Shortly after enrolling in the University of Arizona in 1969—a high-school dropout, I managed to talk my way in without a diploma—I formed a Students of Objectivism club. There were similar clubs around the country, and I quickly learned that to call my organization an “Objectivism Club,” or something to that effect, might bring the threat of a lawsuit from Ayn Rand’s attorney, as had happened to some other groups. This restriction didn’t especially bother me. If Ayn Rand wished to restrict the label “Objectivism” and “Objectivists” to groups or persons that she had specifically sanctioned, then I would go along out of respect for her.
Although my club was formed to advance and discuss Rand’s ideas, I conceived of it as a philosophy club structured around Rand’s ideas. Unlike some similar groups I had heard about, criticisms of Rand’s ideas were welcome and even encouraged. I believed then, as I believe now, that a sound philosophy will be able to withstand criticism. Moreover, the proponents of a philosophy will become more capable of defending their ideas as they become more able to respond effectively to criticisms.
Within months our membership swelled to over 100. We quickly became the second largest organization on the UA campus, surpassed only by SDS (Students for a Democratic Society). Later, after we expressed our opposition to the war in Vietnam by participating in the nationwide Moratorium March to End the War in Vietnam (Oct. 15, 1969) we achieved another sort of...
Read Article : Ayn Rand and I, Part 2
A blog by George H. Smith
I never met Ayn Rand. I never saw her in person. I never corresponded with her. Yet this woman was to exert a profound influence on my life.
I first learned of Ayn Rand in 1967, during the first of her three appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. After that I made a point of watching her other two appearances. The intensity of Rand was captivating, as was the conciseness with which she spoke. But the thing that struck me most was her reply to Carson’s remark, “I understand that you’re an atheist,” Rand tersely replied, “Of course”—as if no other reply was possible for a reasonable person. That was it. No lengthy excuses about how a personal tragedy brought about a loss of faith, and no face-saving qualifications about how she was really a “spiritual” person, even if she didn’t believe in God. Just a simple, straightforward “Of course.” I was impressed, having de-converted from Christianity to atheism nearly three years earlier, during my sophomore year in high school.
By 1967 I had been reading avidly in the freethought tradition and greatly admired writers like Thomas Paine. I had also read Walter Kaufmann, Bertrand Russell, Corliss Lamont, and other secular philosophers. Although these thinkers enabled me to hone my critical skills, their ideas never satisfied me. This was especially true in the field of ethics. What was called “humanistic ethics” struck me a little more than a secularized version of Christian ethics.
Within a couple of months...
Read Article : Ayn Rand and I, Part 1
Maybe it was the cover of Atlas Shrugged that caught the attention of the weight-lifting community. Artist Nick Gaetano’s iconic cover art depicts a mountain of a man, chiseled and sculpted, lifting the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Or maybe it was the spirit of the woman, philosopher Ayn Rand: determined, fearless, disciplined.
In any event, her fiction and philosophy has sparked ongoing attention from bodybuilders around the world who look to her words on focus and individualism as foundational for their training. Bodybuilding is a celebration of human strength and beauty. It’s also about changing yourself with knowledge and willpower.
In an August 2016 post on the website StrengthAwakening.com, Rand made the list of the top bodybuilding quotes. Coming in at #18 out of 80, the magazine attributed this quote: "The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
While that quote is in fact a condensation of a scene in The Fountainhead -- in response to the Dean of Architecture asking young Howard Roark, “My dear fellow, who will let you?” (i.e. build his mold-breaking designs), the hero answers: “That’s not the point. The point is, who will stop me?”
The spirit is one of those who make their own way -- and for better or worse, sometimes their own rules.
The ranks of flamboyant, indeed controversial bodybuilding Objectivists include the artist...
Read Article : Where Brawn Meets Brain
A few years ago, when my 90 year old grandmother was still alive, I told her to make sure she kept her ground floor windows shut to discourage any intruders so that she wouldn’t get raped. “Pfft!” she sniffed, then smiled. “Chance would be a fine thing!”
Did she want to be raped?
Of course not, it’s called a sense of humour. Sadly, the peecee social engineers don’t have one, and listening to them try to engineer a public perception of a rape culture defining New Zealand is just tedious – and dangerous.
It’s particularly dangerous to men and boys.
I will say right at the outset of this piece that in my eyes rape is a heinous, brutal crime. If any male raped one of my loved ones, male or female, I’d want to kill them with anything I could get my hands on, and probably would. There are no excuses for that evil deed (though if some little hussy pulled her panties down in front of a horny man and bent over the table saying “come on” – followed by, “no, just kidding,” I would probably consider it a mitigating circumstance).
In the aftermath of a couple of Wellington boys making the statement on social media: “If you don’t take advantage of a drunk girl, you are not a Wellington College boy,” precipitating a much media-hyped protest, I think those comments can be safely relegated to the world of edgy humour - much like my grandmother’s comment.
No rape was committed, no young girl’s life was ruined and I certainly hope the young lads who have been humiliated...
Read Article : Rape Culture Carping