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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/05/2019 in all areas

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    Brant, I don't think Rand would have understood meme culture on the Internet. She might have since I don't channel her. My crystal ball broke down a few years ago and I have had a hell of a time getting it to work again. But the real world and the fictional AS world Rand lived in was full of gatekeepers. So her entire perception of human society was one where nobody had roaming freedom--they always had to ask permission if they strayed off permitted roaming paths. At Rand's time, fully free roaming was something that existed in the past, not in the present. But in the world today, because of the Internet, free roaming is making a comeback. The rule of thumb is to sin first, then then ask for forgiveness later, rather than ask first for permission. (This got longer than I intended, so I added some headings to make it easier to read. I could improve the headings and elaborate more on each item, but this is just a post on the Internet... ) The real destroyer That inversion--not any specific ideology--is what has destroyed people in high castles (real and metaphorical). Objectivism as its own avenger against those who do not adhere to an ideological purity baseline only works in a world full of gatekeepers. How can you tell a person he or she is doomed without Objectivism when they carry access to most of mankind's knowledge in their pockets? But that fact doesn't make Objectivism--or any other set of formalized ideals--obsolete. It only makes their spread and adherence different than before. Out in the meme and Internet world, Objectivism really has become an avenging angel against the bad guys, but it now happens in a form totally different than the way Rand promoted her ideas--that is, Objectivism has become a cultural pillar in that independent thinkers take from it what they resonate with and use that part in their own lives. People could do this before the Internet, but that process was culturally insignificant. Back then, they could only get Objectivism from the culture in the slices and slants the gatekeepers portioned out. And man, did power corrupt. Look at the mess the ARI folks did rewriting Rand's own words and history because they wanted to control access. Even Rand herself did her gatekeeping fudges, for one example, when she went through We The Living to take out some of the Nietzsche she no longer agreed with, then said she didn't do that and dared anyone to say she did. How Objectivism is spread and used Today, people basically say, "Who gives a crap?" If one person is acting too authoritarian, people get their information from another. As I said, they take from Objectivism what they can get behind according to their values, not any values handed down from on high. Then they show and comment on what they believe and think, and how that is working for them. Others get to opine and interact. In other words, there is a total cultural saturation of discussion, high-fives, bickering, and so on. We can call this living Objectivism, not just being instructed on it from insiders. Lots and lots and lots of people do it this way all over the world--and that hogs the attention time away from the orthodox gatekeeper folks. After all, each person only has 24 hours each day. And here's a corollary social reality for ya', people prefer to talk to those they know rather than gatekeepers. What's more, in this way, Objectivism has become far more powerful politically and culturally than it ever was in the pure state controlled by insiders. That means it is decentralized no matter how much gatekeepers and gatekeeper wannabes howl. Unless humankind destroys the Internet, gatekeepers are never coming back as the main model of packaging and spreading ideas. Not even the tech giants are able to keep political agenda censorship alive, and, man, are they trying. Purity If anyone wants pure Rand the way she wrote it and said it, they can get that. If they want to belong to an insider group around Objectivism, they can get that, too. And if they want to check Rand's own premises or apply her thinking in ways she never imagined, and do it all publicly, they can get that all over the place. They can get Objectivism in any form they wish. Their minds are their own so they get to choose, not have gatekeepers choose for them. That doesn't mean Rand and her more ortho disciples do not have any control. They can control the fact and form of their notion of the pure version of Objectivism. They just no longer control other individuals by doing that. All they have in order to enforce their form is their own little in-group. They can keep the independents out. Big deal. So what? The only thing that accomplishes out in reality is it makes them feel good. Humankind in general doesn't care and doesn't want in. As for the rest, these ortho insiders have to persuade--and persuade on a public platform in competition with a whole lot of different individual takes on Objectivism. There's no way to shut other folks down anymore. They lost control of what they should have never controlled in the first place. Also, so long as there is an Internet, there will be memes and other communication forms to wreak havoc on control freaks, authoritarians and even copyright laws. (I'm not against copyright laws, I'm for them. But I don't like it when they are used as weapons for mind control.) Freedom There's another word for all this. Freedom. Objectivism, which includes freedom in it's set of ideals and principles, now has to exist in a world that is much more free than when Rand created her works. In other words, Objectivism now has to co-exist with freedom in reality, not just in the preaching of it. That means Objectivism will live or die on its merits, and that means, on the value it provides to individuals, not on the protection and enticements of gatekeepers. Insiders will never admit it, but they fear such freedom will kill Objectivism. I don't. I see Objectivism alive and well and growing--inside the minds and lives of individuals of all kinds of different persuasions. It's not growing much inside authoritarian structures (which are becoming more irrelevant each day), but it's going gangbusters inside the individuals out in the real world. For an easy example that is well-known, even the now-leftie Silicon Valley upended everything humans knew, and many of the prime movers did it fueled by Objectivism. In that form, I say, "Long live Objectivism!" It will, too. Live long... Michael