Philosophy is the prime mover of history.
Honesty in History
In many places, history has been replaced by
"social studies" -- a politically correct rendition of current social
issues. When there is history, all too often it is "revisionist"
history that looks back through the past to find things to denounce about
America or about Western civilization.
Lenin is supposed to have referred to blind defenders
and apologists for the Soviet Union in the Western democracies as "useful
idiots." Yet even Lenin might have been surprised at how far these useful
idiots would carry their partisanship in later years -- including our own times.
More Essays >>
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|"Ayn Rand's theory of man leads to a distinctive interpretation of
history. By identifying the cause of human action, her theory enables us to
discover the factor that shapes men's past--and future.
If man is the conceptual being, philosophy is the prime mover of history."
Leonard Peikoff, OPAR
"Observe that the history of
philosophy reproduces - in slow motion, on a macrocosmic screen - the
workings of ideas in an individual man's mind. A man who has accepted
false premises is free to reject them, but until and unless he does, they
do not lie still in his mind, they grow without his conscious
participation and reach their ultimate logical conclusions. A similar
process takes place in a culture: if the false premises of an influential
philosopher are not challenged, generations of his followers - acting as
the culture's subconscious - milk them down to their ultimate
"History is made by minorities - or, more precisely, history is made by intellectual movements, which are created by minorities. Who belongs to these minorities? Anyone who is able and willing actively to concern himself with intellectual issues.
Here, it is not quantity, but quality that counts (the quality - and consistency - of the ideas one is advocating)."--Ayn
"In college, I had taken history as my major subject, and philosophy
as my special interest; the first---in order to have a factual knowledge
of men's past, for my future writing; the second---in order to achieve an
objective definition of my values. I found that the first could be
learned, but the second had to be done by me."--Ayn Rand