Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ayn Rand "influential"

Ross Cameron writing in this morning's SMH would like us to revere Ayn Rand as a woman of real influence. Before we respond we should consider what that influence has been.

Cameron chooses to label her philosophy “ethical egoism”. Other titles for it as I mentioned in my first Rand blogpost are "objectivism" or "enlightened self-interest". The problem being there was nothing ethical about it, it was a philosophy of pure unadulterated selfishness. It thoroughly rejected the ethical precept known as the Golden Rule and found in every religion of doing to others what you would have them do to you.

If all people live according to Rand’s philosophy none of the essential ingredients of the state to support a market economy, especially the least co-operative enforcement of property rights, can exist. It was not only anti-totalitarian but also anti-capitalist.

She was not only an atheist. Her philosophy is totally inconsistent with any religious belief. You cannot claim to be a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew and also ascribe to her philosophy.

Rand may well have had real influence, but so did Stalin and Mao. Or as was raised in a later discussion here "Of course its an unsustainable philosophy -- Ayn Rand is to the real world as Karl Marx is. They are both idealists."

Rand's philosophy is as degenerate as the worst writings of Marx or Hitler's Mein Kampf. She should not be held up for any kind of praise.

(And a small aside on copyright. Students of history often wonder how come the British were so naive about Hitler's intentions given he'd laid it all out before hand. The simple answer is that the English translation did not come out till after the war. As copyright holder Hitler refused requests to authorise a translation beforehand - his intended audience was only German speakers.)

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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