Your recent comments caused me to reflect and wish to post on this subject.
At the height of the Cold War the Soviet Union had over 1400 ICBMs - New York City alone had an estimated 60 targeting her. Twice during the Cold War, the Soviets reached our version of Defcon 3 alert status. There were thousands of Soviet undercover agents throughout the United States, and loosely organized cells for the purpose of sabotage when needed. Throughout the world the Soviets had millions of troops stationed on the borders of satellite states with American troops less than a few feet away. Add to this a Central Command system led by many fanatically zealous Generals that had been strongly advocating a first strike for years.
During the high-water mark of Soviet expansion - she controlled over 1/4 of the earths surface, inflicted an estimated 20 million deaths from genocide, was preparing to stage mid-range ballistic missiles 90 miles from our shores in Cuba, was spreading Communist insurgencies throughout our hemisphere, and was arming and financing Middle-Eastern terrorist organizations.
Any talk that minimizes the real and terrible threat that this posed to America, and free nations everywhere, is naive at best. I have said it before, and I will say it again; being a great philosopher, composer, artist, economist, or businessman does not translate into being a superb military grand-strategist or genius in geo-politics. Naturally, the incredible intellectual brilliance of geniuses affords them a much better grasp than the average man even in fields that are not their specialty, therefore one should not be dismissive of their input.
Having said that, let me now state a blasphemy; Ayn Rand was not the best word on geo-politics or military strategy – as well as dozens of other specialized fields. Far lesser minds overall, were greater minds than hers when it came to these particular fields. The attempts by some of the anarcho-traitors to silence or embarrass objectivist by appeals to Ayn Rand’s views in these areas do not shake this objectivist to the slightest degree. Especially so, when her references to a subject are far more of passing oberservations than formal work on the subject. You must excuse me if I would rather defer to a Winston Churchill, than Rand on the degree of threat that Nazi Germany posed prior to the outbreak of the war.
I hear she commented negatively on Beethoven, and preferred cats over dogs. Sorry, I’m not going to throw away my dvds, nor take my dog to the pound. In strategic and geo-political matters I will use other sources as the starting point from which to amass my knowledge of the subject; and those sources are military historians/analyst, government documents from the time periods in question, and the enormous advantage that hindsight affords due to previously unreleased documentation, evidence, statistics, memoirs, and research. A hindsight that Ayn Rand herself did not possess when she made many of the comments being reffered to.
Now, on questions of Philosophy and having a rational tool for living my life - if you see me swaying towards Kantian nonsense - feel free to throw her name into my face.
PS: One more note. Yes, I am fully aware that one must have a firm grounding philosophically in order to rationally ascertain the morality, or lack of morality, of a nation going to war within a given context. But that grounding does not automatically correspond to the ability to make a proper assessment on events to which one has a limited knowledge. Winston Churchill was no objectivist - but he was firmly grounded in the objectivist principles that pacifism and appeasement only lead to disaster. Given the information he had, the sources he had, and a military background that stretched decades - he was able to make the rational assessment of what England's proper position should be in regards to German expansionism.
(Edited by George W. Cordero on 3/09, 5:59pm)