Hello from Calgary


clarkems

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Hi all,

My name is Michael (Mike) Clarke from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Like many others posting here I came across Ayn Rand as a teenager. While exploring science fiction titles like "The Fountainhead" I found a philosophy that came as easily to me as breathing. Ironically, during my travels after university I married someone that turned out to be, what I can only guess to be, a borderline personality disorder sufferer which comes with a huge dose of entitlement and almost complete lack of self-responsibility. After struggling with the increasingly persistent symptoms of that disorder in my mate for 13 years I left the marriage.

Interestingly, I met my current soulmate and now wife because of an Ayn Rand reference in my online profile. After re-reading "Atlas Shrugged" Ayn Rand's philosophy became an integral part of our perspective on life and has led in many ways to a number of our successes. While, in general, I tend to avoid rigid adherence to any particular train of thought or philosophy and rather pick and choose nuggets from various perspectives, I find very few parts of Objectivism that are not a natural fit.

One quest or journey I now have is trying to reconcile Objectivism to the art of living in the real world with others who are not Objectivist. Many different philosophies picture a perfect world as one where all people live by a certain set of rules in perfect harmony. However, the reality of the world is inherently diverse with many perspectives, healthy, righteous and prosperous and others which are unhealthy, self-centered and fear based.

For example in northern Canada, and many other northern parts of the world, the winters can be extreme. In Edmonton, Alberta, which is roughly the same latitude as Moscow, temperatures can fall to -40 c at night. Street people are regularly found frozen to death on the streets despite the fact that hospices and shelters are available for them for free. So, what would an objectivist do with all of the alienated, drug addicts and mentally ill who are free to walk the streets? Surely they could find work and take care of themselves, if they were mentally able to. But they apparently are not capable of taking care of themselves. So, do we now take responsibility for them? How do we manage this without stripping them of their basic human rights? Why should I worry about this as an objectivist, even?

I am exploring the thought process regarding how Objectivism could be applied to living in the real world, not in an isolated enclave, but the world with unions, mentally ill, poorly educated, tyrants, sycophants and billions of downtrodden and starving. I am not a negative thinker though. In fact I see the glass as half full and being an entreprenuer need to be self-interested and celebrate success and prosperity. But my personal philosophy, which works on a personal scale as I see it, is conflicted with its application in the larger scene. So, I continue to read and explore this train of thought.

I look forward to reading what others are posting here about Objectivism and staying in touch with this community.

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Hello from Washington DC. Welcome to Objectivist Living. Are you in the part of Canada that has all the oil. Do you want to suceed from the rest of the country and let the rest of them freeze in the dark?

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Hello from Washington DC. Welcome to Objectivist Living. Are you in the part of Canada that has all the oil. Do you want to suceed from the rest of the country and let the rest of them freeze in the dark?

Don't encourage him. Albertans are already given enough reasons to want to break away from the rest of Canada with left-leaning Ontario, the "we demand everyone plays by our rules" Quebec, and the "have-not" Atlantic provinces. My wife and I have both spent a fair bit of time in Calgary and think of the city and the people with fondness. This year we even considered whether or not to move there to raise our children and find a better business climate. We chose not to for family and social network reasons.

Mike, you are in a great part of Canada where the people are friendly, the politics make sense, and the provincial budget is in the black. The image of the mountains on the horizon seen from Calgary is an image of one of the most prescious times in my life.

Welcome to OL

Paul

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