My life guiding philosophy: Pseudo-Objectivism


Nickolas Roberson, Columnist

“If you know that this life is all that you have, wouldn’t you make the most of it?” That is the question that the Russian-American philosopher and writer Ayn Rand asked of us. With that question in your mind now, think of your life: past, present, and future. Where did it go? Where is it now? Where is it going? What helped guide you through the twisting and winding paths of life? For me, my guide was, and still is, Ayn Rand’s core philosophy of objectivism, but in a modified form, focusing on four things: my self interest, happiness for myself and others, reason, and the individuality of all human beings.


Now, what exactly is Objectivism?


Objectivism is a philosophy for life that was founded by Ayn Rand, a writer who was born in Russia but fled to the United States of America due to the tyrannical reign of the communist regime in her motherland. During her lifetime, Rand composed and published a series of novels that focused on dystopian futures of our world and its nations, in which governments were free to tread on the rights of man, and the main characters fought back through reason, individuality, and many other acts of defiance, all of which promoted her philosophy of Objectivism.

Objectivism, as described by Rand herself, “is 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.” According to the tenets of Objectivism, man should conduct his life by his self interest and happiness through sound logic and reason, but do not take advantage of others, and instead respect their individualism as much as you respect yours. At the same time, selfishness is the highest aim and altruism is the deepest evil. “I say that man is entitled to his own happiness, and that he must achieve it himself, but that he cannot demand that others give up their lives to make him happy, nor should he wish to sacrifice himself for the happiness of others. I hold that man should have self-esteem.” A system of individual rights, limited government, and laissez-faire capitalism would be utilized to fully succeed these tenets.

While I believe the vast majority of Objectivist principles, my life guiding philosophy is a modified form of said tenets that I have dubbed Pseudo-Objectivism. Yes, man is absolutely entitled to his own happiness and should follow sound logicality to achieve this, but I deem that not all altruism is as terrible as Rand and many other Objectivists believe. Rather, I say that if altruistic undertakings are sound in their logic and provide the individual conducting said altruism (charity, volunteer work, etc.) with happiness, that it is acceptable under Objectivist principles. Thus, I deem this Pseudo-Objectivism, as it divulges in minor ways from the main path of the initial philosophy.

All in all, I, too, believe that man should have self-esteem. You are an individual, and your ultimate goal in your life should be your own pursuit of happiness, one of success, rationalism, respect, integrity, self-interest and selfishness. As stated by the famed author herself, “achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”