, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
“YouTube to Ax #Marxist Videos that Urge/Imply Robbery/Murder of Capitalists for ‘Wage Slavery/Exploitation.’ (If you believe this, you must be a “logic extremist,” who draws inferences. YouTube says only that it wants to remove extremism/hate speech. nyti.ms/2KwWPPd)s
Ayn Rand has identified “extremism” as an “anti-concept.” (So is “hate speech.”) A concept is supposed to refer to a class of concretes on the basis of their most fundamental common characteristic that distinguishes them from the next broader class to which they belong.
For example, “Man is the rational animal.” Rational is the most fundamental common characteristic that distinguishes human beings from the wider category “animal.”
The distinguishing characteristic used by “extremism” is one that is trivial and insignificant: the fact that something is “extreme.” This has the effect of treating polar opposites as the same. For example, “extremely good” and “extremely bad.” Both are “extreme.”
Anti-concepts accomplish the opposite of what concepts are supposed to accomplish. They make opposites appear the same and the incoherent “middle-of-the-road” mish-mash resulting from a fear-driven need to avoid “extremes” as the only alternative.
For more, read Ayn Rand’s essay “’Extremism,’ or The Art of Smearing” in her Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Available at Amazon at amzn.to/2Xwgu5I
Read also the entries on concepts in The Ayn Rand Lexicon. (Available at Amazon at amzn.to/2KpdJ2i.) Be sure to read the discussion on “polarize,” another anti-concept, as are “divisive,” and “hate speech.”
Hopefully, the next time you hear anyone talking in such terms, you’ll know you’re listening to a thoroughly confused person, an intellectual flyweight— unfortunately, a typical contemporary intellectual.
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