Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Coming Soon(ish): Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking Part 8

Picture from here.

Or, A Phlebotinum, A Train, A Psychopath, And His Lover.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

An objectivist tree tried to wipe out my car the other day, but it missed.


Batocchio said...

Good, I restocked on brain bleach.

Anonymous said...

one of the myriad reasons to despise mcMEgan is her half assed "aboandoning" of objectivism. i don't believe for a second that she chose the jane galt moniker to troll people and that she never really bought into objectivism. her posts are saturated with it.

Susan of Texas said...

The more Rand I read, the more I despise her. It's not exactly a shocker but Objectivism is one woman's personal excuse to live in a fantasy world of superiority, in which she always gets her own way because she is always right.

How do people fall for this crap? I can feel my soul being sucked out of my body as I read. She's a Dementer straight out of Harry Potter.

Anonymous said...

right there with you susan. i sent the objectivist tree to my most pro-objectivist acquaintance who brags about raising his daughter as a little dagny. he was not amused and asked me to lay off of disparaging his daughter. i responded that i was clearly disparaging him, which led to a objectivist victimhood backlash and the inevitable "criticism = violating my 1st amendment" claim. keep punching them in the nose Susan. it's the only way.

blivet said...

I have trouble reading more than a couple of pages of Ayn Rand at a time because it's just so fatiguing. Her prose style is serviceable, but with virtually every sentence I find myself thinking "but people don't actually...," or "but that's not how a business...," and so on. It also doesn't help that Rand was clearly shaking with rage as she wrote much of it.

cynic said...

Susan asks: how do people fall for this crap?

As one who was completely spellbound by Ayn Rand ( at 16 ), I can tell you exactly how one falls for it. For the record, I don't think it all crap - although most of it is.

She offered a vision of a world as it could be to a person of well above average intelligence. It is the same vision that tempted Dumbledore and Grindenwald. It is the vision where intellectual merit is held above all other merits (such as compassion and empathy). But for a young person with no real life experience, it is a very tempting vision where everything is purely logical. It is a fantasy world, but how many 22 year olds can tell the difference?

Her work is not also complete crap - there was one area where she was absolutely right - she questioned established authority all the time. That she established an unquestionable authority by doing so was an interesting paradox. But consider the following passage:

But power is given, not taken. The authoritarian follower must be persuaded to ignore his own wants and obey the wants of the authority. This is easily done with children; they will do anything to gain their parents' love and approval. Children cannot live without it and are terrified of losing it. So children learn to give in, follow and obey, in exchange for love and belonging. But now we have a dilemma: if authoritarian followers have no authority, where does parental authority come from? And this is where God comes into the hierarchy. God gives authority to his men followers, who give authority over children to their women. No matter how weak and powerless one might feel, nobody can refuse to submit to the Ultimate Authority! God wants you to be good because he loves you and knows what is best for you. God wants you to sacrifice your own wants for his wants and in return he will give you perfect love. You might have to suffer to satisfy his wants but nobody said God wanted you to do what you want, think what you want, or believe what you want. You must submit and obey God, or he won't love you anymore and he will take his perfect, eternal love away from you and leave you alone and unprotected against the terrible dangers of the world.

This could have come straight from The Fointainhead.. In fact parts of this are eerily reminiscent of Ellsworth Monkton Toohey's speech to poor Peter Keating.

Ayn Rand and you have said pretty much the same thing on this one particular topic.

Her worldview of the Ubermensch was completely lacking in empathy and divorced from reality, but her analysis of the power-seekers was spot on.

Susan of Texas said...

You've got me--I agree with a lot of what Rand says and I can see how someone who's smart and moral could agree with it.

But I have problems understanding how the emotional aspect of the book appeals to people. This is something that I meant to write about; there's no humor in the book at all, and I read Rand simply didn't have a sense of humor. People are either learn to laugh at themselves or they don't, and she couldn't.

When people turn that intellectual ability on themselves, doesn't it make them laugh that they fall into the habit of taking themselves so seriously? Don't people use their analytical abilities to understand themselves?

(This is something that struck me when watching Law and Order/Criminal Intent. Surely Goren would analyze his own situation, as well as those of others? Yet he didn't seem to.)

cynic said...

When people turn that intellectual ability on themselves, doesn't it make them laugh that they fall into the habit of taking themselves so seriously? Don't people use their analytical abilities to understand themselves?

In my experience, the only people who can use that intellectual ability analyze themselves are borderline sociopaths. They are so dispassionate and wedded to logic that they will see their own narcissism, accept it and live with it.

They are the introverted ones who will spend hours in meditation and self-discovery - if they are lucky. The lucky ones will refrain from turning into criminal sociopaths and live quietly competent, if friendless lives.

The others will become CEO of Goldman Sachs and screw it up for everybody else. That is why Ayn Rand was so dangerous for a healthy society - she did not consider the possibility that John Galt could turn out to be Blankfein - so focused on his own competence that he decided to own the world and did not care how he did it.

Susan of Texas said...

Anyone who can laugh at himself would not be a psychopath.

And if she were just a little evil, she could always use her talents for good.

Like Batman.