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1 Michael Orion Powell  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 6:46:07am
From what I understood of his favorite capitalist champion, any form of altruism was evil. But how could that kind of blanket self-interest extend to his own children, the people he was legally and morally bound to take care of? What was I supposed to do, fend for myself?

Ayn Rand never had children.

My own dad was a fan of Nietschze, who I honestly categorize as in the same realm of dark philosophy as Rand. (Rand was influenced by him early on.) It helped to break his brain, as Nietschze has done for many others.

2 Jeff In Ohio  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 6:54:21am
"To be selfless is to deny one's self. To be selfish is to embrace the self, and accept your wants and needs."

What twaddle. I love people rationalizing why they view compassion as something akin to gluttony. In the immortal word os Darthstar:

Booger

3 Michael Orion Powell  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 6:58:48am

As paradoxical as it is, alot of Objectivists seem to attract to it out of a sense of belonging. Ayn Rand's philosophy provided membership in a sprawling group of like minded individuals just by filling out a form in her books. They got monthly newsletters and a sense of identity that was reinforced by attending lectures. Hannah Arednt, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and other philosophers of the same era didn't offer anything like that.

4 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:00:02am
He claimed the [Ayn Rand] philosophy appealed to him because it's based solely on logic.

Praying to the God of Self. His father rejected religion so he could put himself in its place. And then justify it by saying ego is greater. Isn't it more logical to empower the poor? The better off the poor are, the less they are apt to steal. The more incentive they have to educate. Of course, you can always kill them. Why not? In the Rand world, they are non-people, useless. That's logical.

The disabled aren't people either. If you can't walk, can't speak, can't think, what good are you? You can't contribute why should you live? That's logical. That is the Rand world. Devoid of what makes us human, like compassion, empathy, sympathy, caring.

I don't understand, nor do ever want to understand how "Ayn Rand" people think.

5 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:18:27am

re: #3 OrionXP

As paradoxical as it is, alot of Objectivists seem to attract to it out of a sense of belonging.

That is true, but it's a poisonous sense of belonging. It reminds me of the Nazis and Nietzsche. It's a kind of belonging that tells you that you are better than the mass of humanity. And as we all know, that type of thinking does lead to concepts like 'life unworthy of life'.

6 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:21:09am

re: #5 iceweasel

That is true, but it's a poisonous sense of belonging. It reminds me of the Nazis and Nietzsche. It's a kind of belonging that tells you that you are better than the mass of humanity. And as we all know, that type of thinking does lead to concepts like 'life unworthy of life'.

Boy you pegged that perfectly. It's worth a few updings!

7 Virginia Plain  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:21:36am

I once read The Fountainhead to write an essay in order to win a monetary prize. Biggest piece of s*** I've ever read. She is too simplistic, and her simple ideology is twisted by sociopaths to use however they want to. It's no surprise that Randian philosophy disproportionately attracts sociopaths.

8 HappyWarrior  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:27:15am

The thing that will always stick with me about Rand is how she sees charity and altruism as immoral. I am also amused hearing about staunch socially conservative Christians embracing her message since as we know Rand was not only an Atheist but more in lines of being a downright anti-theist and it was a huge part of her philosophy.

9 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:27:29am

re: #7 Virginia Plain

I once read The Fountainhead to write an essay in order to win a monetary prize. Biggest piece of s*** I've ever read. She is too simplistic, and her simple ideology is twisted by sociopaths to use however they want to. It's no surprise that Randian philosophy disproportionately attracts sociopaths.

I had to giggle at that first sentence. Rand would have been proud!

I've posted this before. It's 1 of 5 parts of Rand's interview with Phil Donahue when she was an old woman already, just after her husband's death. She initially comes across to the audience as a cute old lady until they end up gasping in horror at her ideas about what we should do to the poor and invalid.

10 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:28:25am

re: #6 marjoriemoon

Boy you pegged that perfectly. It's worth a few updings!

Thanks! And hey, great to see you! What's up cutie?

11 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:29:35am

re: #10 iceweasel

Thanks! And hey, great to see you! What's up cutie?

You too babe! Had a few minutes for internet play, but that all can change quickly!

TGIF. How's you and the Jimmster? How's the weather there?

12 HappyWarrior  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:29:44am

re: #9 marjoriemoon

I had to giggle at that first sentence. Rand would have been proud!

I've posted this before. It's 1 of 5 parts of Rand's interview with Phil Donahue when she was an old woman already, just after her husband's death. She initially comes across to the audience as a cute old lady until they end up gasping in horror at her ideas about what we should do to the poor and invalid.

[Video]

I saw that exact interview in 11th grade philosophy class. I agree with your take on it. It was funny though as I say since we had many conservatives in that class who loved her. I know that they were conservatives since when we discussed bio-ethics (euthanasia, abortion, and stuff later) they were dramatically opposed.

13 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:31:06am

re: #8 HappyWarrior

The thing that will always stick with me about Rand is how she sees charity and altruism as immoral.

re: #7 Virginia Plain

her simple ideology is twisted by sociopaths to use however they want to. It's no surprise that Randian philosophy disproportionately attracts sociopaths.

Rand herself had a thing for a child murderer and used him as her role model in The Fountainhead. I kid you not.

Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer
Her works are treated as gospel by right-wing powerhouses like Alan Greenspan and Clarence Thomas, but Ayn Rand found early inspiration in 1920's murderer William Hickman.

14 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:33:27am

more:

What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should," she wrote, gushing that Hickman had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people.'"

This echoes almost word for word Rand's later description of her character Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead: "He was born without the ability to consider others." (The Fountainhead is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' favorite book -- he even requires his clerks to read it.)

15 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:34:05am

re: #12 HappyWarrior

I saw that exact interview in 11th grade philosophy class. I agree with your take on it. It was funny though as I say since we had many conservatives in that class who loved her. I know that they were conservatives since when we discussed bio-ethics (euthanasia, abortion, and stuff later) they were dramatically opposed.

I think she tends to attract young people who are more apt to wrestle with faith or religious issues. Not that older folks haven't been attracted to her, but I really do agree with Virginia upthread that she attracts sociopaths.

16 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:34:51am

re: #13 iceweasel

re: #7 Virginia Plain

Rand herself had a thing for a child murderer and used him as her role model in The Fountainhead. I kid you not.

Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer
Her works are treated as gospel by right-wing powerhouses like Alan Greenspan and Clarence Thomas, but Ayn Rand found early inspiration in 1920's murderer William Hickman.

I forgot about that. You mentioned that the last time we had a good Rand thread awhile back. Scary stuff.

17 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:35:03am

re: #11 marjoriemoon

You too babe! Had a few minutes for internet play, but that all can change quickly!

TGIF. How's you and the Jimmster? How's the weather there?

we're happy it's friday! today it is dreich here.

18 HappyWarrior  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:36:30am

re: #15 marjoriemoon

I think she tends to attract young people who are more apt to wrestle with faith or religious issues. Not that older folks haven't been attracted to her, but I really do agree with Virginia upthread that she attracts sociopaths.

Well, this was interesting since when we discussed her in class, the people who said they were most attracted to her philosophy were also people who described themselves as religious. I myself have never seen the appeal of her philosophy. I mean I was seeing and reading her works when I was at my most radical left but the idea that charity and alturism are immoral is just disturbing as hell to me now as a more moderate left of center liberal as it was when I had socialist beliefs.

19 elizajane  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:40:19am

re: #5 iceweasel

That is true, but it's a poisonous sense of belonging. It reminds me of the Nazis and Nietzsche. It's a kind of belonging that tells you that you are better than the mass of humanity. And as we all know, that type of thinking does lead to concepts like 'life unworthy of life'.

A special twist on the Nazis, though. The Nazis believed in collective perfection: yes, you were supposed to ruthlessly sacrifice everybody else (your spouse, your children) but also yourself for the greater Nazi good. That's the "socialist" part that the Right is always foaming at the mouth about, as if it made Hitler left-wing. In comparison to Rand, they are correct to use the term, because for Rand (as I understand it) the single individual is all and what we see as selfishness is a complete virtue. Selfishness is NOT a Nazi virtue: you can only be brutal to those who are Other or who knowingly betray the greater master group. Rand allows you to be brutal to absolutely any single individual who falls off the bandwagon, however that happens.

Interesting article and discussion! I keep thinking that I should see this new Ayn Rand film, although I hear it is dreadful, but the books are much too long to waste my time on.

20 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:40:40am

re: #18 HappyWarrior

Well, this was interesting since when we discussed her in class, the people who said they were most attracted to her philosophy were also people who described themselves as religious. I myself have never seen the appeal of her philosophy. I mean I was seeing and reading her works when I was at my most radical left but the idea that charity and alturism are immoral is just disturbing as hell to me now as a more moderate left of center liberal as it was when I had socialist beliefs.

Not sure how the religious can support her, unless they really don't understand her. OTOH, many religions put themselves above others in order to murder millions, so maybe there's an odd connection there.

In the Donahue interview, she states that the disabled have no function in society and we shouldn't bother trying to help them. They will never amount to anything of value because they have no value. Millions have been murdered under the same philosophy.

21 HappyWarrior  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:44:47am

re: #20 marjoriemoon

Not sure how the religious can support her, unless they really don't understand her. OTOH, many religions put themselves above others in order to murder millions, so maybe there's an odd connection there.

In the Donahue interview, she states that the disabled have no function in society and we shouldn't bother trying to help them. They will never amount to anything of value because they have no value. Millions have been murdered under the same philosophy.


Yeah I didn't either but I chalk it up to them being high school kids. I remember her comments on the disabled now that you mention it. Just a disturbing mindset and at the risk of violating Godwin, a very Nazisque one.

22 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:47:59am

re: #19 elizajane

A special twist on the Nazis, though. The Nazis believed in collective perfection: yes, you were supposed to ruthlessly sacrifice everybody else (your spouse, your children) but also yourself for the greater Nazi good. That's the "socialist" part that the Right is always foaming at the mouth about, as if it made Hitler left-wing. In comparison to Rand, they are correct to use the term, because for Rand (as I understand it) the single individual is all and what we see as selfishness is a complete virtue. Selfishness is NOT a Nazi virtue: you can only be brutal to those who are Other or who knowingly betray the greater master group. Rand allows you to be brutal to absolutely any single individual who falls off the bandwagon, however that happens.

Excellent points, the nazis didn't have individualism as a virtue but a kind of nationalistic collectivism: all individuals are subsumed for the greater glory of the Reich.

Have you read Eco's Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt ? I link this all the time, lol.

10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak.

Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world, the members or the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler.

11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero.

In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte ("Long Live Death!"). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

Some overlap with rand there, imo.

23 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:50:34am

re: #19 elizajane

A special twist on the Nazis, though. The Nazis believed in collective perfection: yes, you were supposed to ruthlessly sacrifice everybody else (your spouse, your children) but also yourself for the greater Nazi good. That's the "socialist" part that the Right is always foaming at the mouth about, as if it made Hitler left-wing. In comparison to Rand, they are correct to use the term, because for Rand (as I understand it) the single individual is all and what we see as selfishness is a complete virtue. Selfishness is NOT a Nazi virtue: you can only be brutal to those who are Other or who knowingly betray the greater master group. Rand allows you to be brutal to absolutely any single individual who falls off the bandwagon, however that happens.

Interesting article and discussion! I keep thinking that I should see this new Ayn Rand film, although I hear it is dreadful, but the books are much too long to waste my time on.

Which film is that?

I'm not sure I'm following your socialist examples though. Socialism basically, although there's various extreme forms, are people working for the greater good. In a capitalist/socialist society like we have, we give to the poor - help them along, yet everyone isn't paid the same wage. You have the ability (in theory) to earn as much as you possibly can.

I'm not drawing the line between socialism and nazism here.

24 Jeff In Ohio  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:52:25am

re: #5 iceweasel

That is true, but it's a poisonous sense of belonging. It reminds me of the Nazis and Nietzsche.

But with the intellectual heft of Archie comic book geeks and "Draw my picture" matchbook enthusiasts.

25 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:53:13am

re: #24 Jeff In Ohio

But with the intellectual heft of Archie comic book geeks and "Draw my picture" matchbook enthusiasts.

Ha! So true. Glibertarian elites.

26 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:53:42am

The Nazis didn't work for the greater good of all people. They killed those that were "less human". They decided who was the Greater and eliminated all others or attempted to. That's not socialism.

27 Lidane  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:55:41am

re: #20 marjoriemoon

Not sure how the religious can support her, unless they really don't understand her..

That's how I see it. The only possible way for a Christian -- especially an evangelical and/or fundamentalist Christian -- to support Ayn Rand at all is through ignorance of what she's really saying, or total cognitive dissonance.

28 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:56:15am

re: #26 marjoriemoon

The Nazis didn't work for the greater good of all people. They killed those that were "less human". They decided who was the Greater and eliminated all others or attempted to. That's not socialism.

I think she was saying that the 'socialistic'part of national socialism is the part where you are subsumed by the State. Socialism is in scare quotes there precisely because, as you astutely point out, that isn't real socialism. (The Right likes to pretend it is so they can babble about liberal fascism).

29 Lidane  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 7:59:43am

re: #8 HappyWarrior

The thing that will always stick with me about Rand is how she sees charity and altruism as immoral.

That's actually what turned me off to her philosophy.

I read Ayn Rand in my early 20's and thought that while the novels were simplistic, her "serious" writings might offer something more substantive, so I started reading. When charity and altruism really were called out as bad things, I turned off. It made no sense to me how helping someone else could harm me, or work against me. If simple kindness is a bad thing, then what's good?

30 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:00:43am

By the way, I have a great book rec, especially for the women in this thread:

Two Girls, Fat and Thin

It's Mary Gaitskill and it's from 1987 or so, but it involves a philosophy called Definitism created by a woman called Anna Granite. If you've ever read anything by Rand you'll get a kick out of how she satirises it.

31 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:02:29am

Oh, it's a novel btw, it's about the relationship between two women: a journalist interviewing a follower of Anna Granite. Just terrific on many levels. I reread it last summer and it held up after all these years.

32 RogueOne  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:06:45am

This poor girls father is a pitiful excuse for a human but it was he who ruined her life, not Ayn Rand. Rand believed taking care of those you love is a moral responsibility wrapped up in selfish reasons. If you love someone, like your child, then there isn't anything you shouldn't do to help that person. You aren't doing it out of altruism, you're doing it out of your own desire. (she points that out in the donahue interview)

From her Playboy '64 interview:


PLAYBOY: Do you consider wealthy businessmen like the Fords and the Rockefellers immoral because they use their wealth to support charity?

RAND: No. That is their privilege, if they want to. My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.

PLAYBOY: What is the place of compassion in your philosophical system?

RAND: I regard compassion as proper only toward those who are innocent victims, but not toward those who are morally guilty. If one feels compassion for the victims of a concentration camp, one cannot feel it for the torturers. If one does feel compassion for the torturers, it is an act of moral treason toward the victims.

PLAYBOY: Would it be against the principles of Objectivism for anyone to sacrifice himself by stepping in front of a bullet to protect another person?

RAND: No. It depends on the circumstances. I would step in the way of a bullet if it were aimed at my husband. It is not self-sacrifice to die protecting that which you value: If the value is great enough, you do not care to exist without it. This applies to any alleged sacrifice for those one loves.

33 elizajane  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:11:28am

re: #26 marjoriemoon

The Nazis didn't work for the greater good of all people. They killed those that were "less human". They decided who was the Greater and eliminated all others or attempted to. That's not socialism.

You don't have to work for the greater good of *all* people to be socialist -- that's the modern American notion. Really you work for a collective good, but how that collectivity is described varies hugely. To the Nazis, it was the party, the Fatherland, the Aryan race. They were certainly against the individualism that is glorified by Randites. The Nazis expected every single individual to subordinate all independent judgement, action, and morals to those needed or dictated by the party. They were using largely Capitalist economic means to reach collective ends, a concept difficult for the modern American to wrap their head around.

Eliminating those who stood in their way -- well, the Nazis and Stalin both did that, right? Their logic and motives were different, though. Stalin's biggest mass eliminations came about because certain populations stood in the way of the glorious (//) Master Plan and human life just didn't matter compared to the plan. To the Nazis, on the other hand, eliminating whole populations was an end in and of itself. The Master Plans, like "Lebensraum," were really secondary justifications to the goal of purging the planet of lesser persons.

People will correct me if I'm wrong -- I know a lot more about German history, and about the mentality of the German population in the 1930s than I do about Soviet history. As for the film, it's Atlas Shrugged, coming out in about a week I believe, but the skinny on it is that it's bad.

34 RogueOne  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:11:51am
I regard compassion as proper only toward those who are innocent victims

I have the same belief but it definitely takes me in a different direction than most libertarians. It's partly my basis for a strong interventionist foreign policy, the exact opposite take of Libertarians.

35 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:16:30am

re: #32 RogueOne

This poor girls father is a pitiful excuse for a human but it was he who ruined her life, not Ayn Rand. Rand believed taking care of those you love is a moral responsibility wrapped up in selfish reasons. If you love someone, like your child, then there isn't anything you shouldn't do to help that person. You aren't doing it out of altruism, you're doing it out of your own desire. (she points that out in the donahue interview)

From her Playboy '64 interview:

That's just a basic complaint that people have always had about Kantian ethics: that the mother who cares for her child out of duty comes out as 'more moral' than the one who does it out of love. I think Rand's philosophy is sophmoric, but I do have at least one very smart friend who is an Objectivist. I'll have to get into it with him at some point.

36 Obdicut  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:24:18am

re: #32 RogueOne

Yes. Her philosophy was wildly incoherent and self-contradictory.

37 Michael Orion Powell  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:31:48am

re: #19 elizajane

A special twist on the Nazis, though. The Nazis believed in collective perfection: yes, you were supposed to ruthlessly sacrifice everybody else (your spouse, your children) but also yourself for the greater Nazi good. That's the "socialist" part that the Right is always foaming at the mouth about, as if it made Hitler left-wing. In comparison to Rand, they are correct to use the term, because for Rand (as I understand it) the single individual is all and what we see as selfishness is a complete virtue. Selfishness is NOT a Nazi virtue: you can only be brutal to those who are Other or who knowingly betray the greater master group. Rand allows you to be brutal to absolutely any single individual who falls off the bandwagon, however that happens.

Interesting article and discussion! I keep thinking that I should see this new Ayn Rand film, although I hear it is dreadful, but the books are much too long to waste my time on.

I tried reading Atlas Shrugged but it just got too out there even for me.

38 Michael Orion Powell  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:32:21am

re: #36 Obdicut

Yes. Her philosophy was wildly incoherent and self-contradictory.

Being contradictory is fine except for when you are someone like Ayn Rand, who forbids contradiction.

39 researchok  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:36:22am

The author has worked out the Ayn Rand influences that have caused her grief. Good for her.

I can only hope she works out those other, more toxic issues that have poisoned her relationship with her father.

As is the case with almost every other philosopher, 'drinking from the well', undiluted will only poison the drinker. Bit and pieces rather than the swallowing the ideas hook line and sinker are usually the best way to approach these ideas- not unlike a healthy religious experience. Blind fundamentalism has not done the world any favors.

40 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:38:04am

re: #32 RogueOne

This poor girls father is a pitiful excuse for a human but it was he who ruined her life, not Ayn Rand. Rand believed taking care of those you love is a moral responsibility wrapped up in selfish reasons. If you love someone, like your child, then there isn't anything you shouldn't do to help that person. You aren't doing it out of altruism, you're doing it out of your own desire. (she points that out in the donahue interview)

From her Playboy '64 interview:

The problem with her philosophy is, what happens when the person you love is no longer convenient for you to help? If it's all about me, then with many serious illnesses which can incapacitate people for years (strokes, comas) at some point the caregiver gets tired and the only thing keeping them going is knowing they mean something to the person they're helping. If was just about them, they'd say screw it to washing stinky bodies and bedpans day in and day out.

Rand is full of bullshit.

And P.S. didn't it recently come out that she secretly accepted Medicare at the end of her life?

41 Obdicut  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:41:23am

re: #39 researchok

Rand is a fundamentlist, though. You can't non-fundamentally engage with her. Her philosophy depends on (obviously untrue) absolutist assumptions. Even when you accept them, the output is kind of random, but without them, she's got nothing.

42 researchok  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:43:05am

re: #41 Obdicut

Rand is a fundamentlist, though. You can't non-fundamentally engage with her. Her philosophy depends on (obviously untrue) absolutist assumptions. Even when you accept them, the output is kind of random, but without them, she's got nothing.

Religion can be a fundamental belief, too.

Most religious adherents are not fundamentalists.

43 Romantic Heretic  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:49:12am

When people talk about logic to me I remember a bit from the TV show Andromeda

"Worlds governed by artificial intelligence often learned a hard lesson: Logic Doesn't Care."

Yin-Man Wei This Present Darkness: A History of the Interregnum CY 11956

This girl's father didn't care, and used logic to excuse it.

On Rand herself. She is the Marxist equivalent of a Satanist. She grew up in the Soviet Union and it effected her strongly and scarred her deeply. So she accepts the Marxist philosophy but inverts it. In her version selfishness is good whereas in Marxism it's evil. In Marxism collective action is the highest good. In Objectivism it is the darkest evil.

Just as Satanism accepts but inverts the Christian theology so does Objectivism accept but invert Marxism.

Personally, I also think Rand was a sexual submissive. The female characters in her books don't find fulfillment until they find a 'Great Man' to be their Lord and Master. Bad thing to build a philosophy around, and I'm speaking as a dominant.

44 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 8:52:21am

re: #43 Romantic Heretic

When people talk about logic to me I remember a bit from the TV show Andromeda

This girl's father didn't care, and used logic to excuse it.

On Rand herself. She is the Marxist equivalent of a Satanist. She grew up in the Soviet Union and it effected her strongly and scarred her deeply. So she accepts the Marxist philosophy but inverts it. In her version selfishness is good whereas in Marxism it's evil. In Marxism collective action is the highest good. In Objectivism it is the darkest evil.

Just as Satanism accepts but inverts the Christian theology so does Objectivism accept but invert Marxism.

Personally, I also think Rand was a sexual submissive. The female characters in her books don't find fulfillment until they find a 'Great Man' to be their Lord and Master. Bad thing to build a philosophy around, and I'm speaking as a dominant.

Very perceptive of you, grasshopper.

45 BARACK THE VOTE  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:01:55am

re: #43 Romantic Heretic


Personally, I also think Rand was a sexual submissive. The female characters in her books don't find fulfillment until they find a 'Great Man' to be their Lord and Master. Bad thing to build a philosophy around, and I'm speaking as a dominant.

Rand flipped out when her protege and lover Nathaniel Branden wanted to break up with her. She was married to someone else but Branden's rejection of her destroyed her and she did her level best to destroy him for the crime of rejecting her.
The novel I mentioned does a good job on that. Rand's whole idea about men and women was such that Branden wanting to move on, which technically in her own philosophy she should have supported, instead constituted a rejection not only of Objectivism but of herself in the most basic way.
Again, I must mention that she was married to someone else the whole time. Didn't stop her kicking Branden out of her institute and trying to destroy him professionally.

A very sad and lonely woman at the end of her life, she died alone and fairly young, of lung cancer. She used to insist that her followers smoke because she did, and claimed it symbolised man's conquering of the elements, the theft of promethean fire, or some other similar shit.
A sad woman all around.

46 RogueOne  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:12:04am

re: #40 marjoriemoon

The problem with her philosophy is, what happens when the person you love is no longer convenient for you to help?

If it's all about me, then with many serious illnesses which can incapacitate people for years (strokes, comas) at some point the caregiver gets tired and the only thing keeping them going is knowing they mean something to the person they're helping. If was just about them, they'd say screw it to washing stinky bodies and bedpans day in and day out.

Rand is full of bullshit.

If someone is basing their level of affection on convenience then I wouldn't consider that "love". In the Donahue interview they discuss a man going to the market for his spouse even though he doesn't want to go. You do what you do because it's the right thing to do for your partner.


And P.S. didn't it recently come out that she secretly accepted Medicare at the end of her life?

She didn't see any contradiction in using a program you were forced to invest into. I don't either.

47 RogueOne  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:13:13am

re: #43 Romantic Heretic

When people talk about logic to me I remember a bit from the TV show Andromeda

This girl's father didn't care, and used logic to excuse it.

Preach.

48 RogueOne  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:14:52am

re: #45 iceweasel


A very sad and lonely woman at the end of her life, she died alone and fairly young, of lung cancer. She used to insist that her followers smoke because she did, and claimed it symbolised man's conquering of the elements, the theft of promethean fire, or some other similar shit.

Smoking kills germs! It's healthy and all the cool kids are doing it.

49 Obdicut  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:20:03am

re: #45 iceweasel

She also claimed smoking didn't lead to lung-cancer. She was pro-engineering, but anti-science.

50 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:23:17am

re: #46 RogueOne

If someone is basing their level of affection on convenience then I wouldn't consider that "love". In the Donahue interview they discuss a man going to the market for his spouse even though he doesn't want to go. You do what you do because it's the right thing to do for your partner.

She didn't see any contradiction in using a program you were forced to invest into. I don't either.

She never cared for a terminally ill person for YEARS. It wears on you and if you aren't doing it for the sick person, you will most likely quit in short order. Indeed, that is true love, putting another's needs ahead of your own.

How convenient of her to take use the system when she's sick and dying and running out of money. So now she's a hypocrite on top of everything else. Bah!

51 Prideful, Arrogant Marriage Equality Advocate  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:30:53am

No one is a true individualist. They can say they are, they can believe they are, but they are not. They can belong to a collective group where everyone in that collective congradulates each other on being an individual, but they are not. Everyone belongs to a collective. And everyone within that collective is working for the greater good of that collective, philosophy, political group. Humans have done that forever. That's how we got to where we are today.
People need people. ">Tell em' Babs

52 Prideful, Arrogant Marriage Equality Advocate  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:31:23am

ooops , oh well.

53 RogueOne  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:36:12am

re: #50 marjoriemoon

She never cared for a terminally ill person for YEARS. It wears on you and if you aren't doing it for the sick person, you will most likely quit in short order. Indeed, that is true love, putting another's needs ahead of your own.

I don't doubt that. I went through a year of taking care of my spouse and I can't imagine having to do it for the rest of my life. OTOH, I made a deal when I asked her to marry me and I do love her. Therefore, I am morally obligated to take care of her regardless.


How convenient of her to take use the system when she's sick and dying and running out of money. So now she's a hypocrite on top of everything else. Bah!

If you're forced to pay into an "investment" why should you refuse to get your money back when eligible? There isn't anything hypocritical about that.

54 RogueOne  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:40:13am

re: #51 Cankles McCellulite

While I firmly believe in striving for consistency the truth is all decisions are situational. All the -ism's lead to ruin at the extreme.

55 Prideful, Arrogant Marriage Equality Advocate  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:46:23am

re: #53 RogueOne

No it isn't hypocritical. I think everyone deserves this services. I even believe people who spend there life raging against necessities that their government provides, deserves these services when their time comes. But what would Have Ayn done if it wasn't available to her? Perhaps charity? Ask friends to donate? Well if she is so against Government necessities, why didn't she try those avenues first?

56 RogueOne  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:53:40am

re: #55 Cankles McCellulite

No it isn't hypocritical. I think everyone deserves this services. I even believe people who spend there life raging against necessities that their government provides, deserves these services when their time comes. But what would Have Ayn done if it wasn't available to her? Perhaps charity? Ask friends to donate? Well if she is so against Government necessities, why didn't she try those avenues first?

She didn't seem to have a problem with private charity. Well, up to a point she didn't. IMO, family should take care of family but sometimes that's not possible and we do owe our society some form of safety net. The only argument I have is how much of one and who should be the beneficiaries of our support. If you've paid unemployment taxes all your life, even if you disagree with the plan, you're still entitled to collect on that investment if you're eligible. It might change your view on the necessity of the program but I don't view that as hypocritical.

57 Obdicut  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 9:55:40am

re: #56 RogueOne

She both stated that all private altruism was terrible and bad and that it was all perfectly fine.

Like I said, incoherent.

58 andres  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:18:40am

re: #27 Lidane

That's how I see it. The only possible way for a Christian -- especially an evangelical and/or fundamentalist Christian -- to support Ayn Rand at all is through ignorance of what she's really saying, or total cognitive dissonance.

You are assuming that the religious and the "religious" believe the same and interpret the Bible equally. We see it in the fake religious whose God will reward them regardless what they do, and who will punish anyone outside their denomination, regardless how they lived. Mixing Rand with their religion is not that big step.

59 gehazi  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:23:07am

re: #57 Obdicut

She both stated that all private altruism was terrible and bad and that it was all perfectly fine.

Like I said, incoherent.

About what one should expect from a philosophy built on the altar of the Exalted Self. Personal desires change on a whim, so why not the dictates of said philosophy religion.

60 andres  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:26:35am

Great discussion!

61 gehazi  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:27:11am

re: #58 andres

It's this and many other things. Massive cognitive dissonance too, for sure. It's one reason why discussion of such a twisted syncretism is so difficult--people tend to respond to cognitive dissonance in their belief system by stubbornly digging in, refusing to hear any line of conversation that highlights that fundamental incoherence.

Believe me, it's a terribly depressing fact that so many who would call themselves my spiritual brothers and sisters claim to follow Rand in whatever capacity. It's practically impossible to turn them away from such a view.

62 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:32:12am

re: #51 Cankles McCellulite

No one is a true individualist. They can say they are, they can believe they are, but they are not. They can belong to a collective group where everyone in that collective congradulates each other on being an individual, but they are not. Everyone belongs to a collective. And everyone within that collective is working for the greater good of that collective, philosophy, political group. Humans have done that forever. That's how we got to where we are today.
People need people. ">Tell em' Babs

You were going for Barbara Streisand, weren't you? LOL

63 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:34:49am

re: #53 RogueOne

I don't doubt that. I went through a year of taking care of my spouse and I can't imagine having to do it for the rest of my life. OTOH, I made a deal when I asked her to marry me and I do love her. Therefore, I am morally obligated to take care of her regardless.

If you're forced to pay into an "investment" why should you refuse to get your money back when eligible? There isn't anything hypocritical about that.

I'm not convinced she was forced to pay into Medicare, first of all. You'd have to show me she actually did that. You are eligible for it whether you've paid into it or not. If I'm a stay at home mom, I still get the advantage of Medicare.

If I rail against something as "immoral", it's a pretty sick mind who then partakes. Kinda like all those Reverends boinking little boys and shooting meth.

64 Laughing Gas  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:35:54am

re: #43 Romantic Heretic

When people talk about logic to me I remember a bit from the TV show Andromeda

This girl's father didn't care, and used logic to excuse it.

On Rand herself. She is the Marxist equivalent of a Satanist. She grew up in the Soviet Union and it effected her strongly and scarred her deeply. So she accepts the Marxist philosophy but inverts it. In her version selfishness is good whereas in Marxism it's evil. In Marxism collective action is the highest good. In Objectivism it is the darkest evil.


What about the cult-like and dogmatic nature of Objectivism? Just like Marxism is supposedly for the collective good but turns out badly, Objectivism pretends to be individualist but demands total conformity. I'll bet that Ayn Rand learned that from Communism.

65 Obdicut  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:36:30am

re: #60 andres

If you're interested in more on Rand-- or rather, more critique:

[Link: aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com...]

66 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:36:38am

I'd like to mention one thing tho. I don't know for sure she took Medicare. I'll have to find the article, but it's based on hearsay. Someone in her inner circle claimed she applied for it while her health and bank account was failing, but if she did, she would be a huge hypocrite in my book.

67 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:41:09am

re: #55 Cankles McCellulite

No it isn't hypocritical. I think everyone deserves this services. I even believe people who spend there life raging against necessities that their government provides, deserves these services when their time comes. But what would Have Ayn done if it wasn't available to her? Perhaps charity? Ask friends to donate? Well if she is so against Government necessities, why didn't she try those avenues first?

Actually my understanding is that she believes in charity. Rather all those city services, public roads, hospitals, parks, helping the disabled all of those government services should strictly be paid for by charities. Her philosophy is that the large corporations, the most wealthy by the goodness of their own hearts, will set up these charities, not that they are forced to by the government (as in tax shelters) but for the true need of the people. I don't know what kind of fantasy land she lived in.

68 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:43:03am

re: #56 RogueOne

She didn't seem to have a problem with private charity. Well, up to a point she didn't. IMO, family should take care of family but sometimes that's not possible and we do owe our society some form of safety net. The only argument I have is how much of one and who should be the beneficiaries of our support. If you've paid unemployment taxes all your life, even if you disagree with the plan, you're still entitled to collect on that investment if you're eligible. It might change your view on the necessity of the program but I don't view that as hypocritical.

Medicare and unemployment are two completely different animals.

69 Romantic Heretic  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 12:48:27pm

re: #65 Obdicut

If you're interested in more on Rand-- or rather, more critique:

[Link: aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com...]

Thank you for that link. A fascinating blog that I'll be perusing at length.

70 Romantic Heretic  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 12:50:19pm

And I'll finish posting in this thread by quoting my favorite put down of Rand.

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

71 andres  Fri, Apr 8, 2011 3:17:27pm

re: #65 Obdicut

If you're interested in more on Rand-- or rather, more critique:

[Link: aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com...]

Thank you for the link!

72 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Wed, Apr 13, 2011 9:41:36am

I think that the only thing meaningful I could add to this great thread and great conversation is to point out, that at the end of the day, all that objectivism is and ever will be is a rationalization for greed in a magical way that never understands that resources have limits, that there is a wheel that turns in the world and that duty and love are the only thing that matters.

Rand's magical world needs to be powered by a limitless source of energy. Without the panacea technologies she buries as an afterthought in her writings, the whole facade comes down. But so much worse than that, is that objectivists have this sociopathic delusion that they are all ubermenschen. Their narcissistic egos believe that the world exists to serve them and that any accomplishment they have came from their own hands without any help from anyone, or circumstance, or God. They see other humans as abstractions, not people and certainly not as those to be loved, served or protected. The only ones who matter are themselves, in a sick view that teh benefits of the social contract are there for them only, but that they have no duties at all to contribute. And why would they? People are not real to them and there is no existence but them.

This is the core of the far right businessman who thinks that there is nothing wrong with destroying the environment irreversibly or using child labor. They just simply are not wired to care about any consequence outside of their immediate gratification. It is sociopathy in a very pure form.

73 Vicious Babushka  Wed, Apr 13, 2011 9:44:55am

re: #72 LudwigVanQuixote

I think that the only thing meaningful I could add to this great thread and great conversation is to point out, that at the end of the day, all that objectivism is and ever will be is a rationalization for greed in a magical way that never understands that resources have limits, that there is a wheel that turns in the world and that duty and love are the only thing that matters.

Rand's magical world needs to be powered by a limitless source of energy. Without the panacea technologies she buries as an afterthought in her writings, the whole facade comes down. But so much worse than that, is that objectivists have this sociopathic delusion that they are all ubermenschen. Their narcissistic egos believe that the world exists to serve them and that any accomplishment they have came from their own hands without any help from anyone, or circumstance, or God. They see other humans as abstractions, not people and certainly not as those to be loved, served or protected. The only ones who matter are themselves, in a sick view that teh benefits of the social contract are there for them only, but that they have no duties at all to contribute. And why would they? People are not real to them and there is no existence but them.

This is the core of the far right businessman who thinks that there is nothing wrong with destroying the environment irreversibly or using child labor. They just simply are not wired to care about any consequence outside of their immediate gratification. It is sociopathy in a very pure form.

This is what the Torah condemns as "Kochi v'etzom yadi asu li et ha'chayal hazeh" (My own strength and the power of my hands has made this wealth for me) It is what the sages condemn as "the main attribute of Sodom"

74 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Wed, Apr 13, 2011 9:51:17am

re: #73 Alouette

This is what the Torah condemns as "Kochi v'etzom yadi asu li et ha'chayal hazeh" (My own strength and the power of my hands has made this wealth for me) It is what the sages condemn as "the main attribute of Sodom"

I love you Alouette. I just want to say that. I love you.

I know you are married and could be my mom. I don't care. I still love you.

"What's mine is mine and what is yours is yours"

This is the way of Sodom in the Mishna. It is shortest statement of the libertarian and objectivist "philosophy", and this story lays out what the sages said so clearly. What makes it evil is that it is a rationalization for evil and a way to deny any duty to any other. This story just illustrates how far the sickness of such thinking can go - even to one's own daughter.

It is just simply evil.


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