Obama vs Ayn Rand

I think Das Kapital was wrong on a number of levels, but I wouldn’t sit here and claim it wasn’t important, even if Marx borrowed ideas from others; even though he wasn’t an “American” author; and even though it wasn’t completely “original.”

Also, without The Fountainhead, we wouldn’t have the early works of Rush. Which would be a fucking travesty.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:

I think Das Kapital was wrong on a number of levels, but I wouldn’t sit here and claim it wasn’t important, even if Marx borrowed ideas from others; even though he wasn’t an “American” author; and even though it wasn’t completely “original.” [/quote]

“Wrong” isn’t the issue - “good” is. Das Kapital was very bad for many reasons, but important? Unquestionably. Did he borrow, sure - but Marx wasn’t unoriginal.

Rand’s books are big, dumb wannabe-epics that don’t offer any unique insight into life. Its heroes and villains are reductionist and her great insight into humanity relies on a bunch of cheap stereotypes. And, ironically, she borrows more from Marx (materialism, etc.), than she does from Western liberal thought.

I don’t care if teenagers read her books, but to consider them serious or important? Not unless you’ve never outgrown being a teenager.

And Rand’s philosophical endgame of replacing the “cross with the dollar sign”? In what universe is that “quintessential American philosophy”? That wasn’t the philosophy in 1776, and it ain’t now.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
â??The spike in sales of Atlas Shrugged more than a half century after its initial publication is truly remarkable,â?? Dr. Brook pointed out. â??Annual sales of Atlas Shrugged have been increasing for decades to a level not seen even in Ayn Randâ??s lifetime. Sales of the U.S. paperback editions averaged around 70,000 copies a year in the 1980s, and doubled to about 140,000 copies a year in the current decade. And the pace of sales has been accelerating recently, reaching an all-time high during the novelâ??s 50th anniversary in 2007, surpassing this mark in 2008, and on course to set another record in 2009.â??

Almost 7,000,000 copies of Atlas Shrugged have been sold since it was first published in 1957."

http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?id=23741
[/quote]

You should have posted this here :

[quote]Headhunter wrote:

[quote]Severiano wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Atlas Shrugged is an important book and so is The Fountainhead. I don’t see how anyone could think otherwise, even if they ultimately disagreed with the message or didn’t go all-in for Ayn Rand’s brand of objectivism. [/quote]

Eh, I know Rand is the mother of ‘Objectivism’ the thing is there is a morality already tied to it which is categorized as ethical egoism. It’s a misleading title for a Philosophical outlook imo. If you are trying to be objective, it would seem you want to remove ethical egoism from your rule set.

While Ayn Rand’s childhood, and overall life was super rough because the government took so much from her successful father which did a number on her life, there are also examples of unabashed Capitalism that have led to the exact same conditions, only the super wealthy ethical egoists end up with control of everything, and it ended up being that necessarily children of poor ended up having to work (think industrial revolution), which is every bit as bad as Ayn Rands upbringing. In both cases, I think Ethical Egoism was the morality pushing people into poverty whether it’s industrialization or collectivization. When you stop giving a crap about giving people opportunity to live a decent life, shit sucks for everyone except those at the top.

The important lesson I learned from Ayn Rand is that if you lean too far right, or too far left, you take away opportunity and pigeonhole people’s opportunity by buying into the bullshit either way.

Just so happens on these boards, the tendency is neocon, you guys tend to idolize people like Reagan and Rand for their great ideas, but you all conveniently forget the terrible pitfalls of their philosophies, if not the actual history of some of the things they have done.

I think I have a great understanding of where Ayn Rand came from. Her problem is she couldn’t imagine herself in other peoples shoes, only her own. [/quote]

All Ms. Rand actually does is take western ideals of individual liberty to their logical conclusions. Her point is that you are free or you are not. You can’t be free sometimes and a slave at other times.

Look at how Obama shits all over the Constitution. He has used executive orders to crap all over it. Now the lowlife wants to do the same with guns. He hates freedom of the individual.

Free or slave…pick one.
[/quote]

Someone is always exploited, we live pretty darn well due to capitalist ideas. But other people live pretty darn bad because of how deeply greedy people become. Do you have a cell phone? Do you know some of the materials used for your cell phone were procured from the Congo? Do you know the history between the U.S. and the Congo? Some poor kid laborer, in a mine or a camp is Ayn Rand too. That kid is going to look at the U.S. and capitalism as something that promotes slavery and he will have a legit point. This is why the promotion of ethical egoism is self defeating… There doesn’t seem to be a limit to a single man’s greed, perhaps we could look at Stalin as Ayn Rand’s pinnacle of individual freedom, and power: Stalin, he was free. I took it there and I know I went too far, but it’s to just point out how far one could take it… Stalin was free from government persecution, regulation and goals for his economy, and his individual interest took precedence over everything. He fits the mold… Deal with it…

I hate the idea of banning weapons as well because I know it’s not going after the target group of people. It’s a stupid solution. But boy do individual rights get brought up when it’s convenient…

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
Obama is not the only enemy we have had . All Presidents in US history were guilty of obstruction in the free market.[/quote]

Each standing on the shoulders of the one before.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
And Rand’s philosophical endgame of replacing the “cross with the dollar sign”? In what universe is that “quintessential American philosophy”? That wasn’t the philosophy in 1776, and it ain’t now.[/quote]

Although we seem to get a little closer with each passing year.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:

I think Das Kapital was wrong on a number of levels, but I wouldn’t sit here and claim it wasn’t important, even if Marx borrowed ideas from others; even though he wasn’t an “American” author; and even though it wasn’t completely “original.” [/quote]

“Wrong” isn’t the issue - “good” is. Das Kapital was very bad for many reasons, but important? Unquestionably. Did he borrow, sure - but Marx wasn’t unoriginal.

Rand’s books are big, dumb wannabe-epics that don’t offer any unique insight into life. Its heroes and villains are reductionist and her great insight into humanity relies on a bunch of cheap stereotypes. And, ironically, she borrows more from Marx (materialism, etc.), than she does from Western liberal thought.

I don’t care if teenagers read her books, but to consider them serious or important? Not unless you’ve never outgrown being a teenager.[/quote]

First, personal attacks aren’t very persuasive, IMO. I don’t see why you need to do that to make a point, you seem like a smart guy.

Second, I’d agree that Atlas Shrugged was bloated and she could have used some lesson’s from Hemmingway or at least Bryan Garner on how to write more clearly and effectively, but that doesn’t make the work “unimportant” or “unoriginal.”

Third, is that all you really took away from The Fountainhead? That Howard Roark’s god was $?

Fourth, I see Rand’s “reductionist stereotypes” all the time in life and reading her books gave me one more tool in my quiver to look a situation and try and make sense out of what is driving it. I am way better off having read her books than not, IMO.

Fifth, you don’t have to agree with an author or philosopher’s “end-game” to get something useful out of their works. Its easy to shrug off Rand’s “end game” as being extreme while missing out on some important concepts and insights nestled right in the middle.

All i can think about when I see Ayn Rand name is Bioshock

I think im going to play some Bioshock see ya.

Camus knew more about life and reality than Rand could ever imagine.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:

I think Das Kapital was wrong on a number of levels, but I wouldn’t sit here and claim it wasn’t important, even if Marx borrowed ideas from others; even though he wasn’t an “American” author; and even though it wasn’t completely “original.” [/quote]

“Wrong” isn’t the issue - “good” is. Das Kapital was very bad for many reasons, but important? Unquestionably. Did he borrow, sure - but Marx wasn’t unoriginal.

Rand’s books are big, dumb wannabe-epics that don’t offer any unique insight into life. Its heroes and villains are reductionist and her great insight into humanity relies on a bunch of cheap stereotypes. And, ironically, she borrows more from Marx (materialism, etc.), than she does from Western liberal thought.

I don’t care if teenagers read her books, but to consider them serious or important? Not unless you’ve never outgrown being a teenager.[/quote]

This right here.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Also, without The Fountainhead, we wouldn’t have the early works of Rush. Which would be a fucking travesty. [/quote]

As a huge classic rock fan I know how blasphemous this is going to sound, but I wouldn’t be terribly bothered.

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Also, without The Fountainhead, we wouldn’t have the early works of Rush. Which would be a fucking travesty. [/quote]

As a huge classic rock fan I know how blasphemous this is going to sound, but I wouldn’t be terribly bothered.[/quote]

This saddens me.

For the record, I recognize their musical awesomeness. I just can’t bring myself to listen to Lee sing for more than a minute or so.

I suppose if you aren’t on board with Geddy’s voice that would be a tough hurdle to overcome.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:

First, personal attacks aren’t very persuasive, IMO. I don’t see why you need to do that to make a point, you seem like a smart guy. [/quote]

I didn’t attack anyone personally, except maybe for Ayn Rand. Saying this book is for young people is like saying comic books are for young people - it’s not necessarily an insult, it’s the appropriate description. If there are adults who find that insulting, not my problem to fix. Not all books are good, and not all books are serious, not all books serve an adult purpose, and it’s okay to say so.

It’s size - while unfortunate - isn’t what makes it unimportant or unoriginal. The fact that it is a lazy, banal story that doesn’t do anything worthwhile to consider the human condition. That is what makes it unimportant and original.

No, I took away lots more, but none of it was good. Mainly, that Rand reduces humans to devotees to materialism, or that they should be devotees to materialism.

Then you should get out more if you keep running into the stereotypes she builds her stories around.

The End is bad, but her Means is just as bad - there aren’t any important concepts and insights nestled in the middle. But most importantly, I made the point that there is no way she can be the “quintessential American philosopher” with the philosophical endgame she envisions. It’s simply apples and oranges - there is nothing American about such a philosophy.

You agree with that, right?

[quote]smh23 wrote:

As a huge classic rock fan I know how blasphemous this is going to sound, but I wouldn’t be terribly bothered.[/quote]

Well, full disclosure - I am not a classic rock fan, though I am okay with a number of them and their songs, but of the bands I would disinvent if I could, it’d be Rush.

And, Pink Floyd. But that’s another thread.

Never liked Rush :slight_smile: