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View Diary: Responding to Ayn Randian distortions (13 comments)

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  •  Because she told people (1+ / 0-)
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    Calamity Jean

    what they want to hear: it's OK to be selfish.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:49:09 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, that is exactly the important point she made (0+ / 0-)

      At the heart of any idea of individual rights is a belief in the right to be selfish.

      Pursuing your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is NOT about helping your fellow man or the larger community. It's a statement that is clearly focused on you as an individual.

      If it's wrong to be selfish, then you have no right to any of those individual rights that the larger community can't take away the moment it's determined the community has a need.

      You don't want to go to war? Stop being selfish, the country needs you.

      You don't want to just be a housewife. You want a career? Stop being selfish, that the norms of behavior your community has established and your rocking the boat to assert your own needs.

      You don't like that the coal plant near your house is spewing toxic fumes into your air, making you sick or that the nearby fracking well is making you sick by contaminating your water? To bad. Your selfish needs don't matter. What matters is the community's needs and the community needs an economy that's producing jobs.

      You workers want higher wages? Come on, stop being selfish. American companies need you to be paid less so that they can prosper.

      The truth is, if liberals examine their own beliefs more closely, they will find that there are a lot of causes they believe in that actually depend on a belief in the right to be selfish.

      And if you read Ayn Rand, the important point she makes is that no individual, including you, is any more valuable or important than any other. And therefore your selfish needs are just as important as the next guy's. And that's actually an important point to remember when the Right is arguing that the rich are more important.

      If you listen carefully, the problem really isn't that the Right argues that the pursuit of self interest is unvarnished good (although that is a problem), it's really that they're simultaneously telling workers and consumers and everyone else that it's wrong for them to pursue their own self interest.

      •  The major appeal of Ayn Rand is her message (0+ / 0-)

        that the superior individual is being held back by social constraints, including government. In order to be free, the superior individual should break free of society and take what he wants.
           This "philosophy" has immense appeal to adolescents who feel that they are superior people held back by dullards.
            That some folks continue this thinking into adulthood is a puzzle. It requires studied ignorance of history, economics, and sociology.
            In Rand's magnum opus, great corporations are the handiwork of single individuals. (Think Henry Ford or Edison.) These folks are being oppressed by collectivism and so go on strike by setting themselves up in a canyon in Colorado.
            Imagine if, in real life, the major corporate CEOs all went into hiding. How long would it take for anyone to notice?

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