In the 1st post of this series, I argued that philosophy is difficult. In the 2nd post I illustrated this with the example of Raymond Niles’ article on the poor application of property rights to the electric grid in America. In my 3rd post I argued that the phenomenon of specialization makes the world ever more complex. In my 4th post, I argued that capitalism is politically unstable and that even preserving it (let alone establishing it) requires sustained effort. In this post I want to draw on these observations (and some others) to determine the course of my future blogging efforts.
First, I should clarify that the purpose of this blog is primarily political. While I am interested in understanding philosophy for my own sake, I am not particularly interested in blogging about it. I blog because I consider it the only medium to reach other interested individuals. As an attempt at expanding the audience of this blog beyond Objectivists, I recently joined the desicritics.org portal. Two of my three posts there so far, have generated lengthy comment threads. This has convinced me that it is possible to engage in meaninful debate via the blog-comments medium. It has also convinced me that while the real world has started resembling the fictional world of Atlas Shrugged in many ways, people have not yet started asking “Who is John Galt?” – i.e, they have not resigned to fate yet (The same conclusion could be drawn from the success of Obama’s campaign about hope and change). People are still interested in debating fundamentals. The pragmatism on display everywhere is not total.
The bad state of the world today is primarily a result of the difficulty of philosophy and the failure to apply it properly. It is certainly possible and necessary to find the right answers and convince enough people of them. It is easy to look at the world and become a cynic, to believe that improving it is impossible. But inaction will mean a loss of several things that one takes for granted today. The phenomenon of specialization is not reversible. The incredible complexity in the world economy cannot be unraveled. There is no escape from this enormously entangled world. It is not practical to pursue one’s own interests and remain unconcerned about the direction the world is heading in, especially for those who are young today. If the trend continues, there will be no opportunity left to practise those interests. For all their wrong ideas, the collectivists have one fact right – we are all in this together.
Considering the above, I intend to start two series of posts on this blog. One that addresses some of the most common misconceptions and mischaracterizations of Objectivism and another that explores intellectual property rights.