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Selling Freedom

I comment briefly at SOLO HQ on an article posted by Joseph C. Maurone, "Selling Freedom: The Choice of a New Generation?," which holds me up as "one of the premiere Objectivist proprietors..." I reproduce those comments below.

Comments welcome, but readers may wish to join the SOLO HQ discussion that begins here.

Thanks for the tribute, Joe.

Now people will understand that when Linz calls me "Her Royal Whoreness," it refers (ahem) to my penchant for being an ideological "capitalist," "salesman," and "proprietor," with a dialectical sensibility.

But I had a good teacher: Ayn Rand herself ... whom Peikoff was right to call "the greatest salesman philosophy has ever had."

The key, for me, has always been: Know what market you're targeting, learn about the specific concerns of that market (especially about your competitors in that market), and package your message in a way that bridges the gaps between your own perspective and the perspective of the people you are trying to reach.... not by compromising your message, but by learning to translate that message for a specific audience's context. In other words, this is all about context-keeping as applied to the exposition and sale of one's ideas.

I discuss the reasons for this in my Free Radical article, "Dialectics & the Art of Nonfiction," which draws from Rand's own insights. She said that "the purpose for which you write depends on your audience," and it is for this reason that we must never be "neutral about [the] audience's context." That would make about as much sense as a car dealer (using Joe's example) trying to sell a toaster to a customer looking for an SUV. Know your audience... know your customer... and adapt your message accordingly to appeal to that customer's interests and concerns... in other words, to his or her context.


You're welcome, Chris. And happy ten years to Russian Radical!