Ok DD9...I've taken the time to at least skim the posts you have illicited and am ready to make a few simple statements in defense of Ms. Rand.
First of all-Based on the replies you have received I ascertain that many of her detractors are using a very broad understanding of objectivism to filter out some very specific problems.
At no time in my limited readings of her works did I ever see her state that she wanted state run education over capitalist run education or vice-versa.
No one would ever blame her for plagiarising Hume. No one ever did. Most philosophic argument is reminiscent of another. This is a given.
Lastly I think people are jumping into the deep end w/o an understandintg the fundamentals of Objectivism to hold on to.
The fact is that objectivism is very simple and stands in defense of itself.
We are thinking cognizant animals.This is a tool that should never be taken for granted.
We are responsible for ourselves-only. Integrity to ourselves ond personal values is king!!! To forsake those values in defference to a larger group and its supposed need for the greater good is tantamount to spiritual slavery.
With these truths being self evident the evolution of man is not dependance upon on another but interdependence.
Each of us must use the Values we hold in concert with the greatest tool we posess to come to terms with reality. Reality is currently that we live in a land that allows us to weild that tool in order to make a living. We could of course wait until the current collectivist group allots us each a task like ditch digging so that we may serve all mankind...Or we can take the opportunity afforded to us by our forefathers to Make Own Buy and Sell property. W/O anyone jumping in telling us that this or that group of bleeding hearts has a much greater need of your rescources or time. Or that they request that you change your methods for them.
Hypothetical- Pick whom you would believe to be a great artist...Anybody. Say they were a painter. Would it be appropriate for me to approach said painter while in the midst of his craft and demand that he change the style of the paiunting because my perception of the publics need for art was different than his...and I had a list of signatures of like requests. Would you honestly expect the man to change his ways for me ...or anyone?
Objectivism is the same thing. It is the art of cognitive thought manifest in business and trade. It is the religion of the self. To adore and celebrate the fact that we can make conscious decions that will shape our futures and our characters forever. Wil we allow the faceless masses to avert our spirits course?
I hope not.
BTW- Read "This is John Gault Speaking" in atlas shrugged. it provides the cornerstone of objectivist thought. And I fro one would honestly beleive that you...Being against the slave driving machine so passionately would have to nod in obeisance to most of what is said there. Read it and refer back to the coversations we had about the state of the current world and Bill Hicks and tell me what you think.