Monday, November 22, 2010
The individual exists
I finally finished a book!
I swear, I haven't started and finished a book in a long time and, by gad, this time I did it. But it wasn't really a book, you see. It was one of those snappy Ibook's that I got for my new snappy Ipad. I downloaded a bunch of free books by authors that I like, controversial authors who were risky in their time, so I can get a little more self education on philosophy. And, since I have been on an Ayn Rand thing lately, and seeking to get a better feel for what made her a kick "A" writer and philosopher; her concept of integrated philosophical system, objectivism and such...(am I losing you?)..., I read Anthem for the first time. An easy read that tosses you right in to her politics, or rather, her distaste of thereof.
Some housekeeping. I am not sure everyone "got" my earlier post comparing Ayn Rand and Jesus Christ. I got a little feedback and I thought it was interesting. And, not that I feel totally comfortable writing about the subject of religion/spirituality, nor am I all that comfortable thinking my writing comes through the way I intend it to all of the time, I figure it's the risk one takes as a writer, a blogger, or an orating, blathering opinionated intellectual of any kind. I am encouraged that some of you decided to engage.
Regardless, I find it interesting delving into areas like these, those that are edgy, even at the risk of alienating some of you. After all, you come here on your own accord. Click out and conform, yawning.
By the way, my highest achievement thus far this year! The West County News printed that I am: "a long time friend of local artist Lewis Greenberg". Man, that has been a long time coming, and I finally got it there by the power of my own personal branding, my broadcast of relevance through social media and inbound/outbound spew. A huge achievement for me to get our towns conservative newspaper to consider my position in the world, my politics (or distaste of thereof), with that of a perfect example of whativebeentalkinbout. Now perhaps some other things will come together in our community in the areas of tolerance and citizenship by means of me and ole Lewis giving folks a glimpse of...objectivism. Please feel free to indulge me.
But back to the edge-iliscious stuff...I say screw it. Lets get to the pulp on this stuff. Why not? Lets go to the ceiling, together. Lets explore what the old books say, talk about the differences, write about the stuff that people fear. What I find interesting is that, whenever the subject of "rejecting faith" comes into play (a random topic that I explore from time to time), I get a pullback from some, if not all of my readers. A kind of "Whoa! Hey now, you better make sure you truly understand lest..." and/or a "Dude, you don't really know what you are talking about because you have not been saved, come and be saved", or some combination of both.
Hey! I went to a catholic school for a bit, did confession and all that stuff. I can't say that I was over captivated by the experience, but I got it and am thankful for the experience that my mom gave me. I also got involved in my daughters confirmation in the Episcopal Church, studied the bible, with the kids, was even a retreat supervisor one weekend and helped purvey the discussions. I was fascinated by the theology, learned a ton. I get it, and love the music, the fellowship, the community of it all. But organized religion? eh....disconnect...this because of my experiences. I am working through this, K?
Rand rejected any form of mysticism or supernaturalism, including organized religion. She embraced realism.
The year that I was born Rand wrote: "The individual must exist for his own sake neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself". This is pretty much the gist of objectivism and moral purpose the way I understand it, what Rand calls rational Egoism, the only proper guiding moral principal.
Now this is some pretty heavy stuff. But it is indeed what I have been talking about with the Lewis Greenberg thing and other things relating to our community, our political spectrum, our government and our condition. Don't forget, my Grandmother turned over half of her belongings to some Sunday morning Swaggert fest, to get a little closer. How cliche is that?
I suppose the personal brand and the concept of rational egotism makes sense this way. Does this mean that every rational egotistic needs to be an atheist in order to have cred? Well, who knows? But I can tell you this. The real heroes of this world, the entrepreneurs, the statesmen, the motivators, the leaders who's enigmatic qualities rise up over others through a broadcast of self promotion are the ones that get stuff done and change the world, for good AND for bad. A broadcast of values shine with every charismatically enabled writer, blogger, orator in whatever capacity. I am wary of most everything now days, yet energized that we can write about the blullshit, as Americans.
I like a happy ending to most stories. So let's invite our young folks to think outside the box like this from time to time, challenge traditional, conventional and rhetorical institution, if not for just a while, in the name of good ole intellectual argument, ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout.