Monday, April 06, 2009

More on Ayn Rand

More on the horror that is (or was) Ayn Rand. Amazingly, it's even worse than many of us have long thought.

Admiring the Psychopath

In her defence it's claimed she was 'still under the spell of Nietzsche' - but this is a perverted, distorted, Nazi-like Nietzsche, no doubt very popular in the heyday of fascism and nazism. (And despite a setback involving a bullet to the hero's head, still rather more popular than many people want to admit.)

It's awfully telling that the right promoted Rand as a 'philosopher'. Between her, the anti-evolutionists, Strauss and the neocons, and the AGW deniers, there's some powerful thought, isn't there?

"At this point in my life, I did not think it was possible to significantly lower my estimate of Ayn Rand, or to regard her as even more of a psychological and moral mess than I had already taken her to be."

"-- There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."


Richard said...

It never ceases to amaze me how much people who have never read Ayn Rand have to say about Ayn Rand. Of course, their words plainly indicate that they haven't read a word, or that they are unable to remotely understand the issues she discusses.

This post is perhaps the lowest of the low. It not only indicates that bernieroonie had no clue what Rand wrote, but that he is also willing to echo the opinion of someone else who had no clue! His is the classic gossiping babble of nasty fish-wives (I apologize to any and all decent fish-wives).

Bernie, do you remember the game called "broken telephone"? The Internet has to be the biggest broken telephone available. However, it also offers the greatest opportunity to return to the source, to double check the original message! You have no excuse for such depravity!

Bernard said...

What are you saying, that the piece linked to is fraudulent, that Rand never said anything about Hickman, much less praised him?

That author says he was a devotee for a number of years as a young man. As such he might know more than I do as I was never a Randroid.

I've read some Rand but I must admit I didnt like it.

The heroes in Fountainhead and Atlas are what in modern terms would be called a Terrorist and a Psychopath (sociopath).

I had a couple of main problems with Rand: why would anyone read this tripe when if they want the Superman they can read Nietzsche, the real deal (and a real philosopher to boot)?

Secondly, the defence of 'capitalism' really marks her as a lackey of Kapital. I could never understand how Randism or right-libertarianism generally could survive five minutes of contact with Henry George.

For me there are only two main points of interest with Rand: why and how is it so attractive to a number of adolescent/ young males? How is it connected to the right wing ideological effort in the 20th Century?

Rush is o.k though.

Richard said...

Answering your pints, in approximate order:

"that the piece linked to is fraudulent"

Yes. In order to damn Rand, Michael Prescott takes an element of truth & distorts so as to "get away with" imparting his disingenuous opinion.

"The heroes in Fountainhead and Atlas are what in modern terms would be called a Terrorist and a Psychopath (sociopath)."

If that were remotely true, why is it one of the longest lasting top selling books and at or near #1 in Amazon fiction. The answer is, your claim is not true. Unfortunately, for you, you completely failed to understand what you were reading.

People who read with their prior judgments firmly locked, who read to confirm those prior judgments rather than to examine what is actually being said, never understand Rand. Then they call her work "tripe", or some such thing. Some even write entire books about what is wrong with Rand. But those who have learned a bit of her epistemology can usually see the fallacies and dishonesties such writers make. Some of these people are University philosophers, because their own epistemology renders them completely unable to recognize what she is talking about.

Henry George was basically a statist, happy to impose his particular view of the World upon his neighbors by the force of government. In some respects his views were socialist. Really, he is a bit player in both economics and philosophy.

Youth, who have not been spoiled by the Left leaning educators and academics of the last 75 years, are more open to fact-based thinking and a clear-eyed look at reality. Rand's works help some stay that way for the rest of their lives, whilst weaker souls fall to the side.

When Rand began reading Neitzshe she found some of his ideas appealing, but as she came to his ideas of the Uberman (sp?), she realized he was not an advocate of individual rights and freedoms, nor of rational selfishness. Instead, he advocated the sacrifice of oneself to the superior Man. Rand rejects that, just as vehemently as she rejects fascism and communism.

Objectivism is in no way connected to the Right -- and vehemently rejects Right wing thinking, whether Conservative, Religious or that of the so-called Libertarians. Periodically, some Right wingers assert that Rand is on their side, particularly some Libertarians, while others reject her as too inflexible. They implicitly pretend "freedom" can be just as available under a Communist Dictatorship as under The Declaration of Individual Rights. (Yes, Libertarians accept communists as fellow freedom fighters.)