August 2011

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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.
Monday, April 25th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
Rand's philosphy works well if you become or are born wealthy. It has mostly been said above, but this book and philosophy is the the basis for certain individuals (generally republican or libertarian, and middle or upper class) to take a hands off, no new taxes, no sharing attitude to their lives, believing that they are specially blessed with success because they earned it. Of course, I've done well too (and I've earned it) but that shouldn't make one believe that successful folks are morally superior and come first over everyone else. I run into these folks all the time. They don't contribute anything to society unless there is a direct payback to them (which is why no new taxes works for them). Objectivism is a cold and harsh way to view the world.