I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
The above quote was the first I ever read of Ayn Rand. I was rummaging through the internet to find a catchy quote to supplement my appearance on a political discussion forum. It was misallied with a variety of other conservative and libertarian quotes advocating their own versions of the same concept. At the time, I had little understanding of the quote’s depth and ultimate meaning. I was a flag-touting conservative Republican in staunch defense of neo-conservative foreign policy. I worshiped at the alter of Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh. I was blinded by superficial political systems with foundations made of sand and salt.
It was not until my college years when I begin to find interest in political theory did I stumble across more of Ayn Rand’s work. From that early encounter, Rand’s purity and fluidity resonated with me. Her writing style was easy to understand, her philosophy segmented into manageable building blocks ultimately leading up to a whole philosophical system. It is now the system by which I try to live my life, to base my actions, to seek and achieve my goals.
Philosophy is an endangered interest but a vital one to man’s life. Individuals may live without a philosophical system, but they live a life of plucked principles from here or there without justification, context, or definition. We as humans need philosophy to help integrate our knowledge and live a more consistent life.
Objectivism is a philosophy for man on earth – a system that most advances and respects the individual. Objectivism holds that:
- Reality is independent of man’s consciousness. Facts are facts. Existence exists.
- Reason is man’s only means of perceiving reality and thus, his only means of survival.
- Man is an end in himself. He is not a slave to be owned nor a victim to be executed. His highest moral purpose is to live for his own rational self-interest and for his own happiness, not living as means for others or vise versa.