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Forum Post: Objectivism!

Posted 3 years ago on Dec. 8, 2011, 6:14 p.m. EST by wonder (79)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

What are the wall street protesters views on the government philosophy known as objectivism?

http://aynrandlexicon.com/

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=objectivism_intro

Here are some sources I found to be helpful. Thanks (:

19 Comments

19 Comments


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[-] 5 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-real-ayn-rand/

Immoral, nihilistic, dangerous.

[-] 5 points by henrycameron (34) 3 years ago

A short collection of pretentious and poorly written texts that allow anyone, without need of reading them, justify their immorality on the basis that some crazy russian woman has already consecrated the theory of the "virtue of selfishnes".

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

Excellent analysis - oddly coming from Rand's character Henry Cameron..?

[-] 2 points by henrycameron (34) 3 years ago

Ha ... is that the poor Henry is one of the few truly human beings is in The Fountainhead.

Loosely ... I have been following with great interest your posts in this forum and, in particular, those having to do with Rand's work. If you allow me I would like to make you some comments and questions. I read The Fountainhead in the late 60's when I was an engineering student (Yes. .. I'm not a young person) and I must to admit that I was shocked by Roark's character. This led me to read the rest of Rand's work. Atlas completed to demonstrate the ideological fallacy and thus ended my randianists times.

When I started following this forum I was surprised to read how much influence seems to have the work of Rand in the American intelligentsia. (I 'm not from the USA). I can not really understand it. Here are my questions: Is real such influence or it is only a distortion from this forum? If real, it is recent? It comes on the rise? Rand's books are actually read or its ideological proposals are just opportunistically referred? Thanks and sorry for my poor English.

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

Good questions.

In my analysis, Rand has had an enduring impact on a certain segment of the population. She's superficially important, as you state so well, above, for people on the Tea Party right who:

justify their immorality on the basis that some crazy russian woman has already consecrated the theory of the "virtue of selfishness".

Her impact peaked in the 60s along with the candidacy of Barry Goldwater, and peaked once again more recently in reaction to the election of "socialist" Obama. I believe 2009 was the all-time best year for sales of Atlas Shrugged.

Of course, as you well know, she has a major impact on the impressionable minds of young people (men mostly) who read her works in their "invincible" years. Fortunately, most grow out of it. I think the difference, in the US, is the number of youths that have access to her works - which are often assigned reading in high school (believe it or not). With millions of copies of her books out there, a lot of kids are exposed...

As far as the "intelligentsia," I think she's taken seriously by a limited subset; the same group for whom the Austrian school represents serious economic theory and anarcho-capitalism a viable political philosophy. See Ron Paul and his supporters, for example - which explains her popularity with that faction on this website. However I think her themes are significant (defining, even) to the American right in a much broader sense.

She's influenced many mainstream political figures, such as the aforementioned Paul (and his son), Paul Ryan, who's a rising star in the Republican party, and even Alan Greenspan. There are also the Koch brothers who seem to feel they embody her ideals, and use their billions to further a libertarian utopia.

So, in summary, I think she is significant on the US political scene - definitely moreso than elsewhere. Her individualist themes are broadly popular on the American right, and in many ways have helped to pull it towards the extreme. She, and Milton Friedman seem to me the intellectual pillars of modern US conservatism. At the extreme end, just replace Friedman with Hayek...

[-] 2 points by henrycameron (34) 3 years ago

Thanks a lot for your so informative answers. Honestly I was hoping you could tell me that Rand's influence is not so important. Because if all the philosophical support of neoliberalism are Rand's books, as it's said in my country, "We are in the furnace".

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

Yes, sorry. I think there's a real pushback against neoliberalism taking shape all aorund the world, even here in the US, but today's fiscal compact in Europe shows that it will not die easily. I think you've hit the nail on the head w/regards Rand's works providing philosophical support for neoliberal policies that "empower" the individual. She provides, at least, a ready-made source of propaganda for neoliberal types. Most US libertarians (anarcho-capitalists) will reject the notion that they are in bed with neoliberalism - because they don't support the corporate welfare side of that equation - but its clear that their anti-government, pro-market value system is the political base of support for neoliberal policy makers.

I hope Occupy/Indignados (etc) can sustain itself and grow into a Keynesian army against the Friedmanites, but it will be a long battle... At least here in the states, Rand needs to be one of the first casualties - and I'm working on it. :)

[-] 2 points by henrycameron (34) 3 years ago

In relation with your purpose of reducing the credit of Rand, I would dare to suggest you to sustain the argument of how ridiculous and flippant is to hold an ideology based on literary fiction. Otherwise: bad fiction. On the other hand can easily be shown that the philosophical essays of Rand and Branden were "just business". Opposing them philosophical arguments, in my opinion, would give them an undeserved status.

This conversation has been very interesting for me. I hope to read you again in some other thread.

[-] 0 points by wonder (79) 3 years ago

She does have interesting points though, you must admit. Although her "perfect capitalism" is flawed in my opinion. It is certainly very intriguing. Although I disagree opinion-wise with her, her books are anything but poorly written. Just very... eccentric?

[-] 3 points by henrycameron (34) 3 years ago

I allow me to point out that I know well the work of the Rand. From "We the Living" to its ridiculous "Atlas", through all his non fiction texts. The only work with some literary value is "The Fountaihead" but also its grat ideological hoax. In The Fountainhead not a single line relates Roark's self-esteem with to an alleged right to material wealth. In Atlas Rand misappropriate the prestige of the artistic integrity of Roark to justify the immorality of Galt and his apostles. The Atlas characters are bizarre and pathetic. From the literary point of view this book is so poorly written, that with a few changes, Stalin would have declared it as a great example of Socialist Realism.

[-] 1 points by wonder (79) 3 years ago

DUDE! This is perfect! now to fish through comments...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22089) 3 years ago

I'm a humanitarian. I could never be an objectivist.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 3 years ago

What's the difference between objectivism and atheistic capitalism? Because that's what it just seems like to me.

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 3 years ago

Hardly anyone here likes it. I however, do agree with it.

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 3 years ago

/\ Target audience (16yo male)

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 3 years ago

Entirely correct. Maybe she wanted to rape me too.

[-] 1 points by wonder (79) 3 years ago

Really? How so?

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 3 years ago

How do I agree with her. It fits. I think that people are entitled to their money. Unlike OWS which seems to think that their money is their money but anyone who makes more than them should not have a right to what they earn.