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Comparing Ayn Rand and Steiner

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  • be23566
    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
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 12, 2012
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      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
    • Durward Starman
      *******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
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 12, 2012
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        *******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: steiner@yahoogroups.com
        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


      • juancompostella
        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
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 12, 2012
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          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

          Shrugged."

          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.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand:_The_Russian_Radical

          Greetings, Juan

           

          --- In steiner@yahoogroups.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: steiner@yahoogroups.com
          > 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
          >

        • Durward Starman
          Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry ... From: drstarman@hotmail.com Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 04:14:51 To: juancompostella
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 12, 2012
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            Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

            -----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: <steiner@yahoogroups.com>
            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
            Shrugged."
            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.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand:_The_Russian_Radical
            Greetings, Juan
             
            --- In steiner@yahoogroups.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: steiner@yahoogroups.com> 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>
          • be23566
            Thanks 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
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 13, 2012
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              Thanks 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.
              Tom
              philosophyoffreedom.com

              --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "Durward Starman " <DrStarman@...> wrote:
              >
              > Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
              >
              > -----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: <steiner@yahoogroups.com>
              > 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
              > Shrugged."
              > 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.
              > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand:_The_Russian_Radical
              > Greetings, Juan
              >  
              > --- In steiner@yahoogroups.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: steiner@yahoogroups.com 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>
              >
            • juancompostella
              ... If Steiner was Aristotle then Rand never knew her idol engaged in what she would have termed, mysticism , in his next life. And, even more profound, she
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 13, 2012
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                --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "Durward Starman " <DrStarman@...> wrote:

                > ******* 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 reincarnated! -starman


                If Steiner was Aristotle then Rand never knew her idol engaged in
                what she would have termed, "mysticism", in his next life. And, even more profound, she would have rejected him. Interesting to think about this, as Ayn Rand eschewed all things involving mysticism, which would have included Steiner's so-called "spiritual science-anthroposophy".

                Juan
              • juancompostella
                ... I believe that ethical individualism, if it indeed stands at the heart of Steiner s philosophy, will prove to stand far above Rand s objectivism for the
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 13, 2012
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                  --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Thanks 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.
                  > Tom
                  > philosophyoffreedom.com


                  I believe that ethical individualism, if it indeed stands at the heart of Steiner's philosophy, will prove to stand far above Rand's objectivism for the reason that it predicts a spiritual evolution involving the ego. Rand, of course, sees the Ego as supreme, and wants to exemplify this ego in her heroes, who stand as tall as skyscrapers and even have the audacity to call a strike for the cause of free creative being.

                  But where are the differences between these two outlooks? Rand sees the beauty of pure selfishness in one's own creative quest for self. Steiner sees an ethic to it all, which would indicate he has seriously involved himself in the idealist philosophy of Germany's great thinkers, and wants to bring their thought-streams to a kind of nexus point, which was embraced in "The Philosophy of Freedom."

                  What has intrigued me for years is the question: Did Rudolf Steiner
                  culminate German Idealism with the expounding of its fourth and final form with PoF? I think so, yet by the time that he did, Kant had already gained the epistemological advantage largely because he was a student of Hume and Newton. This, I believe, was the big factor in
                  why Steiner could not even make sense to Hartmann, whose own book, "The Philosophy of the Unconscious", was so obscure as to make him write his own negation of it in order to appeal it to those that would finally begin to read it.

                  And that act was a major act of creative genius on Edouard von Hartmann's part, designed to show that by negating a work of new knowledge in support of the old-line of thinking, one can himself propel it forward, if he is creative enough to do so, as von Hartmann was.

                  Steiner just kept at it after PoF was published in 1894, and tried to improve and find his way to his supreme mission, which involved a kind of rewrite of PoF for a new audience in 1904.

                  Juan
                • juancompostella
                  ... A useful philosophical discussion can happen, yes, and I believe it begins within an atmosphere of free expression wherein we each give our immediate
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 13, 2012
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                    --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "Durward Starman " <DrStarman@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
                    >
                    > -----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


                    A useful philosophical discussion can happen, yes, and I believe it begins within an atmosphere of free expression wherein we each give our immediate thoughts and feelings on the subject. It is quite serendipitous that this has occurred between at least three people who like the thinking of Rudolf Steiner and Ayn Rand.

                    I realize that it has apparently been jerry-rigged to a certain extent by Mitt Romney's naming of his VP running mate, but this only adds to the serendipity, it seems to me.

                    As stated previously, I recently felt the need to study Rand again, and it has to do with her mystique as a member of the Russian Folk Soul for me. I think her story of depravation and then opportunity in coming to America is awesome. I like her. She speaks the truth as she sees it, and never wavered from her "principles".

                    I watched the movie version of Barbara Branden's "The Passion of Ayn Rand", c. 1998 with Helen Mirren as Ayn, a few weeks ago, and I think I saw someone I hadn't seen before in the opening segment at the funeral home with the adoring fans, March 1982.

                    Did anyone see who spoke the first words to the people at the funeral ceremony?

                    Juan
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