She Said That? 3/27/16

From Ayn Rand, (1905–1982), Russian-born American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter, “The Ayn Rand Column” (Los Angeles Times):

It took centuries of intellectual, philosophical development to achieve political freedom. It was a long struggle, stretching from Aristotle to John Locke to the Founding Fathers. The system they established was not based on unlimited majority but on its opposite: on individual rights, which were not to be alienated by majority vote or minority plotting. The individual was not left at the mercy of his neighbors or his leaders: the Constitutional system of checks and balances was scientifically devised to protect him from both. This was the great American achievement—and if concern for the actual welfare of other nations were our present leaders’ motive, this is what we should have been teaching the world. Instead, we are deluding the ignorant and the semi-savage by telling them that no political knowledge is necessary—that our system is only a matter of subjective preference—that any prehistorical form of tribal tyranny, gang rule, and slaughter will do just as well, with our sanction and support. It is thus that we encourage the spectacle of Algerian workers marching through the streets [in the 1962 Civil War] and shouting the demand: “Work, not blood!”—without knowing what great knowledge and virtue are required to achieve it. In the same way, in 1917, the Russian peasants were demanding: “Land and Freedom!” But Lenin and Stalin is what they got. In 1933, the Germans were demanding: “Room to live!” But what they got was Hitler. In 1793, the French were shouting: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!” What they got was Napoleon. In 1776, the Americans were proclaiming “The Rights of Man”—and, led by political philosophers, they achieved it. No revolution, no matter how justified, and no movement, no matter how popular, has ever succeeded without a political philosophy to guide it, to set its direction and goal.

4 responses to “She Said That? 3/27/16

  1. A wonderful reminder of the power of her intellect!

    I think that of all her important conceptions, the ones that identify individual Rights and their collective manifestation, Capitalism, as the only moral socio-economic system, are the most meaningful to me.

    I say this because embodied in such ideas is the conception that ones politics will (must!) logically flow from ones morality. Once an understanding of this is grasped, it becomes fairly easy to understand why America has lost its “soul” – a soul briefly glimpsed in Jefferson’s marvelous Declaration.

    Unless or until a human beings right to their own life is held as the highest and most fundamental moral tenet, thereby rejecting any idea that said life is subordinate to some other entity or abstraction, political tyranny will inevitably win the day.

    Her moral defense of the individual and Capitalism is therefore crucially unprecedented!




    It has come to my attention that you have completely lost sight of the intent, spirit, and fundamental meaning, originally conceived and tenuously fashioned through repeated gatherings in the heat of Philadelphia, of that which myself and my fellow Founders bequeathed to you. Your corrupted exercise of, together with your disregard for, the responsibilities this stewardship entails has saddened my heart while affronting my soul.

    Therefore, in a few short tenets, using my position as previously-appointed steward for the recording of such ideals, you are reminded of them as follows:

    1. FREEDOM: Free men are not equal, nor are equal men free, but in Individual Rights.

    2. RESPONSIBILITY: Responsibility cannot be understood, nor represented to be, as when thought needed, a “Right” to property first produced by the effort of others.

    3. JUSTICE: The freedom enabling one man’s effort, nor the results, must never be taken from him on behalf of another man’s alleged necessity.

    You have allowed yourselves to become morally immunized from these ideals, thereby becoming political predators – little different than such predators from whom my fellow citizens and I, enduring the brutality, carnage, and injustice of war, fought to free ourselves.

    If you fail to return to the proper stewardship of these timeless truths, then I fear for our cherished legacy – and for your futures. It and they will cloud, with instead of the King, Parliament, and Crown being the objects of our citizens scorn, it will become your President, your Congress, and your Government from which you will again seek freedom.

    On behalf of Thomas Jefferson,

    Afree Mann


  3. Pingback: She Said That? 3/27/16 – The way I see things …

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