Ayn Rand fans: Help decide her fate

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Tiassa, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I think its a good thing for Ayn Rand that the relatives who took her in when she first moved to the US and the guy who gave her a break from the odd jobs she was doing in Hollywood to give her a position as an extra and later, a script reader, were not followers of her "no altruism" theory.
     
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    And so it goes

    One more note, and this from Slog's Paul Constant. Your choice: either click the link or don't.

    Okay, okay, okay. Either stop reading, or don't.

    Source: Charlotte Observer
    Link: http://www.charlotte.com/115/story/548877.html
    Title: "Donor gave, and UNCC winced", by Pam Kelley and Christina Rexrode
    Date: March 23, 2008

    One wonders what Ms. Rand would think of such a charitable donation.

     
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  5. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Do you understand what she means by altruism?
     
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  7. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Obviously not.
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Objective self interest without disregard for others. I understand. But theory is so much more simple than life.

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    Eventually you get a large gap between the haves and the have nots, because corporations are not people, just entities.
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    On the power of rich-ass cults to screw up society

    Source: New York Times
    Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/21/opinion/21krugman.html?em
    Title: "Blindly Into the Bubble", by Paul Krugman
    Date: December 21, 2007

    The Cult of Rand enjoys a certain amount of success, and therefore influence. Poor cults, the ones frustrted by their own impotence, are the ones that buy their followers identical sneakers and sweatpants, and give them suicide applesauce. But rich cults don't have to follow the rules of emasculation and suicide. They can afford to buy influence. This is, of course, a reward of success, so it only follows as logical that a cult dedicated to self-centeredness should appeal to many who want to be successful. And it should not be surprising that some of those people will be exceptionally successful.

    I mean, it's not like the Cult of Rand is alone in advocating megalomaniacal self-obsession. Didn't the poster child for Scientology just make that apparent a matter of weeks ago?

    So the CoS has Tom Cruise. The CoR has Alan Greenspan:

    Curiously, my father was once parroted a philosophy close to that. It twisted the knife in his back, too, and then he moved out, hid himself away, and eventually reemerged as someone I could get along with.

    When Enron collapsed and Wall Street was revealed as a massive fraud, the events shook him profoundly. He really didn't believe such things could ever happen. He really thought that sort of thing was a pinko myth.

    And yet that irrationality, because it is so appealing to people ensconced comfortably within fright, persists and works to grow. Perhaps the best thing we might get from attempts by Rand cultists to inject her work visibly into the cultural discussion is a more common understanding of why the philosophy has so dismally failed. Or maybe it hasn't. Greenspan isn't poor. UNCC's donor isn't poor. And altruism?

    No wonder Rand is on the CoS reading list. Oh, right. This time I mean the Church of Satan, not Scientology. And, yes, they are two different churches.
    ____________________

    See Also:

    Greenspan, Alan. "The Roots of the Mortgage Crisis". Wall Street Journal. December 12, 2007; page A19. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119741050259621811.html

    Krugman, Paul. "Greenspan and the Bubble". New York Times. August 29, 2005. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/29/opinion/29krugman.html

    Krugman, Paul. "The infallible Greenspan". The Conscience of a Liberal. December 12, 2007. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/12/the-infallible-greenspan/
     
  10. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Ayn Rand said her philosophy was immune to creating a cult as it taught the importance of thinking for oneself. Nevertheless, in the later years this didn't seem to be the case as she collected a group of followers who practically worshiped her.

    But all that proves is that she was human, open to the same foibles as anyone else. It does not diminish the quality of her ideas or her books.

    At this point (decades later), it's quite a stretch to call fans of Ayn Rand a "cult".
     
  11. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

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    Add another. You don't have to agree with someone to acknowledge their passion.
     
  12. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    I didn't get that impression from the comic; it didn't strike as a criticism of the underclasses, but more as a criticism of the work that the underclasses do.
    A criticism of the burgeois, the intelligentsia who don't really grasp that one must actually work in order to eat. They contempt tilling the soil. - Which can be a metaphor for being remote from that which is crucial in life.

    I once met a college teacher in computer science. He seriously didn't know how potatoes grow. He thought they grow on poles, like beans, or like wheat.
    And there's plenty of children nowadays who think that grocery stores produce milk.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Let me guess, they're entertainers (or at least a bunch of jokers)

    Well, I can understand why one who shares many common principles might be hesitant to see the cultish aspects.

    Maybe it's not a cult but a comedy troupe. Really—

    —it would be funny°—

    —except for the fact that it's real.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    ° it would be funny — Perhaps the example seems incongruous compared to the flip-side presented in the Krugman quote, but this stems in part from my experiences with Rand advocates and capitalists. To me, the "joke", as such, is using Michael Jordan as an example of labor and wages. Really, if these people would like to be any less absurd, they might be taken more seriously. That they apparently do expect to be taken seriously only lends to the image of Randism as a cult.

    More appropriately, I might ask people to consider the organization's explanation of morality

    Isn't capitalism immoral?
    No. Capitalism is the moral system, since it is the only system that allows man to be virtuous -- to pursue the good -- by leaving him free to act by the use of his reason. Freedom to act is a precondition of morality. This is Capitalism's moral justification.

    Isn't capitalism justified by the fact it serves the "public good"?
    No. As a secondary effect of allowing the creators and innovators of society freedom to create and produce, laissez-faire results in a society where progress is the norm, and the standard of living continuously rises. That capitalism serves the "public good" (properly defined as the sum of the good of all individuals) is true, though this is not its moral justification but is merely an effect of its cause: freeing the individual from the mediocrity of the collective, to live his own life as an end to himself. ​

    —except that might be a bit obscure, especially for the Randists. The discussion of antitrust laws makes an even more apt juxtaposition with Krugman, but leaves itself open to the nitpicking of those who would point out that there were no monopolies in the subprime lending sector:

    The philosophical foundation of the antitrust laws is the Marxist myth that a free-market will result in the formation of coercive monopolies. Eventually through 'historical necessity' they will form one big business which the 'proletariat' will take over with the establishment of communism.​

    Corruption among the unregulated is a myth? Laissez-faire byproducts will include the public good? I suppose we might expect such assertions from one who would use Michael Jordan as an example for explaining wages and labor.

    Talk about myths.

    Works Cited:

    Capitalism.org. "Labor Wages under Capitalism". Viewed March 25, 2008. http://capitalism.org/faq/labor.htm

    Capitalism.org. "Capitalism and Morality". Viewed March 25, 2008. http://capitalism.org/faq/morality.htm

    Capitalism.org. "Antitrust is anti-competition, anti-capitalist, and anti-American". Viewed March 25, 2008. http://capitalism.org/faq/antitrust.htm

    Krugman, Paul. "Blindly Into the Bubble". New York Times. December 21, 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/21/opinion/21krugman.html

    See Also:

    Spitzer, Eliot. "Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime". Washington Post. February 14, 2008; page A25. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/13/AR2008021302783.html
     
  14. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

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    Like everyone else who contributed 0 intellectual value, she should be forgotten. That drawing is nothing more than a drawing of an okay-looking woman. Take it as that.
     
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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  16. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Of course you didn't. It was unintended.
    But there.

    Liberals are probably the snobbiest snobs that ever snobbed it up in snobtown.

    Rand would be all for a cook who excels at his work.

    Well, they should have tried criticizing Rand or Atlas Shrugged. But, I guess then they'd have to read it and risk being an 'intelligentsia'.

    Smells like snob.
     
  17. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    My impression was that it was showing it to be a Pyrrhic victory.

    I'll freely admit to not having read all of Atlas; I made it about a third of the way through, and skipped to the end. I rapidly grew tired of her beating me over the head with how lesser men are always trying to avoid competition (ok, ok, I get it already). Xev's mention of Nietzsche resonates with me, the supermen being held back by the untermenschen.

    But I'm glad I read as much as I did, because it allowed me to understand the joke when officer Barbrady denounced it on Southpark.
     
  18. Roman Banned Banned

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    11,560
    Could a moderator *ahem invert* make sure this buffoon keeps his woeful, ignorant economic policies out of the art forum? This isn't the place to try and teach what a supply curve looks like.
     
  19. Gustav Banned Banned

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    no frat boy
    its about ayn rand
    a capitalist pig
    all things ayn rand belong in this thread
    supply curves
    whatnot curves

    now
    fuck off, you worthless piece of shit
    troll
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I can't believe you stuck around just to whine and cry

    (chortle!)
     
  21. Roman Banned Banned

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    11,560
    Oh the irony.
    Tiassa's assumption is that economics should be intuitive. If he doesn't get it, he assumes that it's not true. It'd be like me claiming that medical science is all wrong, because I don't understand. Hai guyz, this heart surgery... ventricle? Pfff, don't you fools know the heart is full of bones? How else could I be so heartborken!!!!

    "lol lol omg michael jordan there crazy lol" isn't really an argument.

    &c.

    If the cost of labor goes up, the cost of goods go up, and people get fired. The simplest of logic exercises will demonstrate this to be true. Any freshman economics book you care to pick up will also be replete with graphs and studies showing how government protected industry, whether by tariff, tax, or wage law, is ultimately costly and inefficient.
     
  22. Gustav Banned Banned

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    i like it to be brutal. both barrels
     
  23. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    Gustav,

    I doubt Ayn Rand was much of a damsel in distress. Not sure if she would need you to rescue her.
     

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