I feel like every other book I pick up now will be in the light of reading this. Very little will be able to compare. Everything else will feel trite. Pointless and weak. Infantile even.
There are a lot of good books out there, and there is a lot of fluff. And I don't think I can currently stomach anything that isn't excellence. We accept mediocrity all the time for a quick fix, an easy out. And in doing so allow ourselves to continue to be mediocre and not demand higher quality.
It took me about three weeks to finish as it was so long and took actual thinking to read it. And I haven't stopped thinking about it. I don't agree with so much of Ayn Rand's philosophy but there are points that cause me to stop and really analyze what it is that is attractive about it.
She created the philosophy that she called Objectivism.
The short translation is this:
1. "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed" or "Wishing won't make it so."
2. "You can't eat your cake and have it, too."
3. "Man is an end in himself."
4. "Give me liberty or give me death."
The slightly longer explanation is this:
My philosophy, Objectivism, holds that:
Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.
Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by
man's senses) is man's only means of perceiving reality, his only source of
knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.
Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He
must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor
sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest
and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.
The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system
where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters
and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit.
It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting
to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against
others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights;
it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who
initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.
Copyright ã 1962 by Times-Mirror Co.
What does all of this mean to me? I'm honestly not sure yet. It is such a high ideal for man to live up to, but yet leaving out the entire concept of God, faith, beliefs. Which I am not able to do. And the problem with facts being facts is that they so often aren't. There are so many facts that are still intrinsically changed by whomever views them. Especially if man is dependant upon his own reason.
Her main character in this book is what she considers the highest ideal for man. Unfortunately he is practically an inhuman man.
I feel like I need to read something different, but I am also pulled to read more from her. I am also pulled to talk to whoisjohngalt. I think we need to meet.