Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Text...

 

The idea of tariffs are a serious no-no for Objectivists, they see it at collectivist ideas and inherently evil. Randians do not like the US being a superpower based on the current stream of events (the aftermath of the cold war).

 

About the third/post-colonial world, it has to do with their natural resources, high corruption and tribal mentality. Take a look at Botswana for example. With no natural resources of their own, they had to develop their own country by themselves, with their own means and traditions and look at them succeeding.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Text...

 

The idea of tariffs are a serious no-no for Objectivists, they see it at collectivist ideas and inherently evil. Randians do not like the US being a superpower based on the current stream of events (the aftermath of the cold war).

 

About the third/post-colonial world, it has to do with their natural resources, high corruption and tribal mentality. Take a look at Botswana for example. With no natural resources of their own, they had to develop their own country by themselves, with their own means and traditions and look at them succeeding.

I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion they have no resources of their own. The largest industries in Botswana are resource cultivation industries - primarily mining for export, a sector that (surprise!) has seen direct encouragement from the gov't. And while the country is anomalously stable for an African nation, its unemployment hovers somewhere around 25-40%, and GDP growth by percentage is exaggerated - The US grows by 2% and outpaces the growth of every developing nation put together dozens of times over, even when those nations have very high rates of growth. There's no equalization happening. Which is the way it works.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion on Sand's heredity is a matter of public record. -_- but i agree that I am instantly suspicious of anyone who claims everyone is a bastard. They generally turn out to be preparing an excuse for their own behaviour. 'Don't blame me, man. I'm like everyone else.' As they make off with your spleen.

 

 

I can't say I followed all of pop's post. There was a good deal about privileged white men, so naturally I unpacked the maxim gun just in case you native johnnies got any funny ideas. Besides that i think I agree. Botswana is something i know a little about through friends. they used to be doing well until the free market yoinked away the factories and so forth, because cheaper workers suddenly cropped up elsewhere. With no legal protection, workers literally turned up to work after the weekend and found empty buildings. The free Market Fairy didn't protect those poor sods. She did something indecent to them with her wand.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to post
Share on other sites

EDIT: The Man Who Was Thursday read by the BBC. Get them while they're hot.

 

Rand sounds to me from your reports as if she is simply a rich anarchist. I recommend she be treated like all anarchists and sent to Mogadishu to experience anarchy.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My opinion on Sand's heredity is a matter of public record. :) but i agree that I am instantly suspicious of anyone who claims everyone is a bastard. They generally turn out to be preparing an excuse for their own behaviour. 'Don't blame me, man. I'm like everyone else.' As they make off with your spleen.

 

 

I can't say I followed all of pop's post. There was a good deal about privileged white men, so naturally I unpacked the maxim gun just in case you native johnnies got any funny ideas. Besides that i think I agree. Botswana is something i know a little about through friends. they used to be doing well until the free market yoinked away the factories and so forth, because cheaper workers suddenly cropped up elsewhere. With no legal protection, workers literally turned up to work after the weekend and found empty buildings. The free Market Fairy didn't protect those poor sods. She did something indecent to them with her wand.

 

I usually try not be like everyone else, keeping to myself and being as solitary as possible. I leave people alone and I do my best to make sure I am alone.

"Your Job is not to die for your country, but set a man on fire, and take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I ran across a pretty good review of a little under a quarter of Atlas Shrugged, published by Harper's back when the novel was first published.

Paul Murphy Pickrel: Review of Atlas Shrugged

 

Ayn Rand's new novel, Atlas Shrugged (Random House, $6.95), is longer than life and twice as preposterous. Of its 1,168 pages (plus two pages at the end "About the Author" that the prospective reader would be well advised to tackle first) I have read only 300; to read even so much was a triumph of Will over Inclination, but then Will knew when it was licked. From my 300 pages I did not discover why the book bears the title it does, but I found out everything else that I regard as necessary to know about it.

 

As far as I got, only one idea emerged for me from Miss Rand's book, and that one, in my opinion, pernicious. The idea is this: there are certain people of such extraordinary talent that they should be permitted unlimited license to work their will in the world. This would not have been a bad point of departure for a novel--Dostoevski, staring out with a character who believed the same thing, explored and developed the idea to write a great novel, Crime and Punishment. But, as far as I read, Miss Rand explored and developed nothing; she simply stated and restated and then stated again. Her characters have no spontaneity or individuality, they are simply creatures of her didactic purpose. The scenes do not unfold a story; they simply illustrate a point.

 

Yet the book will probably give pleasure to some readers. It makes life wonderfully simple, and in a way that is agreeable to many of us, probably to all of us at some moment in our lives: according to its argument there is no contradiction or strain between man's inner life and his social role, for unrestrained egoism solves all problems. In addition, Miss Rand is able to enlist some of the more disreputable human emotions--hatred, contempt, anger--in a pretty powerful way. Oddly enough, though I do not believe in her characters for a moment, I do believe in their wrath.

 

Back in 1991 the Book of the Month Club and the Library of Congress conducted a survey to determine what books most influenced Americans' lives. The top 2 books were The Bible and Atlas Shrugged. That pretty much sums up the United States, I think.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I usually try not be like everyone else, keeping to myself and being as solitary as possible. I leave people alone and I do my best to make sure I am alone.

 

FAIL.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I ran across a pretty good review of a little under a quarter of Atlas Shrugged
I think you are mistaking "good" for "lazy".

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're mistaking "lazy" for "glib". It's been a long time since I've read Atlas Shrugged and I've purged the vast majority of it from my memory and he's right, really, because what happens in the novel is entirely incidental to its purpose. Are we to glean from your scoffing that there is really something in the back half of Atlas Shrugged that changes the game and brings the novel and its ideas into sharp focus? Because there isn't. The embarrassing truth about the review is that you really don't have to finish Atlas Shrugged, or get even halfway through it, to absorb it in its entirety. Admittedly, Pickrel rolled the dice on the book and bet that there wasn't anything beyond what he surmised from the first few hundred pages of the book. Pretty smart gamble!

 

Ayn Rand novels and subtlety exist in polar opposition to one another, and no amount of strain can get the two to touch. There isn't a suggestion of theme that's developed from the first page to the climax. The theme is there, developed in the first pages, it's one note on the scale pounded over and over and over and over and over and over. It's a Michael Bay novel - An explosion in the first frame and explosions and explosions and more explosions nonstop until the credits. There is no character development as there are no characters. There are only mouthpieces, bags of words just waiting to be squeezed so that their endless monologues (none of which serve to separate character personalities from one another, not unlike a Kevin Smith film) can come farting out, their natures telegraphed by their lazily-sketched descriptions. There is no important plot. The focus is the rhetoric, and it doesn't take a lot to really get what Rand is getting at. If it takes you more than the first few hundred pages then you're exceedingly thick (and thus actually a pretty good candidate for Randian Objectivism and/or Ron Paul fandom) There are no diamonds deep in the bottom of this septic tank, it's just the same old **** from bottom to top and when you've smelled a cup of it you've smelled the whole vat. It's rancid writing, lazy, inelegant, crude, labored and yet simple, an essay stretched to a bloated, distended epic. It cheapens the written word. Unsurprisingly it's well-loved by high schoolers.

 

(I don't know if you've notice but I'm giving big ups to Mama Rand by using as many words as possible to convey simple concepts! It's a real delight.)

Edited by Pop
Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, I've never read an Ayn Rand novel. In fact, I don't believe I've read anything she's written at all. For all of her importance as a writer, especially in academic circles, I can only feel the impact through her influence on others.

Link to post
Share on other sites
You're mistaking "lazy" for "glib".
Sure, because it supports your POV. It's bad form to post a review of a book having read only a portion. It's disrespectful toward the author... and it shows contempt toward the reviewer's work and readers. I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the content of the review itself as I haven't read the book myself. But understand that I'm not going to take Pickrel's (or your own) word for it. One is deliberately incomplete (and conveniently, it's not the first time I see it used to attack her) and the other is, quite obviously, heavily biased.

 

Further, you aren't being honest - you are using the alleged poor quality of Atlas Shrugged (as a novel!) as a means to attack Rand and, by extension, objectivism. Her worth as a novelist and her worth as a philosopher are separate things. Have you read "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology"? Do enlighten us!

Edited by 213374U

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno. I've only read the first two chapters of Clauswitz, and my quick capsule review of 'virtually impossible to read, even for people who love war books' seems fair. I should add that it's taken my 22 years to read two chapters.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to post
Share on other sites
it's taken my 22 years to read two chapters.
I thought you were older.

 

I didn't start reading it in the womb! :p I only became a nerd late in life.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I usually try not be like everyone else, keeping to myself and being as solitary as possible. I leave people alone and I do my best to make sure I am alone.

 

FAIL.

 

Maybe, maybe not. In case you haven't noticed I haven't been posting as much as I use to. I am weaning myself of social contact via the Internet. In the real world I have limited myself to only work and visitations of family.

"Your Job is not to die for your country, but set a man on fire, and take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

Link to post
Share on other sites
I usually try not be like everyone else, keeping to myself and being as solitary as possible. I leave people alone and I do my best to make sure I am alone.

 

FAIL.

 

Maybe, maybe not. In case you haven't noticed I haven't been posting as much as I use to. I am weaning myself of social contact via the Internet. In the real world I have limited myself to only work and visitations of family.

 

I'm not saying you fail at doing it. I'm saying doing it is FAIL.

 

For the love of God, man. Would it be so shocking if you got out, met some people, and realised people are (generally) great?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to post
Share on other sites
people are (generally) great
I know you're trying to cheer ol' Grumpy up, but I disagree. People are, for the most part, mediocre and boring. That doesn't mean one should live alone in a cave, though.

 

Of course, your mileage may vary.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I dunno. I've only read the first two chapters of Clauswitz, and my quick capsule review of 'virtually impossible to read, even for people who love war books' seems fair. I should add that it's taken my 22 years to read two chapters.
I read the whole thing, but that was in history class. The only things I can remember is you're supposed to chase down the enemy when they retreat and war is politics by other means. Edited by Wrath of Dagon

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

Link to post
Share on other sites
it's taken my 22 years to read two chapters.
I thought you were older.

 

I didn't start reading it in the womb! :thumbsup: I only became a nerd late in life.

 

 

I think 1337 mistook your typo "my 22 year" to mean your current age when what you really meant was "its taken me 22 years..."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking about writing another short mockery of Ayn Rand this time, but I just cant be bothered to read her stuff so its not going to happen. Its a shame :)

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

Link to post
Share on other sites
Further, you aren't being honest - you are using the alleged poor quality of Atlas Shrugged (as a novel!) as a means to attack Rand and, by extension, objectivism. Her worth as a novelist and her worth as a philosopher are separate things. Have you read "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology"? Do enlighten us!

Objectivist epistemology is not really of interest to me and thus I never read up on it. She might well be solid in her epistemology, but looking at her ethics it seems unlikely to me. What I am interested in is Objectivist ethics which, more than most other ethical systems, has some glaring flaws, particularly when it comes to self-contradiction, which is probably the most embarrassing flaw to exhibit if you're an ethicist. I've already mentioned the is / ought problem, which as ethics goes is really common, but it provides special problems for Rand, such that she tried (and failed) to overcome it herself. I'll snag some quotes from page 7-10 of the link to illustrate what I mean. BLOCK OF TEXT INBOUND. The typos are a result of Adobe Reader messing up copying from a scan -

She uses this negative choice-potential to differentiate the human from the lower vegetative life-forms: "there is no alternative in a plant's function: it acts automatically to further its life, it cannot act for its own destruction."' The negative volitional option is utilized to separate human from animal as well. Freely chosen evil is recognized as essential for this differentiation, and indeed, it is seen as that which constitutes the uniqueness of man: "Man is the only living species that has the power to act as his own destroyer-and that is the way he has acted through most of his history."' Galt is summoned to cap it off: "the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal."

These reiterations seemingly contradict another basic thesis of Randian ethics, however, for she has insisted: "Ethics is an objective, metaphysical necessity of man's survival. "Now, this standard-the rational criterion required for man to survive -is perfectly objective, and unalterable by human whim: "No choice is open to an organism in this issue: that which is required for its survival is determined by its nature, by the kind of entity it is." 'Since Rand has admitted (often) that the entity can choose deathover life, however, it is at this critical juncture that the subjectivity enters and dominates Rand's entire ethical edifice. The whole Randian moral system rests upon the most basic moral command that one ought to do that which preserves one's life. It makes no difference, then, that the standard is not variable in response to the individual, subjective will, for the commitment to the command ("one ought to behave so as to survive") demands a more basic deontological moral imperative-setting up the prospect of an infinite regression of moral commands-for a rational creature has the option to choose nonsurvival as well as survival: "Metaphysically, the choice 'to be conscious or not' is the choice of life or death."

Apparently, there is no reason not to select death over life. The fact that activity y is required for my continued existence does not make a deontological "ought" derivable from that fact. If, on the other hand, "one ought to do y in order to survive" can be translated into "if one wishes to survive, one ought to do y," then the entire structure of Objectivist ethics becomes subjective, for the conditional "if one wishes to survive" colors all that depends upon it.

 

...

 

Rand says (through Galt) that "rationality is a matter of choice." This presents an immense problem for the Randian philosophy, for one is forced to ask: If rationality is a matter of choice, is the choice to maintain rationality or to abandon it a rational choice or a non-rational choice? This involves a great deal more than semantics, for if it is the case that either choice is non-rational (or even pre-rational), then the Randian system of morality depends, at root, on a happenstantial, unfree choice. The Randiin might attempt to claim that there was a bifurcation, with the choice of rationality amounting to the rational choice, and with the choice of irrationality amounting to an irrational choice. This raises a double difficulty.

First, it is unclear how the selection of one of two alternatives can possibly alter the nature of the prior choice that produced the selection, but this point may be debatable. Secondly, the elimination of the possibility of a rationally chosen commitment to irrationality means that there can he no such thing as freely chosen evil. Rand seems to reject this possibility, however, for she does appear to require the existence of freely chosen evil: "Man's basic vice. the source of all his evils. is the act of unfocusing his mind. The suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know."

For the choice to unfocus the consciousness to be evil-to he a refusal to see rather than blindness and a refusal to know rather than ignorance-it is necessary that it be a freely adopted choice by the reason, for if the individual did not freely and consciously choose it, it cannot be said that the individual acted as he ought not to have acted. Rand, it is true, speaks at times of a fact that "man must act for his own rational self-interest," but that "must" seems clearly to be in the context of action within the framework of the acceptance of Objectivist ethics. Clearly, if there is a choice as to whether to act rationally or not, there can be no reason why a man "must" (in any absolute sense of necessitation) act in his own rational self-interest, at least as "rational" is defined by those who adhere to belief in substantive reason.

Rand's subtle attempt to use the Kantian gambit of the contradictions of evil actions is apparent in the following sentence: "The irrational is the impossible; it is that which contradicts the facts of reality; facts cannot be altered by a wish, but they can destroy the wisher."'^ The problem with both the Kantian and the Randian positions on this issue is that it is not the case that immoral actions constitute an impossibility or a logical contradiction in the way that a square circle does: A square circle can be neither constructed, nor described, nor conceived, for it consists of no more than the juxtaposition of two contradictory words which can be put together only in time, but cannot be otherwise conjoined. Evil choices and evil actions cannot be seen as contradictory or impossible for the simple reason that they can be done. Since one can choose to will values which will lead to his demise, Rand is left with the problem of why one ought not so to will if one feels inclined in that direction.

The following syllogism is defective, but it represents the most basic moral reasoning of the Randian system:

 

The adoption of value system x is necessary for the survival of any human being.

You are a human being.

Therefore, you should adopt value system x.

 

The missing premise-a prescriptive premise-is that one ought to do what is necessary in order to survive. But any inclusion of that prescriptive premise triggers the infinite regression of the is-ought dichotomy. Treatment of the problem as a hypothetical imperative would prove equally unsatisfactory:

 

If you wish to survive, you ought to adopt value system x.

You wish to survive.

Therefore, you ought to adopt value system x.

 

This syllogism is perfectly valid, but it will not serve for Rand's purposes, for its introductory conditional makes the entire ethical system subjectively dependent on the individual human will: If you do not choose to survive, there appear to be no grounds upon which the Randians can condemn your judgment morally.

Objectivist ethics are, therefore, thoroughly subjective.

The whole thing is quite fascinating. Back to the glibness! Ayn Rand is the Ed Wood of philosophy! Yackety Schmackety Dooo!

 

This lady read Atlas Shrugged, and he made a Cliff's Notes version so you wouldn't have to do the same! However I'm sure she'll appreciate the novel once a masculine man has violent sex with her in a way she secretly wants but never expresses a preference for, thus being subject to the greatest majesty of the power that the righteous hold. Go Objectivism!

Edited by Pop
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and a friend of mine leveled this analysis to The Fountainhead and Rand's general oeuvre -

Rand's philosophy, in part, amounts to a fetishization of power. In her imagination, there is no more powerful act than the taking of sex by force- rape- and no greater sign of one's acquiescence to the majesty of power than submission to said rape.

 

It's telling that one has to address psychosexual deviation in order to fully cope with Rand's "ideas."

 

The critical component of her ideology is the notion of the natural right. In Rand's conception of reality, only some human beings are worthy or even capable of fully embracing or experiencing the full measure of the natural right. Individualists- the "great" men (yes, men)- are fundamentally different than other human beings. These individuals, by some fluke of birth or fate, are without the shutters that limit the scope of others' visions. These individuals must be allowed to do as they please; no law should attempt to "unnaturally" blinder their vision.

 

However, they are but few. The vast majority of the human race is base and incapable of conceiving true freedom, and even could they envision such a thing they would not desire it for inborn fear. For these individuals, the right granted by nature is the right to follow and obey their betters. But there are a few among these who have the intelligence to conceive of true freedom and who recognize within themselves a critical lack of the stuff of greatness, an inability to bring their vision to fruition, an unworthiness. And these people can do naught but recognize the greatness of their betters, the doers, the individualist masters of the goddamn universe. This class is bifurcated. There are members of this class who will acquiesce to greatness- who will consent to be raped- and those who will lash out at great men. They will attempt to limit the freedom of true individualists. These are the under-miners.

 

The under-miners are not fools! They are cunning bastards, sharp of tongue and quick of wit, who will attempt to wrest for themselves some of the individualists' power! And they will do this by manipulating the follower mass to turn it against the very notion of greatness. But how will they do such a thing? Of course, they will do it by imposing market controls, by holding great men accountable to a leveling legal right, and by giving to the mass an illusion of superiority. They will tell the poor- who could not devise some means of securing for themselves wealth, and are, therefore, inferior to their fellow men- that the poor are "Equal" to all others. They will tell the poor that the poor are deserving of economic freedom. They will tell the poor that the great men are controlling them by limiting their wealth. They will tell the poor that the poor deserve a minimum wage and "benefits" such as free health care and affordable- or even free, ye gods!- food. They will devise COLLECTIVISM, the greatest of all conceivable evils.

 

Thus, there will be endured a struggle. The collectivist under-miners will attempt to fool the pathetic mass into turning against the great men, and the great men will be brought before the mass to answer for their mighty deeds. But laws and opinions will be unable to contain them! For greatness knows no master! The poor NEED the great men, because without the great men, the poor would have no source of subsistence- they would be incapable of feeding or clothing themselves and could not for their lives devise the cunning innovations of modern society. If the great men left, the poor would languor and die! And they will someday realize this, and will give the just due to the great men. Or society will fail.

Obviously quite a seductive ethic for people who really, really love themselves. Switch some words and you've got a fairly succinct version of a racist / sexist / fascist worldview.

Edited by Pop
Link to post
Share on other sites

Did get all of this correctly? Objectivism is subjective since it is bound to the human will of whether to be rational or not? And judging by the reviwer's opinion on "Atlas shrugged"; objectivism is borderline fascism? Here i thought that it was about every human being having the right to his or her own life and to persue their dreams as long as it doesn't conflict with the right to life of others to persue their dreams?

 

While i do not subscribe to objectivism, as i am more of an existenialist myself, i am however very confused by the links Pop provided.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Did get all of this correctly? Objectivism is subjective since it is bound to the human will of whether to be rational or not? And judging by the reviwer's opinion on "Atlas shrugged"; objectivism is borderline fascism? Here i thought that it was about every human being having the right to his or her own life and to persue their dreams as long as it doesn't conflict with the right to life of others to persue their dreams?

 

While i do not subscribe to objectivism, as i am more of an existenialist myself, i am however very confused by the links Pop provided.

 

Read Atlas Shrugged and you'll either understand Pop's posts or want to tear your eyes out. I'm going with the latter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...