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(Buzzfeed)   Obama: "I dunno about Paul Ryan, you'd have to ask him that yourself, but Ayn Rand's doctrine was something I left back in high school"   (buzzfeed.com) divider line 278
    More: Obvious, Ayn Rand, obama, executive editor, Eric Bates  
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3030 clicks; posted to Politics » on 25 Oct 2012 at 7:41 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-26 01:26:14 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: It was sloppy thinking in much the same way that vast swaths of Das Kapital and some of Lenin's works are sloppy: going to the "pure" extreme to make a point.
As a sort-of aside (but related) many readers of Rand's two door-stoppers don't realize (or ignore the fact) that her characters are essentially one-dimensional for a reason: Rand was presenting archetypes, not stereotypes.


One of these days I'm going to get around to writing that 1200 page behemoth of an epic novel about the collapse of civilization due to increased emphasis on individualism, capitalism, the removal of all nationalized programs and governments, and the institution of the industrial pursuit of the individual man as society's highest tenet.

- One man will create the lightest and most durable metal in the history of the world, an alloy measured to be atomic perfection. He will control all rights, all distribution and all uses for his metal as a patent monopoly, selling it only to the highest bidders for an obscene service fee. Unfortunately, his stringent controls and contractual restrictions results in no market use for his productive genius as no one could afford it and the few who could were not able to conform to its restrictive guidelines. In short, he secured only one contract with a national railroad corporation, which wasn't enough to offset the overhead in production of the metal, and he eventually goes bankrupt, still refusing to move off his position. Ironically, he ends up penniless and homeless and freezing to death in an abandoned railway boxcar made out of his metal.

- One man is the heir to a Spanish aristocratic fortune and the controller of lots of Latin American copper mines. When he is approached by the metal maker about using some of his raw resources, he refuses to lower his standards, eventually suffocating both of them and stonewalling industry in the process. Later on in the novel, a train is destroyed in a tunnel because of construction conflicts in the layout of the track -- mostly due to the rugged individualists who built it, of course.

- One man is a brilliant and gifted architect, who refuses to design buildings in anyone's style but his own. Never compromising his morals or his standards for anybody, he fails the most basic law of business -- that the customer is always right. When he turns away clients left and right because they can't meet him on his terms, he is immediately branded an arrogant douche and obscenely difficult to work with by the architecture community; he is eventually stripped of his practice and kicked out of the profession altogether. He dies in a rock quarry somewhere up north.

- One man is the most genius music composer in the world, and also a drummer for a Canadian prog rock trio. He suddenly stops making music because no one understands his complex genius. The world, sadly, forgets about him and moves on as if he never existed.

- There is also a woman who runs the train corporation, but she doesn't really do anything and she spends most of the novel being a useless slut.

- And finally, there is the hero of the novel: The man who said he would stop the motor of the world, and did. By running away and letting the world devour itself, while he founded an enclave in the Rocky's based on consensus, compromise, teamwork and the power of collective activity.

And the world, which continued on praising individual liberty and freedom, kept fragmenting into dysfunctional pockets of lawlessness, unable to cooperate with each other, refusing to accept each other's values or standards, until everything broke down. Road signs, machine tools, property rights, fire/police/ambulance protection, power and water utilities -- everything that was once smooth and efficient and standard across the country, was obliterated. Eventually, sanitation and sewage treatment services were halted in many major cities due to constant fighting among the engineers over which was the most efficient way to clean up the garbage. When that happened, diseases struck the populace, who couldn't seek medical attention because that required adhering to the sake of another man's genius -- the doctor's. Children were left for dead, being seen as nothing more than parasites who were not able to think for themselves.

In the end, the human race wiped itself out inside of a generation due to lack of births and gross infighting because everybody was too stubborn to get along. And that, boys and girls, is what would happen if we followed Objectivism.


/I can write a bullshiat strawman just as well as you can, you stupid coont
//some of you have read this before
 
2012-10-26 01:28:13 PM

FlashHarry: god, i tried to read the fountainhead and atlas shrugged in high school. they were just so farking boring.


Read Don Quixote. I'm a third of the way through that thousand page tome and so far Don Quixote has fought windmills, welched on the bill at the inn, faked lamentations in the desert, and beat up some sacks of wine.

/I never expected him to feature so little in the book that bears his name
//Cervantes was a genius, as a side note.
 
2012-10-26 01:35:10 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: It is not true that government "doesn't produce anything" or "doesn't create jobs." It IS true, however, that government is MUCH LESS EFFICIENT at doing so than the private sector


The government and the private sector have different objectives. The private sector is trying to make profit, and in some cases it sees all things expendable -- including human lives -- in pursuit of this aim. The government is more interested in the health and well-being of the people, and it expends revenue adhering to these principles. This is why there are many things that the government can do that the private sector simply cannot and will not due, because it's too hazardous, too expensive, or there is no market or cost-benefit to doing them. All technological progress and scientific achievement is done by governments and institutions, for instance. The private sector is rarely the inventor -- it is the exploiter of the invention.

So to say that the government is much less efficient than the private sector is another dumb libertarian talking point. They're both dedicated to different segments of humanity so they're not really comparable. It's only true to say that the government is less efficient at making money, but that's a misnomer because the government is not interested in making money. It's trying to provide for the people, something the private sector cares not a whit about.
 
2012-10-26 01:38:34 PM

ihopOVERpancakes: brilliant writer


No. Just. No. Those books are unreadable unless you're furiously masturbating to some poorly constructed fantasy that you're John Galt. Seriously. Farkin' AS opens with this weird perversion of Rand's self-image.

She *desperately* needed to hire an editor but was too arrogant to let anyone touch her work. And it suffers immeasurably from it. Every amazing character in that story is merely a narcissistic facsimile of herself, every "bad guy" is hackneyed, and every other character is completely forgettable.

What I'm saying is it reads like fanfic.
 
2012-10-26 01:43:27 PM

ihopOVERpancakes: vartian: ihopOVERpancakes: Yet she craves innovation and reason from everyone. Not for nothing, but isn't a democracy about freedom? You know, freedom to act as one wishes and all that nonsense? That's all she's going for.

No sale. Also, freedom does not equal immunity to criticism for bullshiat ideas.

And I said originally that anyone has every right to criticize her. I just don't understand why criticism of Ayn Rand is so universal considering all she did was write a couple books.


Ah. I see. The reason she's reviled is because she's a hypocrite. The reason she's so heavily criticized is because her books are misguided at best, and her legions of followers appear like magic whenever a democrat is in office. It's a blatant attempt to cite some intellectual authority to scare the rubes about communism in American culture. Maybe it's connotations are different elsewhere in the world, but here in the US, her ideas aren't just bad, they are potentially self-destructive.
 
2012-10-26 04:10:51 PM

Ishkur: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: It was sloppy thinking in much the same way that vast swaths of Das Kapital and some of Lenin's works are sloppy: going to the "pure" extreme to make a point.
As a sort-of aside (but related) many readers of Rand's two door-stoppers don't realize (or ignore the fact) that her characters are essentially one-dimensional for a reason: Rand was presenting archetypes, not stereotypes.

One of these days I'm going to get around to writing that 1200 page behemoth of an epic novel about the collapse of civilization due to increased emphasis on individualism, capitalism, the removal of all nationalized programs and governments, and the institution of the industrial pursuit of the individual man as society's highest tenet.

- One man will create the lightest and most durable metal in the history of the world, an alloy measured to be atomic perfection. He will control all rights, all distribution and all uses for his metal as a patent monopoly, selling it only to the highest bidders for an obscene service fee.


Interestingly, almost that exact situation has occurred in real life in another industry: the personal computer and the Microsoft operating systems. Except that it was a team of programmers under the direction of Gates, rather than Gates all by himself.

The result, of course, was a huge increase in the standard of living of almost everyone in the world. PCs, laptops, cell phones, I-Pads, etc. etc. etc. Without the Windows juggernaut preparing the ground it is doubtful that any of that would exist today.

Unfortunately, his stringent controls and contractual restrictions results in no market use for his productive genius as no one could afford it and the few who could were not able to conform to its restrictive guidelines. In short, he secured only one contract with a national railroad corporation, which wasn't enough to offset the overhead in production of the metal, and he eventually goes bankrupt, still refusing to move off his position. Ironically, he ends up penniless and homeless and freezing to death in an abandoned railway boxcar made out of his metal.

Really? So this genius would be smart enough to invent the stuff, but too stupid to market and sell it effectively? Really?

/I can write a bullshiat strawman just as well as you can, you stupid coont

I bet you could!
 
2012-10-26 04:22:14 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Really? So this genius would be smart enough to invent the stuff, but too stupid to market and sell it effectively? Really?


Damn, you're right. The knowledge, skills, and talent required to invent an alloy are exactly the same as those required for effectively marketing and selling that same alloy. That's why Marketing firms and departments don't exist and every company or individual who ever invented something gets their engineers and/or R&D people to sell their product(s).
 
2012-10-26 04:23:46 PM

Ishkur: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: It is not true that government "doesn't produce anything" or "doesn't create jobs." It IS true, however, that government is MUCH LESS EFFICIENT at doing so than the private sector

The government and the private sector have different objectives. The private sector is trying to make profit, and in some cases it sees all things expendable -- including human lives -- in pursuit of this aim. The government is more interested in the health and well-being of the people, and it expends revenue adhering to these principles. This is why there are many things that the government can do that the private sector simply cannot and will not due, because it's too hazardous, too expensive, or there is no market or cost-benefit to doing them. All technological progress and scientific achievement is done by governments and institutions, for instance. The private sector is rarely the inventor -- it is the exploiter of the invention.

So to say that the government is much less efficient than the private sector is another dumb libertarian talking point. They're both dedicated to different segments of humanity so they're not really comparable. It's only true to say that the government is less efficient at making money, but that's a misnomer because the government is not interested in making money. It's trying to provide for the people, something the private sector cares not a whit about.



>>>>The government is more interested in the health and well-being of the people, and it expends revenue adhering to these principles.

LOL! "Nothing is true; everything is permitted" If you actually believe that, then you destroy your own arguments. I note that you say you live in BC Canada. Traveled much? Africa? Middle East? Asia? You live in a civilized nation where the actions of the government are checked by laws, tradition and honest democracy. I suspect this allows you to blithely generalize the potential actions of The State to the above naive statement. The reality is that most of human history, including current events, is a sad record of The State viewing the population it controls as a resource to plunder and use up as much as is consistent with allowing them to breed new resources.

>>>All technological progress and scientific achievement is done by governments and institutions, for instance.

Really? Well, I WILL give you that in the area of warfare. There have been many many spinoffs from research done for advances and efficiencies in war-making capabilities. Television, for one. Radar for another. And arguably the mainframe computer. Aside from that, I don't think so.

>>>>>It's trying to provide for the people, something the private sector cares not a whit about.

Which is why Henry Ford paid his workers above the scale of the day. Because he wanted his workers to be able to afford to buy his products.
 
2012-10-26 04:38:47 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Interestingly, almost that exact situation has occurred in real life in another industry: the personal computer and the Microsoft operating systems. Except that it was a team of programmers under the direction of Gates, rather than Gates all by himself.


Only they didn't create anything -- they stole the DOS operating system from Gary Kildall and then went behind his back and licensed it to IBM. Since IBM was the industry giant that businesses could depend on (instead of two hippies named Steve out of their garage), IBM-PCs flew off the shelves when they came out. It was the influence and marketshare of IBM that compelled rogue computer manufacturers to duplicate the IBM-PC's architecture and that's what really started the revolution. IBM clones flooded the market in the 80s and they all carried DOS, which is how MS made its fortune. The IBM-PC license was something Paul Allen famously referred to as "riding the bear".....until MS got too big for the bear, but by then it didn't matter anymore. They no longer needed IBM, and were big enough to push other players out of the market.

Gates and MS were not just in the right place at the right time, they were ruthless businessmen who mooched and leached off the technological advancements of others, and exploited their connections and partnerships for fame and profit. Rand would have despised Gates if she had lived longer.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Really? So this genius would be smart enough to invent the stuff, but too stupid to market and sell it effectively? Really?


None of the Objectivist heroes in any Ayn Rand novel do any marketing, advertising, public relations or promotions (outside of having a press release to gawk at the fruits of their impeccable intellect or hosting a dinner party to wax pathetic about some trivial philosophical detail in winded rhetoric). They don't even have any friends. They consider it beneath themselves to have to cater or pander to the customer's whims. It's more fantastical if they just stand tall in their ivory towers that they built themselves, arms folded like some strident, heroic champion, and the public has to come to them, begging and groveling for just a slice of their titanic genius and infinite wealth to help save the pathetic, useless dregs of humanity.
 
2012-10-26 04:47:47 PM

Teufelaffe: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Really? So this genius would be smart enough to invent the stuff, but too stupid to market and sell it effectively? Really?

Damn, you're right. The knowledge, skills, and talent required to invent an alloy are exactly the same as those required for effectively marketing and selling that same alloy. That's why Marketing firms and departments don't exist and every company or individual who ever invented something gets their engineers and/or R&D people to sell their product(s).


Exactly right. Or at least from the perspective of a naive and preconceived view of the world (and works of fiction).

There is a reason fiction is called... fiction.
 
2012-10-26 04:53:51 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: LOL! "Nothing is true; everything is permitted" If you actually believe that, then you destroy your own arguments.


If you knew where it came from, you would understand why it's being said.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: I note that you say you live in BC Canada. Traveled much? Africa? Middle East? Asia? You live in a civilized nation where the actions of the government are checked by laws, tradition and honest democracy.


The reason why "laws, tradition, and honest Democracy" work in Canada (and to a lesser extent, the United States) is because of education. A highly informed and educated citizenry always demands more out of its government, and it is the best safeguard against tyranny. Always be wary of anyone trying to take away your access to high education. Whosoever tries to restrict communications and education wants to control you. That's how tyrannies operate.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: The reality is that most of human history, including current events, is a sad record of The State viewing the population it controls as a resource to plunder and use up as much as is consistent with allowing them to breed new resources.


I agree with this, and the reason why the state cannot do that anymore is because the citizenry is highly informed and highly educated.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Really? Well, I WILL give you that in the area of warfare. There have been many many spinoffs from research done for advances and efficiencies in war-making capabilities. Television, for one. Radar for another. And arguably the mainframe computer. Aside from that, I don't think so.


It's actually much harder to think of a technological advancement that is not the result of government funding, government services, or an established framework of knowledge and resources (such as a technological institute). Point is: Most inventions are not the result of individual genius but rather the culmination of many moving parts, both social and financial. They happen almost randomly, sometimes completely by accident, and usually because they are trying to solve a specific problem which plays havoc with the laws of unintended consequences.

If you disagree, feel free to watch any video essay by James Burke and try to prove him wrong.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Which is why Henry Ford paid his workers above the scale of the day. Because he wanted his workers to be able to afford to buy his products.


Actually, the better reason is that assembly line work is very stressful and highly repetitive, and he was trying to curb the turnover rate.
 
2012-10-26 05:01:51 PM

Ishkur: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Interestingly, almost that exact situation has occurred in real life in another industry: the personal computer and the Microsoft operating systems. Except that it was a team of programmers under the direction of Gates, rather than Gates all by himself.

Only they didn't create anything -- they stole the DOS operating system from Gary Kildall and then went behind his back and licensed it to IBM. Since IBM was the industry giant that businesses could depend on (instead of two hippies named Steve out of their garage), IBM-PCs flew off the shelves when they came out. It was the influence and marketshare of IBM that compelled rogue computer manufacturers to duplicate the IBM-PC's architecture and that's what really started the revolution. IBM clones flooded the market in the 80s and they all carried DOS, which is how MS made its fortune. The IBM-PC license was something Paul Allen famously referred to as "riding the bear".....until MS got too big for the bear, but by then it didn't matter anymore. They no longer needed IBM, and were big enough to push other players out of the market.

Gates and MS were not just in the right place at the right time, they were ruthless businessmen who mooched and leached off the technological advancements of others, and exploited their connections and partnerships for fame and profit. Rand would have despised Gates if she had lived longer.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Really? So this genius would be smart enough to invent the stuff, but too stupid to market and sell it effectively? Really?

None of the Objectivist heroes in any Ayn Rand novel do any marketing, advertising, public relations or promotions (outside of having a press release to gawk at the fruits of their impeccable intellect or hosting a dinner party to wax pathetic about some trivial philosophical detail in winded rhetoric). They don't even have any friends. They consider it beneath themselves to have to cater or pander to the customer's whims. It's more fantastical if they just stand tall in their ivory towers that they built themselves, arms folded like some strident, heroic champion, and the public has to come to them, begging and groveling for just a slice of their titanic genius and infinite wealth to help save the pathetic, useless dregs of humanity.


Sigh.

>>>>they stole the DOS operating system from Gary Kildall and then went behind his back and licensed it to IBM.

Really? Just like Reardan stole the formula from a penniless inventor whom he then murdered? A very well annotated Wiki article disagrees. Link - Business career

But you are right about one thing, in that the initial wave was DOS, not Windows.

>>>>None of the Objectivist heroes in any Ayn Rand novel do any marketing, advertising, public relations or promotions (outside of having a press release to gawk at the fruits of their impeccable intellect or hosting a dinner party to wax pathetic about some trivial philosophical detail in winded rhetoric). They don't even have any friends.

It's a NOVEL, for crying out loud. Not only that, it is written in the archetype style. Fiction necessarily focuses on the main things the author wants to say, and the inner departmental workings of a business operation were not part of her agenda.

I suppose that next you will mention that Ayn Rand never wrote in detail about any of her characters taking a dump.

It's a novel. Get over it.
 
2012-10-26 05:02:20 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Exactly right. Or at least from the perspective of a naive and preconceived view of the world (and works of fiction).
There is a reason fiction is called... fiction.


I think the bigger question is: Why do some people think that a philosophy outlined in the speeches of cardboard Mary Sue characters in a work of complete implausible fiction written by a Russian immigrant with an axe to grind against the mean ole' Bolsheviks who took her daddy's business away in a manner that is highly exaggerated and highly stylized and deliberately constructed so that she can control the outcome..... is totally applicable in real life?

Call me a skeptic, but "it'll work because she says it will" is not very reassuring.
 
2012-10-26 05:14:59 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Really? Just like Reardan stole the formula from a penniless inventor whom he then murdered?


Did he? ....don't remember that plot point in the book. Or was that a lie spread by the moochers and looters determined to tear him down?

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: A very well annotated Wiki article disagrees. Link - Business career


Actually, it agrees, Kildall just didn't have the business savvy to press the issue. Your reading comprehension is functionally atrocious.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: But you are right about one thing, in that the initial wave was DOS IBM, not Windows.


FTFY.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: It's a NOVEL, for crying out loud.


A novel that people seem to regard, accept, and prop up as unerring truth (she also added a post-script to Atlas Shrugged that contained only four words: "And I mean it!"). Her subsequent writings and the founding and advancement of the Objectivist movement is enough proof to assert that she was dead serious about how she thought the world worked and this is what she wanted to be done with it.

For that fact alone -- that it is a fable, an over-the-top, bombastic tome of nonsense full of absolutist morality, one-dimensional characters and extremist perceptions of humanity -- that the book is worse than bad, it is downright dangerous, if for no reason than it turns you into an asshole for a few years (if you read it in college like everyone else).

And the worst part is we have people running for the highest seats of government who treat this book like a Bible (enough to foist it on every member of his staff).

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: I suppose that next you will mention that Ayn Rand never wrote in detail about any of her characters taking a dump.


I bet John Galt's dumps were massive, protruding lincoln logs, like powerful dark brown phalluses, so strong and eager to prove their worth that they break through the bowl and clog the sewers. No, not the sewers under his house, but all sewers everywhere. This is the man who said he would take a dump to stop plumbing, and did.
 
2012-10-26 05:27:26 PM

soy_bomb: grasping at every little petty swipe


We should trust Bolly Boy. He knows about grasping.
 
2012-10-26 05:29:06 PM

Ishkur: This is the man who said he would take a dump to stop plumbing, and did.


And welcome to my Favorites list.
 
2012-10-26 05:35:09 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: It's a novel. Get over it.


As soon as people like Paul Ryan stop treating it as a New Gospel, to the point they require staff members to read it, we will.
 
2012-10-26 05:35:44 PM

TenJed_77: MeinRS6: So Ryan is "obsessed" with Rand? Give that interviewer a gold start for getting out a false libby talking point and pitching up that softball to Obama when he wasn't sucking on his dick.

Want to know what is for teens and dope smoking college freshman that adults should grow out of? Liberalism.

Are you going to stay with this alt throughout the entire thread?


It's not about Israel, so he kinda has to.
 
2012-10-26 05:38:02 PM

Ishkur: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Really? Just like Reardan stole the formula from a penniless inventor whom he then murdered?

Did he? ....don't remember that plot point in the book. Or was that a lie spread by the moochers and looters determined to tear him down?

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: A very well annotated Wiki article disagrees. Link - Business career

Actually, it agrees, Kildall just didn't have the business savvy to press the issue. Your reading comprehension is functionally atrocious.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: But you are right about one thing, in that the initial wave was DOS IBM, not Windows.

FTFY.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: It's a NOVEL, for crying out loud.

A novel that people seem to regard, accept, and prop up as unerring truth (she also added a post-script to Atlas Shrugged that contained only four words: "And I mean it!"). Her subsequent writings and the founding and advancement of the Objectivist movement is enough proof to assert that she was dead serious about how she thought the world worked and this is what she wanted to be done with it.

For that fact alone -- that it is a fable, an over-the-top, bombastic tome of nonsense full of absolutist morality, one-dimensional characters and extremist perceptions of humanity -- that the book is worse than bad, it is downright dangerous, if for no reason than it turns you into an asshole for a few years (if you read it in college like everyone else).

And the worst part is we have people running for the highest seats of government who treat this book like a Bible (enough to foist it on every member of his staff).

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: I suppose that next you will mention that Ayn Rand never wrote in detail about any of her characters taking a dump.

I bet John Galt's dumps were massive, protruding lincoln logs, like powerful dark brown phalluses, so strong and eager to prove their worth that they break through the bowl and clog the sewers. No, not the sewers under his house, but al ...


That says everything I am too bored to mention. You obviously have an axe to grind and the inability to actually think about the novel.

Bye.
 
2012-10-26 06:52:16 PM

NewportBarGuy: Kuroshin: I mean, I know you haven't been a Republican for quite a while, but you've fully jumped into the other team, eh?

Compared to a party of free rape and perpetual war on the brown people and the poor people... Is there really an option?


Well, there's always unaffiliated. I'm still without Party.

But now the joke:

I'd take free rape over having to pay for it.

/*rimshot*
 
2012-10-26 08:25:43 PM

Maud Dib: Omahawg: . However, most of them were dead from disease by the time whitey showed up so their influence on their environment was sort of on the wane by then and soon forgotten. See William Cronon's most excellent Changes in the Land for further details.

As for as property....yeah....you think some Missouria is gonna just waltz into Kaw territory and start killin ...

You mean the diseases that the white man brought?


correct. diseases which spread and killed long before most of them ever saw a white man. by the time whitey got out here they found empty wide open spaces....mostly 'cause everyone was already dead.
 
2012-10-26 08:50:36 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: So this genius would be smart enough to invent the stuff, but too stupid to market and sell it effectively? Really?


Historically, seems perfectly plausible. Tesla, for example, was pretty terrible as a businessman; and there's more than a few inventors who've been gypped by the business boys out of more than a token share of the proceeds. It's one reason why the local U specifically has an engineering minor program on the subject.
 
2012-10-26 10:44:29 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: That says everything I am too bored to mention. You obviously have an axe to grind and the inability to actually think about the novel.


Like I haven't already? not only have I read Atlas Shrugged (while sitting on the can... it took me 2.5 years to use all the pages), but also The Fountainhead, Anthem, For the New Intellectual, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and the Virtue of Selfishness. I know Ayn Rand better than you do, and I've thought about her books and her philosophy far longer than you have.

But since you seem to think I have an inability to actually think critically about her works, let me tell you my real conclusions:

What Ayn Rand did was simplify a complex network of economic theories, ideas, practices and human motives and constructed a mono-dimensional faux-reality as a vehicle to push her pulp. Then she filled it full of cardboard cutout characters and mary sue ubermensches who don't talk but lecture for tedious pages about why the rich and powerful have divine right to being rich and powerful. And of course things play out exactly the way her philosophy says because she's the author and she controls the farking outcome. In clear violation of every standard of ethics, politics, economics, reality, life, human nature, philosophy, and farking national train corporation management. It's dishonest, and it's farking WRONG.

Another thing I thought was funny was Rand's twisting of the Robin Hood fable. She called him the most evil fairytale hero in history because he stole from the producers to give to the moochers. On the contrary, Robin actually stole the people's taxes from the oppressive government and gave them back to the their rightful owners -- he should be a Tea Party icon. I don't understand why she didn't look this up thoroughly enough. It was a bad allegory because it's heavily dependent on point of view.

But her biggest fallacy lies in the causes and effects of who actually "builds" the produces of society. Truth be known, Objectivists aren't typically more or less productive than anyone else. Nor are they more individualistic or rugged or self-sustaining or anything else that adheres to Objectivist doctrine. For the most part, they're just normal people, trying to get by. A bit full of themselves, and they love to talk about their ideals, but other than that there's nothing exquisitely unique about them that society relies upon.

The book's premise is ridiculous because NO ONE is so important that they think they can destroy the world by retreating from it. Nature abhors a vacuum. Everything important and meaningful that has ever been created -- from thoughts to ideas to products to technology to companies -- is instantly taught, copied, and spread around, effectively building an organic backup system in case the original fails or dies (or retreats to Galt's Gulch). No one is the sole arbiter of anything. No one has a privileged position on humanity's future. To rely on a single source for progress and advancement is dangerous to a functioning system. True stability means constant evolving contingencies, backup plans, and millions of redundancies. Society can't fail because one man lost his motor car plans in a factory. Everyone is replaceable. Even John Galt.

What infuriates me most about Ayn Rand is her tendency toward absolutism. She always makes sweeping, absolute statements like "Capitalism is an end in itself".....no its not. There is no rational, logical, or verifiable proven instances that justify such a statement. For starters, it's wrong. Capitalism is not an end, it is a means to improve the quality of life. It is a tool. It is a process. And despite what she might think, freedom is not defined in terms of economic productivity. Building a house does not make one happy. Living in one does. Bread isn't beneficial to anyone. Eating it is.

Living things do not live for themselves. Preservation of the self is a cherished tenet, but preservation of the species is equally as cherishable (and, depending on the circumstances, will frequently trump the former), and the concept of family and community is stronger in most societies than the concept of individualism. This is not brainwashing, this is not state-mandated. People do this because they prefer to do this, it is something inescapable and ingrained, and as far as we are concerned it is the moral, ethical, and empirical reality of our universe.

Man is not a rational animal. Man is an emotional animal. Man is not an individual animal nor is he a social animal. Man is a TRIBAL animal. These are not belief structures. They are physical realities that have defined the evolution of our species.

Ayn Rand does not encourage you to think for yourself. She encourages you to think about her. Her philosophy is attractive to people for the wrong reasons. Most of them are drawn to the characters in her books and use that as justification for promoting her philosophy. But when people are driven by aesthetic (rather than rational) criteria, it's impossible to reason with them in terms of formal argumentation hence the famed "Randroid syndrome" that you possess.

The authoress herself knew little about reason and even less about philosophy. She admitted she barely read anyone, which is why Objectivism sounds a bit like the idealism of Nietzsche, with maybe a bit of Kant and Bernard Shaw. She once claimed that the only book on philosophy she read was by Aristotle, which explains her appeal to his logical absolutes, particularly the first one: the Law of Identity (ie: A is A).

Objective morality can't exist without subjective content, and more and more of her pseudo-philosophy is being unraveled by such stark and painfully obvious contradictions, though I guess at the time no one had the guts to tell her because she was so damn intimidating and.........what's the word she loved to use? ah yes: "insolent".

It seems that Objectivists, following the lead of Rand, spend more of their time denouncing detractors -- as you have done here -- than actually being the highly-enlightened, individualistic rational beings that they think they are.

3 problems with Objectivists:

1) Objectivists are not highly-enlightened. It's a lazy philosophy, so it attracts lazy intellectuals, aka people who haven't read widely in the field which is what makes Rand's work so impressionable.
2) They are not individualists. Rand's cult was even called "the Collective", and to speak out of line or against the party line was extremely frowned upon
3) They are hardly rational, since their defence of the philosophy and attacks of dissenters normally comes in a high-pitched shrill and antagonistic, standoff-ish mental bullying

This is long, so I won't get into Objectivism's relationship with Fascism. That's another essay altogether.

Organized Objectivism has some cult-like tendancies creepier than Scientology. It's ironic that Rand had more in common with Josef Stalin than anyone else, someone who's ideals she spent the better part of her life denouncing but who's cult of personality she emulated to a T. Today, most Objectivists are simply people who are incapable of thinking for themselves, letting only the bitter memory of the late Ayn Rand make decisions for them.

But essentially, what Rand did was what all pop philosophers do: Tell rich and powerful people what they want to hear (ie: that they have a noble reason to be self-righteous assholes).

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Bye.


You are truly a titanic bastion of genius so pure and brilliant, with radiant features and a striking, deep gaze, commanding a high intelligence that sees the world not to be obeyed, but to be commanded as a tool of your noble, productive vision, to bend to your will, to mold, shape, and construct as an extension of your mind, a champion of will, of integrity, of moral standards as impenetrable as granite, to wrought from the earth the ideals of human perfection, and to exist, quite simply, not for others or for some arboreal means but as an end in yourself.

Whatever will we do when such a poster leaves Fark? Truly, the site will descend into chaos without your leadership, wisdom, and inspiration.
 
2012-10-27 12:12:50 AM

Blues_X: MeinRS6: Want to know what is for teens and dope smoking college freshman that adults should grow out of? Liberalism.

You sound extremish.

[photos.imageevent.com image 323x350]


This is wildly off topic, but since when are the Fantastic Four Islamic enforcers of Sharia Law, let alone useful?
 
2012-10-27 12:45:10 AM

Ishkur: Words....


First, you sound more than a bit defensive. That's why you conclude your post with attempted ridicule. TRhe fact that I really don't give a flying fark about your opinion of me apparently hasn't occurred to you.

Second, know how I know you have NOT read Atlas Shrugged - or if you did, didn't understand some really basic stuff in it - stuff my 12 year old understood when she read it.

The book is NOT about the rich and powerful -vs- everyone else. Hank Rearden is rich and powerful - but so is the main bad guy, James Taggert. No, the book is about the competent person who does not demand sacrifice and refuses to sacrifice him/her self -vs- the incompetent secondhander. The denizens of Galt's Gultch include many individuals who are NOT rich and powerful. They, however, share with the rich and powerful there the trait of neither sacrificing nor demanding sacrifice.

I really don't know how you could have missed that if you - as you claim - read the book.

This is what is so stupid about that Bob the Flower cartoon rant against Rand. Bob the Flower's creator obviously hasn't read the book either. (Or has an axe to grind and is deliberately misrepresenting the book.)

You are either a liar or uncorrectably stupid, or both. And I don't waste my time having discussions with such. Please, continue to babble on. I won't be responding.
 
2012-10-27 02:17:13 AM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: First, you sound more than a bit defensive


Nah, I just do this for fun. I really like trolling Objectivists, what can I say.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Second, know how I know you have NOT read Atlas Shrugged


No, I seriously did read the whole thing while sitting on the toilet.

It took me 2.5 years to use all the pages.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: The book is NOT about the rich and powerful -vs- everyone else. Hank Rearden is rich and powerful - but so is the main bad guy, James Taggert.


Reardon is rich and powerful, Wyatt is rich and powerful, D'Anconia is rich and powerful, James Taggert is ONLY rich and powerful because his sister, Dagny, is rich and powerful, Judge Naragansett was rich and powerful, the composer guy (can't remember his name, running off memory) was rich and powerful, the danish pirate was rich and powerful.... and everyone who wasn't rich and powerful in Galt's Gulch was either rich and powerful at one point in their lives and threw it all away to make some sort of statement, or chose not to seek riches because they preferred not to gift society their talents, like Owen Kellogg, the titular John Galt, and that motherfarker in the diner who made the BEST TASTING BURGER OF ALL TIME because Objectivists are champions at everything they do, even being short order cooks at truckstop diners.

So yeah: You know how I know that YOU never read the book?

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: No, the book is about the competent person who does not demand sacrifice and refuses to sacrifice him/her self -vs- the incompetent secondhander.


Actually, that's one of the few admirable qualities about Rand's ubermensches -- they valued productive achievement even though it turned them into pretentious elitists. But they weren't bad people because they were elitists. It was how they went about executing that elitism -- like, say, blowing up a housing project or destroying civilization. Or raping women as a token of divine selfishness.

That's really the big problem with Objectivists. Being elitist is one thing. Being elitist to the point of wishing death to every other human on the face of the earth -- that's psychopathic.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: This is what is so stupid about that Bob the Flower cartoon rant against Rand


Actually, the cartoon nails the exact problem with an Objectivist Universe: No one in the post-apocalyptic society really could really do any of the real gruntwork that makes society function -- the farmers and garbage crews and janitors and sewage cleaners and miners and lumberjacks and oil workers and all the dirty, disgusting jobs that none of them knew how to do and didn't have the strength to do anyway. Sure, some of them ran some industrial companies, but in truth the builders and geniuses of the world need a disposable slave class to do the work that is too demanding and too hazardous, otherwise they wouldn't have the time to do their genius things because all their waking energy is spent on procuring their next meal.

This is an important point that Objectivists continuously fail to understand, so let me say this: In order for any apex civilization to pursue higher qualities like art and science, it must first employ an underclass to take care of it, freeing up time to engage in these high pursuits. In order to obtain such an underclass, it must invade its neighbors. In order to invade its neighbors, it must have a really good army. No high civilization is ever benign - every one celebrates its noble accomplishments on the backs of cheap labor exploited by tyrannies of chauvinistic patriarchies, and an Objectivist society that doesn't do this will not have the time or the power to accomplish anything at all. The fruits of man's genius will be devoured by manual labor.

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: They, however, share with the rich and powerful there the trait of neither sacrificing nor demanding sacrifice.


You notice that none of them had any children? ....why do you think that is?

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: You are either a liar or uncorrectably stupid, or both.


Do you think I would have written all that if I hadn't read her books? ....how dumb are you?

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: And I don't waste my time having discussions with such


Ayn Rand was an asshole who wanted to teach other people how to be assholes. And writing books where the protagonists were assholes and being heroically revered for it.

You have learned from her well.
 
2012-10-27 02:38:51 AM
images.nymag.com
METH
 
2012-10-27 03:30:31 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Wall of BS in response to Ishkur......And I don't waste my time having discussions with such.


Farking, LOL.
 
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