Skip to comments.Obama VS. Rand
Posted on 06/20/2011 11:14:39 PM PDT by Absolutely Nobama
"In this corner from Russia...weighing in at 108 lbs, she is the founder of modern Libertarianism. She is the scourge of the Authoritarian Left, and the author of the timeless classics 'Atlas Shrugged' and 'Anthem'.... fighting out of the Red, White, and Blue corner, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN....I GIVE YOU AYN RAND!"
"In this corner from Hawaii, er, uh, Indonesia...Kenya, maybe ? 'Hell, we'll just call it 'Parts Unknown'...He's a socialist, he makes every Conservative scream while he's in Chris Matthews' naughtiest dreams...HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.....LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LET'S GIVE A LOUD FOURTH REICH 'SIEG HEIL!' FOR OUR DEAR LEADER....BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA!"
"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."
Ayn Rand, The Virtue Of Selfishness (1964)
"My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
Jew Hater Barack Hussein Obama (2008)
"DOWN GOES OBAMA! DOWN GOES OBAMA!"
Yes, but she had a very in-depth value system which was absolute. (She had obviously read Nietzsche). She was not a moral relativist like zero who makes up right and wrong....she based her Objectivism on Natural Law Theory (reason and logic) which is why she loathed the Postmodernists... whom she called irrational (for a reason).
it’s odd that Rand could have so much sense and understanding when she could not grasp belief of God.
I’m reading the “Virtue of Selfishness” now...Mind-blowing to say the least....
It is bizarre...
Somehow a word escaped from post #7. But I’ve trapped it here, in between two parentheses.
Just finished ‘Atlas Shrugged’ last week. WOW! It was an experience. She may not have believed in God, but I saw inspiration from God all throughout the book. Tho I don’t agree with every last tittle, our society would do well to heed her warnings. She was a genius and knew what she was talking about because she had lived it. There’s no comparison between her and the Fraud. It’s like comparing an Eagle to a sewer rat.
“its odd that Rand could have so much sense and understanding when she could not grasp belief of God.”
Like Jefferson, she couldn’t make that leap. Here’s Jefferson in a letter to Adams:
“I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.”
While Rand has a few quotes about religion that are an harsh on some tenets - they are rare throughout the bulk of her work. She said her atheism was a by-product of reason and unlike some atheists it wasn’t a reaction to religion or anti-religion, imo.
“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
The libertarian axiom and one that Rand also put forward was that one shouldn’t ‘initiate force’ against another. Iow, not pick one’s pocket or break one’s leg. Self defense is not an ‘intiation of force’ and both supported the use.
I’m an objectivist and I was at a Palin rally during the last election and I remember thinking on the way out ‘these people are my friends - we have the same goals with regard to gov’t’. And I hoped that that they would think the same of me, if they knew my basic philosophy wrt politics. Our value system and ethics are almost exactly the same - I value life, liberty and property. I want to make a slave of no man and will not be a slave of no man.
Ayn Rand describes seven basic virtues: rationality, productiveness, pride, independence, integrity, honesty and justice. While there may be more in the Christian religion, I see none there that are contrary to the teachings. Pride may be one, but Rand’s concept of pride was part of taking responsibility for oneself - and acknowledging to oneself when one has done good as well as taking responsibility for one’s faults. Over acknowledging or under acknowledging either was a fault.
I won’t talk for all libertarians (I don’t think anyone can :-) but the committment to liberty is just as strong and solid in objectivists as it is with Christians. The source is different.
The problem with Ayn Rand and “objectivism” (whose objectivity I find questionable) is that they do not merely state how the state should interact with the individual, but how the individual ought to act in order to be authentic.
May I suggest a book written earlier than Ayn Rand by another Russian who wrote against communism before the Soviet Union: Dostoevsky. Read “Notes From Underground.” Unlike Rand, he is extraordinarily concise in pointing out the problem with any Utopian system that is claiming “reason” or “rationalism” as its basis.
Rand said that rationality is “the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action.”
You can preach “rationalism” and “reason” all you want, but people are neither of those things. The true power of liberty is that it is the only system that operates with the understanding that individuals (and even groups) are not always rational and doing for their own best interest.
Every current and former member of the military can tell you precisely why Rand’s views on the obligations of the individual to himself and his community are twisted and perverse. Ayn Rand: “I swearby my life and my love of itthat I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” US Air Force Pararescue motto: “That others may live.”
I, too, am a libertarian, but I am not an “Objectivist” and I don’t believe a free society is some sort of a Utopia. It is merely the best of bad alternatives. I also do not believe in the gross perversions of reason, rationality or ethics she espouses. I daresay, had it not been for those who chose to die so that others may live and live free, Rand would have found herself in a Soviet gulag in America.
That’s perfect. I need to remember that one.
I guess I was wrong about mentioning Rand’s religion or lack thereof. It’s not like she was an ACLU atheist chasing God out every public square.
She was most definitely a genius and one of the greatest philosphers of all time, if not the greatest.
“US Air Force Pararescue motto: That others may live.”... is not contrary to Rand’s I swearby my life and my love of itthat I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Her ‘virtue of selfishness’ wasn’t an egoism that abandoned all values or of things valued. And one thing valued was a country to where people could live in liberty. But rather that frame military service in an altruistic manner of ‘giving one’s life for others’, her’s was more along the lines of Patton’s quote:
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” George S. Patton
... where the focus was not on ‘giving your life up’ but attacking aggressor. And I think she had the greatest appreciation of what our troups do for our country and our freedoms. You might read her speech to West Point.
You say: “Rands views on the obligations of the individual to himself and his community are twisted and perverse.”
I don’t think there is anything ‘perverse’ about these views:
“The necessary consequence of mans right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.
If some pacifist society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.”
The Nature of Government, The Virtue of Selfishness
“When certain statist groups, counting, apparently, on a total collapse of American self-esteem, dare go so far as to urge Americas surrender into slavery without a fight, under the slogan Better Red Than Deadthe conservatives rush to proclaim that they prefer to be dead, thus helping to spread the idea that our only alternative is communism or destruction, forgetting that the only proper answer to an ultimatum of that kind is: Better See The Reds Dead.”
Choose Your Issues, The Objectivist Newsletter
And I might point out that within the wider ‘libertarian’ faction that includes objectivists and now, it seems - some anti-war liberal types, that you’ll find the most respect and support of the military from objectivists groups like the Atlas Society and Ayn Rand Institute, than the Libetarian party of the Paul wing of the Republicans. There are exceptions and that is just my general ‘guess’ from the readings I’ve done on all sides as well as hearing speeches and interviews...... and while I may disagree with certain aspects of say, a candidate’s view, I know that they are a much better pick that who we have now.
Look, if you don’t like Rand for some reason - fine. I was just expressing a view I had at a Palin rally with mostly Christians and thought ‘these are my friends and hoped they would think the same about me’ if they knew what I held as my values and virtues which, imo, are nearly identical in the political world and acknowledge they come from a different source.
Not at all wrong to mention it. :) I think for many who come from Communism, religious systems remind them of Communism. I sometimes think her beef wasn’t so much with God, but rather religion or ‘how religion portrayed’ God. It’s definitely a relevant subject tho with Ayn Rand. I’m glad I read Atlas Shrugged because I feel it helped me understand where she was coming from better. I think your points are quite valid.
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