virus: [Fwd: An addition to the virus digest]

D.H.Rosdeitcher (
Sun, 7 Sep 1997 20:22:06 -0400

Nate wrote:

> Very astute of you to notice that my good sir! However from my
>perspective I'd say I was instead cured of the meme virus of
>subjectivism! In true randoid fasion allow me to give you a quote from a=

>book I'm working on. This is the bad guy talking:

I have studied Objectivism for a few years, especially the works of
philosophers Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff. So I understand the view that
Objectivism seems like a cure for the "subjectivist virus which has ruine=
modern society". =

> "When I was a little boy I used to wonder if mental illness could be
>contagious like some diseases are contagious. The answer is yes. All you=

>need is a bad meme that doesn=92t seem bad to the typical person and the=
>you have it : the mental equivalent of a virus. To get a really rotten
>mental infection going you build into the meme an overwhelming desire to=

>spread the meme. You=92ve seen it before. Your typical fundamentalist is=
>good example.

Have you ever considered, Nate, that Objectivism is a rotten mental
infection which spreads by using memes which cause its hosts to spread
Objectivism? Meme complexes tend to have types of memes which attack riva=
meme-complexes. This makes the meme-complex more competitive. Rand and
Peikoff have as part of their meme-complex, a set of memes about the
history of philosophy which make it seem like their competitors (other
philosophies which promote reason)are not just criminals, but the culprit=
of many problems in society. For instance, in Objectivist literature, a
popular meme is, "Plato begot Kant, who begot Hegel, who begot Marx which=

led to Communism, Nazism, etc." Wouldn't it be surprising if people like
Kant and Hegel were the honest philosophers, while Rand and Peikoff were
the imposters? =


>"I suppose I have to define what I mean by a mental illness before I go
>on any further. Our brains have evolved by nature to judge and evaluate
>reality. Those brains which did a lousy job of that task simply died. A
>healthy mind is one which approximates to the best extent possible a
>world view that fits snugly with the world as it actually is. Your
>subjective view of nature in close agreement with objective nature in
>other words. As you can see the state of the world now consists of a lot=

>of unhealthy minds.

Because people's minds are unhealthy, people generally do not think
critically.That's why memes which have attractive "viral shells" spread
better than memes which don't seem attractive on the surface. Rand with h=
romantic fiction and Peikoff with his articulate lectures can spread thei=
memes more effectively in the short term than more serious and scientific=

yet dry and uncharismatic thinkers like Popper and Wittgenstein.

> "The enlightenment did come to an end however. There were too many
>people infected with the meme of superstition who wanted to make sure
>others were equally infected. One particularly brilliant fellow so
>infected with the deadly meme of superstition or subjectivism was
>Immanuel Kant. Brought up in a strict religious environment he knew that=

>it was either reason or God. One could not exist with the other. A lot
>of people have tried to prove otherwise but Kant knew better, the
>problem was he choose to throw out reason ! He did a good job of it that=

>fellow. Got to give him credit , anybody who could use reason to destroy=

>reason and be taken seriously at all is quite an achievement in the art
>of deception . This learned philosopher almost single-handily brought an=

>end to the age of enlightenment. He didn=92t kill reason outright he jus=
>said it was =93limited=94 , that there was something =93higher.=94 Tha=
>where he left the door open for any would be tyrant to walk through. All=

>that the tyrant had to do was claim he had access to that =93higher=94 f=
>of knowledge and the fool who believed him would have to let him in."

I haven't studied much of Kant, but I have studied Hegel, who according t=
Objectivist sources, contradicted Aristotle by saying "A is both A and no=
A". When I took the time to read Hegel, however, I found out that Hegel
never contradicted Aristotle's law of identity--he was using the notion
that "A is A and not A" in a different context. The Objectivist body of
literature is a hoax, in which it seems that you need Objectivism to figh=
an imaginary enemy of anti-reason. Nate--did you study Kant carefully, o=
are you going by a second hand source? --David R. =