5477Re: Comparing Ayn Rand and Steiner
- Aug 13, 2012Thanks Starman. While Ayn Rand is very clear about her terms and a good glossary exists, not as clear with Steiner, so I think I will start putting together a glossary of Steiner's terms for reference.
--- In email@example.com, "Durward Starman " <DrStarman@...> wrote:
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: drstarman@...
> Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 04:14:51
> To: juancompostella<juancompostella@...>
> Reply-To: drstarman@...
> Subject: Re: [steiner] Re: Comparing Ayn Rand and Steiner
> ******* Greetings Juan. Quite a serendipity. Perhaps we can have a useful philosophical discussion here. I'm sure many members would like learning more of Steiner's ethical individualism, which I think parallels Rand's Objectivism... Understandable as it is a form of Aristotelianism, and he was Aristotle himself reincanated! -starman
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
> -----Original Message-----
> From: juancompostella <juancompostella@...>
> Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 04:03:51
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: [steiner] Re: Comparing Ayn Rand and Steiner
> Hi Durward and Tom. I just joined the list and found these latest two posts to be very topical for our present time.
> The reason is that I have been studying Ayn Rand for the last few months with the specific intent of trying to
> gauge her objectivist epistemology with Steiner's ethical individualism. Feeling it very important, then we
> hear that Romney has selected Paul Ryan to be his running mate . I recently wrote a comment about it on
> Frank Smith's "Steiner12" list.
> Durward, I must say, your grasp of Rand and her especially american circumstances is very good. I have
> read a number of books about it, and also worked through Barbara Branden's book, "The Passion of Ayn Rand",
> which gives all the details about the relationship between her husband and Ayn during the writing of "Atlas
> For Tom, there is an excellent book, "Who Was Ayn Rand"?, written by Barbara and Nathaniel Branden in 1962
> to read. Also, her own, "Philosophy, Who Needs It"?, written a few years after her magnum opus novel of over
> one thousand pages, which was published in 1957, right when McCarthy was being brought down as the fraud that
> he was.
> Also, Christ Matthew Sciabarra wrote a scholarly book in 1995, about her relationship with Lossky, her first mentor
> at the U of Leningrad, and I had the opportunity to discuss with Professor Sciabarra in early 1999.
> Greetings, Juan
> --- In email@example.com, Durward Starman DrStarman@ wrote:>> > *******Sure, Tom, Ayn Rand's philosophy has been a powerful influence on conservative and Libertarian thinking in the US for a long time now, actually--- most of the people at the Colorado meeting that founded the Libertarian Party were followers of Rand, as was the head of the Federal Reserve for many years, Alan Greenspan, and many others in the Reagan Administration. (the creator of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko, was and is also a Libertarian and created a character embodying her philosophy, Mr. A, on which the character Rorschach in Watchmen was supposedly based.)> What I would say is that we could emulate Steiner's attitude towards his elder friend and respected philosopher Eduard von Hartmann, whom Steiner had much admiration for even though he was unable to follow Steiner's steps further in philosophical thinking. In a similar way, young Alicia Rosenbaum (who would change her name to Ayn Rand in the US) as a girl in Leninist Russia became an atheist as well as a lifelong anti-Communist, and with her intense mind-set which borrowed from Nietzche's forceful attitudes (and enhanced by taking amphetamines all her life, innocently, for weight control), found relaxing those rigid opinions or changing them very difficult throughout a long life. So she never found any relation to Christianity, for example---- though not as viciously negative about it as the woman Steiner claimed to follow as an early Theosophist, Madame Blavatsky.> But in a 20th century in which Collectivism annihilated untold millions of human lives, in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Germany (remember, it was National SOCIALISM), China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea---- with its materialist attitude that individuals and what they have within them is supremely unimportant, that only the Group, the Society, matters, looking at human beings only from outside as teacher Ahriman taught them well to do---she was the supreme philosopher of the INDIVIDUAL (the Fountainhead of all creation, the Ego). Where Dr. Steiner struggled to make the same point German idealist philosophers made, that WE THINK WITH THE HUMAN SPIRIT, Rand has her characters both demonstrate and give voice to this ("A man'a Self is his Spirit", says newspaper publisher Gail Wynant in The Fountainhead---it even made it into the film version, in which he and the Apostle of Individuality Howard Roark contend with an incarnation of Ahriman, Ellsworth Toohey). Her architect Roark in that novel also voices the same fundamental Steiner enunciated about architecture--- originally from Aristotle, I believe--- that a building's "form must follow (its) function", not traditional forms of this or that kind, encouraging creative individualism rather than following and copying others.> Dr. Steiner describes how we first must pass through the old Greek initiation of "Gnothi Seauton"----"Know Thyself!"---- because when you enter the spiritual world, your self is the first thing you experience, and being deluded about yourself would make everything else a distorted illusion. Then, the spiritual world begins to be known from within the Self, as higher levels of spirit. Ayn Rand reached the point of self-knowledge, but could not find her way further, as the sad events of her later life show ( the affair with a younger man, driving her husband to alcoholism, the affair's break-up shattering the Objectivist movement she had begun, etc.) She could only go so far and then got no further. But in a time when the Ego is reviled as the source of all evil ---this demi-Buddhist nonsense even heard among anthroposophists, who in the US so often mindlessly fall into leftist/socialist patterns that are diametrically the opposite of Rand AND Steiner--- she refuted and demolished forcefully all the myths of collectivism and exposed its amorality for exactly what it is---the use of force to take from some people and give the stolen goods to others, a path that would mean the end of Western Civilization and our freedoms, such as freedom of conscience, speech and religion. > In the old Rosicrucian schools, the study of Aristotle was the Lesser Mysteries and the study of Plato the Greater; and Rand's dept to Aristotle was great. She represents a person spending her whole life with the Lesser Mysteries--- because the people she saw, like most of today's anthroposophists, who try to go off onto the Platonic Greater Mysteries before they have grounded their thinking (which is why they fall for socialism with its impossible economics, as Lenin did) she saw through as charlatans, whose good intentions and "feeling mysticism" resulted in dictatorships, more government control over our lives, and imprisonment of the human spirit. She had nothing but contempt for the Theosophists she met who were dilettantes (she describes one in her novel We The Living), and I'm sure that's what she'd consider the wine-and-cheese liberal anthroposophists one meets in New York and California where Wishful Thinking Economics is bankrupting both states. > To try to reach most anthroposophists in the US with their knee-jerk liberalism, any discussion of conservative principles will have to run head-on into Steiner's admonition at the end of his introduction to Die Philosophie der Freiheit: "One must be able to confront an idea and experience it; otherwise one will fall into its bondage." Too many have never thought through their left-wing, collectivist ideas and so are in bondage to them, not even seeing how they conflict with Steiner's saying the state must never control the economy, must not control the schools, and so on.> Just as reading Steiner's philosophical works can be a great start in understanding anthroposophy, even though one has to go beyond them to do so, so the study of Rand and the issues she raises should be fundamental in understanding political events today rather than importing one's left-wing prejudices into spiritual science and then trying to twist Steiner's words into supporting positions which were alien to him. She was one-sided, yes, as was Blavatsky, but is very important in the Michaelic battle she waged for the sacredness of the Individual Human Spirit. So much so, in fact, that in one survey some years ago, the 2 most influential books among Americans in developing their world-view were said to be the Bible and Ayn Rand's opus, Atlas Shrugged.> Starman> www.DrStarman.com> P.S. I have no idea what his politics is but the only person in the US I've met who understands Steiner's philosophical work in pure thinking in Bill Lindemann in Spring Valley. Someone like him would certainly be able to compare their points of view clearly.> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: fairoaks@ Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2012 19:51:12 +0000> Subject: [steiner] Comparing Ayn Rand and Steiner>
> > Romney today announced Ayn Rand devotee Paul Ryan as the intellectual> > leader of the Republican Party. That puts Ayn Rand, officially, as the> > philosophy of Republicans and will generate a lot of talk about her> > philosophy. I would like to produce a youtube video comparing Rand and> > Steiner remaining within the context of the Philosophy Of Freedom,> > especially to promote Steiner's ethical individualism.> > > > Starman posted on this topic. The first task for a video is writing a> > script or preparing an outline. Do you have any ideas or can you suggest> > some reference material? I am reading Rands essay THE OBJECTIVIST> > ETHICS.> > Tom Last> > philosophyoffreedom.com>
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