Sick Individual

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

She believed that altruism (being good to other people before yourself) was a negative attribute.  Was a proponent of capitalism and believed altruism degraded it.  I believe quite the opposite.  That capitalism makes people uncaring.  It is a system based on uncaring.  On the exploitation of the labor for profit.  It is an enormous waste of time and energy.  Also her views of objectivity are repulsive to me.  The belief that reason is an absolute.  The only thing that I absolutely believe is that nothing can be looked at completely objectively.  There are always mysteries, unknowns, differing accounts, etc.  Nothing is fixed in this world.  Ayn Rand was a capitalist pig.


ReformedAutomaton ReformedAutomaton
41-45, M
15 Responses Jun 11, 2007

Always mysteries, unknowns, differing accounts, etc, huh? So then what are you going to do, sit on your *** until humans know everything?

<strong><em>That capitalism makes people uncaring. It is a system based on uncaring. On the exploitation of the labor for profit. It is an enormous waste of time and energy.</em></strong> ...<br />
<br />
You can’t separate economics and government. When an economic system collapses, so too does the government that it supported. When we discuss switching from the exploitive capitalist system that has provided the tax base for a Republic, we must recognize that the new system will have to support and provide for government just as effectively as the old. Without economy, government can’t run.<br />
<br />
In the caring socialist movement that you apparently lean toward – how are the problems of incentive to those who <strong>do</strong> solved? When we discuss issues of economics, we should well realize that the productivity of capitalism is founded on the backs of men and women who work harder than most can imagine to build the companies that exploit the labor. Without those life and family sacrificing individuals, productivity doesn’t materialize. If you intend to make sure “Labor” isn’t exploited by giving them more than their productive value from those that are willing to work the 60 hour weeks to build it, then you <em>must have a plan to incentivize the sacrifice of the entrepreneur</em>. Otherwise, you create a system of diminishing returns. Historically, socialist societies start quite well (after they finish executing the most worthless in society and build themselves up a bit on the backs of slave or forced labor from the most vulnerable members of society) – so far, history shows that 2 generations is the maximum lifespan of these societies. With the exception of modern China (which was always authoritarian), the historical collapse of socialist styled regimes leads to authoritarian regimes that are <strong>extremely</strong> exploitive of labor – except that governments based on military might don’t mind killing those who don’t or can’t where capitalists just let them beg for their needs or die of starvation and exposure in the streets.<br />
<br />
It saddens me to see the many exploited workers in America dying of starvation and exposure in our streets. Worse still are the young girls that we force into prostitution and slavery to raise funds for the bread that will be their family’s supper tonight. When I read about the effect of the fall of Soviet Socialism and the women that were sold into sexual slavery, I cried. How could this happen in our modern world? I read Ayn Rand as trying to describe the concept of diminishing returns.

Wow, that is a very interesting conjecture. I wonder how he would go about proving such an idea. Still, "New Deal" and "Great Society" were not conservative ideas, and they led to the greatest increases in government that we have seen. While these iniatives have had some positive effects, they have served over all to increase a cookie cutter onsize fits all mentality and have been thoroughly abused by corrupt administraters as well as leading to a false sense of entitlement by many individuals unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. <br />
<br />
I still say that a stronger local government and less involvement by the Feral Govenment would be of greater benefit to the individual.<br />
<br />
"Any system which fosters dependancy is inherantly degrading to the individual."

I do agree that there is a fine line between socialism as an economic system and as a system of government. My argument always goes that a socialist system cannot function properly in a world in which global capitalism is already in place. We would have to see economic collapse on a massive scale to see how socialist ideas can actually function. It's impossible to share in a world where everyone has been conditioned to take everything they can selfishly for themselves.<br />
<br />
Your posting here has made me think of something that I heard on NPR just an hour ago. There was a speaker being interviewed who was talking about how conservatives, in their desire to keep a small government and a powerful private sector, have intentionally created a system of bureaucracy that doesn't work. This process began back in the 1970's. He spoke of them intentionally putting people in positions for which they are not qualified so that they do not function well, so that government does not function well. Then there is justification for the private sector taking control of such things. The Bush administration has made an enormous push to privatize much of the federal government with disastrous results. Thanks for your input again Indynudist :)

In considering socialism, the lines between the political and the economic become VERY blurred. With socialism the economics are administred by the government. The workers wages are given to the government to do with as it sees fit. This is based on a strong central government with bureaucrats as the administraters of policy. In a perfect world with perfect motives, this might work. In our world, however, it has consistantly failed. <br />
<br />
I have no problem with the government working for the good of the people. I question how that can occur on such a large scale with such a diversity of needs.<br />
<br />
I feel that the people are better served by a decentralized government with the Federal government taking a hands off approach. Let the "FG" build roads and defend the borders. <br />
<br />
On a personal level, how can somebody "inside the beltway" who has never been within a hundred miles of my town make and administer rules that control my life. Also how will I be motivated to work productively if my wages are taken from me and used for purposes of which I do not approve?<br />
<br />
Another quote from deToqueville.<br />
"Democracy is doomed when people learn that they can vote themselves largesse."

Thanks for your well-considered comments the name too! LOL<br />
<br />
I see your point about altruism being good on the individual level but not at the level of government. I don't think I agree though. I've always thought that a government should serve it's people, do good things for them, be altrusitic. Instead our 'democracy' serves only elite interests and does not represent our population as a good democracy should. <br />
<br />
Also, I don't prefer to compare political systems with economic systems. Socialism is a form of economy while democracy is a form of govt. I get confused when comparing these apples and oranges. I find that quote from Alexis to be rather biased and loaded. Everyone wants liberty right....yeah liberty and freedom!! Who the hell wants restraint and servitude? I don't think those terms accurately portray the respective systems.

Altruistic acts as a matter of choice are indeed noble. Altruistic acts at the point of a government sword are demeaning. I have always felt that Ms. Rand was referring to the evil of the philosophy of "need as a virtue" where productivity is punished and weakness is rewarded.<br />
<br />
From a different angle. I like what Alexis deToqueville said about it. "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

Nice story Niniva....I am not going to take the time to refute your sob story...the holes in your story are obvious.

To only serve yourself is sickness....we as humans are social animals....we are not like snakes who do just fine on their own. We are SOCIAL therefore we depend on one another for our own existence. So to help others is to help ourselves. Helping only yourself is self defeating and sick.

The basic premise she had about altruism was to not break your back for the success of your fellow man, but to break your back for the success of yourself. Since there is no 'middle-ground' or 'kinda-sorta' in ob<x>jectivism, it couldn't go with anything else.

The market fluctuates by the dictates of financial anaylysts who decide how much stock is worth-in other words-greed. <br />
the "system" will always be flawed because we are flawed. Leaders always think they can create a utopia that will meet most everyone's true needs, and they can't, because no one understands what they need. I don't think communism, socialism or any ism is the right way to conduct a government-The communists exploited people as badly as the Czars. Chavez is "nationalizing"all of the utility/energy/food production in his country-which means, even though his name won't be on the deeds, he will still own them-not the people-he is a liar-they all are liars and not one of them really give a damn about you, me or anyone but themselves.

You said it will always be the bottom line. In front of the rights of humans. The system is above the people. That's one of the things that Karl Marx said that really struck me. It is a system where there is no one in control but the system itself. We have CEO's, presidents of nations, federal reserve boards, etc yet the market still changes in reaction to conditions within the market (i.e. recession/growth). Ultimately it is people exploiting other people but it's a small group exploiting a large one and even that small group doesn't control the actual system itself. The market flutuates naturally in response to currents within it. The system answers to itself, not any human being.

When the botton line is money, money will always be the bottom line-capitalism doesn't exploit people-people exploit people with capitalism-the argument will never end because you are both right.

It is at it's root exploitation, of people and the environment for short term goals. A capitalist pays necessary labor time (wages) to a worker and the rest of the day is for surplus labor (profit). I think of this other time as excessive. This drive for capital makes for a very superficial and materialistic culture that I am not a fan of. I do agree with you though on most of your points. Just not that capitalism is not exploitation.

Capitalism in itself is not about the exploitation of the labor class for profit. Yes it happens, but then labor can also exploit capital. there needs to be a balance - hence labor negotiations. the problem is too many laborers thinking that that they have to do whatever is asked of them and take it. You always have the choice to walk away from a job and find a new one. I also believe that too many managers treat employees more like slaves or servants than 'employees' (people who trade their time and skills for cash). Capitalism is more about allowing the investments in business and industry that will profit. who drives that industry and business? - the laborers with the disposable income to spend on consumer goods and services. Oh dear - my economics and business degrees are starting to show through here....sorry......