North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Objectivist Party

Objectivist Party

A former member
Post #: 51
I created a webpage for a proposed new political party:
http://www.Objectivis...­
Dan
dbclawyer
Allen, TX
Post #: 3
I note your reference to Peter Schwartz' article and its relation to starting a political party based on a specific philosophy. What, if anything, does this do to your membership in the Libertarian Party?
A former member
Post #: 55
I note your reference to Peter Schwartz' article and its relation to starting a political party based on a specific philosophy. What, if anything, does this do to your membership in the Libertarian Party?

Well, until the Objectivist Party becomes more than just one person, not much.
Chuck
SmithChuck
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 12
Please, David, please do not put the name Objectivist on a political party whose membership includes Humanists and Libertarians.

Neither Humanism nor Libertarianism are compatible with Objectivist philosophy.

If you want to leave the Libertarian Party and form the Objectivist Party for the sake of consistency and coherence with Objectivist principles, I applaud such efforts (I've said before, that an Objectivist Party may be the only avenue for real Objectivists, politically).

Just promise me you'll accord due respect for the name you're using. Just as Rand wouldn't use the term Existentialism (I think Existentialism would have been a great name for Rand's philosophy, had it been available for her to use) to name her philosophy because it had been preempted by those embracing a different worldview, one should be sure that one:

1) is an Objectivist,

2) has a thorough, profound, and detailed knowledge of what Objectivism is, AND

3) knows how to and intends to incorporate every aspect of Objectivism- at the exclusion of other theories and principles antithetical to them- into the political theories and practices of the Party,

before one assumes the Objectivist name.


It makes me more than a little nervous to see a Humanist Libertarian starting a political party in the name of Ayn Rand's philoshophy, when Rand herself had no use for either Humanism nor Libertarianism. Especially when I largely understand and agree with her reasons.

If I were a Humean Skeptic, or a Cartesian Rationalist, with strong sympathies and interests in Scholastic and Aquinan philosophy, I don't think I'd want to start a Thomist Party, lest I preclude the formation of a Thomist Party by real, practicing Thomists.

-Chuck
A former member
Post #: 127
Chuck, & Dave


Well 1st of all. I think if Rand wanted an Objectivist Party she would have started one. Now that is said and done. I'd like to ask Chuck a question or two. Why do you think Rand was a Republican? I know she was all her life ( IN THE U.S.A. THAT IS ) I myself am a Republican also. The reason I am is because I know the Dems will move us to socialism much faster. IE started almost every social program that exist today. They would have more if not for the Republicans like national health care, that was stoped by Newt in 93 I think it was.
THANK YOU NEWT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to dig deep & send GOPAC some money in 94 for that one. Our nation owes those guys alot for stopping Clinton on that one. Yet I never fully understood why she was a Republican. She did not agree with them on alot of things. If you know I'd love to hear your answer. Thanks Chuck!!!!!!



Jamie
Chuck
SmithChuck
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 13
Jamie,
I haven't heard that Rand was a GOP, except in her early years in the US. Piekoff has said that she was so put off by Conservatives' compromising and mealy-mouthing at the end of the Wilkie campaign (on which she worked hard) that she denounced politics fully, saying that philosophy drives politics and that bad or weak philosophy caused Wilkie to crater in the end, and she re-aimed her efforts strictly to philosophy, "Before you can have a political revolution, you must have a philosophical one," or something like that.

In the late '60s Rand said in an interview (I think with Edwin Newman) that she, "regard today's conservatives as infinitely worse and more dangerous than todays liberals, because they want to promote capitalism on the grounds of religion and of tradition - implying that capitalism is not a rational system- therefore implying I suppose that socialism is. I think it is far worse for the fate of capitalism, for the conservatives to sidetrack capitalism philosophically, than anything the so-called 'liberals' can do to it. I'm certainly in favor of the classical liberals of the 19th century- who stood up for freedom and capitalism."
[Minor paraphrasing above-I'm recalling from an audio tape of the interview. But Rand uttered similar denunciations of modern conservatism in other places.]

At some point Rand designated herself politically as 'a radical for capitalism' and left practical politics to the politicians.

Please provide any evidence you have of her Republicanism...I'd love to see it. Her political views are certainly aligned on the right

-Chuck
A former member
Post #: 57
It makes me more than a little nervous to see a Humanist Libertarian starting a political party in the name of Ayn Rand's philoshophy, when Rand herself had no use for either Humanism nor Libertarianism.

Well, actually I am an Objectivist, not a Libertarian. I have been calling myself a Libertarian because I did not know the difference until recently. Had there been an Objectivist Pary earlier, I might have known the difference earlier.

Why do you say that Ayn Rand had no use for Humanism? You know she was an atheist, right?
Chuck
SmithChuck
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 14
Why do you say that Ayn Rand had no use for Humanism? You know she was an atheist, right?



Atheism and Humanism are not synonymous. Not even close.

Reginald Firehammer has a pretty good critique of Humanism from an Objectivist view on his Autonomist website. He's a little over the top sometimes but he is a pretty sharp guy. He is an example of someone who adopted a different name (Autonomist) in order to avoid usurping the prestige of 'Objectivism', with which he has very few minor disagreements [mainly involving Rand's aquiescence to the sensation/perception dichotomy of Hume et al (which Firehammer considers to be a bifurcation and a serious problem that Rand uncharacteristically accepted as a given), that he says weakens the foundation of her theory of concepts which he still considers to be the highest philosophical achievement in recent times].

Check out the critique at

Humanism Critique


-Chuck

In every building owned by the Landlord of Success,
Rationality and Objectivity are his anchor tenants.

-Lee Charles Blake
A former member
Post #: 58
Atheism and Humanism are not synonymous. Not even close.

Oh, come on now. They are at least a little close.


Check out the critique at
Humanism Critique

I did not read the whole thing. I have no disagreement with the fact that most humanists are collectivists:
http://www.croftpress...­

I am a Humanist but I am not Collectivist. Ready to join the Party?
A former member
Post #: 1
Hello, I am new to this group and this is my first post to the message board. I probably should just post an introduction, but the topic of conversation in this thread is especially interesting to me and I thought I'd share my two cents.

In addressing whether Objectivism and Libertarianism are or are not compatible, I think it's crucial that terms be properly defined. The Republican party, at least prior to and including the Reagan administration, was essentially libertarian (classically liberal) in nature; the economic ideal was laissez-faire capitalism, and a social ideal, even if rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition, was not forced upon the country. Reagan, for example, believed in returning to a true Federalist approach to social issues, irrespective of the national government's social leanings. In other words, he felt uneasy about forcing a national agenda on social issues from the top-down (with the obvious exception of Nancy Reagan's ludicrous "Dare to keep kids off drugs" campaign). Now, fast foward to the Bush(43) administration; you have the exact opposite - a government that feels its mandate is to sanitize its people from their own baser tendencies. (Sound suspiciously like the Third Reich? Yes, I believe Peikoff's "Ominous Parallels" is right on target with respect to this issue. But I digress.) The point is "Republicanism" as a political ideology has changed fairly dramatically from the 50's to now. (Sidebar: Rand placed the greatest value on the individual. Bush(43) and the neocon establishment place the greatest value on the nuclear heterosexual family, while subordinating the individual's best interests. I hardly think those two views are compatible).

"Libertarianism" has also undergone a significant transformation, but it is even more complicated to deconstruct because there are 1,001 definitions as to what a Libertarian is. If you look at the environment Rand found herself in, the new liberty movement encompassed a lot of bra-burning, acid-dropping, and communal living - certainly not things congruent with her values of productive achievement and rational self interest. It's no wonder she rejected it. The Libertarianism of today, though, is the one I subscribe to, and it looks an awful lot like the GOP of yesteryear: freedom to pursue one's own wishes and desires, provided doing so does not interfere with the rights of others to do the same. In other words, it's economic and social laissez-faire, but only inasmuch as one is to be held completely accountable for his freedom.

So getting back to the main question of whether Libertarianism and Objectivism are compatible, here is where I come out: Libertarianism, as I have just defined it, is not a philosophy, but rather it is the applied practice of a laissez-faire system. It does NOT presuppose an ethical, epistemological, metaphysical, or aesthetic framework. It does not tell one how they "should" live, because "should" is a function of philosophy and not politics (again, something Bush(43) seems to not understand). There are boundaries in Libertarianism (don't violate others' rights to freedom and their own pursuit of happiness), but those boundaries are borne from practicality, not an induction of what is and isn't moral.

Objectivism, I believe, is what you get when you start to ask the tough questions about Libertarianism: How can it be "right" for people to do whatever they want unless we embrace moral relativism? Rand's breakthrough was to delineate egoism and self-interest from hedonism (the latter is what most people equate with "selfishness", which is why Objectivists have such a hard time communicating their belief system). The result of this breakthrough was the complete justification for an ABSOLUTE morality and ethical framework in the absence of some mystical deity who judges us for our deeds. (Second sidebar: the unwillingness of today's world to acknowledge the delineation between rational self-interest and hedonism is, I believe, responsible for everything from the European and leftist pandering of Islamic fundamentalism to the erosion of ethical identity within our children).

So in my view, Objectivism is a comprehensive philosophy that incorporates Libertarianism (read: classical liberalism) as its politics, and then grounds that politics in a framework of absolute right and wrong, based on the logical conclusions drawn from taking freedom to its most extreme. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, although certain manifestations of Libertarianism would invariably be seen as anti-Objectivist (an independently wealthy person who chooses to spend his days in his pajamas, binging on barbiturates, would be an example of that conflict).

I admire the ambition to forge ahead with an Objectivist political party, namely because Objectivism is my own philosophy and classical liberalism is my own politics. But I believe the very notion of such a party is contradictory; Objectivism is not, and cannot be, purely political, because politics is only one component of any philosophy. And as the Bush administration illustrates in such nauseating color, hiding an ethical agenda within a political wrapper is easier said than done.

I'm sorry for rambling, and I'm especially sorry if this seems preachy. I think this topic holds the key to our future and our happiness, not just as individuals, but as a society, and it is incumbent on us to engage one another on these issues, rather than being blindly apathetic as to their importance.

- Aaron
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