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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:46 AM
Original message
Ayn Rand: why are conservatives fascinated with her?
What is the draw? Maybe if I read her stuff, I would know, but that would mean reading her stuff and frankly I don't want to spend my limited free time plowing through something like that.
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. It has a lot to do with homoerotic feelings toward Howard Roark
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
35. LOL
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
44. Very good. nm
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. Ego Food n/t
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
3. It's been decades, but I recall that Anthem was impressive on its grade B literary merits alone.
The rest of her fiction was NOTHING extraordinary.

And, according to some, she was a self-absorbed and petty person.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
4. I read the stuff and got over it pretty quickly... I also read Dianetics... LOL
Edited on Thu Apr-09-09 08:51 AM by JCMach1
She's not exactly a great writer... and then if you go for the philosophical stuff... yikes!

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Seeking Serenity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. Conservatives really aren't., in my experience.
Libertarians, on the other hand....

Why? She speaks the libertarian's language re: free markets, weak government, self-reliance, etc.

And, within that circle, it's hip to say that you've read Ayn Rand, even if you don't understand it.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. She provides an intellectual justification for their selfishness. n/t
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. +1
We have a winner.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #6
25. Perfect answer. n/t
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Johonny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #6
38. Pretty much
She gives bad arguments against socialism, and even worse ones for unregulated capitalism. All in the morality of a long badly written story. Basically this stuff plays well if you already believe the crap to begin with. If not it's hard to make it 100 pages into the material.
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Golden Raisin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #6
43. I'd say pseudo intellectual justification.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #43
51. Good point. n/t
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
52. Exactly . . . !!!!
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. The title of her book The Virtue of Selfishness says it all
It gives the baser instincts that conservatism appeals to a patina of respectability by dressing them up in highbrow philosophical language. Most of us know that selfishness isn't a virtue by the time we reach puberty, but Rand creates a fantasy of higher beings who are exempt from the ethical concerns of ordinary folk. Randroids naturally consider themselves part of this elite, narcissists that they are.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
8. Because she provides fake intellectual cover for their greed
One thing they never mention is that she was an atheist and once even railed against conservatives for promoting religion.
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #8
21. I once read a book by a Christian conservative...
...where he said in his introduction that he had wanted to quote Ayn Rand, but her estate had denied him permission because it might make her look as if she was sympathetic to religion. You could almost hear the author changing his tone, all of a sudden she was just another evil, wicked atheist while it was obvious that he so wanted to be in her gang before he got that letter.
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earthside Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
10. Permission.
Randianism gives people "intellectual" and "philosophical" permission to be selfish and self-absorbed.

At its core it is the "philosophy" of narcissism and hedonism masquerading as "libertarianism."

It isn't even really philosophical, it's just conceit.

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markbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
11. I would direct your attention to a review of "Atlas Shrugged" by Gore Vidal
Edited on Thu Apr-09-09 09:00 AM by markbark
from a 1961 edition of Esquire magazine

An excerpt:

The Philosophy of Ayn Rand; it is a collection of penses and arias from her novels and it must be read to be believed. Herewith, a few excerpts from the Rand collection.

It was the morality of altruism that undercut American and is now destroying her.

Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society. Today, the conflict has reached its ultimate climax; the choice is clear-cut: either a new morality of rational self-interest, with its consequence of freedomor the primordial morality of altruism with its consequences of slavery, etc.

Then from one of her arias for heldentenor: I am done with the monster of we, the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: I.

The first right on earth is the right of the ego. Mans first duty is to himself.

To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men.

The creed of sacrifice is a morality for the immoral.

This odd little woman is attempting to give a moral sanction to greed and self interest, and to pull it off she must at times indulge in purest Orwellian newspeak of the freedom is slavery sort. What interests me most about her is not the absurdity of her philosophy, but the size of her audience (in my campaign for the House she was the one writer people knew and talked about). She has a great attraction for simple people who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who dislike the welfare state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts. For them, she has an enticing prescription: altruism is the root of all evil, self-interest is the only good, and if youre dumb or incompetent thats your lookout.




... sounds like it could be taken from the Neocon GOP platform, no?

--MAB
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mgc1961 Donating Member (874 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #11
27. That first one:
It was the morality of altruism that undercut American and is now destroying her.

It reads like something a girl I went out with a couple of times said to me. She really seemed to view altruism as a form of vice.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
49. Bookmarking this for later. Thanks for posting it.
*
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
12. Very simple-- she said greed was a virtue.
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Lithos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
13. There are a lot of criticisms about Ayn Rand
She attempted to create a philosophy (Objectivism) around the notion of self-interest is best. The stories themselves are long and melodramatic, the kind of stuff you would expect a teenager to come up with where everything centers around themselves.

It is rather interesting psychology to note Philosophers almost completely reject her pseudo-philosophy as being based on logical fallacy and lacking in rigor, but supporters tend to be Libertarians who idealize it for her economic model. If you extend what I very briefly mentioned above, this suggests that Libertarians live in their own melodramatic world where everything economic revolves around themselves. This sort of follows as she wrote this as an attempt to justify her own anti-government views.



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Stevenmarc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
14. Because dying lonely and bitter, like Ayn, is an achievable goal
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. LOL nt
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #14
39. Interesting thing about her death
Rand died of heart failure on March 6, 1982 at her 34th Street home in New York City, years after having successfully battled cancer, and was interred in the Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York.

Rand's funeral was attended by some of her prominent followers, including Alan Greenspan. David Kelley read her favorite poem Rudyard Kipling's "If". A six-foot floral arrangement in the shape of a dollar sign was placed near her casket.
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Vickers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
15. I read Atlas Shrugged at the urging of a friend about 30 years ago.
For one thing, it is REALLY long, so I'm guessing most Repukes have not in fact read it.

I mainly recall that the protagonist had a real hard-on for himself.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
16. For presenting the personal greed ideology in "objectivist" form, but...
also because, imagewise, she's about as cool as right-wing intellectuals get.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
17. Easy: Selfishness and Predatory Behavior Without The Guilt.
Edited on Thu Apr-09-09 09:07 AM by no_hypocrisy
Like eating a banana split with whipped cream, nuts & cherry w/o the calories.
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
18. Something basic about the idea of using other people's lives up
with total disregard in order to enrich yourself & your own family. I think they catch on to that tidbit.
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Bok_Tukalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
20. She is the prostitute in Chapter 5 of So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
``Do you want to have a good time?'' said a voice from a doorway.

``As far as I can tell,'' said Ford, ``I'm having one. Thanks.''

``Are you rich?'' said another.

This made Ford laugh.

He turned and opened his arms in a wide gesture. ``Do I look rich?'' he said.

``Don't know,'' said the girl. ``Maybe, maybe not. Maybe you'll get rich. I have a very special service for rich people ...''

``Oh yes?'' said Ford, intrigued but careful. ``And what's that?''

``I tell them it's OK to be rich.''
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. My God...you're right!
n.t.
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Bok_Tukalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. For something with more meat, she is the alternate mother in Coraline
That movie (I have not read the book) was basically the Jung conflict of letting go of the selfishness of childhood and entering adulthood. Rand is the alternate version that says remaining infantile is more noble.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
22. Because Rand affords them the opportunity of not taking responsibility for
others' needs.

Rand is the mayor of the City of Self-Interest.
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
23. Play Bioshock You'll have much more fun and watching Andrew Ryan (based on Ann) die is a treat.
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MedleyMisty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #23
31. It's sad how many of the posters seem to not realize that it's based on Ayn Rand
And it's terrifying that some of them agree with it.
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. and those that do don't realize that it's that same philosophy that destroys his society ingame.
n/t
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
28. She validates their childhood fantasies.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
29. She reminds them of their stern, unloving mother, who potty trained them badly.
Or maybe just a shitty role model of a father.

Either way, it goes back to really bad parenting in early life, IMHO.
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Saboburns Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
30. Remember WingNuts are fascinated by Ronald Raygun
Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and the TeeVee show 24.

They believe that we're the good guys, and anything we do is under the guidance of God, who happens to be a rich, white guy.

Fantasy is their forte.

It's REALITY they have a problem with!!

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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
32. I think it is because her philosophy gives license to their selfishness
By blaming the victim for being lazy and denouncing charity as "enabling" those who won't pull themselves up by the bootstraps it allows them to reconcile their supposed observance of "Christianity" (which obviously preaches just the opposite) with their desire to run over everyone else, consequences be damned. She gives them a way to claim "compassionate conservatism" (though it is clearly an oxymoron).
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
33. Her teaching absolute disdain for Altruism made it easy for therm
to attack Liberalism and do as much as they could to destoy it.
(Shatter the idea of a common good.)

"The Virtue of Selfishness" should be read carefully so everyone
knows and understands--the knee jerk reactions we see today.


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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
36. So in summary, she lends a certain legitimacy to the philosophy of...
...I've got mine so you all can go to hell for all I care.
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benld74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
37. ITS FICTION and they don't believe NON-FICTION
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keroro gunsou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
40. she gives them
a reasonably plausible moral justification for being greedy, selfish, cock-knockers.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
41. She helps them blame the victims.
They're all for hereditary wealth and power, and it's only when someone poor complains that they dust off Rand.
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
42. She was the prototypical neocon.
Selfish. Void of compassion. Greedy. Lying. Self-deluding. Insecure. Afraid.

I'm sure there is more, but I got tired of her very quickly. Reading her reminded me of people like phil graham and newt gingrich and karl rove.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
45. Her books appeal to the weak minded that believe the fantasy. I was a follower in high school. nm
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
46. Supposed to be making Atlas Shrugged in to a movie now
Edited on Thu Apr-09-09 12:17 PM by RamboLiberal
With 'Atlas Shrugged,' Hollywood may have its first anti-bailout movie

Hollywood could soon be going Objectivist.

After decades in development hell, Ayn Rands capitalism-minded Atlas Shrugged is taking new steps toward the big screen with one of the film worlds most prominent money men potentially at its center.

Ryan Kavanaughs Relativity Media is circling the Baldwin Entertainment project and could come aboard to finance with Lionsgate, which got involved several years ago.

Rands popular but polarizing book its derided by many literary critics but has a huge public following tells the story of Dagny Taggart, a railroad executive trying to keep her corporation competitive in the face of what she perceives as a lack of innovation and individual responsibility.

A number of stars have expressed serious interest in playing the lead role of Taggart. Angelina Jolie previously had been reported as a candidate to play the strong female character, but the list is growing and now includes Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway.

http://www.riskybusinessblog.com/2009/03/with-atlas-shr...

RW'ers must be estatic!

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TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
47. The thing is Republicans do not actually understand the concepts that they lay claim to.
They associate Raygun with Friedmanite economics, but although the GOP claimed the mantle they never got anywhere near implementing Monetarist economics. In fact Raygun significantly raised taxes and allowed a major expansion in the money supply. The only thing associating the works of Raygun and Friedman are the rose tinted spectacles of rewritten Republican history.

They like to lay claim to the philosophies of Ayn Rand, but their Party of so called minimalist Government is very big Government when it comes to homosexuality, abortion and economically the protection of Corporations (not exactly a business model supported by Libertarians); As for where is John Galt - well his phone is probably being wire tapped and his movements tracked as a result of their so called minimalist Government.

They like to use the Laffer Curve for justification of their tax policies. The Laffer Curve is a representation of the optimum tax rate, above or below which revenues fall. It does not and can never be used to justify continually reducing tax rates. That optimum, looking at tax rates v revenue from the 70s to date is closer to the levels set by Bill Clinton. As well as pure economic arguments about levels of taxation, which is all the Laffer Curve can be used to justify, one has to consider what rates are socially appropriate for redistributive purposes. That however is a completely different argument.

You can not however expect a Republican to understand their "guiding principles". That would require being able to read AND comprehend.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
48. Because she produced easy-to-read conservative porn.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
50. There's only a couple of conservatives who can be called intellectuals
she's one of them. They try to pretend they are the equal of liberals as far as intellectulism goes, and it is so pathetic, esp since Buckley died (after turning libertarian)

They are sort of stuck with her. She allows them to celebrate their utter craven selfishness with a veil of intellectual seriousness thrown over it.
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
53. They find great utility & applique in her rap on individualism: 'Individualism regards manevery man
'as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rightsand that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.

Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: Ill do as I please at everybody elses expense. An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of manhis own and those of others.'

An individualist is a man who says: I will not run anyones lifenor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyonenor sacrifice anyone to myself.


http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/individualism.html

Understanding "inalienable right(s)" as a true, bona fide Lofty American Poetry they drop the ball here however, "An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of manhis own and those of others" and clearly so in that they reserve ALL rights, inalienable or otherwise, for themselves and others like them and so, for conservatives and some others...

Rand is a malleable word-smith herself a bit of an aristocrat it can be said as well; that provided them with a glimpse onto the individual that boiled instead & down very quickly into

"I got mine, go get your own"
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
54. They love chicks with comb overs?
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
55. Read this
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Budgies Revenge Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
56. what I can't figure out...
is how people like Beck, who are supposed to be so religious, can be so into Ayn Rand's stuff. I watched a 1959 Mike Wallace interview with her on YouTube, where she discussed how there was no place for religion in her philosophy....at all...religion, and objectivism are incompatible. She seemed to be saying that religion helps foster all those yucky feelings of charity, empathy, and humanity (all evil ideas in her philosophy). I mean, what the hell?
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
57. I don't get it either. Most atheists/agnostics that I know are either...
...very liberal politically (not to mean democrats which are hardly liberal economically), or marxists, raging socialists or communists.

the randroids are a tiny percentage in my experiance however i have met a few over the years.

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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. but most Rand followers are not atheist/agnostic but actually very religious
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. which is weird because she was a hard core atheist.
they only go for her twisted belief in selfishness as a virtue (i.e. selfish capitalism) and ignore her very public and publicized athieism.

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