I always smile when people call the philosophy of Ayn Rand “objective” or “rational.” The only objective political assumption would be that the earth belongs somewhat equally to all of us. To see nature as your own property and human beings a your competitors in a noble rat race is not a result of reason but of desire. And once anyone believes his or her selfish wants are the result of pure reason, communication becomes very difficult. Any talk of human solidarity is instantly dismissed as a precursor to Stalinism. Lacking thoughts of their own, some “Objectivists” throw the phrases of Rand at you like refrigerator magnets. And how can you change the mind of a woman this long dead?
“And how can you change the mind of a woman this long dead?”
You can’t. Not to mention she spawned a huge swarm of Objectivists and left us to answer for her. Ooops, I mean “throw phrases at you.”
The idea that any property belongs to someone by right, without them obtaining it in trade, is force, since that right would have to be enforced by government. Here’s your phrase:
“Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. ” Ayn Rand, Galt’s speech
John, so if the state is evil because it uses a gun, why is an individual who uses one right?
Yes she’s long dead, but her books aren’t, why not read one or two then try and argue rationally with what she actually said.
John, is it really rational for you to assume I have not read her. Would it have been more scientific to ask?
This comment leaves me wondering if its author has ever read a word Ayn Rand wrote. Just for kicks, ask how everyone can “own” the Earth “equally.” Ownership is the right of use and disposition. Can “everyone” eat the same apple. If someone grows some apples for food, does everyone else have the same right to eat those apples?
Of course, understanding that requires that one be rational.
Burke, yes I have read Rand. And you are expressing the problem I have with Objectivism right there. You are giving cliches and veiled insults thinking you are making a rational argument. Everyone can’t eat the same apple, but everyone can have an apple.
I have read 3 of Ayn Rand’s published works…Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and Anthem. I actually struggled to get through them (and I am an avid reader) because they were so poorly written. Ayn Rand wrote what I call “social science-fiction”. She was a narcissist who took advantage of social security while writing tomes railing against it, describing it as socialism. She appealed to little boys like Paul Ryan who think government serves no purpose except to employ him and fight wars. Sorry but I am sick of Ayn Rand!
Another avid reader here and I find people who think Atlas Shrugged as poorly written just bizarre. I read the book over a busy week, loved the story and characters, and have found it consistently rewarding re-read. Considering a couple of generations now of solid sales,I think the continual meeping of unreadability by some people stems more from their politics than the actual quality of the work.
I was struck by similarities of the story in “Atlas Shrugged,” though it may just be in my mind, and the “heads-up” in the Daily Kos yesterday about Matt Taibbi’s new research in “Rolling Stone” regarding the link between Wall Street and the energy sector–frac’ing, etc. Here’s the link to the Daily Kos article:
I attended a talk a couple of weeks ago by a VP of Goldman Sachs who was really excited about the economic ramifications of the new carbon-based energy technology–frac’ing, horizontal drilling, and 33D imaging.–that is revolutionizing the energy balance worldwide. He assured us that this was the biggest thing to come along in over a century, especially economically. 2/15/14, 08:15 CST