I ask this question because I see Objectivists taking a hard line on compromise per se (AR's famous quote on compromise between food and poison comes to mind...). At some level, I can totally see the issue, A is A and right is right and that's about it. Logically, I "get it".
The question is: how do you deal with this in reality, given that a huge majority of the world is quite irrational in thinking and tends to be very attached to, altruism or mysticism or XYZ non-Objectivist philosophy. How can you live in any realistic, diverse, modern society and have any hope of living an uncompromised rational existence especially given that democracy will always express the desires of the majority? Even in the USA, a bastion of rationality compared to Asia and Europe, you have significant government intrusion into personal rights and a rather mixed economy. The issue is how do you get from point A to point B without significantly compromising your values? Even Ayn Rand took social security and medicare in her lifetime because presumably there was no other realistic alternative. What is the proper way to look at this and have a happy cheerful life in what will almost certainly be a very mixed economy for the rest of many of our lifetimes? How do you do Objectivists stay true to their philosophy without developing a permanent "bad mood" and a sense of "us vs them" ?
How do any individuals remain true to their principles? They learn when and where the principles are applicable and apply them when it is appropriate to do so.
When you recognize that you live in reality, you also recognize that reality consists of some irrational people, a morality steeped in altruism, and mysticism which is a unique hybrid of the two. Governments are a macrocosm of the people it is established within. If you adhere to rational thinking, you won't be taken in by the irrationality of others. If you choose to put life and living at the base of your morality, the altruist creed holds no sway over you. If you hold reality as incontrovertible, it becomes obvious how futile the mystics desire to escape it is.
As long as America remains the beacon of freedom, Objectivism needs to keep lit the beacon of reason. The only way to do this is to remain true to the principles that make it possible.
answered Oct 22 '12 at 17:38