This has troubled mankind forever. He has gone under many names: barbarian, infedel, atheist, unenlighteed and others. He poses a problem that has been answered in many ways, usually badly and with violence in the form of forced conversion or death.

The major problem is one of trust. This further breaks down into one of standards. There are always only two kinds of people: Us and Them; those of the "Nation" and those not of the "Nation". It is at this point that I must add that I have been treated better by non-Objectivists than by many Objectivists: And that is with respect to rationality. Which is why I left Objectifism Online.

There is a vast gulf of understanding between us and "the Infidel". For instance, we advocate Laissez-Faire Capitalism. That is not your everyday attitude. But then, if Capitalism is what the lamescream Establishment presents it as, we would not advocate it at all. We advocate the supremacy of Reason as a tool of knowledge. The view as held by most of the Establishment is that it clashes with emotion the result of which is that to have any integrity, they must advocate either some Stoic, repressive way of life or living as some kind of sub-humnan, gratifying each whim as it comes along; or worse, some kind of admixture of contradictory values that lead to nothing but angst, depression and constant, uneasy confusion, ending up in an unsustainable state of affaires that degenerates into helpless inertia or brutish bull-headedness.

There is also a question of trust. Most of the other systems have practiced unprovoked violence against "the Infidel". This comes from a mindset of mysticism; That is, that the "infidel" is less of a person and may be disposed of as the faithful wish at no cost to honor. This is an inherent part of mysticism because, at its root mysticism, whether it is atheistic or theistic, has as an essential part of it, the belief that only the faithful know the truth and this truth is only knowable or accessible to the faithful by some form of external intervention; revelation, class consciousness, collective unconcious, group mind, drugs or innate knowledge. As such, it is a form of Skepticism. Complicating this is the use of childhood indoctrination. This has the effect of inculcating the beliefs before the person is even close to being able to consider them with the gravity they merit. It also cheats the person of the "new birth", which is a phenomonon that can only be experienced when one accepts a system in the appropriate way and is an occausion of absolute joy. I must hasten to point out that this is not done out of evil, but out of inertia: "That's how it was always done" or "It's better than letting the kid grow up witout guidence"

I could go into the murderous past of the Abrahmic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam but that is not necessary. The heart of the matter is twofold. They are no worse than others and when you attribute your beliefs to revelation from a supernatural source, not bound by the rules of logic and reason, then anything goes; deceit, treachery, murder or genocide (which is only murder writ large). These same religions have had their periods of benevolent glory. Hence Ayn Rand's statement "Soren Kierkegaard was better than the Existentialists. He was a relgious man". The fact of the matter was best put by Pope Urban VIII, the persecutor of Galleleo; "proof destrys faith": The two are incompatibly antagonistic. That is why you have a smooth road from Kant to Compte to Marx to Lenin to Stalin: One of the brilliant things I heard from EST is that "Nature does not tolerate a contradiction". Stalin, like Hitler, as a brutal madman, could not have risen to power but for Kant's mission to "save faith" as a means of "knowledge". Watching Khrushchev banging his shoe on the desk at the UN caused Rand to note that he was as much a "man of faith" as Urban VIII. It is also worth noting here that Rand adored St. Thomas Aquinas, who was a Dominican, which order carried out the Inquisition 300 years after he lived: Go fugure. Even as the Church hierarchy was persecutiong Galleleo, in France, Jean Baptiste De La Salle was undertaking the creation of a teaching order to raise the poor out of their misery through education; i.e. being in touch with the real world. This mission was so successful that the Brothers of the Christian Schools are among the elite in educational excellence and put in my hands the greatest tool of prediction well before I was 21 and 5 years before I encounter Rand and Objectivism.

Then too, there is the matter of declension. The Christians have a mixed interpetation of the Bible, some literal some symbolic. Of this matter Michael Savage said "It doesn't matter if this is 'true'. Jesus is a concept". This is fraught with danger, and it does matter.The Bible is from a time before the organization of learning and knowledge and, like all things used as teaching tools, must be accepted as is. If not then interpretation comes between the ideas and the mind of the beholder. this leads to slippage like tires on a partially iced over road. Each of the Biblical denominations is a closed system and Presbyterianism is as apart from Methodism as it is from Judaism, Islam or an atheistic system. This means that the results are uneven from one sect to the other and from one person to the other. The Protestants are still trying to throw the Cathoics and Mormons out of Christianity. The Evangelicals are trying to throw the Schofieldites out of the bus as well. Shi-a Islamn is a very fanatical form whereas Sufi is very tolerant and Sunni is variable. The Jews fall into Orthodox, Reformed and a couple of other groups

So where does this leave us. Well for one thing We are all converts. Even if we were not of some other system, we would still be converts since Objectifism is incompatible with childhood indoctrination. We are also very young as systems go. so the full implications of that are not known. Beyond that, and this is a problem, most of us come from a college background which generates a certain amount of distrust, coming from the earned distrust of the university by the less "edcuated" but more worldly experienced. It is time we came out of the colleges into the real world. Failure to make this transition will mean that ours will not be the dominant philosophy

Historically, this was settled by violence. ONe side launched a porgrom and, hopefully, annihilated the other. If that pogrom was unsuccessful, the other would return the favor. One of two things happened, either one or the other side was wiped out, which settled it, or there would be centuries of racial, ethnic, tribal or religious hatred, bigotry and warfare

Where does that leave us? the initiation of force, even were we to gain the upper hand, is not an option. On the other hand, the more knowledge there is, the more it favors us. Beyond that, we recognize certain of the "infedel" as good guys. In addition to her comment about Kierkgaard. and her love of Aquinas, Rand observed, in The Romantic Manifest, "Religion is a primitave form of philosophy". Even at that, ordinarily, competing philosphies often take a blood oath against each other, such as Bin Laden took against the West (when I was a kid, the "Mohammdens" were considered good guys). The hatred of the west is deep-seeded in Iranian society and 99% of the Magreb is still re-living the Crusades. How do you even approach these individuals except with a weapon? As I said elsewhere "Though they were the impetus for the Rennaissance, they have yet to have one of their own, let alone a Reformation...". The more backward elements of the Right are still trying to forge a link between religion and government. Worse, you have the likes of Glen Beck saying one day "Be like Galt" and on the next "Turn to God". He should know that the two are incompatible in toto. Further, his attemts to link Rand to religion are theft as would my attempts to do the reverse would be; were I so insane, stupid, naive or evil to try

Beyond all that. Any co-existence between us is based on declension on the part of the theists, forced upon them by the needs of living in a technically advanced world, which means a lessening of their quality of being. That can change at any time. The current state of affairs could only be considered a grace period at best. Of the strenght of this Rand observed "People will not willingly go back to the sixteenth century as long as there is one microscope". While Pope Urban VIII would be thrown out the door if he dared to enter, what about The Greens (or whatever the eco-fascists will be called at some time)? They enjoy the favor of the so-called intelligentsia, the lamescream media and the Left (totalitarians) with the enthusiams of a Berserker on a killing spree. Even we are not immune from vicious internacine warfare as the treatment I got at Objectivism Online showed, which included stalinist tactics; one of my posts, explaining whey the Left was worse than the Right being dumped in the Trash Can, a person claiming to have his "email box full of requests to 'call me out' [can you picture Objectivists not taking it up with me directly (I had no idea that a warm lovable fuzzball like me could be so intimidating to the big bad Objectivists: What will they do in the face of rea.enemies?)? How nameless, faceless and egoless an act would that be?]", and an emailed personal attack by one of the mods to the effect of 'you dirty right-winger'. An open advocate of drug us "for fun" was not even treated this churlishly. In fact. there was a distinct anti-Right tinge to that forum despite Rand's comments about Right vx Left. I found the atmosphere there so poisonous that I left in disgust. Unfortunately, I cannot delete my account there.

Gven this to-date history of inter-sytem relationships, one must ask "What can one do?". First, understand that we live in a mixed system. That means that the kinds of relationships you will find out there are uneven. The person who, for 20 years had been my best friend exhibited extraordinary cowardice in a crucial situation, failing to do what even an ordinary person would have done after suggesting the course of action that he later bailed on his agreed-to part of, leaving me in the lurch (it were better had he just wimped out at the start) and this was no SEAL Team 6 action, just tell the Police what he knew about the situation as he himself suggested was the proper course of action (which it was): Another Big Bad Objectivist morphs into Peter Keating! Second; know both explicitly and implicitly what your principles and values are. Third; you are not going to find all the things you want within institutional Objectivism so don't expect everyone to be John Galt or Frisco D'Anconia. Fourth; separate business from pleasure. You may have to do business with a leftist but know that he or she can never be the kind of person you want around you. This will be expecially true if you are in the arts, music or "alternative lifestyle" A person who wants to "put God in government", prayer in public school or Creationism/INtelligent Desing in Science class is no friend of yours. The Left has brought us to the point of "soft totalitarianism". By that I mean the mechanisms are in place for the government to control every aspect of human life, or, a significant number of aspects as to make the rest a matter of time if not challenged, checked and checkmated. The only reason that we are not a true totalitarian polity is that they have not come under a unified command. That Rep Pete Stark can say "We can do whatever we want" or another Democrat, when asked about the Constitutionality of his actions said "That does not matter" and they have not found their way in front of a military firing squad for attempted subversion is a danger sign that at any time that commnad structure can be built. So no rational person has a Leftist or Liberal friend if they have any principles and to think that you do is folly.

That was the easy part. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of persons are in the middle, taking what seems reasonable at the time under the circumstances. Again rule out those who have a blood oaht against you or your principles. As for the rest. the word is innocent until proven guilty. Also, how close to me is this person going to be? I could never marry a Catholic. However, in certain matters I will defend the Dominicans and De La Salle Brothers almost to the death for their objectively valuable contributions to philosophy and education and to my life and my enjoyment of it. There is no shame in being positively disposed to most people in the world. Also be good to those who have been good to you. Part of that good means being honest about yourself and how they fit in with you or not. From what can be objectively known. The Masons are good guys who share our ideals if not fully, enough to implement them in some ways. and are not to be shunned. were it not for their insistence on a belief in a supernatural being, Objectivists could easily fit into that group, Even to the point of keeping secrets from other Objectivists who are not members, just as they would military secrets from those who do not have the requisite clearance so long as the secrets do not threaten anything. Likewise "Skull and Bones" or any fraternity and with the same caveats. Ditto The Boy Scouts. It would be better to see if they could shift from demanding belief in a "Supreme Being" to a "Supreme Principle of truth, justice and honor" which would encompass any non-theistic systems with the possible exception of the "professional atheists" who build their lives around what they do not believe rahter than having an explicit set of core principles.

With the exception of the two ends of the spectum, meaning those alike to me and those who are directly inimical, where the facts are plain to see, you really have to figure it out for yourself on a case by case basis giving the benefit of the doubt in trade for the potential good, either in "practical" terms or enjoyment. Remember what Rand said about "My Philosophy..."; "...with happiness as Man's proper goal....". Isolating yourself from all but the perfect human being does nothing to help that goal and living in a ghetto is neither productive or fun and is hiding your light under a bushel. There is plenty to like out there among the "just folks" as well as plenty to turn your nose up at. Not only that, but in mixing and joining, you will sharpen you skills of valueing and judgement, and establish your presence in the universe. Most of what is not to like centers around airheads more than evil and you can ignore them without shame. So long as the "infidel" is not directly or reasonably provably inimical, he or she is probably a good person very worthy of being around, and the evil or inferior will make themselves known quickly enough so you don't need or want to take a microscope to everyone you meet, Just do as you would want to be done by. None of the Ayn Rand heroes were "loners". Granted they had a limited inner circle, but everyone does that.

Finally, and most importantly, Do not be a "professional Objectivist: that just makes you two things; wierd and boring; like any professional anything. Rand warned against proseletyizng and preachiness. all that does in makes you a sanctimonious twit. This can be hard for the young for whom it is a re-birth experience and is all new. The best way to be the best kind of Objectivist is to be a good example. People in their right mind dislike being preached at so just be a "regular poyson". Do what you are there to do with competence, style and class and let that be your calling card. If matters come up that reflect on you as an Objectivist then that is the time to show it, again, with competence, class and style. When I demean or sneer at a person, it is not from being an Objectivist, but because they earn it by making me wonder where the front of the horse is.

Like anything else, the best thing is to just be yourself