The Foundation of Objectivist
All accurate knowledge begins with the simple yet profound
statement: A is A.
The statement “A is A” asserts the Law of Identity. It
asserts the most fundamental aspect of reality: that something is itself. The
statement “A is A” is not a mere tautology: it is the very statement that
points one towards studying reality itself.
The Law of Identity guides man towards studying something as
it is. It is only with respect to the Law of Identity, to objectivity, that
serious work is produced. A serious chemist would never dream of telling you
that the chemicals in front of him were mere products of his imagination, able
to change identity by the subjective whim of any person. His guiding principle
is that chemicals are chemicals; that they are what they are; that A is
It is based on what something is that one determines what
one ought to do with it. The standard to determine what one ought to do with
something is man’s life. As a simple example, after studying the nature of
water, it can be determined that drinking water is healthful to man. As such,
one of many proper uses of water is to drink it. Upon studying sulfuric acid,
it can be determined that drinking it would be poisonous to man. If one were to
be blind to reality and believe that sulfuric acid (non-A) was no different
than water (A) and drank it, reality would deliver its consequence.
In all arts, knowledge (the “is”) comes first and creation
(the “ought”) comes second. First you must understand the particular aspect of
reality that you are to do something with. Then you can masterfully arrange it
in a way that is beneficial. For example, a football coach first understands
the games and rules of football, the skills of his players, etc., and then he
can arrange a winning game plan. Or a good sculptor first studies the subject
matter of their art, and then they create the art. For instance, some great
sculptors studied human cadavers, as to understand human anatomy, before replicating
the human form in sculpture.
In the hard sciences, science is the formalized process by
which people discover what something is, resulting in a comprehensive body of
knowledge. Technology, the art, is the process of deciding what ought to be
done with the materials thusly understood.
It is more than true that the creation of technology
requires a stroke of genius and a very creative mind. However, those creators had
a firm foundation in reality. All truly great products and inventions were the
result of a person who had both a scientific and a creative mind. Science
without creativity would result in little progress. Creativity without science
results in fanciful, unusable ideas, or worse, destructive ones.
Men who have taken seriously these questions: “what is the
identity of something?” and “what can I do with it?” have given us the modern,
advanced world we live in today. It is due to this approach, grounded in The
Law of Identity, that we have cars, airplanes, GPS, networked computers,
skyscrapers, more than adequate shelter, advanced medicine, and any and all
advanced technologies that allow us to have an extremely high quality of life.
The humanities, which are the study of man, should be
studied in the same scientific nature as the hard sciences. Just
like the hard sciences, the humanities should be dedicated to objectivity—to
studying the nature of their subject. Just as the physicist understands
that motion is motion and the engineer understands that steel is steel, those
in the humanities should understand that man is man. The statement “man
is man” is not a mere tautology: it is the very statement that points one
towards studying man himself.
The only intellectual to have ever brought objectivity to
the humanities fully, proudly, and just as consistently as any other science is
Ayn Rand. Rand was so dedicated to objectivity that she named her philosophy,
“Objectivism.” As a philosopher, Rand treated man as a specific entity with a
specific nature. Thus, her first task was to define what man is.
Man is an animal with a rational faculty. Man’s mind is
his defining characteristic from all other animals (Rand, Introduction 24).
It is based on what man is that what man ought to do is
determined. The “ought” of what man should do is guided by the same principle
as technology: man’s life. This ethical framework, proudly advocated by
Objectivism, is rational self-interest.
What I have just described are the two foundational
branches of philosophy: metaphysics and ethics. Metaphysics answers questions
regarding the nature of reality, i.e., are things are what they are or not.
Ethics answers questions about how man ought to behave—guiding the major
decisions in his life. These two branches of philosophy buoy the other
branches. The other branches of philosophy can be considered philosophy’s
application. They are: epistemology, the study of how man gathers knowledge;
politics, the study of how men interact; and art, the study of how man can
shape the world around him.
Briefly, the Objectivist conclusions for these areas of
philosophy are: in epistemology, man gathers knowledge by means of his mind; in
politics, man must live in freedom so he can make decisions with his own mind,
i.e., capitalism; and in art, that art should have some intelligible theme. Also,
a conclusion in ethics is that man should be guided by his own, independent
To try to explain all of Objectivist philosophy here would
be impossible. To do that, I refer you to Atlas Shrugged or to the
nonfiction works that Miss Rand produced. The important part is that reality
comes first (“man is man”) and conclusions come second.
In the same way that an objective approach to the hard
sciences brought us bountiful technologies, an objective approach to the
humanities should produce prosperous, healthy, and happy men—one of the key,
central goals of Objectivist philosophy. Just as technology provides us with
ever better product, an honest inquiry into, for example, epistemology should
provide us with ever quicker, more efficient methods for men to think; perform
logic; and understand the world correctly, influencing the field of education to
name one. The study of politics should provide the framework for creating a
prosperous society where men are safe from violent threat. The study of art
should produce ever more beautiful works, extending from sculpture to fashion.
In short, the technological application of the humanities (all humanities, even
ones outside the realm of philosophy) should give men the skills and principles
necessary to be healthy and happy.
That unfortunately is not what happens in the humanities
The conclusions of Miss Rand are, to say the least, not
the conclusions of contemporary philosophers.
In epistemology, modern philosophy teaches that man
doesn’t acquire knowledge by means of his mind but by faith, intuition, a
priori knowledge, or some other method except one in which man’s rational mind
is involved. In politics, today’s philosophies completely negate the source of
all wealth, man’s mind, hence their assault on private property rights
(socialism). In art, pieces like Picasso’s, which have no integrated theme and
purposely distort figures, thus distorting the viewer’s ability to see and understand
the objects accurately, are hailed as the greatest of our century. In ethics,
other philosophies advocate that man is driven by whim, societal influence, or
any other way except by his own conscious mind. The uniting theme in all of
these is that they reject that man is man, i.e., that man is a rational
animal—a creature with a mind.
The reason for the current modern philosophers’
conclusions is due to their metaphysics. Modern philosophers reject objectivity,
the belief that truth is a principle in reality. Instead, truth to them is
whatever they want it to be (that A is B or C or D or whatever non-A they wish
I am not going out on a limb by accusing modern philosophers
of rejecting objectivity. Sit in any modern college humanities course and you
will hear a lecture that reason, truth, and reality are petty, old notions and
that the height of intellectualism is realizing that reality is not real and
knowledge is never attainable. It is epitomized by the ubiquitous college
freshman philosophy course in which professors march students outside to a flag
pole and ask them, “How do you know the flag pole actually exists?” When the
students are left stammering, it is taken as a plain, simple fact that no one
can prove that what is in front of their own eyes is actually real.
Since philosophers are not bound by man’s identity
(reality), it liberates them to create whatever fanciful, Utopian philosophies
that they want. If the scientist studying sulfuric acid did not have any regard
for its identity, he could claim one could do whatever they want with it.
Although the latter sounds absurd, that is exactly how modern philosophers
While courses of actions that are grounded in reality create
benevolent, healthy results, courses of actions not grounded in reality almost
always pass into not just unsuccessful results but destructive ones. The
Utopian ideas often sound great on paper (to some anyway—not me), but, in
reality, they are disastrous.
The classic example of this is the political philosophy of
communism. The slogan for communism, popularized by Karl Marx, is, “From each
according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Men are expected to
work not for any self-interest but for other people. To say that this is an
evasion of human nature, i.e., that man is man, i.e., reality, is putting it
lightly. To say that communism failed and does not provide for a prosperous
society is an even lighter statement. It is only under these
circumstances—where philosophers have no regard for the objective nature of
man—can such philosophies ever be born.
For modern philosophers, the ought determines the is.
Instead of fitting the political system to man, they expect man to fit the
political system. When a political system is at odds with human nature, how can
you get humans to behave? There is only one way. As Ayn Rand eloquently said in
“The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made”:
Observe that the philosophical system based on the axiom of
the primacy of existence (i.e. on recognizing the absolutism of reality) led to
the recognition of man’s identity and rights. But the philosophical systems
based on the primacy of consciousness (i.e. on the seemingly megalomaniacal
notion that nature is whatever man wants it to be) led to the view that man
possesses no identity; that he is infinitely flexible, malleable, usable, and
disposable. Ask yourself why. (28)
This same evasion of human nature and reality dominates
the study of human sexuality. It has been led by feminists. While philosophers
deny that man is man, feminists deny that men are men and women are women.
To be exact, a person’s “sex” defines what a person is
biologically, i.e., is a man or a woman. “Gender” defines a person’s sexual
psychology, i.e., is masculine or feminine. And “sexual orientation” defines
what a person is sexually attracted to, i.e., is homosexual or heterosexual.
“Sexuality” will refer to these three in combination, and the precise
definition of sexuality will be: the study of man or woman and their
relationship to someone of romantic or sexual interest.
For philosophy, studying “man” implies both men and women.
However, in the study of sexuality, the sexes must be divided.
If a cardiologist, a doctor of the heart, were examining
the hearts of a black man and a white man, it would be erroneous for him to say
that their hearts are different based on their skin colors.
However, if a dermatologist, a doctor of the skin, were studying the skin of a
black man and a white man, this is information that must be taken into
consideration. For instance, dark skin and light skin react differently to the
Similarly, just as the cardiologist does not take into
consideration a difference between skin colors, the philosopher does not
differentiate between the two sexes. But the person studying sexuality must
take into consideration the two different sexes, which is nothing but taking
the relevant nature of their subject into consideration.
The ideology that has been the most dominant and
influential regarding human sexuality in the past 50 years, which has also been
the most destructive, has been feminism.
The cornerstone of feminism is to deny differences between
men and women. The metaphysical nature of men and women, they say, is
completely irrelevant. The components don’t matter: women and men can do
everything and anything, regardless of their sex.
Feminists did not just wage a war on the notion that men
and women have biological differences which lead to different behaviors. They
waged a war on reality itself. They do not simply want to deny that the “is”
determines the “ought;” they want to deny the “is” altogether.
Like the case with modern philosophers, what gives rise to
feminist thinking is not any kind of objective data. It had to do with their
philosophical premise, which, like the premise of modern philosophers, states
that reality is unknowable—only a matter of perception. Feminists believe that
knowledge is based on the subject interpreting knowledge; therefore
objectivity, reality, data, truth, etc., are mere myths. How convenient for
Given the liberty to be above the laws of reality,
feminists, like anyone else who decided reality does not apply to them, went on
to engineer their Utopian image for what a woman should be. This, Ladies and Gentlemen,
is why feminists are so evil. Once a person accepts that a certain thing has no
objective nature, they believe they can manipulate said thing. This is, at its
core, the same philosophical belief of Marxists. The fundamental belief of
feminists, as it is for all Marxists and authoritarians, is that human
nature is malleable.
Make no mistake about it, though: nothing would make
feminists happier than to manipulate men as well. However, the male sexuality
is not so easily manipulated. Men are not, and never will be, in denial of the
fact that they are men. Take for instance the attempt to feminize men in the
name of “Metrosexuality.” It was met with complete mockery and contempt from
American men. A female’s sexuality is more easily manipulated, and feminists
As an example of how feminists have waged a war on the
identity of women, in the past feminists have tried to get women to urinate in
urinals. Despite the fact that the anatomy of a woman dictates that she behaves
in a certain way, feminists wanted to force women to behave in a way that is
suitable only to men. This is a very basic, crude example of feminists denying
that women have a certain nature (what a woman or a man “is”), which
dictates that they behave in a certain way (what they “ought” to do).
The results of this evasion of reality extend much
further, however. Feminists have tried to convince women to reject everything
that might, as women, bring them joy, from wearing makeup to giving birth to a
child. This manipulation has been most destructive in the field of sexuality,
intimacy, love, and courtship.
Here is an example of contemporary feminist thinking and
what it has turned young women into. From a column by Maggie Gallagher
entitled, “The Full Monica”:
In a new book, “Her Way,” feminist scholar and journalist
Paula Kamen (like many younger feminists) defends Monica (Lewinsky) as the new
sexual beau ideal. Monica, according to Kamen, is the new type of woman “shaped
by the sexual revolution,” who shares “more of men’s power, sense of
entitlement, and social clout.” Monica was “brazen, relentless and
self-centered in her quest for sex and power; in other words, she acted like
a man.” (Emphasis mine)
This is what is taken as the sexual ideal among young
women. Feminists have convinced women to convert to sexual behaviors that have
been ascribed as traditionally “masculine.”
Rejecting reality never succeeds. This is a follow-up
quote to the quote above, from Paula Kamen:
I myself have noticed this male paradigm as dominant even
among my “liberated” friends. A few of them called me because they didn’t
understand why they weren’t satisfied with their casual, uncommitted sexual
relationships. “But men do this,” [they say], “why should I want more?” (qtd.
Just like treating sulfuric acid as water, or man as a
sacrificial pawn to the state, treating a woman like a man will never succeed.
In fact, it has been downright disastrous.
Women everywhere who try to deny that they have a specific
metaphysical nature are repeatedly getting hurt. They enter careers that they
are not interested in, but do so just to prove a point, and wind up miserable
in a job that they do not like. They are turning forty without children and
deeply regretting it. They are finding themselves emotionally incomplete,
sexually unsatisfied, and unable to enter a matured relationship with a man.
Feminists, toying with their gender-bending ideological
schemes, have waged a slow war on all of society. The inability of women to
enter a proper relationship with a man in particular is destroying the family
unit, has destroyed millions of potential romantic relationships, and caused
the psychological damage of women (and the men they hurt) everywhere. And it
all rests on a zero: the absence of objectivity.
An open and admitted assault on reality such as this is
not driven by benevolence. Allowing women choices is not the intended goal of feminists.
The war on the identity of men and women is meant to destroy healthy
male-female relationships. Feminists have wreaked havoc on the world of
romance—intentionally and maliciously. You can see it all around you, from
young coeds who do not know how to date each other in college (“hooking up”
instead) to grown adults who cannot function in a healthy marriage.
It is time to design sexual theories with reality, human
nature, pleasure, and success in mind. The disinfectant to feminism is objectivity.
If you want to destroy feminism, you must strike at the root, by advocating an
In the same way that the hard sciences provide us with
technology and the humanities (should) result in happy, successful and
competent men, a proper study of sexuality should result in happy couples. The
technological application of the study of sexuality should extend into figuring
out better ways for men and women to date, better skills to use when
negotiating with your partner, to name a few things. The world should be
bursting with happy couples. This is not a Utopian vision: this is a very attainable,
realistic goal. This is in direct contrast to what we have now, which is tense
Objectivism proudly asserts that there are objective gender
differences between men and women. A person’s gender is not a man-made social
construct, able to be construed based on human volition. Instead, gender is a
chosen set of behaviors by a person, based on an unchosen set of principles.
Masculinity is exclusive to men, and femininity is exclusive to women (both
logically and in rational practice). Objectivist epistemology, ethics, politics,
and aesthetics rest upon the premise that “man is man.” Objectivist sexuality
rests on the premise that men are men and women are women.