I love civilization. It’s a hard concept to define exactly and one from which many thinkers flee.
To me it means an environment of unfettered creativity - the cultural climate where an individual may reach as high as his or her own talents and abilities allow.
The results of this natural drive in mankind have been stamped all over Earth, from the life-celebrating Caves of Lascaux and the ancient ruins of the Greek Parthenon, to the god-like art and architecture of Renaissance Europe. Today’s wonders would make any person of these older times weep in awe had they but once glimpsed our glittering, burgeoning cities, our wondrous minicomputers casually carried around in our pockets—to say nothing of manned space travel. Instruments of exploration, like Hubble, beaming back beautiful photographs of other-galaxy nebulae hidden millions of miles away in the vastness of space have caused us to realistically wonder what other civilizations, possibly much more advanced than our own, may be flourishing while patiently lying in wait for the human love of creative discovery to find them. They may be friends or they may be foes—or we may conceivably be the only life form that possesses the sacred seeds of creativity in this whole staggering expanse of universe.
There is still so much that lies undiscovered beneath the threshold of current human knowledge that one can honestly wonder what dreams may yet come. But at the same time we happen to share our tiny planet with...
Read Article : Civilization's Precondition - Freedom from Restrictions Imposed by Others
As with most people, my working schedule has been blurred. With colleagues in different time zones, 24/7 emails and texts, I can’t remember the last time I had an evening or weekend to myself—the traditional periods of respite.But there are two holidays when I refuse to work: Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Thanksgiving is the easy one to explain. It’s a harvest festival, deeply connected with the Objectivist virtue of productiveness when we enjoy what we have reaped and sowed. As a secular person, the thanks I give are to America, for the freedom that allows me to work for my vision.Which brings me to the Fourth. I am an intellectual and writer by profession. I am protected in my work by the First Amendment, for which I am deeply grateful. As a spokesman for an unconventional view, I’m especially aware of how often innovators of ideas, throughout history, have been persecuted, exiled, tortured, and executed. In America, thanks to the Founding Fathers, and despite the decline in respect for free speech in universities, I know that I won’t be fined for speaking my mind, or told by government what I can or can’t say, much less suffer the stocks or the stake.I wish my fellow producers in business and finance enjoyed the same freedom. In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, a final scene has Judge Narragansett penning an amendment to the Constitution in parallel with the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade …"I hope that day will come....
Read Article : The Objectivist Sabbath
TPUSA News Interview with Jennifer Anju Grossman
JT: Well Good morning Miss Grossman, It’s such a pleasure to have you here.JAG: Thank you, I’m so excited to be here.JT: So right off the bat, what advice do you have to the thousands of young ladies in Turning Point about how they can make their mark on American politics over the next few years?JAG: Well this weekend they’ve already heard a lot of great advice about politics, but what they haven’t heard of is this: The importance of getting grounded in philosophy. To paraphrase Ayn Rand: Everybody has a philosophy, everybody needs a philosophy, their choice is whether or not they’re going to choose their philosophy consciously or whether they’re going to accumulate a kind of grab-bag of slogans, contradictions, fears, and what other people are telling them.So that’s what I want young women to focus on – philosophy – because that’s what’s going to make them unstoppable. It’s good and well to gather facts, learn about history, and make good contacts, but you really need to get it in here [holding up a copy of Atlas Shrugged]. That is what is going to make you unshakable and unstoppable when you are on campus arguing for your beliefs and people are yelling at you or even threatening you. You’re really going to need to be able to know how to stand up for yourself and how to stand up for your ideals -- how to defend them without a flinch, without a blink, and that is what imbibing philosophy is going to give you.JT: So one of the...
Read Article : “Say ‘No’ to Victimhood”
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