3 Answers

  1. Well, there are probably a couple of discrepancies.

    I am not too impressed with the idea that indigenous peoples do not have the right to land if they did not develop it sufficiently before the arrival of the conquerors, and ecology as a principle is generally heresy because it “condemns cities and intelligence”.

    It is doubtful that a woman can approve of raping herself if it is done directly and without a trace of modesty, besides that a woman is an inferior being, and the meaning of her life is to idolize a male hero.

    I am not sure that a psychopath who killed, raped, and dismembered a 12-year-old girl has a “beautiful, free, and easy mind” and that he is a worthy role model for a modern person.

    Or that altruism of any kind is immoral, and charity is equally immoral. That is, let's say it would be immoral during a war not to kill an unarmed enemy begging for mercy.

    But all this could probably be attributed to third-party and fixable bugs, if the concept underlying the Rand philosophy itself was somehow sane. Unfortunately, things are not going smoothly here either.


    It is no secret that the philosophical community denies Rand the right to call its works philosophical-mainly on the grounds of non-compliance with such requirements of the discipline as internal consistency.

    For example, there is absolutely no system of modal logic in the provisions of Rand. The average objectivist will probably not be able to tell which type of axiomatics objectivism uses — formal, semi-formal, or natural inference.

    No less problematic is semantic chaos: for example, Rand has not one, but two different definitions of sanity, one of which suggests that sanity is simply something that brings happiness. Rand's followers also came up with a third and fourth definition of sanity in response to criticism, but they are no longer considered canonical.

    Rand does not even have such basic principles as the separation between meaning and meaning (the subject itself vs information about the subject). The world is postulated as totally knowable. Rand ignored such problems as the uncertainty principle in quantum physics, calling it the pernicious influence of Kant. The knowability of the world, being an unprovable statement, is simply taken as an axiom.

    All this, however, is not surprising: Rand hated formal logic and considered it a subjective game divorced from reality, so all its postulates and influences were denied, apparently not assuming that it included such banal things as, for example, mathematics.

    I'm not exaggerating: mathematics also caused Rand ideological claims: for example, she resisted the idea of infinity in mathematical analysis on the grounds that nothing infinite allegedly fits into the Aristotelian doctrine. To circumvent this absolutely delusional contradiction, one of Rand's followers argued that infinity has an end, which is located where the reader stops counting. Seriously.

    Again, all this could be attributed to purely internal-philosophical problems that have nothing to do with the issues of individual freedom and moral egoism. But no, everything falls apart at a level that is completely accessible to the basic reader.

    Just the principle of “objective reality, rationalism, capitalism and egoism” cannot be driven into one philosophical discourse. You can't talk about objective reality without bypassing epistemology, and you can't talk about the morality of egoism without bypassing ontology. It's like building a bridge with no columns. A person does not have a sufficient concept of reality, especially objective, especially about his position in it (see the list of unsolved problems of philosophy and others like them). And to say the opposite is just a banal adjustment of the solution to the ready-made answers without the slightest attempt to justify them in any way.

    So, Rand tries to build a political theory on these purely ideological postulates. Which you want to apply. In life.


    Rand's approach to political theory-to base the structure of society on metaphysical postulates-was more than 400 years out of date at the time of the emergence of objectivism.

    Firstly, because it is banally inefficient, and we have enough field research to justify this-thanks to sociology and statistics.

    Secondly, because when we force society to work in this way, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to assess the success or failure of our efforts and make the necessary adjustments to the course of action. In other words, we can no longer evaluate the existing system in terms of whether it works or does not work — we can only monitor how much it corresponds to the drawings.

    So what Rand was proposing was even further from earth than the actual programs of Communists, Nazis, and even the most idealistic capitalists.

    For example, the idea of Laissez-faire free market capitalism as the highest form of economic organization (based on Rand's view that capitalism is the most rational) faces the problem that without government intervention, private individuals at the head of corporations are quite likely to drown the economy for a fairly small personal gain – which in the case of even small deviations from course sometimes leads to disastrous consequences. The first attempt to introduce a full-fledged Laissez-faire worked until the first crop failure, after which it led to mass starvation, until the state had to intervene to reduce the price of bread. Since then, the scenario has been repeated almost identically in most financial crises.

    But even if we avoid the impossibility of economic implementation, there is still a problem with the implementation of judicial and executive power. The Randian utopia presupposes a Randian state that would support the rights of citizens, the inviolability of private property, prevent violence, resolve domestic claims, etc. But this implies state interference in private life, which is evil under Rand, and most importantly, it implies the taxation system, which is also evil under Rand. The only alternative-a system that addresses such issues collectively-involves at least a partial renunciation of private property. Which according to Rand is evil. Etc.

    By the way, many corporate CEOs have actually tried to build their companies on the Randian model. In particular, we know the experience of Sears, a chain of clothing and household items supermarkets, where the heads of departments were specifically instructed to act for their own benefit, in the hope that the invisible hand of the market itself will throw out the most unwise, and the rest will lead the company to the top of their market sector. In practice, there was an internecine war for resources and funding between the departments, until most of the employees massively switched to work for competitors, and Sears almost went bankrupt in five years.

    However, we can say that I am again finding fault, and all these political economic things should concern political economists, and not the average user. After all, isn't the economy built on models in which the entire population is made up of individual incurable egoists who always put their own interests above everything else?

    It turns out that this is not entirely true. The fact is that real economic models, unlike speculative dogmatic ones, undergo revision and analysis from time to time – since the tasks of practical economics are not only to build models of the future, but also to explain the real behavior of real people. And the analysis shows that people for the most part are not only irrational, not only inclined to act together, but also generally prefer altruistic actions to selfish ones, and in one way or another they condemn the latter. A banal example from statistics is that people donate blood to emergency rooms much more and more often when they don't pay anything for it. Simply so. Without propaganda and exhortation and any pressure from the outside.

    Which brings us perfectly to questions of objectivism and ethics.


    One of the main problems of Randian ethics is that it postulates a rather absurd level of independence of people from each other-both in material and emotional terms. Voluntary altruism thus turns out to be immoral, while high ambition is not only justified, but also equated with high morality – which in turn should supposedly benefit society as a whole.

    That this does not work in practice is simply proved historically: twentieth-century experience has shown that workers ' conditions are improved not by the employer's good will, but by strikes, trade unions, and appropriate legislation.

    Or take the problem of land ownership. The capitalist doctrine asserts a certain absolutism of private property: land belongs to someone, and must be inherited until it is sold to someone else. But every piece of land you poked at changed hands dozens of times in an unambiguously violent way. What, then, is the justification for current land ownership? Should it be reallocated? Rand sidesteps this issue by saying that land can and should be taken away if the neighbor has tomatoes there, and you are going to build a car factory. But this makes the very concept of ownership, whether legitimate or illegitimate, meaningless at the level of a dictionary definition. What is the concept of property if it doesn't belong to you?

    Such logical chains cannot exist in the real world. They work only in conditions that contradict their own, that is, as a reaction and opposition. In other words, Rand philosophy can exist only in the form of sociopathy and only in the context of the usual social morality, because otherwise it simply has nothing to start from.

    So it is not surprising that Ayn Rand herself did not follow anything that she preached to the masses. Claiming that State aid should not be given to someone who does not deserve it (as well as to someone who deserves it), she nevertheless received unemployment benefits from fake documents. Having a young married lover (she is also married), and being with him in a transparent and open to all relationships (with her husband, she was to lunch with a lover in the afternoon; the two often overlap, and even shaking hands), she nevertheless accused him of the moral decline and decay, when it became clear that the young married lover, too, found herself a young lover. By the way, his wife was also subjected to no less work, because she did not inform Ayn Rand about what was happening in time. And so on, and so on.

    But the most ironic thing about Randian ethics, in my opinion, is that it does not allow us, the readers, to even find out something about ethics based on the author's wrongness. For example, logical positivism, which has been refuted to a greater extent than any philosophical movement of the last hundred years, has greatly contributed to the development of the scientific method, phenomenology, and ethics.

    Rand's wrongness taught us nothing. The average person who rightly considers Rand's philosophy cannibalistic will not discover anything new in refuting it – the lack of any depth, consistency, and sufficient elaboration simply does not allow this to be done.

    Long conclusion

    All these holes in philosophy, politics, and ethics indicate one of two things: Rand either didn't know about them (which is obviously not the case, since professional society didn't hesitate to point them out), or she thought she could do it. And here it is worth remembering, probably, the most telling of all her quotes:

    “I am done with the monster of “we,” the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: I.”

    Do you feel it? In fact, all this rationalism, egoism, objectivism — all this is a cover-up. Ayn Rand's main point is thatI am God.

    And there is a wonderful story on this topic.

    There is one person. Let's call him Anatole.

    In his twenties and twenties, he was the model of a Randian hero: handsome, young, creative, smart, and terribly talented. A typical center of gravity and soul of the company. He had an excellent education, a good job that came easily to him, and he could afford to lead a relaxed lifestyle, keep open relationships and quickly find new ones, be lenient about public morals and do everything in plain sight. And why not — when you have everything-everything is awesome, and everyone else is constantly having some drama, trauma and no time for anything — it's very easy to feel if not higher and better, then at least not connected by everything that somehow connects everyone else.

    He felt it. It wasn't that other people didn't exist for him, but he just always stuck to all the good things and never got into anything bad: that is, when someone in his environment had problems, he just laughed it off, said that it was all nonsense, and ignored the matter. It never occurred to Anatole that anyone might be harmed by his actions. Especially him.

    This is how Anatole was 10 years ago.

    Not so long ago, we ran into Anatole on the street. He was coming from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The fact is that at some point Anatole got into the company of the wrong people, got into the wrong bed, and got an awl in the side. I survived, but the consequences were so-so. From the trauma and progressive alcoholism, his metabolism flew — and he turned yellow, got fat. When it was no longer possible to maintain the same lifestyle, Anatol fell into a prolonged depression, took pills, was unable to work and lost his home. As expected, there was no one to help him, since the acquaintances he had accumulated were not from the environment that is famous for increased altruism. I didn't stop drinking, though. Until the first attempt. Only then did he finally enroll in a well-known society — and here he goes, being treated.

    To the banal “how are you” Anatole said an amazing thing that he realized just now, in almost forty years, listening to someone else's confession in someone's basement at a meeting:

    “I think I've realized that I'm not a god.”

    This is what it looks like: a person's first entry into the real world.�

    All this monstrous pride, an idiotic model of the universe, in which you are absolutely nothing (Ayn Rand also denies us any a priori humanism), but nevertheless for some reason you stand in the center of the universe — she works at school, works at UNI, sometimes even works in the early twenties, but sooner or later life puts people in their place. Because it just so happens that everything we own is temporary, that our desires are illusory, that our vision of others is deceptive and unfair, and none of the eight billion people in this world knows what this objective reality is, or how to build a society, or even how to save yourself, when everything that once formed your idea of yourself begins to leak through your fingers under the influence of time.

    All you have to do is admit that you're not a god.

    Anatole is not a god, I am not a god, you are not a god, and Ayn Rand is certainly not a god.

    And believe me, the sooner a person does this, the less likely it is that life will respond to him in any way.

  2. Never, under any circumstances, call Ayn Rand a “philosophy.” Ayn Rand is fiction (of controversial artistry, I've read fan fiction with a better plot) and attempts to “explain for life”. Well, in short, to formulate some life guidelines that will help make decisions and generally live for a real person in the real world.�

    As soon as you use the words “Ayn Rand” and “philosophy” in the same sentence, you cause an immediate painful reaction in the minds of philosophers and those who study philosophy. Its ideas do not fit into the modern concept of philosophy in any way. Philosophy lives according to its own imaginary laws, speaks its own bird language and has little relation to reality, has existed for centuries only for its own sake, and does not bring any benefit to society, except for increasing the ESR of philosophers themselves.�

    Ayn Rand, on the other hand, is crookedly and confusingly trying to concoct some kind of coordinate system that would help you make everyday decisions in the real world. To which philosophy immediately gets out and begins to divert thoughts to the side: “please, madam, first explain what this real world of yours is and why do you even think that it exists?”Please prove for your” objective reality ” first, and then then think about what to do with it. To which, if I were Rand, I would reply: “Go fuck yourself, why the hell would I waste my time explaining things that any child can understand anyway?” In general, thinking about “is reality objective” is an extremely idle exercise for the mind, the answer to this question does not make any practical sense. The answer to the question “is the piano real” will not help to raise it to the fifth floor. If you are very curious, you can lift the leg and put your finger under it, and then release it. And let your screams serve as proof for all neighbors of the objectivity of the piano and this reality. Now, can we figure out how to get the fucking grand piano up to the fucking fifth floor?�

    No! Further, philosophy will require that you give a clear definition of the piano and royality, so that we understand exactly that by the piano we all mean the piano, and not Alyona's cowards. Describe in detail in what logic and on what principle you call the piano black, wooden, etc. And at each stage, the philosophical wilds will get thicker and thicker. When will we raise the piano? And then it turns out that this is not the goal of philosophy at all, because raising the piano is not the main thing in life.�

    Of course, Ayn Rand's how-to-live instructions aren't perfect. Great for the occasion when you live in a cave alone, and at the entrance to the cave proudly hung a sign with the word “ego”. For other cases-so-so. For example, she has a poor understanding of the benefits of long-term social cooperation. According to her, the “social contract” is when you are to me, and I am to you right here and right now on transparent terms. But society does not work so simply and clumsily. I know followers of the cult of Rand, who, according to her doctrine, for example, do not give up their place in the subway to anyone at all out of principle. I don't see any conflict between reasonable selfishness and mutual aid. Today you gave up your seat, in a year your pregnant wife will feel bad on the subway-they will give up her place. Charity, mutual aid, support – all this does not contradict reasonable selfishness. In return, a person can receive moral satisfaction, a reputation resource, confidence that when you find yourself in a difficult situation, you will have someone to ask for help, etc. Of course, such things should be purely voluntary. But if you want to live in a society, then you can't interact only at the “individual-individual” level. It is also necessary to periodically interact at the “individual-society” level.�

    I also remember thinking about Danni in Gault's house, when he took her in and fed her. She reflected that she could not repay him for his shelter and food as a woman usually pays her husband. Sorry, what???!!! Marriage is when sex is paid for food???? Instead of trying to find a partner with whom you will end up, so that in exchange for his pleasure you can get your own, and not give him pleasure in exchange for material benefits. No, I don't mind sex for a checkmate.benefits. But this is called prostitution.�

    The idea of abolishing all taxes altogether, as Gault had demanded, also left me slightly perplexed. No, I am against the system of taxation and state levies, as it is now. Each time I fill out a tax return and pay over the amounts that I give, for example, to health care and the pension fund. Because I won't get anything in return for this money. But these Rand glimpses of anarcho-capitalism are a kindergarten.

  3. Criticizing objectivism is like criticizing public publications for schoolchildren like “kid's philosophy”. Ayn Rand's search for certain moral vectors is just as successful as Daria Dontsova's. All its “selectivism” is a denial of things and phenomena that have guided humanity for thousands of years: mutual aid, sacrifice, striving for the common good, empathy and mutual respect.

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