By Adam Cuerden
I really hate objectivism. Set out in a series of incredibly poorly-written books by Ayn Rand, it claims to be a more logical, rational view of the world. Then it promotes a worldview where blowing up housing for the poor just before the people were set to move in is a rational response to having your architectural designs modified, and that engaging in piracy against ships sending foreign aid to starving people is a reasonable way to get back your income tax. Hell, they had to recall the DVDs of the film of Atlas Shrugged because they claimed it was based on “Ayn Rand’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice”, because self-sacrifice is about as antithetical to objectivism as you can get.
The philosophy is little more than apologetics for being a selfish bastard, while claiming you’re inherently more worthy than others, because you’re clever and rational and your beliefs are (supposedly) based on science and logic; but I really don’t see how the simple premises lead to the specific conclusions about, say, economics, taxes, altruism being a problem, and justifications for rape.
Now, I’ll grant Objectivism influential, but not in any sort of good way: it’s used to “justify” the whole fuck-the-poor worldview that’s so dominant in the American Republican Party (though, as I’ve seen argued, she supposedly got everything right except the atheism…), and to a slightly lesser extent in the British Conservative party.
Personally, I think it’s one of the most immoral philosophies ever created. It advocates outright hatred of anyone less intelligent, able, or rich than you are, while implicitly claiming that promoting objectivism is in itself enough to make you more intelligent and able. It’s religion adapted for psychopaths.
Oh, and the most annoying thing I found written about it? This flyer, by an American skeptics society, claiming that objectivism is the perfect match to skepticism, providing a strong moral guide for skepticism to act off of.
I’ll stick with the humanists, thanks. They’re awesome.