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Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:33 AM

Ayn Rand is for children - By David Sirota


George Saunders understands what Rand fans won't: Objectivism is more young adult fantasy than political philosophy

BY DAVID SIROTA

Since I was in college and first met a few Objectivists (read: fancy word for libertarians), I’ve had a theory about people who claim to be Ayn Rand acolytes or who brag that their favorite book is “Fountainhead Shrugged” (they are the same book written twice in order to double Rand’s profit, so for brevity, let’s just use one name). This Unified Theory of Rand Groupies posited that they all probably fit into at least one of three groups: those who 1) never grew out of the usual “world is persecuting me and doesn’t see my true genius” phase that momentarily afflicts the typical high schooler 2) think saying “Ayn Rand” in any context makes them sound intelligent, even though they never actually read her work or 3) have read Rand’s work, don’t genuinely believe in her ideology as evidenced by their lifestyle/politics, but still say they love her because it serves to make them feel good about their own avarice.

Out of these three groups, the third is probably the most prominent in this, the era defined by the politics of “makers versus takers.” After all, most of those who purport to adore the free-market triumphalism of “Fountainhead Shrugged,” who haughtily imagine themselves as rugged up-from-the-bootstraps individualists like Howard Roark and John Galt, who tell themselves that their greed is patriotic, and who thus decry taxation, demonize government and vilify public subsidies to the poor also tend to live their lives in ways that belie their personal mythology.

Typically, they are more than happy to (among other things) drive on taxpayer funded roads; to have their assets defended by government agents (aka police and firefighters); to have their property rights protected by a law enforcement collective known as the judiciary; and to pocket their share of handouts. Some alleged Randian individualists are even willing to decry the social safety net for others but not for themselves, and still others are happy to to vote in Congress for the epitome of what Randianism stands against.


-snip-

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/19/ayn_rand_is_for_children/

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Reply Ayn Rand is for children - By David Sirota (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Flashmann Jan 2013 #1
ElboRuum Jan 2013 #2
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #3
uriel1972 Jan 2013 #4
Squinch Jan 2013 #5
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #6

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:49 AM

1. Apt summation

To be a Rand groupie is to flaunt your immaturity, your ignorance, your desperation to justify greed or your lack of international travel. It is, in other words, to admit your blindness to how so much of the world already lives, and to ignore what America would look like if “Fountainhead Shrugged” was seen as a public policy manual rather than what it really is: a dangerous farce.


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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 12:20 PM

2. The last type...

...I disagree with the characterization.

I would find them to be "uberRandians". The end result of following Rand's objectivism to its conclusion is to evince a willful contempt for societies with rules which limit the individuals actions. Certainly such a person would be more than happy to use society's contrivances, such as police protection, paved roads, etc. without an ounce of hypocrisy. Isn't a fair assessment of objectivism taken to this extreme the willing practice of taking advantage of society's benefit without returning anything to it in a demonstrative display of contempt for that society?

Contrarily, I find the third group to be the most embracing of the implicit societal parasitism which defines the objectivist ideal.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:22 PM

3. k/r

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 04:24 PM

4. Not sure I would give Rand to kids nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:02 AM

5. Seriously! It was very important to me when I was a 14 year old girl and learning that you don't

have to please everyone. Even then, though, I understood that any wider application was ridiculous.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 03:32 PM

6. I was a Randian in high school. I quickly straightened out once I left

high school and stepped into the real world.

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