My name is J.K. Gregg, I am a college graduate in the field of International Politics. I have been a part of numerous online communities under the pseudonym “Tetracide.” This blog hosts my ideas, my rantings, and my intellectual development on subjects ranging from the philosophical, to the political, to the economic, and to the religious.
The blog title, Persona Non Grata – Latin for ‘person not welcome’ – has a story to it I’d like to share here. When I first became interested in politics, I was a nationalistic, conservative Republican. All of my ideas were pulled from conservative pundits and wrapped in the American flag. Yet, I never did quite fit in perfectly. I was an atheist and socially liberal; I believed the state had no say in the relationships of hetero- or homosexual couples and thought that women had the right to abort a pregnancy. It wasn’t until I entered college when I began to turn towards the libertarian kin. Yet even as I read the works of Murray Rothbard, David Boaz, and Tobor Machan, the strains of anarchism and leniency towards unconstitutional projects undertaken by the state always left a bad taste in my mouth. I was indeed a person not welcome.
It was only with my introduction to Objectivism did I finally feel at home. I became acquainted with Objectivism almost in the reverse order — I first read about the politics of Objectivists, without delving into the philosophical reasons for those conclusions; the first book I read by Rand was her novella, Anthem, whereas most begin with her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged. Yet, as time passed, I consumed as much of Rand’s work as possible only to find my hunger for a philosophical home more and more fulfilled. Now, years into this project of intellectual development, I have come to this blog to express my views, ideas, and rants on subjects of all sorts.
I am a philosophical Objectivist, the philosophy established by Ayn Rand. I hold to be true that reality is the only standard by which humans may live properly; that reason is man’s only legitimate means of knowledge acquisition; that value can be objectively derived by the nature of man’s life; and that rationality is a virtuous commitment to life, its nature, and its purpose. I live in no existential crisis: the purpose of my life is to live it, and not to just live it, but to live it rationally and flourishingly.
I am a political Libertarian. I believe every human holds inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that if sovereign individuals wish to live amongst one another, a formation of government must properly be restricted to its legitimate role of protecting those aforementioned rights. Government’s only legitimate role is to act in the negative, to stop injustice so justice itself remains. It is to be a government of laws, not men; to be powered by the engine of popular sovereignty; and to never take on a life of its own to trespass the liberties of the free. I reject outright notions which lend credence to collectivism, to the subordination of the individual for a “greater good,” or statist usurpation of liberty. I am not, however, a philosophical libertarian.
I am an economic classical liberal. In believing in the sovereignty of the individual, I believe the trading of goods is a relationship between the seller and buyer only; in other words, I accept pure capitalism as the only economic system congruent with man’s individual rights. I believe that free and open markets driven by unfiltered signals of supply and demand represent a tested and logical system by which the private sector can direct economic priorities for the state. I view all interjections of the state, be them economic or political, into the affairs of free people as a violation of their inalienable rights.
I am a positive Atheist. I hold the existence of a god to rest on unsubstantiated and faulty metaphysical claims, and as such, refuse them as I would any other unsubstantiated claim made by a conservative or socialist. I refuse to accept any form of mysticism, the act of surrendering one’s faculty of reason in favor of non-sensory, non-definable means of knowledge. I refuse the premise of faith – that by yielding man’s faculty of reason, he is able to acquire knowledge with no evidence whatsoever via intuition, instinct, or revelation. I hold that man’s nature is a being capable of perceiving reality, reasoning upon it, and acting rationally. Religion, or mysticism, does violence to that nature.
I am confident that my beliefs are consistent, yet I’ve also dedicated myself to expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world around me. With such an ongoing and all-encompassing project, who knows where I will be five, ten, or twenty years from now. This blog acts as a chronology of my thinking, an outlet for my frustration, and a playground for my mind. I hope you enjoy its content.