Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

From: David
Sent on: Sunday, August 12, 2012 1:33 AM
Ah now you're sweating. You find yourself standing on a room before all to see, confronted with the question "what do YOU think?" and you dance like a monkey to avoid answering. 

Keep dancing friend.  Anything to avoid the verdict of your own mind. It's a Terribly delightful responsibility once you're equal to it's charge. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 12, 2012, at 12:56 AM, Marc Gerstein <[address removed]> wrote:

OK David, it's done. You're busted. I suspected from the outset that you had no idea what Objectivism says regarding government power and it's obvious I was right.

I found your initial proposition to be completely and totally ridiculous, a reaction I often have when so-called libertarians invoke Ayn Rand and/or Objectivism. I often wondered if this sort of thing reflects a misinterpretation of Rand, or just, plain ignorance. In your case, it seems to be the latter, as I initially suspected. My clue that you didn't know was the way you started out telling everyone "YOU" are responsible for this and that. And if you are going to come out like that, I should think YOU would at least have the integrity to acknowledge that you don't actually know what Rand says on the topic of government power.

"I creeped into the darkenss of your mind and heard but an echo."

ROFL. Come on dude. You don't know me, so allow me to introduce myself as one who has a severe allergy to bullsh**. I don't know if nonsense like that works for you other times you debate on the net, but it doesn't work with me. 

Anyway, given the stalemate we've reached, this seems an apt occasion to end this game. The hour is late and I have a full day tomorrow.




From: David <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Sunday, August 12,[masked]:27 AM
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

I respect your default on a request for the  verdict of your own mind. 

I understand why you present to me the  compendium of other. I creeped into the darkness of your mind and heard but an echo. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 12, 2012, at 12:19 AM, Marc Gerstein <[address removed]> wrote:

My mind fully endorses what Rand has to say on page 119 of "The Virtue of Selfishness," which is directly on point.

One who posts on an Ayn Rand message board and invokes Objectivism as you did in your original post would not likely know page 119 off the top of one's head (Who would?), but ought to have been able to look it up in far less time than it took you to compose your responses. It really isn't that complicated -- by Rand standards, this material was quite clear and direct. So please spare everybody the rigamarole about being interested in the contents of my mind and come back with an appropriate response, or none at all.



From: David Wallace <[address removed]>
To: Marc Gerstein <[address removed]>
Sent: Saturday, August 11,[masked]:45 PM
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

Marc, I am only interested in the contents of your mind. Time to produce. 

I surmise you have it in you. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 11, 2012, at 9:59 PM, Marc Gerstein <[address removed]> wrote:

Uh, excuse me. I did cite the moral code I have in mind. To repeat, see page 119 of "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand.

David <[address removed]> wrote:


But you didn't bite.  

Or rather you didn't answer the bell on explaining, morally speaking, why you get to initiate force.  

YOU!  

Since you obviously endorse the initiation of force, and have a moral code that legitimizes this in your mind, then tell us what that is.  

Example:

There is a law against smoking pot.  The police officer is going to physically grab someone and put them in jail at your behest.  Now this is merely a division of labor given that he is acting on your behalf so the presumption is that you find it perfectly moral for you yourself to point a gun at weed man and march him off to the klink because you think he ought not to engage in this type of behavior.

Please explain why you get to do that.    

Is this answer you have for me and everyone that this is the price of your company?  

If so, then shouldn't we file that answer under "how mass slaughter happens in a country"?



On Aug 11, 2012, at 8:58 PM, Marc Gerstein wrote:

"If you say that  objectivism or libertarianism "doesn't work", then you believe, invariably,in the moral legitimacy of the  initiation of force for the public good.. If that is the case, and I cannot see how it could be otherwise, then it is your responsibility to explain why it is that you in particular get to initiate force upon others. 
After all, you are the one who is acting. A man of  reason, a rational person, a person who has risen above the level of the brute, feels a basic responsibility to understand why he acts."

OK. I'll bite.

For starters, nobody forces you to live in civilized society. Assuming, however, that you choose to bypass the solitary hunter-gatherer lifestyle and enter into or remain in a civilized society together with others, then you have chosen to diminish the absolute and unconditional levels of freedom you'd otherwise enjoy. As to the manner in which those freedoms may be properly impinged, see Ayn Rand, "The Virtue of Selfishness" page 119.

I'm not a libertarian nor am I sufficiently knowledgeable about its precepts to debate them, but if libertarianism is truly as absolute as you suggest, I think you'd need to drop the apparent assumption that it precisely matches up with objectivism.




From: David <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Saturday, August 11,[masked]:24 PM
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

I live in Lehigh Valley, and I run the Lehigh Valley Libertarian meet up. Occasionally, I get that same sort of comment directed at libertarianism. Essentially, that it won't work in the real world or that it is not practical. 

Consider this: Philosophies or principles of individualism work from the ground up. They begin with the fundamental nature and facts of reality ascending to the social and epistemological implications of how we interact with each other and how we intuit our rights. 

If you say that  objectivism or libertarianism "doesn't work", then you believe, invariably,in the moral legitimacy of the  initiation of force for the public good.. If that is the case, and I cannot see how it could be otherwise, then it is your responsibility to explain why it is that you in particular get to initiate force upon others. 
After all, you are the one who is acting. A man of  reason, a rational person, a person who has risen above the level of the brute, feels a basic responsibility to understand why he acts. 

People are surprised when I tell them that is not my responsibility to explain to them why I get to keep my freedom but rather their responsibility to explain why they get infringe upon it.

David Wallace 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 11, 2012, at 2:56 PM, stevegam <[address removed]> wrote:

Yes to both questions.

I like Ayn Rand in a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sort of way.
I am pro America, with all it's "faults" I probably have the same political views as Antonin Scalia. 

I don't think objectivism is could work in the real world.

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 11, 2012, at 12:55 PM, David <[address removed]> wrote:


Couldn't anything be said?  

Or are you saying that this criticism is accurate.




On Aug 11, 2012, at 11:51 AM, stevegam wrote:

It could be said that her philosophy is dogmatic, and unworkable in the real world.
 

Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context
From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Date: Fri, 10 Aug[masked]:03:20 -0400

The question I have is:
 


Are there an reasonable criticisms that can be made about eiter Ayn Rand's personal life or about her philosophy Objectivism.  
 
If there are, what are they? 
 
Because it appears to me that she is beyond critictism.   
 
She is to Obectivists what god is to theists. 
 
 
On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 12:44 PM, Judi <[address removed]> wrote:
Fascinating thread; thanks for sharing. I'd be interested in exploring the practical manifestations of valuing human being purely in terms of their value in the free market.

Sample topics: what was Oscar Pistorius' value in the free market at the age of 11 months? 5 years ago? Now? If there are different answers across time, perhaps a more sophisticated valuation process is needed when deciding the worth of a human being. Also--is part of his worth determined by his blades, which he did not invent?

Rational thoughts welcome.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID


Chelsea Roth <[address removed]> wrote:

Well said as always, Larry. Perhaps Jim's "awareness went up a notch or two".

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 10, 2012, at 9:51 AM, "Larry" <[address removed]> wrote:

Jim,
 
Ayn Rand does not have a reputation issue among her enemies. Objectivism was met with derision by the media and the intellectual elites as Ayn Rand’s philosophy exposed the weaknesses of prevailing philosophies and mysticism. As they did not have logical counterpoints to make, they used Alinskyite tactics of destroying the character of the messenger in order to silence her message. The last 50 years are proof that they have been rather successful in their propaganda.
Unfortunately for the propagandists, reality is real and ultimately false philosophies lead to false premises which lead to bad outcomes. In other words, there is no evading reality over the long term. This is why Ayn Rand gains notoriety during times of crisis, when suddenly people are confronted with the reality,  that their choices or lack of thinking have led to bad outcomes, and they can no longer evade the results of their false premises. At the same time, there are power lusters, second handers and looters who cannot give up their propaganda, because they profit from false premises and the resulting pain.  Since most people do not examine their lives and live in the short term, any luster can gain strength as long as there is a short term wave to ride.
Ayn Rand viewed her life in objective terms and scrutinized her thoughts, values, actions & friendships to keep them in line with her philosophy. In terms of her productive works, she was a roaring success. She stood apart from other intellectuals as she spoke with utmost confidence because she was a master of her work and was incredibly brilliant. To state that, “Ayn Rand has a reputation issue among her enemies that is not without foundation”, is to NOT understand the idea behind “The Sanction of the Victim”, which is the sanction Ayn Rand would not give to her enemies.
As Ayn Rand stated in Galt’s speech,
“Then I saw what was wrong with the world, I saw what destroyed men and nations, and where the battle for life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality—and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that evil was impotent—that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real—and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it. Just as the parasites around me were proclaiming their helpless dependence on my mind and were expecting me voluntarily to accept a slavery they had no power to enforce, just as they were counting on my self-immolation to provide them with the means of their plan—so throughout the world and throughout men’s history, in every version and form, from the extortions of loafing relatives to the atrocities of collectivized countries, it is the good, the able, the men of reason, who act as their own destroyers, who transfuse to evil the blood of their virtue and let evil transmit to them the poison of destruction, thus gaining for evil the power of survival, and for their own values—the impotence of death. I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win—and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was “No.”
In a terrific interview with Tom Snyder, which can be seen on Youtube, Snyder asked Ayn Rand if she thought that her style made people think that she was a bit daft, to which she responded, “No, but that’s what they’d like you to think.”
Best premises,
Larry
 
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. - Ayn Rand

From: Jim Smith <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, August 9,[masked]:10 PM
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

Thanks for the reply:
Many opinion polls have been taken and 95% of top Professionals do not enjoy or think it is funny to have a major presentation of work they've invested their heart and soul and mind and body to produce interrupted and notes destroyed by a group that is amazingly antagonistic toward them.
Other research has been done to show that groups which challenge each other without using such coercive methods produce much more and higher quality.
Ayn Rand has a reputation issue among her enemies that is not without foundation but is not well understood by the enemies of Objectivism or its adherents. Context makes all the difference in interpreting attitude.
Perhaps your awareness could go up a notch or two and that is why I write and share my journey.
Jim
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
From: Chelsea Roth <[address removed]>
Sender: [address removed]
Date: Thu, 9 Aug[masked]:27:35 -0400
To: <[address removed]>
ReplyTo: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

Pps. Have you guys been following David Mammet at all? Check out "David Mammet's political awakening" on YouTube if you haven't already. (Perhaps this is old news, not sure?) He is advocating so well, also kindly and patiently. Really happy to see that!

From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context
Date: Thu, 9 Aug[masked]:17:32 -0400

Hi Jim,

I'm sorry, I don't really follow what you are trying to say? Was there a comment someone made to you that inspired you to write this? If so what was it exactly?
I think we are all with you on this, preaching to the choir, then and now Rand's philosophy is not usually well
received.
3/4 (or 9/10), of her books are about this occurrence, that it's no surprise and defiantly nothing to suffer over.
I never got the impression Ayn suffered at all in all of the bashing, hating and antics. In fact the harder it was brought on, the more I feel she thrived in knowing the she was essentially and irrefutably right (and that her advasary knew it too regardless of his words or actions).
Nothing to worry about,
Best,
Chelsea

Ps. The dumping of water is just plain funny!! That's the equivalent of what I think of sometimes when someone has an irrational reaction agaist well... Reality ;)

From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Subject: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context
Date: Thu, 9 Aug[masked]:52:18 -0400

Hi:
I often run into people who have negative things to say about the way Ayn Rand promoted her philosophy or sometimes came across as “brusque”. Actually, these individuals speaking about Ayn Rand use words much more strong. I’ve even had to consider this style of interaction myself.
 
However, in context it can appear much less “rough”.
 
1.       In Rand’s time there was overt intellectual warfare. Both the post-modern socialist scholars and the relative few conservatives used very rough tactics. Socialist scholars made sure that more free-acting and thinking freedom loving scholars were kept as far out of academia as possible. They hurt these people economically by just refusing to even listen to them. They tried to make sure they ended up teaching grade school rather than publishing powerful ideas in leading journals....and that they got paid much less. It was and is economic warfare by using not intellectual means but administrative means. This is partially why so many liberal think tanks exist. Great freedom loving people could not get proper “representation” in the scholar community. Talk about social justice and diversity, the socialists believe in everyone being represented except those with ideas of Freedom. There are exception like the Chicago School and George Mason. The landscape has begun to even out some as it does in America.
2.       Socialist Scholars in America often physically assaulted those who disagreed. Renown evolutionary biologist and evolutionary psychologist supporter E.O. Wilson of Harvard had buckets of water dumped on his head by socialist sociologists during an early lecture of his because he dared apply some of his biological knowledge to humans and the best ways we get along. He got near those who hate Rand as well and they really “dumped” on him.
3.       This is just a small part of the war she was in and a couple of the very negative tactics used against those who love freedom of an individual to live in community that is non coercive.
4.       “One if by land, two if by see, three if by the academy” (From the time of the American Revolution: Paul Revere’s ride: how the enemy will approach. A warning Rand understood, it was not a standing army marching or sailing, it was intellectuals acting hatefully, disrespectfully. They need to be outed.
 
The next time someone rails on her, know that she was doing an amazing job as a soldier of freedom. Relations in the present generation is more cordial, the issues remain the same, and perhaps we can put down the coerciveness and truly come to a valid, reliable, creative meeting of minds and hearts that is sustainable freedom with all its challenges and especially, all its benefits, for those who labor and love humanness and understand it. Understand us.
 
Comments invited,
Jim




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