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 Post subject: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:36 am 
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More specifically, she finagled government assistance even though she was staunchly opposed to others receiving it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-ford/ayn-rand-and-the-vip-dipe_b_792184.html

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:44 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:20 pm 
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I know quite a few Ayn Rand-groupies in real life...Somehow, I doubt this will change their minds.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:35 pm 
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Because they already knew their adolescent philosophy was created by a hypocritical crasshole?

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:18 pm 
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I saw this yesterday, and it brought a smile of unholy glee to my face. I love this shiitake. LOVE IT. I keep hoping that one day enough articles like this will come out so even Objectivists will be forced to admit Atlas Shrugged is just a shitty sci fi novel instead of a brilliant philosophical treatise with bonus creepy BDSM sleaze. But I'm not holding my breath. Unshockingly, cognitive dissonance is pretty much essential for the "A is A" crew.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:39 pm 
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I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged, though I didn't take it as anything more then a fictional book.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:58 pm 
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Yeah, I read it in 7th grade (it was my bathroom reading) and liked it but...I was in 7th grade. (And reading it in the bathroom.)

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:27 pm 
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My ex is an Ayn Rand groupy. He isn't very intelligent and he's a total crasshole. He kept trying to get me to read her crepe, I tried reading it, couldn't get through it. I just don't get the love people have for her. I'm sure if I showed this to him then he would come up with a thousand excuses for her.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:19 pm 
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I like her books, as books. I didn't read them in the bathroom, and I'm not a crasshole!


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:17 pm 
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I've never read her books. For all I know, they're wonderful. It's her philosophy I find so rank.

You have a moral obligation to be selfish!

See?! I'm right to be creep!

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:49 pm 
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allychristine wrote:
I like her books, as books. I didn't read them in the bathroom, and I'm not a crasshole!

I was just saying today that I can't wait until 75 years after her death when someone can create abridged editions of her books that remove all that distracting philosophy.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:54 pm 
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mollyjade wrote:
allychristine wrote:
I like her books, as books. I didn't read them in the bathroom, and I'm not a crasshole!

I was just saying today that I can't wait until 75 years after her death when someone can create abridged editions of her books that remove all that distracting philosophy.


Yeah, well..I did skip over the like 50 page philosophical diatribe in the middle of Atlas Shrugged.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Anthem is OK. The Fountainhead I remember being really silly and incredibly problematic, though less loathsome overall than Atlas Shrugged. I just tried re-reading AS for journalism purposes, and I failed due to finding it too depressing. I mean,
Spoiler: show
it involves grown-ass men being held up as heroes for willfully polluting and destroying the earth merely to prove their philosophical points, and is overall just an unrepentantly sexist and racist work of fiction. Ugh. But I'm not saying it makes anyone a crasshole to like it. I mean, I love 18th century British literature, and most of that is pretty unrepentantly sexist and racist. And also features wealthy heiresses getting the everloving shiitake raped out of them and then falling in love with their rapists, come to think of it. So. . . yeah!

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:48 pm 
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this takedown of her never stops making me laugh:

http://tigerbeatdown.com/2010/06/18/sex ... n-edition/

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:14 pm 
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I hate Ayn Rand's philosophies and I've never read (and never plan to read) her books...but...I'm not totally convinced it was hypocritical of her to receive Social Security payments. She worked and paid into Social Security her whole life, so the money she received in benefits was money she had put in.

Rand and her followers would have SS privatized if they could, but since it isn't, the SS system is basically a public retirement fund. People who don't pay into it are entitled to Supplemental Security Income benefits if they become disabled, but they aren't entitled to Social Security Disability or Retirement payments. And SS retirement benefits are based on the amount of money you put in while you were working.

I think Rand would have been a hypocrite for receiving fafsa government grants for college or welfare or food stamps or some other aid given based on need, rather than past contributions.

(Again, this is not to disagree with the conclusion of this thread, that Ayn Rand was awful, but rather to question whether this particular instance is evidence of that).


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:48 am 
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mollyjade wrote:
allychristine wrote:
I like her books, as books. I didn't read them in the bathroom, and I'm not a crasshole!

I was just saying today that I can't wait until 75 years after her death when someone can create abridged editions of her books that remove all that distracting philosophy.


Anthem is already in the public domain, so go nuts.
Atlas Shrugged's copyright was renewed and goes into the public domain in 2053.
The Fountainhead's copyright was renewed and goes into the public domain in 2039.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:51 am 
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And how did she feel about people who needed and received help?

guy at HuffPo wrote:
As Pryor said, "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out" without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn "despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently... She didn't feel that an individual should take help."

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:06 am 
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Yes, but I am questioning whether these programs really constitute "help" from the government. I don't know enough about medicare to say (though one article said that the Freedom of Information Act inquiry only confirmed that she received SS, and could neither confirm nor deny medicare), but SS retirement benefits (as opposed to SSI) have nothing to do with need, and are based only on what you already paid into the system. You can be a multi-millionaire and still receive SS retirement payments, provided you paid into SS when you paid taxes.

But in general, I think people are hypocritical for opposing government support, when they almost certainly drove on public roads and went to public schools and accepted assistance from police and firefighters. Their taxes may go to pay for these services, but they certainly don't cover all the services they use.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:02 am 
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I think I agree with suzikibeane in that I don't that think it would be hypocritical of her to accept government benefits she paid for. I don't think driving on government roads is especially inconsistent, at least not any more than, say, eating corn but opposing agricultural subsidies for big business. Among American liberals, libertarians tend to get held to a lower threshold for hypocrisy than other ideologies for some reason.

I do think there's a case that it's hypocritical to argue that people should be independent (though I'm not sure that's an accurate characterisation of Rand's positions--it's possible she was an advocate of voluntary mutual aid, for all I know) and then, despite considerable ability to acquire wealth, rely on government aid. I'm also not sue if I believe the story as it's been told; it seems implausible that she wasn't wealthy enough that medical bills couldn't 'wipe her out', as, IIRC, her lawyer said.

If it matters, I've only read excerpts of her fiction and formal philosophy and thought both were mediocre, and I think Objectivism is basically a cult. I think the best Rand-bashing work is Rothbard's one-act play Mozart Was a Red, a video of which is here. Taibbi's usually great at mocking people--his reviews of Thomas Friedman books are hilarious--but his recent essay on Rand didn't impress me.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:20 am 
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Apart from the strong implication that those who take the help are morally weak, it is also a philosophic point that such help dulls the will to work, to save and government assistance is said to dull the entrepreneurial spirit.


She also opposed the two programs from whom she accepted assistance, under another name. Under her rules, she should have saved enough through working to take care of her own medical bills. If she didn't, well, suffer the consequences. That is her philosophy.

Libertarians disprove the viability of how they believe society should be run every day...

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:37 am 
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Vantine wrote:
Quote:
Apart from the strong implication that those who take the help are morally weak, it is also a philosophic point that such help dulls the will to work, to save and government assistance is said to dull the entrepreneurial spirit.


She also opposed the two programs from whom she accepted assistance, under another name. Under her rules, she should have saved enough through working to take care of her own medical bills. If she didn't, well, suffer the consequences. That is her philosophy.


But theoretically, if she had not been forced to pay into social security, she WOULD have saved enough through working to take care of her own medical bills. In essence, SS is a bank account you don't control.

I guess I just don't see social security benefits as "assistance." It's insurance that you're legally obligated to buy. Maybe I've seen too many of those commercials for Binder and Binder telling me it's not a handout.

But I'm done now, because the last thing I want to do is defend Ayn Rand. I'm just not convinced that this is a shining example of how horrible she was.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:11 am 
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Yeah... as an ex-cultist (really!) who's read all her fiction and most of her published philosophy, I'm going to say that IMO, it was hypocritical of her. She despised people who not only took "help" and "assistance" but also those who didn't cut their losses in the face of government interventionism and tough it out to make a point. For christ's sake, one of her heroes once set his oil wells on fire (!) to prevent them being privatized. A scorched-earth personality who still takes government handouts... I'm calling shenanigans.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:21 am 
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Of course it's hypocritical of her. Social Security isn't a bank account. It's not a retirement account. It's a benefit paid for by future beneficiaries--she was living on the back of a thousand Atlases.

Personally, I think she's a horrible writer even if you divorce her sociopathic ethical outlook from her prose. She wrote stroke books for disaffected adolescents, and that's the best thing you can say about her.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:58 am 
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Also--no, I'm not letting this go--she allegedly despised all shadiness and subterfuge. Even if one were to make the case that "American liberals are harder on libertarians" (or whatever) she should have, according to her own mouth-words, have just accepted the critique, addressed it in a straightforward manner, and moved on. She should have been proud of her own decisions if she was acting in her own enlightened self-interest. Sneaking about is the signifier of the moocher and the looter. A is A.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Ayn Rand awful
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Mouth-words!

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