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Objectivism: A Philosophy for Life on Earth


r/Objectivism is a philosophy for life on earth. Its purpose is to teach people to lead happy, successful lives full of self-esteem through rational thinking.


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Objectivism in detail

Ayn Rand explains her philosophy "on one foot."

"At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did as follows:

  • Metaphysics: Objective Reality
  • Epistemology: Reason
  • Ethics: Self-interest
  • Politics: Capitalism

If you want this translated into simple language, it would read:

  1. “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed” or “Wishing won’t make it so.”

  2. “You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.”

  3. “Man is an end in himself.”

  4. “Give me liberty or give me death.”

If you held these concepts with total consistency, as the base of your convictions, you would have a full philosophical system to guide the course of your life. But to hold them with total consistency—to understand, to define, to prove and to apply them—requires volumes of thought. Which is why philosophy cannot be discussed while standing on one foot—nor while standing on two feet on both sides of every fence. This last is the predominant philosophical position today, particularly in the field of politics.

My philosophy, Objectivism, holds that:

Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.

Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses) is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.

Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.

The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man’s rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church."

Ayn Rand


18,219 Subscribers


How do you define an action that reduces another person’s freedom?

Ayn Rand is stating that you should prioritize your own self interest while not interfering with another man’s freedom. How do you know if an action is impeding another man’s freedom?

17:44 UTC


Has Neuroscience Debunked Free Will?: Response to Robert Sapolsky

09:05 UTC


What's the point of quantum mechanics?

You see this article and it's basically trying to say that everything is up to interpretation, nothing has qualities until observed. That basically just opens the door for a bunch of Christians to use it for apologetics.




At best I can respond to these about how they stretch it from any God to their specific one and maybe compare it to sun worship, but even then I still can't sit down and read all of this, especially since I didn't study quantum mechanics.

I tried to get some help.



And the best I got were one-sentence answers and snark instead of people trading off on dissecting paragraphs,

And then when I tried to talk to people I have to assume are experts, I got low quality answers.


Here we see a guy basically defending things just telepathically telling each other to influence each other.


This guy's telling me to doubt what my senses tell me about the physical world, like Christians.


And this comment is flippant on theism, and simply points out that the mentioned apologist overestimates miracles.

So yeah, when we are told to believe in a wacky deity we scoff, but when quantum mechanics says something wacky it gets a pass. Why?

19:09 UTC


The Mike Wallace Interview with Ayn Rand

00:05 UTC


"A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something." Has this been proven? Is a baby in the womb not first aware of its own mind before it starts to process sounds, vibrations, etc.?

Has any study demonstrated what babies are first aware of? Are we certain that their first conscious experiences are external? Or might they be internal, and strictly experiences of their own mind?

Babies do dream in utero (which is seemingly apparent since it is well known that they have REM sleep) so does this mean consciousness is first aware of only itself, then after it becomes aware of other things?

22:41 UTC


What is the Objectivist answer to the nonduality philosophies?

In other words, I talk to religious people who claim that they can meditate into a state of pure consciousness where all is one, and that subject object duality is an illusion, etc. They sometimes ostensibly rope in science and such, too.

As I understand it, this is incompatible with objectivism, and I am seeking a good argument against this position.

19:10 UTC


Protecting Citizen's Rights in Foreign Lands as a weaker nation

Objectivism as a moral philosophy very often focuses on the ideal. I want to focus on exceptions to the rule. For example, in if all a nation was fully capitalist had all the right policies towards freedom, they could still not have the ability to successfully project sufficient power like a superpower can to realistically protect it's citizen's rights to trade, to not be unlawfully detained etc while in a foreign nation. Singapore for example is a city state that economically is much freer than it's neighbours but if singaporeans get unlawfully detained in any part of the world, singapore would have little realistic ways of bringing about the release of its citizens without the local government's consent and/or cooperation. In such cases there would seem to need to be rank ordering of rights protection where some are prioritized and some are you are up on your own. Any thoughts on how an objectivist government would handle it?

21:19 UTC


How would Objectivism and its movement be different...

If it were NOT a philosophy that declares itself to be the correct one? In other words if Rand's angle was more "Here's my 2 cents..." rather than "This is what is true and why it is true" but otherwise the philosophy was identical?

14:23 UTC


DIM hypothesis question: How to classify religion and religious thoughts according to DIM and how to avoid wasting time on the religious if they keep DIMming? Want share some insights on a debate between Craig Biddle and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

00:15 UTC


A Salute to the Unsung Black-Market Heroes Who Kept Ancient Athens Fed

It is universally known and appreciated that ancient Athens was the birthplace of not only democracy, but Western civilization in general and that the liberties we in the free world enjoy can be traced back there. What is less well known is that despite their markedly better political system, their economic system in some ways resembled that of the Eastern Bloc countries more than those appearing in the free world. This is made abundantly clear by the price controls that the Athenians placed on the grain imports they required for half their domestic consumption and the incredibly harsh punishments dished out to those caught selling on the black market. It is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of great individuals that such nonsensical laws had to be on the books in the first place and that, despite the penalties, the black market kept Athens fed and prevented the widespread food shortages that would have resulted had these laws been obeyed. The heroic nature of these black marketeers has gone
unsung for too long.

As Robert Lindsay Schuettinger explains in Forty Centuries of Price Controls: “An army of grain inspectors, who were called Sitophylakes, was appointed for the purpose of setting the price of grain at a level the Athenian government thought to be just. It was Golden Age consumer protection agency (of unusually large size for the period) whose duties were defined by Aristotle as ‘to see to it first that the grain was sold in the market at a just price, that the millers sold meal in proportion to the price of barley, that the bakers sold bread in proportion to the price of wheat, that the bread had the weight they had fixed.’” It seems ancient Athens gave modern Washington D.C. a run for its money in terms of red tape.

Schuettinger continues: “The result was might be expected: failure. Despite the penalty of death, which the harassed government did not hesitate to inflict, the laws controlling the grain trade were almost impossible to enforce. We have a surviving oration from at least one of the frustrated Athenian politicians who implored a jury to put the offending merchants to death.” One cannot help but immediately be reminded of the fate awaiting black marketeers who kept Russian cities fed during Lenin’s 1918-1921 War Communism period, wherein the Bolsheviks attempted to do away with money entirely. Such an asinine overreaction to higher prices being charged in a voluntary exchange sounds like something to be expected from Mao’s Red Guards, not Athenian statesmen.

The point being made here? Surely, not just to point out the tragic fact that the anti-capitalist mentality Ludwig von Mises wrote about has been around for millennia? No, it is to point out that the heroic nature of entrepreneurs that Ayn Rand wrote about has also existed for an equally lengthy period of time. Even with the penalty of death ridiculously hanging over their heads, grain traders still decided to pursue their rational self-interest and sell grain to private individuals in Athens for a price agreed upon by the two consenting parties in a given transaction, bureaucrats be damned. It would not be the average Joe who would endure such a risk. It would have taken real heroic bravery to put everything on the line to engage in such a risky behavior. At the same time, if nobody engaged in such a behavior, Athens would have, like the socialist countries that would come after it millennia later, have likely ran the risk of famine. It is thanks to these black marketers that such a course of events didn’t come to pass and what was the thanks they got? Being urged to be given the death penalty by some Athenian proto-leftist. It is truly tragic how much history rhymes.


03:18 UTC


Ayn Rand Lexicon 2.0

03:57 UTC


Nato and collective defense treaties

Is objectivism against collective defense alliances qua defense alliances? I see this with yaron brook being against us in nato. I get the principle that you are not responsible for the security of other nations. But for example in ww1, the buildup of the two competing alliances makes sense to me. If you are one of the six nations with roughly comparable might and your enemies are building an alliance, you would want an alliance of comparable strength to counterbalance in case three of the nations invaded you. This is much of european history with the balance of power and diplomacy/alliance building.

10:23 UTC


Do we need rizz or game at all or is being a man of virtue enough to attract women

Do we need to learn specific skills in attracting women, or will just having a number of other virtues be enough. I know there are specific ways men speak to women they want to have a romantic involvement with aka flirting and not using such skills could lead to less successful outcomes. So should I just be virtuous bro?

16:35 UTC


Invading the Soviets

I've been listening to Yaron Brook. He implies that Rand wanted to united states to invade the soviet union right after finishing the axis or even not allying with them(the deal with the devil so to speak) (https://youtu.be/9tbGVnWSCF8?si=Nj1taPHRGlcJ0zoM timestap 17:36). Is this a fair characterization of rand's view or his? I'm fairly new to objectivism but as far as I understand rand thought you needed a direct threat(commonly a military attack or direct violation of your citizen's rights) by a nation to go to war with them. I fail to see where the soviets at that time had violated american citizen's rights or attacked the us(perhaps had the intent with world communism). Maybe referring to the defaulting of the national debt or seizure of private property under lenin?

12:02 UTC


Saw this surprisingly message at a porta potty urinal in a very liberal city. Do you agree?

17:04 UTC


What do you think about the Objectivist idea of altruistic things being done because it makes the doer feel good and therefore consistent with the "selfish ideal"

Yaron Brook expresses this idea when challenged with the assertion that people will still do good in an ideal Objectivist world.

He says that he would still help out his struggling neighbor, but not because it's virtuous to do so, but because it makes him feel good, thereby keeping his behavior consistent with "selfish" being moral. But this is kind of a circular argument, because helping his neighbor only feels good in part because the traditional Judeo-Christian moral framework deems his act to be an act of "good" selfless altruism.

What are your views on the "morality" of helping others in an Objectivist framework?

09:02 UTC


Atlas Shrugged character chart

1 Comment
23:52 UTC


Did Dagny and John's Relationship Make Sense? And What Should I Read Next?

Today, I finished Atlas Shrugged. It was a great read, though it took a long time since I read for only 20 minutes a day. In general, I think it's good for people to stop producing when they no longer benefit from their efforts, but others do. The idea of all these great minds, these 'men of reason,' going their own way and watching society fall apart is interesting. I wonder how realistic that is in today's world—if it's possible for everything to collapse if great minds withdraw.

Aside from that, I understand it's a novel, and having someone like John Galt invent a motor that converts atmospheric static electricity into unlimited energy is okay. With that invention, they can go live in the valley.

Something that struck me while reading is that I didn't buy the relationship between Dagny and John. Her relationships with Henry and Francisco made sense, but John? She gets to know him while working in the valley, but I didn't feel the connection between them. It felt stronger with Henry.

Did anyone else feel like Dagny and John's relationship didn't make sense? Both are described as incredibly good-looking, so the physical attraction makes sense, but Henry and Francisco are also described as good-looking. What you guys think?


On another note:

What novel should I read now? 🤔 I already read The Fountainhead, and although there are other Ayn Rand novels, I want to take a break from her works and read something different. Any suggestions?

21:01 UTC


Thoughts on Yaron Brook?

Current President of the Institute, I think he's incredible. He seems like a true ideological descendant of Rand in every way.

18:14 UTC


Is anyone at OCON 2024?

What’s it like ?

1 Comment
22:50 UTC


What is an "Intellectual Heir"?

I've always wondered about what was meant by that phrase.

16:29 UTC



03:39 UTC


The Yaron Brook Show @yaronbrook News Roundup 6/10 -- Hostage Rescue; Europe Swings Right; Dolly Parton

17:25 UTC


I would tell him...

But he seems kind of busy right now...


Lest you miss my point I'll tell you what it is (that's an AI picture btw, and it loves making typos). I just don't think the world functions as well if everyone is maximally smart. It's like there's intellectual territory and sometimes people pragmatically if not per values wish to be useful, not just the smartest guy in the room. And part of adopting a (let us not mince words) intellectually inferior mindset is recognising not just the most abstract tool of survival but the lowest common denominator tools of survival as well. I think I am alive as much because of swords as because of reason that made the swords. Tell me if your opinion differs. Pls.

08:43 UTC


Looking for objectivist friends

Hello, I am a 21 year old woman living in southern Ontario. My dad raised me to be an objectivist, and when I read Ayn Rand's novels at 19, I was absolutely convinced that this philosophy is the only way to live. I have never met anyone closer to my age who admires Ayn Rand or objectivism. I am fortunate that I have my dad to converse with, but I would like to make new connections with people that think similarly to me. If you are interested in starting a conversation, please let me know!

01:20 UTC


Atlas Cigarettes

23:38 UTC


"I like to think of fire held in a man’s hand. Fire, a dangerous force, tamed at his fingertips. I often wonder about the hours when a man sits alone, watching the smoke of a cigarette, thinking. I wonder what great things have come from such hours. When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive"

23:10 UTC

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