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Thread: Ayn Rand

  1. #121
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The reality is there will always be people who want mutually exclusive things, and people who want a share of what isn't plentiful enough for the lot of them. Live and let live is a simple mantra that doesn't solve a single tough problem.
    Therein' lies the rub. As long as people aren't starving or living on the street, everything else is gravy, gravy people need to work for. If you can't afford it, don't get it.

  2. #122
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Therein' lies the rub. As long as people aren't starving or living on the street, everything else is gravy, gravy people need to work for. If you can't afford it, don't get it.
    How do you expect the economy to stay afloat with that attitude?

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    How do you expect the economy to stay afloat with that attitude?
    Ha...so you want to play the economics game?

  4. #124
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Therein' lies the rub. As long as people aren't starving or living on the street, everything else is gravy, gravy people need to work for. If you can't afford it, don't get it.
    The complexity of the situation comes from the fact that the powerful have the means to comfortably trample all over others for what they want. It's not as simple as keeping people from starving and then requiring all beyond that to be earned. Maybe the person with the most power gains something from keeping some people starving. Maybe the person with the most power manipulates the means by which someone can earn or afford something. When it comes to those who have the power to control others, I expect them to only intone that we live and let live in the form of a double-standard.

    Everything from checks and balances in the government to corporate regulation is, at least in principle, based in the attempt to dilute that sort of power.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Ha...so you want to play the economics game?
    Doesn't exactly seem like I have a choice.

  6. #126
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    I'm questioning the means here, of accumulation. Live and let live isn't necessarily what I'm seeing. I'm reading "what is good for me is right" is the summation of what a man's ideology should be, and looking for a point at which that becomes untrue, at which what is good for you is not right, and I'm looking for some logical equation in the ideas and philosophy of Rand or objectivism that makes that says that self-interest can be the motivation and the action can still be bad at some point, and what that point is exactly. Where tricking, conning, underpaying or otherwise exploiting people for profit and, say, killing for the same are any different, where it is no longer just what is right for you, but what is moral in other terms. I do not see that anywhere.
    Rand is clear on at least some of these limits. At the risk of prooftexting:

    Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins.

    The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence.

    So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate the use of physical force against others.
    So violence is not allowed, even to promote one's self-interest, except for self-defense.

    People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked. The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.

    If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others.

    A rational man never distorts or corrupts his own standards and judgement in order to appeal to the irrationality, stupidy, or dishonesty of others
    Rand seems opposed to lying, which is at the root of many forms of exploitation. Imagine if everyone with wealth and power, or attempting to gain it, were completely honest.

    Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.

    Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
    Rand recognizes at least some motivations as harmful, and some methods of gaining money as dishonorable (presumably those that involve force, violence, deceit, etc.)

    If one doesn't respect oneself one can have neither love nor respect for others.
    Rand seems to value both respect and love. Her definitions of both may be considerably different from most people's, but suggest a morality predicated on the notion that EVERY individual has the right (even the obligation) to act in their own best, true self-interest. If one person's manner of doing so prevents another from doing the same, some adjustment must be made, or the system won't work. (Probably the trouble with it: people are not honest, respectful, and attentive to their genuine self-interest.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    I'd say superficially it looks like she discards empathy. I think it can be agreed that empathic bonds between members of a society are part of what bind us together as a group-our own emotions force us to take care of each other, even to our own detriment. Is empathy a law of nature? Errr...

    Anyways, she doesnt really get rid of empathy but just the part that is more Fe sounding. As can be seen from quotes in the thread she stressed individuality, thus as an individual I can choose to help another of my own free will, without it being obligated as a government mandate.
    It would be impossible to legislate empathy in any case. It can only be practiced voluntarily. A workable "system" can only rely on objective standards of behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Rand was a fan of money, and more importantly, wealth, as opposed to power. In her books the heroes are the ones who generate wealth through value-added processes such as manufacturing or transporation; her villains are always the ones who hold the reigns of political power either personally or by proxy, and who use that power to leech a living by the sweat of the hero's brow.
    Have you read We the Living? The "heroes" there are much different, and those who are making money are almost universally portrayed as scoundrels.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #127
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    I read atlas for a class. I was so fucking pissed after I wasted my time reading it to find that near the ending is a 50 page speech that sums up (like in cliff notes form) what the point was in the 1100 pages preceding it.

    I'm glad shes dead.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Rand is clear on at least some of these limits. At the risk of prooftexting:


    So violence is not allowed, even to promote one's self-interest, except for self-defense.
    Cool. Now enforce it.

    Rand seems opposed to lying, which is at the root of many forms of exploitation. Imagine if everyone with wealth and power, or attempting to gain it, were completely honest.
    In that case, they would not have wealth and power, because there would be no profit.

    Rand recognizes at least some motivations as harmful, and some methods of gaining money as dishonorable (presumably those that involve force, violence, deceit, etc.)
    Except for that one psychopathic rapist/murderer she idolized.

    Rand seems to value both respect and love. Her definitions of both may be considerably different from most people's, but suggest a morality predicated on the notion that EVERY individual has the right (even the obligation) to act in their own best, true self-interest. If one person's manner of doing so prevents another from doing the same, some adjustment must be made, or the system won't work. (Probably the trouble with it: people are not honest, respectful, and attentive to their genuine self-interest.)
    She doesn't value love because she doesn't understand it. Her entire worldview is predicated on a belief that no one should be vulnerable to another person at any time for any reason whatsoever. You cannot have love without vulnerability, because to love means that you are willing in certain circumstances to sacrifice rational self-interest for the benefit of another.

    Let me put it another way. If there were a famine, Rand would not suggest that a mother kill her sickly child to survive. However, she would insist that the mother should not sacrifice her own well-being for that of the child. Indeed, if times were particularly dire, she would not take umbrage with abandoning the child altogether.

    It would be impossible to legislate empathy in any case. It can only be practiced voluntarily. A workable "system" can only rely on objective standards of behavior.
    Empathy isn't "practiced." In many, if not most of us, it is compulsory. That's always been the problem with Rand: she diminishes the importance of social emotions because she simply doesn't have them.

    Have you read We the Living? The "heroes" there are much different, and those who are making money are almost universally portrayed as scoundrels.
    That's because We the Living is the black sheep among her works. Rand wasn't rich yet when she wrote it. Not only that, but she was much more Nietzschean at the time. The State wasn't oppressive because it was collectivist or exploitative; it was oppressive because it actively denied people the ability to express their will to power. It imposed a slave mentality (symbolized by Leo's tuberculosis) that led to the corruption of the individual members of society. It wasn't until Rand experienced the pleasures of American capitalism that she began to break with Nietzsche.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    Distrust, lynching or abandonment only happens if A) you get caught or B) you give them somewhere else to go, of C) you are protected by other means. Goldman-Sachs, for reference, did not get lynched and made off with more money. So they acted against Objectivism because?
    If objectivism was strictly practiced, there would be no law shielding GS from the retribution of their victims. An objectivist would consider self destructive choices to be "evil".

    And yeah, I think we should assume some inherent worth in other human beings. Otherwise, we can also assume other human beings don't deserve rights. Even serial killers deserve a trial,
    A trial is only a practical method to reduce the chance of harm in case we get wrongfully accused. It is based on big picture self interest, not on the supposition that humans are inherently entitled.

    If backlash is the only issue, all you need to do is accumulate power and hold it until you die.
    That is easier said that done. That is why it is more rational to make friends rather than enemies.

    The holocaust wasn't what brought Hitler down, and since it provided a nice economic scapegoat, since maybe the construction of ghettos and camps and railroads or reshuffling of money in Germany may have helped the depression and built up his nation, and by proxy his own, power, you could argue it was a good thing.
    His demise supported the notion that it is unwise to make too many enemies. His actions brought the wrath of the world powers upon him.

    One does not need morals to refrain from antisocial behavior. Rational self interest can provide sufficient motivation.

  10. #130
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Cool. Now enforce it.
    Yes, like many social/economic/political theories, the problem lies in implementation.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Except for that one psychopathic rapist/murderer she idolized.
    From what I remember, she approved of some of his comments, not necessarily his actions.
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    She doesn't value love because she doesn't understand it. Her entire worldview is predicated on a belief that no one should be vulnerable to another person at any time for any reason whatsoever. You cannot have love without vulnerability, because to love means that you are willing in certain circumstances to sacrifice rational self-interest for the benefit of another.

    Let me put it another way. If there were a famine, Rand would not suggest that a mother kill her sickly child to survive. However, she would insist that the mother should not sacrifice her own well-being for that of the child. Indeed, if times were particularly dire, she would not take umbrage with abandoning the child altogether.
    Rand perhaps does not value what you consider to be love, but love is subjective enough to defy a single, common definition. I think she would want a mother in such a dire situation to be free to take the course of action she thought best. Many people consider survival of one's offspring to be in one's own interests. Protecting one's own children is not generally included in the scope of altruism for this reason. Another of Rand's quotes that I can't find right now says essentially that she would give up her life for another, but not let the other tell her how to live her life while still alive.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    That's because We the Living is the black sheep among her works. Rand wasn't rich yet when she wrote it. Not only that, but she was much more Nietzschean at the time. The State wasn't oppressive because it was collectivist or exploitative; it was oppressive because it actively denied people the ability to express their will to power. It imposed a slave mentality (symbolized by Leo's tuberculosis) that led to the corruption of the individual members of society. It wasn't until Rand experienced the pleasures of American capitalism that she began to break with Nietzsche.
    WTL may stand out as an early work among Rand's writings, but in her 1950's preface, she indicates that she is still well-pleased with what she managed to communicate in the novel, notwithstanding her relative lack of experience as a writer at the time.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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