BBC Article on Ayn Rand
The more I look into Rand, the more I like her.
And the more I despise her fake supporters. Paul Ryan, for instance.
You need to pull back the curtain a bit with Rand, imo. The most pertinant quote from the bbc article was this:
"Rand's world was black and white. You are either all good or all bad. Her world is a good fictional representation but it doesn't work in reality in terms of human beings."
The extremity of her views really skewed her perspective on life to the point of almost being not human. The fact remains that Ayn Rand held in high esteem, one of the most psychopathic, soulless human beings of her time, the murderer William Edward Hickman. His lack of conscience was exactly what impressed Rand, and was an early model for her idea of the Superman.
This source is probably far too left for most on here, but the facts of the story (as opposed to the rhetoric) stand for themselves:
This particular piece was linked in the previous story and is worth the read (again, probably too left for most):
I think her works contain some good ideas that can be used to the benefit of society, but taken as a whole, I'm not so sure. Ultimately, Ayn Rand died alone in her apartment with only her nurse to care for her, having driven away any friends and 'loved' ones. That says a lot to me.
I'd be interested to know what you think.
the world is gray, or grey, if you're a Brit. yes, a black and white world would be easier, but it can't exist. its simply a matter of math - too many different possible realities.
politically speaking, at either extreme are the absolutists. the farther right or left you go, in your view, the more everybody else is absolutely wrong. i was accused lately on a certain forum of not knowing what libertarian meant. it was the accuser that failed to understand that libertarianism was not a left or right issue. and since this poster approached the world from the extreme right (in my opinion, of course), there was no way for me to explain my position - to this person my position absolutely could not exist. it was unfathomable.
i do give Ayn Rand her due credit. after all, i still consider myself libertarian, a compassionate libertarian. did i steal that from somewhere?
anyway, i wonder how many of these vocal experts have even read the book. it was a long slog - over 1000 pages for sure. i have to doubt the movie does the book justice. when does it come out on Netflix?
good forum topic guys
I don't want to hijack this thread, but your thoughts on a grey/gray world and absolutes reminds me a recent post over at Jesse's Cafe Americain. I'll include a couple of relevant lines, but the post deserves to be read in it's entirety. I identify with a number of points in this particular, especially the following:
As I have said previously, politically I am almost a perfect centrist, in the classical sense of the term. I say this after having taken yet another 'objective test' to place myself on the political spectrum. I do not hold this out as anything of significance other than to say, this is pretty much where I come out, where I am in my thinking at this stage in my life. It is a hard place to be, because one sees the world in shades of grays, in all its complexity, without the comfort of easy forms in black and white. It requires quite a bit more thought and effort than most can afford.
EDIT: Actually, I think I'll leave out most of the quotes. It simply makes more sense to read in its entirety, if in fact you are interested.
Wow. I just spent over an hour reviewing Ayn Rand's philosophy. I wanted to post my own rebuttal, but the fact that you replied first is fine.
What I have found is that I don't disagree so much with Rand's philosophy, but disagree that she belongs anywhere near the far right at all. Her cause has been bastardized. I agree with what EO said.
I am tired, so that's all I'll say for now. I will look at Jesse's website tomorrow. I end up there a lot by accident, by following links, and I know he's good.
edit: If anyone has some old Nazi 5 Mark coins, (they're silver), write down what is written along the outside edge, where most coins are reeded. In English that translates to, "The community comes before the individual." No way should Rand's philosophy be associated at this time with either political party establishment, let alone the wings. In fact, the Tea Party movement itself was hijacked, as was Occupy Wall Street, by the partisan machinery - both started as true grass root causes. hope this makes sense - so tired, sorry.
""Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz" translates roughly to "The community comes before the
individual". Minted on the edge of all 3rd Reich silver Reichsmark coins, this perhaps typifies
Nazi society. And with it comes an understanding of how any concept of individual human "rights"
was at odds with the good of the collective. This Nazi Coins Research Page is a good reference
source as it outlines all the Nazi coins minted by the 3rd Reich. The German 3rd Reich is
commonly understood to have begun with the Nazi rise to power in 1933 up to its 1945 war defeat
marking the end of WW2. This Nazi Coins Research Page does not attempt to cover the history
of any coins minted in German "territories" or occupation zones. This is a separate field of
i often am guilty of brain faster than pen. my point in the above post is that whether far right, or far left, individual freedoms are lost. politics in the USA have become a battle of the extremes of either party. fascism is considered to be a far right philosophy. had the Tea Party remained independent (not affiliated with the establishment Republican party), then I would have no problem with them adopting Ayn Rand's dogma. as the situation exists presently, the hypocrisy is too sad to even be laughable.
@ Bam - i'm going to put Jesse's site on my morning rotation. thanks.
Re: humanity and empathy, I'll try to help clarify some things.
First of all on a side note, it isn't wise for anybody to give initial credibility to anybody writing about Rand who they themselves have not made a career in the productive class. Not to be confused with working class. That's the first test.
Many people fail to acknowledge the difference between choice and force. Rand's heroes and heroines wanted choice. They had no problem with charity so long as they could choose who received what they had to give. Their idea of charity was almost always in the form of investment into the best minds creating the best ideas. As their ideas grow, workers earning wages make a living using their own God-given talents and achieve for themselves a greater level of choice too. The one paying their wages also takes into account that some of these workers are also buying their own product, so they need to be able to earn enough to afford it. This would lead to more production and the thriving of better ideas and minds, and so forth. This IS the essence of real humanity: the best ideas and the best minds become the natural leaders.
Now, onto collectivism and central planning: When a group of non-productive jackals, who have never produced anything in their lives and sold it on its sole merit, gets together and decides who gets what, there is no humanity or empathy. Only theft and looting of the productive. The productive deserve humanity and empathy too and this is de facto slavery. What will always happen is that eventually the looters want too much so the productive pick up and leave, leaving the looters with nothing and, in turn starving. If the looters try to prevent the productive from leaving, again slavery. You can't point a gun at a productive chicken and get them to lay more eggs. These are themes repeated over and over. When looters are in charge, the system dies and always will.
Of course the media are, for the most part, part of the looting class because their primary job is to manage perception. There is no real tangible value in that.
The nice thing about being a productive person is that I have real choices. Most in my government understand this relationship better than others because we don't piss away resources on destructive wars of aggression. It must be hell for those whose only choice is deciding who they want to try to steal from.
The American tea party knows nothing of Rand's philosophy and do not live it. They want handouts without work too. It's as if you're letting them dictate your personal principles.
I took the time to watch Atlas Shrugged (part one) on Netflicks this week.
There was a phenomenal amount of good material in this movie for discussion, and
and I am thrilled to find this particular thread this morning.
This topic has been on my mind for the past few days,
and after I take the time to do some chores that need attending to,
I would like very much to post what I have observed about this topic.
I've read the comments so far in this thread,
But time is short and I will have to get back to this later.
As for right now, the movie drove home some points that need to be learned,
and the philosophy that it portrayed was stark.
I have in enormous problem with moral relativism.
Keeping it black-and-white works for me.
What I meant to imply is that you may find some answers/clarifications to your questions in the "soliloguy" I wrote.
Rand wasn't purely black and white and that is a common way she is demonized by the class of parasites she warns us about. Hell, look at the childish ways political parties demonize each other by making polarizing examples. Anyway my point is that this is a case of cart and horse: if the majority are unproductive, what's the ultimate point of charity? If the majority are unproductive, charity cannot persist as much as we would like it to.
I agree with your conditions for charity and it is obviously criminally abused by some. However, charity requires production beforehand so that there is something to give later. Someone always pays and the bill will come due here soon. And this time it will be famine/destruction until the majority are productive again. This would stop too if wealthy and powerful parasites pretending to be do-gooders would stop playing God with the world and stop trying to make themselves appear as gods to those they give handouts to. Every time these people try to become Gods, it pisses Him off metaphorically. It's simple math really. But I think it's more of a problem that people don't even recognize what production is anymore. Just because someone has a job that pays doesn't mean they are a net producer. Example: EVERY career politician and banker.
"The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people's money" - M. Thatcher
I am waiting for you to come back and clarify your post. What does moral relativism mean to you? Do you decide your own moral code, or do you allow another, or others to decide that?
I find the argument that the far right makes regarding this topic dangerous. I will give two examples. The marijuana laws are ridiculous. Our prisons are releasing rapists to make room for marijuana dealers. Relatively speaking, which crime is worse for society? This is a result of draconian policies started by Nixon, and expanded by Reagan 30-40 years ago. Another example is mandatory sentencing. Judges are called that for a reason. But if the world is truly black and white, then we don't need judges. All we need are the lawyers, and a list of punishments. Obviously you can see I disagree completely.
Back to Ayn Rand. I have to believe that she would reach the same conclusion. In her view, the individual must decide what is "right" for them.
Come back and see if we can find agreement.
You said, "I just can't get my head around Ayn Rand - where was her humanity, her empathy." Sounds like you are looking for clarification to me. She had humanity and empathy and I think I have thoroughly laid out the argument for you.
I'll tell straight up about the topics you propose:
"Following Rand's ideas one would unfetter Wall Street from any oversight etc - prob not a great plan." The old Wall Street and today's Wall Street are nothing like each other. Rand would be repulsed by today's Wall Street: a bunch of parasites who produce nothing and have no personal stake in the companies they own. Milk companies for all they are worth and golden parachutes galour.
"Following Rand one would overturn child labour laws - need I say more ....." Of the heros and heroines in her books, do any of them use or advocate child labor or slave labor conditions? No. Rand would advocate for better schooling and get rid of the modern crap of today. They do not encourage enough entrepreneurialism. Regarding just compensation and treatment of workers, real business owners (who actually OWN their business) know that if they don't compensate their workers appropriately, they can't afford to be consumers of their own products or stay content and fit enough to work at their highest level of efficiency. If the workers are under-compensated mentally or physically, they wear out. Why would an owner would want to keep recurring the cost of retraining and a learning curve for new workers? And if the owner keeps running people into the ground, he goes down too. Therefore a REAL owner has a vested interest in the health, safety, and welfare of his employees.
Another point I am trying to make: If you're looking for rags like the BBC or the Guardian to give you the honest big picture, you may as well interview the family pet. All they do is manage perception. That's it and that's all. What an honest and noble existence.
If I may regarding marijuana: This far right being mentioned and the far left are the same. They just think they are different. They are both collectivist in nature. Reagan, policy-wise, was far left. Telling others what they shall and shall not do with no regard as to whether he or she is the only party involved is a left-wing perspective. I can't think of one true libertarian who would care if a person smoked marijuana so long as that person didn't try to force their choices upon others or force them to be present while they did so.
Good morning all...
Seeing lots of activity over at this thread lately and it's nice to see everyone in a intense conversation and the 'give and take' throughout.
I'm finding the conversation interesting and learning from all of you. Hope you keep it up I'm not really up on my Ayn Rand like some of you seem to be.
The free market, by definition, will achieve equilibrium in an efficient manner. It is unprofitable and thus unacceptable to the corporations posing as governments who need the private sector to fund their useless and wasteful endeavors of playing god with the world. It is this interference that messed everything up and continues to do so.
Re: sending jobs overseas. This has been done for a few reasons though we only hear of it as exploiting cheap labor to satisfy the greed of greedy capitalists. This is partly true and yes repulsive. Here's the other side: others do it to invest in an undervalued or underserved market. They also do it to escape and starve the parasites that we are discussing.