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I considered myself an objectivist before reading Atlas Shrugged. I'm a fast avid reader but these days I prefer non fiction over fiction. Atlas Shrugged took me months to read, I annotated it, I vomited in it, I screamed at it. Never have I read a book that so deserved to be burned, not because it's evil, but because it's stupid, and badly written, and it's a frikin shame to have wasted any trees to print that shit. So I'm very careful about using the word objectivist also. There are parts of me which are objectivist, there are parts of me which are communist, there are parts of me which are free market (anti-monopoly) and there are parts of me, the biggest part, which just wants all market activity to simply cease, and all economists to die suddenly of a mythical disease which would strike all professional liars. Ayn Rand is was herself a leach, earning passive income in the form of royalties for spouting nonsense. Atlas Shrugged was a bunch of lies serving as foundation for a ridiculous society.
I also vote for the "wrong" major political party.
I actually read the Fountainhead and The Virtue of Selfishness, both buy Ayn Rand, and I am sure that I am an objectivist also. I was an objectivist before I knew about Ayn Rand, I just didn't call myself as such. I've been a small government conservative since I started working at paying jobs and realized that taxes suck. I don't care about monopolies.
Yeah, sucks when people steal your effective, accurate labels. Alas, this one is better off being abandoned. Most women who know Ayn Rand and know what Objectivism (capital-O) is won't stop off and ask you what you mean by the term. You'll just never hear back from them.
Ayn Rand's books are incredibly dense and hard as hell to get through. One of them includes something like an 80 or 100 page monologue by the protagonist. She was not a very good writer, on top of her ethical and philosophical failings. It's sort of like my reading of the Bible. It was painful, but it's important to do, to understand those you're opposed to.
Wow, you've never heard of Atlas Shrugged? The Fountainhead? Yeah, I can see how you'd miss all of my initial comments, then.
Yeah, the true Libertarian position is a massive pipe dream. Yes, what if there were NO regulations on capitalism, and everyone was allowed to engage in trade without the government messing everything up? "Yeah, like that 'd make like, ya' know, the best society evar!"
When speaking to the anarcho-capitalists, you get this fugly mishmash of ideas, such as every small business being allowed to get access to necessary resources, without government intervention, and competing fairly on the marketplace, without government intervention. They seem to be oblivious to monopolies and the fact that it's government intervention that prevents huge mega-corporations from crushing every small-business owner like a grape. The utopian vision that they present in conjunction with their philosophy would not be even a possible result of their philosophy, never mind the inevitability they claim.
It's simplistic, idealistic, and childish ... thus my original comments about growing out of it, had that been your philosophy.
Ayn Rand was even further out there. She flat-out stated that the tiny number of truly creative people in the world deserved to get everything and be in control of society, and everyone else could be crushed and abandoned. It's a pretty dystopian worldview. It ignores the fact that most people who manage to seize huge amounts of money and power are not usually the sort to turn around and be philanthropic about it. Hell, for that matter, her protagonists weren't particularly philanthropic about it, in the vehicles she presented as a demonstration of her philosophy.
It's sort of like Marxism, while being at the opposite side of the economic spectrum. It would work beautifully, if people wouldn't insisting on acting like ... well ... people.
More to the point, it's not even exactly rational. It's almost as dogmatic as a religion. It's similar to trickle-down economics, in that it simply won't create the situation that proponents of the philosophy claim it will. If the anarcho-capitalists had their way, we'd be a third-world country.
As for compassion ... fuck. Ayn Rand's idol was a serial killer. I don't think she understood the meaning of the word.
ryan: Joseph P is correct that Objectivism--with a capital "O"--is a label that has been taken, sadly enough, by the life-philosophy of Ayn Rand. It includes atheism, a belief in science, unfettered capitalism, and a rather compassionless version of rational self-interest as its ethics (its adherents deny the "compassionless" characterization, but I've never seen compassion in the Rand essays I've read).
Objectivism, particularly with a capital O, has been claimed by the Ayn Rand acolytes. You may want to be careful using the label which has been acknowledged by most of society. If you mean small-o objectivism, you may want to find another way of saying it. The word's been tainted, sadly.
Trust me; I've done the research. I know several anarcho-capitalist Libertarians who worship Ayn Rand.
And you didn't give us any context, just the word with a capital O, in the middle of a list of what could be random, unassociated characteristics. ^.^ Try responding something to the effect of, "Oh, those Ayn Rand worshipers? No, I think those guys are fucking nuts, too."
If you don't mean that you're an Ayn Rand acolyte, then you don't necessarily have anything to grow out of. I mean, you still might. I don't know you personally. But I don't see anything else obvious that the statement applies to, at least.
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