[POLITICS] Why do people look down on Ayn Randian philosophies?

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The basic jist I get from Ayn Randian philosophy is that special and talented people are being held back by societal norms and conformity. And strive to overcome the norms and conformity.

But apparently this and her other philosophies related to it are looked down by the political and philosophical mainstream.

And really I never seen a proper criticism and counter-argument against Randian Philosophy.

So I am hoping you guys would deliver on it.

Did you play Bioshock? Cause that game is basically 'What if Ayn Rand made her own paradise?'

Note: Ayn Rand = Andrew Ryan.

She advocates against ethics. Sure, I do not doubt we could advance science way faster if we just threw ethics out the window, does not mean it is worth it. Imagine if we were allowed to do any horrific experiment we wanted on humans, ethics be damned? That is why sensible people reject her.

Saelune:
Did you play Bioshock? Cause that game is basically 'What if Ayn Rand made her own paradise?'

Note: Ayn Rand = Andrew Ryan.

"I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small."

Samtemdo8:
The basic jist I get from Ayn Randian philosophy is that special and talented people are being held back by societal norms and conformity. And strive to overcome the norms and conformity.

But apparently this and her other philosophies related to it are looked down by the political and philosophical mainstream.

And really I never seen a proper criticism and counter-argument against Randian Philosophy.

So I am hoping you guys would deliver on it.

It's really not the philosophy itself, but rather, what comes with it ... change.

People are afraid of change, even if it serves to be harmless. Because change can dramatically impact someone's way of living comfortably, or thinking, or their control on their own reality. Basically, if it's not in the norm and isn't universally accepted, it can be taken into a negative aspect.

As for the actual substance in the philosophy we're talking about? It could also do with the fact people abuse when in power. That's kind of why society, whether it's a democracy, communism, anything ... humanity and free will complicates things all the time. Even those in charge aren't going to always follow their own principles, hence why corruption happens.

I've not read Ayn Rand myself and have only a common knowledge understanding of her writing, but I don't think it matters if the philosophy is right or wrong because the messaging was deliberately inflammatory.

The moral goodness of taking care of yourself can be found through history from Socrates to the Boy Scout Oath. From what I know, the unique aspect of Rand's writing is the provocative rhetoric and the possible suggestion that self-interest supersedes other ethics. But I'm not certain if that's actually her position or if her position is the same as the Boy Scouts and she just put a glaze of deliberate controversy on top.

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:
Did you play Bioshock? Cause that game is basically 'What if Ayn Rand made her own paradise?'

Note: Ayn Rand = Andrew Ryan.

"I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small."

Since morality isn't an issue, and I deem you have the correct genetic parameters for my testing, I should be able to just drug and kidnap you and perform painful tests on you against your will because it will benefit the advancement of science. If you do not see that as "proper criticism and counter-argument against Randian Philosophy" I am not sure what to tell you. May you be first in line for the tests necessary to advance science faster then.

Considering trying to not hurt the test subjects and provide them with pain medication for their discomfort is only necessary due to morality and is otherwise considered wasteful of time and resources, the test subject's suffering is irrelevant without ethical objections.

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:
Did you play Bioshock? Cause that game is basically 'What if Ayn Rand made her own paradise?'

Note: Ayn Rand = Andrew Ryan.

"I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small."

And look what happened. And yes, I do understand the collective good can become a burden in some areas. I do believe society can have the greatest good, while not constraining the great.

Wait, hold up. Are you all just accepting the premise of inherently more special and talented people being limited by morality and picking a side? You know you can reject that premise entirely, right?

It just seems selfish and arrogant philosophy to me. It seems to ignore the fact we all work together in a society and wants to help out nobody else it's all about the self.

Lil devils x:

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:
Did you play Bioshock? Cause that game is basically 'What if Ayn Rand made her own paradise?'

Note: Ayn Rand = Andrew Ryan.

"I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small."

Since morality isn't an issue, and I deem you have the correct genetic parameters for my testing, I should be able to just drug and kidnap you and perform painful tests on you against your will because it will benefit the advancement of science. If you do not see that as "proper criticism and counter-argument against Randian Philosophy" I am not sure what to tell you. May you be first in line for the tests necessary to advance science faster then.

Considering trying to not hurt the test subjects and provide them with pain medication for their discomfort is only necessary due to morality and is otherwise considered wasteful of time and resources, the test subject's suffering is irrelevant without ethical objections.

I wonder what Randian Philosophy thinks of Hospitals and Health Care...

Samtemdo8:

Lil devils x:

Samtemdo8:

"I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small."

Since morality isn't an issue, and I deem you have the correct genetic parameters for my testing, I should be able to just drug and kidnap you and perform painful tests on you against your will because it will benefit the advancement of science. If you do not see that as "proper criticism and counter-argument against Randian Philosophy" I am not sure what to tell you. May you be first in line for the tests necessary to advance science faster then.

Considering trying to not hurt the test subjects and provide them with pain medication for their discomfort is only necessary due to morality and is otherwise considered wasteful of time and resources, the test subject's suffering is irrelevant without ethical objections.

I wonder what Randian Philosophy thinks of Hospitals and Health Care...

Wonder no longer: Healthcare is not a right, socialized medicine is enslaving doctors, die in the street if you can't get charity
https://ari.aynrand.org/issues/government-and-business/health-care/Health-Care-is-Not-a-Right

Samtemdo8:

Lil devils x:

Samtemdo8:

"I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small."

Since morality isn't an issue, and I deem you have the correct genetic parameters for my testing, I should be able to just drug and kidnap you and perform painful tests on you against your will because it will benefit the advancement of science. If you do not see that as "proper criticism and counter-argument against Randian Philosophy" I am not sure what to tell you. May you be first in line for the tests necessary to advance science faster then.

Considering trying to not hurt the test subjects and provide them with pain medication for their discomfort is only necessary due to morality and is otherwise considered wasteful of time and resources, the test subject's suffering is irrelevant without ethical objections.

I wonder what Randian Philosophy thinks of Hospitals and Health Care...

Considering what Ayan Rand thought of the disabled and their promotion of eugenics and superior humans that would not need public assistance, and since doctors must put others before self in order to place themselves in harms way in order to treat patients, it would be in doctors self interests to charge what they like to the individual and treat only who they choose to treat and let the rest fend for themselves right?

Although Ayn Rand riled against social security and other public support, she also received social security herself when she was too disabled to fend for herself as well. TBH I see her as a pretty disgusting person and I have no idea why you would promote such a person.

Samtemdo8:
The basic jist I get from Ayn Randian philosophy is that special and talented people are being held back by societal norms and conformity. And strive to overcome the norms and conformity.

In which case it'd be nothing special, because Nietzche got there well over 50 years earlier.

Firstly, it's not really a philosophy such as a pseudophilosophy. Basically, it seems Ayn Rand read lots of Aristotle, quite a bit of Nietzche, and has a smattering of knowledge of a few other philosophers that she evidently doesn't really understand very well. Don't get me wrong, it's potentially the best amateur philosophy ever created, but it's amateur nonetheless. In terms of philosophical rigour, it's very weak - poorly logically defended, full of flaws. Not least, Objectivism has a fundamental problem by failing to be objective. It tries to simply ignore Hume's is-ought principle of morality, and claim its morality is logically proven. It goes much further - it claims the only moral economic system is laissez faire capitalism, for instance, through whatever torturous chain of logic.

I would suggest Objectivism is philosophy for narcissists, probably because Ayn Rand was almost certainly a colossal narcissist herself. Philosophers, after all, like to describe reality according to their own gut instinct. It's catnip for people who think they are cleverer and more special than other people - it tells them how awesome they are and how much other people who disagree with them suck - those naysayers aren't just wrong, they're immoral. There's a mean-spiritedness in there too. Ayn Rand's deadly leaden magnus opus, Atlas Shrugged, gleefully delights in the deaths of a load of people she considered immoral. She defended the mass slaughter and dispossession of the native Americans because... oh, it goes something like that because they hadn't developed property rights, their culture was totally immoral. Gross simplification from me there, but not so inaccurate.

Objectivism is also funny because it was run, and to some extent still is, like a cult. Ayn Rand did not tolerate anyone disagreeing with her, so she collected a bunch of acolytes who had to obey or they were exiled from her circle. And you ever meet an Objectivist, they have a slightly disturbing tendency to lord over you their logical superiority, boast about how much philosophy they know, and call you an ignorant idiot who doesn't understand the genius if you point out any of the (many) flaws on Objectivism. They act with a sort of exaggerated tone of logical rigour, which is one of the reason they're called "Randroids". Hey, we might even find one of the few Objectivist crusaders still around will spot this and choose to weigh in. To be fair, they're not all bad - I've had a couple of pleasant and reasonable ones turn up randomly and weigh in on debates, but they're the minority.

Ayn Rand handed over her estate to a supremely loyal but mediocre guy called Leonard Peikoff, who has continued the trend of exiling deviants. As a result, any Objectivists who did have somewhere useful to go philosophically - basically by merging and diluting Objectivism with proper philosophy - have been ostracised. Core, Randian Objectivism has thus withered intellectually. However, much as it may be an intellectual dead-end, it has of course had a very considerable societal impact, chiefly on elements of the right wing for its espousal of capitalism, hostility to government, disinterest in the poor, etc.

Well on its face its just not a great marketing stance. Like, arguing that what is essentially selfishness is morally correct stance isn't going to win you many popularity contents - because people either don't agree with you and vote against you because they think you're a tool, or they do agree with you and they voted for themselves instead.

If we bust into the ideas behind Objectivism, there's just a lot of holes and a lot of it falls into weirdness basically because she had a bunch of political opinions and arguments and went from that to producing a philosophy (instead of the other way around which is kind of the standard).

But okay, that is a complaint about Rand not really following form and hey maybe she had great ideas and she just wasn't great at presenting them (Atlas Shrugged is basically like a socratean/plateoanianian Dialogue with a lot of fluff and poorly written).

All that aside, lets talk about the concept of rational self interest and why its awesome until its not. Basically rational self interest is people acting in their own long term self interest at all times. Bioshock talked about what happens when there is no regulation and powerful madmen go madder and oh its terrible and mutations and ugh. Now let me say that a lot of what happened in Bioshock involved using other people as a means to an end which is bad form in objectivism - the philosophy basically says you're not supposed to do it and there should be a government to protect people from doing this to eachother. That is, of course, stupid. If we could convince everyone to play nice all the time it wouldn't matter what economic or political system we had, it would just work.

Now, aside from that specific issue we do have other problems. Rational self interest says yes to personal long term success, no to using others as a means to and end (weird how all the dbags who read objectivism miss that point), yes to fully unregulated market capitalism, and hey everything works out pretty cool. It is entirely possible to obey all those rules and neatly end an Objectivist society. Basically, you make money until you have all the money and then, acting in rational self interest, you use that money to take over the society. Skidoosh, Objectivism worked right up until it became a threat to my personal self interest and wa-hey now I'm powerful enough that the government can't stop me from hurting others. Honestly if you think of proto-society and then say "how could I make this into a monarchy", this would do it. The most successful self interested individual shoots ahead of the others and takes over.

altnameJag:

Samtemdo8:

Lil devils x:
Since morality isn't an issue, and I deem you have the correct genetic parameters for my testing, I should be able to just drug and kidnap you and perform painful tests on you against your will because it will benefit the advancement of science. If you do not see that as "proper criticism and counter-argument against Randian Philosophy" I am not sure what to tell you. May you be first in line for the tests necessary to advance science faster then.

Considering trying to not hurt the test subjects and provide them with pain medication for their discomfort is only necessary due to morality and is otherwise considered wasteful of time and resources, the test subject's suffering is irrelevant without ethical objections.

I wonder what Randian Philosophy thinks of Hospitals and Health Care...

Wonder no longer: Healthcare is not a right, socialized medicine is enslaving doctors, die in the street if you can't get charity
https://ari.aynrand.org/issues/government-and-business/health-care/Health-Care-is-Not-a-Right

Basically: "Go cure your illness and heal your wounds and injuries yourself you filthy casual parasite"

Lil devils x:

Samtemdo8:

Lil devils x:
Since morality isn't an issue, and I deem you have the correct genetic parameters for my testing, I should be able to just drug and kidnap you and perform painful tests on you against your will because it will benefit the advancement of science. If you do not see that as "proper criticism and counter-argument against Randian Philosophy" I am not sure what to tell you. May you be first in line for the tests necessary to advance science faster then.

Considering trying to not hurt the test subjects and provide them with pain medication for their discomfort is only necessary due to morality and is otherwise considered wasteful of time and resources, the test subject's suffering is irrelevant without ethical objections.

I wonder what Randian Philosophy thinks of Hospitals and Health Care...

Considering what Ayan Rand thought of the disabled and their promotion of eugenics and superior humans that would not need public assistance, and since doctors must put others before self in order to place themselves in harms way in order to treat patients, it would be in doctors self interests to charge what they like to the individual and treat only who they choose to treat and let the rest fend for themselves right?

Although Ayn Rand riled against social security and other public support, she also received social security herself when she was too disabled to fend for herself as well. TBH I see her as a pretty disgusting person and I have no idea why you would promote such a person.

I am not necessarily promoting her as more of me asking a question about the nature of her philosophy.

Because so far Objectivism (Rand's philosophy) seems like the complete polar opposite of Communism.

I can only imagine what would a Objectivist Government and Society would look like, OTHER then Rapture and grounded in reality.

Samtemdo8:
The basic jist I get from Ayn Randian philosophy is that special and talented people are being held back by societal norms and conformity. And strive to overcome the norms and conformity.

Ayn Rand:
"In answer to those philosophers who claim that no relation can be established between ultimate ends or values and the facts of reality, let me stress that the fact that living entities exist and function necessitates the existence of values and of an ultimate value which for any given living entity is its own life. Thus the validation of value judgments is to be achieved by reference to the facts of reality. The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do. So much for the issue of the relation between "is" and "ought."

Here is where Ayn Rand hits Hume's is-ought problem and tries to argue against it (declining, oddly enough, to actually cite him explicitly). It's a stripped down version as I recall - the full argument is explained at more length, but it has all we need.

So, "let me stress that the fact that living entities exist and function necessitates the existence of values and of an ultimate value which for any given living entity is its own life"

Now, I would argue from a biological perspective that if living entities have a function, it's reproduction. A spider or an octopus is a living entity, and reproduction kills them. To pursue their own life, they would necessarily not breed. Thus this statement seems to me to fail meet reality, despite the futile claim of "reference to the facts of reality".

Let's also bear in mind that this remarkable claim also suggests a parent should not sacrifice themselves for their own child, as to do so would be immoral. Wowzers.

"The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do."

This isn't a logical argument. It's just stating something pretending to be an argument and hoping you'll believe it.

Samtemdo8:

Lil devils x:

Samtemdo8:

I wonder what Randian Philosophy thinks of Hospitals and Health Care...

Considering what Ayan Rand thought of the disabled and their promotion of eugenics and superior humans that would not need public assistance, and since doctors must put others before self in order to place themselves in harms way in order to treat patients, it would be in doctors self interests to charge what they like to the individual and treat only who they choose to treat and let the rest fend for themselves right?

Although Ayn Rand riled against social security and other public support, she also received social security herself when she was too disabled to fend for herself as well. TBH I see her as a pretty disgusting person and I have no idea why you would promote such a person.

I am not necessarily promoting her as more of me asking a question about the nature of her philosophy.

Because so far Objectivism (Rand's philosophy) seems like the complete polar opposite of Communism.

I can only imagine what would a Objectivist Government and Society would look like, OTHER then Rapture and grounded in reality.

Implemented in reality though mankind would cease to exist. Ayn Rand did not have children as even being a parent means to put other's before self and that is the opposite of what she teaches. In addition, no one would have any reason to teach the skills necessary for them to survive to others as they have no moral obligation to ensure other's survive at all to begin with. Ayn Rand's ignorant ramblings are in opposition to the survival of mankind, not just Communism.

Also, people would probably be more sympathetic if giant parts of Atlas Shrugged were not also essentially a Harlequin romance novel. Even that might be generous, 50-shades might be more accurate.

Ayn Rand is a piece of shit.

She wrote love letters and expressed admiration for William Hickman, a career criminal who abducted, tortured, and dismembered a 12 year old girl, culminating in him leaving the kid's torso at her parent's doorstep.

This man was the Jesus figure of her fucked up religion.

I don't like her cuz I've read both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and they are very poorly written, although I didn't know enough to know better when I was 19.

She also seems to have a sub/rape fetish. Comes through clear and strong in those books.

Smithnikov:
Ayn Rand is a piece of shit.

She wrote love letters and expressed admiration for William Hickman, a career criminal who abducted, tortured, and dismembered a 12 year old girl, culminating in him leaving the kid's torso at her parent's doorstep.

This man was the Jesus figure of her fucked up religion.

That is fucked up. I knew she was whacked out, but this. This is just.....siiiicccckkkk.

tstorm823:
Wait, hold up. Are you all just accepting the premise of inherently more special and talented people being limited by morality and picking a side? You know you can reject that premise entirely, right?

I honestly am not sure what you are saying here.

I don't know much about this person, but I do know that the concept of "I'm actually really great, other people are only holding me down." is a very unhealthy philosophy, and is less "philosophy" and more thinly disguised narcissism.

Saelune:

tstorm823:
Wait, hold up. Are you all just accepting the premise of inherently more special and talented people being limited by morality and picking a side? You know you can reject that premise entirely, right?

I honestly am not sure what you are saying here.

There are posts in here considering the situation where societal norms impede progress, particularly in the situation of some great genius being held back by moral standards. And people are talking about picking a side between the great genius and morality. I think there are a lot of problems with the premise of that dilemma that it's not even worth considering. I'm not sure there really a situation where societal values have held back progress, as though if we legalized murder we'd have cured cancer and conquered the solar system by now. That seems delusional to me. Also the notion of society just inherently making things worse reeks of that early liberal "nobel savage" nonsense. Second, on what do you judge the greatness of someone or something outside of the goodness they do? Can we even logically describe someone as great is they act unethically to succeed at what they're doing? Third, as the smartest person in history, I can confidently say that nobody is the special genius that deserves to throw off societies morals and do whatever they please.

So like, if the question is "if a nonexistent superhuman were put in the logically impossible situation of doing great things only through means deemed immoral the society that's supposed to perceive this person's greatness, would they be right to go forward with that?" And the answer's no, but the better answer is "why are we entertaining this hypothetical?"

My biggest issue with Rand's philosophy is the rejection of altruism, which I feel goes against human nature.

Though that may be due to my own biases...

tstorm823:

Saelune:

tstorm823:
Wait, hold up. Are you all just accepting the premise of inherently more special and talented people being limited by morality and picking a side? You know you can reject that premise entirely, right?

I honestly am not sure what you are saying here.

There are posts in here considering the situation where societal norms impede progress, particularly in the situation of some great genius being held back by moral standards. And people are talking about picking a side between the great genius and morality. I think there are a lot of problems with the premise of that dilemma that it's not even worth considering. I'm not sure there really a situation where societal values have held back progress, as though if we legalized murder we'd have cured cancer and conquered the solar system by now. That seems delusional to me. Also the notion of society just inherently making things worse reeks of that early liberal "nobel savage" nonsense. Second, on what do you judge the greatness of someone or something outside of the goodness they do? Can we even logically describe someone as great is they act unethically to succeed at what they're doing? Third, as the smartest person in history, I can confidently say that nobody is the special genius that deserves to throw off societies morals and do whatever they please.

So like, if the question is "if a nonexistent superhuman were put in the logically impossible situation of doing great things only through means deemed immoral the society that's supposed to perceive this person's greatness, would they be right to go forward with that?" And the answer's no, but the better answer is "why are we entertaining this hypothetical?"

Morality is a good thing. I do agree that 'just because society expects us' is a bad reason to do something, but because it is the right thing to do? That is a good reason to do something. I reject Ayn Rand's philosophy because it rejects morality for she believes it holds great people back.

Human testing is very regulated due to the ethics of experimenting on humans. If we removed those ethics, we could try far more extreme and radical experiments which could be what it takes to discover some amazing advancements in science and medicine, but it would require doing evil things. Maaaaaybe the lives saved would outweigh the lives lost, but it is not worth the moral compromise.

Ayn Rand philosophies are just narcissism trying to hide behind a veneer of intellectualism. The belief from whoever is spouting them that they are super-special, more super-special than the rest of the human race combined, and should be given everything they want because of how superior they are. Its just gross really

Samtemdo8:

Saelune:
Did you play Bioshock? Cause that game is basically 'What if Ayn Rand made her own paradise?'

Note: Ayn Rand = Andrew Ryan.

"I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small."

I'd like to point out something. I'd like you to picture in your head yourself. Everything that is your physical form. The you that exists right here reading this. I want you to imagine all of your parts. Your hopes. Your dreams. Your secret thoughts. Now, I want you to read this next sentence multiple times: If we lived in an Ayn Randian society where there is no morals outside of the duty to one's own expression I would literally eat you. Now, when most bring up that as a concept, they usually mean it abstractly. like by stripping you of your financial ability through better investment, strong arming you via collecting on your debts until you have no choice but to slink back into the mud. Bigger fish consuming the small.

I do not mean that. I would, without a doubt, harvest your physical form and devour it. This unconstrained hedonistic expression let loose upon a pristine canvas in front of an audience of buyers as they watch the proceedings. This breaking of such a sacred taboo, gorging myself as the patterns emerge in reds, browns and sickly yellows as they drip upon the gesso. And why shouldn't I? Why shouldn't I stand there in my blood soaked apron, knowing that those who are watching are experiencing a bouquet of dark emotions as I create a work of art that is as unique as you are. That what is you, cut and stretched over wood and sealed before being sold off as a macabre decoration, will live on beyond yourself.

Don't ask what would a world without limitations of social norms would look like. Because there are those who revel in chaos that would literally paint the town red.

tstorm823:
Wait, hold up. Are you all just accepting the premise of inherently more special and talented people being limited by morality and picking a side? You know you can reject that premise entirely, right?

This. Also, cancelling murder is great irrelevant of how special and talented you are.

OT: The premise of Altas Shrugged is that an architect, who deems himself special, is given a project. The people purchasing the plan didn't like what he made and went in a different direction. So the architect BURNT THE PROJECT TO THE GROUND, based on the grounds that it should be down his way.

Also, Rand's decided to call her group the collective. Which... Like what? A bunch of individualist called themselves the opposite. She took her ideology and did what she wanted sexually and destroyed a bunch of marriages

Lastly, helping anyone is deem a morally repugnant act. They either help themselves or they should suffer. Wherever they are, they deserved it

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."

I haven't read Atlas Shrugged, nor studied Objectivism, but from what I can tell, it's pretty much the opposite of the above sentiment.

...yeah, I'm going with Ghandi.

CrazyGirl17:
My biggest issue with Rand's philosophy is the rejection of altruism, which I feel goes against human nature.

Though that may be due to my own biases...

You have to be careful here, because Rand used a very strict definition of altruism, which is that it is a philosophical moral obligation to put others before oneself: you are immoral if you do not. However, when we think about altruism normally, we don't tend to think of it as a moral obligation. Altruism normally represents an attitude of concern and wishing the best for others; in terms of action an option where we might be a good person to put someone ahead of ourselves, but we're not necessarily a bad person if we don't, either.

Rand would argue that if it selfishly pleases you to and does not significantly harm yourself, help others if you want. Nevertheless, I would suggest the overall tone of Objectivism is very poorly suited and even hostile to the idea of helping others generally.

trunkage:

OT: The premise of Altas Shrugged is that an architect, who deems himself special, is given a project. The people purchasing the plan didn't like what he made and went in a different direction. So the architect BURNT THE PROJECT TO THE GROUND, based on the grounds that it should be down his way.

No, that's "The Fountainhead".

"Atlas Shrugged" is where some guy called John Galt creates a perpetual motion machine, then disappears off with all the rich and talented people in the USA to a secret valley ("Galt's Gulch") and leaves society to collapse because only the immoral, greedy, thieving, big state thickos are left to run the useless, bovine herds of the irrelevant masses. In the end they have to beg him and his pals to rescue them, and the USA is saved when they comes back and install a functioning (Objectivist) society.

If you want some other shitty Objectivist fiction, you can also read the execrable fantasy works of Terry Goodkind - but I recommend you don't.

tstorm823:

There are posts in here considering the situation where societal norms impede progress, particularly in the situation of some great genius being held back by moral standards. And people are talking about picking a side between the great genius and morality. I think there are a lot of problems with the premise of that dilemma that it's not even worth considering. I'm not sure there really a situation where societal values have held back progress, as though if we legalized murder we'd have cured cancer and conquered the solar system by now. That seems delusional to me. Also the notion of society just inherently making things worse reeks of that early liberal "nobel savage" nonsense. Second, on what do you judge the greatness of someone or something outside of the goodness they do? Can we even logically describe someone as great is they act unethically to succeed at what they're doing? Third, as the smartest person in history, I can confidently say that nobody is the special genius that deserves to throw off societies morals and do whatever they please.

So like, if the question is "if a nonexistent superhuman were put in the logically impossible situation of doing great things only through means deemed immoral the society that's supposed to perceive this person's greatness, would they be right to go forward with that?" And the answer's no, but the better answer is "why are we entertaining this hypothetical?"

Like I said in an earlier post, Rand is basically copying Nietzsche here. The concept of the Nietzschean "ubermensch" ("superman") is someone who can throw off the shackles of society to become truly self actualised. I think Nietzsche suggested no such person has ever truly exemplified this, but some (he suggests Jesus as an example) were close, by strognly pursuing a radically different vision to the general morals of the time. Of course, he also viewed the resultant Christianity deriving from Jesus as the sort of stifling moral code of his day that a contemporaneous ubermensch should be inclined to break.

Nietzsche is tarred by his (somewhat unfair) association with later Naziism. Nietzsche was I think ultimately considerate of others and had a core of goodwill to humanity despite some of his iffier philosophical views. Unfortunately, when he died his estate fell into the hands of his sister who was a vicious, prejudiced, mean-spirited woman, and she controlled his writings to suit her view of the world, which the Nazis lapped up.

The ubermensch is not a terrible concept in many ways: society does need people who can shake things up and create "paradigm shifts" (as the trendy term goes). We can also consider even on a smaller scale that people should largely be able to pursue their own personal happiness without being crushed by society: I perceive that Nietzsche resented prejudice and ideologies that encouraged it. Nevertheless, there really is something about the concept of ubermensch that, in extremis, could countenance acts of terrible cruelty to others as the ubermensch asserts their Will. (This tending into his idea of "Will to Power", which is perhaps an uncomfortable view of human nature and the universe for many.)

trunkage:

tstorm823:
Wait, hold up. Are you all just accepting the premise of inherently more special and talented people being limited by morality and picking a side? You know you can reject that premise entirely, right?

This. Also, cancelling murder is great irrelevant of how special and talented you are.

OT: The premise of Altas Shrugged is that an architect, who deems himself special, is given a project. The people purchasing the plan didn't like what he made and went in a different direction. So the architect BURNT THE PROJECT TO THE GROUND, based on the grounds that it should be down his way.

Also, Rand's decided to call her group the collective. Which... Like what? A bunch of individualist called themselves the opposite. She took her ideology and did what she wanted sexually and destroyed a bunch of marriages

Lastly, helping anyone is deem a morally repugnant act. They either help themselves or they should suffer. Wherever they are, they deserved it

One, that was Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged was the one with the railroads and the capitalists going missing.

Two, yeah, even as someone who will admit to having my mind to go dark places about science and ethics, I still find Ayn Rand stupid. Social norms and morals are inherent to humanity itself in my mind. I also think she is misinterpreting the Ubermench ideology; it was meant to be an assertion of a person being moral based on their own experience instead of society, not a rejection of morality. (PS, i admit it's been ages since I've read up on that ideology, reprimand me if needed)

Honestly, it feels self indulgent. Like, the type of self indulgent that I would see in some anime and call out on.

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