Ayn Rand. This name draws some strange looks, I am telling you. Whenever I mention this name to people, they show me their loathing–I see it in their eyes. However, I have always wondered whether there would come a time when I finally meet a person who says out loud and proudly–I am an Objectivist. And then I always wonder what I would tell that person. Would I be shocked? Would I react appropriately? What if I say something objectively stupid? I don’t know for sure. I don’t even know whether the time I meet in real life a real Objectivist would ever come. They are proud people who don’t come out easily into the public–or at least into the public places where I am usually around, such as a university in Illinois, but not very near a skyscraper-filled environment.
Sometimes I get a feeling that we are living in a nation split between two factions: one extremist and consistent, the other moderate and lacking. Of course, I am speaking about Objectivists and those who shall be known as anti-Objectivists, whether they know it or not. Thankfully, things are not so bad. There are individuals who try to expand Objectivism not because they love it, but also not because they hate it. It takes a certain ambivalence to work on Objectivism. This work can be scholarly or amateur. As you may have already guessed, I fall somewhere in-between all these opposites. I want to stress that these opposites are subcontraries, not contradictories. In other words, one can be both in specifics: a non-Objectivist and an Objectivist, a non-lover and a lover, a non-scholar and a scholar–especially when one believes that spacetime is an irreducible, primary concept that gives birth to other concepts in one’s mind.
If you are interested in understanding all of this, my further blogs will explain what I have written above. There are indeed some people who have studied Objectivism and have come to a much greater realization that pure Objectivism just couldn’t contain. I am not talking about those who completely abandoned Objectivism, whether right away, without even giving it a try because they agreed with all the hatred toward Objectivism, or those who have become anti-Objectivists after having experienced some traumatic event that had to do with this controversial philosophy, or even those who just got tired of it and decided to keep away with their indifference as an impenetrable shield. No, I am talking about the enlightened individuals who experienced Objectivism and came out so ideologically refreshed as if they were newly born. These individuals are indeed special and oh so rare. I trust that these individuals may be our only hope for the future. I’d like to believe that I am one of them.
Now, humankind has gone through a few historical ups and downs. We had the Greek Enlightenment, following and followed by a dark and unknown era, then we have the Renaissance, growing out of the Middle Ages, then the European Enlightenment, and now we are at the crossroads. Will there be a new Enlightenment–Enlightenment in America–or will we precede a new Dark Age? I know that it is for us to decide freely and rationally. Objectivists, like Leonard Peikoff, unfortunately, are overconcerned with the latter. The DIM Hypothesis by Peikoff, although provides an argument for the strengths in historical development, ends on a dark note: a grim and foreboding religious authoritarianism in America. One crucial concept that is left out is that Objectivists do not favor change, growth, development, or evolution. Instead of going forward with all of our insights received throughout the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty first centuries, they would rather go back and return to the inaccessible periods of history. To go back to the Ancient Greeks or the 18-19th century “free-market” capitalism, as it was spurred by the Enlightenment, we must necessarily abandon our present selves and become the Randian Men.