Rational Nation USA's Ayn Rand Monday is to be different today. Given the current state of our nation yours truly decided to pick up his yellowed, and oft used reference book, Philosophy-Who Needs It, and stroll through the wisdom filled pages.
In chapter number eighteen, "Don't Let It Go", the following words jumped off the page screaming for anyone to hear. The words that follow were written by Ayn Rand in 1971. Based on an analysis of the present state of American affairs they were ignored. Unless this nation of individual people start to listen to reason, and take action to preserve the freedoms insured by our constitution, we will one day cease to exist as the Free United States of America.
This is the position of America today.
If America is to be saved from destruction-specifically, from dictatorship- she will be saved by her sense of life.
As to the two other elements that determine a nations future, one (our political trend) is speeding straight to disaster, the other (culture) is virtually nonexistent. The political trend is pure statism and it is moving toward a totalitarian dictatorship at the speed which, in any other country, would have reached that goal long ago. The culture is worse than nonexistent:
it is operating below zero, i.e., performing the opposite of its function. A culture provides a nation's intellectual leadership, its ideas, its education, its moral code. Today, the concerted effort of our cultural "Establishment" is directed the obliteration of mans rational faculty. Hysterical voices are proclaiming the impotence of reason, extolling the "superior powers" of irrationality, fostering the rule of incoherent emotions, attacking science, glorifying the stupor of drugged hippies, delivering apologies for the use of brute force, urging mankind's return to a lfe of rolling in primeval muck, with the grunts and groans as means of communication, physical sensations as means of inspiration, and a club as means of argumentation."
This country, with its magnificent scientific and technological power, is left in the vacuum of a pre-intellectual era, like the wandering hordes of the Dark Ages- or in the position of an adolescent before he has fully learned to conceptualize. But an adolescent has his sense of life to guide his choices. So has this country.
What is the specifically American sense of life? A sense of life is so complex an integration that the best way to identify it is by means of concrete examples and by contrast with the manifestations of a different sense of life.
The emotional keynote of most Europeans is the feeling that man belongs to the State, as a property to be used and disposed of, in compliance with his natural, metaphysically determined fate. A typical European may disapprove of a given State and may rebel, seeking to establish what he regards as a better one, like a slave who who might seek a better master to serve- but the idea that he is the sovereign and the government is his servant, has no emotional reality in his consciousness. He regards service to the state as an ultimate moral sanction, as an honor, and if you told him that his life is an end in itself, he would feel insulted or rejected or lost. Generations brought up on statist philosophy and acting accordingly, have implanted this in his mind from the earliest, formative years of his childhood.
A typical American can never fully grasp that kind of feeling. An American is an independent entity. The popular expression of protest against "being pushed around" is emotionally unintelligible to Europeans, who believe that to be pushed around is their natural condition. Emotionally, an American has no concept of service (or servitude)to anyone. Even if he enlists in the Army and hears it called "service to his country," his feeling is that of a generous aristocrat who chose to do a dangerous task. A European solder feels that he is doing his duty. Ayn Rand
The foregoing is but an excerpt. But it makes the point that America was, in 1971, heading down the road to increased statism and greater government control over our lives. Rand's statements were correct in 1971, and they are, as she predicted they would be absent change, even more so today.
This writer believes Ayn Rand would be a proponent, and supporter of the Tea Baggers and their effective non violent protest against governments continued socialist/statist misuse of its Constitutional power. Rational Nation USA, as always, leaves it to the reader to be the individual judge.
And now for the usual Rand Quotes of the week.
"A philosophic system is an integrated view of existence. As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by conscious,rational, disciplined processof thought ... or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions."
"Reason and morality are the only weapons that determine the course of history; the collectivists dropped them because they had no right to carry them. Pick them up; you have."
And now this weeks concluding Rand video.