OMFUG, you are correct that poverty is a complex issue. The more complex the issue, the more the solution needs to be localized. Solving poverty must start at the most local level, which is the individual choosing to break from it. Once that is done, you systematically eliminate all hindrances standing in your way to make it happen. It may involve ending a relationship, learning a new language, or moving in order to escape. This story happens every day in every country, and the subject of this article left her family at an early age, learned English, and moved across a continent and an ocean to a place where she knew no one and had no means by which to thrive. I would challenge you to find a functioning adult in this city who has eliminated all obstacles to poverty within their control, visited all governmental and charitable organizations who assist those in dire circumstances, and has laid a foundation to success by education or training and has yet to find no forward movement because selfish citizens are purposely trying to hold them down.
There needs to be a more complex conversation in each household and neighborhood about children, the elderly, and the disabled living in poverty. It is understood that not every person has the wits at 12 years old to leave his/her family and escape one of the most repressive countries of our time to a place of opportunity halfway around the world, but it should be a story that brings hope and encouragement to those that seek an escape from their situation.
"Materialists" as opposed to "Immaterialists"? If so, then your statement is true. Objectivism deals with what is known according to the senses and faculties provided to us. Any immaterial or illusory topic cannot be truly debated using reason or logic.
As you probably know, Aristotle is the only philosopher that Rand said she significantly benefited from reading because he dealt with the (your words) "Material" rather than the "Immaterial" that has been popularized through Plato and spiritual religions. Check out her short work "We The Living" on her thoughts on society. Is she against aspects of "harmonious society" that take away individual liberty that has not been voluntarily given? Absolutely. I have read all of her works (along with Aristotle, Plato, Russell, etc. (philosophy major)) and community was never her focus nor a part of the Objectivist philosophy. It deals with the individual, and those individuals are free to engage in community as they see fit. She would never tell someone else to not engage in socialism, democracy, anarchy, communism, or any other societal framework; she just asks that you not force her to engage in it. She was not a perfect lady, nor is the philosophy perfect, but she was pretty clear in her thoughts.
Have you read Atlas Shrugged all the way through, by the way? For those who have not, you can read the "John Galt Speech" and get a jist for the philosophy without having to read the whole narrative.
I sure hope everyone commenting on this board has actually read Atlas Shrugged. I do agree that Objectivism and Christianity have irreconcilable differences as it pertains to the concept of selfishness. Objectivism and Libertarianism do agree in the basic tenant that all things are permissible to the individual as long as the action does not interfere with the liberty of another. Unpacking that statement touches most topics and is a good starting point, which is likely why many Libertarians admire Rand even if they have not considered the Objectivist philosophy to its fullest extent.
Anyone who has not read Rand and believes Objectivism falsely espouses that hard work and creativity always lead to success and an escape from poverty (as I believe the author of the article suggests) needs to study up a bit. It is unpacked better in The Fountainhead than Atlas Shrugged, but the choice of living in poverty in order to hold to one's ideals is preferred to the one that CHOOSES it rather than gaining wealth at the expense of ideals. This is a core message of Objectivism (and, coincidentally, all religions, true liberalism, and the "starving" artist community).
Glenn, the cobblestone comment is a drop the mic walk-off! Like you said, though, it is good to at least see mentions of Printer's Alley.
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