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Ayn Rand's Influence on the 21st Century

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posted on May, 28 2015 @ 12:30 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

There is a certain pomp about them. But I think that makes them more interesting as far as reading is concerned. She wrote a lot of polemics, and that requires a critical style of writing. If you get a chance, read her essay on Mysticism. If you're spiritual in any way, you probably won't like it, but it shows her biting and vicious polemical style.




posted on May, 28 2015 @ 12:34 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism


it shows her biting and vicious polemical style.

Okay.......
So is her "biting and vicious" style something you agree with?



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 12:37 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

The issue is not Rand, nor her polemic style, nor her thoughts on mysticism. Those things are all irrelevant. The issue is that there are people in power who are actively and openly using her ideas, as promoted in Atlas Shrugged to dictate US fiscal policies and using class warfare based propaganda to justify it.

At least that is how I see it.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 12:39 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism


But I think that makes them more interesting as far as reading is concerned.

And here, I am extrapolating that you think her 'writings' (although indicating 'pomp') are interesting reading. Yes, they certainly are.
For me, philosophy is NOT an easy read. I take my time. I'm endeavoring to understand what she's actually saying, and by all means, her declarations and thoughts are VERY "interesting."

Whether I find them objectionable is a different thing, though. I want to make sure I understand what SHE was saying, and what THOSE WHO ARE 'PRO' OR 'CON' regarding her philosophy are saying.

edit on 5/28/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 12:40 AM
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originally posted by: Hefficide
a reply to: BrianFlanders

Compassion, a universal emotion hard wired into the human animal. Do you think it exists as a modern liberal fluke? Nope. It exists because as animals we are rather weak and the fact that we are the apex predator on this planet has nothing to do with selfishness and everything to do with the fact that we had the capacity to work as a group.

This natural mutual consideration and concern is what probably gave rise to the need to communicate, which led to the ability to speak, which led to everything that allows you to currently believe that being selfish is natural when, in fact, the premise is antithetical to the survival of the species.



I don't think you read my post very well. I'd argue with what you said here but I'd just be typing basically the same thing I already typed. What I wrote covers "compassion" by implication. You could have just said you disagree with what I said.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 12:42 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Yes. As I said it's a style of writing I enjoy to read, like Voltaire. I do not agree with the details of objectivism, but I agree with some of its themes. I do believe that there can be a sort of mastered self-interest. I do agree that objective is prior to subjective.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 12:43 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide


At least that is how I see it.
Me, too.

And I'm very tired now.
Going to crash into a blissful sleep. (I'm perpetually sad that so many millions upon millions of people on this planet aren't able to do that. They have no secure shelter, no permanent home, no assurance of food, etc.

It makes me sad.)

Anyway, goodnight, everyone.
Thanks, Heff.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 12:48 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide

How is that a problem? The entire political system is built on the minds of philosophers.

If the people in the lead are using her philosophy, while those who suffer do not, then that seems to be empirical evidence that she is right.

Nonetheless, no one is using her philosophy to the extent that you think they are. They probably all like Hemingway too, or some other writer.
edit on 28-5-2015 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 01:39 AM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: BrianFlanders


I don't care what people say, their actions are ALWAYS rooted in the self.

Even the fireman who runs into the burning building has a fundamentally selfish motive.

Seems counter-intuitive but think about it. These are people who buy into the hero worship thing. They have typically spent their entire lives conditioning themselves to believe self-sacrifice is a noble thing to do.

Whether or not it is isn't the point. The point is that they get what they want out of that mentality. They feel it is a kind of immortality. To be remembered practically forever for "doing the right thing" is as close as you get.


Yes, and.....

so?

Does that make the fireman evil? Does that make him not compassionate?


I don't know. Is dishonesty "evil"? Is it wrong to lie about your motives while being a hypocrite and calling the same motive a bad thing in someone else because it's easier to see in them?



What is wrong with "doing the right thing", exactly?


It's not about the action. It's about the motive. The example was given purely to point out that being selfish is part of who we are as a species and is present in everything we do. It was meant to point out that libertarians are fundamentally just people who admit that. It makes them easy targets for liberals who refuse to be honest about their motives and use ignorance and emotional manipulation of an unsophisticated audience to further their political goals.

You run into a big problem with "doing the right thing" when it becomes mandatory. When people can't make a free choice. When you can't choose not to give a few dollars to that bum on the street. You're no longer free to be yourself. You're no longer free to make the most fundamental choice a human being can make. You cannot base a society around a lie and expect it to work. To deny what and who we are and vilify anyone who disagrees with you as possessing that same "flaw" that motivates you to vilify them in the first place is deceptive. It doesn't make you a better person. But it sure makes you harder to argue with. It sure makes elections easier to win when you can give millions of people trite, easy answers and empty promises of pure motives and righteous behavior based upon things that don't even exist (altruism for one).


What is wrong with wanting to be remembered? We ALL have egos. We ALL look at the world from behind our own eyes.


Again, you're missing the point. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with wanting to be remembered. There IS something wrong with pretending to be a better human being than your political opponent because your selfishness is buried under a metric butt ton of emotional manipulation. That being - it's a lie. The selfish libertarian is not a bad person just because he/she is selfish.That simply makes them human. Being blatantly selfish is a little more honest, in my opinion. It puts the real you right there for everyone to see. Is it pretty to look at? A 50 year old plumber's buttcrack is not pretty to look at but it's still there. Covered up in slightly less visually damaging denim packaging.


If a person does whatever it is they feel is what they need to do - how does that make them "noble" or "ignoble"? Is amassing $500 Billion and hoarding it off-shore more significant than saving a child, or a cat, or an old man from a burning building?


Well, here we are again. We're still talking about the what instead of the why. The hero gets a memorial and the selfish business man gets to be the bad guy everyone hates. Simply because his basic nature is easier to see.

The greedy business man is just doing what people do. He's looking out for himself first. A society that doesn't want to admit this motive is present in absolutely everyone in every thing they do is a fundamentally flawed society. You are not better than me or anyone else simply because the mask you wear allows you to hide aspects of your humanity that you would rather not show to the world. It's fine and dandy that there's a "humanitarian" in there somewhere. But there's also a selfish pragmatist who hides in the shadows and motivates/allows you to point accusing fingers at other people.

Now does that mean it's perfectly OK (morally) to just do whatever the hell you can get away with to make a pile of money? No. But why is that? That's because the people who get swindled, cheated or whatever could be anyone. Could be some guy you never heard of. Could be your grandmother. And of course, it could be you. And probably will be if it goes on long enough. So what's wrong with simply admitting that the reason you don't like dishonest business people is because you personally wouldn't want to be cheated? It isn't a selfless thing. You can imagine yourself in that person's place. That's not altruism. That's looking out for number 1. That's all libertarianism is. You can write massive novels in an attempt to make it more palatable but at the end of the day, the libertarian is just an honest human being. A naked human being.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 03:15 AM
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She came from wealthy land/business owning family in Russia who had been disposessed by Stalin so she hated "communism" (Leninism/Stalinism) and built a straw man of it which she burned with a drunken rage.

The only actual real influence and hence harm she may have done is influence Alan Greenspan. But Greenspan was already a market fundamentalist, Rand gives these people a "moral" excuse to crap on the poor. She most certainly had nothing to do with Monetarism or Neoliberal (as in "Free market") ideas taking over Washington. That's where the real change happened. Objectivism is the pseudo philosophical justification for "free market" capitalism. It's a cheap rip off of Max Stirner and Nietzsche. Difference is Stirner actually understood how property based market systems crush people. Yet he was still an egoist. Perhaps the original and most extreme.

(When I watch the various films and documentaries objectivists make I feel like I'm at Scientology seminar. It's, you know, that kinda vibe. John Galt? What are your crimes?)

Sad thing is, most market economists have a fetish for the entrepreneur. This is nothing new. The entrepreneur is the foundation of the market economy in many economists eyes. The "free market" can only function at it's highest level if the "inventors" and "highly motivated" are greatly rewarded for their knowledge and efforts. So they say. Where does the initial investment capital come from? Ah yes, begin asking that and you start down the path to true objective knowledge. Ironically what Marx would call Historical Materialism and primitive accumulation. Ironic because Rand was trying to create a materialist capitalist philosophy, but it was obviously just more philosophical idealism. It was her attempt to be the philosopher who changed the world- "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it".

Back to the almighty entrepreneur being the backbone of capitalism. Thing is, that's not how capitalism works and human beings aren't hardwired for egoism. The mode of production we call capitalism has been forced on humanity, we lived in a more "natural" state in many places throughout many periods for thousands and thousands of years before capitalism came along (see Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation- Karl Marx, Historical Materialism). Market society, as Polanyi called it, had to be forged in the fires of dispossession, coercion and violence. What we think is normal now would have been completely foreign to most people just 500 years ago. This whole me me me no you me culture is not the ultimate expression of "human nature". It is the expression of the mode of production. Change the mode of production and "human nature" will follow.

This isn't to say that "altruism" is some sort of universal human nature. Altruism isn't even necessary for socialism. That's her straw man. That socialism requires some sort of loving feelings for all of humanity where people will work for free and just sit back and smile while others do nothing. Perhaps certain forms of utopian communism fit this straw man. You know, some hypothetical system with no form of money/payment, no division of labor, no government etc.

Anyhow, there's power in the blood, egh? She was so against religion because it served as the ultimate form of philosophical idealism (making up a story in your head and calling it reality) yet that's exactly what she did, created her own religion called objectivism.



edit on 28-5-2015 by JeanPaul because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 06:41 AM
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originally posted by: TheLaughingGod
Yeah, but isn't that the thing. It's the smaller business owners that get the raw end of the deal having to deal with the burdens of bureaucracy, wouldn't you say?


I agree that the smaller business owner will be less likely to be able to exploit loop holes due to their more limited resources but we have an oppressive tax system all around compared to the rest of the world. A complete reform that puts us on better footing than our competition would benefit all parties.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 08:34 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus



but we have an oppressive tax system all around compared to the rest of the world

Boy is THAT the understatement of the year. If I am not mistaken, you as did I, run or ran your own business so you would know. Unless your corporation can make enough profit to be able to buy yourself a few of those political sellout politicians and steer some work , laws or relief your way it is a tough if not impossible task to do. In the future I cannot see how small business has a snowball's chances of surviving the fires of Hades.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 08:54 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Yes, SOOOOO much selfishness when she points out the absolute insanity of Govt intrusion into our daily lives and business.

I could care less about her views on religion. What she presents still holds truth and water.

The Govt is the problem. It creates more issues than solves. It continues to grow in size, regulation and control.
Greedy people within Govt take from some, to give to the greedy others that want what others have.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 08:57 AM
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a reply to: macman

That is exactly what I took away from her works well.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 09:28 AM
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a reply to: BrianFlanders

That was a very good post. I see what you are saying.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 09:30 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Economics might as well be Chinese to me, I have no reference point or perspective. I can definitely see that being the case though.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 09:50 AM
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originally posted by: TheLaughingGod
Economics might as well be Chinese to me, I have no reference point or perspective. I can definitely see that being the case though.


We have the second highest corporate rate in the world.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: pthena


No man's success occurred in a vacuum. Even a loner mountain man beaver trapper's success came about because of an existing market and trading post. Not to mention shipping lines, merchants, tailors, shop keeps. Finally some European wearing a hat.


So, if people voluntarily work together that means that, logically, it's moral to force people to work together through state violence?


What's that saying Randites made famous, "You can't eat your cake and have it too?"


If you buy two identical cakes, you can eat one and leave the other in your fridge.


I've got my cake, by the powers that be I will eat the whole thing myself, then I'll drive down to the ... whoops! no road, somebody forgot to pay taxes.


Sooo, the only way roads can exist is through taxation?
edit on 28-5-2015 by LewsTherinThelamon because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 10:31 AM
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originally posted by: TrappedPrincess
WOW...Pretentious much.a reply to: OpenMindedRealist


I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out how OpenMindedRealist was being pretentious.


pre·ten·tious
prəˈten(t)SHəs/
adjective
attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.


I didn't see any overly, extravagant claims aimed at impressing anyone.



posted on May, 28 2015 @ 01:07 PM
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a reply to: LewsTherinThelamon
I certainly hope we're back up and running. I'd hate to type up a bunch of stuff and have it fail to post.


So, if people voluntarily work together that means that, logically, it's moral to force people to work together through state violence?

That sure is a far stretch from what I wrote, to your interpretation. I was merely stating that the infrastructure for success was already in place.



Sooo, the only way roads can exist is through taxation?

That's what works in my neck of the woods. If I made a road it would be crap. I've walked on and attempted to drive on other homemade roads. Not very pleasant.



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