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Why do Tea Partiers love ‘Atlas Shrugged’?
Posted: 27 June 2010 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 26 June 2010 03:26 PM

 

If it came down to you and another person on an island, you’d take yourself every time.

Hopefully we’d both have the intelligence to look for a mutually beneficial “win win” relationship.

All these alleged liberals that go around talking about being selfish, while they drive huge cars, fly all around the world, etc (which there is nothing wrong with), are so completely phony.  I know, I know…but they say they are doing it for a good cause, or helping people…Ayn Rand believed we should stop with the pretense.  Next time you go to buy a car, cut your buying price in half and give the other half to a homeless person.

Yes, you have a point but people will be inclined to make the choices they make, given the system. The question is should the system be different? Should the system be such that some people are a lot worse off than others? And if so why?

Stephen

edit: p.s I’m not on any “side” b.t.w I’m very much on the political fence, just interested in your views as a libertarian.

[ Edited: 27 June 2010 05:14 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 27 June 2010 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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StephenLawrence - 27 June 2010 04:55 AM
UlsterScots432 - 26 June 2010 03:26 PM

 

If it came down to you and another person on an island, you’d take yourself every time.

Hopefully we’d both have the intelligence to look for a mutually beneficial “win win” relationship.

All these alleged liberals that go around talking about being selfish, while they drive huge cars, fly all around the world, etc (which there is nothing wrong with), are so completely phony.  I know, I know…but they say they are doing it for a good cause, or helping people…Ayn Rand believed we should stop with the pretense.  Next time you go to buy a car, cut your buying price in half and give the other half to a homeless person.

Yes, you have a point but people will be inclined to make the choices they make, given the system. The question is should the system be different? Should the system be such that some people are a lot worse off than others? And if so why?

Stephen


edit: p.s I’m not on any “side” b.t.w I’m very much on the political fence, just interested in your views as a libertarian.

I’d want a win-win situation too, but we cannot presume the other actors are always rational.  Game theory studies show us people are not always rational and will not always seek 50-50 situations, but instead zero-sum sometimes.  But we also know that people can be altruistic at times, just as much as selfish (my point is that each person should be free to decide when and how to be either). 

In speaking of the “system” (the best term, I agree for framing the argument), what is the objective criteria for determining who is a “have” and who is a “have not”?  Also, under what moral premise does one take from another, something they earned.  I already posted my views on the Veil of Ignorance (the points) and the Social Contract, on another thread. 

Does someone have a right to demand X amount in time and/or money from Jennifer Lopez, simply because she is one of the wealthiest people in the US?  Simply because she spent her entire childhood in elite private schooling and attended an elite prestigious prep school?  Does anyone doubt she worked hard to get where she is at? (and that her parents probably worked hard to put her thru such schooling?). 

Equality before the law is key to ensuring individuals have no obstruction from taking all legal opportunities to rise (even to president, regardless of race, background, etc).  Under what premise do we try to “even things out”, when those arguing for such remedies cannot objectively define who is deserved (and under what premise) of demanded charity, and who should be required to provide it.  I can find 100 people that might point to YOU.  (And vice-versa no doubt).  The mob seems to move in different directions, as do the goal posts.  Is it Bill Gates, or the guy who makes 200k that lives in my neighborhood? 

Athletes in the NFL, NBA and entertainers make shitloads of money…does anyone here have an objective measure of their “free money” and/or time they should provide, and to whom, if so?  The argument that they got there with all the “little people” (sometimes an argument of last resort for liberals), fails to note that many (I’d say most) of the most successful people WERE the little people (waitressing while trying out for parts, putting in 80 hours a week of practice in their sport, working night shifts, serving in the military, etc).  Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  Oprah grew up with many people who went on to be poor (by US standards), or didn’t succeed like her…what about her made her different? HER WORK ETHIC.  Who here demands that she give or do anything for someone, without her consent?

A VERY SERIOUS POLL FOR THE SOCIALISTS and/or LIBS ON HERE:  If someone makes $200k a year, should they have to pay more than 25 percent in taxes?  Should they have to give a certain amount in charity beyond that? And if so, what amount?  I assume that 200k would be “rich” to most of us on here.

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Posted: 28 June 2010 04:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 27 June 2010 05:18 PM

  I’d want a win-win situation too, but we cannot presume the other actors are always rational.  Game theory studies show us people are not always rational and will not always seek 50-50 situations, but instead zero-sum sometimes.  But we also know that people can be altruistic at times, just as much as selfish (my point is that each person should be free to decide when and how to be either). 

I start from the postition nobody deserves any more or less happiness than anyone else. I use happiness as a measure because there are miserable rich people and happy poor people, so we can’t go just by material wealth.

In a zero sum game we have losers which in one way of looking at it is a bad thing. So I’d need to see why it’s best to let people be free to decide to behave like this. 

In speaking of the “system” (the best term, I agree for framing the argument), what is the objective criteria for determining who is a “have” and who is a “have not”?

Do we need haves and have nots. If we do can we make it so both haves and have nots are happy with their position, I’d consider myself relatively poor by uk standards as i’m just above the level where I’m “entitled” to some benefit, but I imagine just £10,000 a year more would lift me above worrying about the bills etc and any more than that would not increase my happiness.

If we do need a gap between rich and poor for rewards to be allowed to function then does the gap need to be so large?

Also, under what moral premise does one take from another, something they earned.  I already posted my views on the Veil of Ignorance (the points) and the Social Contract, on another thread.

Don’t know and don’t know under what moral premise something belongs to someone either.

Does someone have a right to demand X amount in time and/or money from Jennifer Lopez, simply because she is one of the wealthiest people in the US?  Simply because she spent her entire childhood in elite private schooling and attended an elite prestigious prep school?  Does anyone doubt she worked hard to get where she is at? (and that her parents probably worked hard to put her thru such schooling?).

I dunno if any one has the right? Dunno if anyone really has rights at all. I dunno if Jennifer Lopez’s money makes her happy, though I doubt it. What I’m really questioning is whether the system should be such that she earns that much in the first place than whether anyone has the right to take some of it. I suppose we need taxes and it’s reasonable that the rich pay more in tax than the poor.

A VERY SERIOUS POLL FOR THE SOCIALISTS and/or LIBS ON HERE:  If someone makes $200k a year, should they have to pay more than 25 percent in taxes?  Should they have to give a certain amount in charity beyond that? And if so, what amount?  I assume that 200k would be “rich” to most of us on here.

If that would be good for the economy and help reduce hardship for some, without harming those paying it, it seems like a good idea. Big if’s though, helping those less well off is difficult, as it needs to be done without encouraging people to depend upon the help and if lots of people depend upon the help, that’s bad for the economy and often bad for the people themselves.

Stephen

[ Edited: 28 June 2010 04:21 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 28 June 2010 04:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 27 June 2010 05:18 PM

  Oprah grew up with many people who went on to be poor (by US standards), or didn’t succeed like her…what about her made her different? HER WORK ETHIC. 

Hard work plays a central role in your politics. I have some thoughts. Firstly many poor people do have her “work ethic”.

Secondly do we want a system in which hard work is so central. Might we not all miserably work our fingers to the bone then die?

And lastly many who work hard, work hard enthusiastically, these are very lucky people. My Dad’s one , he loves what he does has retired but just keeps doing it because it’s what he enjoys. Take the cleaners where I work on the other hand, most have no enthusiasm and are low. It’s not really fair to say look they are poor because they don’t have the work ethic. They’d have it if they were enthusiastic about what they were working at but unfortunately they’re not, they are going throught the motions barely living. Of course their boss, the laziest of the lot calls them lazy bastards.

Stephen

[ Edited: 28 June 2010 04:35 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 29 June 2010 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Your premise is flawed, she did not support anyone doing what they wanted.  Nor anarchy.

Regardless of what Rand supported or proposed, others have used her ideas to support and defend their greedy, a-social, and sociopathic behavior.  There are parts of Rand’s philosophy that I actually agree with, but I also see the great potential for abuse.  Human beings cannot be allowed to do as we will.  We require structure to keep us from tearing each other apart or to keep individuals or small groups from grinding the rest of us into the dirt.  (Sorry, I have a conscience).

She supported each person doing what they wished as long as it did not harm another (you are free to swing your fist, up to the inch before my face, is usually the example used).  Also, what is wrong with being “selfish” (I note that from a psychological point of view, we all are anyhow, even those who claim not to be…in its rawest verbalized form, we get the “I love doing this XYZ Charity work, it makes me feel good”.  Well, what if it didn’t, would you still do it?”) You are selfish, and yet, communal to the degree necessary to survive in a cluster of any given culture, that’s human nature.

Of course I’m selfish.  So are you and everyone else.  My problem lies in being selfish as an end to itself.  If everyone is concerned solely with themselves then what reason is there for them to work together and struggle for any sort of improvement?  I believe in what I call “selfish altruism.”  I believe that helping others is right and to be encouraged because it is beneficial to me.  Because if everyone is concerned for their fellow man and willing to sacrifice to help each other than they will be more willing to help me when I need it.  And as I said before, I have a conscience.  I actually feel bad when the people around me suffer. 

If it came down to you and another person on an island, you’d take yourself every time.  All these alleged liberals that go around talking about being selfish, while they drive huge cars, fly all around the world, etc (which there is nothing wrong with), are so completely phony.  I know, I know…but they say they are doing it for a good cause, or helping people…Ayn Rand believed we should stop with the pretense.

The pretense, maybe, but not the helping.  And yes, people like Al Gore are hypocrites.  But for each one of them I can show you an equally hypocritical conservative.  It’s hard to stay consistent with what you preach.  Especially when you have money.

Next time you go to buy a car, cut your buying price in half and give the other half to a homeless person.

Actually, go without one and give away everything above sustenance to another person.

A car is necessary for my survival.  And why should I give up all my things for others?  I’ve never made claims that anyone should.  I have said that people should help each other, but I don’t expect them to sacrifice their own happiness for that of their fellow man.  But I can’t afford a new car anyway, so the point is moot.

Well, I’m done, now.  I probably didn’t defend myself very well, but honestly, I don’t care.

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Posted: 29 June 2010 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 27 June 2010 05:18 PM

A VERY SERIOUS POLL FOR THE SOCIALISTS and/or LIBS ON HERE:  If someone makes $200k a year, should they have to pay more than 25 percent in taxes?  Should they have to give a certain amount in charity beyond that? And if so, what amount?  I assume that 200k would be “rich” to most of us on here.

I’m not either but you have to consider in the case of taxes your are not only helping the government your are helping the economy.

The government provides jobs. The government buys services. The government is a customer of many businesses.

Higher taxes can help business in that your customer, the government, has more money to spend.

Ross Perot became rich from tax money. The more taxes we pay the more money people like Ross can make.

Then of course Ross Perot provides jobs and needs services.

Lower taxes places a surplus in private companies. As they grow, spend more money. In order to grow and survive they need to provide what their consumer need at a price they can afford.

With higher taxes, the government gets to decide who gets rich and who needs help. Lower taxes the private sector/free market decides who gets rich who gets help.

Either way, just depends on who you trust more. Or really which way you’ll benefit more. If the government is your customer, it’s always a good idea to make sure your customer has plenty of money. If you depend on the freemarket to make money. Probably better for you individually to support lower taxes.

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Posted: 30 June 2010 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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Gnostikosis - 29 June 2010 11:19 AM

(Y)ou have to consider in the case of taxes your are not only helping the government your are helping the economy.

The government provides jobs. The government buys services. The government is a customer of many businesses.

You’re scaring me.

Let’s grant that, ideally, the government does all the things you claim.  The same is true of individuals.  Individuals provide jobs.  Individuals buy services.  Individuals are the customers of many businesses.  Ditto for corporations what is true of individuals and governments.

Higher taxes can help business in that your customer, the government, has more money to spend.

Unfortunately, that advantage comes at the expense of your other customers (individuals and corporations).  It’s a good deal if you can get the government to favor you over your competitor(s), however.

Ross Perot became rich from tax money. The more taxes we pay the more money people like Ross can make.

Oh, joy. 
wink

Then of course Ross Perot provides jobs and needs services.

Lower taxes places a surplus in private companies. As they grow, spend more money. In order to grow and survive they need to provide what their consumer need at a price they can afford.

With higher taxes, the government gets to decide who gets rich and who needs help.

Now it looks like you’re being sarcastic.  grin

You’re right, of course.  Once the government has the money, the government decides how to distribute the money.  And all was right with the world.  Government-controlled economies have a rather poor history, unfortunately.

Lower taxes the private sector/free market decides who gets rich who gets help.

And doesn’t that sound like trouble!

Either way, just depends on who you trust more. Or really which way you’ll benefit more. If the government is your customer, it’s always a good idea to make sure your customer has plenty of money. If you depend on the freemarket to make money. Probably better for you individually to support lower taxes.

Food for thought (video):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj6lRFXC5rA&feature=player_embedded

The point you haven’t talked about is the primary source of wealth:  useful work.  Governments tend to run second to the private sector in producing useful work with the same input of capital.  That shouldn’t be surprising, because “useful work” is pretty much judged by the market (people).

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Posted: 30 June 2010 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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Bryan - 30 June 2010 10:23 AM

Food for thought (video):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj6lRFXC5rA&feature=player_embedded

The point you haven’t talked about is the primary source of wealth:  useful work.  Governments tend to run second to the private sector in producing useful work with the same input of capital.  That shouldn’t be surprising, because “useful work” is pretty much judged by the market (people).

Sorry haven’t watched the video yet. I will when I have time.

Also sorry I suppose I can’t always keep my sarcasm in check.

Useful work….. Yes I see you are right, however.

The government also get to decide what is useful work. Sometimes based on ideologies instead of practical experience?

Of course there are some politicians that enter politics after a successful career. However it seems that many, of the most vocal politicians are career politicians. Their skill is in bringing home the cheese to whichever state or district they represent.

They are supposed to represent the interest of those they represent. That usually means directing as many tax dollars as possible to whatever area is responsible for putting them in office.

Part of business is funding the politician who gets to decide what is useful work. People vote but you need funding to get out the message your political adviser tells you the people want to hear.

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Posted: 01 July 2010 01:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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Gnostikosis - 30 June 2010 11:24 AM

Also sorry I suppose I can’t always keep my sarcasm in check.

Useful work….. Yes I see you are right, however.

The government also get to decide what is useful work. Sometimes based on ideologies instead of practical experience?

Absent some form of literal mind control, the government cannot decide what work is useful and what isn’t.  To the extent the government influences that determination, it is on the basis of the people.  For example, suppose the government decides to produce widget A.  Widget A is the greatest thing ever.  The government says everyone needs one (that’s a severe exaggeration in terms of the illustration—most people think them worthless).  Few people end up buying widget A despite the government’s determination of its wonderfulness.

Now, the government does have the option of imposing a fine on those who refuse to purchase widget A.  That would increase its value, making it something like a talisman to ward off an expensive fine.  And the amount of the fine would be very influential in terms of the market value of the widget.  But the market still determines the value, ultimately.  The person who doesn’t value the widget will end up paying the fine, to continue the example.

Of course there are some politicians that enter politics after a successful career. However it seems that many, of the most vocal politicians are career politicians. Their skill is in bringing home the cheese to whichever state or district they represent.

My representative is like that.  He’s got his name on practically everything in my county.  And he’s a Republican.  Makes me grit my teeth a bit.  I know that’s how the game is played, but I don’t have to like it.

They are supposed to represent the interest of those they represent. That usually means directing as many tax dollars as possible to whatever area is responsible for putting them in office.

That view ought to be aggressively questioned.  A recent study showed (as I understand it) that pork projects resulted in decreased hiring in the locales receiving the federal funds.  The finding supposedly startled the researchers a bit.

Part of business is funding the politician who gets to decide what is useful work. People vote but you need funding to get out the message your political adviser tells you the people want to hear.

And of course if those funding the politician find that their support has failed to guide the politician in determining the government’s influence on the market, they may exert market pressure on the politician (fund his challenger instead).

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Posted: 08 July 2010 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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Bryan the jokes on you. 
The craziest lefty can’t come up with the insane, counterproductive C*#p that spews forth from the extreme right wing and we have decades worth of a diminishing world political and environmental situation to prove the point beyond all the words Murdoch Media can spew.  {Oh but the luxury/hollyworld focused folks keep saying: oh but wait it is getting better….  BS!... look on the other side of the fence!}

Right now I am especially on edge - because I am actually listening Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged on tape and am appalled to the point of nausea and anger that such a pathetic nickel novel has come to represent some “intellectual break through” deserving of followers.

But, then I shouldn’t be surprised, considering that M. Crichton’s second rate State of Fear Thriller/Romance/Political statement has been accepted as some sort of serious statement on the science of global warming - when all it is, is a fiction written with an extreme of artistic license and tons of flaws!

Rand’s little book is the same thing - she sets up a strawman situation and then proclaims her solution and people have actually accepted this tripe as some factually assertion relating to the real physical world we are living in?!  How wonderful to be endowed with the self righteous tunnel vision of the self obsessed - those folks who image the Earth’s biosphere is just a stage prop.


As for Rand’s insistent boast that her “philosophy” should be called “objectivism” that’s pure Bull Shit - her philosophy was named long, long ago and it is called “GREED”.  Nothing more and nothing less.
And these endlessly long posts some have added to this thread are just so many words saying nothing.

I dare someone to sum up her c*#p in a few concise sentences!

Even better, can someone explain how such a piece of tripe became such a lighthouse?

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Posted: 09 July 2010 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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[...]I am actually listening Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged on tape and am appalled to the point of nausea and anger that such a pathetic nickel novel has come to represent some “intellectual break through” deserving of followers.

You sound the critics from when it was first published.  I’ve seen a lot of reviews that used words like “puerile,” “silly,” and “sophomoric.”

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Posted: 09 July 2010 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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Quoting CC:

Even better, can someone explain how such a piece of tripe became such a lighthouse?

  Simple.  Our standard moral view is that greed, excessive self-interest, and lack of caring for others are negative traits.  This means those who are driven by those may feel a bit uncomfortable.  What could be better for them than for some pseudo-philosopher to write a book couched in simplistic terms that justifies the desires of those people?

Occam

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Posted: 13 July 2010 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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citizenschallenge - 08 July 2010 07:32 PM

Bryan the jokes on you. 
The craziest lefty can’t come up with the insane, counterproductive C*#p that spews forth from the extreme right wing and we have decades worth of a diminishing world political and environmental situation to prove the point beyond all the words Murdoch Media can spew.  {Oh but the luxury/hollyworld focused folks keep saying: oh but wait it is getting better….  BS!... look on the other side of the fence!}

Right now I am especially on edge - because I am actually listening Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged on tape and am appalled to the point of nausea and anger that such a pathetic nickel novel has come to represent some “intellectual break through” deserving of followers.

But, then I shouldn’t be surprised, considering that M. Crichton’s second rate State of Fear Thriller/Romance/Political statement has been accepted as some sort of serious statement on the science of global warming - when all it is, is a fiction written with an extreme of artistic license and tons of flaws!

Rand’s little book is the same thing - she sets up a strawman situation and then proclaims her solution and people have actually accepted this tripe as some factually assertion relating to the real physical world we are living in?!  How wonderful to be endowed with the self righteous tunnel vision of the self obsessed - those folks who image the Earth’s biosphere is just a stage prop.


As for Rand’s insistent boast that her “philosophy” should be called “objectivism” that’s pure Bull Shit - her philosophy was named long, long ago and it is called “GREED”.  Nothing more and nothing less.
And these endlessly long posts some have added to this thread are just so many words saying nothing.

I dare someone to sum up her c*#p in a few concise sentences!

Even better, can someone explain how such a piece of tripe became such a lighthouse?

I don’t think it’s a terribly well-written book, but then, it was her second language. 

I think the sum of her beliefs, which are of course broad and encompass various forums and issues of life, is that no man should have to live for the purpose of serving another, or for the “sake” of another.  Your “demand” for something, however legitimate in your mind, creates no moral obligation on my part.

Of course, as with fundies, who consistently live with scientific principles that contradict their religious (and often public positions), you live a life largely consistent with Rand’s teachings.  You enjoy the “veil” (truly a veil of ignorance) of millions of people each day, that work each day and nite to create products, sell ideas, and use their MIND, in free-enterprise, so that you can grab a cup of starbucks, settle into an air-conditioned home and pound out your thoughts on a computer through the “magic” of the internet. 

Everything you enjoy that you see sitting around you, every appliance, every entertainment device, every comfort, is the product of some man or woman’s mind and their triumph in selling that idea (for profit) to someone else, who dispersed the idea (like sex) throughout your culture. 

My challenge remains for any liberal on here, to give up the internet for just say, one year, to use that money (including selling their computer), to give to a poor child in Latin America, or elsewhere.  No one is stopping you.  Each nite you sit in the comfort of your home, engaging in political chatter, a child somewhere could benefit from you logging off, taking a part time job and sending them money.

Why are you not doing that now?  Someone, someone is in need, and demands a better quality of life.

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Posted: 19 July 2010 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 13 July 2010 05:53 PM

I don’t think it’s a terribly well-written book, but then, it was her second language. 

No the language thing has nothing to do with it being a contrived piece of fiction totally remote from the real struggles and dynamics of progress.

Ayn and you seem to believe that a man is an island onto himself.
But, you know we are social organisms - and none of our achievements have ever been totally our own -
But, that is what believer’s in Randism take as a given.

As for your “challenge” and assumptions about my life and circumstances, don’t set up a strawdog, you haven’t a clue how I live or consume, nor what I’ve done for others around me.  So don’t be too smug, you’d be quite shocked by the reality.

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Posted: 19 July 2010 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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Occam - 09 July 2010 06:32 PM

Simple.  Our standard moral view is that greed, excessive self-interest, and lack of caring for others are negative traits.  This means those who are driven by those may feel a bit uncomfortable.  What could be better for them than for some pseudo-philosopher to write a book couched in simplistic terms that justifies the desires of those people?

Well said.

Dead Monky - 09 July 2010 03:21 PM

[...]I am actually listening Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged on tape and am appalled to the point of nausea and anger that such a pathetic nickel novel has come to represent some “intellectual break through” deserving of followers.

You sound the critics from when it was first published.  I’ve seen a lot of reviews that used words like “puerile,” “silly,” and “sophomoric.”

Go figure, it was as shitty a book then, as it is today.  wink

As for the greed thing - I don’t think anyone seriously denies the greed within us, nor the natural drive towards ones own self preservation.  It is a question of balance.  And, a question of being adult enough to accept certain responsibilities and duties towards others.  To accept we are not gods in and of ourselves but societal beings.

Hell for an example look at how great the me me me mentality of the NEOCONs with their invasion of Iraq has worked out for everyone involved.

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