Saying "'cause, its the best thing ever" won't convince me. I need a holistic explanation of why it's in my interest to be an objectivist.
Also, were objectivists greatly in power, if I said "I don't want to be affected by your objectivist actions", will you still impose it on me? Will you force me to bow to it? If I desired a system that provides for my needs, and allows me to explore the recreational life, would you force the objectivist system that creates slavery of the powerless, would you force it on me?
It seems paradoxical, to say "I must be an Objectivist" as that would be violation of it's non-imposition standard, while if not being an objectivist was what I want, that would fulfil its rational self-interest standard. What's that about?
"would you force the objectivist system that creates slavery of the powerless, would you force it on me?"
We have had interchanges in the past Adeikov where I tried to be patient with you, because I thought you really wanted to learn about Objectivism. This statement, however, makes it clear that you have not made any effort whatsoever to learn about Objectivism.
No, we will not force anything on you except one thing: you are not allowed to violate anyone's individual rights. Other than that, you can do or believe whatever you want. If you cannot see how a reality-centered, rational, life-affirming, liberty ensuring philosophy is in your interest, then I cannot help you.
answered Mar 12 '12 at 23:14
It's not possible to provide a meaningful one-size-fits-all answer to a question like that. If you don't figure it out yourself, no one else will be able to talk you into it. It's like asking "why should I be honest?" or "why should I have integrity?"
Being "in power" doesn't really fit with Objectivism.
In other words, if you wanted to leech off of others against their will, to impose your needs on them, would I try to prevent you from doing so? Yes, absolutely.
For the most part, I frankly don't care what philosophy you adopt. But if it gets to the point where your choices violate my individual rights or the rights of others, then I would stand against you, either directly or through a proper government as my proxy. Your "rational self interest standard" ends where the rights of others begin.
answered Mar 16 '12 at 07:21
I don't think anybody can give you what you're looking for. I certainly don't want to "sell you" the "benefits" of Objectivism just to get you to call yourself an Objectivist. What I would do is sell you on my ideas. If you want to call yourself an Objectivist and live out those ideas, great. If not, that's fine too.
Actually, you should be more concerned about being asked by the ARI to STOP calling yourself an Objectivist than the other way around. :)
If I desired a system that provides for my needs [provided by whom, and by what means?], and allows me to explore the recreational life [you value freedom? Including "freedom" from productive work?]....
The question seems not to comprehend who would be the victim and who would be the oppressor in the questioner's worldview -- and to have learned nothing from the famous slogan, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." (See Atlas Shrugged for Ayn Rand's concretization of it.)
As the other two answers so far have already pointed out, one does not need "to be an Objectivist" in order to live in freedom from oppressors -- with respect for the individual rights others and theirs for one's own -- in a system where that is both possible and the prevailing norm.
I'm struck, also, by the stark openness with which would-be beneficiaries of the oppression of producers everywhere strive to play the role of victim. It is not Objectivists who make thinking and productive work "the two essentials of the method of survival proper to a rational being...." It is reality. We also know well that anyone on the mysticism-altruism-collectivism-statism axis does not recognize reality, and, indeed, works relentlessly not to recognize it.
If I misjudge the questioner by his words, I invite him to clarify.
In a comment, Adeikov seems to endorse the language of freedom and respect for individual rights, combined with suggestions of preferring a communal style of living. If anyone wants to join a voluntary commune and can find like-minded others to join as well, go ahead. A free (rational) society would never try to prohibit voluntary, peacefully functioning communes. Free societies protect and encourage all sorts of voluntary associations of productive individuals; it's a natural expression of the division-of-labor principle. What Objectivism vigorously opposes is any suggestion (as in the original statement of the question) that physical force would be used in any manner to compel producers to support others against the will of the producers. If there is no element of physical force involved, then any further issues raised by Objectivism would be purely ethical, not political or legal.
For example, Objectivism would question how well a commune actually serves one's own interests, and would predict that over time, less productive communes and other associations would gradually give way (entirely naturally, by normal operation of economic principles) to more productive ones. But that is not an issue of anyone's rights being violated. In addition to being the system of individual rights, laissez-faire capitalism is also the system of productive cooperation on a historically unprecedented scale.
(Adeikov's other comments, pertaining to his learning style, make him sound like a concrete-bound sponge, focused on the narrowly perceptual, soaking up whatever others, especially Marxists apparently, have offered him. I will try to remember that, when reading his posts, especially that he apparently is interested mainly in "philosophical combat" just short of seeking "to annoy or belliger" [beleaguer or beseige?] others, with very little interest in independently reading important texts, asking himself questions about his readings, and searching for answers in the texts as they relate to direct observations of the world. He claims to give final weight to science, but so did Marx and more modern offshots like B. F. Skinner. Refer especially to the Wikipedia article, "Walden Two," for what may be a perfect fictional concretization of the kind of "ideal world" Adeikov would relish.)
Adeikov, are you a troll? If so, then please go away.
For readers happening across this page, I'll just point out that even a little exploration (something which Adeikov has been presenting himself as engaged in) will easily lead an honest reader to suspect that Objectivists are pretty much the last people one should worry about being a source of oppression or aggression or other such injustices.
A more thorough investigation will make clear that this is because Objectivists are actually the only ones out there who are systematically fighting for a "live and let live" world. And that's no poetic figure of speech: Objectivists are the only clear, principled advocates for securing the individual rights of all men -- and securing the rights of everyone amounts exactly to bringing about the conditions necessary for pursuing a human life, neither as someone's slave nor as someone's master.
Live and let live -- that's the distinctively Objectivist way! :^)
answered Mar 13 '12 at 01:59
Greg Perkins ♦♦