The hate-mail will roll right in: Objectivist meeting, pt. 2

As a follow-up to Micha's post earlier today (see the comment section), I want to share something specific to this meeting. First, as a positive example of being familiar with an opposing philosophy, I offer my fellow Catallarchists, who are firmly opposed to Marxist ideas, but who know them in and out. Second, Rand and Co. believe, whether right or wrong, that Kant is one of the chief intellectual opponents of the good life and the good society (who apparently began a long, evil tradition checked only at the coming of the Messiah, Ayn Rand).

With that in mind, I'll tell you now that besides Micha and me, no one in the room seemed to have any knowledge of Kant besides what they read from Rand. This from the people who chant all day about the primacy of philosophy! (Murray Rothbard pointed out in 1972 that at least during the heyday of the New York scene this was intentional.) Twice I heard explicitly Kantian ideas expressed as if they were consistent with the Randian system (which point I will not discuss here--the important thing is that they don't think so). I made sure to point this out.

Still, I am interested in Objectivism and appreciate a great deal of Rand's work. The point is not about the content of the ideas involved, but rather about a lack of knowledge of relevant ideas by some who claim to be devoted to philosophy.

It would be a shame not to try to take advantage of the similarities between Objectivists and other libertarians, and anyone who denies Rand's influence on the modern libertarian movement knows nothing about its history. I have been very influenced by her ideas, so I hope our Objectivist readers won't feel too alienated.

The moral of the story is: know your enemy. If you don't, the consequences range from looking foolish to attacking the wrong positions and allowing him to continue unchecked.

I just found a great and ironic quote that fits with this post:
"An intellectual leader such as Aristotle does not seek blind believers and formula-reciters; a leader such as Immanuel Kant does." (Journals of Ayn Rand, p. 682)

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