Posted by : Halima Khait Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I’m in the midst of a love-hate relationship with Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness. This is a collection of essays exploring the facets of the Objectivism school of thought, a philosophy I love, in theory, because it touts reasoning and productivity. Closer study has shown me that it can only exist by extremes – by functioning in a void. It gives no allowance for human imperfection because it doesn’t allow for any form of mysticism.
So, even though I’m finding this collection difficult to read because I don’t agree with a lot – such as, America has got it all figured out and the rest of the world is wrong. And anyplace America has erred is the fault of altruistic philosophy – I have found countless statements that resonate with me.
“A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment – a society that sets up a conflict between its edicts and the requirements of man’s nature – is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule. Such society….represents, not a source of benefits, but the deadliest threat to man’s survival”
This sounds like the plight of minorities in America: working a lot for very little return, subpar resources limiting the ability to broaden the scope of thought and opportunity, in short contrived situations creating a less than ideal and oftentimes hazardous environment. The majority creating a mob mentality to purposefully threaten the survival of the minority.
And the worst part is, the minority has bought into it. Knowledge is a person's biggest assest, but the minority community is encouraged to surpress the pursuit of it and instead focus on acquiring a glamorous, but often detrimental lifestyle. It’s not just theory anymore. Minorities are dying every day. Our men end up in jail and so we can’t procreate. Or the disparity between what minority men can achieve as opposed to what the women are permitted to achieve is promoted to the point where the two lack common ground and have no desire to partner. And nothing against legitimately homosexual individuals, but some of our youth are doing it because it’s the in thing, not thinking about the fact that they’re contributing to their own destruction. Minority survival is undoubtedly being threatened by a malicious school of thought.
It’s for reasons like this that I study philosophy. Taken in the academic context, it’s not enjoyable and I don’t subscribe to overarching theories, but there are people who use it to fit their needs. So I need to understand and be able to apply philosophy to reality to survive. They do.