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Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 04:49 AM   #1
 
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Ayn Rand

Anyone who is reasonably well read knows where my
sign-on name originates. Every so often Ayn Rand is
mentioned in a post. I am pretty well versed in
"Objectivism" which is the philosophy she created.
I have read most of her stuff, including 'Atlas Shrugged'
maybe 10 times. Anyway, John Galt is the major character but does not actually appear much until
very late in the book (part of what makes the plot IHMO). To get to the point, when I ERed, part of the reason was to remove myself (as much as possible)
from overreaching government and goofy laws.
Late in 'Atlas Shrugged', John Galt makes a long speech
explaining why he "dropped out". By this point
society is imploding and looking for a savior. One line from the speech is "Get the hell out of my way!"
That's how I felt about our government when I was
working. That's how I feel today.

John Galt
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 05:24 AM   #2
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:
"Get the hell out of my way!"
That's how I felt about our government when I was
working. That's how I feel today.
Someone will always be in your way. That is what the big scramble for money in this country is about. It's all about power.

If the government is not in charge someone else will be! - Hint! - It won't be you!

- It will be big Corporations like Enron, Wal-Mart GE, Texaco, Mobil. If this makes you comfortable you are much more trusting than myself!
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 06:35 AM   #3
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Hi Cut-Throat. I'd take my chances with the big
corporations. Greed I can understand. It's
liberal nuttiness I have a problem with.

John Galt
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 06:39 AM   #4
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Re: Ayn Rand

John,

The producers in Atlas Shrugged totally pulled out of the world economy, even taking all of their resources and money with them. They didn't retire - they took their ball and went home.

One of the things I didn't much care for in Atlas Shrugged was the implication that if only government would go away everything would be ideal and perfect. I don't buy it. I don't trust government, but I also don't trust that individuals won't screw me around given the opportunity.

Less government - good. No government (or at least almost no government) - bad.

IMHO of course.

I still need to finish "We The Living", had to return it to the library and am awaiting its availability again.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 06:47 AM   #5
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:
Hi Cut-Throat. *I'd take my chances with the big
corporations. *Greed I can understand. *It's
liberal nuttiness I have a problem with.

John Galt
Well the GOP is in Charge of Congress, The White House and the Supreme Court. I don't think it's Liberals that you have to worry about
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 06:50 AM   #6
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

'We the Living' was her first novel. Excellent stuff.

Obviously you need some government, but minimal is best in my view. And of course individuals will
"screw you around", but there the playing field is level, me being an individual also. The power to tax is the power to destroy and that lies with the government.
Oh, and BTW I did "take my ball and go home", except
in my case I had no intention of returning.

John Galt
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 09:42 AM   #7
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Re: Ayn Rand

John,

But you still participate in the economy, right? Don't you live off of bond income and others? They took it all (or destroyed what they couldn't) and hid from view.

If everyone were on a level playing field I would agree with you, but I don't think they are. Bill Gates could make my life a living hell if he wanted to and wouldn't break a sweat doing it. I'd be nothing more than an annoying gnat to him in comparison. So Bill Gates could screw me around a lot more than I could him. And every time I run into an annoying Windows problems I feel like he already has. Money, like armies, doesn't really make the playing field level.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 09:58 AM   #8
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:
John,

But you still participate in the economy, right? *Don't you live off of bond income and others? *They took it all (or destroyed what they couldn't) and hid from view.

If everyone were on a level playing field I would agree with you, but I don't think they are. *Bill Gates could make my life a living hell if he wanted to and wouldn't break a sweat doing it. *I'd be nothing more than an annoying gnat to him in comparison. *So Bill Gates could screw me around a lot more than I could him. *And every time I run into an annoying Windows problems I feel like he already has. * *Money, like armies, doesn't really make the playing field level.
I think your fellow texans would argue that the state's liberal firearms laws do a great job of putting you and Bill on a level playing field.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 10:16 AM   #9
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:

I think your fellow texans would argue that the state's liberal firearms laws do a great job of putting you and Bill on a level playing field.
Yeah, The ones in the Texas State Prisons!
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 11:01 AM   #10
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:

I think your fellow texans would argue that the state's liberal firearms laws do a great job of putting you and Bill on a level playing field.
If my only recourse is to shoot someone who's messing with me, then I don't exactly consider that level. I can either be a victim of abuse or a murderer? My options are not as widespread as his, or others with more means.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 11:26 AM   #11
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Let's look beyond the fiction of Ayn Rand to the reality.

She was a young woman in Russia traumatized by the Bolshevik takeover of the government. As who wouldn't be?

Unfortuneatly, after emigrating to America, she evolved into the antithesis of a collectivist, an uncaring greed obsessed nihilist who believed in doing basically whatever she felt like.

A "philosophy" she called objectivism.

Simply put, you take what you can get and screw everyone else. She practiced what she preached by having an adulterous affair with a close protege, thereby betraying both her husband and her protege's wife. But who cares, you take what you want right?

John Galt, or whoever you are, you're welcome to a world of selfishness and arrogance. I don't want any part of it.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 11:30 AM   #12
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

I've read some of her work (fiction and non-fiction). She was an excellent writer. I know something about Objectivism, but I'm not an expert. Our society and government differ from her vision in many ways. During the Bush administration, it's been a greater radical departure. Now, it's not only the results (laws) that are in contrast, but the process is too. The Bush administration views facts and reason as inconveniences when they don't support their stated policies. In addition, the policies themselves: faith-based government programs (Objectivists support a strict interpretation of the separation of church and state), gay marriage, foreign military interventions, anti-abortion measures, and emphasis on 'religious faith', are a stark contradiction to Objectivist thinking. Seems to me that these policies overwhelm minor differences in domestic social policies. Also, the idea of 'compassionate conservatism' is clearly a step backwards.

I know, I know, I don't know what I'm writing about.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 11:54 AM   #13
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:

If my only recourse is to shoot someone who's messing with me, then I don't exactly consider that level. *I can either be a victim of abuse or a murderer? *My options are not as widespread as his, or others with more means.
Naturally I was being sarcastic. I find the Ayn Rand True Believers to be naive at best, but a difference of opinions is what makes a market.

Let's just hope for regime change in the US this year.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 01:07 PM   #14
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Wow, I've been called a lot of things, but never naive.
That's a new one

John Galt
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 02:11 PM   #15
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

The curious thing about Randians, and related "Libertarian" types, vs the dreaded Communists is that BOTH their philsophical "schticks" (belief systems) appeal to the same unachievably high, impossible level of human perfection. Lacking that perfection both schools of thought collapse from the perfect reality of imperfect humanity
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-21-2004, 05:27 PM   #16
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:
I'd take my chances with the big corporations. Greed I can understand. It's liberal nuttiness I have a problem with.
One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Edward First Baron Thurlow: "How can you expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned and no body to be kicked?"

We need a government of the people, by the people, and for the people as a counterbalance to the excesses of unbridled greed. Corporations have no conscience; they're just money-making machines.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 08:27 AM   #17
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:
One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Edward First Baron Thurlow: "How can you expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned and no body to be kicked?"

We need a government of the people, by the people, and for the people as a counterbalance to the excesses of unbridled greed. Corporations have no conscience; they're just money-making machines.

A corporation does not get your money unless you choose to give it to them. No one tells you to buy that car or install their software. The beautiful thing about capitalism is that it is voluntary.

The government however can, at the point of a gun, force you to hand over your money, any amount they want, and spend it for any purpose they see fit. If you chose not to allow your hard earned money to be confiscated you will be put in prison.

With this in mind, can you really tell me you fear Microsoft more than government?

You say a government by the people for the people? The fallacy Americans have that we a democracy is perpetuated by our politicians. Democracy is dangerous... it is mob rule. The founders of this country knew that and that's why we're a republic... not a democracy. But because the American people allow themselves to be too ignorant to know the difference the politicians are more than happy to sell it.

Alexander Tyler over a hundred years ago wrote about the fall of the Athenian Empire. Here's my favorite quote:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."

Read that and tell me it couldn't have been written about the current state of the U.S.

-Jay


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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 08:32 AM   #18
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:
A corporation does not get your money unless you choose to give it to them. No one tells you to buy that car or install their software. The beautiful thing about capitalism is that it is voluntary.
How wrong you are dude. Ever heard of Monopolies? That is where the government comes in. It's never as simple as you guys think it is. Our country has been down this road in the past when oil companies were basically free to charge whatever they wanted to heat homes.

How much say so do you think you have in buying gas for your car?
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 08:40 AM   #19
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Re: Ayn Rand

Quote:
How much say so do you think you have in buying gas for your car?
That's where competition and personal choice come in to play. You choose how much or how far you drive, or whether you drive at all. You choose to live in a part of the country where you need to heat your home (I live in FL for instance), and you are not restricted just to using heating oil. There are other methods to heat your home or your body.

I'm not saying there should be no government at all. But no one is going to convince me that government is somehow more moral than business.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 08:43 AM   #20
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Re: Ayn Rand

Here's a quote from Ayn Rand I think everyone will enjoy:


"America's abundance was created not by public sacrifices to 'the common good,' but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America's industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance -- and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way."


-Jay

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