Monday, May 23, 2011

Ayn Rand: idiot darling of the libertarian right

Today I watched Ayn Rand being interviewed, as follows:


It's painful to listen to the lady: the person who brought us Alan Greenspan and the latest looting of the national treasury by thieves.

Here's some key responses:

Her point: Morals should only come from logic.

My response: Morals come from a combination of biology, genetics, and socialization. Her ideas on the issue are rather myopic and primitive.

Her point: We shouldn't care about or serve others, but rather only value them by whatever inherent value they happen to have.

My response: Usually only sociopaths have no interest in serving others or caring about the welfare of others, oh, and rich pig republicans also.

I can see why she's a darling of the right. And for the Jesus freak hordes who're part of the tea bagging community, you may as well realize that the leaders of your movement, of the movement, at Fox news, and in the circles of power for the right wing, these leaders view your faith in Jesus in a highly cynical way. They play you like pawns and chumps.

Rand was an atheist and so am I. But we've come a fair distance from the days when people thought that the best practice of all humanity was to act in a completely logical manner. It's not so much about atheism as it is about comprehension of what human nature is. Her views were warped and myopic.

Humans are emotional animals, emotional beings, with a chorus of needs that culminate, through genetics, biology, and socialization into a general consensus of what we tend to value.

It's both fascinating & disconcerting to hear the lady first hand, and to realize how her views tie directly into the recently raping of everyone in the U.S. by Wall Street bankers.

Here's a quote from Rand: "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." - from

My response: Well, partly right and partly wrong. No human has reason as an absolute, not even those who claim they do. Happiness comes from a combination of things including doing what you feel inclined to do balanced with service to others. Doing what you feel as engrained in you by biology and genetics, doing what you feel is right based on socialization, serving others (in part because we have a lust to do so, as per Dawkins, and so on).

Basically Rand is the love bunny of today's libertarians, the people who'd have us turn mountain tops and national parks over to rich snobs, and who'd do away with all tax funded social programs. Basically libertarians are fundamentalist-social-Darwinists, even though some of them also ironically reject evolution as a fact. They advocate very fervently for their views, in a highly religious type of way, that the highest moral premise is selfishness and to let everyone else burn. The rich man should live on the mountain top and the national park, because he's rich and he deserves to live there, so they would say.

Since liberals and conservatives have such a hard time understanding each other, maybe there's some genetic basis as to whether one turns out to be someone who sees value in caring for your fellow man or not. Those who would rather see the old and young die rather than have key social programs in place, such people deserve the medicine they shell out. Being a human requires a social contract, and those who break the contract don't deserve the fruits of it.

It's funny and sad to hear those, for example, complain about Obama-care or having Canadian or UK style health care, while at the same time just loving their own Medicare and so on. Old fart idiot hypocrites who're fooled by the cynical likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck - three incredibly selfish and mean children who have no place in civil society, and the fruits of libertarianism today.

After listening to the lady I felt like a bit of a rant.

Further reading:

And some more recent views on morality:

Sam Harris & the Moral Landscape:

Dawkins, and the lust to be altruistic (to be kind to others - something Rand thought was offensive):

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Michael Moore is not the keeper of my soul - re the killing of Osama

Here's what Michael Moore claims: America ‘Lost Something Of Our Soul’ In Killing Osama Bin Laden.

Here's my response:

Ok so here’s a related article by Christopher Hitchens which is critical of Moore over 9/11:

And here's my view of Moore: He's an idiot. Admittedly he’s an idiot who I have sometimes enjoyed watching, but still, his recent ruminations on CNN about Osama show that the ultra left in the US has largely becoming an apologist for theocratic human spirit destroying gender apartheid advocating Islam. I don’t much like the ultra right either (which is what all the leading figures in the repiglican party are nowadays).

I’ll just float out in the middle away from all the nut jobs.

Moore isn’t the keeper of my soul.

And another related post:

The position of Harris, Hitchens, and people like Pat Condell and myself are all similar: We’ve been in the “left” camp ourselves, but we have found ourselves pushed away from it by crap talk such as comes from the likes of Moore, Amy Goodman, and Noam Chomsky. But I’ll stay out of the nutjob Ron Paul / John Birch Society as well if it’s all the same to you though.

On a related note, here's good responses to the killing of Osama from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert:

And more from Harris:

And a new related article from Hitchens on Osama: