with good food, good wine, good fellowship, good converstion—except in the entries in her journals when Roark, Dominique, Mallory and Mike got together after work. These are very brief, non-defining passages, alas. True humans are much more social than she ever acknowledged. By the time she got to Atlas she was a Vulcan. That's not to disregard the magnificent philosophical insights she had as a Vulcan ... just to say in spite of herself she was a Vulcan with a terrible mind/body dichotomy.

It is a disgusting source of revulsion to me that Objectivism inadvertently contributed to the current pandemic of infantile Narcissism of which ARI, VeryPC et al are embarrassing exemplars.

"Lady Slapper" is entirely original to me. I never steal anyone else's lines, and expect the same respect in response. In vain, of course. But I will always attribute other people's lines to them. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't. Team play, at which Leftist filth are brilliant, is replete with such solidarity.

I’ll have you know...

Olivia's picture

that "Lady Slapper" is another nick-name that has been nicked on more than one occasion too. I resent it of course, not only because attribution is never given to obvious persons, but also because the name was originally coined on the basis that I was "being a prude” for defending that enormous slapper, Louise Nicholas, against police sexual depravity.Eye

However, in the name of honesty and friendship, I acknowledge that “VeryPC" originates from you, and fits so very well that I must use it too when needs must.
You and President God Emp share a gift of naming things according to their essence: FakeNews, Crooked Hillary, Shifty Schiff, Nervous Nancy, Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Rocket Man, Pocahontas etc.

Intellectual property rights are oft’ ambiguous too!

Oy!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I have had "Occasional Cortex" nicked without attribution by a much-watched Catholic polemicist. "Obleftivist" is being routinely used without attribution by Objectivists. Now "VeryPC" has been nicked without attribution. I guess it's all good—you know you must be making some kind of impression when people nick your nick-names! And understand their underlying meaning! This never was an intellectual property rights issue! Smiling

Excellent article, Lady Slapper. Passive acquiescence is the greatest sin of our time. We cannot fault the Muslims and other totalitarians for lack of commitment to their vile beliefs. It is we who lack commitment to ours. Jihadi Jacinda is running rings around us, with assistance from Obleftivist bit-players like VeryPC. We are New Zealistan already.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.