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(New York Daily News)   Paul Ryan renounces Ayn Rand, like most readers did when they were 19   (nydailynews.com) divider line 420
    More: Obvious, Ayn Rand, Thomas Aquinas, WNYC, Mitt Romney  
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4407 clicks; posted to Politics » on 14 Aug 2012 at 6:25 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-15 02:15:00 AM

Confabulat: This is beyond sci-fi and just purely in the realm of fantasy.


I would argue that it's exactly within the purview of SciFi. Someone discovers a new technology (or style of architecture, whatever) through sheer dumb luck. How do they, as a normal not-particularly-virtuous or otherwise worthy person, react? How does society react in turn?

I mean, her conclusions are kind of weird, as you'd expect from someone that was basically a soviet refugee mixing up soviet propaganda about the US with the US's own propaganda about itself, but the question is a valid SF theme and she's far from the only author that's taken a look at it.

A book that's somewhat less sympathetic to the protagonist and about a thousand times more brilliant, but looking at basically the same themes, would be Bester's The Stars My Destination. Man discovers amazing new widget through sheer happenstance, isn't a particularly nice man, reacts poorly to others trying to obtain it, and goes on a violent crusade against everyone he imagines has offended him as he convinces himself of his own superiority. Of course, this being Bester, the ending is less about one side being the good guys and another being bad and more a weird exploration of the actual psychology involved without a real moral at the end of the story.

Or you could go with the depressingly literal version of the theme and read The Count of Monte Cristo where a not-nice fellow literally finds a treasure through sheer luck and uses it in a sociopathic manner. If you're boring.

Yet Randians think this is how life is supposed to work. It's perfect for self-centered immature teenage boys convinced of their own superiority of everyone around them. That's sort of the defining characteristic of a Randian -- I'm better than everyone else, and it's the world's fault they don't recognize it, not mine. Most people grow out of that phase. Randians cling to it like a life preserver.

Admittedly, this is the weird thing about Rand's version of the story. Where Dumas (and most authors writing the tale) largely decided that this behavior was inappropriate (even though his protagonist, as in every version of the story, still gets off scot free in every real sense) and Bester made it clear throughout his version that it was flawed at best, Rand took it to its actual logical conclusion and made her characters literal sociopaths.

Which would have been kind of brilliant as a subversion, actually, if she wasn't actually in favor of sociopathy.

//fark all y'all, this is a literary analysis thread now.
 
2012-08-15 02:42:28 AM

Jim_Callahan: Confabulat: This is beyond sci-fi and just purely in the realm of fantasy.

I would argue that it's exactly within the purview of SciFi. Someone discovers a new technology (or style of architecture, whatever) through sheer dumb luck. How do they, as a normal not-particularly-virtuous or otherwise worthy person, react? How does society react in turn?

I mean, her conclusions are kind of weird, as you'd expect from someone that was basically a soviet refugee mixing up soviet propaganda about the US with the US's own propaganda about itself, but the question is a valid SF theme and she's far from the only author that's taken a look at it.

A book that's somewhat less sympathetic to the protagonist and about a thousand times more brilliant, but looking at basically the same themes, would be Bester's The Stars My Destination. Man discovers amazing new widget through sheer happenstance, isn't a particularly nice man, reacts poorly to others trying to obtain it, and goes on a violent crusade against everyone he imagines has offended him as he convinces himself of his own superiority. Of course, this being Bester, the ending is less about one side being the good guys and another being bad and more a weird exploration of the actual psychology involved without a real moral at the end of the story.

Or you could go with the depressingly literal version of the theme and read The Count of Monte Cristo where a not-nice fellow literally finds a treasure through sheer luck and uses it in a sociopathic manner. If you're boring.

Yet Randians think this is how life is supposed to work. It's perfect for self-centered immature teenage boys convinced of their own superiority of everyone around them. That's sort of the defining characteristic of a Randian -- I'm better than everyone else, and it's the world's fault they don't recognize it, not mine. Most people grow out of that phase. Randians cling to it like a life preserver.

Admittedly, this is the weird thing about Rand's vers ...


I guess you're right, she really is sci-fi. When I first heard of Atlas Shrugged, that was how it was presented to me and as a sci-fi geek I'm glad I never bothered to get around to it. But yeah, Rand's conclusions are sort of the opposite of what you'd think decent normal human beings would do in similar circumstances. It's curious there is a cult around the belief that those behaviors should be considered normal or even positive instead of the amoral antisocial activities she describes. But then hell even the Republicans are distancing themselves from her now, so that's probably all we need to know.
 
2012-08-15 02:49:41 AM

Confabulat: Yet Randians think this is how life is supposed to work. It's perfect for self-centered immature teenage boys convinced of their own superiority of everyone around them. That's sort of the defining characteristic of a Randian -- I'm better than everyone else, and it's the world's fault they don't recognize it, not mine. Most people grow out of that phase. Randians cling to it like a life preserver.


If that motivates you to success in whatever profession you choose, who cares? Works for Kobe Bryant, worked for Steve Jobs, works for lots of people.
 
2012-08-15 02:57:11 AM

bhcompy: Confabulat: Yet Randians think this is how life is supposed to work. It's perfect for self-centered immature teenage boys convinced of their own superiority of everyone around them. That's sort of the defining characteristic of a Randian -- I'm better than everyone else, and it's the world's fault they don't recognize it, not mine. Most people grow out of that phase. Randians cling to it like a life preserver.

If that motivates you to success in whatever profession you choose, who cares? Works for Kobe Bryant, worked for Steve Jobs, works for lots of people.


Because life is about more than your profession, if you are a whole human being.
 
2012-08-15 03:02:38 AM

Confabulat: bhcompy: Confabulat: Yet Randians think this is how life is supposed to work. It's perfect for self-centered immature teenage boys convinced of their own superiority of everyone around them. That's sort of the defining characteristic of a Randian -- I'm better than everyone else, and it's the world's fault they don't recognize it, not mine. Most people grow out of that phase. Randians cling to it like a life preserver.

If that motivates you to success in whatever profession you choose, who cares? Works for Kobe Bryant, worked for Steve Jobs, works for lots of people.

Because life is about more than your profession, if you are a whole human being.


Life is about whatever you make of it.
 
2012-08-15 03:03:43 AM

bhcompy: Life is about whatever you make of it.


Sure, I have no argument with that. Then don't tell me a philosophy that calls other people parasites and moochers is one I can approve of.
 
2012-08-15 03:07:09 AM

Confabulat: bhcompy: Life is about whatever you make of it.

Sure, I have no argument with that. Then don't tell me a philosophy that calls other people parasites and moochers is one I can approve of.


I didn't. I said who cares what another person's philosophy is. That's their business. This whole thread is all about shiatting on people because of their own personal philosophy, and that's counterproductive to a truly harmonious existence.
 
2012-08-15 03:07:57 AM

Silly Jesus: timujin: Silly Jesus: Lionel Mandrake: Silly Jesus: Is this the thread where people who have never read a book, much less understand the basic ideas contained therein, bash it because that's what all the cool libtard trolls do?

*reads first 50 posts*

Yep, meets the Fark formula.

Carry on.

Is this the thread where some Randian shows up and issues a blank dismissal of criticism by simply assuming none of the critics have ever read Rand (because if they did, they would know what a great intellectual and writer she was)?

Yep, carry on

Yes, because a great deal of the comments don't begin with "I've never read or heard of Rand, but I think she's an idiot and her ideas are BS."

Citation? Because I don't see that. Unless you consider 4 out of 50 to be a "great deal of the comments." And those were only, "I haven't read it," no "she's an idiot and her ideas are BS." Lying is becoming second nature to you, it seems.

You're right. Everyone is having a reasoned discussion concerning the merit of specific aspects of her philosophy and not being reactionary drones with knee-jerk reactions to the very mention of the horrible Rand.


Generally speaking, they were. But because their viewpoint is different than yours, you've dismissed it out of hand as "people who've never heard of Rand, but think she's an idiot" instead of the very real possibility that they have heard of her, have read her, have discussed her work at length and have come to the conclusion that she is an idiot.

Can you consider that the reaction isn't "knee-jerk" but rather that of someone who has actually put some thought into their point of view?
 
2012-08-15 03:08:27 AM

bhcompy: This whole thread is all about shiatting on people because of their own personal philosophy, and that's counterproductive to a truly harmonious existence.


Stupid and vicious people make a philosophy out of attacking me and most of everyone else in the world, they're kind of already farking up harmony, so fark them.
 
2012-08-15 03:10:51 AM

bhcompy: I didn't. I said who cares what another person's philosophy is. That's their business. This whole thread is all about shiatting on people because of their own personal philosophy, and that's counterproductive to a truly harmonious existence.


When your personal philosophy is that you are better than everyone else, and you hope civilization burns in fire if you can't be appreciated correctly, than damn right it's other people's business. Lots of philosophies out there are our business, when they decide it makes them superior to others. I would reference a list, but you surely can make up your own. Start with 9/11 and work down from there.
 
2012-08-15 03:14:11 AM
Harry_Seldon 2012-08-15 12:44:27 AM

SockMonkeyHolocaust: Ayn Rand had great tits.

Ewwwww


Somehow, ah, that reminds me of...butter.
 
2012-08-15 03:17:07 AM

bhcompy: Confabulat: bhcompy: Life is about whatever you make of it.

Sure, I have no argument with that. Then don't tell me a philosophy that calls other people parasites and moochers is one I can approve of.

I didn't. I said who cares what another person's philosophy is. That's their business. This whole thread is all about shiatting on people because of their own personal philosophy, and that's counterproductive to a truly harmonious existence.


Also, when that person is running for Vice-President of my country and blatently lying about his philosophy to save some conservative Christian votes, that matters to me as well. So I DO care if you worship Ayn Rand. You need to be watched carefully, just like any neo-Nazi would be.
 
2012-08-15 03:26:18 AM

bhcompy: I didn't. I said who cares what another person's philosophy is. That's their business. This whole thread is all about shiatting on people because of their own personal philosophy, and that's counterproductive to a truly harmonious existence.


It is indeed their business when they aren't already a sitting public official and running for another government office with even greater direct control over the disposition of public funds.

Harmonious or not, putting a person that actively loathes collectivism and glorifies doing whatever one can for one's own benefit at the expense of others may not be the most appropriate choice for managing a large chunk of our collective goods that we would ostensibly like to benefit some not-Paul-Ryan people at some point.

In this specific case, your "not caring what his personal philosophy is" is not laudable tolerance, it's nihilistic negligence regarding your duty as a citizen that borders on actively harmful sociopathy. Neglecting your responsibility of informed citizenship is essentially sabotaging the workings of democracy.

Assuming you live in the US, of course. If not, carry on. I mean, shut the fark up when we're discussing US elected officials if all you've got is arbitrarily dismissive claptrap, but carry on in the more general sense.
 
2012-08-15 03:41:29 AM

WhyteRaven74: So he goes from Rand to Aquinas, well at least he's consistent, both were authors whose work should have been a lot shorter and who should've realized they were, after twenty pages on a single point, just droning on.


This

media.tumblr.com

Catch-22 might have the catch-22 that it's too long and no one reads the whole thing but at least it changes. Ayn Rand thought that the length of writing was the same as quality of writing. And that was working on typewriters. Imagine if she had been working with word processors.

Charles Dickens had to write everything down at least twice. By hand. It's why his lifetime of constant writing only fills one shelf.
 
2012-08-15 03:45:27 AM

bhcompy: sammyk: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Went through college and grad school and never heard of Rand or the related books. Did I miss something, or was it all just derpy?

The first I ever heard of it was from Machelle Malkin. I didn't bother looking into it any further. The cult like following it gets reminds me of The Turner Diaries.

So is this a troll? I say this because you sound like a Christian fundamentalist talking about why he won't read the Qur'an.


Ayn Rand doesn't have a billion followers, and her ideas barely have any significance in the world outside Libertarian, American college students. John Galt is about as important to political philosophy as Harry Potter.
But did you enjoy Das Kapital?
 
2012-08-15 03:48:16 AM

Dansker: Ayn Rand doesn't have a billion followers, and her ideas barely have any significance in the world outside Libertarian, American college students. John Galt is about as important to political philosophy as Harry Potter.


I'd argue Harry Potter is more important to most modern thinkers than Ayn Rand in most of the world. But don't tell libertarian American college students that, they'd burn down Hogwarts too.
 
2012-08-15 03:56:24 AM
It quite a feat to hold these two thoughts at once, bhcompy
"I say this because you sound like a Christian fundamentalist talking about why he won't read the Qur'an."
" I said who cares what another person's philosophy is."
 
2012-08-15 04:04:50 AM

Kittypie070: Harry_Seldon 2012-08-15 12:44:27 AM

SockMonkeyHolocaust: Ayn Rand had great tits.

Ewwwww

Somehow, ah, that reminds me of...butter.


reminded me of this scene at 2:55

now with taint of ayn rand

mm buttery randian taint
 
2012-08-15 04:12:53 AM

Triumph: FTA:"I reject her philosophy," Ryan says firmly. "It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,"

God help us.


You had your chance. Go fark your selves.
 
2012-08-15 04:33:55 AM

Pocket Ninja: I'm willing to bet quite a bit of money that if you selected, at random, any 10 individuals who have ever posted in a thread about Ayn Rand (either favorably or unfavorably), locked them in a room without any pre-warning or internet access, and then asked them each to provide a 2-minute summary of "Atlas Shrugged," no more than 2 or 3 would be able to do so.

The percentage will go up slightly higher for books by Orwell, but not by much.


Believe it or not I made it about 1/2 way through that rambling, sociopathic mess of a story and couldn't go any further. I then later picked it and tried to at least read Galt's big speech. But after about 10 minutes I realized my time was better spent doing anything but reading that nonsense.
 
2012-08-15 05:12:00 AM
Smackledorfer

I'm stunned by this. literally

hopefully i managed to present the facts. nobody else seemed to have done even a wikipedia search and pointed out that rand herself built aquinas into her overall ideal. instead, starting from the article, we seemed to be asserting that ryan was attempting some seismic shift. to me, that appeared wrong and it appeared that the thread wasn't addressing the issue of how aquinas informs the reading of rand. it might not change your own opinion, but i would suggest it should be held to be of value nonetheless. using rand in this way allows a base to forward a number of values, eg, from above re rand "hard work, thrift, skills and education, personal responsibility" and, from wiki for aquinas, say, "cardinal virtues as prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude ... and ... theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity" - all of which even [if you like] to me, seem to me to offer a solid platform. now, we can say that rand should be read this way, or that way, or not at all, but if we haven't even branched to a discussion of rand read with aquinas then it's not a genuinely relevant discussion - and it isn't the internal or external discussion 99% of people will have when presented with rand and aquinas boiled down to the values i suggested could be taken from both. people want different things. most people don't want to know whether they are the best at the latest game, the most informed about the latest fad, or the most popular talent show contestant, they just want to live their lives responsibly and try to do their best by their families
 
2012-08-15 05:16:26 AM

21-7-b: it isn't the internal or external discussion 99% of people will have when presented with rand and aquinas boiled down to the values i suggested could be taken from both


So it's only the 1% that understand, amiright?
 
2012-08-15 05:24:06 AM

Weaver95: what if all the John Galt wannabes up and left...and society got better for it?


Thats more of a when, than a what-if, allow me:

When all the John Galt wannabes up and leave...society will get better.

John Galt's arent in it for society, they're in it for themselves. Without them, society will fill the vacuum naturally. Imagine an Eco-system where the top predator is removed. That system will prevail successfully. It's when the lower rungs of an Eco-system are removed that the system is jeopardized.
 
2012-08-15 06:26:17 AM

Frederick: Weaver95: what if all the John Galt wannabes up and left...and society got better for it?

Thats more of a when, than a what-if, allow me:

When all the John Galt wannabes up and leave...society will get better.

John Galt's arent in it for society, they're in it for themselves. Without them, society will fill the vacuum naturally. Imagine an Eco-system where the top predator is removed. That system will prevail successfully. It's when the lower rungs of an Eco-system are removed that the system is jeopardized.


I think a world without John Galts is my kind of world. Egotistical know-it-all scum can fly off to their secret island and have at it. God bless them and get the hell out of our world already instead of demanding yet more drains on our economy.
 
2012-08-15 06:27:16 AM
And what's stopping all those Galts anyway? Why are they still here? I thought they were better than us.
 
2012-08-15 06:31:11 AM

Confabulat: And what's stopping all those Galts anyway? Why are they still here? I thought they were better than us.


Junior High kids rarely have enough resources to run away in real life.
 
2012-08-15 06:32:47 AM

bhcompy: sammyk: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Went through college and grad school and never heard of Rand or the related books. Did I miss something, or was it all just derpy?

The first I ever heard of it was from Machelle Malkin. I didn't bother looking into it any further. The cult like following it gets reminds me of The Turner Diaries.

So is this a troll? I say this because you sound like a Christian fundamentalist talking about why he won't read the Qur'an.


Not trolling. Both seem to attract retards that base their personal philosophy on bad fiction. I have better things to do with my time.
 
2012-08-15 06:34:39 AM

ModernLuddite: [media.tumblr.com image 420x636]

This is a pretty good book.

Anyone whose first exposure to Rand is through this book is always really, really, really, really, really disappointed with the rest of her oeuvre.


I read that in elementary school (4th Grade). Even then I was bored a third of the way into the book. Granted I was also a big fan of sci-fi by then and understood the concept of individuality and the idea of collective consciousness among individuals, I got bored and kept reading the Uplift series instead.

Then I had to read The Fountainhead. Wasn't impressed. In fact, I got the distinct impression that Rand liked to live out her more....perverted sexual desires in her writing.

College came along and I had to read Atlas Shrugged on a dare with my philosophy professor. 20 hours of my life that I will not get back. I actually ended up snapping a little bit and going on a 30 minute tirade chewing out the Randroid that just WOULD NOT shut up, this was during the 2008 primary season (I was 21 and had spent the previous 3 years working my ass off as a machinist).

I have Ayn Rand to thank for laying down the groundwork that would eventually lead to me leaving the entire notion of conservatism and most of the tenets of libertarianism behind because I realized that all the dumb cock gargling farks that keep rambling on about free market this and invisible hand that are so stupid that they are confusing people that only have anything in common with James Taggart for John Galt. I came pretty close to unloading another tirade on a dumb shiat at work yesterday who actually said that Romney was more like Galt than any of the other candidates including Johnson(Rand is pretty popular among machinists for some stupid reason).

Rand's philosophy is backwards, bankrupt and utterly anti-social. But for none other than the fact that her magnum opus of stink lead to me being able to realize the blatant stupidity of the modern conservative movement every time they make an allusion to a Galt figure when it is so glaringly obvious as to be painful that the person they're referring to is none other than the caricature of lazy and entitled that Rand turned James Taggart into, I forgive her the 28 hours of my life her estate owes me.
 
2012-08-15 06:35:35 AM

Confabulat: I guess you're right, she really is sci-fi. When I first heard of Atlas Shrugged, that was how it was presented to me and as a sci-fi geek I'm glad I never bothered to get around to it. But yeah, Rand's conclusions are sort of the opposite of what you'd think decent normal human beings would do in similar circumstances. It's curious there is a cult around the belief that those behaviors should be considered normal or even positive instead of the amoral antisocial activities she describes. But then hell even the Republicans are distancing themselves from her now, so that's probably all we need to know.


I've never read Rand, but what I've gleaned of her lame-ass writing is that it wasn't SF, either. It was one of those Utopian/Dystopian fantasy style writings that were very popular amongst a small branch of would-be SF writers. They would decide what they felt was wrong with the world, then create a fantasy world wherein all those things were fixed or changed. They THOUGHT they were writing SF in the vein of LeGuin's "Left Hand of Darkness" or even Zamyatin's "We"; but since they weren't really creating new worlds or ideas, just reinventing America to fit their needs, what they got was a mishmash of confusing ideas.

"Atlas Shrugged" was realized as SF in "Bioshock", but Rand could never have come up with that on her own. Or even with a lot of help.
 
2012-08-15 07:03:00 AM
And, of course, for the exact wrong reason.
Let's face it folks - the extreme right has reached critical mass again - just like it did with McCarthy and the segregationists back in the late fifties and early sixties.
It's time for the people to smash them again - and it's already beginning.
 
2012-08-15 07:22:14 AM

s1ugg0: Believe it or not I made it about 1/2 way through that rambling, sociopathic mess of a story and couldn't go any further.


Slightly entertaining anecdote:

I first read the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged when I was 12 or 13, and my family had them in a leatherbound edition because of one of those book club things which sends you random books every month. Because of the doorstopper nature of the tomes, they were both divided into two volumes. Not realizing this and assuming we'd just gotten duplicates at some point (not an uncommon error), the first time I read them I thought that both books literally stopped at the half-way point.

The punchline: both books are better that way. The "halfway point" intentionally picked cliffhanger chapters, where the protagonist was temporarily flattened by the establishment and being figuratively (and in one case literally) kicked while they were down. This turned them into dystopian novels about the futility of resisting the march of communism, with the mindless collectivist hordes grinding down the unsympathetic and flawed but ultimately slightly more human protagonists. I actually thought it was pretty good, in a depressing sort of "life sucks, and then you die, plus you were a dick anyhow so fark you" way.

Of course, later I realized my error and re-read them in their entirety, at which point I was forced to change my evaluation of both works to a resounding "meh".

So... yeah. Literally too wordy in the sense that removing the last 50% of the words makes the novels much, much more fun.

//Also a fan of 1984 and Brave new world at that age. Not so much Animal farm. So possibly I was a wee bit disturbed.
 
2012-08-15 07:45:23 AM

Jim_Callahan: s1ugg0: Believe it or not I made it about 1/2 way through that rambling, sociopathic mess of a story and couldn't go any further.

Slightly entertaining anecdote:

I first read the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged when I was 12 or 13, and my family had them in a leatherbound edition because of one of those book club things which sends you random books every month. Because of the doorstopper nature of the tomes, they were both divided into two volumes. Not realizing this and assuming we'd just gotten duplicates at some point (not an uncommon error), the first time I read them I thought that both books literally stopped at the half-way point.

The punchline: both books are better that way. The "halfway point" intentionally picked cliffhanger chapters, where the protagonist was temporarily flattened by the establishment and being figuratively (and in one case literally) kicked while they were down. This turned them into dystopian novels about the futility of resisting the march of communism, with the mindless collectivist hordes grinding down the unsympathetic and flawed but ultimately slightly more human protagonists. I actually thought it was pretty good, in a depressing sort of "life sucks, and then you die, plus you were a dick anyhow so fark you" way.

Of course, later I realized my error and re-read them in their entirety, at which point I was forced to change my evaluation of both works to a resounding "meh".

So... yeah. Literally too wordy in the sense that removing the last 50% of the words makes the novels much, much more fun.

//Also a fan of 1984 and Brave new world at that age. Not so much Animal farm. So possibly I was a wee bit disturbed.


That's pretty much the profile of my experience with Rand. She really should be thought of as a Juvenile author - viewed within that context, her work can be given modest respect.
The Fountainhead is actually a decent Juvenile, similar to some of Heinleins politically charged stuff.
It just fails horribly when evaluated as adult literature - and of course, as "philosophy", it's a bad joke.
 
2012-08-15 08:01:40 AM
Pseudo-philosophy for childish, immature minds based on the poorly written fiction of a hypocrite...

*Dismissive jerking hand motion*
 
2012-08-15 08:06:39 AM

randomjsa: Yes, people grow up and embrace reality. Except the people who read socialist and communist literature, they never do.


Was Paul Ryan "grown up" in 2005?

Link

"I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we're engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that's what I tell people."

"I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are."

"It's inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There's a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well."

"But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand."

"And when you look at the twentieth-century experiment with collectivism-that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism-you can't find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand."

"It's so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand's vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are."

"Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand's writings and works."
 
2012-08-15 08:18:22 AM

timujin: Neither Rand, nor any Objectivist I've met, truly understood/understand* one of the core tenets of their philosophy, rational self-interest.

.
.
.
*how exactly are you supposed to switch between tenses when talking about both the living and the dead?


Just use understind, the quasimortuperfect.
 
2012-08-15 08:21:19 AM

unlikely: "I am no longer fascinated by the woman. She was but flesh, she was mortal and flawed and imperfect. Now I know that it is not the woman but the ideas that she espoused that I should worship. It is the ideas, the ideals, the capitalistic ideological purity, that command my affections and steer my policy."


Well nice to know he still misses just why Rand is so well "liked" by most familiar with her ideas and/or life (personally I felt Objectivism was laughable long before I found out what a shameless hypocrite she turned out to be).
 
2012-08-15 08:28:52 AM

Silly Jesus: Without Fail: Her personal hero William Edward Hickman was in fact a sociopathic child murderer.

And this impacts the philosophy of Atlas Shrugged how?


Because it's a book tied to her own philosophy.

She referred to a man who murdered and butchered a child this way:

"Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should," that he had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people.'"


And she described this homicidal sociopath as a "genuinely beautiful soul."

If you don't see those same characteristics in her heroic characters, then you are not at all familiar with her work. She described Howard Roark, the hero of The Fountainhead, this way: "He was born without the ability to consider others." That's a perfect description of a sociopath.

Nah. No connection, I'm sure. And by the way, The Fountainhead is on Paul Ryan's required reading list for his staff.

When Hickman was executed, she said it was "The mob's murderous desire to revenge its hurt vanity against the man who dared to be alone."

Yeah. He was a victim who just wanted to be alone.
 
2012-08-15 08:32:37 AM

Dansker: Ayn Rand doesn't have a billion followers, and her ideas barely have any significance in the world outside Libertarian, American college students, a recent chairman of the Federal Reserve, a current Supreme Court justice, and a possible Vice President. John Galt is about as important to political philosophy as Harry Potter.

But did you enjoy Das Kapital?


You missed a few.
 
2012-08-15 08:42:52 AM

Weaver95: what if all the John Galt wannabes up and left...and society got better for it?


... or even noticed that they had left? I think that is their biggest fear.
 
2012-08-15 08:46:57 AM

A Dark Evil Omen: Fark You I'm Drunk: I'm pretty sure Neil Peart and obsessive Rush fanboys are the only reason there are people past the age of 19 who like Ayn Rand.

Which is really funny because Neil Peart identifies as a left-libertarian now.


Which seems to be where I've ended up, philosophically.

/obsessive fan GIRL, TYVM
 
2012-08-15 08:51:23 AM
I read Rand when I was young, and 1) got the idea that Rand's work was canonized as literature and 2) that concept of canonization still mattered to me.

What dreary, awful, boring preachy shiat. Apart from any consideration of her "philosophy".

I wouldn't reread Rand if I were on a desert island with literally nothing else to do. When people like Ryan declare themselves fans, I have to laugh when I hear them described as "thoughtful, impressive, intelligent, mature" etc.

Even funnier when they have to walk back their fanboyhood. Riiiiiiiight.
 
2012-08-15 08:57:50 AM

rtaylor92: I read Atlas Shrugged in my 20's without knowing much about politics or objectivicsm and I enjoyed it. I guess I read it wrong because I thought the "leeches" were all the useless middlemen and bureaucrats like Dagny's brother.


I can understand why you read it that way, seeing as how Rand's antagonists are one-dimensional caricatures of useless bureaucrats and middle men, and whenever she introduces such a character she spends five pages describing how his behavior had brought harm to righteous innovators with the full approval of a corrupt society, and she names them things like Beauregarde U. Middleman.

A is A.
 
2012-08-15 08:58:53 AM

rufus-t-firefly: Dansker: Ayn Rand doesn't have a billion followers, and her ideas barely have any significance in the world outside Libertarian, American college students, a recent chairman of the Federal Reserve, a current Supreme Court justice, and a possible Vice President. John Galt is about as important to political philosophy as Harry Potter.

But did you enjoy Das Kapital?

You missed a few.


I'm almost certain that legal decisions can't be based entirely on bad literature. And I heard somewhere that the possible vice president publicly renounced Ayn Rand very shortly after becoming a possible vice president, which gives some indication of her ideas' popularity, viability and impact on real life politics.
 
2012-08-15 09:02:53 AM

Lionel Mandrake: Silly Jesus: Lionel Mandrake: Silly Jesus: Oh, I thought that the part where he states he hasn't read it, and then asks if it's all derpy, implied that he thought it was derpy without having read it. I should get my glasses checked, I guess. Derrrrp.

Yes, asks. He also asks if he had missed something, so you could just as easily say he implied it was worth reading.

You're not helping to disprove the image of Randians as idiots.

Yes, anyone who puts any value in her philosophy is an absolute idiot. Your intellect is vastly superior. I tremble in the presence of your tumescent brain. You have truly put me in my place. I now bow to you my lord.

You're pretty smug for a guy who doesn't know the difference between a declarative statement and a question.

By the way, I never expressed my opinion of Rand or her works in this thread, so your attacks on me are pretty childish.

You really need to stop making shiat up. It's more grown-up to debate people on the points they make, not the points you wish they had made.


The problem is, Silly Jesus believes himself to be one of Rand's 'ubermensch' and therefore sees everyone who tries to argue with him about Rand and her Objectivism as beneath him, much as a human sees the ant as beneath them, easily crushed beneath their greatness.
 
2012-08-15 09:16:41 AM

Confabulat: it was Paul Ryan that peed his pants, not us. We're just mocking him for being too scared to admit he worships her now that he's running for national office and he knows she's embarrassing to most mature adults and conservative Christians alike.


The depressing part of it all is what his doing so reveals about the half-ish of the electorate on that side of the aisle:

Atheism is more politically toxic than Objectivism.

Almost as depressing as education and/or intelligence becoming toxic on that side (e.g. "Harvard-educated" becoming a smear).
 
2012-08-15 09:19:49 AM

timujin: Neither Rand, nor any Objectivist I've met, truly understood/understand* one of the core tenets of their philosophy, rational self-interest.

.
.
.
*how exactly are you supposed to switch between tenses when talking about both the living and the dead?


Neither is your subject.

Neither Rand, nor any Objectivist I have met has understood one of the core tenets of their philosophy: Rational Self Interest.

Present Perfect Tense solves the problem for you.
blog.ascentis.com
 
2012-08-15 09:22:27 AM
Ryan: I love Atlas Shrugged, it's why I got into politics, I make my staff read it, I give it away as christmas gifts.

Ryan: Atlas Shrugged? meh it's ok, I wouldn't get into politics over it or anything. It's not the kind of book I'd require my staff to read or give to everyone I know on christmas.


Wow! this guy really does make a good VP pick for Romney
 
2012-08-15 09:25:43 AM

Jim_Callahan: Atlas Shrugged was published in the 1950s, the literary tradition it inherited was more "golden age of science fiction" than the writers-workshop "show, don't tell" stuff of the '90s you're referring to. It was not considered necessary at the time to try to stuff your agenda into character dialogue or try to conceal it, if you had something to say on the order of there being a moral to the story you just stuck it right in there, or had a character outright monologue it to the audience, and that was fine.


It wasn't fine. Yes there was a "show, don't tell" school of thought pushed in the 90's. And since. That thought certainly wasn't invented then. At the very least, I can refer you to Hemingway's observations on writing. They can be boiled down to, "Show, don't tell." I could throw in Aristotle as well.

There was a lot of dreary dreck published in the 50's. There still is. I actually tried to read all the way through Collen McCullough's series of novels on Rome. I don't know why. Because they constantly TOLD and TOLD and TOLD, in the clumsiest, most childish (and repetitive) ways imaginable. And she's a bestseller.

A lot of people like dreck. They always have and they always will. A lot of people (most in fact) liked--LOVED--the pointless, meandering, preachy "romances" that Cervantes skewered in Don Quixote. A lot of people like to be told, rather than shown.

But the idea that good fiction is based on showing rather than telling is very old. It is a principle understood by all good writers of fiction and always has been. It wasn't the "fashion" to write garbage in the 1950's. It was more like, people were avid for science fiction, and they would read just about anything they could get their hands on that could be described as scifi. The junk didn't just suffer from the "show don't tell" problem. It was also riddled with grammar and spelling errors, foolish made-up words (I came across the word "sickishly" the other day in one of these stories), extravagant use of exclamation points--almost every kind of error you can think of.

And of all the readers who prefer to be told rather than shown, I can think of no better example than Rand fans. TELL me, Ayn, TELL me again, and again, TELL me, hammer me over the head with it. Give me 57 pages of TELLING without a single word of showing.

/rant over
 
2012-08-15 09:28:46 AM
I read that Rand crap when I was 13 and understood it was nothing but a tantrum being thrown by an adult that never grew up.

If you have to make it to 19 before you see through right wing propaganda you are one big idiot. Maybe even a big fat idiot.
 
2012-08-15 09:45:59 AM

A Dark Evil Omen: HellRaisingHoosier: Lando Lincoln: Atlas Shrugged is about this superhuman business guy named John Galt who was super awesome at everything he did and one day he just checked out of society because he was tired of all of the mindless bureaucratic red-tape regulations and union bullshiat that surrounds running a business in a modern society like ours. And people freaked out because without John Galt around, everything was going to shiat. And then other really important business tycoons did the same thing. And then all of the union workers and politicians were really sad and miserable and jobless, because the super awesome job creators weren't around to lead them to prosperity and super awesome living. So the moral of the story is, keep sucking rich guy dick or they'll fark you in the ass.


Is this legitimately what the book is about? I've never read it, or even a summary of it. We need to figure out a way tomake all the bankers and CEO's leave. They've been farking a lot of shiat up.

Employee 1: "Dude the CEO just up and left"
Employee 2: "Well the company was doing badly so he was about to lay some of us off. I guess we can use his multi-million dollar benefits, stocks and paychecks to maintain, build and expand the company."
Employee 1: "But who is going to lead us?"
Employee 2: "We're Americans, we'll figure it out on our own and in a democratic fashion. We're educated, we're not afraid of losing our jobs and we now know that any additional profit from the business will go directly into our checking accounts. I think we'll be okay."
Employee 1: "We should have done this years ago!"

This! This this this a thousand times farking this. People need to wake up and understand that the hierarchical corporate model is nothing but a legal pyramid scheme, and it's unnecessary.


One of the main propaganda objective of the retard Raygun years was to turn businessmen into heros. That explains Americas steady decline to a large degree. Business is a brain dead activity ( see Maslows hierarchy ).

When you aim low you'll probably hit even lower and that what's happened since we made the great leap backward in 1980 and decided that the meaning if life was to own your own business and go shopping.
 
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