Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Republicans and Objectivism

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. ~ John Donne
The moral crime of conservative philosophy is Objectivism as embodied in the writings of Ayn Rand. At its core, Objectivism is the antithesis of Donne's words. It believes that all men are islands. That every man is an end entirely unto himself, as uncaring for others as he is uncared for himself.

It is a cruel and pitiless philosophy. If I see someone lying by the side of the road it expects me to walk on by unless I stand to profit by it. Altruism, the Good Samaritan, is evil. Caring for others is likened to slavery.
Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights. One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal. ~ Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness
Every aspect of conservative politics is tainted with this foul brew.
  • Protecting the global climate is evil because someone might benefit from the effort who is not me.
  • Enron had the right to defraud the public because it was acting in its own self interest (their only crime was getting caught).
  • Universal health care is evil because only those people who have earned enough money to afford health care should receive it. (The disease-ridden world conservatives prefer was described by Edger Allen Poe.)
  • All non-wars are appeasement or compromise, ergo all wars are good. (see also)
I could go on all night but I grow weary of reading conservative excuses for selfishness.

Note: I am posting less frequently, and often less intelligently, because I am involved in a writing project that is consuming much of my creativity.


Richard said...

Objectivism (Rand's core philosophy) rejects the Democrat, Republican and Libertarian perspectives, for quite a number of very definite reasons.

Under normal circumstances no Objectivist would walk past someone bleeding on the side of the road! What an idiotic thing to suggest.

Objectivists value other people in proportion to how much that person is productive and not a looter or moocher. Every stranger's life is a value until proven otherwise.

Yes, intellectually, every man is an island unto himself, but he is perfectly capable of cooperating, trading and fraternizing with others. However, he is very selective as to whom those others will be.

You might browse The Ayn Rand Lexicon to discover a bit more, but it is no substitute for her actual articles.

The global climate needs no protection because it is not threatened by mankind. I have been following Climate Change & Environmentalism intently for 30 years. The quality of the science can at times be good, but the Environmentalist conclusions drawn are always uncalled for. There is tons of evidence for that statement & it can be easily found on the Internet if you look. Here is one list of articles you might start with. Some are more technical than others.

I am afraid you have zero understanding of the Reality of Rand and Objectivism, and have no business making such claims as you have. Don't critique it until after you have read it thoroughly, rather than conducting a superficial scan to find a few out-of-context things you think you can use to reject it.

john said...

No need for me to add to what Richard said, it was excellent. I will just counter the Donne quote with one from Miss Rand

I order to say I love you, one must first be able to say "I"

That's her most radical stance on selfishness and individualism. She would consider it cruel and pitiless for someone to supress their "I" for a socially constructed "WE" in the name of love.

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA

Richard said...

Thank-you very much, John.

I liked your quotation too. It made me think of that idiotic bromide: "There is no 'I' in TEAM!"

In fact a TEAM is made entirely of I's. Each individual is working within a certain role (in the context of whatever the goals of the team may be) to ensure that their collaboration brings the team, and therefore himself, the success he desires.

On a more trite level, each letter of the word TEAM is made of thirteen I's. E.g., the T is an I capped with a sideways I, and so on with eleven more I's. I find it 'cute' that there are 13, a supposedly unlucky number sure to terrorize the superstitious.

Right Premises to all!

robert574 said...

Requiring that people sacrifice their lives, money and time for the sake of thankless, mindless and undeserving "victims" is not cruel and heartless. Or requiring that an entire civilizations (the Soviet Union and Communist China) sacrifice their present to the never arriving future was not cruel and heartless. Sending dissenters to concentration camps for not have a social consciousness was not cruel and heartless. Seems the bleeding hearts are more cruel and heartless than any Objectivist could possibly be.