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(Some Balph)   Buy All My Ayn Rand Crap!   (cgi.ebay.com) divider line
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1087 clicks; posted to Plug on 11 May 2004 at 6:25 PM (18 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2004-05-12 1:09:35 AM  
HAHA, looks like someone graduated college.
 
2004-05-12 1:32:56 AM  
sorry Ebay guy, but I feel a compulsion to warn everyone who may be interested in exactly what all that crap is:

Objectivism is a sham, and its also in shambles. It is universally ridiculed, loathed, and denounced by just about every serious philosophical institution in the world. It is a fringe philosophy at best, junk science at most, and it will go down in flames, alongside phrenology and eugenics, as one of the stupidest rational ideas that humans have ever come up with.

After all, there's a reason why it ranks beside Marxism in its attraction to sophmoric, disillusioned college students with too much intellectual time on their hands, and it's comparable to Amway and Scientology in its sincerity. It is a cult, under the guise of reason, that considers deviation from its central theme heresy and treasonous. Doesn't sound very rational to me.

and now...some fun links (too lazy to href...just cutnpaste):

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html
Sociology of the Ayn Rand cult.

http://students.depaul.edu/~sdowney/cult_dev.htm
Development of the cult.

http://web.archive.org/web/20020124040704/http://www.linguafranca.com/9909/ran d.html
Has Objectivism gone subjective?

http://www.mcspotlight.org/cgi-bin/DR/message.pl/capitalism?mID=17918
Objectivism as a supremacy doctrine for people too busy, lazy, or stupid to actually be intellectuals.

http://homepages.cs.ncl.ac.uk/chris.holt/home.informal/bar/philosophy/objectiv ism/merrill.comments.html
Why academics disdain the slipshod work of Rand and her major followers.

http://www.skeptic.com/02.2.shermer-unlikely-cult.html
history and critique of some basic flaws of Objectivism.

http://homepages.cs.ncl.ac.uk/chris.holt/home.informal/bar/philosophy/objectiv ism/problems.with.oism
An explanation of why there is so much cult-like hostility and schism in a philosophy that claims perception of objective truth.

http://home.sprynet.com/~owl1/rand.htm
A philosophical examination of some Objectivist claims by a skeptic coming from a very similar position and using similar methodology.

http://home.att.net/~sandgryan/essays_on_objectivism/ocr/
A technical philosophical criticism of Rand

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7842/otjindex.htm
Thomas Jefferson debunks Ayn Rand 150 years before she's even born.

http://andrej.com/objectivism/
Yes, YOU TOO can become an Objectivist in 10 easy steps!

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Libertarian/My_Posts/Ought_From_Is.html
Illuminates a few of the gaping holes in Rand's "logic".

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/2178/rand.html
Rand's ambition exceeded her achievement

http://www.dailyobjectivist.com/Extro/OpenLettertoRand.asp
An anarcho-libertarian refutation of Rand's minarchist position

http://www.geocities.com/tomdevine/aynrand.html
We should never trust a person whose thought has a name.

http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1230539&lastnode_id=162913
the faulty reasoning of Ayn Rand types


If she is such a proponent of reason, why is her philosophy best presented in romantic, grandeurized works of fiction depicting soaring scenes, epic settings, titanic, fatalist characters, and an over-the-top portrayal of events in such an impractical, hyperbolic way to the point of being silly. And in these settings, her philosophy shines (The arguments for it are always pure and moral and beyond questioning, and the arguments against it are always weak and flimsy and in the hands of intellectual inferiors). Don't you think a rational philosophy would be a bit more grounded than that (not to mention 800 pages shorter)?

I have yet to come across a single genuine scientific argument in any of her work. Every statement she makes is based on some kind of a ridiculously exaggerated caricature or an assumption of truth that has neither been proven nor disproven. How can this be accepted as rational logic?

Only the Objectivists have an answer to all our problems, and it's wrong.
-- Hans Huettel

Objectivism is easy to debunk. Any phil 100 student or reasonable adult with an ounce of common sense can shoot it full of holes. That's why it only appeals to naive, impressionable teenagers groping for a sense of identity and self-awareness. Kinda like emo music or the Catcher in the Rye: it satisfies their self-evident assumptions that they are special and gifted, that their thoughts are unique, highly evolved and important in some way, and that the world can not possibly understand them.


Like I said (actually I've never said it, but I'm going to say it now), it takes a fantasy novelist to know one....
 
2004-05-12 1:44:37 AM  
I don't know anything about objectivism, but I do know this:

The arguments for it are always pure and moral and beyond questioning, and the arguments against it are always weak and flimsy and in the hands of intellectual inferiors

So, so true. I couldn't even get through Atlas Shrugged because the hyperbole was too much for me.

Minus points for ragging on Catcher in the Rye, though. That book is actually a well-deserved classic.
 
2004-05-12 1:48:01 AM  
Oh, and if you want a good laugh, try reading some of the stuff over on the Ayn Rand Institute web site. Funny stuff.
 
2004-05-12 3:07:27 AM  
Ishkur just debunked the beliefs of a whole sect of people. Awesomeness.
 
2004-05-12 3:55:29 AM  
what a load of crap.
 
2004-05-12 8:41:00 AM  
I never got around to attempting to find out what the Ayn Rand clique was all about, but after reading Ishkur's blasting of it, I had to look into it a little bit. Anything that can be ridiculed that hard and long must be interesting stuff. I found that yes, it was interesting, but as Ishkur mentioned, wrong. Ishkur, if I ever need something ripped apart, I'll give you a call.
 
2004-05-12 9:26:26 AM  
Objectivism is Bunk. But, The Fountainhead is well written.
 
2004-05-12 10:01:27 AM  
Snide ad hominem and web links. Devestating. She's refuted.
 
2004-05-12 10:01:58 AM  
Objectivism is Bunk. But, The Fountainhead is well written.

If it has more passages like the one I found in one of Ishkur's links, it's a comedic masterpiece.

"She took off her nightgown, stepped to the window, sighed deeply and said: "The mind is the origin of all meaning. I mean what I say. Words in themselves are empty." He lit a cigarette and admired her naked body which was illuminated by silver moonlight."
 
2004-05-12 10:27:47 AM  
Ishkur just debunked the beliefs of a whole sect of people. Awesomeness.

No one really believes objectivism. They just use it as an after-the-fact excuse for sociological selfishness and immature ideological solipsism.

The funniest thing to me? The Ayn Rand website is looking for volunteers for the Ayn Rand Center. Can someone tell me where in Objectivism the concept of volunteering rears it's head?
 
2004-05-12 10:29:56 AM  
I used to think that the human brain was the most awesome thing in the universe; but then I realized, look what's telling me that."

--Emo Philips.

I vote Emo Philips to replace Ayn Rand.
 
2004-05-12 11:14:11 AM  
Guy Innagorillasuit

Objectivism is Bunk. But, The Fountainhead is well written.

If it has more passages like the one I found in one of Ishkur's links, it's a comedic masterpiece.

"She took off her nightgown, stepped to the window, sighed deeply and said: "The mind is the origin of all meaning. I mean what I say. Words in themselves are empty." He lit a cigarette and admired her naked body which was illuminated by silver moonlight."


*snort*

That's just beautiful. Absolutely terrible, but beautiful in its own way.
I mean, who really talks like that while stripping naked?
 
2004-05-12 11:59:08 AM  
Ishkur: While I agree with you for the most part, Catcher in the Rye is actually an excellent novel. Not only is it an excellent coming of age story, but it is somewhat timeless. It verbalizes teenage angst and really gets to the core of what it is to try to find your identity, while finding out the harsh truths of the world (PHONY!)....

I'd have to say that Atlas Shrugged is the WORST Ayn Rand book and The Fountainhead is just so far over the top is is difficult to get through. I never saw the attaction to Rand...why high school and college students flock to this tripe is beyond me...
 
2004-05-12 12:49:43 PM  
Okay, when I said Catcher in the Rye, I didn't mean the book itself (which is pretty decent), but rather it's affect on people.

There is a unique class of books that, for some stupid reason when teenagers read them they immediately afterward begin to think that they are unusually special and gifted in some way, with a unique perspective of the world that no one else has ever thought of. Not coincidentally, all of these books contain a stark theme of being anti-whatever the prevailing society of the book is. Other books include Brave New World, 1984, Manufacturing Consent, Fight Club, Trainspotting, and, of course, The Fountainhead.

These are fun works of fiction, yes, but they are just that: fiction, and the characters portrayed in them, however noble their convictions and ideals are, don't exist (except Chomsky). If you want to read about world-sweeping ideologies become a political science major. Thinking you're some highly brilliant and misunderstood individual because you read a dimestore paperback book is like thinking you're educated about health and fitness because you read a McDonald's placemat puzzle.
 
2004-05-12 1:45:09 PM  
Eh, I say read as many of those dime-store paperbacks as you can, and by combining as many good ideas as you can, perhaps you can come up with a good life
 
2004-05-12 8:02:56 PM  
x x x x x D O O F
x x G R I M A C E
x x x x O x x x C
x x x x x N x x E
T A E M S S A x S
x F x x x x x L x
x U x Y D R I B D
x N V O M I T x x


Hey kids, see if you can find these words!

FOOD
FUN
BIRDY
GRIMACE
RONALD

[image from che.wisc.edu too old to be available]
"Duh, gee, this is too hard!!"
 
2004-05-12 10:54:55 PM  
Ishkur:

I actually want to read this stuff now after viewing the informations you have presented on objectivism.

I don't think that I actually want it. But I would like to read it. It looks like good fun.

There is a unique class of books that, for some stupid reason when teenagers read them they immediately afterward begin to think that they are unusually special and gifted in some way, with a unique perspective of the world that no one else has ever thought of.

Would this be through appropriating the perspective of the novel, or through "creating" a ("new") perspective that they consider to be their own? I am just wondering.

Teenagers just have a desire to rebel. Something like Catcher...Rye gives them an example to follow. Holden did it, so why can't they. After all, they are just as intelligent and observant as Holden is. They see things that you don't see. That's what makes them special. You are only against them because you fail to see the world on the sophisticated level that they do.

I liked Catcher in the Rye. I also like Spongebob. He's not a book, but he is fictional.
 
2004-05-13 3:17:39 AM  
Ishkur pretty substantive stuff. but wait, are you calling chomsky an idealist? what do you think of him? i can't tell from how your prose is parsed.

just curious.
 
2004-05-13 6:51:27 AM  
[image from faculty.tcu.edu too old to be available][image from faculty.tcu.edu too old to be available]

hahahahaha
 
2004-05-13 9:09:22 AM  
appropriating. It's always appropriating. There hasn't been an original thought that's come out of a teenager's head in the last 200 years. Except for maybe French House.

Chomsky has some interesting ideas, but like Michael Moore he is getting extremely greedy with his postulations now, and that's leaving to bad, erroneous, or poor research.

I would much prefer if he just presented things and said "this is what the US government is doing" rather than "this is why the US government is evil".
 
2004-05-13 10:58:53 AM  
Ishkur -

Actually read through some of those links before realizing that of course a lib like you would stand against objectivism. I don't mean to attack you personally, but in this case, the source is indeed relevant.

Have fun reading Chomsky and taking your bong hits.

I especially like the rant on your website about Google's IPO. Not sure if I got the just through your mindless rambling, but I believe your underlying contention was something along the lines of "money is bad". Can't say I agree with you, and I'm certain Rand certainly wouldn't.
 
2004-05-13 2:40:13 PM  
Sweet! We have our first defender of the Ayn Rand ideology...

Let's quit with all this silly "agreement" stuff and let the flamewar begin!
 
2004-05-13 2:54:35 PM  
A lib? What's a lib? If you're going to pigeonhole me into tidy ideologies that fit your polarized worldview, you could at least try to be coherent.

I don't like Objectivism because it's stupid. I don't like Chomsky because he's wrong. I don't like "bong hits" because that shiat makes me nauseous and sick to my stomach and I feel a strong compulsion to give anyone smoking it within ten feet of me a mouthful of broken teeth.

I don't hate money. I just hate what it does to people.
 
2004-05-13 3:37:33 PM  
is the seller selling his RUSH/Neil Peart paraphenalia as well?
 
2004-05-13 3:55:36 PM  
ishkur

I don't like Objectivism because it's stupid

Rhetoric. As was everything else you posted above. Lots of links, no content from yourself. Statements like it's a "sham" and in "shambles". Nothing to refute the Objectivist viewpoint; nothing to point out WHY you believe it's stupid.

I can say you're stupid, but it doesn't necessarily make it so (although in this case, odds are I would be correct).

I don't hate money. I just hate what it does to people.

Ummm, OK. I wouldn't want to see you compromised in any way - want to send me your money so you can live your ideal life of destitution?
 
2004-05-13 5:36:02 PM  
I would refute the Objectivist viewpoint if there was one. It's nothing more than hollow, flowery language trying to sound poignant and profound. But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

Okay, howabout you start, verbl.

Give me one Objectivist fact. One.

This oughta be good.
 
2004-05-13 6:19:34 PM  
You're asking me to provide a "fact" about a school of thought. By it's very nature, Objectivism is a belief structure, not a science of facts.

One of the underlying tenets of Objectivism is the rejection of the premise of self-sacrifice; that no man should live for another. Rather, it is more morally correct to live for one's own needs and to compromise through an established commerce system such as capatalism.

Now, go ahead and refute that. Again, since it is a belief and not a fact, the best you can do is disagree with the premise - there is no way to *disprove* the above notion.

It is possible to point to the fact that the above sentiment seems to hold true in most situations; the success of capatalism and the failure of communism (in whatever form implemented) is a good example.
 
2004-05-13 7:48:58 PM  
Belief structures are wrong all the time. Watch this...here's mine, I call it Ishkurism.

The metaphysical tenets of Ishkurism are:

1. Red staplers are.
2. The goal of life is to accumulate the most red staplers.
3. Any action anyone takes to prevent you from getting red staplers is punishable by stapling him to the ocean floor.
4. If you can get someone to give you two red staplers for one of yours, then you are fully justified in doing so.

The Epistimological tenets of Ishkurism are:

1. The following statement is true.
2. The previous statement is false.

The Ethical tenets of Ishkurism are:

1. Everybody with a functioning mind will agree with you.
2. Anybody who doesn't agree with you must consequently not have a functioning mind.

^ this type of logical fallacy is the backbone of Ayn Rand's "reasoning". When she makes blanket statements like "Capitalism is an end in itself".....no its not. There is no rational, logical, or verifiably 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.

Now, as for your claim: it's wrong. 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 imperical 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. He is a TRIBAL animal. These are not belief structures. They are physical realities that have defined the evolution of our species.

And that's just for starters. Still, you admit yourself that it's just a belief structure.......then why is it purporting to be a philosophy based on reality, when it contains not a smidgen of it?

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 are (And that's 3 strikes: 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).

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. That's right, I'm well aware that my schpiel here will have no effect on your programmed little mind whatsoever, but I don't care. This is fun.

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. Part of the reason why it's declined in popularity since she died is because no one's been capable of understanding yet what the hell she was rambling about for 50 years. Objective morality can't exist without subjective content, after all, and more and more the psuedo-philosophy is being unravelled 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".

Rand's manipulation of her followers for her own megalomania is legendary. When Atlas Shrugged kicked off in the 50s, she began her controversial affair with Nathaniel Branden (an admirer and college student, 20 years her junior and voted as her heir apparent). Other members of "The Collective" didn't know about it at first, but both of their spouses were told about it and expected to comply; their union was to be seen as rational and undeniable, like the love her heros and heroines shared. Barbara (Nathaniel's wife) was reluctant, but went along with it. Frank (Ayn's husband) agreed to their arrangement but reportedly drank himself into oblivion. Poor guy probably had to sleep on the couch some nights while his wife shagged the young stud in the bedroom.

In 1968, the most devastating blow hit The Collective and its vision. Branden told everyone about the affair between himself and Rand, which caused them to have a personal and professional break which would hold until her death in 1982. Rand responded by publishing an article in her periodical The Objectivist which officially severed all professional and personal ties with both Nathaniel and Barbara Branden.

In it, she accuses Branden of many things, but essentially, she thought that he was growing apathetic in relation to his professional reponsibilities due to his time investment in a new project of his. She also charges that she was financially and personally exploited by Branden. She mentions that in the last years of their relationship, Branden began making excessive demands on her time, supposedly asking for advice on his work and his personal life. Branden denies these charges, citing financial records from NBI's books. Barbara Branden also defends herself, as she was criticized in Rand's article, too

These are no ad hominem attacks. This shiat actually happened!

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.

I bid you adieu.
 
2004-05-13 10:46:20 PM  
But what's the belief structure of Ishkurism in relation to... pornography?
 
2004-05-13 10:47:19 PM  
boot20, to make themselves seem special and deep.
 
2004-05-14 12:07:09 AM  
Just curious -- did anybody find "feces" on my "McDonald's placemat puzzle" yet?
 
2004-05-14 1:18:28 AM  
Dammit, people, this is a Fark classified! Let's just call the seller an idiot and leave it at that.
 
2004-05-14 1:28:01 AM  
A = A
Crap = Crap?
 
2004-05-14 1:51:39 AM  
wow. Verbl. Are you really an objectivist? And can you honestly say things like "no man should live for another. Rather, it is more morally correct to live for one's own needs" with a straight face? I'm impressed with the level of chutzpa that requires in the face of how the world operates. You go.
 
2004-05-14 7:04:07 AM  
But what's the belief structure of Ishkurism in relation to... pornography?

1. No man has the right to any other man's fapping.
2. Fapping is an end in itself.
3. Proclaiming whether he would hit it or not is man's highest moral purpose.
 
2004-05-14 7:13:55 AM  
Ishkruism is totally taking over from Christianity in the near future.
 
2004-05-14 10:34:09 AM  
Where can I buy Ishkurism-themed memorabilia?

Just curious -- did anybody find "feces" on my "McDonald's placemat puzzle" yet?

No, that's just some dried ketchup.
 
2004-05-14 2:34:09 PM  
Ishkur -

I was a Randroid about two years ago. Read all of her essays, books... almost all of it. After a good eight months of Randroidia I vomited the stuff out and I've been looking ever since for the ultimate, most comprehensive (and most concise) argument against it.

You just helped me out. Thanks!
 
2004-05-14 2:46:17 PM  
Ishkur: You're my new hero. I had to read Fountainhead in high school, and despite having read almost no philosphy books, knew it to be total bunk. It's nice to see someone just tear into it.

The defenders of Objectivism, remind me of dittoheads and tree huggers, people who really know less than nothing about what they're arguing about, but will scream and yell about it until blue in the face.
 
2004-05-14 3:33:26 PM  
Come on people! Atlas Shrugged is a LOVE story!

Or was it about trains... hmmmm.
 
2004-05-14 3:36:39 PM  
Is everyone really under the delusion that anything ishkur offered even qualifies as an argument?
 
2004-05-14 4:13:51 PM  
kwdidion

Yes, are you really under the delusion that Objectivism works or even makes sense?
 
2004-05-14 5:37:34 PM  
kutz: read "Old School" by Tobias Wolff (yes, the same Wolff of "This Boys Life" fame, that turned into a Leo DiCaprio movie). Wolff destroys Rand in one fell swoop, and does it through the voice of a near child.

As a final word (because I'm monopolizing this thread way too much as it is), don't you think the whole Objectivist philosophy is a bit redundant? I mean, come on. We are masters of the world? Holy shiat, what a startling revelation! And since when did selfish people need a 1200 page boring tome justifying their selfishness? They're SELFISH!! If you told them about it, they'd probably selfishly tell you that their selfishness doesn't require defending. So there.

Essentially what Rand tried to do was convince us with overlong, flowery language the concept of solipsism as objective truth. You can't do that, you silly biatch.
 
2004-05-15 12:54:46 PM  
kwdidion, yes, I think that the pages he linked to supply a massive number of arguments defeating Objectivism.

That being said, to me the ideals of Objectivism run completely contrary to how we see the world operate. What I find always insulting is the constant suggestions by Objectivists (when they put together their happiness scenarios) that people who help others, volunteer, etc. Are unhappy. I've been volunteering at least one day a week for the last 15 years and frequently this has been the source of my happiness. I can also tell you honestly that people who volunteer regularly or who help people on a regular basis are the happiest people I know.

Also some very cute girls you will meet. I'm just saying.
 
2004-05-15 1:50:36 PM  
[image from eesh.net too old to be available]
 
2004-05-15 1:59:01 PM  
I find quite amusing the extents to which some people go to point to "Rand is evil" pages and publications... there are obvious issues there.
 
2004-05-16 4:54:28 AM  
I agree with clevershark. There's a hidden political agenda on the part of many of these anti-Rand
"intellectuals."

Why so eager to discredit someone who tries to offer a roadmap for avoiding the evils of socialism?
 
2004-05-16 6:34:36 AM  
Let me preface this post by saying that I am not an Objectivist, and do not believe that Objectivism will save the world or other such nonsense. I agree that Rand's books are just vehicles for her ideology and can be boring at times and very preachy.

That being said, I like to read her novels. Yes, it boils down to the fact that it makes me feel better and more justified about the way I live my life.

I work in theatre, and in some ways it's like The Fountainhead. Designing for a committee is a biatch. Everyone wants to put their two cents in and the original design concept becomes mutated beyond recognition. Instead of a designer, you become a glorified carpenter/electrician/seamstress. In contrast, when a director has a clear vision of what a show means to them, it makes my job more enjoyable. It allows me to help create a harmonious environment onstage, rather than a patchwork of mismatched components. Coincidentally, this is what happens at the opposite end of the scale; the iron fisted director dictates what they want, effecting the same result as designing for the committee.

Rand rails against what she called "the looters". One of the main reasons why I like her writing is that I can agree wholeheartedly with her on this. All too often designers in theatre settle into a rut, where they reuse certain aspects of their designs and even others' designs. Its not that they have a certain style; its the fact that it is copy and paste, without any revision or innovation. People become too comfortable with regurgitating the old, citing "well thats the way its always been done". After many years of working in various bureaucracies, I can tell you that the system is broken, and it is very hard to try and fix it because people are resistant to change and do not want to take risks.

Another gem that I gleamed was that people are too afraid to take responsibility, and it pisses me off. It's always "go talk to so and so" or "I think so". I work primarily as a Technical Director; that is, building sets, supervising rigging, and maintaining the theatre. Basically, the buck stops with me. When youre flying 600 lb pieces of scenery at 2am, you can't pussyfoot around. I think there is a point in one of her books where a character goes off on another for saying something to the effect of "I believe such and such to be correct". Its kind of like Yoda - "Know or know not; there is no believe". When I suspend a load over an actor's head, it's my ass on the line, and there's no way in hell I'll believe it to be safe. I have to know it is. I'm not saying everyone should be like me and know everything about everything blah blah blah. What Rand's books have helped me see is that people need to make decisions, make them well, and accept the consequences of them. Too many people these days are too afraid to do any of that.

Reading her books sometimes just make it easier for me to deal with the asshats out there.

On a more general note, her writings helped me articulate why I don't believe in religion. In essence, I won't defer my decision making authority to someone else (within reason). I don't need some preacher to tell me how to lead a moral life. If praying to God and heeding the Bible helps people do the right thing, fine. People can go and create soup kitchens and other things in the name of God to ensure their admittance to heaven. If I set up a soup kitchen, it would be for the selfish reason of making people happy. I dont need a God to tell me how to do the right thing (a la WWJD). But then, my whole family is Methodist :).

A final thought on the aspect of not living for someone else / not asking anyone else to live for me: The two don't have to be mutually exclusive. For example: I want to sell my used textbook for the most money possible (I'm selfish). By selling it to a friend for more than the bookstore would buy it from me, I get what I want, and the friend gets it cheaper. Or volunteering - you can selfishly meet new people and learn something new, all while helping others. It is unfair (and fallacious) to think of it as "either I'm selfish or I give of myself". There are times, though, when looking out for yourself is more important than taking care of others. She just paints it as either/or (a chapter name from Atlas Shrugged as well).

Just a little rant on my take on Rand. I'll be the first to admit that her writings and ideology are far from perfect, but they shouldn't be wholly discounted.

Also, on the topic of related comics, Brunching Shuttlecocks had a funny comic called Charles Atlas Shrugged. Funny!
 
2004-05-16 10:26:50 AM  
Why so eager to discredit someone who tries to offer a roadmap for avoiding the evils of socialism?Why so eager to discredit someone who tries to offer a roadmap for avoiding the evils of socialism?

Because so many young people get caught up in the nonsense of objectivism while searching for a personal philosophy. Harmless, except that this particular one provides apologetics for solipsism and selfishness couched in a congratulatory assertion that they are smarter than the guy next to them.

This means that a the high school students infected with this particular meme are busily being repulsed by humanity and considering themselves above it while they are at the exact point in their lives where they could be directing their lives toward helping humanity.

Do we really think that the problem with our community is that people live for others too much and try to defer their own happiness to creating a better world? Young people need no incentive to be selfish. It's part of the natural egoism of youth. We certainly don't need a philosophy that permits people to extend that into middle age.
 
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