Chris Myers said:
I have a question. Why are so many people still taking their lead from Ayn Rand's second rate philosophical obsessions and rants? She was hedonistic to a fault, forced her husband to watch as she got it on with dozens of other men and women. She showed major evidence for serious bi-polar and compulsive disorders, she was -- by any definition -- a sociopath, and her relentless attack on the ghost of the theory of socialism was a bizarre waste of time. I'm not trying to pick a fight here. I'm not trying to make false accusations. All these points are easily found in any one of a dozen articles and books on her life. I am just puzzled as to why we keep raising the spectre of socialism when no one can really agree on what that label actually identifies. David Wagner, on this forum, equates socialism with such disparate people and ideas as Obama, Bush, liberalism and neo conservatives among others. Even though these are diametrically opposed to each other ideologically and usually in practice.
Might we better spend our time acknowledging that we are all part of a social body? And that this is a good thing?! Taking care of one another has incredible benefits. Even financial ones. What is more useful than the latent anarchy and sociopathology in the 'Ayn Rand' approach is a balanced, rational, considerate and intelligent blending of private enterprise and social conscience. It doesn't have to be like Rand says. Nor does it have to be like Marx often argues. We should be able to rise above the bipolarity of these extremes.
I am interested to see what those like you, David Wagner, have to say on this. I followed the thread you started with interest. But it was interesting to note that after laying out the "Atlas Shrugged" POV you remained curiously silent as many very useful and more or less balanced points and questions were raised by people from both sides of the divide. I saw a lot of common ground. Maybe Atlas only shrugs when things tip a little too far out of balance?
1. I "remained" silent because I went to bed to get some sleep so I can be wide eyed and bushy-tailed to work for a living and generate yet more taxes to support those of you who somehow think you're entitled to an ever increasing share of MY efforts. So, you should be thankful for THAT At least those of you who are receiving government checks (from me) right now!
2. I disagree with MUCH of Rand's objectivism, having learned a lot in the 35 years since I was first exposed to it.
The part I do NOT disagree with is the fundamental EVIL of forceably taking wealth, at the point of a government gun, from one "selected target group" to redistribute to "another target group".
Having now lived it; from working my way 40hours a week through college, to where I am now 30 years later, I've seen it get worse and worse, and seen the naked power politics of interest groups - on both ends of the political spectrum - get ever more ugly, ever more naked, in their power lusts.
My point on this thread was not about the totality of objectivism; which I think has many fundamental flaws, primarily in it's lack of recognition of social issues and nature, as you bring up (correctly in my view).
But there are ways to solve "social issues" that do NOT involve the point of a gun. (and in fact I participate very highly in them).
My question on this topic is simply, what will liberal/socialists do when those of us who produce, and work, and support ever increasing numbers of "privileged, disadvantaged" simply decide to say "we're taking our balls and bats, and going home".
WHAT will you all do? Who will support all of you then?