Libertarian Alliance Showcase publication No 6: Ayn Rand and the Ascent of Man.

NB!!! If the below-tag does not work, here’s another possible one!

With the spring breaks and summer hols coming up, all you people will be wanting good poolside reading material, to garnish effectively your enjoyment of Sean Gabb’s latest novel. We therefore continue the week’s series of key papers from the Libertarian Alliance Library of online publications.

David Davis

Here’s Peter St-André, in fine form, on “Ayn Rand and the Ascent of Man.”

6 responses to “Libertarian Alliance Showcase publication No 6: Ayn Rand and the Ascent of Man.

  1. Wrong link to “Ayn Rand and the Ascent of Man.”.

  2. The URL is

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  3. “Yet I think Rand underestimated the resilience of Western civilization. Each time the West has experienced a period of conflict caused by the corruption of its previous instrument of expansion, it has emerged, through reform and rejuvenation, into another period of expansion founded on a new basis. It is too soon to tell what course the West is on today.”

    St. Andre does not properly grasp the manner in which history is driven by ideas, that is, by philosophy. Rand did, by studying history! Many things that she has forecast in Atlas Shrugged and her non-fiction have come true. The present abysmal candidates for President were and are predictable by proper understanding of her principles. The rise of religion was predicted by Peikoff by using historical knowledge and the thinking principles she (and he) understood. The outrageous prosecution of the War on Terror has been progressing in a predicable manner, identified by Peikoff and other leading Objectivist thinkers. The Libertarian movement has failed to have the kind of impact its progenitors were sure it would, because they pursued the wrong philosophical course, and continues to, in spite of her clear statements as to why it ultimately would. Worse, it has distracted quite a large number of people from that proper course, thereby doing more harm than good for the very cause the Libertarians believe they are pursuing!

    Over and over again misunderstandings of Rand’s ideas are used to undermine her invaluable contributions toward maximizing human rationality –not to mention the happy and productive living that it can bring. This article is just another example in that long and regrettable folly.

  4. Why, when is Sean’s book released?

  5. Ayn Rand is a superb Romantic novelist.

    In an Introduction to one of the later editions of “Atlas Shrugged”, she states that she devised her phiosophy as an adjunct to her novel.

    I have to wish that she hadn’t bothered.

    Rand simply does not understand philosophy. She offers a system whereby axioms are arrived at by means of induction. As David Hume made entirely clear, induction is a myth. It cannot be made to work. And Rand goes even further, seeking to derive inductions from “percepts”, which are ineluctably already theory-impregnated. Different people literally see and understand the world in different ways.

    Rand then tries to force-feed the unwary reader with her own preferred axioms. And as a powerful Romantic novelist, she’s good at this.

    As all the subsequent theorizing is via logical deductions from the given axioms, the system has the tautology and limitations of all closed axiomatized deductive systems. Geometries, for example.

    Quite apart from being philosophical nonsense, this “Objectivism” is apt to lock its adherents into a rigid world-view in which everything is treated as “certain.” But you cannot have certainty and depth. All too many Randians literally experience breakdowns when reality is at odds with theory.

    The falsifications ineluctably run backwards up the deductive chains, shattering the axioms, which (since they are supposedly derived from observation of reality) then leaves the luckless Randroid without deductions, axioms or reliable percepts.

    This is a terrible thing to do to people, and I wish she hadn’t tried.