The Anti-Conceptual Mentality

March 28, 2008 by  

Many of you have no doubt spent hours, days, weeks or years talking with people who seem to be unphased by any argument, no matter how logical. You know the sort:

  • “My party, right or wrong”: this guy will continue to support and vote Progressive Conservative even if it becomes the official Ontario organ of the KGB. There’s no reasoning with him. People wonder if he is mentally challenged, or simply dishonest.

  • “My leader, right or wrong”: this guy killed millions during world war II.

  • “Damned immigrants. They’re ruining this country”: this guy is referring to the simple and irrelevant fact that his next-door neighbour’s skin colour is different from his own.

  • “We’re all libertarians, even if we have different reasons for being libertarians. We all value liberty, but for our own reasons”: this guy will soon be a member of the Liberal or Conservative parties, and will say that he has “grown up” and “learned the importance of compromise”.

  • “It’s our heritage, and I’d fight and die for it god dammit!” – this is the next human rights commission sacrificial lamb.

  • etc.

Well, for those with the intellectual means, and with the desire to make sense of what seems like insanity, the following essay is arguably going to change your life. It is arguably one of Ayn Rand’s finest, and it is probably my favourite. Read it, read it again, and then sit back in wonder at Rand’s brilliance: “The Missing Link”.

P.S., I have no idea what arrangements may or may not have been made to facilitate reproduction of the essay. In any event, the essay is best appreciated when read in the context of the book from which it is drawn, Philosophy: Who Needs It . At $6.95, it’s a must-buy.


One Response to “The Anti-Conceptual Mentality”

  1. SimonO'Riordan on March 29th, 2008 5:23 am

    Philosophy Who Needs It is also the last, actual Ayn Rand book, mostly written while she still had the means.

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