Thursday, August 09, 2012

Atlas Crapped or Objectivist Obsessions with Hard Things that Stand Upright

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

Ayn Rand is not a serious 'philosopher' and those who idolize her may not be taken seriously as responsible politicians. It is unknown how Ayn Rand's obsessive fixation with all things tall, hard and upright became confused with either philosophy or economics. Below are Rand quotes numbered and followed by my comments.
1. A government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.
Our founders, by contrast, believed in a government in which 'sovereignty' resided in the people, that governments were freely elected for the sole purpose of defending and upholding those ideals. The use of 'physical force' against the population was verboten for anything short of violent crimes or insurrections and even then prohibited unless accompanied by 'probable cause' that a crime had been committed. Certainly --that principle had been abandoned by the time Govt thugs of the FBI et al attacked the Branch Davidian compound in Waco in which the leader, David Koresh, and 82 other Branch Davidians were murdered.
2. Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves – or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.
That question begs a meaningless and utterly unknowable 'answer' aside from the fact that any answer provided by an 'objectivist' is, in fact, subjective and utterly un-verifiable! 'Objectivist' assertions are not objective at all, based as they are upon temperament and/or irrational inclination. The meaning of any assertion rests upon the outcome of the question: can this assertion be verified logically or empirically? If so, what is the process by which it is verified! Rand talks about being 'objective' but neglects 'verification' when, in fact, nothing is 'objective' without objective, public verfification.
3. Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Civilization has very little to do with privacy though most enlightened societies have defended the individual's right of privacy whenever it is threatened, even if that threat should issue from the government. It is for that reason that the 'right to privacy' is found to be a strong argument in favor of a) Due Process of Law b) the Constitutional guarantee that no warrants shall issue but upon 'probable cause' that a crime has been committed.
4. Do not ever say that the desire to “do good” by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives.
One wonders why people like Ron Paul seek power! One wonders why other devotees of Ayn Rand seek political power in particular. What do we know of their motives? And what of any substance has been put forward by them? Ron Paul, for example, is believed to be a laissez-faire capitalist because he is a self-avowed devotee of 'Randism'. One wonders if Paul --an otherwise intelligent person --understands how much richer the very, very, very rich would get were all restraints now limiting rapacious greed and blind ambition were relaxed!
5. From the smallest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from one attribute of man – the function of his reasoning mind.
The building of skyscrapers is 'big' in Rand-land! It was in Atlas Shrugged, as I recall, that Rand revealed her fixation with hard things that stand upright ---skyscrapers, towers, Pisa, domes.
11. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.
Events have proven that the concentrated fortunes of America's people, concentrated as they have become in the very few hands of the ruling elites are INVERSELY proportional to the population as a whole. In other words, our fortunes, our decency as a people has deteriorated inversely as the very, very rich have gotten exponentially richer!

Ayn Rand Rambles for Mike Wallace

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