Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged

Just finished off this book and let me tell you, Ayn Rand has got it right!

Seriously though, who else has read this monstrous soap opera of Bullshit?

Hellooooo, looters are presented as people who have historically profited from Producers. If Looters are the people that loot (A is A ya know) then it is rational for them to act as they are. There is no contradiction. Ethical Egoism is Simple Subjectivism with a little bit of Logic thrown in to make it sound more “philosophic”. But in the end, there is no logic to an argument that contradicts itself. A is A looters are people that loot and so on.

While Ayn Rand’s representation of an ideal man no doubt moistened her vaginal canal (and no that isn’t sexist… thinking about what one considers to be an ideal person of the opposite sex is sexually stimulating) (unless, of course, you are homosexual).

Anyway, she says you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Which is a pitifully bad metaphor. If I have a cake and eat it, it is more fully mine, as now it rests in my digestive track. The parts of the cake that my organs can use are broken down and dispersed there. By eating my cake I have made it more fully mine. It is, in fact, undeniably mine. And wouldn’t it be rational to eat my cake? I mean it is my cake… should I really just send it to a taxidermist and have it stuffed so i can stare at it instead?

I submit that one can possess that which is meant to be consumed and consume it while still possesing it. Afterall, A is A. But she doesn’t distinguish between is and was either. A was a cake, right now A is something else in my digestive system. Does this fact make me irrational? eating your cake is having it… more so than not eating it.

The three people in Iowa who actually admire this crap might say “but GCT, she means something else”. Well lets go to the explanation at the back of the book shall we.

On her Epistemology: “Reason, the conceptual faculty, is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.”

From her section on Ethics: “Reason is man’s only proper judge of values and his only proper guide to action.”

If reason is a conceptual faculty given that it is provided material by one’s own senses, and reason is the “only proper judge” to make a truly ethical decision, all men would have to sense the same thing. This may very well be true, there might be an objective world out there we can all sense (wee) but to do so, must we not also sense it in the same way? The world looks much different to a man that is color blind, that would have to be an objective fact. Is a color blind person now less ethical for sensing the world differently from most?

But the three from iowa might sputter “he senses the world”

To which I reply, “not the same world you see”. I suppose he could still possess reason, but it is inherently different as the material provided from the senses is different. But I feel safe in saying this goes for every human being.

Every subject views the object shares a relationship to that object that is relative to the subject. (thus the simple subjectivism, interposed by this “faculty” we call reason)

Reason is not Ayn Rand’s faculty, it is her excuse.

To propose that the mind can apprehend Truth, well some folks can buy that. To say that there can be absolutely one way and only one way in which this transpires is… it is, as muddled as the idealism she mocks in the book. The problem for her that the idealism of others is not her own. She has her way of seeing the world and arriving at the truth… hurrah, good for her. just note it as being as subjective as everything else. Because certainly Ayn Rand wouldn’t consider the possibility that two people could arrive at X as being true by two totally different methods. Perish the thought. Hell, I have taken Logic courses, I didn’t even have to sleep with my Professors to get a decent grade ( just joking) even in logical proofs there are different methods for arriving at a conclusion.

So, Ayn Rand…

Her Objectivism isn’t objective, her Ethics aren’t ethical by an objective standard… what was all the fuss about anyway?

At Least with Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence you got the backstory to how he arrived at his relativistic bullshit (and I thank for spending you 8.95 on this purchase, would you like that signed?)

this is what passes for popular philosophy… (well this and the Matrix I guess, but at least the Matrix had kung fu and chicks in tight leather outfits). No wonder interest in Eastern Occultism is on the rise… the populizers of Western Thought are frauds.

Where is my book deal?

Is Rand popular any more? I always thought it was just a phase we all go through around the age of 15-18 (our more selfish years) before we get a clue.

I always saw Rand as a twisted,waterdowned version of Nietzche, and objectivism being a retarded version of the egoism of Will To Power. ( Of course, Im sure this will bring on some debate :wink: )

And A=A…why is that respecified to us like this is some great philosophical break through?

A friend of mine suckered me into buying Atlas Shrugged and I actually began to read it. I never finished it, but he has been trying to argue that she a worthy philosopher to study in school and that the university system deliberately omits her work and her relevancy in the field. I disagree with him, since that would practically contradict everything philosophy is about.

All in all, I have very little interest in reading any of her stuff. Is it worth reading, though?

I have no idea. From what I have observed, she is not popular; I have seen her books sit on the shelves of the bookstore for many months now, and not a single one of them has sold. Also, when it comes to phases of things, most of the rebellious people I see describe themselves as “Anarchists.”

There is philosophy, of which was written before Rand’s time, that proves that A is not always equal to A.

I have no idea. From what I have observed, she is not popular; I have seen her books sit on the shelves of the bookstore for many months now, and not a single one of them has sold. Also, when it comes to phases of things, most of the rebellious people I see describe themselves as “Anarchists.”

There is philosophy, of which was written before Rand’s time, that proves that A is not always equal to A.

I gave up once I’d read 2 pages of the radio address and realised there were 198 to go.

I’ve read practically everything she wrote, but endorse none of it. Ive probably read Atlas Shrugged 3 times, perusals of a misspent youth. Reading GateControlTheory’s post, I was reminded of her saying, “There can be no disagreement among rational men.” which is surely fallacious. As GCT points out, she failed to realize that A=A for only a split second in time, because every A is becoming something else (E.G. Ayn Rand is now worm food). I wouldn’t even put her and Nietzsche in the same sentence, ShadowandLight. Nietzsche being yet another of the predecessors which she conveniently fails to mention along with Herbert Spencer. Reading an intro to Crime and Punishment the other day, I find out that ‘Rational Egoism’ was around in Russia way before Rand cried out for a mind equal to her own. It is truly funny, ironic, and tragic that that mind intractably failed to consider any ideas that were not her own. Nietzsche was much more open, perspectival, and self-correcting while Rand impugned others with the words, “wide open mind.” She wouldn’t even allow books she disagreed with in her schools, nor would she allow ideas she disagreed with, even from close friends. Nietzsche was an explorer while Rand was a pedantic, tendentious salesperson for her own political agenda. I still like the words from some forgotten Czech president who said, “Seek those who search for truth and flee those who have found it.”

To GateControlTheory –

I just wish to say that obviously you do not realize what “Objective Reality” means. No, someone who is color blind does not see the same as someone with normal eye sight. But that does not mean that colors do not exist just because the man who is color blind can’t see them. All he has to do is study a little bit of physics and he will realize that colors do exist and that there is something physically wrong with his eyesight.

This is what Objective Reality is. A is A means that something is what it is no matter what a person may believe. Meaning that a red flower is still a red flower whether or not someone can see the ‘red’ color.

And also, for the other ppl who posted here, I can’t say i am 100% sure about this, since i can’t remember where i read it and i don’t really want to take the time to prove it. But i seem to remember reading somewhere that Ayn Rands books( it could have been just Atlas Shrugged ) are second in sells only to the bible.

Although i can’t be sure about that, i do know that Ayn Rands philosophy is a lot more popular than you seem to think.

Now wait a mintue this is all crap. I know this to be crap from several sources. Simply talking about colors is difficult as different languages cut up the color spectrum in different colors. The quickest examples I can think of are the verses in Homer where he calls the sea “wine dark”. Well how can the Mediterranean be the color of chianti or syrah wine? Because the greeks probably viewed color in terms of luminosity as well as hue
This link below works very well as a brief intro to this idea, which is fairly well empirically tested

languagehat.com/archives/001012.php

Why do people always trot out the old 17th century chestnut of optics whenever they want to show how a thing is universal and transcendental? The Europeans were obsessed with optics and described the world entirely in optical terms because it was a new and powerful technology that had destabilized their entire cosmovision, much like contemporary epistemologist and cognitive scientists think EVERYTHING AND ITS MOTHER is a computer. It’s the same reason that the Medievals described the world as a Great Book - people’s metaphor for the World usually mirrors their most advanced technologies. Ain’t nothing outside history, sittin’ there all cool and objective, not even this statement.

All this tells me is that there are a whole lotta confused assed people out there trying to figure out whether they should apply what the read in the Bible or apply Ayn Rand.

But a smartass would say the flower is not red. Red is the color it reflects (cannot absorb) ergo the flower is every color except the one we see.

Why would there be anything wrong with his eyesight, A is A, so said person is said person seeing the world as said person sees it. Wrong is qualitative. Wrong is subjective. Wrong is saying one’s presuppositions are right… meaning: to say something is wrong with someone’s eyesight requires a subjective claim. Making subjective claims about the objective world is not Objective, it is relativistic. It is adding value to objects and experience, something every human being does (except for Rand’s Automatons). There are no such terms as ‘wrong’ ‘right’ good’ or ‘bad’ in an objective world. There is only the objects, A is A.

Alas, the Only way for a human being to be 100% objective is for that human being to become the object in question. Since human beings do not become the flower when gazing upon it, human beings assign values to that flower according to what they experience. Rand’s argument might be that some values are objective… namely the ones she cares to express. THAT IS SIMPLE SUBJECTIVISM!!! one one one.

Arguments by enumeration are logically fallacious and do nothing to impress my agnostic heart. Apparently, at one time, millions of germans thought Hitler was an OK guy… that doesn’t mean his arguments had any merit either. (I am not comparing Rand to Hitler… I am saying how one makes an argument should not rely on how many people think said argument is groovy).

Stephen King is a pretty popular writer as well. I read an interview where he admitted that even he won’t be remembered in 100 years. After most of the baby boomers croak, no one will remember Ayn Rand.

I can’t really say this around my wife, but I’ve found that the only people who really give a shit about Ayn Rand are females between the ages of 15 and 25 from families that make between 50K and 250K a year. Everybody else kid of looks at her and says “Oh yeah Ayn Rand. ain’t it funny how closely She and Madame Blavatsky resemble each other?”

Every time some one gets on their Ayn Rand high horse I always want to say: "Well no shit, she was a refugee from a totalitarian state. Did ya’ expect her to be singing the praises of state owned anything? "

And by the way this is my 900th post. Welcome to the International House of Suck-It. Would you like the Breakfast Suck-It or the Lunch Suck-It?

Not that I have met many, but those that I have met and praise Rand tend to be upper middle class, with higher aspirations. As if having a trust fund qualifies one for being a Captain of Industry. Then again, maybe it does.