Panning for Gold
It truly is amazing what you can find on the internet. I just came across this video posted on YouTube where Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand in 1959 about her philosophy on Objectivism. I have not yet read the acclaimed Atlas Shrugged but the interview with Mike does give a good account of her beliefs. It is clear that Ayn was an extremely intelligent and articulate person.
What she said in 1959 applies to the USA today. She really put things into perspective especially where economics and government are concerned. She said every depression was caused by government intervention. If you think about it, she was right. She said the only way for a society to grow is to unleash it from the perils of government. Ayn’s philosophy also doesn’t have place for any form of government taxation. She believed in a free market and in man’s ability to solve his own problems. She believed in private roads, school, hospitals.
Service to Others
I think where she loses most people (aside from her atheism) is that she believes everyone should be working for their own survival, and their own selfish happiness. It’s too much responsibility for most people to handle, let alone understand. The problem people see is that objectivism doesn’t allow for any sacrificing one’s self for the happiness of another. What ever you do, you should do for your own satisfaction. This, I believe is a matter of semantics.
If you find pleasure in sacrificing your own well-being, your own comfort so that another may find comfort, then ultimately you are sacrificing for your own pleasure, as it makes you happy. I think this is where the Golden Rule also plays an important part in one’s own sacrificing to achieve happiness. If we do to others what we want others to do to us, eventually we will make sacrifices in our own comfort because ultimately that will make us happiest. And also we know that sometimes others will sacrifice their own comfort for ours.
Difference of Opinion
Where I differ, at this point, in my opinion with Ayn is in belief in God (or her lack there of). Ayn didn’t believe Faith was enough to prove God’s existence. I know Faith is enough, because through my Faith, I have received such blessings that in my opinion make God’s existence undeniable. I think it’s sad that she did not have Faith in God, because her life would have been so much more enjoyable.
I’m sure I’ll have more on Ayn, objectivism and existentialism in the future. If this topic excites you, please subscribe to either recieve the blog by email or rss.