August 2011

141516171819 20

Style Credit

  • Base style: Drifting by Jennie Griner
  • Theme: Heart of Darkness by nornoriel
  • Resources: OSWD design

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Sunday, April 24th, 2011 04:21 am
So, recently, I have been chatting with some friends of mine who are a bit more on the objectivist side of the road, and they convinced me to read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

I could give a traditional review of the book, and suppose I should, but first there is a lasting impression I wanted to impart. Its a quote fromPart II, Chapter II:

"An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced." (Page 381)

It's a theme that reappears over and over again thought the book, and its false, full of hot air, and is possibly the most dangerous sentiment uttered in the last 80 years. Objectivism has one assumption - everyone is able to produce enough to sustain their own life, and its an assertion I think is utterly wrong. In this world, there are people, for whom they best then will be able to do a menial labor, and its not a small number, its a significant minority of the population, be it, they are not smart enough, are emotionally disabled or have some other hang up that prevents them from performing a the self supporting level.

Objectivism appeals to the part of me that strongly believes in self determination, that only Me, myself and I should be the ones to set my destiny, but I have, and have always had a strong belief in Social Justice, to which Objectivism has no room for, So the question I ask, is what of them, what of the people who cannot produce what they need to consume to exist? I think this question alone rules out Objectivism (and by extension Anarcho-Capitalism and Libertarianism) as a practical way of living - its striving for a "reality" that has never been.

If you look at it just as fiction, its fair, not great, but fair, the philosophy gets in the way of the story, and the story gets in the way of philosophy. , I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, and while I disagree with some of the tenants - I agree with the overiding theme of "Don't let anyone tell you something isn't possible" but disagree in greed without sharing. Atlas Shrugged however is worth reading, at the very least it gives you a vision of what the Tea Party is both striving for, and fears.
Sunday, April 24th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. I haven't read Atlas Shrugged, but I agree with your assertions on Objectivism 110%. As you said, there will always be people who physically or mentally do not have the capacity to provide for themselves. What should we do with them? The Objectivists and many on the right-wing don't want to have to pay taxes for anything that does not directly and immediately benefit them, so we can't put them on public assistance.

Not to mention, sometimes shit happens. I used to be one of those "pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps" kinds of people...until the bootstraps broke, and I was left to a very long, very hard, fall. A couple of my co-workers were talking about someone's teenage daughter who has recently become pregnant. One of my colleagues said he felt bad for the girl, and the other one replied, "Not me! It's her own damn fault for being stupid. If she was my kid I'd kick her out of the house and she wouldn't get a dime from me." I had to jump into the conversation at that point...basically I said, you don't want your tax money to go to birth control, and you really don't your taxes paying for her pre-natal care or for an abortion. What exactly should she do? The fact of the matter is that in life, mistakes happen. Misfortune happens. I believe in taking responsibility for one's choices and mistakes...but how are people supposed to learn and grow from them if no grace and no second chances are given, and there's not a safety net available.

Sorry for the rant...any discussion of Objectivism tends to really make my blood boil.