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Ayn Rand's Objectivism and Rubinshteinic Individualism-- Similarities and Differences.

Updated: Mar 11


A black and white philosophy flag.

Note: The article was written before "Rubinshteinism" became a political philosophy. However, the term is used here as a shortcut for Rubinshteinic Individualism, and none beyond.


Introduction


Being both individualist philosophies, there are obvious similarities between Ayn Rand's Objectivism and my own Rubinshteinic Individualism. However, there are also extreme differences between the two. Since Rand herself has divided her philosophy by four branches (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics), she saved me the work of having to do that dividing myself, making it easier for me to compare my own branch of individualism with her own.


Metaphysics


Both philosophies agree that there is an objective reality, AKA, a reality that is independent of human observation. However, this is where the similarity ends on that subject. Rand claims that there are three axioms of objective reality, which are existence, consciousness, and identity. That is while the philosophy I present to you in my writings, claims that there are in fact seven essences to reality, as written in this article, and completely discards Rand's so-called "axioms" of consciousness and identity.


Consciousness and Identity


Furthermore, Rubinshteinic Individualism denies consciousness to be real in the sense of physical existence, alongside with identity, and claims to be existent only as illusions. Since the definition of an illusion is something that doesn't exist, consciousness and identity, as abstract, non-physical things, do not exist as well in what I call "The World Beyond the Mind". More on it you can find here.


Why I don't believe these two elements do not exist in physical reality


Here's why I don't believe these two elements do not exist in physical reality: while they are a product of our brains, they do not possess physical characteristics, such as space, being able to be detected by the senses (like touch and smell) and so forth, while actual physical things and beings do carry said traits that are only exclusive to the World Beyond the Mind. Therefore, a distinction should be made between physical and abstract, and since Rubinshteinic Individualism is a purely physicalist philosophy, the consciousness and identity cannot be real by that philosophy.

Returning to Rand's Objectivism


Ayn Rand claimed that "existence is identity," something with which I heavily disagree. If we assume that something beyond our minds is labeled as "A," while someone else identifies it as "B," and "A" is contrary to "B," how can we know for sure whether the object we perceive is "A" or "B"? According to logic, one existent thing cannot be its exact opposite at the same time and remain whole.


Therefore, I come to the conclusion that there must be an existence that is independent of our perception and identification, and that existence is the World Beyond the Mind; an existence that is beyond our subjective perception.


Epistemology

Both philosophies, in short, are based on the importance of reason in order to attain knowledge and to understand reality, at least better than the instability, momentary nature of our emotions. Emotion, while a useful resource, is not competent enough to indicate something is actually true. Some people may believe that the existence of one or more gods is evident by the believers' feelings of faith.


However, the insensitivity of one or more emotions does not make something truer than it actually is, and the same goes for the number of people experiencing said emotion. If we are to claim that most of the world's population is theist, that alone does not indicate that theism is correct, and is basically a logical fallacy known as "ad populum." Giving another example, Nazi Germany's love for Hitler does not necessarily make Hitler a person that should be loved, even if many Nazis at the time adored him. That is connected to another logical fallacy known as the "is-ought" problem -- the fact that something exists (Nazis' love for Hitler) doesn't mean it should be followed as an example (loving Hitler).


Knowledge

Rand claims that knowledge is a product of perception; a product that is ultimately determined by that action, while Rubinshteinism, along with the "world beyond the mind" theory, claims that knowledge, otherwise known as truth, is based on three elements: evidence, logical coherence, and correct information. More on it you can read here. If these three components that build up knowledge/truth are vital to its discovery, then it can be claimed that perception isn't needed in order to reach a truth.


A leftist and a right-ist can find the same truth in politics without the need to have the same perception. If our leadership is corrupt, for example, even if no one will perceive it, the leadership itself will still be corrupt even if it's kept in the most competent of secrets, making knowledge unnecessary to be perceived in order to be knowledge. In other words, knowledge can be independent of perception. It is, after all, a resource, and a resource does not have to be attained in order to be a resource.


Rubinshteinism is not a political philosophy (*The branch of Political Rubinshteinism is different)


Before we finish this article and get to the last point of comparison, I must inform that Rubinshteinism is not a political philosophy. In other words, it does barely talk about politics because it is a more individual-driven philosophy, a one that focuses on the individual rather than on the political system they are in or should be in. Therefore, politics are irrelevant in the Rubinshteinic school of thought, at least at the writing of this article.


Rubinshteinism is apathetic towards religion


The same goes, by the way, when it comes to religion. In my first printed book, the Hermitericum, it is written that ideologies are there to be practical, to serve a function in our lives, which by the way is similar to the original intentions of the founders of Western philosophy -- to serve us in life, rather than indulge in endless discussions of impractical importance. Therefore, while Rand's objectivism is atheist, my philosophy is apathetic, even though I myself am an atheist. Apatheism can be described as apathy to the existence of divine entities. I believe we can get along with each other without the need to have the same religious beliefs, and the same thing goes for agreeing with one another without said beliefs.


Rubinshteinism is not focused on happiness.


And finally, we should not forget the fact that Rand's philosophy is explicitly egotistical, but not in the obvious negative stereotype. Similarly to Nietzsche's "will to power" idea, the idea behind objectivist egotism is to celebrate the notion of life, reach long-term happiness, and actualize yourself as a distinctive individual. Rubinshteinic philosophy also shares some of those positive egotistical traits, but with the dominant exception of happiness as the highest goal in life. In other words, happiness by itself in Rubinshteinic philosophy is not justified by itself to be attained.


Think about it -- if someone found their happiness in being a serial killer, does their happiness justifies the means to itself? Is happiness always justified, even when the action itself that leads to it is counter-productive to either the individual, a local collective or humanity as a whole? Rand claims that happiness should be the ultimate goal to us as individuals, but at what cost? Should pedophiles, for example, be allowed to do their deeds simply because of the pleasure they gain from their deeds?


While it is indeed arguable that there is no objective morality in existence, there are subjective and collective morality codes that we can choose to pick and follow as a basis to our lives, but said codes, nonetheless, shouldn't justify harmful concepts such as p****philia, n****philia and so forth.

Returning to the incompetence of emotions in the epistemological section -- emotions alone are incompetent not only as a truth-seeking tool, but also as goals, should they hinder our progression in life. Surely p****hiles cannot pursue their trigger of happiness without creating a huge risk of being punished for their actions by the authorities, making the happiness as an ultimate goal, an often-counter-productive one, at least by itself.


I'd like to thank you for reading this article, one of the longest articles on Philosocom as of finishing this article. I hope I've helped you with my insights regarding the two philosophies presented in this article.


If throughout this article you were given the impression that I am condescending, which I'm not, please read this article for more information. It's arguable that every action has a result, and some of our deeds, if not most of them, cannot always go unnoticed by others, making society at large an important collective to consider at least some of the time. This is why the idea of complete egotism is flawed.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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