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Old January 4, 2013, 12:08 AM   #27
Dr Big Bird PhD
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Join Date: October 26, 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 779
I do not deny her antipathy for Marx. However, an antipathy for Marx did not keep her from a recurrent, and I would say ultimately empty, appeal to a false objectivity that rests at the core of materialism. (" Materialism"used here is the assertion that material objects enjoy existence independent of perception, and constitute the entirety of reality.)
I see much better now what you intended to say. I was imagining a more modern definition of the term "materialism".

While heavily redundant ad nauseum, I think you are missing her point. Reality exists separately of perception. The moon would still exist in its entirety without any difference to the way it is today (minus a flag or two haha) if there were no life on Earth to perceive it. Since this is axiomatic in a discussion, we are left with perceiving reality through the faculties given to us, the senses. Any method that science or technology has given us to perceive this reality outside of our senses is only a result of our previous empiricism based on these original senses.
To put it simply, If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it does it make a sound?
Objectively yes. However, the irony is we could not discover that objectivity without subjective perception. Which is where I think you meet your inherent disagreement with her.
My only response is that for hundreds of years, Newton's law of force was widely accept as an objective model to judge reality. However this same model falls apart at subatomic levels. Ultimately imperfect, this pure approach and attempt at objectivity for the calculation of force lead to some of the greatest inventions and revelations ever, including the industrial revolution..
Objective models may be in theory impossible to fully comprehend and establish, yet it is the attempt and the refinement of that attempt that takes our civilization forward.

Rand's writing is ideological and radical in a way that reflects the influence of the French Enlightenment. It arises a priori from her ideology and a very continental way.
Irrelevant to its validity. Interesting however, I was unaware.

Early Americans were products of the English Enlightenment, which was far more moderate and pragmatic. Its ideas and temperament distinguish it from what would sweep the continent over the next two centuries.
I hardly think that anything in the constitution would be held as "moderate" or "tempered" in relation to the other ideologies of the time.
For one, the 2nd Amendment was and still is an extremely radical concept. Our own damn government wont even recognize the last four words: "Shall not be Infringed".

I read the entire book, and read the speech in context. It isn't that the speech was difficult in its content; it is that it was repetitive, self indulgent, and tiresome. She is the Wagner of authors, and that speech is her Ring Cycle.
Hahah, I genuinely laughed when I read that. I agree with your description of the speech, but not your assessment of its importance.

I pushed through to the end hoping the book would redeem itself. I cannot deny that my philosophical differences with her may have colored my assessment of her book as literature. However, I find that many fans of her literature have the habit of fans of Nietzsche; they have an ability to look past the ugliness and skim off something useful or admirable.
Absolutely great analysis. She was originally inspired by Nietzsche, but she came to the same realization about him and his philosophy.

I also fail to see whats wrong with anyone being "so overridden" with her ideology that they demand individualism and an honest attempt at objectivity in their lives.

That isn't a bad ability to have, but it explains how a syphilitic moral terrorist can write "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and have it printed on a million T-shirts.
1) By that rationalization, the Obama campaigns of "forward, change, love" etc are all from a syphilitic moral terrorist trying to cleverly package one concept with another more agreeable one.
Ironically enough, Ayn Rand specifically addresses such package-dealing and denounces it.
2) Anyone will buy anything catchy, remember when "Soulja Boy" and "Crank That" were big? Now we have gangam style, sigh.
3) If any person were to package deal Randian ideology in a similar manner, the worse that would happen is that everyone thinks they can only rely on themselves to achieve, and would hate the use of coercion to achieve what they want.
Don't see a problem there.
4) I vehemently dislike the word and modern conception of "Terrorist". Its childish and lacks meaning other than shock value.

I've not read it for a few years, but his national review piece from 1957 is linked below. I have taken some liberties in abbreviating your name and addressing a couple of your points out of order; no slight is intended.
The author doesn't like the tone and wants imperfect characters. The point of her novel is to illustrate what is moral, immoral, and amoral. She doesn't believe in gray-scales.
Clearly he didn't understand what she was saying in that speech otherwise he'd be able to deduce the reasoning for the tone and the character development.

I am still at a loss on how to define and conceive this "materialism" you and the author dislike so much. The concept alludes me.
I told the new me,
"Meet me at the bus station and hold a sign that reads: 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life.'"
But the old me met me with a sign that read: "Welcome back."
Who you are is not a function of where you are. -Off Minor

Last edited by Dr Big Bird PhD; January 4, 2013 at 12:14 AM.
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