To “reignite” something is to provide another flame to an object, thing or entity which used to burn, but whose flare has since expired. This concept describes exactly what has happened to our liberties here in the United States of America: Our fire of freedom, which blazed bright at the time of the American Revolution, has since failed to remain alight, and we now find ourselves confronted with a spreading totalitarianism far in excess of what motivated the Founding Generation to pick up arms and fight for “The Rights of Man.”
There are reasons why this has happened, and all of them revolve around our ideas. In order to correct this problem and reignite liberty’s torch, therefore, it is our ideas that we need to closely examine and readjust where necessary.
I’ve been interested in ideas for as long as I can remember. I knew, even as a young boy, that ideas drive the world. As a young man, it was science — astronomy, physics and mathematics in particular — that captivated my interests. I know, now, many decades later, that my fascination with these fields had to do with my desire to learn the fundamental aspects of the world in which I found myself.
By the time I had reached my late teens, however, I knew that my knowledge would have to consist of more than just factual understandings regarding the nature of the Universe; as a conceptual being, I needed what Ayn Rand used to refer to as a “comprehensive view of life,” i.e., a philosophy. And I wasn’t going to discover one by studying relativity equations or sub-atomic particles.
So, from age 18 onward, I spent the following decades reading everything I could get my hands on by the philosophers of history, from Thales on up, and — with few exceptions — found most of what I was assimilating to be little more than a concerted attack on the objectivity of existence and on man’s ability to derive knowledge of it.
Naturally, as a scientifically-minded, theoretically-inclined free-thinker, I rebelled against such notions — but it wasn’t until I discovered Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism that the things I was observing both in myself and in the world around me finally began making sense.
Here, I learned that, metaphysically, I believed in an objective reality that exists independent of the observer; that, epistemologically, I was an advocate of man’s reason; that, ethically, I supported the morality of rational self-interest; and that, politically, I was a proponent of the social system of laissez-faire capitalism.
No, I don’t agree with everything Rand advocated — and particularly so in the area of political philosophy, where I believe I have a few new ideas of my own to contribute to that arena. More to come on that front!
Although I might argue with Rand about the particular methods of implementing such a social system, however — and, indeed, in some respects, just exactly what it is that such a system would consist of, institutionally — when it comes to the basic approaches needed for living life on Planet Earth, she nailed it. Yes, Ayn Rand and I could have spent much fun time discussing and bickering over the details of liberty, had we ever met; but such differences are relatively inconsequential minutiae when compared to the fundamentals which her and I share.
Those principles of Objectivism, in essence, form the core of the “comprehensive view of life” I have come to adopt — and, consequently, they are the foundations upon which all of what I write rests.
And the other parts of life that matter greatly to me? I was lucky enough to have met and married, back in 2003, my wife Barbie Harrington, whom I love very much — and it is to her influence in my existence that I largely owe the fact that I’m even still existing at all, since she was the one who helped me to finally leave behind forever the horrible world of drugs and alcohol I’d been living in for most of my adult life prior to that point.
No, I don’t “live for her”; she just helped me to see, through the way she lived, that it really was possible to function in life by the standards I had arrived at, intellectually, many years before — but never felt I could practice in the real world, due to my own internal contradictions. She proved me wrong — and, as a result, you are reading these words, which never would have been written but for her. I love you, Barbie Baby Blue!!!
Other interests I have? Reading, writing, chess, photography, cooking, computers and many other things.
But the biggest interest of all is still those ideas — the ones that drive the world. The ones I’ll discuss on this blog. The ones that matter. Hopefully, just maybe, you’ll find a few ideas here that will matter to you as well.
With Love Always,
Bradley T. Harrington
Cheyenne, Wyoming, the United States of America