This is to continue the discussion of Objectivism from the front page. Some basic info:

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) (wikipedia) was a Russian immigrant, author, screenwriter and creator of the philosophy called "Objectivism", which advocates selfishness as a virtue and denounces altruism. 

Among her writings are The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, both of which have been turned into feature films.

Despite her atheism, Rand is popular among Tea Party conservatives because of her anti-tax stance.  

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan was a personal friend of Rand.

Tags: ayn rand, capitalism, objectivism, selfishness

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Replies to This Discussion

No, but an analysis of societal health does tell you the worth of what is being destroyed.  Then, you draw correlations.

I assume you have done this study, and since I haven't, could I selfishly ask for your evaluation? No use letting your expensive study go to waste, right?

Thank you very much for calling me a theist. I am always wrong and stupid.

Everywhere I go on this website, I get called stupid, or theist. If 100 people tell you you are a theist, or stupid, it must be true, right? I'm beginning to believe it!

One more thing. What if I asked to be educated not for my benefit, but for the benefit of those afraid to be called theist and stupid. Thanks for being so kind as to insult me as you help me.

In high school, I was a Rand devotee in a big way. She purports in Atlas Shrugged the idea that some people are born naturally superior to the vast, mediocre rabble, and that these superior types are being suppressed by the envious rabble. Being generally smarter at school stuff (yes, that is a technical term) than most everyone else in my school, I saw myself as a member of that superior class who naturally deserve to rule, but are being prevented by foolish liberalism designed to protect the mediocrities from losing privileges they don't deserve. Being politically naïve at the time, the fascistic leanings of this so-called philosophy passed me by. By my second year in college, I grew up and grew out of Rand's objectivism. I found much deeper thinkers and a clearer understanding of how the world really works. Rand is a utopian, and as with most utopians, her ideal society would utterly fail because it is based on so many false premises.
You know making bald faced claims without any actual sources is definitely one of the hallmarks of a closed mind . All I asked was that in each case you check your premises . Logically if one of the ideas that you or I or anyone have come to accept keeps not working in the real world one of us is right and one of us is wrong . Let reality be the final judge . And if you had actually understood Atlas Shrugged you would have seen that it was a novel and therefor a work of art and not a treatise on philosophy . Of course it is idealistic and the characters are painted as larger than life . She never once said that smart people deserve to rule or even superior philosophers . All she said at core was that there are only two ways to live on this Earth . Money or a society based on mutual trade or guns a society based on force and fear . Currently we live in a mixed economy in the U.S. It's unfortunate but probably inevitable that the economy and the country will self-destruct . Either into some form of totalitarian government or more likely civil war. As to her rejection of altruism . The definition of altruism is self-sacrifice  . In every form of tyranny throughout history the government in question has espoused this view . Religious or sectarian it makes no difference . Witness the spectacular failure of the former Soviet Union . Based on the original doctrine first promulgated by Karl Marx from each according to his ability to each according to his need . This quickly turns all men and women under this doctrine into sacrificial animals . As to Ayn Rand being a fascist you obviously have listened to other people who never even bothered to really find out that she abhorred any form of compulsion by men upon any other man and therefor hated all forms of dictatorship . It is obvious to me that you have twisted in yourself your ability to reduce your thoughts to actual real concepts based in real world experience and have bought into a twisted system of thought that can only use fallacious and flawed reasoning to rationalize your personal philosophy . Attacking the character of a person instead of addressing the actual issue is a favorite fallacy of people who find themselves unable to discuss the issue and/or refute the posited question with actual facts .

Jason Edwin DeLeo : "You know making bald faced claims without any actual sources is definitely one of the hallmarks of a closed mind."

 

Then he proceeds to make half a page with some bald faced claims without referring to any sources... my irony-meter just broke, thank you very much.

Insofar as Rand implied that her way was the only "right" way, and that her utopia could only work if everyone thought as she did - that sounds a lot like fascism of sorts to me....

 

This is where I wander off shaking my head, when talking with the Libertarians in my local atheist groups.  Libertarianism (the anarcho-capitalist type that the "true" Libertarians promote) only works in its pure form, according to them.  Societies such as what we had in the first century of this country were full of horrifying worker-abuse and child-labor, because they weren't pure capitalist societies.  If we had a pure capitalist society, those kinds of abuses would be corrected by the invisible hand of the free-market system.

 

And then I laugh.

... at great length.

 

If a philosophy or structure only works in its pure form, then it's pretty much fucked.  This is the real world that they're trying to impose their fairytale upon.  You can't get that sort of purity, without genocide or something similar.  Even then, you don't quite reach it.

> Money isn't a good measure of real value

But neither is anything else.  Money at least is objective.  If you can fund your ideas, they have verifiable merit of some sort.  Otherwise it's all words.

 

 

I was not clear enough.  In the marketplace of ideas outside verifiable science, money is a poor measure of value, but also the only measure of value.  Talk used to be cheap, now it's nearly free (I pay $85/month).  Only if you can sell your idea by gathering followers, contributions, or paid publication, can you claim any merit at all.  Unless you can actually put your idea into operation and show results.

Of course, by that measure, "The Secret" is better than Atheist Nexus, but who's counting?  At least both are on the board.

Well, yeah.  But the world is what it is, mainly because it's full of humans.  For now I'm happy enough to be getting a handle on how things work.

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