I’ve been pondering some of the ideas here and just want to say a couple of things and ask a question or two in no particular order and with no agenda beyond hearing others’ thoughts.
I agree with Lincoln that humans are hard wired to socialize, and I’d add to that we are also driven to hierarchize as well.
I think we can ultimately choose who we associate with and defer to, but I also think, under many circumstances, and no matter the system, we are forced into relations and actions we’d just as soon avoid.
I’m of the opinion that proponents of capitalism and socialism can debate the virtues of their chosen ideology all they want. These systems are flawed because humans are flawed (or not, perhaps it’s less imperfection than biological hardwiring).
I found The Fountainhead not only a better novel than Atlas Shrugged, but one that better communicated to me Rand’s notions of “selfishness” (I haven’t read her in years, but I believe she actually uses this term—please correct me if I’m wrong).
More and more the reason vs faith dichotomy seems a fallacy. I’m as secular as they come (even at rep 20), but it often feels like much of what passes for reason, as indicated by the media, politicians, other elites, relies as much on faith as any religion.
This may seem pedestrian, but is there any room for genuine altruism in objectivism?
What do objectivists make of rational choice theory?
This question is directed at Gonzo and anyone else in the military, where it seems that there is a fundamental subordination of the individual to the collective, from someone with no military experience (so please forgive me if this is ignorant sounding): How do you reconcile these beliefs with the prospect that you might be forced to compromise them in the service of your country? Understanding that you’ve made the choice to sacrifice on many levels as a warrior, what happens if you are given an order that as BBoJ might put, imperils your definition of self or integrity, ie, there’s no benefit to you, these questionable actions have been chosen for you by another, etc.
Do objectivists reject democracy given the prospect of “tyranny of the majority”? Is this then where libertarianism has been linked to objectivism? What form of governance does an objectivist prefer?