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  1. #71
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I have no evidence for or against this. The only demographic information I have says it is a small and isolated group that tends to have sympathizers in college (age groups).

    In any case, I'm referring to a known couple of effects, not really talking about objectivists. Those that have money believe they deserve it rather than believe they were lucky/etc, and the tendency to justify this belief through a moral system the discharges any particular guilt or responsibility. It's the same for everyone, the only variation is what we are justifying.
    Nobody has the Objectivist demographics, but I have chatted with dozens of them and only one or two of them could be considered rich or independently wealthy. I've chatted with teen Objectivists, college student Objectivists, a book-store owner, etc., but not a single one of them could be considered a one-percenter. And I think the latter is the demographic @wildcat was referring to. I'm just saying they come from all walks of life.

    I don't know what you mean by an "isolated" group of sympathizers. They are no more isolated than any other group.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #72
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    I don't know what you mean by an "isolated" group of sympathizers. They are no more isolated than any other group.
    General opinion of objectivists is cultish, which is what I am referring to in isolation. I meant sympathizers as non-objectivists with some similar viewpoints. Those are easy to find in the US, with its strong individualism and a pretty active libertarian movement. Those beliefs largely appeals to college age individuals.

    So, be clear - a small isolated group of actual objectivists and a larger pool of sympathizers.

    Lastly, I am not saying that all objectivists are rich, I'm saying that rich objectivists can and do use objectivism as justification for their position in life.

  3. #73
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    General opinion of objectivists is cultish, which is what I am referring to in isolation. I meant sympathizers as non-objectivists with some similar viewpoints. Those are easy to find in the US, with its strong individualism and a pretty active libertarian movement. Those beliefs largely appeals to college age individuals.

    So, be clear - a small isolated group of actual objectivists and a larger pool of sympathizers.

    Lastly, I am not saying that all objectivists are rich, I'm saying that rich objectivists can and do use objectivism as justification for their position in life.
    I have run across only one real-life Objectivist, a student. This was around 20 years ago. But I suppose they are easy to stumble over now and again, if you're in the right places - college campi and espresso shops.

    If you care to find some online Objectivists - I wouldn't suggest their forums which are ruled over with the iron fist of "reason" - Facebook has some active pages with some decent admins. One of them is here:

    https://www.facebook.com/AtlasShrugged
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  4. #74
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    My father was not one of the onepromillers.
    A high income is not enough, you need old inherited money, and lots of it.

    My grandfather had bought millions and millions of German Reichsmarks.
    Everybody here thought Germany would win WW I.
    There was no inflation in Germany when the war started. He lost everything the first time around, and then he had dealings with Mr. W for a decade, or two.
    Mr. W became the richest man in this country, but my grandfather lost everything, again.
    I heard rumours the gunships of the frontier guard attacked his vessels during the prohibition, and they sank. Someone had tipped them off. During the other war, in 1940, he had only his villa on the coast. It burned during the night he died.

    So my father had nothing. He never could have become an onepromiller.
    But he made enough for a comfortable life. He never mentioned the name of Ayn Rand.
    He talked like one. All the time. I became so sick of it.

    This thing you call objectivism is bitterness.

    This is what it was and what it always is, I think. He was bitter because his father had done stupid things, and because the richest man in the north, his grandfather, had spent his last night in the casino. Nothing was left when the bill was settled, and his favourite aunt had to stop her studies before graduation and return home and live like a poor spinster. Her sister found a job in a bank, but she soon found out the bank manager had stolen lots of money from the bank. She was fired, of course. The favourite aunt had to support her sister, too. Private instruction. They ate porridge.

    It is this kind of stories that are behing this phenomenon.
    It is not the onepromillers. What do they care. It is men like my father.
    They worry day and night about the money. They need an excuse not to give any of it away.

  5. #75
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    My father was not one of the onepromillers.
    A high income is not enough, you need old inherited money, and lots of it.

    My grandfather had bought millions and millions of German Reichsmarks.
    Everybody here thought Germany would win WW I.
    There was no inflation in Germany when the war started. He lost everything the first time around, and then he had dealings with Mr. W for a decade, or two.
    Mr. W became the richest man in this country, but my grandfather lost everything, again.
    I heard rumours the gunships of the frontier guard attacked his vessels during the prohibition, and they sank. Someone had tipped them off. During the other war, in 1940, he had only his villa on the coast. It burned during the night he died.

    So my father had nothing. He never could have become an onepromiller.
    But he made enough for a comfortable life. He never mentioned the name of Ayn Rand.
    He talked like one. All the time. I became so sick of it.

    This thing you call objectivism is bitterness.

    This is what it was and what it always is, I think. He was bitter because his father had done stupid things, and because the richest man in the north, his grandfather, had spent his last night in the casino. Nothing was left when the bill was settled, and his favourite aunt had to stop her studies before graduation and return home and live like a poor spinster. Her sister found a job in a bank, but she soon found out the bank manager had stolen lots of money from the bank. She was fired, of course. The favourite aunt had to support her sister, too. Private instruction. They ate porridge.

    It is this kind of stories that are behing this phenomenon.
    It is not the onepromillers. What do they care. It is men like my father.
    They worry day and night about the money. They need an excuse not to give any of it away.
    I'm not attacking the viewpoint left behind by your heritage. But a clue to what you're saying lies in your very first lines.

    "A high income is not enough, you need old inherited money, and lots of it."

    That is an incredibly European viewpoint of wealth. It is certainly not American.

    Rand was from Europe. Eastern Europe. She was a European expatriate.

    She explained the different attitudes concerning wealth in an article entitled "Don't Let It Go" (Nov 22 1971) -

    '"Isn't my money as good as the next fellow's?" used to be a popular American expression. It would not be popular in Europe: a fortune, to be good, must be old and derived by special favor from the State; to a European, money earned by personal effort is vulgar, crude or somehow disreputable.
    Americans admire achievement; they know what it takes. Europeans regard achievement with cynical suspicion and envy. Envy is not a widespread emotion in America (not yet); it is an overwhelmingly dominant emotion in Europe.'

    Rand's viewpoint on wealth cannot be understood from the cultural perspective of a European.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  6. #76
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    If you care to find some online Objectivists - I wouldn't suggest their forums which are ruled over with the iron fist of "reason" - Facebook has some active pages with some decent admins. One of them is here:

    https://www.facebook.com/AtlasShrugged

    I appreciate the sentiment, but having spent a decade as a fairly "in" objectivist, I can safely say I don't have any interest in returning to the fold. That goes many times over for the philosophy, if I'm still polite enough to call it that.

  7. #77
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    I'm not attacking the viewpoint left behind by your heritage. But a clue to what you're saying lies in your very first lines.

    "A high income is not enough, you need old inherited money, and lots of it."

    That is an incredibly European viewpoint of wealth. It is certainly not American.

    Rand was from Europe. Eastern Europe. She was a European expatriate.

    She explained the different attitudes concerning wealth in an article entitled "Don't Let It Go" (Nov 22 1971) -

    '"Isn't my money as good as the next fellow's?" used to be a popular American expression. It would not be popular in Europe: a fortune, to be good, must be old and derived by special favor from the State; to a European, money earned by personal effort is vulgar, crude or somehow disreputable.
    Americans admire achievement; they know what it takes. Europeans regard achievement with cynical suspicion and envy. Envy is not a widespread emotion in America (not yet); it is an overwhelmingly dominant emotion in Europe.'

    Rand's viewpoint on wealth cannot be understood from the cultural perspective of a European.
    I met a countryman abroad, in the 70s. I call him J. We became friends.
    Offhandedly, he mentioned about his connections.
    I did not see the difference there.

    Back home, I was working in the university library. He came in. He did not see me.
    He sat down close to my place. I could see him, but he could not see me.
    The Dean came in. I knew instantly why he was there. I knew where he would sit down.

    They sat there for hours, side by side. It occured to me J was doing his graduation work.

    Soon later, his work was printed as a book. It was everywhere, people and papers talked about it.
    Then J. did his post graduation work and became chief of an important national institution.

    You cannot buy tuition in a library. You cannot buy a government situation.
    Old money is not for sale.

  8. #78
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    General opinion of objectivists is cultish, which is what I am referring to in isolation. I meant sympathizers as non-objectivists with some similar viewpoints. Those are easy to find in the US, with its strong individualism and a pretty active libertarian movement. Those beliefs largely appeals to college age individuals.

    So, be clear - a small isolated group of actual objectivists and a larger pool of sympathizers.

    Lastly, I am not saying that all objectivists are rich, I'm saying that rich objectivists can and do use objectivism as justification for their position in life.
    Yes. They do.
    Thank you for many good posts.

  9. #79
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    I met a countryman abroad, in the 70s. I call him J. We became friends.
    Offhandedly, he mentioned about his connections.
    I did not see the difference there.

    Back home, I was working in the university library. He came in. He did not see me.
    He sat down close to my place. I could see him, but he could not see me.
    The Dean came in. I knew instantly why he was there. I knew where he would sit down.

    They sat there for hours, side by side. It occured to me J was doing his graduation work.

    Soon later, his work was printed as a book. It was everywhere, people and papers talked about it.
    Then J. did his post graduation work and became chief of an important national institution.

    You cannot buy tuition in a library. You cannot buy a government situation.
    Old money is not for sale.
    You're revealing a cynical European cultural blind-spot that looks only for the one example that satisfies a belief system.

    My ex-boss is a self-made millionaire businessman. He started small and worked his way up. He's not the richest, but he is considered by some to be the most successful businessman in his industry.

    This guy doesn't just sit in his office counting his money and making connections. He is out there every day getting his hands dirty like everybody else. He is a true American success story, something that Europeans cannot understand.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  10. #80
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    You're revealing a cynical European cultural blind-spot that looks only for the one example that satisfies a belief system.

    My ex-boss is a self-made millionaire businessman. He started small and worked his way up. He's not the richest, but he is considered by some to be the most successful businessman in his industry.

    This guy doesn't just sit in his office counting his money and making connections. He is out there every day getting his hands dirty like everybody else. He is a true American success story, something that Europeans cannot understand.
    I have no idea how that kind of thing happens. What does mean being out there? Why do you have to get your hands dirty?

    I am afraid there is some kind of misunderstanding here. J never counted his money, he never made connections. I do not think it would have occured to him ever to think about money. He did not make the connections his family already had.

    It is all about family and connections, you see. It is the family that has the connections. You cannot connect on your own. You do not phone your father and say, hey father, connect Mr X, I need a job.
    You do not need a job, or money. The family has the connections that do provide all and everything before you need it.

    Hitler asked Mussolini why he doesn't have Ciano shot. Mussolini said: La famiglia..
    And Hitler did not get it. He did not have a decent family of his own.

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