Greetings, finally, to you all (however small that ‘all’ may be at present) and welcome to my new blog, One for One. I am Toby Selwyn, I’m 29 and I live in the UK. In 2007 I authored the atheist blog A Load of Bright under the handle Tobe38. I enjoyed writing and acquired a modest but loyal readership, making some good friends along the way, but I promised myself from the start that I would stop writing when I had nothing new to say, whenever that was, and that was why I stopped writing after six months.
Shortly afterwards, my close friend, former colleague, fellow atheist blogger, general sidekick and partner in crime, Evanescent, introduced me to Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Very little of it appealed to me and a lot of it appalled me, but through continued discussions with Evanescent and reading of Rand’s works I found my arguments against it rapidly weakening.
Today, I class myself provisionally as an Objectivist, and prefer to think of myself as a student of Objectivism. The reason for the tentative nature of this declaration is not doubt in the truth of the philosophy or shame of its contents, but a reservation about my own ability to explain it accurately to others and to defend it against its critics. Objectivism is not canned philosophy, it is a vast and detailed subject of study in its own right, and in my opinion the most common reason for people rejecting it is that they don’t really understand it, often making snap judgements about it and dismissing it without ever really giving it a chance. I think that may well have been my own crime were it not for my Objectivist friend continually challenging me. In short, I have felt for a long time that the last thing Objectivism needs is me calling myself an Objectivist and then misrepresenting it to others, further perpetuating the misunderstanding.
However, I remember feeling much the same way (perhaps on a less severe scale) about atheism in general, and one of the reasons I started A Load of Bright was to clarify, through writing and subsequent discussions, many issues for myself. That is very much the case with this blog too. I am happy to admit that there are elements of Objectivism of which I still have only a limited understanding, and that I may not have the answers to all of the questions that follow my articles. I hope that other Objectivist will weigh in and that I will learn a lot for myself.
The link from A Load of Bright to this site officially ends that blog. I could not resume writing there, it is the archive of a closed chapter in my life. I needed a new site and this is it, I hope you like it. While much of what I wrote about religion on A Load of Bright I stand by, I now disagree with pretty much everything I wrote relating to philosophy and politics. As an example to those with a nasty tendency to marry their beliefs, that it’s ok to change your mind when you’re shown the evidence, I intend to start a series debunking some of the articles I wrote on my previous site.
Finally, the name, One for One. It has two meanings: firstly, it is a play on words on the collectivist saying “all for one, and one for all”. My amendment represents my belief that every man has a right to live for himself, pursuing his own values and seeking his own happiness, not serving the needs of the group. Secondly, it symbolises the primary method by which man should interact with society – trade, i.e. the exchange of values for mutual benefit.
And on that note I declare One for One officially open for business. I am not sure how frequently I will write, I fear that the posting may be erratic as the ‘day job’ and life in general continually hamper and distract me. I will try to cover a variety of posts on current affairs and also more detailed essays examining particular elements of Objectivism in theory. Over the next week or so I intend to add some fixed pages with a comments policy, about the author, blog roll etc, and I’m also bound to fiddle with and tweak the aesthetics, please bear with me.