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View Diary: Humanism Vs. Objectivism (112 comments)

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  •  Hindsight is easy now (0+ / 0-)

    and the ideas of Socialism were quite different when Rand was growing up.  Her philosophy should be put into the context of those times.

    Remember, Ayn Rand was product of the Soviet Union and saw the effects of Communism first hand.  A lot of what she wrote was probably a reaction (or likely an overreaction) to the Soviet Era of Stalin - with his brutal hyper-collectivism and very centralized economy and Five-Year Plans.   Her books were written during the heyday of the Cold War, where American capitalism was still young and hadn't overstepped (like it is now).  

    What's interesting is comparing her old ideas to those of Karl Marx - he wrote that capitalism would at first succeed and grow very well by means of capital investment in new technology and improved ways of production.  Everyone in the early capitalist society would prosper.  However, as time goes on certain capitalists will appropriate more and more profits and income from the economy for themselves and laborers would have increasingly less and less.

    Over time, after vicious cyclical swings from boom and bust, the process of capitalism would result in ever richer capitalists and ever poorer working classes, until finally at some point, laborers would revolt and take over the means of production, causing Socialism to ensue as a result.

    Probably going off-topic a bit, but I think Marx was a much better predictor of the future than Ayn Rand.  She didn't take her ideas to the ultimate conclusion - that ultimate selfishness will result in a cold heartless society.  And a lot of cold, angry, heartless people.

    •  You're on to something there with the Marx (1+ / 0-)
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      Anna M

      business.  I see an element of unintentional parody in Ayn Rand's work, the phrasing of it, the manifesto writings, the attempts to reinterpret history in a different economic light, the liberal quoting of other philosophers in justification.  The formation of the Objectivist organization, too, is a parody of Marx's early organizing tools.

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