This concept of arête raises a second question – – –
but definitely not a “secondary” one – – –
it is the prime question.
Why did we leave the philosophy of Ayn Rand on the dump heap? Was she too strong a woman? If so, why didn’t the “women’s movement” pick it up and use it as a shield or sword?
Why was she invited to give a commencement address to the graduating class of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York on March 6, 1974? In part, the following was the essence of her address.
“[There are] those who seek to destroy this country, seek to disarm it — intellectually and physically. But it is not a mere political issue; politics is not the cause, but the last consequence of philosophical ideas. It is not a communist conspiracy, though some communists may be involved — as maggots cashing in on a disaster they had no power to originate. The motive of the destroyers is not love for communism, but hatred for America. Why hatred? Because America is the living refutation of a Kantian universe (Kantian thought = the physical world is outside our full control and thus we cannot be held accountable for the events that occur in it).”
“Today’s [overly sentimental] concern with and compassion for the feeble, the flawed, the suffering, the guilty, is a cover for the profoundly Kantian hatred of the innocent, the strong, the able, the successful, the virtuous, the confident, the happy. A philosophy out to destroy man’s mind is necessarily a philosophy of hatred for man, for man’s life, and for every human value. Hatred of the good for being the good, is the hallmark of the twentieth century. This is the enemy you are facing.”
Did the leaders of our military sense that something was going horribly wrong with the military establishment? Is that why she was invited? Or was it a reaction to the terrible manner in which our soldiers, returning from Viet Nam, were treated? Did some of this political correctness find its way into the psyche of the 1974 graduating class? Was she invited as an antidote to what was occurring in our universities and colleges?
Next Post VIRTUE? Post #6: (What would the Greeks say?)