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Thursday, April 21, 2005 


A few weeks ago I finished "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand. She was the creator of the philosophy known as Objectivism. This theory is comprised of four items:

1. Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.
2. Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses) is man's only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.
3. Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.
4. The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.

(From aynrand.org)

What stuck out to me was the belief in self-preservation over altruism. I found this amusing because when people have asked me if I were a feminist I always said "I am a Noemist". What I mean by this is that I live for myself. And I happen to be a woman so in a way I am a feminist but I always have my own best interests at heart. It can sound selfish at times but I learned from an early age that no one is going to do anything for me but me. I didn't totally agree with the character Howard Roark but I can see where he was coming from. I certainly plan on reading the other Ayn Rand books sometime this summer. Until then feel free to subscribe to my philosophy- membership fee is a contribution towards my very own Louis Vuitton bag :)

May I humbly sugjest "Atlas Shrugged" and "Anthem"...

If you liked Fountainhead you'll definately like those.

"Atlas Shrugged" is next on my list :)

The question is, "does full-on laissez-faire capitalism necessarily result in an extreme polarization of resources?" I believe the answer is "yes." Is this a successful outcome? Would it not inevitably lead to "the obtaining of values by physical force" by those who are unhappy with their place? One might be tempted to cheer on those at the bottom who take from those at the top. In any case, an unhappy outcome, probably for all.

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