Reflections on Episode 03, with Yaron Brook
The third installment of the New World Podcast, featured Mr. Yaron Brook, he is a objectivist philosopher and works tirelessly on promoting the ideas of Ms. Ayn Rand, the founder of objectivist thought to mainstream audiences. Yaron has been featured on many mainstream podcasts such as: the Lex Fridman Podcast and the Rubin Report.
So why did we bring him on?
The initial thought process of inviting Yaron as a guest on the podcast was simple, his outlook on the world and his philosophy were very fringe, not that many Gen Z knew that something such as Objectivism existed as a way to live your life. We believed that the New World audience should have exposure to ideas that often challenge the status quo of the mainstream belief systems we are brought up with.
As the Co-Host Akeel mentioned to Yaron during the episode,
“Honestly speaking, I never heard of Ayn Rand or yourself or even the philosophy of Objectivism until I started prepping for this interview”
Enter Ayn Rand.
Before we jump into what Objectivism is and what it stands for, lets understand its origins and more specifically its founder, Ms. Ayn Rand.
Ayn Rand was born in 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia and witnessed the horrors of the Russian Revolution in its infancy her father’s pharmacy was stolen and nationalized by the state, and she made the decision around the 1920’s to flee the now Soviet Union and move to Hollywood to be a writer and storyteller. After many odd jobs she had the privilege of working with Cecil B. DeMille, one of the early pioneers in Hollywood production.
Over time her philosophy and her ability to story tell solidified and she published her first 2 works, We the Living, which is a retell of her life in Russia and the horrors she escaped from, and Anthem which serves as a dystopian novel about the grim future of our civilization paving the way for eventual dystopia's the likes of: Brave New World & 1984.
Her philosophy was solidified in her 2 best-selling fiction novels; The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, published in 1943 and 1957 respectively. In these novels she built the characters within each novel to reflect her view on what the ideal man and woman should look like.
She would spend the remainder of her life writing academic journals on the contemporary times until her death in 1982.
Okay I get that, but what is objectivism?
Objectivism is a philosophy that offers an outlook on life that is centered around the individual. It rejects the idea of collectivism, the idea of one putting the needs of a particular group paramount to that of their own. It especially takes great offense to the idea that people should live for the sake of others (Altruism).
It places great importance on the idea of reason as being the north star for one to live their life not just from a logical sense, but a moral one. Objectivism seeks to make the case that it indeed is your moral duty to live with reason and to always be thinking about your life and the choices you make.
Real World Examples
Ayn Rand asks of people to construct their own hierarchy of values, placing reason and rationality at the top, counter to many other faiths or philosophies which either place the divine or the “group” as supreme.
The idea is to then construct your hierarchy based on your own self-interests; educational endeavors, career goals, fitness goals and then considering material goods and possibly sharing your life with others, in particular a significant other.
If a situation arises, where one would have to sacrifice a higher value for a lower value, they are violating the very moral code of objectivism, (i.e.) spending money on over indulgence on food versus saving money to put towards a down payment on a home. Furthermore, both of these examples could be classified as self-interested notions, however the former is an action that is based from not using reason to comprehend that overindulgence is harmful to the individuals ability to be optimal.
Thoughts related to the episode
Yaron further explored ideas regarding cultural and social history, and how its understanding the past provides us with insight on current societal behaviors that are often disturbing and to most paint a depraved picture of the future.
Akeel pressed Yaron further on some of the criticisms of Ayn Rand on her essays that described what a women's role in society should be and why this idea was at odds with the modern feminist movement.
Here is the exact clip
At the end of the episode, Yaron was asked to provide his three takeaways for our audience as they enter the New World.
- “Read Ayn Rand”- Yaron emphasized the importance of reading and how Gen Z could find it beneficial to read works of fiction as they sometimes distill the best of lessons. He suggested The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged.
- “Live & Take Your Life Seriously”- Yaron stressed the importance of taking your life and time seriously and not to sit idly by and procrastinate on your goals. He also added that it doesn’t mean not to have fun, but to find a state of equilibrium between the two.
3. “Protect The Idea of Liberty”- He reminded the audience that if you believe in individual rights and to get involved in all aspects of discourse as it pertains to your future, as politicians don’t have your best interest, only you as the individual do, so keep the cronies at bay.
Calls to Action.
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Welcome to the New World…