Friday, August 20, 2010

The Powerful Thought and Philosophy of Ayn Rand

 By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

As I see the United States of America, once the finest example of individualism and capitalism turning evermore to progressive collectivist thought, I realize the voices of individuals such as Ayn Rand need to be brought into our daily lexicon .

The continual attempt by academia, the political elite, religious groups, ethnic groups, leviathan government, and the media to guide our thought to the "greater collective (common) good" is merely the attempt to bring us all to that level so desired by the progressive collectivist thought... the level known as mediocrity.

Rather than encouraging excellence and recognizing its superior advantages and value the progressive collectivist would have you believe it should be punished. Their belief system informs them those who aspire to, and achieve excellence, especially in the economic sense, should be punished for their excellence. The means of punishment is through extorting the value they have created at the point of of a bayonet. The force behind the bayonet... the state.

So today I offer a few select excerpts from the writings of Ayn Rand in hopes it creates a curiosity that leads those who are unfamiliar with her philosophy (known as Objectivism) to consider pursuing her liberating principals further. A extensive list of her writings can be found on my Rational Reading page.

The  excerpts:

Individualism regards man—every man—as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights—and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.

Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.
An individualist is a man who says: “I will not run anyone’s life—nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone—nor sacrifice anyone to myself.”
The mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary act—the process of reason—must be performed by each man alone. We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.
We inherit the products of the thought of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make a cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane. But all through the process what we receive from others is only the end product of their thinking. The moving force is the creative faculty which takes this product as material, uses it and originates the next step. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator. Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival.
I dedicate the above to progressive collectivists everywhere.

For more information on Rand and here philosophy please visit the Ayn Rand Institute.


  1. "There is no such thing as a collective thought"

    if this be true then there is no such thing as a collective. and we do recognize the existence of a collective. if you recognize that the one exists then you must recognize that the other exists also. to deny the existence of the one is to deny the existence of the other, Les.

    and the Constitution does recognize the existence of a collective. it is found in the words "the People."

  2. RN, I think that your comparison/contrast of octo and Ellsworth Toohey is spot on, and I couldn't think of a better real life villain to compare him to.

  3. Griper - Thought is original, something that is arrived at by individual effort. I point you to the continuation...

    "There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary act—the process of reason—must be performed by each man alone."

  4. bluepitbull - Indeed, when analyzing his statements I could think of no character that more accurately personifies octo.

  5. I just started reading Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" for the first time. It promises to be VERY good! Just in the first couple chapters you already begin to see things that are currently happening in this country.

  6. Gorges - Great! you will NOT be disappointd. If you haven't already read The Fountainhead by Rand I encourage you to follow up with it.

    Her non fiction works build on the individualaity, and the political and economic philosophies found in "Atlas Shrugged."

    But watch out... if you find value in her philosophy (Objectivism) and writing the progressive collectivists will be callingyou a"cultist" also. :-)

  7. RN,
    the "herd mentality" theory that was the topic of Truth's post disproves the continuation.

    people's thoughts can be controlled and just leave the perception that they reason on their own.

  8. in fact, Les, that is the foundational basis of the validity behind Lincoln's famous words of all the people can be fooled some of the time and some fooled all the time but you can't fool all the people all the time.

  9. Griper - Rand is correct in that each individual posseses a brain which over time develops and thus gives the individual the ability to reason.

    The individual chooses whether or not to utilize their own independent judgement and reasoning. In as much as he or she does the mind is functioning independently and apart from anything or anyone else.

    If the individual chooses to abrogate the responsibility to reason and think for themselves it is still the decision of the individual. Whether it be knowing or unknowing.

    Now if, and when independent thinking individuals draw on the experience and expertise of other independently thinking individals a certain synergy is created which often yeilds an outcome as Rand says a "compromise or average drawn upon many individual thoughts."

    For the process of original thought to be "collective" ne wouldhave to share a brain with another or group of people. This of course is an impossibilty.

    I do acknowledge there are people who do not always think for themselves and follow the thoughts and desires of others. And one can say even their mind is being controlled by the thoughts of others.

    I will argue in this extreme example the person's initial decision to "follow the herd" was individual and independent. The motivation for doing so could anyone one of several.

    To qualify... I am speaking only of a healthy "normal" functioning brain and mind. Those who suffer from serious mental illness or incapacty by some other reason by nature changes the dynamics.

    I once had a boss who was often saying... "Deciding to do nothing is still a decision, and usually it's the wrong one."

    Thinking is an individual decision... deciding not to think is still an individual decision. Always the wrong one.

  10. I used to think 1984 was the ultimate social statement on social distopia. Then I read Atlas Shrugged.

  11. "For the process of original thought to be "collective" ne wouldhave to share a brain with another or group of people. This of course is an impossibilty."

    you have just made my original point, my friend. by this reasoning, in order for a collective to exist there must be a shared brain. you can't have one without the other.

  12. Griper - In a pure philosophical sense I agree with you.

    That however hasn't stopped the Ellsworth Tooheys of the world from trying now has it?

    That is what Truth (The Big Lie) 101's post was all about. It takes a progressive to recognize the whole mind control deal I guess.


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