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T H E C R I T I C A L I M P O R T A N C E O F A Y N R A N D compiled by ZOOGZ RIFT * As most of you are well aware, I am a firm supporter of the writings of famed philosopher Ayn Rand. She devoted her life to intense analysis of the working concepts of reality, and man's right to personal freedom, individualism and self-interest. In her writings, she explored, scientifically sorted out and proved the validity of objective reality, setting forth the moral principles of Objectivism. Many, many years ago, Rand changed the course and direction of the life of Zoogz Rift forever, and out of respect to her, and even more so in an attempt to better the world that I and those I care about have to live in, I ask you to seriously think about the following quotations: "Any system of ethics is based on and derived, implicitly or explicitly, from a metaphysics. The ethic derived from the metaphysical base of Objectivism holds that, since reason is man's basic tool of survival, rationality is his highest virtue. To use his mind, to perceive reality and act accordingly, is man's moral imperative. The standard of value of the Objectivist ethics is: man's life--man's survival qua man--or that which the nature of a rational being requires for his proper survival. The Objectivist ethics, in essence, hold that man exists for his own sake, that the pursuit of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose, that he must not sacrifice himself to others, or others to himself." "It is the concept of original sin that negates morality. If man is guilty by nature, he has no choice about it. If he has no choice, the issue does not belong in the field of morality. Morality pertains only to the sphere of man's free will--only to those actions which are open to his choice. To consider man guilty by nature is a contradiction in terms." "Now what does it mean, to act on whim? It means that man acts like a zombie, without any knowledge of what he deals with, what he wants to accomplish, or what motivates him. It means that man acts in a state of temporary insanity. Is this what you call juicy or colorful? I think the only juice that can come out of such a situation is blood." "I most emphatically advocate a black-and-white view of the world. What (do I mean) by the expression 'black and white'? It means good and evil. Before you can identify...(gray areas) you have to know what is black and what is white, because gray is a mixture of the two. And when you establish that one alternative is good and the other is evil, there is no justification for the choice of a mixture. There is no justification for choosing any part of what you know to be evil." "[D]ogma is a set of beliefs accepted on faith; that is, without rational justification or against rational evidence. A dogma is a matter of blind faith....Objectivism tells you that you must not accept any idea or conviction unless you can demonstrate its truth by means of reason." "Force, in a free society, may be used only in retaliation...against those who initiate its use. This is the proper task of government: to serve as a policeman who protects men from the use of force." "I am an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, of individual rights...there are no others...of individual freedom. It is on this ground that I oppose any doctrine which proposes tha sacrifice of the individual to the collective." "So long as men can speak and write freely, so long as there is no censorship, they still have the chance to reform their society....When censorship is imposed, *that* is the sign that men should go on strike intellectually, by which I mean, should not cooperate with the social system in any way whatever." --above quotes from "Playboy's Interview with Ayn Rand" * "Is the power of society limited or unlimited? Individualism answers: The power of society is limited by the inalienable, individual rights of man. Society may make only such laws as do not violate these rights. Collectivism answers: The power of society is unlimited.... Example: Under a system of individualism, a million men cannot pass a law to kill one man for their own benefit. If they go ahead and kill him, they are breaking the law...and they are punished....Under the Soviet system, millions of peasants, or 'kulaks' were exterminated by law, a law justified by the pretext that this was for the benefit of the majority, which the Party contended was anti-kulak. Under the Nazi system, millions of Jews were exterminated by law, a law justified that this was for the benefit of the majority, which the Nazis contended was anti-Semitic. The Soviet and Nazi laws were the unavoidable and consistent result of the principle of collectivism. When applied in practice, a principle which recognizes no morality and no individual rights can result in nothing except brutality...Either the power of society is limited or it is not. It can't be both." "When we say that we hold individual rights to be *inalienable*, we mean *just that*. *Inalienable* means that which we may not take away, suspend, infringe, restrict, or violate--not ever, not at any time, not for any purpose whatsoever." "When you see a society that recognizes man's rights in some laws, but not in others--do not hail it as a 'mixed' system and do not conclude that a compromise between basic principles, opposed in theory, can be made to work in practice. Such a society is not working--it is merely disintegrating. Disintegration takes time. Nothing falls to pieces immediately--neither a human body or a human society." --above quotes from "Textbook of Americanism" * "The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word "selfishness" is not merely wrong, it represents a devastating intellectual "package-deal" which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind. In popular usage, the word "selfishness" is a synonym of evil; the image it conjures is of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends, who cares for no living being and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of the moment. Yet the exact meaning and dictionary definition of the word "selfishness" is: concern with one's own interests....Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one's own benefit is evil. Thus the *beneficiary* of an action is the only criterion of moral value--so long as that benefit is for others, anything goes. Hence the apalling immorality, the chronic injustice, the grotesque double standards, the insoluable conflicts and contradictions that have characterized human relationships and human societies throughout history, under all the variants of the altruist ethics." "An irrational society is a society of moral cowards--of men paralyzed by the loss of moral standards, principles and goals. But since men have to act, so long as they live, such a society is ready to be taken over by anyone willing to set its direction. The initiative can come from only two types of men: either from the man who is willing to assume the responsibility of asserting rational values--or from the thug who is not troubled by questions of responsibility. No matter how hard the struggle, there is only one choice that a rational man can make in the face of such an alternative." --above quotes from "The Virtue of Selfishness" * "If you are seriously interested in fighting for a better world, begin by identifying the nature of the problem. The battle is primarily intellectual [and philosophical], not political. Politics is the last consequence, the practical implementation of the fundamental ideas that dominate a given nations's culture....If you want to influence a country's intellectual trend, the first step is to bring order to your own ideas and integrate them into a consistent case, to the best of your knowledge and your ability. This does not mean memorizing and reciting slogans and principles, Objectivist or otherwise: knowledge necessarily includes the ability to apply abstract principles to concrete problems, to recognize the principles in specific issues, to demonstrate them, and to advocate a consistent course of action. This doesn't require omniscience or omnipotence; it is the subconscious expectation many would-be crusaders. What is required is HONESTY--intellectual honesty, which consists of knowing what one does know, constantly expanding one's knowledge, and NEVER evading or failing to correct a contradiction....Most particularly, DO NOT KEEP SILENT shen your own ideas and values are being attacked...If a dictatorship ever comes to this country, it will be by the default of those who keep silent. We are still free enough to speak. Do we have time? No one can tell. But time is on our side--because we have and indestructable weapon and an invinceable ally...if we learn how to use them...reason and reality." --above quote from "Philosophy--Who Needs It?" There are many books, pamphlets and publications written by, with, and about Ayn Rand and her philosophical ideas. These quotes admittedly just scrape the tip of the iceberg, and are intended to entice you into reading the publications in full. Below is a list of many of these publications, as well as the publishers and distributors. I strongly urge you to go out and purchase these books, and read them carefully--take your time--you've got a whole new life ahead of you. Zoogz Rift 1988 * BOOKS BY AYN RAND: Fiction: THE EARLY AYN RAND WE THE LIVING ANTHEM NIGHT OF JANUARY 16TH THE FOUNTAINHEAD ATLAS SHRUGGED Philosophical (general): FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL PHILOSOPHY: WHO NEEDS IT Philosophical (epistemology): INTRODUCTION TO OBJECTIVIST EPISTEMOLOGY Philosophical (ethics): THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS Philosophical (aesthetics): THE ROMANTIC MANIFESTO Philosophical (social-political-economic): CAPITALISM: THE UNKNOWN IDEAL THE NEW LEFT: THE ANTI-INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Philosophical (compendium of quotations on various subjects): THE AYN RAND LEXICON (compiled by H. Binschwanger) ABOUT AYN RAND: THE PASSION OF AYN RAND (biography) by Barbara Branden (Doubleday and Co., 1986) MY THIRTY YEARS WITH AYN RAND: AN INTELLECTUAL MEMOIR (pamphlet...biographical/expository) by Dr. Leonard Peikoff (New Renaissance Books) BY LEONARD PEIKOFF (AYN RAND'S ASSOCIATE): THE OMINOUS PARALLELS All books not specified as to publisher are available in paperback from New American Library/Mentor Books. PAMPHLETS BY AYN RAND: TEXTBOOK OF AMERICANISM THE FORGOTTEN MAN OF SOCIALIZED MEDICINE: THE DOCTOR THE INTELLECTUAL BANKRUPTCY OF OUR AGE THE FASCIST NEW FRONTIER THE MORAL FACTOR GLOBAL BALKANIZATION CULTURAL UPDATE FAITH AND FORCE: THE DESTROYERS OF THE MODERN WORLD AMERICA'S PERSECUTED MINORITY: BIG BUSINESS NOTES ON THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN FREE ENTERPRISE PLAYBOY'S INTERVIEW WITH AYN RAND PAMPHLETS BY LEONARD PEIKOFF: ASSAULT FROM THE IVORY TOWER THE AMERICAN SCHOOL: WHY JOHNNY CAN'T THINK MEDICINE: THE DEATH OF A PROFESSION MY THIRTY YEARS WITH AYN RAND PUBLICATIONS PUBLISHED BY AYN RAND: THE OBJECTIVIST THE OBJECTIVIST NEWSLETTER THE AYN RAND LETTER All of the above are available through Second Renaissance Books, Box 4625, Oceanside, CA 92054. The aforementioned publications are available, in their complete runs, in bound volumes. Also available through Second Renaissance are taped lectures by Rand and Peikoff. All are well worth checking out.


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