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Beauty or Schizophrenia?


I just got my mind blown.

If you resonate with Rand's aesthetics at root--and not just try to squeeze your own artistic likes and dislikes into a mold according to what she said and wrote about art (as opposed to what she did, which was so much more)--the following recent video by Cynthia Chung at the Rising Tide Foundation will wash over you like a sudden rain shower on a dry desert day.

I learned more about modern aesthetics in this one talk than I did in all my university classes and, frankly, in my studies with Rand and arising from her work--although, to be fair, I did learn a lot from Rand. I like to say Rand helped me build the skeletal frame of my thinking, but I had to build the rest.

I don't agree with everything Cynthia or the others say in this video, but about 95% of it is pure intellectual gold.


Here are a couple of thoughts she went into.

The difference between Kantian duty as opposed to embracing responsibility in the manner of Schiller. The first sucks the life out of you while the second is part of your very nature as a human being.

Themes of individual freedom as one of the measures of artistic beauty.

The integration of the aesthetics of the Frankfurt School with the mind control experiments of the CIA at the time. Essentially--and Adorno specifically wrote this--the purpose of the ugliness and nonstop fragmentation promoted by the Frankfurt School was to induce schizophrenia in people, disconnect their mind from reality, so that later they could be programmed with better thinking. Part of the MK-Ultra program was to try to wipe a person's mind clean, then fill it with new thoughts (which is where The Manchurian Candidate came from). Cynthia includes the thinking of Aldous Huxley and his circle as part of the same intellectual world as the Frankfurt School. But this only scratches the surface.

Note that is a common theme. Both the CIA's experiments and The Frankfurt school (and similar) have similar purposes. Also, the people in both worked with each other.

I am gobsmacked this this was right out in front of everyone and no one talks about it.

An interesting factoid. George Cukor, who directed the film Gaslight in the 1940s, which the term gaslighting came from, was in league with the members of the Frankfurt school.

And on and on and on...


I have a feeling Rand's aesthetics and those of The Rising Tide Foundation are going to be integrated over time in terms of popular acceptance and dissemination. There are some difference, but in my thinking, the fundamentals are the same.

Maybe the thing about God will be an obstacle for some, but the RTF believes in a loving universe (without a lot of mysticism) and Rand believed in a benevolent universe with no mysticism at all. Both uphold human beauty as high value. So for aesthetics, I do not believe the God question is a fundamental difference.

If you have some time, watch this video.

If you care about art and influence and the purpose of life and things like that, you are in for a treat.

Kick off your shoes and get your favorite beverage.

You're going to be a while.



The Battle for the Mind: How to Exit an Artificial Reality (Cynthia Chung RTF Lecture)



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