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Ayn Rand's Influence on the 21st Century

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posted on May, 29 2015 @ 02:43 PM
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a reply to: tetra50


I'm not seeking to make literature into a dirty word, here, nor art…when I say that interpreting literature isn't, perhaps, not so much an art form as you may think. See how that works, what I did there?

aaAAha!!! So - okay.
Literature and art are not dirty words.

But interpreting it is an art form.

Yeah, I see what you did there......


The point is, first, that people are reported to say a lot of things, doesn't mean they did or that they were accurately quoted; and second, interpreting what is written about or told of second hand that someone said, even if accurate, or even what they outright really said, is an art form, as well.

Well, the course I am taking (which see page 1) has recordings of her speaking. Of her talking in public at lecture halls.
So - kind of hard to deny that's what she said -
but it is rather hard to understand it - that's what "philosophy" stretches us to do.

But I'm going off of her OWN BOOKS, and her OWN SPEECHES (recorded) and JOURNAL QUOTES (with citations).....

not someone else's interpretation.


My assertions about what Rand meant by what was written in those novels wouldn't prove so far from the average college level interpretation, and it is important in deciphering what she supposedly said or lectured, as well.

That is true. No contest. That is why I'm not focusing on her 'fiction.' She wrote lots of non-fiction philosophy treatises.

So - the professors who are giving brief 'lectures' mixed in with the primary resource material are helping me to understand in my own vernacular what she meant - their interpretation of what she meant. I respect their expertise.

Her writings, however, are not so obscure that an educated person can't read them. It just takes time. Philosophy must be read slowly, and mulled over. Not many people are willing or able (for whatever reason) to do that.


without being informed by further writing, such as the "literature" of the actual bill, don't mean much, without further information. We live in times where any and every spoken word is literally spun, the interpretation of which is totally up to anyone, at any given time.


Yes, we do. But what she said is available to the public. Is it censored and spun? Maybe.
Even if it's not censored and spun (like The Bible - which is literature and not "live, recorded speeches") or in Fox News or the Onion or TheDailyMail or Infowars.......

she DID say those things. And I'm bright enough to know that I need to read, re-read, investigate, look at her biographical info, her early life, etc etc. before I can come to a certain conclusion about what I think about her.

Still - The Bible is literature.
The Bible is not fact.
Her novels are not fact.
Dr Zhivago is not fact.

What she is recorded to have said is "fact."

edit on 5/29/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 29 2015 @ 02:46 PM
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a reply to: tetra50


Now that i rethink that notion, yeah we could just as easily decide all of the above. You're right.

High five!



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: xuenchen


The policies are not the issue.

Yes - the policies ARE the issue.

This whole thread is about political/government policy "issues."



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:04 PM
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You know there are definitely some very intelligent, educated and articulate folk involved in this thread. Yet this opinion of Rand's is causing a bitter divisiveness. Her philosophy just like any philosophy at the end of the day is just a matter of opinion.

Yet here we have a bunch of bright minds arguing oops I meant debating the opinion of a dead lady. I don't know about you guys but I think being dead means you don't really get to have an opinion on current affairs.

Sometimes I can't help but think what we the world needs is a benevolent yet omnipotent dictator. Someone who not only knows what is best for but can make it so.

Oh one can dream...or wait would that be a nightmare disguised as a dream.

Rant done, and I do respect and appreciate philosophy. I didn't want anyone to get that twisted. Seriously though sometimes old school doesn't translate so well in the new school.


edit on CDTFri, 29 May 2015 15:05:26 -0500pmppAmerica/Chicago29-05:00Fri, 29 May 2015 15:05:26 -050005 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)

edit on CDTFri, 29 May 2015 15:09:37 -0500pmppAmerica/Chicago29-05:00Fri, 29 May 2015 15:09:37 -050009 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)

edit on CDTFri, 29 May 2015 15:11:28 -0500pmppAmerica/Chicago29-05:00Fri, 29 May 2015 15:11:28 -050011 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)

edit on CDTFri, 29 May 2015 15:12:42 -0500pmppAmerica/Chicago29-05:00Fri, 29 May 2015 15:12:42 -050012 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:13 PM
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originally posted by: TrappedPrincess
Yet here we have a bunch of bright minds arguing oops I meant debating the opinion of dead lady. I know don't about you guys but I think being dead means you don't really get to have an opinion on current affairs.


I disagree, but not because of Ayn Rand. The Framers of the Constitution not only have valid opinions on current affairs, but vital opinions on them. If America were to throw out opinions and philosophies due to whether the founder of the thoughts was alive or dead, then we could effectively eliminate the Supreme Court entirely, as the only governing opinions which would matter would be that of the sitting president and those in the house and Senate. That's disasterously close to what has existed in countries ruled by emperors and, almost without fail, tyrants arise from the same.

We need the past to interpret the present so we can plan for the future.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:15 PM
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You must have read that before I edited. Sorry this is a pain on my phone. I wasn't serious on that part just trying to inject a little levity.a reply to: burdman30ott6

Also I love the Constitution but I'm not opposed to adding to it which coincidentally enough we do.


edit on CDTFri, 29 May 2015 15:17:15 -0500pmppAmerica/Chicago29-05:00Fri, 29 May 2015 15:17:15 -050017 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)


I just get uneasy and anxious when I witness this many intelligent people go back and forth without any progress. Just a whole bunch of smart people talking yet nothing worthwhile being achieved.

I also know that most times I'm not the smartest person in the room but I'm not stupid either. Maybe because I've been around in the military most of my life I expect or want action. All I've ever formally learned is warfare and how to be a good soldier. Everything else is on my own and certainly not the public education system.

I don't know I guess I'm saying it's a shame so many smart people too divided to troubleshoot the problems because we get stuck on our own opinions.
edit on CDTFri, 29 May 2015 15:34:55 -0500pmppAmerica/Chicago29-05:00Fri, 29 May 2015 15:34:55 -050034 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)

edit on CDTFri, 29 May 2015 15:38:22 -0500pmppAmerica/Chicago29-05:00Fri, 29 May 2015 15:38:22 -050038 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs
Much better for reaching understanding between us.



without being informed by further writing, such as the "literature" of the actual bill, don't mean much, without further information. We live in times where any and every spoken word is literally spun, the interpretation of which is totally up to anyone, at any given time.


Yes, we do. But what she said is available to the public. Is it censored and spun? Maybe.
Even if it's not censored and spun (like The Bible - which is literature and not "live, recorded speeches") or in Fox News or the Onion or TheDailyMail or Infowars.......

she DID say those things. And I'm bright enough to know that I need to read, re-read, investigate, look at her biographical info, her early life, etc etc. before I can come to a certain conclusion about what I think about her.

Still - The Bible is literature.
It is not fact.



Don't you see, though, that what is "fact" for you, and even me, may be different, entirely for others?
And that's whether we are talking about the Bible or what's on the news, tonight. And the interpretation of a fact, what it means to a larger body of knowledge, may mean something entirely different to two or more different people or groups.

And, unless you were there when she was speaking, and knew for sure it was her and the same woman who wrote the books, I'd keep a grain of doubt present when deciding your interpretation, as well as a mindful eye toward her literature, as well.

Look, for instance, at the gross misunderstandings which just occurred between us with unedited posts, and timing. At one point, you would have thought I was plairiarizing you. At another point, you were willing to lecture me about what literature was, explaining it wasn't history. And the Bible's distinction between the two. I've sat in your thread and dropped more titles of classic American literature than any other poster: from Rand, to Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath to Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land. Surely you would know by that I needn't a lesson in what literature is, that it's subject to interpretation or where the Bible fits into that. If I'd thought you didn't deserve a chance because of timing of computers and the internet (lag time), and editing, I'd have lambasted you, thoroughly.
But I gave you a chance.

Much, almost everything, in fact, is subject and open to, interpretation. But it also depends upon a high degree of timing that is always in play. Also, we are on a website where it's not unusual to consider the possibility that people have been defamed by reverse engineering, especially if they represent ideas well which would challenge the present oligarchy.

Even just in interpretation: let's take yours about what I've written. Your last remark: "The Bible is literature. It is not a fact." You haven't yet realized, I think, that I haven't anywhere stated my own beliefs about that. All I've done is shown that you made assertions about Rand in your OP that right there would have indicted her, for many, and bolstered your argument that she was totally uncaring of others, or of the idea we must help one another in any way we can, because she hated religion. I hate organized religion and how its used. Does that mean I am an atheist? No, it doesn't. Does that mean I don't believe in taking care of my brother? No, it doesn't. I disagree with my government's position in that, of politicians using that as a catch phrase to support legisltation that means no one can take care of themselves because they haven't the money.
Was she uncaring of others? Or did she just disagree what was of true help to humanity, and the way that should be gone about? This is really important, because it shows just how we can be easily misperceived out of misinterpretation.
This is interpretation at work and in practice. We are easily misunderstood. You've misunderstood much of what I've written and what it represented. The Bible only figured in this commentary between us because you brought it up as an example, here:



Interpreting literature is an art form all unto itself, and not a thing that can be absolutely dissected as to her 'message.'
For example:
The Bible is "interpreted" to mean LOTS of different things by different people.


to counter my continuing to give details of one of her classics, here:



P.S. It's an extremely complex issue, this, and I see you trying to do your best at representing what you can…..But this, here, is the primary point of her story of The Fountainhead. It didn't make her an opponent to religion, so much as how it was used against the living, nor make her an opponent of helping the disadvantaged (after all, in that story, Roark, the architect was competing for a govt. bid to build better public housing, rather than boxy tenements with no garbage collection and bad plumbing because of structure and no green spaces for children to get out of doors.)



It's ALL censored and spun, by time, by the internet, by other people, by governments, etc. All available information. And it's all subject to interpretation.
To the point you can almost no longer believe which version of which person, at which time, without internet lag time or with it, time and what we consider the date today is even in question given the change of calendars from Julian to Gregorian, centuries ago. Even time as kept track of by "true" physics measuring the half life decay of naturally occurring radioactive matter is suspect to some, via the question of neutrino flux. You'll read mean poo-poo that on this site, but the reality is that neutrino flux has been a question in science since the 1950s…..

Everything, truly, that we think we know, is in question, all the time, even time. Enjoyed your thread. I will leave you to debate more political policy with an angry at taxation, mostly male demographic. Good luck.
tetra

P.S. There are even those who have suggested Shakespeare was a woman, writing under a pseudonym, because women, of course, weren't published then.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: TrappedPrincess


I don't know about you guys but I think being dead means you don't really get to have an opinion on current affairs.

Unless, of course, you are Plato, or Ceasar, or Saddam Hussein, or Mohammed, or Stalin, or Marx, or Abraham Lincoln, or Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.........et al -

then, being dead means you get a monument and a position of perpetual respectability. No matter how out of date your ideas are, and how proven mistaken........


Sometimes I can't help but think what we the world needs is a benevolent yet omnipotent dictator. Someone who not only knows what is best for but can make it so.

Sometimes I can't help but think that either!

edit on 5/29/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:33 PM
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a reply to: tetra50


And that's whether we are talking about the Bible or what's on the news, tonight. And the interpretation of a fact, what it means to a larger body of knowledge, may mean something entirely different to two or more different people or groups.

Yup! No argument.

The only 'caveat' is that to truly understand another's communication, one has to truly study, investigate, deconstruct, think critically, study history, question, request clariication, assess where a person "came from".....etc.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:43 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: tetra50


Now that i rethink that notion, yeah we could just as easily decide all of the above. You're right.

High five!

I removed the totality of the post before I saw you post this, otherwise, I wouldn't have removed it. I am only replying now as in re reading back, I saw this, and it makes it seem i am simply agreeing to everything you've said about Rand and her followers, which I still, don't.

This quote was pulled from my replying to what you'd written about Shakespeare:



We could just as easily have decided that Shakespeare (whoever he really was, and in case you didn't know, lots of people think he is also a 'myth' and are fighting the people who say he was a unique, true person) is God. Imagine! It could easily be. Was Shakespeare an angel who dictated to a guy in a pub, or a lord in a mansion? Or were his plays and poetry just forgeries - like a pseudonym used by someone or some committee/team of writers - was there was not actual "William Shakespeare"? Or was there???
[/quote]




edit on 29-5-2015 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:48 PM
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Hey G.W. Bush Sr has a statue in Texas I believe and he is still alive, go figure lol smh

a reply to: BuzzyWigs




posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:48 PM
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And I am forced to reply once again, as I cannot get the edit of my above post to appear as a whole:
"Now that i rethink that notion, yeah we could just as easily decide all of the above. You're right."

High five!



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 03:48 PM
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a reply to: tetra50

Okay, but - you still said on rethinking it you could see how that could easily have happened....that Shakespeare could be named as "God."

(Likewise, to my thinking (but I haven't said it): King Arthur, or Robin Hood, or any number of other literary heroes could be named as "God.")

I'm not going to retroactively edit my responses now.
If you want to start over, and clarify your posts, I'm fine with that, though!

edit on 5/29/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs




The only 'caveat' is that to truly understand another's communication, one has to truly study, investigate, deconstruct, think critically, study history, question, request clariication, assess where a person "came from".....etc.



You've said as much in a few posts. So, I guess the point here is you're the only one who can be right here?

I stand by the notion that what is exemplified in her literature, in that story, and the duplicitousness we see in action today, which is really just another story, after all, has meant the same old, same old, year after year after year. and that it's the only history being repeated.

Because any other has been permanently wiped clean from the slate. Doesn't make it right.

And to TrappedPrincess:
Many dead people define present and future policy. Being a soldier, I'd think you'd know that. For, those soldiers that came before you are why there are SERE techniques for showing stranded soldiers how to survive in extreme circumstances.

And as far as what you said about an omnipresent dictator? Dear God. That's what the singularity is and means, my dear. And the singularity, unlike God providing Adam and Eve a choice in the garden, won't ever be deposed nor overthrown. Be careful what you wish for, is all I'm saying.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 04:03 PM
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a reply to: tetra50


So, I guess the point here is you're the only one who can be right here?

No. Not at all.

I agree with almost of all of what you said. Not even sure what the 'sticking point' is, except - maybe something about the Bible?

I'm certainly not "right" - I'm only expressing myself.
Thought we were trying to communicate.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 04:07 PM
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edit on 29-5-2015 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)

sigh
second
edit on 29-5-2015 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 04:08 PM
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a reply to: tetra50

I know what I wish for thank you and I clarified that my comment on dead philosophers was for levity within the same post I might add. I also can't help but feel that throwing fallen soldier into it was a low blow meant to play on emotion and uncalled for.
edit on CDTFri, 29 May 2015 16:10:51 -0500pmppAmerica/Chicago29-05:00Fri, 29 May 2015 16:10:51 -050010 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 04:12 PM
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a reply to: tetra50

Okay, so......

your edits and deletions and the pattern of your posts here indicate that you are referring to The Bible...but just don't want to say so.

?????

Am I correct in that understanding?

Just checking. So - The Bible and religion are the issues you wrestle with....that's fine.
Just say so.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 04:15 PM
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originally posted by: pthena
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

I'm voting JeanPaul for winner in the essay contest of this thread.

originally posted by: JeanPaul
Objectivism is the pseudo philosophical justification for "free market" capitalism.

Rand was anti-academic. She did not want any peer review. She could not handle criticism of her work. She considered it to be beyond improvement.


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

It is a religion relying on unchangeable authority.


but it was obviously just more philosophical idealism.
. . .
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.

It is a two-tiered religion. Atlas Shrugged makes no explicit reference to gods or religion, therefore lower tier devotees can and do integrate certain ideas into their own religio/worldviews without internal conflict.

Upper tier devotees must abandon all gods and anything else which may conflict with Objectivism, including academia.

It is religion.


The thing about her attempt at a materialist capitalist philosophy- Karl Marx had won a philosophical/historical victory with his Thesis On Feurbach and German Ideology:

en.wikipedia.org...

It was the foundation for Historical Materialism:

en.wikipedia.org...

It linked his socialist thought with a materialist analysis of history/economics/society (although contemporary economists have purposely rejected the Labor Theory Of Value/economic aspect in favor of marginalism, his thoughts remain a cornerstone of sociology). He basically ripped apart Max Stirners ideas, showed that his form of market egoism was literally impossible to achieve and that other free market thoughts on capitalism and or the rise of capitalism were no different than religion. The old line that capitalism arose by some people working hard and saving while others couldn't be bothered to do anything but sell their labor was put to rest with Marx's Historical Materialism. He went even further to demonstrate that the mode of production (type of economy) had a huge amount of influence on the way people think and the manner in which our entire society operates. That it wasn't just thoughts in peoples heads dictating things it was largely economic realities/necessities. Karl Polanyi expanded on this in his book The Great Transformation:
en.wikipedia.org...

Rand tried to reject and transcend Marx's Historical Materialism and create a philosophy which told us the individual can create whatever world we want to create. She studied Marx in Russia at the University of Leningrad so Marx's Historical Materialism had a huge influence. Almost everything she wrote was a reaction to Marx, or the Leninist interpretation of Marx. The material reality is that government was needed to create capitalism. That it is needed to maintain it. Taxes are necessary. Social programs are necessary. Large military is necessary/military intervention is necessary.

Everything we see in today's capitalist world is necessary in order for capitalism to function. Social programs to soften the blow of poverty (and thus save the system from mass revolt). Military to forcefully facilitate market expansion. Roads, dams and bridges to make industrial commerce possible. Regulations to keep capitalists from destroying the system and to create somewhat safe workplace conditions. All this takes taxes.

She wanted a world where the inventors, businessmen and engineers were recognized as the pillars of society while looking upon the masses as nothing more than inconvenient commodities only to be tolerated because of their value in making profit for the former. That it was the individual responsible for all that is good in society and the collective responsible for all that is bad. That the individual will, the mind, could create any world imaginable, while ignoring the actual material conditions we saw when the USA was close to a "free market" as far as labor/capital relations, regulations etc. She thought the "collective" are a bunch of parasites leeching off the intellect, wealth and drive capitalists held.

The question is, who really creates all the wealth in society, labor or capitalists? Rand writes, "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine". A little thought experiment can debunk the assertion that labor lives off the wealth capitalists create. Can a factory be built and run profitably without a single owner/investor/capitalist? Yes it can. If a capitalist is not necessary in order for a company to manufacture and sell goods then does this not make the capitalist a parasite? Can a factory be built and run without labor/workers? No it cant. So who is creating all the value? Labor or capitalist? The workers or the investor? Who is living for who's sake? An example of worker run companies:

en.wikipedia.org...

So, when Rand claims it's horrible to live for the sake of others, she doesn't apply it to capitalists extracting profits from workers. She's inverts this and claims capitalists are almost god like beings who create all of the worlds wealth. The engineers, architects, inventors, bankers, businessmen etc.

Marx had shown that history has gone through various stages, hunter gatherer societies, slave societies and feudal societies (Historical Materialism). In his view the only free people were found in hunter gatherer or "primitive" societies because each person had direct access to earths resources without a middleman profiting from their labor. No bosses, no owners. No parasites living lavish lives via extracting value from other peoples labor. Slave societies had slaves working for the sake of their masters. Slave owners extracted value from the slaves labor. Feudal societies had serfs working for the sake of feudal lords and kings. The lords and kings extracted value from the serfs labor. In capitalist societies capitalists extract value from the workers labor, so the workers are living for the sake of capitalists.

"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." -John Galt

This was Max Stirner's philosophy summed up in one sentence, his "union of egoists" idea.. . And Marx had demolished it. Rand attempted to reconstruct this train of thought with a more materialist approach but in the end it was the same sort of philosophical idealism that Stirner advocated. Devoid of any materialist analysis focusing on class conflict and what actually shapes our social reality. Marx showed us it was/is the dispossession, subjugation and domination of labor which creates wealth for capitalists. That the workers are living for the sake of another man, the capitalist.

Everything she wrote was done so in order to paint the capitalists as hero's surrounded by parasites who use the government to extract wealth from the capitalist. It was in inversion of Marxist theory.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: JeanPaul


Marx showed us it was/is the dispossession, subjugation and domination of labor which creates wealth for capitalists. That the workers are living for the sake of another man, the capitalist.

Everything she wrote was done so in order to paint the capitalists as hero's surrounded by parasites who use the government to extract wealth from the capitalist. It was in inversion of Marxist theory.

Yep.

Thanks again.



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