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Atlas Shrugged
#21
I tend to see it this way... it's possible to agree and even emulate others' political views and still disagree with the religious beliefs of the very same person that you're emulating.

in short, you can agree and disagree with somebody at the same time, depending on which subject they're talking about.

So like pally here I agree with her individualistic viewpoints, but disagree with her ideas of selfishness being a good thing.
Quote: “A society that puts equality… ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality or freedom…a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality.” --Milton Friedman
relax. it's only the internet!
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#22
The point was that selfishness can profit humanity.
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#23
The collectivist view is that it is selfish to withhold your talents and/or riches from others. It is selfish to do what you want, instead of what the collective wants.

The Rand view is that using your talents, riches, and will to pursue your own lawful goals is better, and benefits others as a result of your free actions.
Different eyes see different things. Different hearts beat on different strings.
But there are times for you and me when all such things agree.
-Geddy Lee, Rush.
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#24
I think Michael Gerson brings up some interesting points, but still doesn't understand the power of self-interest. And this is probably the main reason why the 'so called' conservative right does not take the 'so called' libertarian right seriously.

Quote:If Objectivism seems familiar, it is because most people know it under another name: adolescence. Many of us experienced a few unfortunate years of invincible self-involvement, testing moral boundaries and prone to stormy egotism and hero worship. Usually one grows out of it, eventually discovering that the quality of our lives is tied to the benefit of others. Rand's achievement was to turn a phase into a philosophy, as attractive as an outbreak of acne.

Obviously Mr. Gerson has never bothered reading Adam Smith.

Adam Smith Wrote:“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
-------

“Every individual...generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”

And that 'invisible hand', of which Friedrich von Hayek glorified, is just another phrase for 'spontaneous order'. Leftists scoff at the principle, of course, because it clearly highlights the fact that the State is not as important as Statists would like.

The point is that this 'so called' conservative fails to realize that people always do things that are in their own self-interest First, and then when they obtain their own perceived economic security, they help others. After all, if the individual does not secure his/her own position in the short run, how can this same person secure others in the long run.

My main beef with Ms. Rand is also what drives Mr. Gerson to be so critical of Objectivism. It is her militant atheism, and her myopic rigidity to 'self' that is at the other extreme of myopic Collectivism. And I think it really has everything to do with the atheism part. Perhaps that is why Classic Liberalism sets itself apart from Libertarianism. For it is structure, within the former, that is missing, within the later. With pure Libertarianism it is geared more to anarchistic ideals, but true Liberalism is geared to restraint of those same ideals.

I hope this makes a little sense to the readers.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#25
Oh John... Not you too...

Libertarianism is NOT anarchy.
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#26
Ron Lambert Wrote:I have mixed feelings about upholding Ayn Rand as some sort of heroine. Her notions about wealth and politics basically got her killed by one of her followers, who thought she had some gold in the trunk of her car, or something like that. Just showed that her philosophy is not practical in the real world. When you advocate selfishness as a way of life, eventually someone will come along whose selfishness will victimize you.

Umm.. citation needed on that... Wikipedia says she died of a heart attack.

Anyway a lot of people, even in this thread, focus on the "be no slave to any man" part of her philosophy and ignore the "Nor make any man my slave" part.

Objectivism is ETHICAL selfishness. You don't own me. But I don't own you either.

There also seems to be a misunderstanding on the nature of Altruism as it pertains to the Objectivist. An Objectivist sees Altruism as "disgusting" because it is a rejection of one's values. The classic example is drowning to save your dying child. That is NOT altruistic because you are not sacrificing something of lesser value for something of greater value. Most people are evolutionarily programmed to value their child more than themselves.
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#27
Pixiest Wrote:Oh John... Not you too...

Libertarianism is NOT anarchy.

Dear, here is what I stated:

Quote: it is geared more to anarchistic ideals

Does that state that Libertarianism is Anarchy? Is that how the English language works?

Now, let's be logical here. The far right Libertarian movement is rightly called "Anarcho-Libertarian" for a reason. And this is why I am not a registered member of the LP. For years it has been pretty much controlled by the Anarcho-Libertarian side of the movement.

I am not in that crowd. Let me say this for the thousandth time: I am a 19th Century Classic Progressive. And Classic Progressives are more structured. I'm sorry to tell you this, but there is a limit to 'Right Wing', i.e. Individualism, I am willing to travel.

I hope this doesn't mean I am now on your Offical Sh!t List.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#28
With me,the difference on the objectivism idea and my thinking is I recognize the expression of human greed can inadvertently assist humanity on what I would call the macro scale. That's what drives capitalism after all.

Where I depart from her views is the micro and the personal.

I want to maintain capitalism as our governing economic principle with some restraints,but,I do not desire myself to always think that accumulating more wealth for MY own bank account is the most moral thing or highest aspiration I can accomplish.

I think it is more moral to directly assist a human with some of that cabbage directly. You do not monetarily benefit from that,the person does.

Was she right to say that is an un natural impulse? Yes,we're born flawed.

To express a near worship of and preaching for the total fulfillment of that flawed humanity is not my idea of morality.

Capitalism wisely takes advantage of the reality that humans all are flawed,socialism tragically fails because it ignores this reality. There is a middle ground here,IMO.

BTW,she appears to highlight only our greed as a flaw to be emulated and as an animating force,but,that is only one of our common flaws.
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#29
John: I know what you said and I knew what you meant. But by lumping the two together, you give ammunition to the collectivists to spew "SEEEEEE! Libertarians are just Anarchists!!"

You know collectivists.. they're not very bright except when it comes to deliberately mis-interpreting what one says if it provides them a straw man to knock over.

And you're never on my shit list, hon. =)
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#30
Ok. But let me tell you that I think there to be something a bit screwy with the Anarco crowd. They are too rigid in that they want All, or Nothing. This is where the Collectivist Left have made such inroads. They are willing to take three steps forward, and then two back, which still leaves them ahead, and closer to their goal.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#31
This is what compromise with the collectivists gets you..

Imagine if you will, a gentleman walking up to your door:

*Knock knock*
Man: I can I have a million dollars?
You: Uh, No.
Man: Ok, how about 500,000?
You: No.
Man: How about 250K?
You: No.
*goes on for a bit*
Man: Ok, how about One Hundred Dollars?
You: Will it make you GO AWAY?
Man: Yes!
You: Fine, Here's a C note. Now SOD OFF!

(The Next Day)
*Knock knock*
Man: Can I have a million dollars?

This is why they're called progressives and why there is no taking baby steps with them. ANY compromise is a huge victory for them.
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#32
Pixi, I've saying this for years: Compromise favors Tyranny. I laugh when I hear people saying they are "coming together" to compromise in Congress and such. It's a joke.

There is always another compromise coming....and the slider moves left even more.

BTW, I would have said no and shut the door - if only it were so easy for gov't..
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#33
I found Rand's The Fountainhead to be rather compelling, and agree with its central theme that you should live for your own satisfaction and not for the approval of others. Atlas Shrugged however was a book of delusions with no real insight. Most thinking adults should be able to dismiss it as absurd fantasy. It presents an overly-simplistic view of politics and society that reduces people to mere caricatures and cliches. Unfortunately Ms. Rand's cynical philosophy resonated with millions of naive readers.

As for this movie adaptation, apparently it's awful. The production value has been compared to Battlefield Earth.
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#34
Gommi Wrote:The production value has been compared to Battlefield Earth.

Ouch!

That's harsh.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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#35
Having now seen the movie, with my son in Tennessee, I have to say I was delighted by the high production values and how well the first part of the book was translated to the screen. Selection of players for the roles Rand wrote about were very good, too.

The only reason anyone would write a bad review of this well produced film is for its content. If you disagree with objectivism as a virtue, then it will never work for you. However; with Obama and crew enacting the exact fears that Rand only projected 50 years ago, it is an easy film to appreciate today.

The looters were believable and the anguish of Dagny and Hank Reardon was well acted. I was afraid the idea of a transcontinental rail system in the modern era wouldn't hold the weight it did in 1957 - but after the opening scene, with gas at $75 a gallon and planes falling out of the sky due to defective manufacturing, it all hung together.

My son never read the book, but is now listening to the audio version on his long drive into Alabama each day to a remote work site. The number one novel of all time seems to wear quite well.
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#36
Pixiest, that was what I remember reading in the newspaper at the time that she died. After checking, I guess what I read was some misinformation circulated by some leftist Progressives. Perhaps this is similar to the untrue story Jesuits circulated, that Martin Luther was killed when lightning struck his carriage. It is interesting that Rand was born in Russia of Jewish parents. Her original birth name was: Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum.
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#37
Forgive my late reply, I just discovered the new forum!

(05-07-2011, 08:25 AM)Ron Lambert Wrote: It is interesting that Rand was born in Russia of Jewish parents. Her original birth name was: Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum.
Her experiences living under communism completely distorted her view of the world. She rejected one political extreme (collectivism, communism), but embraced another extreme (free market individualism). Rand has no concept of moderation or compromise.
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#38
(05-13-2011, 09:25 AM)Gommi Wrote: Forgive my late reply, I just discovered the new forum!

(05-07-2011, 08:25 AM)Ron Lambert Wrote: It is interesting that Rand was born in Russia of Jewish parents. Her original birth name was: Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum.
Her experiences living under communism completely distorted her view of the world. She rejected one political extreme (collectivism, communism), but embraced another extreme (free market individualism). Rand has no concept of moderation or compromise.

Great! Grab your avatar and let's go! S5

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#39
Gommi Wrote:...Her experiences living under communism completely distorted her view of the world. She rejected one political extreme (collectivism, communism), but embraced another extreme (free market individualism). Rand has no concept of moderation or compromise.
True about Communism - a little stretched to conflate the Free Market with extremism. Her individualism may be extreme to an extent - but balances out the looter-ism she writes about. Yin and yang. She uses one to contrast the other. The object lies somewhere in between.

She explains Objectivism thoroughly in her works, and the philosophy holds well against scrutiny. The selfishness-angle is hard to take - because we are all interconnected and must trust one another to survive. Atlas Shrugged took it a step farther and withdrew all the competent free market entrepreneurs out of the system to prove to the looters that they rely on the producers for their very existence. No such withdrawal is really feasible - because there are myriads of people who are partially competent, as well as many who are only partially looters - and would support the entrepreneurs if push came to shove because they not only rely on them, but trust and support them. In Rand's books, the people are caricatures and either all heroic or all villains. In the real world, interdependence is built into the entrepreneurial spirit, because we all stand on the shoulders of others. Rand ignored the inbetween connectivity only to make a point.

Yes, she was one weird lady in her personal life. I was never sure if she was an early version of Madonna or Lady Gaga, seeking publicity as part of her entire sales package or seriously bent.

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#40
She was a bit strange. But over all, she was pointed in the right direction. And remember, she approached her philosophy like using the process of bending steel. If the desire is to bend steel at a ninety degree angle, quality steel needs to be bent much further, because it will rebound.

Her idea of "selfishness" was basically accurate. Adam Smith described this thing in far more tactful means. We get things done for humanity, by pursuing our own goals of self-interest.

And this is where Leftists, such as Gommi, fail to take our genes into account. No matter now wonderful a utopian existence would be, that only works in an idealized heaven. And attempting to produce a heaven on earth would require a total knowledge of DNA and how to manipulate the genes to form the perfect society of Borg.

It won't work, and no amount of wishing will 'make it so'. Gosh, all the Star Trek mannerisms: I guess you can tell what I loved to watch. S5
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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