There is a nearly-universal contempt for objectivity and serious thinking. Everything is knee-jerk, whimsical. There is virtually no rational discourse on actual facts of reality. Social Justice Warriors of anger and fear are ubiquitous.
The world’s an ideological shambles.
It’s a Babylon of emotionalism and irrationality – from nearly all sides. It seems to currently be descending more swiftly into the abyss of chaos and aggression.
Identity in Babylon is not about rational character. It is primitive ascriptions to race, gender, class, and religion.
There is a nearly-universal contempt for objectivity and serious thinking. Everything is knee-jerk, whimsical. Belief in something – anything – makes it allegedly a metaphysical “fact” to go to war over, on campuses and in the streets.
There is virtually no rational discourse on actual facts of reality. The human mind has been cast aside into a junk heap. Social Justice Warriors of anger and fear are ubiquitous.
How is this possible?
How is it possible that such an extraordinary instrument at human disposal can not only be neglected but held in contempt?
Why would humans not use their minds to understand reality and conquer reality – to be happy and productive? How is it possible to have the most powerful instrument in the known universe and then not use it?
It’s because thinking is not easy. It is not “an automatic function”, as Ayn Rand pointed out in John Galt’s radio speech in her novel Atlas Shrugged.
The majestic human mind takes an enormous effort to understand and utilize effectively. It takes an extraordinary amount of time to investigate, as well as abiding honesty to integrate and then use as a means for conquering life magnificently – and achieving full identity.
Humans are born with the faculty of rationality. It is there to use or not use. It is there to be used to understand the world or not understand it. It is there for us to focus on reality and life or to evade reality and life.
To use reason is an active, volitional process. The mind doesn’t just automatically kick in. To connect the dots of reality and integrate them into our hierarchy of knowledge takes a willful focus and honesty. To avoid this job – yes it is a job – is to descend into an abyss of whimsy and confusion and ideological emotionalism. The evasion turns humans into snowflakes, each with his own floating, dissolving identity.
To use reason is an active, volitional process. The mind doesn’t just automatically kick in. To connect the dots of reality and integrate them into our hierarchy of knowledge takes a willful focus and honesty.
To avoid this job – yes it is a job – is to descend into an abyss of whimsy and confusion and ideological emotionalism. The evasion turns humans into snowflakes, each with his own floating, dissolving identity.
And the job has to be done punctiliously. To do it only fairly well is to allow some degree of mental chaos, some degree of irrationality, some degree of aggression towards others or passivity, as “soft” Libertarians make clear daily with their weak foreign policies and weak defense of capitalism, as well as their contempt for defining “rights” and “freedom.”
To think means to think philosophically primarily. It’s got to be done. Without this thinking, all of life is whimsy, to some degree. Without it, we cannot know ourselves completely or know what is right in every moment of life.
Without it, we fear full judgment. We can’t be fully productive. We can’t always be intellectually honest. We can’t always know right from wrong. We can’t be egoistic. We can’t be calm at all times. We can’t have full pride and self-esteem. Our lives can’t be fully integrated. We can’t have a solid identity, infused in, and bonded with reality.
Rational, philosophical thinking provides a granite mental structure for life. It is a sort of Google Maps of Reality at our disposal. It is a sine qua non for happiness and productivity. This “structure” is an absolute for anyone wishing to be in charge of his life. It is the guidepost and touchstone of each moment of conscious existence.
It requires knowing all four branches of rational philosophy (Objectivism) thoroughly – AND integrating those four branches into one’s mental structure.
So what does that mean?
It means knowing the three primary axioms of existence (existence exists, identity, consciousness) and their relevance to everything one learns afterward.
It requires knowing the nature of man (rationality) and how that rationality (the mind) works, including how concepts are formed, to fully confirm and understand the efficacy of the rational process. It requires knowing the definition of a concept: “a mental unit, arrived at by isolating two or more similar aspects of reality, with their measurements omitted.”
It requires knowing morality and that the only virtue is rationality, and that the primary structural parts of rationality are honesty, independence, justice, productivity, integrity, and pride – so that we can consciously watch and identify our thoughts and actions as a means for effectively achieving values and goals.
It requires understanding that happiness is the primary goal of life, and that the only way to achieve happiness is to pursue values at all times, morally. It requires being able to define what a “value” is: “that which one attempts to acquire or keep.”
It requires knowing what principle is in play for achieving values within a group or society of other people – namely, the principle of rights (a moral principle sanctioning and defining a person’s freedom of action within a group).
It requires knowing what “freedom” is: the absence of physical and fraudulent coercion.
Many other facts and nuances of the above also must be understood and integrated into the all-important mental structure that guides our lives.
These “requirements” were discovered by the great Ayn Rand. If we wish to be happy, then we take on the job of understanding the rational structure of human mental life. If we wish to have identity – full, conscious, healthy identity – then we have no choice but to take on this job.
This is a vital point: identity. To understand ourselves and the rest of reality requires doing the job of understanding the structure referred to above, to acknowledge the real of reality. As Rand said, “By refusing to say ‘it is’, you are refusing to say ‘I am’.” (“The Objectivist Ethics”, The Virtue of Selfishness)
Without identity, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is no identity. Integrity is achieved by integrating the facts of reality rationally – and by knowing fully the operations and structure of the mind that does so.
Those who have lost their rational identity have lost control over their minds. They then have only one absolute: to control other humans.
Without identity and integrity, the mind and the world are chaotic. It is Shia LaBeouf and Ashley Judd and Meryl Streep and Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton and John McCain and Nancy Pelosi and Adolf Hitler and pussy hats and other snowflakes going stark-raving, drooling mad and hell-bent on destruction of anything and everything to give vent to their chaos.
Those who have lost their rational identity have lost control over their minds. They then have only one absolute: to control other humans. It’s an obsession born of no rational mental structure, no concrete relationship to and integration of the facts of reality, no love affair with the real.
To think is to not be a snowflake.
To think is to be a real somebody.