Come and offend my Prophet - What's wrong with Ayn Rand?

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 NEXT
 

Some people like to be free and with no restrictions. Others like to be safe and don't mind some restrictions.

In Israel, you've got the Kibbutzim. A lot of things are done collectively and a lot of stuff is paid for collectively. Others help you, but others also decide for you. If you are ill, people know you are ill and will help you.

Some people don't like this lack of privacy and independence and move to the city. They don't have an extensive system of help but they also don't have an extensive system of control and restrictions.

The problem is, in a truly free (objectivist) society, you are free to erect Kibbutzim or something similar.
But in a socialist/communist society, you are NOT free to erect a community where you are free of taxes, free of rules, free of government control and help.

If you really are a nice, helpful and intelligent person, you won't force the rich to pay for your ideals. You erect your own company, not 'corrupted by greed', and this company can be some kind of insurance company, and poor people will pay less than rich people, and you'll help the poor and heal the sick and be idealistic only using consent and never using force.

Danyal:
-She promotes the use of consent instead of force

Which is why she wrote a "semi-consensual" rape scene and presented it as the best/hottest thing ever because it's a true expression of power.

That's basically her philosophy: "The people who get fucked want to be fucked". Literally, in that case.

I have no time for rape apologists.

evilthecat:

Danyal:
-She promotes the use of consent instead of force

Which is why she wrote a "semi-consensual" rape scene and presented it as the best/hottest thing ever because it's a true expression of power.

That's basically her philosophy: "The people who get fucked want to be fucked". Literally, in that case.

I have no time for rape apologists.

Have you got any sources for that claim?

Danyal:

Esotera:
As I said before in the thread that spawned this, if you haven't already then you should play Bioshock. That game shows perfectly what goes wrong with objectivism, much better than any words can put it.

randomsix:
She committed suicide with her children in the other room? Or was that Sylvia Plath?

Sylvia Plath was head in the oven, I don't think she had children around at the time.

I've played Bioshock. Read Animal Farm to see what's wrong with socialism/communism.

Animal Farm? You mean the book that was written by a dirty socialist? yeah that guy really hates socialism.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Not G. Ivingname:

RedEyesBlackGamer:

But...but...what about a mixed economy? D:

Atlas Shrugged's evil government was running a mixed economy that was regulating and control the economy to the benifit of themselves and a handful of others.

That says nothing about whether it is economically viable, which it is. It is a lot better than Laissez-faire capitalism.

I was saying that would was AYN RAND's objection to mixed economies, not mine.

Trust me, learning mine is very long and you do not want to get going on it.

Danyal:
Have you got any sources for that claim?

All from The Fountainhead.

She tried to tear herself away from him. The effort broke against his arms that had not felt it. Her fists beat against his shoulders, against his face. He moved one hand, took her two wrists, pinned them behind her, under his arm, wrenching her shoulder blades. She twisted her head back. She felt his lips on her breast. She tore herself free.

She fell back against the dressing table, she stood crouching, her hands clasping the edge behind her, her eyes wide, colorless, shapeless in terror. He was laughing. There was the movement of laughter on his face, but no sound. Perhaps he had released her intentionally. He stood, his legs apart, his arms hanging at his sides, letting her be more sharply aware of his body across the space between them than she had been in his arms. She looked at the door behind him, he saw the first hint of movement, no more than a thought of leaping toward that door. He extended his arm, not touching her, and fell back. Her shoulders moved faintly, rising. He took a step forward and her shoulders fell. She huddled lower, closer to the table. He let her wait. Then he approached. He lifted her without effort. She let her teeth sink into his hand and felt blood on the tip of her tongue. He pulled her head back and he forced her mouth open against his.

It was an act that could be performed in tenderness, as a seal of love, or in contempt, as a symbol of humiliation and conquest. It could be the act of a lover or the act of a soldier violating an enemy woman. He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made her lie still and submit. One gesture of tenderness from him--and she would have remained cold, untouched by the thing done to her body. But the act of a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted. Then she felt him shaking with the agony of a pleasure unbearable even to him, she knew that she had given that to him, that it came from her, from her body, and she bit her lips and she knew what he had wanted her to know.

She lay still for a long time. Then she moved her tongue in her open mouth. She heard a sound that came from somewhere within her, and it was the dry, short, sickening sound of a sob, but she was not crying, her eyes were held paralyzed, dry and open. The sound became motion, a jolt running down her throat to her stomach. It flung her up, she stood awkwardly, bent over, her forearms pressed to her stomach. She heard the small table by the bed rattling in the darkness, and she looked at it, in empty astonishment that a table should move without reason. Then she understood that she was shaking. She was not frightened; it seemed foolish to shake like that, in short, separate jerks, like soundless hiccoughs. She thought she must take a bath. The need was unbearable, as if she had felt it for a long time. Nothing mattered, if only she would take a bath. She dragged her feet slowly to the door of her bathroom.

They had been united in an understanding beyond the violence, beyond the deliberate obscenity of his action; had she meant less to him, he would not have taken her as he did; had he meant less to her, she would not have fought so desperately. The unrepeatable exultation was in knowing that they both understood this.

evilthecat:

Danyal:
Have you got any sources for that claim?

All from The Fountainhead.

PLOP

I haven't read that part yet but it doesn't seem like point 13 of her philosophy is;
-All victims of rape want to be fucked
-All rape is the best/hottest thing ever

It does seem like a women is forced to have sex with someone and she enjoys certain SM-like aspects of it.

Danyal:
-All victims are rape want to be fucked

Rand's characters are representative of broad strokes or positions. This is why her novels are taken as philosophy in the first place.

But the act of a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted.

Rand doesn't hide what's going on here. It's not just rough sex.

The implication is that emotionally and physically weak people desire to be taken possession of by stronger people, in this case very viscerally.

had he meant less to her, she would not have fought so desperately.

The implication is that struggling against a stronger party signals a desire to be forced into submission.

In purely literal terms, this would be a pretty disgusting thing to write unless you massively contextualized it (Rand doesn't) because it implies that no retraction of consent can ever be considered genuine. If you fuck someone and they are compliant, it's because they don't care enough to stop you. If you fuck someone and they resist, it's because they do care and secretly want to be forced to submit to you.

-All rape is the best/hottest thing ever

Is that not writ fairly large across this entire passage?

Again..

They had been united in an understanding beyond the violence, beyond the deliberate obscenity of his action; had she meant less to him, he would not have taken her as he did; had he meant less to her, she would not have fought so desperately. The unrepeatable exultation was in knowing that they both understood this.

Run that point semiotically.

People fuck you against your will because you mean a lot to them.

Ergo, people who will not fuck you against your will do not care about you enough.

evilthecat:
Plop

One character in one of her book kind of enjoys some aspects of being raped. I don't know the entire context, but the relationship between her and her rapist seems quite complex; he is not some kind of random molester that just dragged here into the bushes.
Her whole philosophy is about individual rights;

that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez faire capitalism

The use or threat of force neutralizes the practical effect of an individual's reason, whether the force originates from the state or from a criminal. According to Rand, "man's mind will not function at the point of a gun."[57] Therefore, the only type of organized human behavior consistent with the operation of reason is that of voluntary cooperation. Persuasion is the method of reason. By its nature, the overtly irrational cannot rely on the use of persuasion and must ultimately resort to force to prevail.[58] Thus, Rand saw reason and freedom as correlates, just as she saw mysticism and force as corollaries.[59] Based on this understanding of the role of reason, Objectivists hold that the initiation of physical force against the will of another is immoral,[60] as are indirect initiations of force through threats,[61] fraud,[62] or breach of contract.[63]

Your interpretations of that text consists out of HUGE generalizations (confused feelings of one victim of rape = all rape is enjoyed by all rape victims and Rand thinks rape is hot, good and moral) and is in complete contradiction with the most basic points of her philosophy.

Danyal:
One character in one of her book kind of enjoys some aspects of being raped. I don't know the entire context, but the relationship between her and her rapist seems quite complex; he is not some kind of random molester that just dragged here into the bushes.

As is the case in practically all cases of rape in real life.

Jesus fucking christ..

Read again:

She heard a sound that came from somewhere within her, and it was the dry, short, sickening sound of a sob, but she was not crying, her eyes were held paralyzed, dry and open. The sound became motion, a jolt running down her throat to her stomach. It flung her up, she stood awkwardly, bent over, her forearms pressed to her stomach. She heard the small table by the bed rattling in the darkness, and she looked at it, in empty astonishment that a table should move without reason. Then she understood that she was shaking. She was not frightened; it seemed foolish to shake like that, in short, separate jerks, like soundless hiccoughs. She thought she must take a bath. The need was unbearable, as if she had felt it for a long time. Nothing mattered, if only she would take a bath.

Rape =/= S/m (although this would be more like D/s).

This scene = a person is forced to have sex against their will and without consent and then feels horrible about it, but it is mutually rationalized as something which had to happen.

D/s = a person willingly submits to another person whom they trust and sacrifices some degree of personal autonomy due to a mutually acknowledged relationship which is entirely based on their ongoing consent.

S/m = a person willingly submits to being physically or emotionally hurt by another person whom they trust because they find some measure of mutual satisfaction in it.

And just for the sake of adding an extreme position.

TPS (total power exchange) = a person willingly enters into a contractual arrangement with another person in which they forgo any right to personal autonomy or consent because both sides mutually enjoy this deferral.

Do you see.. In this case the question of consent is just rationalized away altogether through catch 22 logic in which there is no way it can be "truly" withdrawn. In all other cases, consent is enormously important even if it can be momentarily deferred within specific situations.

Danyal:
Your interpretations of that text consists out of HUGE generalizations (confused feelings of one victim of rape = all rape is enjoyed by all rape victims and Rand thinks rape is hot, good and moral) and is in complete contradiction with the most basic points of her philosophy.

It's not even in contradiction.

If someone can be made to submit, and then made to rationalize their own submission, then how it that not persuasion? Rand is not a communist, she does not believe that everyone has to cooperate on equal terms, people need to be persuaded to accept a submissive position in relation to others, and I think this is a pretty clear sign of how this works.

Why would anyone write this passage if not outline a particular attitude to sexual behaviour? The fact is that even if I am taking the interpretation too far it's still a rhetorically disgusting thing to write.

Seriously.. how the fuck can you sit there and claim to defend the rights of Muslim women when you're justifying this shit?

evilthecat:

If someone can be made to submit, and then made to rationalize their own submission, then how it that not persuasion? Rand is not a communist, she does not believe that everyone has to cooperate on equal terms, people need to be persuaded to accept a submissive position in relation to others, and I think this is a pretty clear sign of how this works.

Based on this understanding of the role of reason, Objectivists hold that the initiation of physical force against the will of another is immoral,[60] as are indirect initiations of force through threats,[61] fraud,[62] or breach of contract.[63]

Rape is completely incompatible with Objectivism.

I haven't read your story, I don't know who is the rapist, I don't know who is getting rapist, I don't know anything about the relationship between those two people.

Does she write that this rapist is a lovable man, living according to the guidelines of objectivism? These are accepted practices in an objectivist society?

evilthecat:

Danyal:
One character in one of her book kind of enjoys some aspects of being raped. I don't know the entire context, but the relationship between her and her rapist seems quite complex; he is not some kind of random molester that just dragged here into the bushes.

As is the case in practically all cases of rape in real life.

Jesus fucking christ..

Read again:

She heard a sound that came from somewhere within her, and it was the dry, short, sickening sound of a sob, but she was not crying, her eyes were held paralyzed, dry and open. The sound became motion, a jolt running down her throat to her stomach. It flung her up, she stood awkwardly, bent over, her forearms pressed to her stomach. She heard the small table by the bed rattling in the darkness, and she looked at it, in empty astonishment that a table should move without reason. Then she understood that she was shaking. She was not frightened; it seemed foolish to shake like that, in short, separate jerks, like soundless hiccoughs. She thought she must take a bath. The need was unbearable, as if she had felt it for a long time. Nothing mattered, if only she would take a bath.

Rape =/= S/m (although this would be more like D/s).

This scene = a person is forced to have sex against their will and without consent and then feels horrible about it, but it is mutually rationalized as something which had to happen.

D/s = a person willingly submits to another person whom they trust and sacrifices some degree of personal autonomy due to a mutually acknowledged relationship which is entirely based on their ongoing consent.

S/m = a person willingly submits to being physically or emotionally hurt by another person whom they trust because they find some measure of mutual satisfaction in it.

And just for the sake of adding an extreme position.

TPS (total power exchange) = a person willingly enters into a contractual arrangement with another person in which they forgo any right to personal autonomy or consent because both sides mutually enjoy this deferral.

Do you see.. In this case the question of consent is just rationalized away altogether through catch 22 logic in which there is no way it can be "truly" withdrawn. In all other cases, consent is enormously important even if it can be momentarily deferred within specific situations.

Danyal:
Your interpretations of that text consists out of HUGE generalizations (confused feelings of one victim of rape = all rape is enjoyed by all rape victims and Rand thinks rape is hot, good and moral) and is in complete contradiction with the most basic points of her philosophy.

It's not even in contradiction.

If someone can be made to submit, and then made to rationalize their own submission, then how it that not persuasion? Rand is not a communist, she does not believe that everyone has to cooperate on equal terms, people need to be persuaded to accept a submissive position in relation to others, and I think this is a pretty clear sign of how this works.

Why would anyone write this passage if not outline a particular attitude to sexual behaviour? The fact is that even if I am taking the interpretation too far it's still a rhetorically disgusting thing to write.

Seriously.. how the fuck can you sit there and claim to defend the rights of Muslim women when you're justifying this shit?

That...is called a fetish. If Rand(who I only know as the author of Atlas Shrugged) writes anymore of that, she might have a good audience. Authors have been known to indulge their sexual pleasures in their writing all the time.

Now, if that was her actual, real, "women want to be raped!" attitude, then I'd be worried...

Danyal:
Based on this understanding of the role of reason, Objectivists hold that the initiation of physical force against the will of another is immoral,[60] as are indirect initiations of force through threats,[61] fraud,[62] or breach of contract.[63]

But if people secretly want to be forced to submit to authority figures, then it's not against their will, is it?

Danyal:
I haven't read your story, I don't know who is the rapist, I don't know who is getting rapist, I don't know anything about the relationship between those two people.

It's the book which made Ayn Rand famous, if you haven't read it then why are you defending her?

The relationship between these two people doesn't matter, or do you think if I marry someone they're allowed to fuck me whenever they want because I married them?

Danyal:
Does she write that this rapist is a lovable man, living according to the guidelines of objectivism? These are accepted practices in an objectivist society?

As with all of her protagonists, he's a caricature of what she considers a strong and useful human being and essentially exists as a vehicle for moral and philosophical ideals.

Random example, at the end of the book, he is placed on trial for blowing up a wasteful and inefficient building and wins over the courtroom with an impassioned rant about the value of ego and personal integrity, so yes, indirectly she does say these things.

Go and read the book.. like all her novels it's a thinly veiled philosophical allegory with characters so broad and archetypal they may as well be made out of construction paper.

TheDarkEricDraven:
That...is called a fetish. If Rand(who I only know as the author of Atlas Shrugged) writes anymore of that, she might have a good audience. Authors have been known to indulge their sexual pleasures in their writing all the time.

In a political novel featuring socially archetypal characters?

This isn't some libertine erotic fiction text like 'Fanny Hill' or the 'Justine' or the 'Story of O', this is a book directly advocating a particular political philosophy, as well as a particular style of architecture and social attitude as morally and philosophically good. It's a book clearly meant to educate its audience, it directly lead to Ayn Rand being courted by and associated with important political figures.

What are we meant to make of this passage's inclusion?

Danyal:

evilthecat:
Plop

One character in one of her book kind of enjoys some aspects of being raped. I don't know the entire context, but the relationship between her and her rapist seems quite complex; he is not some kind of random molester that just dragged here into the bushes.
Her whole philosophy is about individual rights;

The main character of Atlas Shrugged express the exact same sentiment when it comes to sex. She wants to be forced into submitting to a man that will ravage her with no consideration for anything but his own pleasure. In fact, the entire sexual relationship between her and the male lead (you can tell just how well characterized they are since I don't even recall their names and read the book this summer) is basically her being his submissive sexual plaything.

Once is a coincidence. Twice is not.

Gethsemani:

Danyal:

evilthecat:
Plop

One character in one of her book kind of enjoys some aspects of being raped. I don't know the entire context, but the relationship between her and her rapist seems quite complex; he is not some kind of random molester that just dragged here into the bushes.
Her whole philosophy is about individual rights;

The main character of Atlas Shrugged express the exact same sentiment when it comes to sex. She wants to be forced into submitting to a man that will ravage her with no consideration for anything but his own pleasure. In fact, the entire sexual relationship between her and the male lead (you can tell just how well characterized they are since I don't even recall their names and read the book this summer) is basically her being his submissive sexual plaything.

Once is a coincidence. Twice is not.

If she wants that, she wants that. You can have whatever sexual fetish you want as long as all participants are consenting adults. If she is a consenting adult and wants to submit herself to a dominating male, so be it.

Danyal:
If she wants that, she wants that. You can have whatever sexual fetish you want as long as all participants are consenting adults. If she is a consenting adult and wants to submit herself to a dominating male, so be it.

My point was to reinforce Evilthecats assertion that Ms. Rand does in fact condone rape as something that every woman "secretly" wishes for. As he said in his previou post:

evilthecat:
In purely literal terms, this would be a pretty disgusting thing to write unless you massively contextualized it (Rand doesn't) because it implies that no retraction of consent can ever be considered genuine. If you fuck someone and they are compliant, it's because they don't care enough to stop you. If you fuck someone and they resist, it's because they do care and secretly want to be forced to submit to you.

It couldn't matter less to me what Ms. Rand wanted to do in bed with her lovers, but it is quite clear from her inclusion of these passages in both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged that she not only considered forced intercourse and rape to be turn ons, she considered them a totally normal thing within Objectivism. What she is effectively saying is that "No one ever truly resists, because if they do that only means that they really want you.", which to me sounds like what two stereotypical fratboys would say just before raping an unconscious girl during a dorm party.

Danyal-
From your understanding of Objectivism, what (if anything) do you believe is a valid role for government to have in society? What criterion do you use for distinguishing legitimate uses of government power from illegitimate uses? How should any government be funded?

Danyal:
If she wants that, she wants that. You can have whatever sexual fetish you want as long as all participants are consenting adults. If she is a consenting adult and wants to submit herself to a dominating male, so be it.

No, hang on.

The point is that Ayn Rand believed and expressed both in this book and her reputed defence of it elsewhere that a sex act in which a man physically overpowers a woman against her will can be justified if the person who is attacked is in any way attracted to their attacker.

That's not a "sexual fetish", that's a deeply political statement. It means that intimate partner rape (the vast majority of rape cases and the ones which might be said to cause the most damage, physically, psychologically and socially) are completely acceptable. What she has done is denied that consent as we understand it, as an event in which a person knowingly gives permission to someone else, even exists. Instead, consent is rooted in "secret desires" and underpinned by a masochistic female need to be violently overpowered.

Even stripping aside everything else, that's pretty horrible.

Theoretical conjecture follows

To be honest though, I don't believe Ayn Rand was a submissive for a fucking second, certainly not to the extent that she would write about her fantasies in her first popular novel. She doesn't write her characters as submissives either, she ascribes them no particular motive for submission, she simply writes them as women, and broad and badly characterized women at that.

For this reason, I would happily call her a misogynist. A misogynist who has largely escaped the kind of criticism heaped on people like John Norman (with whom she shares more than a few similarities) by virtue of being a woman herself, thus leading to the false assumption that when she writes female characters she must be identifying with them, because that's what women do.. isn't it? There's no possible reason why a woman in the pre-feminist era could hate her own sex or feel no kinship or identification with them whatsoever..

Ayn Rand, like many educated women of her generation, seems to have considered herself a kind of honorary man. She pointedly used the noun 'man' (to indicate the human subject) and male pronouns exclusively in her philosophical life. This wasn't uncommon at the time, but it is deeply unusual for a female writer to do this. She was also jokingly described by Ludwig von Mises as "the most courageous man in America" and actually took it as a huge compliment specifically because he described her as a kind of honorary man. Her idea of virtue, her idea of what constitutes a good human being, is utterly founded on behaviours and attitudes which, at the time she was writing, were almost exclusively male. In short, I think her moral framework is founded on an idea of masculine virtue and her (justifiable) contempt for the female sex role manifested itself through latent misogyny.

So basically, no.. I don't think Rand had any personal attraction to being overpowered or dominated. I don't even think it's a fetish. If she were writing this as a kind of personal fantasy, why dwell on genuine emotional pain? Why ascribe symptoms consistent with post traumatic stress disorder? I've met countless submissives, none of them fantasize about being genuinely hurt or raped to the point that they actually felt bad afterwards. That's quite an extreme sadistic fantasy.

Rand is blatantly not imagining herself to be this woman getting fucked, she simply likes the idea of this woman getting fucked. Why is that, do you think? Is it because she's weak? Because she's a woman? Because that's what normal 'docile' women do and want in Rand's conception of the world or, as I think is most likely, is it because that's what Rand's extremely limited social circle think that the average woman wants, and she herself simply doesn't know better because she doesn't have any understanding of most women and actively dislikes them.

There really are no good answers here, certainly nothing which makes Rand herself come out well.

On the "rape":

"But the fact is that Roark did not actually rape Dominique; she had asked for it, and he knew that she wanted it. A man who would force himself on a woman against her wishes would be committing a dreadful crime. What Dominique liked about Roark was the fact that he took the responsibility for their romance and for his own actions. Most men nowadays, like Peter Keating, expect to seduce a woman, or rather they let her seduce them and thus shift the responsibility to her. That is what a truly feminine woman would despise. The lesson in the Roark-Dominique romance is one of spiritual strength and self-confidence, not of physical violence."

"It was not an actual rape, but a symbolic action which Dominique all but invited. This was the action she wanted and Howard Roark knew it."

- Ayn Rand

So it is just another metaphorical analogy like everything else in her fiction work. Ayn Rand did not condone rape or imply that all women secretly want to be raped. A more accurate statement would be that she believed all women secretly wanted their preferred partners to pursue them passionately, but either way this position is closer to Rand's personal views than an actual component of Objectivism.


On not loving everyone:

In the context of the interview, Rand was pointing out that the world is, and has always been dominated by immoral collectivist philosophies and therefore most people today are not worthy of her rational love. This is not to say everyone is evil, just that they have been lead astray.

On the abuse of power in a free society:

There exists no power in an economy besides coercive power. Under a moral government, all coercive power would be in the hands of the state which would only use it in retaliatory military and legal action. No individual would be able to initiate force against any other individual. This would prevent any individual or corporation from raising armies or anything else equally absurd.

On the Social Contract:

It doesn't exist. Neither I nor anyone else has ever signed it. The argument for an implicit social contract is an argument for feudalism and tyrrany since it essentially claims that any group of people with enough guns has the moral right to conquer territory and launch a racketeering operation on its inhabitants.

On Bioshock:

Cool game but a completely unrealistic view of Objectivism. Ryan says in his open monologue that he seeks to build a society "free of morality" which is pretty absurd for a moral philosophy to support such as Objectivism. He is also a dictator, runs a business and the government, limits trade, it tyrannical with crime and punishment and generally acts like a sociopath.

On Rand's extremism:

Yes she was an extremist, she described her political philosophy as "radical capitalism." So what? Why is extremism by default wrong or flawed?

Personally, I prefer the economic philosopher F. A. Hayek over Ayn Rand. Being the founder of modern microeconomic thought and the foil to the founder of modern macroeconomic thought, John Maynard Keynes, F.A. Hayek is just better. He's my intellectual hero.

Dormin111:
On the "rape":

"But the fact is that Roark did not actually rape Dominique; she had asked for it, and he knew that she wanted it. A man who would force himself on a woman against her wishes would be committing a dreadful crime. What Dominique liked about Roark was the fact that he took the responsibility for their romance and for his own actions. Most men nowadays, like Peter Keating, expect to seduce a woman, or rather they let her seduce them and thus shift the responsibility to her. That is what a truly feminine woman would despise. The lesson in the Roark-Dominique romance is one of spiritual strength and self-confidence, not of physical violence."

"It was not an actual rape, but a symbolic action which Dominique all but invited. This was the action she wanted and Howard Roark knew it."

- Ayn Rand

Great post, good explanations, very helpful!
Thank you! I hope evilthecat reads this post too.

evilthecat:

There really are no good answers here, certainly nothing which makes Rand herself come out well.

Dormin111:
On the "rape":

"But the fact is that Roark did not actually rape Dominique; she had asked for it, and he knew that she wanted it. A man who would force himself on a woman against her wishes would be committing a dreadful crime. What Dominique liked about Roark was the fact that he took the responsibility for their romance and for his own actions. Most men nowadays, like Peter Keating, expect to seduce a woman, or rather they let her seduce them and thus shift the responsibility to her. That is what a truly feminine woman would despise. The lesson in the Roark-Dominique romance is one of spiritual strength and self-confidence, not of physical violence."

"It was not an actual rape, but a symbolic action which Dominique all but invited. This was the action she wanted and Howard Roark knew it."

- Ayn Rand

Please read Dormin's entire reply. What do you think now?

shes fucking nuts, offended enought?

in all seriousness its pretty much the exact same as all the preachy idealogical people who have no foot actually set in reality, to some it may sound great on paper but in reality its just going to end in a shitstorm

Danyal:

If you really are a nice, helpful and intelligent person, you won't force the rich to pay for your ideals. You erect your own company, not 'corrupted by greed', and this company can be some kind of insurance company, and poor people will pay less than rich people, and you'll help the poor and heal the sick and be idealistic only using consent and never using force.

This, right here, is the basic reason why I just can't stomach libertarian views.

I'm going to go through point by point and highlight the problems I have with this.

Danyal:

If you really are a nice, helpful and intelligent person, you won't force the rich to pay for your ideals.

I think your priorities are a little wrong. I think the fact that some parents in the USA can't afford to put food on their children's plate on Christmas day is a little more harrowing than a millionaire being forced to pay more taxes and ending up with 2.5 million dollars a year instead of 2.6. Sorry, but I don't see why I'm supposed to care about getting a rich man an extra few thousand dollars when there are people literally a neighbourhood away who despite working full time jobs as teachers can't even afford to do anything other than keep a roof on their head. I don't see why you think any of us care.

Danyal:
You erect your own company

I love how you just jumped to this. You've creating this imagery of this man who is fed up by corporate greed so his first reaction is to start his own company. What?! How the fuck can someone just "start their own company"? What if this man is on below minimum wage? What if this man is being exploited by unaccountable, unelected and unpunishable corporations and he literally can't afford to do anything other than keep a roof over his head? He can just spring up and start his own company?

What!?

Danyal:
and this company can be some kind of insurance company, and poor people will pay less than rich people and you'll help the poor and heal the sick and be idealistic

Okay, so let me get this straight.

This average Joe, who is sick of corporate greed, gets up one morning and creates his own insurance company. How did he get the money? God only knows. How did he get clients? Who cares.

This insurance company specialises in giving aid to poor people. How can someone possibly make money out of a service that provides expensive aid to people with no ability to pay for it? Who cares! Questions are for idiots!

Then, this magical company, starts healing sick people who don't have the money to be healed by the pre-existing greedy companies. How do they manage to provide medical aid for people with no money whilst still staying financially afloat? WHO GIVES A SHIT!

How on Earth does this person manage to make money out of this? Providing aid for disenfranchised people does not make you money. There is no way in hell someone would actually venture into this service in an anarcho-capitalist society without relying on mammoth amounts of charity. You see, that's one of the reasons why I like the government. They do things that don't make them money in order to provide a service to people. Firefighting doesn't provide money - unless you start charging people for every fire you extinguish. Rescue services don't provide money - unless you only rescue rich people who can afford to pay you for it. Aid and disaster relief doesn't provide money full stop. Yet the government does this because we all chip in a little bit of money and we all benefit from it.

I'd love to be a libertarian/objectivist/anarcho-capitalist for just one day. It seems like all you guys do is float around the internet creating debates where nearly all of your points consist of making up fantasy worlds where everything goes the way you think it would.

I'm not being over dramatic here. Every single person with similar views to you I know always resorts to telling grand hypothetical tales and start using it as "proof" of their ideology. Telling a story where the outcome matches your agenda means nothing mate. Zilch.

Danyal:
only using consent and never using force.

Even the most idealistic anarcho-capitalist societies still must have to resort to the use of force in issues of security and crime prevention. Society doesn't work purely on consent. When is a criminal ever going to consent to being locked away in a prison? At the end of the day, someone still has to arrive at his house with a pistol and handcuffs and take him away.

The only difference is in our current society, those people are government employees who are under strict accountability and have power restrictions. In an anarcho-capitalist society these people are working for coin and are not accountable to anyone but their client.

I know who'd I'd rather have trying to arrest me.

evilthecat:
snip

Evil, you always seem to be the one who is completely going overboard with everything even slightly related to feminism. And here you go again.

I don't agree with Rand in the slightest, but her ideology is built upon voluntary behaviour. Sex that is not voluntary for both partners is a serious crime in objectivist/libertarian rhetoric because it involves one person's rights being trampled upon. There is no way on Earth Rand would be for that. Like I said, I can't stand the woman, but you're going way too far here and it's dragging the topic off the side of the boat.

Rand was describing a situation where a woman wanted to be made love to in a dominant way. I'm fairly certain she even clarified afterwards that the scene was not a rape at all.

edit:

It seems I've been ninja'd.

SillyBear:

Danyal:
only using consent and never using force.

Even the most idealistic anarcho-capitalist societies still must have to resort to the use of force in issues of security and crime prevention. Society doesn't work purely on consent. When is a criminal ever going to consent to being locked away in a prison? At the end of the day, someone still has to arrive at his house with a pistol and handcuffs and take him away.

The only difference is in our current society, those people are government employees who are under strict accountability and have power restrictions. In an anarcho-capitalist society these people are working for coin and are not accountable to anyone but their client.

I know who'd I'd rather have trying to arrest me.

Sorry, you've got a rather huge misunderstanding of Objectivism/Libertarianism/Capitalism. Nobody should use force on each other, but if somebody does, individual rights have been breached and the government does have the force to punish those who do this.

You have completely ignored everything I've written about Kibbutzim and how they function. Why? Maybe because they prove how you can care for each other and help each other and feed the poor and heal the sick without using force, using only consent?

Danyal:

Sorry, you've got a rather huge misunderstanding of Objectivism/Libertarianism/Capitalism. Nobody should use force on each other, but if somebody does, individual rights have been breached and the government does have the force to punish those who do this.

I was actually referring to anarcho-capitalism. A system where there is no government and society is formed on the back of the free market. Most libertarians I know love the idea of it - and I realise that objectivists may not. Apologies if you didn't understand.

Danyal:
You have completely ignored everything I've written about Kibbutzim and how they function. Why? Maybe because they prove how you can care for each other and help each other and feed the poor and heal the sick without using force, using only consent?

And you have completely ignored 3/4 of my post.

And no, I ignored Kibbutzim because it was not relevant to my point. I've done a lot of study dealing with Kibbut and it is a topic I don't shy away from - especially not out of a need to keep my point alive. Kibbutz is an example of a group of people forming a little commune society where everyone looks out for one another. Kibbutz is also largely based upon religious/spiritual ideals that are completely alien to Western society.

You were talking about a man, presumably in today's Western world, creating an insurance company that provides medical aid to people without money.

I pointed out that in a free market society this is impossible to do because one cannot make money from this. To create a system where aid is given to the poor, you need a form of governance in place who is not concerned with making a profit to regulate and ensure it happens fairly.

A system like Kibbutz isn't even possible in a free market society unless you contradict the free market to begin with: that is, you run away with like minded people and create your own form of governance. Another point you forgot to mention is that a Kibbutz will only work in small numbers. The last time I read up on Kibbutz there were only just over one hundred thousand people living that way. One hundred thousand is a number that is small enough to keep culturally devout; that is to keep everyone acting voluntary.

The system would fall to pieces if they had to account for 500,000. Or 1,000,000. Keeping a large amount of people in line and still providing aid to the disadvantaged is impossible without the use of mandatory tax. Im-fucking-possible especially when we are talking about a culture like the United States of America or the UK.

That's hardly an argument for your point of view.

pyrate:

And what exactly do you think this would mean for business, you know, the people who have the most money. They could not possibly become privatized armies that extort whatever they want from those without resources to hire an army of goons. I mean sure, we have those sort of criminal organizations now, even when it is against the law and government is actively combating it, but hey, once anyone can do whatever they want then those people are sure to lay down their weapons and come out for a hug.

Objectivism is not anarchy, try again. Libertarians are in favor of a strong republic system with a set of clearly defined and enforced laws.

pyrate:

This is the exact thought process that is the problem with libertarians. She promotes the idea that individuals can use force against others, but when someone points out that it means large organizations would use force to control the masses all of a sudden the government somehow stops it. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot remove the government from nearly every aspect of the country and then have them magically appear to fix any problems, such as anarchy.

Yes you can, it's called a limited government with strictly defined limits to what they can and can't do. Libertarians are just strict constitutionalists. Hence the government is allowed to tax corporations but not individuals, it is allowed to tax imports and exports, ect. It is then allowed to use that money to provide a common front for diplomacy, a common defense when needed, arbitrate disagreements between states, and slap states down when they break the rules we have all agreed upon. Rules that all libertarians agree with because we aren't anarchists who think everything will magically fix itself with less government. Rules like industrialists aren't allowed to start private armies and declare their own satrapies with their own set of laws.

Oirish_Martin:

Like John Galt taking action against striking collectivists by, er, going on strike and forming a collective, perhaps?

John Galt does not care about the striking collectivists. Ayn Rand makes it a point to note that none of the workers who work for the super-industrialists are unhappy or even considering striking, thus any one that is a striking collectivist is of absolutely no concern to John Galt. What John Galt and Co are striking against is the people often in the government who are stealing or attempting to steal their money at gun-point.

Danyal:

Rape is completely incompatible with Objectivism.

I haven't read your story, I don't know who is the rapist, I don't know who is getting rapist, I don't know anything about the relationship between those two people.

Does she write that this rapist is a lovable man, living according to the guidelines of objectivism? These are accepted practices in an objectivist society?

Ayn Rand said time and time again in multiple interviews that she believed "all sex is rape." It is painting the concept of sexual relations in gigantic brush strokes that represent an argument entirely separate from and irrelevant to objectivism. It would be like if Karl Marx said that space aliens existed. And people started arguing about how in order to believe in Marxism one must also believe in space aliens. The two have nothing to do with each other in either case.

pyrate:

The ideals of libertarians are just as extreme as Communism, it is just the other end of the spectrum. They ignore the basic foundations of human nature. People are assholes, it is that simple.

You are right, this is all true, and people being douchebags ruins despotism and anarchy to the same extent, but I'm curious as to why moderation mitigates this problem. What system do you think is douchbag-proof, and why?

tstorm823:

pyrate:

The ideals of libertarians are just as extreme as Communism, it is just the other end of the spectrum. They ignore the basic foundations of human nature. People are assholes, it is that simple.

You are right, this is all true, and people being douchebags ruins despotism and anarchy to the same extent, but I'm curious as to why moderation mitigates this problem. What system do you think is douchbag-proof, and why?

There is no such thing as a douche bag proof system as any system can be taken advantage of by some douche. The systems that seem to be working the best are mixed systems because they limit the effectiveness of a douche.

If you give too much power to the government then things can go downhill when someone abuses their power. If you give too much power to private enterprise then the same thing can happen. When you have a mix then the power is spread out a bit more. People are still going to screw up or attempt to screw over other people, but there are greater limits to the damage they can do. It is why economies without government involvement are prone to boom and bust cycles.

So ideally the power will be split between the government and private enterprise. The problem in the US at the moment is that while there is a division of power, the private enterprise controls both sectors. You need to treat Government and Corporation like Church and State, they need to remain separate.

Dormin111:
"But the fact is that Roark did not actually rape Dominique; she had asked for it, and he knew that she wanted it. A man who would force himself on a woman against her wishes would be committing a dreadful crime. What Dominique liked about Roark was the fact that he took the responsibility for their romance and for his own actions. Most men nowadays, like Peter Keating, expect to seduce a woman, or rather they let her seduce them and thus shift the responsibility to her. That is what a truly feminine woman would despise. The lesson in the Roark-Dominique romance is one of spiritual strength and self-confidence, not of physical violence."

"It was not an actual rape, but a symbolic action which Dominique all but invited. This was the action she wanted and Howard Roark knew it."

- Ayn Rand

Saying 'it's not rape' doesn't make a blind bit of difference if you've written it as rape. If I describe a brutal murder, it does not cease to be a murder if I then claim it represented a thanatotic human desire on the part of the person being murdered and thus I was making a point about a secret human need to be destroyed. It becomes even worse, in fact, because I now have abstracted the act of murder into a general political statement about the nature of humankind.

Having the "spiritual strength and self confidence" to have sex with someone against their expressed will simply because you feel some underlying connection to them is not a good thing. This actually makes the whole thing worse, and I'm shocked that you people can't see it. If this is actually what you believe and think, then you are miserable excuses for human beings and I hope someone has the self-confidence to fuck you painfully to death because you dared to flirt with them.

Dormin111:
A more accurate statement would be that she believed all women secretly wanted their preferred partners to pursue them passionately, but either way this position is closer to Rand's personal views than an actual component of Objectivism.

If pursuing them passionately means forcing them to have sex with you and disregarding their consent, it honestly does not matter. This is semantic bullshit.

I'm not even getting into the sex complementarity on display here, but I'll talk about that later. I suppose it's fairly typical for people who consider homosexuality disgusting (like Ayn Rand) to have exaggerated ideas of sex complementarity, but it's a vile, poisonous and fundamentally illiberal idea.

Danyal:
Please read Dormin's entire reply. What do you think now?

I think you're slightly despicable for thinking it in any way changes or vindicates anything.

evilthecat:

Saying 'it's not rape' doesn't make a blind bit of difference if you've written it as rape. If I describe a brutal murder, it does not cease to be a murder if I then claim it represented a thanatotic human desire on the part of the person being murdered and thus I was making a point about a secret human need to be destroyed. It becomes even worse, in fact, because I now have abstracted the act of murder into a general political statement about the nature of humankind.

Having the "spiritual strength and self confidence" to have sex with someone against their expressed will simply because you feel some underlying connection to them is not a good thing. This actually makes the whole thing worse, and I'm shocked that you people can't see it. If this is actually what you believe and think, then you are miserable excuses for human beings and I hope someone has the self-confidence to fuck you painfully to death because you dared to flirt with them.

Did you read the Fountainhead. Dominique had been visiting the rock quarry which she owned and where Roark worked for weeks so they could eyefvck each other. She purposefully broke an extremely valuable tile in her home so that she could personally request Roark to come to her house to fix it. Dominique is instantly swept up by Roark the moment she sees him and pursues a very strange, yet romantic and sexual relationship with him throughout the novel. Given the metaphorical nature of Rand's work, and her philosophy's explicit objection to coercion, it is absurd to suggest that Rand condones rape.

If pursuing them passionately means forcing them to have sex with you and disregarding their consent, it honestly does not matter. This is semantic bullshit.

Rand quite literally believed that initiating force against another individual is the most evil act one can commit. If you do not know this about Objectivism, then you do not know what Objectivism is.

I'm not even getting into the sex complementarity on display here, but I'll talk about that later. I suppose it's fairly typical for people who consider homosexuality disgusting (like Ayn Rand) to have exaggerated ideas of sex complementarity, but it's a vile, poisonous and fundamentally illiberal idea.

As visionary as Rand was, she was still somewhat of a product of her time. All we know about her views on homosexuality come from a single comment in a speech she gave in which she called it "unnatural." There are unconfirmed rumors that she read a scientific study prior to the speech which claimed homosexuality was somehow biologically faulty. Either way, the philosophy of Objectivism in no way condemns homosexuality.

SillyBear:

You were talking about a man, presumably in today's Western world, creating an insurance company that provides medical aid to people without money.

I pointed out that in a free market society this is impossible to do because one cannot make money from this. To create a system where aid is given to the poor, you need a form of governance in place who is not concerned with making a profit to regulate and ensure it happens fairly.

What are the top priorities for any individuals? Well food, water, and shelter comes first, but after that... probably healthcare and education. That being said, there is clearly a massive demand for healthcare among the poor. So why wouldn't private companies attempt to cater to those needs. Saying that it is not profitable to offer healthcare services to the poor is only slightly more ridiculous than saying it is not profitable for companies to provide food or housing to the poor. Sure they don't have much money (relatively), but it is one of the things they will spend money on. And keep in mind that today's prices in America so not reflect free market rates by any means.

Dormin111:
Plop

Thanks for the reply! I hope Evilcat will respond to it.

Dormin111:
but it is one of the things they will spend money on. And keep in mind that today's prices in America so not reflect free market rates by any means.

I think I've got a general idea of what you mean with this statement but could you please explain it more clearly?

Danyal:

I think I've got a general idea of what you mean with this statement but could you please explain it more clearly?

A "free market rate" is the price which would be decided by supply and demand in an economy absent government intervention. Since the medical industry has been one of the most heavily economic sectors in America for a hundred years, the current prices of medical service the US does not reflect what individuals would pay in a free market. Through a combination of supply restrictions, price inflation, subsidies, shifting to employer provided insurance, and a plethora of other factors, price have been drastically driven up in the US. There are too many individual factors to go into here, but off the top of my head, the American Medical Association's monopoly privileges, medical licensing, the FDA, Medicaid, Medicare, WW2 price controls, restrictions on medical imports, interstate medical restrictions, etc, all contributed to inflating prices.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked