Friday, June 28, 2013

A Suggested Perspective on the DIM book

I expect that most people read The DIM Hypothesis and come away focused upon LP’s conclusion, his prediction on the direction of U.S. culture. Certainly, LP does himself center the book on the goal of reaching a prediction. The force of his prediction is magnified by the fact that the book is closely reasoned and objective, i.e., it is based in the facts of the reality of human history and human nature. The book is itself an excellent example of the scientific method.

I, however, want to focus your attention on a different perspective, what I perceive as an implication. I want you to think about what LP has to say about how cultural, philosophic change occurs. I want to examine the implications and proscriptive insights we can gain. What does the book mean for our own actions? Can we do things, our attempts to achieve our own view of a proper culture, better, based upon what LP has to teach us about cultural change? What do we do differently? What are we doing that is effective?

I have one specific idea in mind, which I will present here in the next few days. But I want you to think about this perspective first.


  1. It is said that Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged so that it wouldn't come true, and some have worked hard for it not to come true -- i.e to preserve the producers so they don't go on strike. DIM is a bit different, because it shows what is need so that Atlas Shrugged does not become a prophetic novel. The main ingredient? Integration. Without the proper integrations in the culture at large, history must take a certain course towards dictatorship worldwide. So, present your integrations and hope enough people are listening it to it.

  2. Of course for Atlas Shrugged to not become prophetic, we will need to convince a certain percentage of the population. From my experience, the issue is not lack of intelligence but psychology. I work with scientists, some of whom are very smart but many who refuse to understand even simple arguments. Here’s an example. That minimum wage laws cause harm is a very easy, very basic argument. Those who don’t accept this argument do so because they don’t want to. They are afraid of the implications. This problem goes well beyond economics, all the way up to ideology.

    Your focus on strategy is correct. All too often, objectivists act as if all they have to do is too state the truth and ignore the churning going on in minds of others. More than education is needed, the correct information yes, but in the right way, at the right time and concretize it at much as possible.

  3. Thank you, Thomas and SteveD, for your comments. SteveD, I do agree that being able to communicate well is important. However, it is an acquired skill and needs study, trial and error, and practice. Looking at different Objectivist speakers over the years makes clear how they have learned to improve their abilities. Both Leonard Peikoff and Alex Epstein have talked about this for both speaking and writing. Dr. Peikoff is now offering a course on the subject.

    Thomas, I am confused. How is your comment connected with my posting? Or even with DIM? Just mentioning integration doesn’t actually connect it.

    The method you mention is what we have been doing for some time, and, in my opinion, should continue to do (as we individually improve out ability to communicate our ideas). But that isn’t implied by DIM. What I have in mind is not some whizbang new technique that will immediately save the world. It is something that is directly connected with Dr. Peikoff’s excellent book.