Racism Essay

                                                           Racism

Based on Ayn Rand’s philosophical point of view as outlined in his September, 1963 article Racism, racism can be termed as the lowest and by far the most crudely primitive form of collectivism. He uses the ideology of collectivism to stitch together his philosophical argument regarding racism. He posits that it is collectivism that snatches way men’s rights and freedom. Collectivism holds that man an individual has no rights, that his life and work are the properties of the group (i.e., society, tribe, state, nation, etc) and that the group holds the prerogative to sacrifice him at its own impulse to its own benefits.  He therefore postulates that racists recognize a man’s moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage – that a man’s intelligence, character and traits are shaped and passed on by his inner body composition.

This reasoning leads to the notion that a man is to be judged by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors as opposed to his own character and actions. Further, racism ideologies posit that a man’s mind is a product of inheritance: that his convictions, values and character are determined long before he is born, by physical forces far beyond his control. Rand terms it as the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas and of inherited knowledge: a notion that is a philosophical fallacy. And therefore the argument that racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. Critically, it can be referred to as the barnyard version of collectivism, most suitable to the state of mind that tells between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men. He therefore warns that the theory that holds ‘good blood’ and ‘bad blood’ as decisive factor to morality or intellectualism is a recipe to brutality a vice which is an enemy of social freedom. [Rand, 1963a]

            In what can be interpreted as a theory that supports social freedom, Ayn Rand in his April, 1963 article, Man’s Right’s a free society is defined by capitalistic ideologies. A capitalistic society upholds and protects individual rights of social freedom. The concepts of individual rights as enshrined by capitalism guarantees a mutual relationships between freedom and the goals of today’s intellectualism. [Rand, 1963b] In his earlier August, 1962 article, Introducing Objectivism, Ayn Rand further philosophizes that every man is an end in himself, as opposed to being the means to the ends of others.

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As such therefore he must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. Rand posits that the pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of every man’s life.  He therefore proposes that the ideal political-economic system should be laissez-faire capitalism – a system whereby men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as matters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. A system whereby man may obtain any values from others by retorting to physical force and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. [Rand, 1962]

            Condensed together, the three Rand’s articles discussed above strongly bring out the idea that racism has got neither philosophical nor scientific backing. Man should be judged by his own character and actions and not by those of his ancestors, he should be left to exist for his own sake, neither for others nor others for him-self and that the principles of individual rights as enshrined by capitalism should be the pillars that form the society.

                                                           References:

Rand, A. (1962). “Introducing Objectivism,” The Objectivist Newsletter, August, 1962,

35. [Available online at; http://facetsofaynrand.com/ayn-rand-ideas/introducing-objectivism.html.]

Rand, A. (1963). “Man’s Right’s,” The Objectivist Newsletter, April, 1963. [Available

online at; http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=arc_ayn_rand_man_rights.]

Rand, A. (1963). “Racism,” The Objectivist Newsletter, September, 1963. [Available

online at; http://freedomkeys.com/ar-racism.htm]

 

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