Peikoff’s Fifth Podcast

Leonard Peikoff’s podcasts are interesting enough that I want to alert my readers to new installments. Peikoff published his fifth podcast on December 23. Most of his comments relate to politics.

The first question may seem obscure to people unfamiliar with debates within Objectivism (the philosophy of Ayn Rand). Peikoff is working on a new book about “DIM,” or Disintegration, Integration, and Misintegration. Peikoff argues that Objectivism promotes the proper integration of the facts of reality. An example of disintegration is skepticism; the most common form of “misintegration” — or system building apart from reality — is religion. As an application of his work, Peikoff has argued that, today, religion is the larger threat. The question asks whether one must accept Peikoff’s theory of DIM in order to be an Objectivist; Peikoff answers no.

The second question concerns the significance of political parties. Peikoff argues that, in today’s mixed economy in which parties are affiliated with pressure groups, parties are “very influential.” The problem that Peikoff finds with today’s Republican party is that it has been promoting “medieval Christian fundamentalism.” Peikoff further argues that, today, the main conflict is not the individual versus the collective, but rather reason versus religion.

For the third question, regarding Ron Paul (a Republican presidential candidate), Peikoff asked Yaron Brook for his view. Brook replied that Paul’s foreign policy is essentially libertarian in that it blames America for Islamic attacks. Paul also wants to return abortion to the states rather than ensure its legality. For these reasons, Paul strikes out with Peikoff. (I agree with the analysis of Brook and Peikoff.)

Should the United States government rescue slaves who aren’t American citizens? Peikoff replies that, while the U.S. government must rescue its citizens from slavery, it shouldn’t try to save non-citizens. After all, the government is funded by its citizens in order to protect the rights of its citizens. However, a voluntary charity to help other slaves is fine. Peikoff argues that the best way for the U.S. government to help spread freedom around the world is to establish genuine freedom here at home.

Finally, Peikoff discusses the moral status of accepting the unearned.

My review should be considered a summary only; my purpose is merely to alert readers to some of the issues covered by Peikoff in his podcasts (which are not searchable). Please don’t take my word for it — listen to Peikoff’s podcast yourself.

One thought on “Peikoff’s Fifth Podcast

  1. Neil Parille

    I haven’t listened to the podcast, but this is a misrepresenation of Paul and libertarians. Paul, like most libertarians, thinks that US involvement in the mid east (aid to Israel, Egypt, and the Saudi kleptocracy among other things) have angered certain Moslems, resulting in some attacks on the US. Now, we can debate the truth of this (it’s probably true to a small extent), but it’s a far cry from blaming the US.

    For example, in The Ominious Parallels, Peikoff says that Franklin Roosevelt lied the US into war. Even if true, that doesn’t mean he blames the US or thinks Germany and Japan had no responsibility.

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