Student creates New England Objectivist Society

By Katie Landeck


Every Thursday this semester at 7 p.m., a group of students led by political science major Nathan Fatal have been informally meeting at the Blue Wall to discuss culture, art, capitalism, politics and the ideas of philosopher Ayn Rand.

“There has been a new student every week,” said Fatal. “A group of five to six students come regularly, but there is a larger group that is interested.”

As of last Monday, this group of students, the New England Objectivist Society, is officially a Registered Student Organization (RSO).

The theory of the club is rooted in the belief that philosophy is the building block for the rest of the society. According to Fatal, who is the president of the club, philosophy dictates society at both the individual level and state level.

“Philosophy is at the beginning and politics is at the end,” Fatal said. He later commented that, “in order to live a fulfilling live, a happy life, one must have a consciously realized philosophy.”

In their meetings, club members discuss their views of philosophy. While the club focuses on the theory of objectivism – a philosophy developed by Ayn Rand in the 1960s rooted in the ideals of the individual, capitalism, the facts of reality and reason – all viewpoints are discussed at the meetings.

“In our meetings, we have dynamic discussion on a variety of topics including Occupy Wall Street [and] the fundamentals of capitalism,” said Fatal. “There is no one there that completely agrees with me. That would [make it] boring.”

However, these meetings are not debates, according to Fatal, as “debates predispose that there must be a winner and a loser.” Instead, he hopes the meeting will continue to be a multifaceted discussion that anyone feels they can take part in.

As a registered RSO, the organization is now able to host events on campus and easily organize group trips.

On Saturday, the group went to the Mount Holyoke Art Museum to examine different kinds of artwork and the messages different genres of artwork portray, an idea that Fatal believes relates directly to philosophy. According to Fatal, the group discussed how the artwork concretized the artists’ ideas of how a person should live their life.

In addition, the club is sponsoring a lecture titled “Global Capitalism – the Cure for World Oppression and Poverty” by Andrew Bernstein, an Ayn Rand specialist, on Dec. 1 and distributing informational pamphlets about philosophy, according to Fatal.

Fatal started to think about forming an RSO after spending time personally studying philosophy. This inspired him to contact the Ayn Rand Institute, which helped Fatal to set up an independent group.

At first, he promoted the organization in his hometown of Amesbury, Mass., but decided to turn it into an RSO at the beginning of the semester.

For more information about this group, students can drop by the meetings or visit the New England Objectivist Society Facebook page.

Katie Landeck can be reached at [email protected]