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Shoush Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 02:30 PM
Original message
Ayn Rand - Liberty vs Socialism
 
Run time: 07:05
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1RxKW-P5V8
 
Posted on YouTube: August 17, 2009
By YouTube Member: LibertyPen
Views on YouTube: 18818
 
Posted on DU: May 20, 2010
By DU Member: Shoush
Views on DU: 2095
 
Don't understand the Tea Party movement?

I present: Tea Bagger Economics 101

Lady Shifty Eyes (aka Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged) interviewed by a young Mike Wallace was posted to YouTube by a group known as Liberty Pens, the ranks of which are filled with fresh minds :sarcasm: like John Stossel & Ann Coulter - http://www.libertypen.com/Opinions.html

We sensible minds understand that laissez faire capitalism ends with dead miners, oil leaks, subprime mortgages and so on, but perhaps lovely Ayn couldn't conceive of monstrosities like Citigroup or saps like Ben Bernanke in her day...


"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged :puke:
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. that was a philosophical observation
not an economic observation

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

I really think the blind Rand haters are a bit like villagers with torches and pitchforks. Wrong monster. She had some interesting foundational ideas that aren't so different from the foundational ideas of self-determination, and a right to pursue wealth, health and happiness.

I look at Rand as an incomplete and often misdirected philosophy, but there are parts of it that I absolutely agree with, philosophically.

I wonder why Rand hating is a national sport these days? It's kind of like look a shiny thing! Over there! It describes nothing and solves nothing.
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I think she was blinded by her own life experiences growing up during the Russian Revolution
and that she was so angry and bitter, that she went off the deep end in the other direction. I don't agree with her egoism or that the only people we should look out for is ourselves.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. That's why the only children in her awful novels are off in the far distance
where she didn't have to concern herself with the ultimate self sacrifice of bringing a child into the world and going without so that child can grow and prosper with no hope of reward. It shoots her philosophy all to hell.

Well, that and the fact that the ninny completely missed the fact that superior ability is curtailed by that bottleneck of opportunities forced by economic class structure, that few superior people are ever allowed to succeed, success being reserved to the upper class for its own halfwit scions, explaining the mess the world is in.

While her dreadful novels, jammed full of steamy sex with never a "late" heroine, might appeal to the adolescent mind looking for absolutes, they make an exceedingly poor case for changing the world as they are. Rand suffers from basing flawless logic on faulty first premises and consistently missed the big picture.

And that's why we the grownups so consistently bash her work.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. I guess you diagnosed that yourself
Grownups don't view fiction as a reason to change the world.

and I quote you directly: "they make an exceedingly poor case for changing the world"

So why engage with the ferocity that people do?

She's a person that people pathologically love to hate, and I do mean pathology.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. People who are unable to let go of the juvenile claptrap
of which Rand is a prime example are people who do the most damage to the world.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. adolescent, juvenile
Edited on Fri May-21-10 01:20 PM by sui generis
you're on a roll.

Anyway, since I am reading that by extension I'm clearly the subject of your derision I'll just have to accept that I am someone who does the most damage to the world. Whatever - you're either with me or you're agin' me and anyone who's agin' me is responsible for all the evil in the world?

Warpy. I'm disappointed that in making the case for adolescent, juvenile behavior your judgmentalism was indistinguishable from a ranting teenager.

I know you're capable of more insightful dialogue. Anyway, for me, there are a few golden threads among the dross. I don't have to eat the whole meal, nor be judged for treating anyone's philosophy as a buffet.



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LongTomH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-10 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
37. Libertarians, as a rule, don't have kids!
I had a brief flirtation with Libertarianism decades ago - I learned! But, in my experience, the majority of Libertarians were 'child-free.' That applies to some people on this board as well; but, I think the percentage of childless libertarians is larger than the percentage of childless liberals.
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-29-10 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #12
39. "We the grownups? lol
I just can't take such comments seriously...
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dchill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. "These days?"
I've been a Rand-hater for over 20 years - ever since I read "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead." There is no excuse for her "often misdirected philosophy."

"Who is John Galt?"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-herrington/who-is...
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. so two works of fiction and a one-off huffpost are your basis?
oh well, I'll restate - it's not all or nothing with me ever.

Oddly being a friend of family gives me a different insight into the woman and her idiosyncratic ideas, I'll wager.

Do you want to know what I don't like about her fiction? I don't like that her protagonists walk away at the end. Anthem. We The Living.

I think those are much more literary in their own fashion, and I don't like that about her characters, which doesn't make me hate the author.
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dchill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Yeah, that's it - my complete basis for my distaste.
Just because I've been disgusted by Rand and her Objectivism for 20 years doesn't mean that's all I know about it. You have assumed. Not my bad. Idiosyncratic - that's as far as you'll go? Really?
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. sounds like you want a fight
I guess I know more than you do, from a more personal exposure. I'm not saying you should like her - just explaining my view and rationale.

Really.
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chillspike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-10 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #16
31. I have read everything by Ayn Rand
Edited on Mon May-24-10 07:50 PM by chillspike
Both fiction and non fiction multiple times and at one time had thoroughly digested Objectivism. I am quite certain her philosophy and world view is warped and, in a lot of cases, dangerous.

Ayn Rand ignored the fact that civilization and cities arose because the more successful humans employed their success to uplift the rest of the tribe. Ayn Rand's theories undo all that by pitting the individual against the individual and advising everyone to be out for themselves in a "I don't owe you" anything attitude.

Among the Lakota tribe, the successful were EXPECTED to share their food, horses etc, with the weak and the elderly and less successful FIRST. It contributed to tribe cohesiveness. It was just understood that, from sheer numbers and luck (not laziness) that many members of the tribe would not be as successful as others and sharing was the glue to keep the tribe together and strong.

Look at any solitary animal species that can't share or get along for long periods of time with members of their own species. They won't be dominating the world anytime soon.

Rand is patently wrong when she asserts selfishness drives human success. Quite the contrary. Had humans been selfish they would not have been able to organize into large groups and dominate the planet. We would have been solitary animals with very little power on earth and some other group species would rule over us and the earth.

Because people and natural resources are not all theirs to just benefit themselves. They benefit from being a part of the human community. We are a species. We have risen as a species. We are not a bunch of cynically selfish individuals pursuing their own wants disconnected from and in ignorance of the requirements of the rest of the group. It is right that those who have been lucky enough to bring in more from nature return the most to the group.

Otherwise you're saying you live completely outside the human species with no relation or obligations to it at all and no interest in its survival as a whole at all.

Do you think the first humans hoarded survival education or demanded payment to teach others hunting or tool making? No, that knowledge was freely given to enhance the survival of the whole group. If they had we would not have even made it out of the trees. But today we hoard knowledge and think putting a price tag on everything is natural. It is unnatural.

Look at any species of social pack animals. Do you think if just the main participants in a kill were allowed to feed that that species would last very long?

To form communities that would cooperate together competition between members of a community had to devolve. And that's how humans EVOLVED. Competition between potential cooperating members of a group must go down. The larger the group, the more competition must go down to sustain the cooperation. If competition starts to rise, as it is now, the group will eventually disband. That's why nations collapse.

The more civilized we become, the lower the competitive levels and the more evolved we become.

Notice that we are more evolved than solitary species. That is because we formed groups. But to form groups, we had to control our competitive instinct.

Thanks to Right Wing ideology like Ayn Rand and the Tea baggers, we are losing control of our competitive instinct again and devolving. If this continues, it will collapse the nation.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. great link
I love how she's developed this construct based completely on another construct: her rational man is in no way connected to the experiences of human nature.
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Excellent observation, Sui Generis *smile* n/t
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
19. Her economic and social theories as expressed in the video
have been tried and the results are well known. That is why she is attacked. No mystery, no shiny thing analogy required to explain it. She completely fails to grasp history and its important lessons with regard to abusive power other than state derived power.
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Cary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. She conflated capitalism with freedom
She believed her philosophy was a priori correct, disregarding any empirical or mathematical evidence to the contrary.

Objectivism is a form of radical capitalism, along with the Austrian School and anarcho-capitalists. This is a dry socket, sui generis. Rand and other radical capitalists may not be making an economic observation but they pervert Adam Smith to justify the glorification of the worst aspects of human nature, such as greed and indifference.

I admit that I hate Ayn Rand. She has done us a great injustice. As Alan Greenspan said, there is a serious flaw in the ideology.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. see that was civil
and without personal judgment - agreed she was mostly batshit.

I'm not in the dry socket of supporting a dead economic argument - just saying I like some of the ideas without the context of economics. On reflection that probably means that I like a turn of phrase, not the philosophy couching the phrase, but that nuance is lost here on grandiose kneejerk pronouncements. Vuh.

At any rate thanks for the level headed response - when I was an adolescent I was horrified by some of the tracts I read and yet occasionally I caught a glimpse of the social underpinnings that drove her philosophy. I don't know if "greed" and "indifference" figured into her weird dissociation so much as a limbic post-narcotic vacuum from ranting on black mollies, but I am certain that the rest of us social animals perceive those views as dangerous, and require the usual villagers and pitchforks to manage instead of just picking through it like grownups.

A biologist might take a view that the underpinnings Rand relies on merely describe what humans perceive "wild" nature to be, and a lot of what we filter about the world is done to justify to ourselves that life isn't fair. Well it's not fair, but what makes humans different than predatory insects is that we perceive the mental states of the individuals around us and that we are also social beings, and we DON'T live in a free-for-all world.

I am an individualist in the noblest sense of that. I am not owned by my citizenship. I am not owned by an employer. Every thing I do at the interface of other people has an implied contract, and if the contract is out of balance, it's not worth maintaining for either party. A true individualist recognizes that you don't HAVE economic systems and social structures without recognizing everyone else's individual token in the game, and that an unfettered free for all is no longer "individualism" but closer to Rand's evolutionary psychosis.

Just the same, I think there was a noble idea early on that was left behind in the development of her philosophy over time - maybe that's the part I don't reject.



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Cary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. I assume she was noble but the road to hell and all that. . .
If you want a really interesting discussion go to I-tunes, I-tunes U, University of Illinois at springfield and download the lectures from the radical capitalism class.

I wish Professor Kline would have developed the material on Keynes better. He offers it first to demonstrate what Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman were rubbing up against.

I'm a civil person Sui Generis. However when someone starts up with me I don't back down. It's just not my nature.
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dchill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wow. I can see why Alan Greenspan...
was crazy for this woman. She gives justification for anyone worried about keeping their ill-gotten gains. Her "philosophy" is completely self-serving. Rape the environment, rape your fellows, and you are a heroic being. I'll raise you one puke.

:puke: :puke:
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davidwparker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. What a piece of work.
Mankind was meant to live in community, not isolation with dog eat dog.
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Objectivism isn't liberty, it's another form of slavery
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dchill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I agree with your statement, but I thought...
the lastline in your sig said:

"Fight the pastries that get fat on America's fear! (thanks Rachel!)"

So I had to read it again. I agree with that, too. :hi:
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MajorChode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. It's not even that. It was simply BS
Whenever you introduce a philosophy that says self-serving interests are good and ethical, it's not surprising that lots of self-serving individuals are going to like what you have to say. Ayn Rand was to philosophy what Arthur Laffer was to economics. Their theories were rotten to the core, but they told a lot of people what they wanted to hear so they embraced the concepts. Even Buckley thought Rand was completely full of shit.
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heliarc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-10 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #6
35. A = A
is simply the most stupid pseudo-philosophical concept ever. The trust in one's own objective truths is an egomaniacal pathology unto itself...

Rand is a turd.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. May she rot in Hell!
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
14. Corrupt communism or socialism...
Corrupt or incompetent communist or socialist governments can be just as bad as unbridled Capitalists.
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teknomanzer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. Certainly...
but why is it in these debates we must choose either laissez faire capitalism or authoritarian socialism? Why must we ignore all other possibilities under a democratic institution. Why is it as soon as I make the argument that a game cannot be played without rules some mouth breather suggests that I'm a communist?
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-28-10 04:58 AM
Response to Reply #18
38. Because recognizing that neither capitalism nor socialism are singular things...
...and that each have a number of forms, to the point where the "choice" they give you are just the ends of a spectrum, would undermine their argument.
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Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
21. Ayn Rand's books went around my barracks in 1967, and lots of thoughtful guys
were excited by her ideas. These guys were 19 years old; I wouldn't expect them to stay stuck in her adolescent world view.
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Raoul Donating Member (666 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. I went through that phase myself
Ron,
Ironically, when I was overseas at the age of 19 back in 1963-64, I read most of her stuff. But I'm proud to say that I never fell for the crap. The 'who is John Galt' bullshit told me everything I needed to know about her and her nutty views.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Teenage daughters of Liberals notoriously read Rand
It's part of their rebellion

Of course, the smart ones eschew this by the time they get to college..
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breadandwine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
26. Ayn Rand was a great thinker who fought valiantly for a proper world
and against those stinkin' collectivists.

Like, did you ever think about landing a man on the moon? That was a demonic communist plot by President Kennedy. If you can't get to the Moon on your own, you have no business electing a stinkin' Democrat to make the government do it.

Individualism. That's the highest ideal.

THAT'S why Ayn Rand extolled serial killers. She said they were great because they were pure individualists unhindered by the trammels of organized society. Organized society stinks. Better to sit out in a shack in the woods with a shotgun and a year's supply of canned goods because ORGANIZED SOCIETY SINKS.

Here's Ayn Rand on serial killers ---

http://www.slate.com/id/2233966

http://www.alternet.org/books/145819/ayn_rand%2C_hugely...


It's about TIME somebody stood up for serial killers, man and boy!

BP and the GOP have a right to do it, so why can't you?








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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Yes! Funny how no one mentions her serial killer fetish
Ted Bundy is her John Galt
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Cowpunk Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-10 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Yeesh! What was that line from "Last of the Mohicans"?
Oh yes..."Magua's heart is twisted. He would make himself into what twisted him."
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Cowpunk Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-10 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. BTW where's your sarcasm smilie?
Keep that up and the irony-challenged will have you tombstoned.
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chillspike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
30. "Jimmy are you sharing a cookie?"
"What did I tell you about sharing? It rewards the weak."

No one mocks Ayn Rand better than Stephan Colbert.
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heliarc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-10 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
34. She makes me sick.
what a Hag.
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chillspike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-10 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
36. Objectivist Children's Sleepover
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