I want to challenge ye free-marketeers and objectivists with some cognitive dissonance embodied in the writings of a maoist. I myself have not decided what is the truth, it is hard to know what ideas are correct. What do you think: Where do correct ideas come from?
By the way, I am not a Maoist; I merely present this to see how objectivism handles Maoist thought. I like objectivism, but I have an idea that one way to test its validity is to see how it handles socialist ideas or just random contrary ideas, does objectivism have a breaking point where it is unequiped to provide a rational interpretation?
Also, an answer to the question first and then a response to the contrary socialist philosophy; that would please. If socialist ideas are not unaccessible to the objectivist to take as his/her own: How?
If you disagree with me placing a large quote in this question's details section tell me; my thinking is to let a comparison between objectivism theory of epistemology and social theory go along side the socialist maoist theories to see which is most valid.
An idea is usually expressed in the form of a proposition. A proposition in turn can be evaluated as true or false. Objectivism holds that the truth or falsehood of a proposition is based on a two-fold evaluation. The first is the validity of the concepts used in the proposition. The second is determined by if the relationship of the proposition to reality is true or false.
In this regard, a proposition is derived from reality, not social practice. Objectivism identifies a relationship between concepts and the existents. Words like ‘ball’, ‘table’, ‘bird’ and ‘tree’ refer to what can be identified as first-level concepts. The word ‘roll’ is abstracted from observations of how a ball, or tire act or move. The word ‘walk’ is abstracted from observing how animals with legs move about. The word ‘justice’ requires an understanding of a complexity of concepts such as ‘proof’, which in turn requires knowledge of ‘evidence’, which in turn requires a grasp of how the various concepts can be related back to various and often interconnected observations within reality.
Man’s distinguishing characteristic is his rational faculty, that is his ability to reason or think. This is as true and necessary on an island, by himself; or within a social setting. The ideas that a man accepts define his philosophy. His only choice in this regard is whether his ideas are true or false, that is, if his ideas are derived correctly from reality or not. Determining what is safe to eat and how to produce food becomes a matter of life and death on an island by oneself.
In a group of people, the ideas he needs to discover become more diverse and complex. Determining who is safe to associate with, or who to vote for can have repercussions that are much more difficult to evaluate without a proper philosophy to guide his choices. Understanding the difference between a ‘constitutionally limited republic’ and a ‘dictatorship’ and determining which ideas lead to which results can aid in selecting between a ‘Thomas Jefferson’ or an ‘Adolph Hitler’, between choosing a champion of a government guided by the principle of the inalienable rights of man, or a government guided by the subordination, that is sacrifice, of the individual to the group.
The Maoists are correct in their assessment that ideas change society and the world. This is the power of ideas. This is the power of philosophy. This is why it is crucial to have a means or method of determining which ideas lead to peaceful cooperation among men leading to innovation, trade and prosperity, or which ideas lead to the suspicion and distrust of others leading to stagnation, political favoritism and poverty.
To address “dialectic materialism”, I will just select the following passage from
If you understand and regard a contradiction as the identification of an error in thinking, then you might just want to give Objectivism the serious consideration it deserves and evaluate for yourself by the ruthless, honest judgment of your own mind how it ascertains the criteria by which to determine what is true.
answered Dec 17 '11 at 21:16