Re: Ayn Rand on Society -- WRONG!
Tue, 19 Jan 1999 09:03:00 -0700

James Daugherty writes:
>Unfortunately, Ayn Rand was wrong. Collectives are real!

She never said collectives aren't real. She said they're not entities: they have no independent physical existence. They exist as relations and as conceptual categories, not as objects. Take away the individuals and society disappears. The converse doesn't hold.

>Memes create social organisms just as genes create regular biological

An intriguing idea, but wholly unsubstantiated. Can you point to such an organism? Have you communicated with one (other than in the sense of communicating with one or more individuals representing it)?

>One could just a well say that the human body doesn't
>exist! Really, the human body is a group of individual cells, albeit
>co-operating in complex ways.

It's somewhat more than that: it's a tightly integrated and mutually dependent group of cells with a more or less central control mechanism. A cell can't exist apart from the rest of the body except under highly artificial conditions. None of this is true of individuals vis-a-vis society, for instance.

>Nonsense! Collectives and
>human bodies do exist......fortunately, with self-awareness, one
>does not have to be part of a collective.

Exactly. But if the collective were truly an organism, this would not be true.