Re: [humanism-174] Objectivism

From: Mark T.
Sent on: Monday, June 22, 2009 1:28 PM
I should probably shut up about this, 'cause I'm not all that knowledgeable about it...
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But a case could be made that Objectivism is a form of atheism without the freethought. I cite Ayn Rand's celebration of unwavering adherence to a rigid code of "ethics" (the "virtue of selfishness" is one of them), and her very "black and white" portrayals of her heroes?and villains.
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It is interesting to note that this celebration of unwavering ideology as a virtue has really come to a head in today's conservatism, due to lack of clear ideas... conversely, many inhabitants of what I call the "right-wing bubble world"?seem convinced that the election of Barack Obama is Ayn Rand's "prophecy" come to fruition.

On Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 12:23 PM, Jay D. Gardner <[address removed]> wrote:
I've only read snippets of Rand, but I find little difference between her glorification of the individual versus the Nazi's glorification of the "Volk and Volkishness" in the period up to and after Hitler's ascent to power.? The glorification of Volk myths and the special virtues of the German Volk is what attracted many intellectuals to the Nazi Party, among them some of Germany's best and brightest Protestant theologians.? Many others, of course, found the whole thing revolting.? In the case of Nazi Germany the heroism of the individual got expressed in his/her sacrifices for the good of the Volk--death on the field of battle for young men, lots of healthy blond babies for women.?
In the case of Rand that heroism got expressed by the domination of the hero over others--you can't have "domination" without "others".? So, in the end, I think it all leads to the same place.? Spend an evening watching Leni Ravenstall's "Triumph of Will" film/documentary/propaganda piece on the 1936 Berlin Olympics and you instantly get a feel for the mood.? Incidently, some of the shaninigins at recent Republican Party conventions (Reagan years mostly) look as if they were drawn from Ravenstall's film; quiet chillingly.? The "Stand Up For America" stuff sounds eerily like the "We we were screwed at Versailles and the Jews and we need to get revenge." stuff that was on so many lips in Germany during the Twenties and Thirties.? At any rate, at least Rand does generate some interesting conversations about the point of human existence.? I think a good context for some of this discussion would be, "Can humanity survive nationalism and the nation state?
Jay


From: Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, June 22,[masked]:36:58 AM
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Objectivism

I see another huge conflict in her philosophy itself- the supremacy of the individual is in there, also the glorification of Man being triumphant over Nature. But the individual does not, of course, triumph over nature (we die, nature "wins").
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I should probably revisit that book, and read it at face value as a novel. The person who gave it to me to read (25 years ago) urged me to try and absorb the philosophy within it.

On Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 7:54 AM, Randall Tiedman <[address removed]> wrote:
Michael, Im hardly an expert on Ayn Rand but I would suggest reading her novel "The Fountainhead" which will give you a better sense of her ideas than any summation I could give. Despite her placing reason above all else her personal ?life was filled with contradictions that violated her own epistemology. Aside from that its a terrifc novel! ? Randall
---- MichaelV <[address removed]> wrote:
> I am listening to a podcast right now in which a self professed Objectivist describes a moment in which Ayn Rand stand up on one leg and describes her philosophy as: "Objectivism is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own sense of happiness and moral purpose in his life, with productive achievements as his noblest activity and reason as his only absolute.". ?I haven't been able to find the video, but I do have a question for anyone interested.
>
> What exactly is Objectivism? ?What does the philosophy entail, and does the above quote properly represent it? ?Is the philosophy consistent with the ideas of the Libertarian philosophy? ?I have never been overly fond of Rand; I ound her work to be rambling and imprecise, which is the primary reason I never looked into it that deeply. ?However, I have noticed that there is a growing segment of the electorate that perscribes to the Rand philosophies, particularly Libertarians, and asuming the Republican party continues to self destruct, it may be the case that it 4-12 years we have a significant Libertatrian presence in our government, something I do not at all agree with in principle but would not be at all troubled with if it were to happen. ?Any information you have would be appreciated, and I will gladly take responses in private or in our forum if you so desire.
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> Michael
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