Reading the summary of Objectivism, I agree with many of its statements and positions. Ayn Rand described her brain child, Objectivism, in the essence as “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute” . Given the limited understanding of Quantum Physics theory, human brain and Metaphysical study of the West in 1960-1970th, she did a pretty good job in laying out a systematic philosophy and positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics. There are many strong valid arguments that makes her theory gotten so much influence.
However, I do believe that some of her view was false because she did not understand some of the fundamental nature laws. Ayn Rand has no idea about the connectivity of all things in the universe through Qi.S she did not understand meditation mechanism, She had no idea about incarnation, when she is famously saying “selfish is virtue because we only live once, why not making the best of it”. Here are some of my rebuttal of her positions.
#1. Objectivism rejects all forms of mysticism—the idea that knowledge can be acquired by non-sensory, nonrational means (such as faith, intuition, ESP, or any other form of “just knowing”). Every of its principle is derived from the observable facts of reality; it reverences for the faculty that makes all such values possible: reason. Man has a means of knowledge; it is reason—and reason alone. My Dispute:
Human’s perception is limited, the facts we observed are distorted in metaphysical sense. The latest Quantum Physics can validate that. Observable facts often do not reveal/relate to the metaphysical truth or nature laws. Thus reason based on the false perception often mislead us.
#2. Objectivism claimed that there is a black-and-white difference between trading values for gains and giving up values for nothing. Egoism calls for the first; altruism calls for the second. Altruism is not good for one’s life. If accepted and practiced consistently, it leads to death. My Dispute:
There is nothing wrong with Ayn Rand’s idea of egoism as being non-sacrifice,and we all need to have certain amount of ego to keep healthy boundaries to keep out of codependency. But Altruism is a different concept, it does not give up values for nothing. It has a karmic law of cause and effect. It sows a seed of good character in your Alayas. Altruism expand one’s limited consciousness boundary to connected with what is bigger than just ourselves, it redefine us with the intention of that which create us (conscious) in the first place, just like a wave re-identify itself with the ocean. Altruism leads us to spirituality, which change our consciousness and change the world.
And the story of Karmic tribulation of these Community Party prosecutor (in Chinese)practitioners of FaLun Gong.
#3. Objectivism promotes laissez-faire capitalism—the social system of individual rights and strictly limited government—along with the whole moral and philosophical structure on which it depends. My Dispute:
While there are merits of capitalism, at the heart of neoliberal capitalism are values that promote individualism and inequality which inevitable lead to greed, encourages rampant consumerism, and endless pursuit of economic growth as a panacea for all world problems. The shrinking away of the state is a long-held libertarian dream, but one that can only continue the process of handing power over to unaccountable corporations – a prospect even worse than state tyranny, because, in a democratic government at least, the public has some kind of role. The power of the market is enormous, but it has no moral character, we have to decide how to manage it. The lack of government oversight of financial services across the world has allowed a small elite to siphon off vast wealth for themselves. They have achieved this by corrupting the very institutions whose job it was to curtail their behavior.
The 2008 financial crisis blot out, proved beyond a doubt that markets don’t regulate themselves, that efficient markets theory as building blocks of capitalism has huge gaping holes, that neoliberalism’s policies, following its deployment, exhibited crisis more and more damaging in its scope and magnitude: From Mexico in 1982, to other countries in Latin America soon after that, to the U.S. stock market collapse in 1987, to Japan in 1990, to the Asian financial crisis of 1997, to Russia and Brazil in 1998-99, to Turkey and Argentina in 2000-2002, to the collapse of the dot com bubble, there has hardly been a moment since 1980 when there is not a financial crisis happening somewhere. What usually happens in such times is that governments take measures to protect the elites (usually the bankers who actually caused the crisis) and shift the burden of paying for the costs to the general public, which further intensify existing societal social, political crisis.
Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia used to say, “In order for capitalism to work, in order for it to produce a good and stable society, traditional Christian virtues are essential”. And I would expand his link of thought by adding that spirituality/altruism is essential.
All in all, objectivism is base on a rigid Newtonian mechanical world view which is proved limited and outdate by Einstein’s Relativity and later Quantum Physics.