Welcome to the March 4, 2010 edition of the Objectivist Round Up.
As I am preparing for our new community group's first event, I am receiving inquiries from many people who are new to Ayn Rand's ideas. One point that many people are often unclear about, especially if they are interested in the political aspects of her ideas, is that Objectivists don't just advocate laissez-faire capitalism . . . there are philosophical reasons for this, philosophical underpinnings that are essential.
So the quotation from Ayn Rand I've chosen for this edition of the Round Up addresses this issue (via the online version of The Ayn Rand Lexicon):
Objectivism is a philosophical movement; since politics is a branch of philosophy, Objectivism advocates certain political principles—specifically, those of laissez-faire capitalism—as the consequence and the ultimate practical application of its fundamental philosophical principles. It does not regard politics as a separate or primary goal, that is: as a goal that can be achieved without a wider ideological context.
Politics is based on three other philosophical disciplines: metaphysics, epistemology and ethics—on a theory of man’s nature and of man’s relationship to existence. It is only on such a base that one can formulate a consistent political theory and achieve it in practice. When, however, men attempt to rush into politics without such a base, the result is that embarrassing conglomeration of impotence, futility, inconsistency and superficiality which is loosely designated today as “conservatism.” Objectivists are not “conservatives.” We are radicals for capitalism; we are fighting for that philosophical base which capitalism did not have and without which it was doomed to perish.
“Choose Your Issues,” The Objectivist Newsletter, Jan. 1962, 1.
As always, for more information, visit the Ayn Rand Institute, or check out her books for yourself!
And now, on to the Round Up!
Roderick Fitts presents Prerequisites for Understanding Bacon's Induction Part 1: Natural Magic posted at Inductive Quest, saying, "To understand Bacon, we need to understand his contemporaries, those of Natural Magic, and the Aristotelians of his time. This paper deals with the first."
Rachel Miner presents Naked's Not News posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, "I'm musing. Clearly, there is a connection between nudity and sexuality at some point. I've been surprised at my son's comfort with nudity within the home as he has gotten older. I'm curious when, if ever, did you insist on privacy when changing? Are the privacy rules different for the parent of the opposite gender? I review the thoughts and behaviors we've observed."
Joseph Kellard presents The Selfish Figure Skater posted at The American Individualist, saying, "An Olympic figure skater said that her recently-deceased mother taught her to think of herself first. She did just that and won a bronze medal."
Tom Stelene presents Some Observations & Thoughts On Dictators posted at The Audacity of Independence, saying, "Barack Obama is not an especially impressive man. Other men led similarly unimpressive lives - before they became dictators. It is disturbing that the general characteristics of these dictators are seen in President Barack Obama."
Francis Luong (Franco) presents On Tiger Woods's Alleged Selfishness posted at Just Add Rationality, saying, "Tiger's mistake is that the range of his consideration in his personal life was short and narrow. His method was irrational. The problem was *not* that he was selfish, if we mean by selfish that he acted in his own interest."
Trey Givens presents How to Mix a Reasonably Good Manhattan (Should Your Restaurant Peopleguy be Unfamiliar) posted at Trey Givens, saying, "I considered submitting a serious post this week because I actually have discussed some ideas of substance recently, but then I figured booze would get more universal attention than gay sex or Mary-Kate Olsen."
Jeff Montgomery presents The New Criterion Still Wrong On Rand posted at Fun With Gravity, saying, "In this follow-up commentary on the uproar over their terrible Ayn Rand article in February, The New Criterion again fails to understand Rand's philosophy."
Jim Woods presents EU Non-cooperative On Terrorism Finances posted at Words by Woods, saying, "Obama Administration loses European cooperation in rollback of significant Bush Administration foreign policy success."
Rituparna Basu presents The Unselfish Actions of Today’s “Selfish” Men posted at The Undercurrent, saying, "Over the past year, we have seen many highly-publicized instances of people being caught acting dishonestly. However, are the actions of individuals like Tiger Woods and Bernie Madoff truly selfish? Rituparna discusses how true selfishness requires consideration for the long-range consequences of one's actions in this article. This will be included in the Spring 2010 print edition, which is only available to order until Thursday March 4th!"
Jason Stotts presents TED: Temple Grandin posted at Erosophia, saying, "New understandings of autism may raise epistemological inquiries as the standard idea that all brains think in the same way is coming into question."
C.W. presents My Return; Four Comments posted at Krazy Economy, saying, "Four different subjects are briefly addressed, including the Treausry's attempt to grab your retirment assets, the continued recession, government health care spending at 50% of total, and a silly conservative reply to the global warming crowd."
Doug Reich presents Does the Decline of the Democrats mean the Decline of the Republicans? posted at The Rational Capitalist, saying, "As the Democratic Party melts down, the Republicans, as usual, demonstrate why a contradictory philosophy can not form the foundation of an effective political movement. I offer 24 policy proposals in the context of wider moral and political principles to serve as a focal point for Tea Party activists attempting to makeover the Republican Party."
Jenn Casey presents On Free Time and Benign Neglect posted at Rational Jenn, saying "One of the great advantages of homeschooling is the fact that my kids have lots of free time in which to explore the world. And I stay out of their free time, which benefits them . . . and me!"
That concludes this week's edition. Titanic Deck Chairs will be hosting next week. Submit your blog article to that edition of the Objectivist Round Up using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.