Ayn Rand Misunderstood

I was on a message board where some Rational Objectivists were debating some slack jawed yokels who were making absurd attacks on Ayn Rand. It was apparant from their arguments that some of them were not familiar with her works at all and were arguing from second hand accounts of what they thought her philosophy was about. One of the more retarded claims was this:

She harbored a very ugly, venomous, morally bankrupt philosophy. 

Let me start by saying that I’m not an expert on Objectivism or on the life of Ayn Rand. In fact, I’ve only read one of her novels and a half of a ‘how to’ book she wrote on writing. But “morally bankrupt”??? Personally I thought Atlas Shrugged asserted her views on morality ad nauseum, to the point where I wanted to slam the book on the table and scream “OK!! I GET IT!!!” How could this person say “morally bankrupt”?

What she does in Atlas shrugged, in fact, is to spend pages upon pages in shredding contemporary western ethics, showing the values of altruism and condemnation of selfishness to be the enemies of logic and justice. She shows that the so-called virtue of self sacrifice (which is rooted in Judeo-Christianity) is in fact immoral because it calls for you to destroy that which you value in favor of that which you don’t. In short (and I’m paraphrasing her here), if you sacrifice your meal to give it to your child, that is not self sacrifice because you value your child. But true self sacrifice would involve you giving your meal to someone who you do not value to your own detriment. A value which calls for self immolation for no self benefit is immoral.

You will have to read the book for yourself if you want to get the gist of it because it is too extensive to address in one blog entry but the gravamen of my argument is that anyone who would try to debunk a theory without first attempting to understand is in need of psychiatric attention. Does Rational Objectivism fly against mainstream morality? Definitely. Does it then follow that Rand’s philosophy is necessarily amoral? No. To make that connection, one would have to believe that the current prevailing ethical views are right and we have no right to question them. And that is scarier that anything I’ve seen on Fear Factor.

34 Responses to “Ayn Rand Misunderstood”

  1. The "D" says:

    I started reading the book again lastweek. She beats some points to death but it is really good reading. This should have been required reading in school. Jr. High!!

    Atlas Shrugged

  2. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I like boobies!!!

  3. misc asian guy says:

    BOOBIES ‘A’ NUMBA ONE!!

  4. The "D" says:

    That Become $3.50

  5. Chef's Momma says:

    Oooh that Lock Ness Monster is sooo scary!

  6. Phelps says:

    Ugly: adj 4. Threatening or ominous

    For a looter? Hell YEAH it is threatening and ominous.

    Venemous: adj 1: extremely poisonous or injurious

    For a looter? Hell YEAH it is injurous. If more people were rationally objective, he would have to pull himself up by hit bootstraps and make do on his own ability.

    morally bankrupt: the state of being devoid of morality and ethics

    Can’t justify this one for him.

    However, I think you can see that, from a Rationally Objective standpoint, as someone lacking in personal ability who must survive by leeching the product of others, he is making the most logical and rational argument he can, because his best result is for you to be functionally unenlightened.

  7. Mexigogue says:

    When you think about it, the Old Testement is chock full of socialist concepts, starting with the story of Cain and Abel (you are your brother’s keeper), Moses putting himself in harm’s way for the masses, the anti capitalist sentiment of the camel and the eye of the needle analogy, and Jesus taking one for the team.

  8. The "D" says:

    Chef’s Dad!

    “Dammit woman I told you that was the lochness monster not a girl scout” ” We will never get rid of that thang now”

  9. R says:

    Jesus wasn’t old testament.

  10. R says:

    But I get your point.

  11. Mexigogue says:

    If y’all don’t see the new banner on the blog, refresh your web browsers and you’ll see it. Courtesy of The Everlasting Phelps!

  12. Phelps says:

    Now you need to change all the archive pages too.

  13. R says:

    How about linking to Mexigogue? Can we link to Mexigogue?

    Shit! I just talked about Mexigogue!

    Shit, I just did it again!

    I hate that goddamn banner!

  14. The "D" says:

    I like that title. We needed that when the geek Aidan was around. You should make it automatically eject anyone that talks about Mexi!! Sorry the number you have reached has been disconnected!

    That become $3.50

  15. Mexigogue says:

    It’s a reference from the movie “Fightclub”: “The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club! The 2nd rule of Fight Club is you DON’T TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB!”

    I like it cuz that means what is said here stays here! Kind of like the man’s version of what women do when they talk amongst each other in the ladies room!

    It’s ok to talk about me personally. Just be advised I will fire back at will!

  16. R says:

    I totally know it was a reference to Fight Club, bro. I was trying to be a smart-ass!

  17. Mexigogue says:

    Ha! That remark was intended for the “D” because it appeared that he read it to be a caveat against personally attacking ME which it is not.

    And speaking of “D”, where have you been dude? We haven’t had the opportunity to shoot you in pool lately!

  18. The "D" says:

    My son has bronchitis which brought on a bad case of asthma. It is scaring me to death to hea rhim cough. He can’t catch his breath while he sleeps. I have been sleepingin the living room so I can hear him. I will not leave him alone until he gets over this. I have only been sleeping 30 minutes at a time. He only weighs about 195 ls right now. He weighed 230 lbs December 13th. It has me worried so I will be taking care of him until he recovers.

    I will be back at the spot to shoot a little!

  19. Mexigogue says:

    Damn Dave. I don’t blame you for being worried and staying home. Asthma is no joke. Get him better whether it takes medicine, money, or voodoo. Just do it.

  20. Ashley Simpson says:

    I rock!!!!

  21. Phelps says:

    And if you will notice about the banner, I even used the same font and color. I’m so unappreciated.

    (I figured that he would use that one over the Kung Fu and Clockwork Orange references, but I figured I would put the others first to give them a fair shake.)

  22. Phelps says:

    Oh yeah, and BOOOOOOOOOOOO

  23. Mexigogue says:

    I didn’t get the Clockwork Orange reference because I was about 10 when I saw that movie and it was on a black and white TV so it was more like the Clockwork Grey. And secondly, I agree. Let’s all boo Ashley Simpson to make her feel more at home.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  24. R says:

    I’ll just call her a tool because it’s more appropriate.

    You’re a tool, Ashlee. Such a tool.

  25. Phelps says:

    Hey hey hey. Give Ashlee a break. She wasn’t booed by the people there. They were just lip-synching to pre-recorded boos.

  26. Phelps says:

    You really should check out A Clockwork Orange. It’s easily as good as Fight Club. And Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb if you haven’t already seen it.

    Nothing like a night of the old ultraviolence and the old in-and-out and then some Ludwig Von and Milk-Plus.

  27. rae says:

    Umm- I have asthma and it is the main reason why I quit smoking. Asthma attacks are the worst – it feels like someone is stomping on your chest and you can’t get any oxygen. Scary. Is he having Albuterol treatments D?

  28. Phelps says:

    Hey! Netflix has previews now! The one for ACO isn’t that bad, but there are other clips I would have picked. There’s some better ultraviolence in the film, and even the ultraviolence wasn’t the most disturbing part for me.

    I really love Alex when he’s studying the Bible, though. That’s priceless. And chasing the woman around with the giant penis sculpture.

  29. Brian says:

    Okay, I’ve had to use dictionary.com like 4 times since I starting reading your blog. Does that make me stupid?

  30. Mexigogue says:

    No. I’m always making up words.

  31. The "D" says:

    Rae he is on two types of inhalers now and that is one. He has to take steroids and antibiotics. He is getting better but it is the scariest thing I have ever seen. When he starts on a attack I ick him up and make sure air gets into those lungs. Hey this is my only kid and I refuse to have anything happen to him.

    I will kick Asthmas ass!!! The doctors think I am crazy because I am on the phone with them all the time.

  32. Dr. J and Dre says:

    Stop blowin’ up our phone!