Thursday, October 30, 2008

IS OUR LONG OBJECTIVIST NIGHTMARE FINALLY OVER?

Now that the most powerful and influential Randian of our time has somewhat repudiated his views, can we put Objectivism into the dustbin of history along with Communism? I mean, just because you thought that scene of a rebel architect ravishing a socialite on the top of a tall building was hot when you were 20, should you base your whole political belief system on it? Two Girls Fat and Thin was good, though.

4 comments:

john said...

In your dreams.

Just because Greenspan attempted to throw Ayn Rand under the train instead of his own sorry self, and we witness an orgy of delight by her envy club, does not mean that every human who understands the actual content of Objectivism has changed his mind one bit.

Did it ever occur to you that this titanic collapse of social democracy's financial system is because actual capitalists are Shrugging? Which would mean that our plan is engaged, big time. Which means that Rand is far more important, relevant and in control than your nightmare can ever dream.

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA

Favela Cranshaw said...

...a rebel architect ravishing a socialite on the top of a tall building... ???

John, you let this hilarious description pass?

chuckbutler said...

I think it's important to bear a couple of points in mind:

1. Mr. Greenspan is not an Objectivist, nor has he been one for some time (if he ever was). For evidence one need only do two things (1) understand Objectivism and (2) read Mr. Greenspan's last book "The Age of Turbulence."

2. For those who believe that the current economic mess serves as any indictment of Objectivism, understand that Ayn Rand argued for laissez-faire capitalism--no government control or manipulation of the market. That is not what we've had--certainly not in any of our lifetimes--so it's incongruous to suggest that the failures of our highly regulated and government-manipulated market reveal anything about capitalism itself. That's like biting into an apple and complaining "I don't like how this orange tastes!" If you are genuinely interested in understanding Rand's views on the subject, I would recommend "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," which includes some good writing by Mr. Greenspan at a time when he did agree with at least some of Ayn Rand's principles.

ash966 said...

@chuckbutler:
Like Anarchism, Objectivism's supporters can always say it's never really been tried. This is safe, because no one who openly espouses them will ever, ever get elected. I'm more afraid of covert and partial Objectivists obtaining influence. Anarchists mostly live in their moms' basements and dirty squats, but Objectivists could be economists and CEOs of major companies, so they might gain power through appointments or lobbying.

@Favela Cranshaw:
Thanks, I thought it was funny too. Do you think a random person on the Internet could convince a middle-aged librarian and English major that The Fountainhead is deathless prose? As opposed to my own opinion and that of every person I respect? Yeah, that'll happen. That only works on prisoners and adolescents who never crack open a book unless it's required.

Here's more mockery:

"A little delirious and definitely skewed. Can people who see this picture ever forget the sight of the silvery-blond columnist Dominique(Patricia Neal) galloping up on her black horse and slashing her riding crop across the face of the tall, mocking stranger who had looked at her impertinently while he was using a pneumatic drill in the quarry? He's the genius architect Howard Roark (Gary Cooper). When his design for a public-housing project is altered, he dynamites the building; put on trial, he justifies his action with an attack on collectivism and the parasites of the left. Ayn Rand wrote the screenplay, based on her 1943 novel, and true to her hero's principles, she wouldn't permit any changes in her (megalomaniac, comic-book) dialogue. King Vidor directed this paean to the individualism of "superior" people, made in a sleek,
hollow, Expressionist style that owes a lot to film noir. It's an extravaganza of romantic, right-wing camp, with the hyper-articulate superman Roark standing in the wind on top of a phallic skyscraper, and the fierce, passionate Dominique rising in an open elevator to join him there." --Pauline Kael


Now that's deathless prose!