All the problems plaguing the world today are in fact problems of Science. And all of them are completely solvable within a time span of few decades, by understanding the identities of existents, especially Man. First thing to grasp is the fundamental law of existence. The rule that makes all knowledge possible: A is A.
A subjectivist is any man who fails to understand that reality is objective absolute. He doesn’t see that facts are facts: completely independent of his feelings, desires, hopes or fears. He says “What is right for you is not right for me.” Before you conclude that there is nothing wrong with it, I challenge you to think further.
Examine this statement, “What is right for you is not right for me.” You might think that he is talking about a merely personal emotional preferences of colour of a particular pen, or a style of a certain piece of furniture, the reason for such preferences being not yet discovered by science. But he is actually basing his statement on the false premise that “Nothing is knowable.” ie., he is maintaining that there is no way of knowing anything, thereby stunting his own ability to think.
If you wonder what is the harm, observe that no emotion is causeless. (Refer my previous article— “Values, The source of Emotions”) You emotionally respond to any fact of existence only because you value something. No emotional response is independent of some value. So the statement, “What is right for you is not right for me” actually means, “What is a value for you is not a value for me.”
But even choice of values is not subjective. You choose your values to function in this world. In other words, if you choose to live, you can value something only to further your own life, any man’s ultimate value. This choice is not subjective. A man who doesn’t value his life will cease to be a living organism. Reason is the primary value for a man because it is his only way to sustain his own life, and it is only because he values his own life.
Hence, the statement “What is a value for you is not a value for me” actually means, “What is a fact for you is not a fact for me”. Now you can see what is wrong with subjectivism. By accepting the false premise that Reality is subjective, a subjectivist recklessly tries to place himself outside the reality in which he is existing, (which he never can) without bothering to know its nature.
To make the situation more blatant, see what a subjectivist will say, when he completely suspends his reason, a choice he voluntarily made. “A rape is a rape you for, but not for me.” “Wealth is wealth for you, but not for me.” “A murder is a murder for you, but not for me.” And ultimately, “Existence exists for you, but not for me.” Hence, giving himself the permission to commit any action and a subjective justification to escape the responsibility for his actions. But nothing escapes the law of identity.
A rape is a rape, and by saying that it is subjective, you are trying to invalidate the person’s right to act on the judgement of her own mind. Wealth is wealth, and by saying it is subjective, you are trying to invalidate a man’s right to his own property. A murder is a murder and by saying it is subjective, you are trying to invalidate a man’s right to his own life. Existence exists. By saying that existence is subjective, you are trying to invalidate your own existence.
This is the evil initiated by the self-proclaimed philosophers who based their entire theories on the false premise that Existence is subjective. And the blatant disregard for commitment to Reason you see in the world today is the consequence of that false premise.
Existence is objective reality. A is A. A man who seeks to escape from the law of identity has voluntarily put himself on the path to destruction, which he will achieve, not subjectively, but actually.
The Faculty of Reason and the Faculty of Emotion are the two attributes of human consciousness. The content of the second is entirely dependent on the content of the first.
Reason is the faculty that perceives facts of reality in the form of percepts and integrates them into concepts by creating proper definitions, thereby expanding the man’s knowledge of the original concept, Existence. The method of reason is logic: Non-contradictory identification of existents. None of the existents subsumed under a specific concept can contradict its definition, or the previous concepts that made it possible.
For example, take the definition of the Bird: A flying animal. Ie., it is an animal that flies, and every animal that flies will be subsumed under this definition. This definition(concept), Bird is dependent on the concept that is needed to be defined, prior to it: Animal. Now definition of Animal is “A living organism capable of animation(movement)”. And a living organism is “Any existent that has life.” Observe here that the definition of bird does not contradict the definition of animal: a bird is still an organism capable of animation. Nor does the definition of animal contradict the definition of a living organism: An animal is still an existent(Anything that exists) that has life.
This process of concept formation by logically integrating the previously integrated concepts, is the task performed by the Faculty of Reason, the attribute of human consciousness, which makes all knowledge possible. All valid knowledge exists in terms of concepts: non contradictory definitions.
Since the Faculty of Reason is an attribute specific to the species Man, that makes his survival possible on earth, the proper definition of Man is “A rational animal” ie., an animal possessing the faculty of reason. (Rationality is the activity that a man performs when he consciously uses his faculty of reason).
Now, Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-initiated action, and there is only one purpose to the life of any living organism: to live. An organism that fails to initiate the actions required to sustain its own life, will cease to be a living existent, and becomes only an existent. Hence, the ultimate value of a living organism is its own life. Hence the concept, life is the origin of the concept, value. Every action that any living organism performs must sustain and further its own life, its ultimate value. Reason being the only means of survival for a man in his full capacity as man, as dictated by his nature, and his own life being his ultimate value, reason is his primary value, that makes all other values possible, each integrating into and serving the purpose of furthering his own life.
This concept, value is the source of all emotions, acting as the initiator/generator for the Faculty of Emotion, the attribute of any animal consciousness, including and especially Man’s consciousness. Observe that no emotion has existence without its source: Value. And there are two basic emotions: Happiness and Sadness. Happiness is the response of the animal’s consciousness(to be precise, the faculty of emotion in an animal’s consciousness) to the facts of existence that further an animal’s life and sadness is the response to the facts of existence that diminish/threaten its life. Whatever is furthering its life is Good for it and whatever is threatening its life is Evil(Bad) for it.
Thus by nature, Emotions are responses of consciousness to the facts of existence, and the nature of Emotions is determined by the nature of values. A distinction observed in man is that he is an organism of volitional consciousness, ie., he can voluntarily choose to use or suspend his own consciousness: He can choose to further his own life or can choose to be a suicidal animal. Hence, he must voluntarily hold his life as his ultimate value, and his Reason as his primary value, if he is to survive and find happiness in life. Wrong choice of values that threaten his life is the source of human suffering.
Have you heard of the joke, that a cat that closes its eyes believes that the world is dark? It is in fact a joke on men who suspend their own consciousness, and the source of this joke is the fact that a man’s use of consciousness is volitional(voluntary). A man has to be a man: a rational animal, by choice. He has to hold his life as his ultimate value by choice, and his reason as his primary value which he must never suspend, by choice.
This fact, that man’s choice of values is volitional(voluntary) in nature, is grasped and used by the evil, self proclaimed philosophers, who taught men that death is the ultimate value that a man must hold and the primary value that makes it possible is self-sacrifice. This initiated human suffering. Inversing the valuation standard of Man – from life to death – turns him against himself, puts him on the path to self destruction, and turns him into an agent of death: non-existence of life. This is the source of all destruction.
Man ought to, voluntarily choose his life as his ultimate value, and reason as his primary value, if his intention is to live. Only his proper choice of values will make his life possible, and only then he can find happiness through his objective actions. The code of values that a man chooses voluntarily is the code of “Morality”. And it applies only to man. No other animal can voluntarily make a choice that will threaten its own life. It can only act with an objective to further its own life. That is the reason why morality is solely the province of Man, and it is not his subjective luxury. Morality is an objective necessity.
A man to be morally good, he must choose to value his own life. He must choose to stay rational: never suspend his faculty of Reason. Other primary values that are derived from Reason are: Independence: To submit to nothing but reason, and not to fall into the death trap of evil, self-proclaimed philosophers; Self-esteem: To estimate that he is competent enough to accept the responsibility of using his faculty of reason, the attribute of his own consciousness.(Virtues are actions performed by men to preserve their own chosen values.)
Philosophy is the science that teaches a man to think and act in terms of concepts that he can validate in every situation, by holding reality as the standard of judgement: Entirely derived logically from the fundamental law of existence: A is A. This is the foundation of all sciences, and the source of all valid human knowledge. An Objectivist is a man who treats philosophy as it is, a science.
The purpose of Philosophy is to help a man to integrate the whole span of his life. In essence, it amounts to teaching a man to think and act in terms of concepts that he can validate with reality as the standard.
An objectivist is an atheist. He doesn’t hold any irrational values, since reason is his primary, defining value, and the means of his survival in existence. He is an atheist because he understands that to believe in God is irrational.
Now, most people define God as someone who created the Universe. Careful examination of this statement will show its own self contradictory nature. Because, by definition, Universe is everything that exists. And Something/anything is always a part or subset of everything. Hence, the idea of that which is a part of everything has created everything is self contradictory.
Now, an even irrational believer in God could argue that God doesn’t have any definition. But this is a still more obvious self contradictory statement. Because when you are saying that something doesn’t have a definition, you are confessing that it doesn’t have an identity or existence. Because anything that exists has an identity of its own, and it must be definable. A is A. That is the meaning and purpose of definition: A statement that specifically points out anything in existence, if it truly does exist. So, by confessing that God doesn’t have a definition a theist is accepting that God doesn’t have existence.
Now another theist rises up and claims, God is true because I and millions of others like me want to believe it to be true. This final statement is a theist’s confession of his own insanity. The truth or falseness of a claim has nothing to do with the number of people who believe that claim. It depends on objective validity of that claim. Just because you want to believe that a woman who has been raped hasn’t been raped, it doesn’t make it so. Just because you want to believe that you can fly like a bird when you jump off a cliff, doesn’t make it so. If you act on the premise that believing in something makes it true, you’ll destroy yourself, and possibly many others around you.
Millions of people have been killed all over the world just for being sane and understanding that God doesn’t exist. And what is still more sad is the bloody conflict among different groups of people that fight over the superiority of their own particular non existing GOD.
Core of any conflict of interests is Irrationality. There are no conflicts of interests among rational men. Rational men do not resort to violence and kill each other. They reason with each other. No rational man in history had ever been able to massacre millions of men. It had always been made possible by manipulating the gullibility of the people to believe in some non-existent by an irrational man, guided by Philosophers of non-reason. You want objective proof? Massacre of Jews in Germany by Hitler, guided by philosophy of Will to Power by Nietzsche. Massacre of millions all over the world by leaders of commune, guided by philosophy of Communism, the political manifestation of Altruism, framed by philosophers acting on the premise: Death is the ultimate value. Still more reason to point out the objective necessity of a rational philosophy for man: Objectivism.
Welcome to the Objective Absolute. In other words, welcome to reality. I am going to teach you philosophy, because it is in my own interest to desire to live in a free society, because till date I have not found a single teacher alive today, who can objectively teach philosophy, by treating it as it is, a proper objective science: a science that teaches you through purely logical derivation, the right choices to make in any specific circumstance of your life, proper way to conduct relations with fellow men, proper values to choose, gain and keep, and the virtues that you need to practice to keep them. No matter the kind of situation you find yourself in, philosophy will always show you the proper choice to make.
Philosophy, the foundation of all valid human knowledge, like all proper sciences is solely based on the fundamental law or axiom of existence: The Law of Identity. A thing is itself. A is A. Existence exists, and everything that exists has an identity of its own. A true philosopher’s job is to objectively understand the nature of identities of existents, validate and define their properties, and thus prove what can and cannot be done with/to them. In essence, a philosopher ruthlessly applies the law of identity to everything in existence, including and especially, Man.
I learnt philosophy from my teacher, the philosopher Ayn Rand, and to my complete knowledge, I am the one of the very few in this world who learnt it properly, by consciously acknowledging the proper identities of all the existents I have faced so far, without evading any single thought, feeling or experience that I had in my entire life. She had been dead for more than 3 decades when I found her works, and she was the only one that helped me to integrate my entire life, showed me my flaws, guided me to correct my actions, and taught me the skills I need to acquire, to see the things for what they truly are, without demanding my faith in any matter: a true teacher. I do not claim omniscience. A man does not possess and should not be expected to possess omniscience. What I can claim is that I am an Objectivist, all the knowledge that I possess and teach is in the form of concepts that I can objectively validate, solely based on the Law of Identity, The only other Objectivist I can certainly vouch for, being Ayn Rand.
An objectivist is a person who understands that existence is objective absolute. [It means that the facts of existence are what they are, irrespective of any man’s feelings, wishes, hopes, desires, or fears], and his Faculty of REASON, the specific attribute of his consciousness[faculty that integrates the perceptions that he consciously perceives through his own senses into concepts, and those concepts into still higher abstractions: by unambiguous, contextual and proper definitions], is his only means of dealing with it. Because he understands that by definition, Man is a Rational animal. And that is what an objectivist chooses to be, consciously. A rational animal. He continuously applies the law of identity to everything he encounters in his life because he understands that the universe, is completely knowable, and he is on a continuous mission to find out the nature of identity of everything that interests him. All the interests of an objectivist, all his desires and their source: his values, are guided solely by his reason, his defining value, for the only purpose of furthering his own life, his ultimate value.
An objectivist, hence holds his life as the standard of all his values, each value serving the purpose of this ultimate value, thereby completely integrating his existence. An objectivist never leads a compartmentalised life. He is not one person now and a completely different person the next moment. A selective objectivist is not an objectivist at all. The mark of an objectivist is the unwavering consistency of his character. He never doubts his own existence. He accepts nothing but reason, he submits to nothing but reason. Neither all the guns in the world nor all the pleas of hypocrites in the world can make him to falsely identify any existent. He calls white as white and black as black. He uses words as concepts, in their true meaning, and he doesn’t make statements that he doesn’t mean. Hence, he can survive only in a free society.
A free society is characterised by the democracy limited by inviolable authentic individual rights, which are clearly defined in that society’s constitution, all of them being logically derived from the man’s first right in a society: Man’s right to his own life. This right is made possible by the deriving from it, the following authentic rights: The right to act by the judgement of his own mind, the liberty to take his own decisions, the right to earn and keep his own property, and thus the right to pursue his own happiness. None of these authentic rights can logically contradict his right to his own life, they being sequentially derived from it, and making it possible, nor do any of these rights contradict the same rights of another man living in the society. To ensure absolute protection to these authentic rights of man, Government is formed in a free society, and only for that purpose. And the purpose is achieved by prohibiting the initiation of force from human relations. No man may initiate the use of force to submit other men to his will.
There are two primary ways in which an individual’s authentic rights can violated by force: One, by other men in the society, and two, by foreign invaders. The Government tackles the first task by structuring and maintaining a competent and adequately numbered police force, and tackles the second task by maintaining competent defence forces. Observe here that the actions of the Government(which in fact is a hierarchical structure of individuals of the same free society), are limited by the same authentic rights of the constitution. Thus ensuring the purpose of the task of clearly defining authentic rights in the constitution is served: to prevent the government from violating the authentic individual rights of the citizens of its own society.
All the laws made by the lawmakers in a free society are, and ought to be, merely application of authentic rights of man to specific circumstances or activities in the society. Thus laws can only dictate what an individual cannot do in a free society: In essence, prohibit initiation of force. No law can dictate what a citizen must do. Because to compel or force an individual to commit a particular action against his own free will is to force him to act against the judgement of his own mind, thus a violation of the man’s right to his own life.
To settle the disputes between individuals, by JUDGING specific issues in the society solely based on the authentic individual rights, and continuously monitor the objectivity of the laws made by lawmakers(Objective laws are the proper laws that cannot contradict neither other previously made laws, nor the authentic rights listed in the constitution: the source of all laws), the structure of JUDICIARY is formed.
Note here that the lawmakers(individuals that make up the elected government) may never make any laws, nor grant any rights, nor collect nor spend the individual’s money(portion of an his own property that he shall give only by his voluntary consent, and for the purpose of only those essential services he is receiving from the Government and must be performed only by the Government, for the protection of his own authentic rights) by taking sides in the favour of a particular batch of citizens that subscribe to any particular irrational group identity and pretending that it is their primary identity. Primary identity of any man is that he is a rational animal. (Sexual identity of an individual has no objective dependance on rationality. It neither guarantees that a man shall be rational, not contradictions his faculty of reason.)
No law can be objectively valid, if it is not applicable equally to all the citizens: The elected government by placing the interests of any one citizen above the interests of any other second citizen, and thereby spending the taxpayer’s property in the favour of the first citizen, is establishing a false principle that protecting the second citizen’s right to his own property is of less importance to it compared to the task of protecting the first citizen’s right to his own property. Thus claiming that one citizen’s right to his own life takes precedence over the other citizen’s right to his own life. Note that earning and owning his own property through his own independent efforts is the only way for a free man to lead a morally good life in a free society. This, man’s right to his own life, is the rational basis for man’s right against discrimination by the elected government: A valid, objective, authentic right.
There is no free meal in a morally good, free society. Each man must earn his own bread, or it be provided to him by another man out of generosity, who earned his own bread, by trading his own efforts or his own property in the free market(free from Governmental intervention of any kind). No man can have the right to the product of another man’s life. Claiming the right to another man’s life, the right to another man’s property, to force him to act against the judgement of his mind, against his own interests are the hallmarks of a morally bankrupt, collectivist society. Such societies, by the very nature of their blatant disregard for violation of authentic individual rights, are bound to fail disastrously.
An objectivist cannot survive in a collectivist society. A truly free society has never been established in the recorded history of mankind, not even in America. Each generation of individuals must objectively understand and validate their own rights, and fiercely protect the objectivity of their constitution: Inviolable nature of Man’s right to his own life, and all the authentic rights derived only from it, and not allow any contradictions in it, because it is in their own interest.
I shall discuss the structure of objective philosophy, and its logical applications to specific circumstances, with reasons, in my further articles.
YOU CAN EVADE REALITY. BUT YOU CANNOT EVADE THE CONSEQUENCES OF EVADING REALITY.
The source of man’s right to property lies in his nature. Man’s supreme potential is the capacity to reason. That is, the capacity of his mind to perceive reality, to integrate and use concepts. Material exists in nature. But wealth doesn’t. It is created by man by the virtue of his productive thought process, and thinking is an independent activity. A group thought doesn’t exist. By exercising his capacity to think and act, man creates wealth by reorganising and reshaping the naturally available material.
Now the question arises, who decides the ownership of that “scarce” natural resource on which he has acted. Until and unless he has discovered the use of a particular material resource in nature for a specific productive activity, everyone else were oblivious to its presence. They have never recognised its value. The first man took it upon himself to invest his time and energy to shape it according to his independent vision.
The very activity of exercising the judgement of his mind and the effort he had put in the wealth production, morally makes the resource, on which he had acted, and the product he has created, his private property.
Any bum passing by, cannot claim the ownership of his product, assuming that the creator has created something at his expense. He didn’t create at the bum’s expense. The bum was sitting on his ass doing nothing(precisely why he is called a bum), all the while the creator was working on the material, producing something of value.
You are not entitled to something for doing nothing. You may not accept nor demand the unearned. This is the principle of JUSTICE.
The rational principle to decide the ownership of any untapped natural resource which is proved to be of value by the first man and thus created a demand for it (and pioneered an industry), is “first to produce is the first to own.” The proper function of the government in this respect is to act as a custodian(not owner) of the untapped resources available in nature, openly recognising and entitling the first discoverers of the industry to own the resources on which they have acted for creating their own wealth.
Now, the government as such cannot assume ownership of any resources in its capacity, since state ownership implies the ownership of the material resources by the collective, and that assumed collective ownership of resources will be held as a mortgage on the wealth producer to extort his property by the use of force. This usually happens by forced taxation, at the point of a gun. This precisely is the reason why any collectivist state will always assume ownership of the material resources.
If you hate Capitalism, I assume that you do not understand what Capitalism is. Chances are that you are misinformed and no-one else precisely explained it you. So I will.
Capitalism is a Laissez Faire economy, where private individuals consensually trade the value they have for a value they want.
That is all. If your politician, teacher or your parent has fed you anything other than this, they are either ignorant sufferers themselves, or conscious cheats. Beware of them.
Just to make it clear,
Laissez Faire Economy is a system of economic activity that is completely free from any kind of interference by the Government.
Consensually means through your free non-coerced-will.
Value is anything that takes human effort to produce.
Now the things to remember.
If it is not Laissez Faire, it is not Capitalism.
Every kind of economic problem imaginable, which plagues the nation, is a blatantly direct consequence of Governmental interference in the economic activity of the individual. The result of the mixture of capitalism and communism is always communism and it breeds eventual bankruptcy.
Now a communist is someone you must hate. He is the extreme opposite of a capitalist.
A capitalist will always have something that you value, which he deliberately offers to get what he wants from you through trade. A communist will not offer anything that you value to get what he wants from you. Instead, he makes the Government to point a gun at you to extort it.
Observe that a capitalist can only reasonably want to trade with another capitalist. Because a communist cannot understand what a trade is. He can only have needs and demands to offer, not values. At a lower level, he constantly needs producers to suck them dry, and demands more and more welfare schemes from the Government. At the higher level, he plans ways to lobby the Government to pass regulations in his favour, so that he could force his competitors out of business.
If you are a capitalist, chances are you are continually struggling in a communist system, trying to deal with people who do not have anything that you value to offer you, but believe that they own anything you produce. The best course of action for you is to find a capitalist society and move there. Abandon communists. Don’t even try to prove it to them that you are right. Just don’t deal with them. Because a communist is always a parasitic organism. He cannot survive on his own. He always needs a capitalist to suck blood from. Abandon him and he will perish. Do not pity him. He is demanding your voluntary slavery. He is the most despicable creature on this planet.
The article is originally my answer on Quora to the query, “Why do people hate Capitalism?”
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU