Who is an Objectivist? *
An Objectivist is a person who holds that Ayn Rand's philosophy is true, and attempts to live his or her life by its moral code.
Being an Objectivist does not mean that one agrees with all of Miss Rand's views--such as her personal tastes in art, or her views on psychology--but, that one adheres to her philosophical principles. * I found this succinct summary a long time ago on Objectivism Today: http://www.objectivismtoday.com but the link has since vanished.
Galt's Gulch is a private club--and so is this web site. If a person confuses my right to ban undesirables from this private property, with that of government censorship--which is an initiation of physical force—that person is definitely on the wrong discussion board.The Letters of Ayn Rand, The Later Years (1960-1981) page 626 May 2, 1964
- "I must mention that Galt's Gulch is not an organized society, but a private club whose members share the same philosophy. It exemplifies the basic moral principles of social relationships among rational men, the principles on which a proper political system should be built.
"It does not deal with questions of political organization, with the details of a legal framework needed to establish and maintain a free society open to all, including dissenters. It does not deal with specifically political principles, only with their moral base. (I indicate that the proper political framework is to be found in the Constitution, with its contradictions removed.)"
A Personal Note:
In 2003, after reading “The Real Lincoln” by Thomas DiLorenzo and with the goal in mind of creating a better political organization, I created Judge Narragansett's New Constitution Project based on Ayn Rand’s description of the Judge’s activities in the closing pages of “Atlas Shrugged”. (The project is still active and open to anyone interested in pursuing Ayn Rand’s suggestion or reviewing why I abandoned that effort). After spending considerable time working the Project and then reading Lysander Spooner’s 1870 comment that “The Constitution has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it”, followed by Kenneth Royce’s “Hologram of Liberty”, I concluded that indeed, the Constitution is not broken, it is working as it was intended and that without nullification by secession (thanks to Abraham Lincoln), the Constitution is unenforceable.
It should be obvious to anyone who cares to look that the Constitution no longer limits U.S. government actions. President George W. Bush even angrily called it "just a goddamn piece of paper". Therefore, the legal source of the Government's authority is defunct, null, void, gone, and what we really have is an "archy" with a bunch of thugs and con-men running around impersonating Government rulers as officers and agents. The people in control of the US government have no legitimate authority, and a revised, "improved" Constitution will not correct that situation.
It became apparent to me that the best way to “remove the contradictions” in the Constitution is to follow Jefferson’s advise in the Declaration of Independence-- "...whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these [protection of individual rights] ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it"--and completely abandon the Constitution, begin again with the Declaration of Independence and fulfill the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness found therein by understanding and adopting, on a personal level, L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent (see http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=7.0 for Covenant and supporting articles in one place).
Galt’s Oath and the libertarian Non Aggression Principle (NAP/ZAP) are moral/ethical principles. The Covenant of Unanimous Consent is a political statement of interpersonal relationships based on those moral principles. Unlike the U.S. Constitution--which was created by a committee of Lawyers while both Jefferson and Adams were in Europe--L. Neil Smith's Covenant actually FULFILLS the promise of individual freedom in Thomas Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence". The Covenant is simple, rational, personal, easy to understand and even short enough to memorize. The Covenant also satisfies the objections noted by Lysander Spooner. Instead of being a document that describes how the government shall act, and a document YOU did not sign, the Covenant is a document that describes how YOU will act and is a document that YOU voluntarily sign, if you agree. Those who do not sign (the “dissenters” mentioned by Ayn Rand above) are not punished, they are simply and clearly warned what to expect if they violate the rights of Signatories. It is indeed the political foundation, the “legal framework needed to establish and maintain a free society open to all, including dissenters” as was suggested by Ayn Rand.
(If you study these same items and reflect on the “no rulers” nature of Galt’s Gulch, you may come to a similar conclusion.)
A brief negative note:
The owner of this list assumes no responsibility for the intellectual or emotional maturity of its members. If you do not like what is being said here, respond with better ideas and/or more consistent logic (the preferred responses!), filter it to trash, ignore it or leave.
- It should be assumed that members of this site ARE OBJECTIVISTS and therefore topics explaining what Objectivism is, should be unnecessary. This focus is in sharp distinction to other message boards that tolerate non-Objectivists, anti-Objectivists, “religious”-Objectivists and allegedly “new” Objectivists who seem to prefer to get their education thru message board social metaphysics rather than reading Ayn Rand’s extensive work directly and working it out for themselves. People who claim to be Objectivist but have not yet rid themselves of their religious, primacy of consciousness views will not be welcome. By no stretch of imagination would sympathetic discussions of religion take place in Galt's Gulch, and none will be tolerated on this site. People on some of the various message boards, who claim to be Christian or Jewish/Objectivist, and others who revel in Objectivist baiting by misquoting or misrepresenting Ayn Rand's views are NOT welcome and WILL BE BANNED when they reveal themselves by what they post.
And if a person confuses my right to ban undesirables from this private property, with that of government censorship--which is an initiation of physical force--that person is definitely on the wrong discussion board.
Constructive application of Objectivism to various fields and personal events is encouraged on this site. Ask yourself what subjects would you discuss with other people if you could actually be in Galt's Gulch.
The now-defunct Laissez Faire City’s message board (actually Dodge City within LFC) had the virtue of like-minded laissez faire thinking people. Even though not all were Objectivists, none seemed to be anti-Objectivists. Some creative ideas were set forth and some were even acted upon.
Even when two people agree on Objectivism, there can be many variations in the application of the principles to particular issues. These variations can be the result of individual preferences, differing experiences and perspectives and--the most valuable of all--new and creative thinking. Hopefully, these variations can lead to expanded mental horizons and innovative alternatives rather than to open hostilities and accusations of irrationality.
Toward this end, I have started a discussion thread based on Judge Narragansett’s activity in the last pages of Atlas Shrugged, wherein he marks up the old Constitution and begins writing a new one. I would hope to encourage similar discussion threads/projects and I pledge to maintain an environment where productive, innovative discussions can take place.
There is an opportunity here to make this a rewarding experience for yourself even if you cannot make it to Ouray this September.
You may have discovered that there is a particular challenge (hazard?) with meeting other Objectivists "face to face" or "in real life" rather than on message boards--especially meeting one of the same sex as oneself. The challenge is one of purpose and goals.
Meeting with a member of the opposite sex (usually) has the underlying mutual purpose of searching for a soul mate and the goal of eventual intimacy. This is not generally true of same sex meetings. Without some mutual goal of job, career or life style changes (such as employer/employee or partnership or possible sharing of living quarters for mutual economic benefit) the meeting often becomes an awkward social situation. I met one of my closest male Objectivist friends because we worked at the same place. The situation made it easier for us to learn of each other’s idiosyncrasies in a friendly setting, and we even eventually planned our individual career changes from our meetings.
I have introduced a new "format" for the Atlas Shrugged Celebration Day web site, to incorporate some of the issues mentioned above. I hope members will get to know and to perhaps even actually like each other well enough that the prospect of meeting "face to face" and "in real life" (in Ouray or elsewhere) becomes something to eagerly anticipate rather than something awkward to avoid.
I invite you to join me in this endeavor.