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Old 12-08-2011, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Chesapeake Bay area of MD
2,143 posts, read 1,116,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3N1TH 0N3 View Post

Is it not ironic that the ones who were and are the creators in this world tend to be the most compassionate? Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Larry Page, Sergei Brin, et al, are/were all advocates for humanity, wealth re-distribution, and all that other mushy, sappy stuff that Ayn Rand argued against in her books. It seems, more often than not, it is those who can hardly construct a grammatically correct sentence, let alone an object of great societal value, that think that they are the best and are walking in the giant shoes of Hank Rearden or Dagny Taggart.
Had the above been made to share their wealth at the time they were accumulating it, they would never have accumulated the amount of wealth to do the charitable things that they have become noted for. I think this is the main point of conservatism vs liberalism. Give a person time to build their wealth to the point where they do not have to worry about their own future, before you judge them for what they do afterward.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:07 PM
 
2,286 posts, read 1,106,003 times
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Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
Rand believed that people shortchanged themselves by this perspective; that they did not commit fully to their life's work, did not embrace their talents and creativity fully by that commitment, and therefore could not be fully happy.
Well, when you need to put food on the table, sometimes your passions and talents aren't worth much. I think that is where there is a gap in Rand's ideals. For example, I would love to be an urban planner, but there is very little work to be had in that field. Therefore, it does not make sense for me to commit to that line of work if it will result in me starving. Where is the happiness in that? Urban planning is just one example, what about the other fields that are dried up? We are a society dictated by materialistic wants. Consumerism drives our economy. If your passions and talents aren't in demand, you starve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
"Objectivism" is not merely living for one's self, but joyfully setting goals and achieving them, to attain the highest goal of all - happiness through self-realization. The absolute goal of finding and using one's talents to the highest success will produce joy. Look around you - why are people unhappy right now? Is it because they don't have jobs, they don't have incomes, they are losing their homes, they went to college and were promised a happy life and feel abandoned, thwarted, and lied to? Not according to Objectivism - in Objectivism, the human being sets his goals for the complete realization of himself and his purpose, his joy is in achieving his purposes and using his talents to his own self-satisfaction and gratification - no matter what is occuring around him.
Right, and again, that doesn't fit in with current economic conditions. If your passions and talents aren't in demand, you starve. That is why people spend their lives working jobs they hate.

My point is, Rand's philosophy of objectivism is great and all. I like it and I have tried to model my life after that. But it's too unrealistic because it doesn't always fit in with the current macroeconomic equilibrium. If your passions and talents are not in demand, you will be miserable because you are either poor, starving, or both.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3N1TH 0N3 View Post
Well, when you need to put food on the table, sometimes your passions and talents aren't worth much. I think that is where there is a gap in Rand's ideals. For example, I would love to be an urban planner, but there is very little work to be had in that field. Therefore, it does not make sense for me to commit to that line of work if it will result in me starving. Where is the happiness in that? Urban planning is just one example, what about the other fields that are dried up? We are a society dictated by materialistic wants. Consumerism drives our economy. If your passions and talents aren't in demand, you starve.

Right, and again, that doesn't fit in with current economic conditions. If your passions and talents aren't in demand, you starve. That is why people spend their lives working jobs they hate.

My point is, Rand's philosophy of objectivism is great and all. I like it and I have tried to model my life after that. But it's too unrealistic because it doesn't always fit in with the current macroeconomic equilibrium. If your passions and talents are not in demand, you will be miserable because you are either poor, starving, or both.
You miss the point.
But it's OK, most do.
Setting goals and working 'at jobs you hate' to achieve your goals - not merely to pay the bills - is the point. No one has a totally happy existence, free from problems, with all sorts of praise and accolades, money pouring in, no matter which different drummer they follow - No. One. But selling your soul to the collective instead of using that collective to achieve your goals and being ultimately able to kick the collective to the curb - that is what Rand's "heroes" did. They didn't whine about "Oh, the government/collective/ neighbors/buyers don't understand me and keep me down" - they did what they had to do to get where they wanted to be, without losing their purpose.

Every time I read or hear someone complaining about "the other guy is keeping me down" - I look at the Starbucks' $5.00 cardboard cup in their hand, or the hybrid car, or the widescreen HDTV, or all of the other little gewgaws and play-pretties in their hot little hands, and shake my head. Life is choice - and either you plan your life and invest yourself in yourself - or you don't. It is totally up to you. But don't blame "the other guy" for your failure to achieve your own goals... or expect some gubbermint to take it from someone else and hand it to you.The collective tells you that it isn't your fault you can't achieve, finds you a reasonable scapegoat, and binds you into itself with the gossamer chains of "I'll DIE without the collective!"

It's absolutely OK to buy that Starbucks every morning, or to plod to work at a job you hate, or to lose your hope and faith in yourself, believing that you can never accomplish anything without the approval of the collective. But those are choices you make. You choose the collective - or you choose to plan and work and plod along towards your own ideal while the collective buys its McMansions and iPods and Crackberries, and shops for the perfect Christmas electronic animatron to prove their worth to themselves and their recipients. I reiterate Galt -
But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive in any random manner, but will perish unless he lives as his nature requires, so he is free to seek his happiness in any mindless fraud, but the torture of frustration is all he will find, unless he seeks the happiness proper to man. The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.

The purpose of the collective is to teach you to willingly, eagerly, even altruistically, to suffer and die. Your choice remains - your choice.

Rand-channeling... Not intending any personal attack, just explaining.

PS I was an urban planner and community developer - even taught others how - but I did it for as long as it profited me, only because my goal was to cast off urbanity and gain my ultimate goal.

Last edited by SCGranny; 12-08-2011 at 10:47 PM.. Reason: My "o" is sticking...;->
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:09 AM
 
2,286 posts, read 1,106,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
they did what they had to do to get where they wanted to be, without losing their purpose.
That sounds great and all, but one very important thing you are missing and that she missed: Getting where you want to be costs money, and in some cases, it costs A LOT of money. If you don't come from money, like all of the characters in her book, how do you achieve those goals? Wanting something bad enough and working hard at it is just half the battle. Being able to afford it is the other half. That is where many people fall flat and become disillusioned.

Believe me when I say that I was in fact a die hard Ayn Rand advocate when I was in college. But when I graduated, life smacked me in the face and woke me up. If you don't come from money, you rarely can get very far in this country solely on hard work. This is coming from someone who busted his butt in high school, got very good grades, and went to a good undergrad program. If I wanted to pursue more education to advance my interests, that is going to cost more money; money which I don't have. And I don't go to Starbucks every morning or spend frivolous amounts of money on things I don't NEED.

Ayn Rand's stories are a vast generalization/simplification of things. For obvious reasons, she did not go into details about the costs associated with her characters achieving what they did. Imagine how long Atlas Shrugged would have been if she went into all that detail.

Objectivism is great in theory. At one point, I completely stood by it. It still influences me to some extent today. But getting ahead in this country is primarily a result of having money, connections, good fortune, and, to a lesser extent, hard work. That is why I feel her philosophy needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Last edited by Z3N1TH 0N3; 12-09-2011 at 10:45 AM..
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
2,791 posts, read 2,261,455 times
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The main point of most of these posts about Ayn Rand, (whom I have just started finding out about) seem to point to the same thing. Your success is entirely dependent on you.

I can sympathise with working a job you don't like to put food on the table, I have done that for years.

However, if you continue to follow your dream you have to be innovative to make yourself salible as a commodity to draw in the finances or situation you may need to pursue your dream.

I work where I work because I have a wife and older parents to take care of. I don't have the option of dumping a paycheck to follow a dream, but I kept my dream, kept working on it, learning, streamlining, changing and modifying my project, and just got back from a meeting with investors who really like my ideas and are willing to put a lot of venture capitol into creating a start up company using what is really my idea and design.

By making my venture work and produce profits, I can then do more of the inventing that is what I really love to do. I will have the money to fund my own projects, but to get that money I have to use my talents and make it marketable.

In this country, the only thing that holds you back, (besides the government ) is yourself.

It may not happen overnight, it will most probably take a lot of work, but it can be done and I am doing it right now so I speak from experience. Use what you have, modify your situation, learn more about what you love to do, volunteer or work in the business part time as a second job perhaps, innovate, adapt overcome, it is the prepper way

As Thomas Edison said, "invention is 10% inspiration, 90% persperation".
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 5,697,061 times
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It makes me very sad to read your last post, Z3n1th 0N3. Because the fact is that you have fallen into the collective's firm beliefs - beliefs that are meant to make you bow down and give up.

It is not true that you have to come from money, nor is it true that Rand's heroes came from money - Howard Roark certainly did not.

There are a lot of folks on this forum alone who didn't come from money, but set their goals and worked toward them, not flinching, not sidestepping, not indulging - and achieved their goals. I started out as homeless in 1977, living in the back of a pickup truck with a small child - and have gone on to get everything we wanted. No 40-hour a week jobs, usually a fulltime and two part-time jobs; no holidays or weekends off, for YEARS - but we bought our own home, owned our own businesses, and then sold everything to buy the farm here. Along the way we raised three of our own and several foster kids, and paid those bills. It isn't easy. It isn't all fun. There is no time to waste or relax or putter. Eye on the goal, baby - eye on the goal.

There is nothing stopping anyone from achieving their goals - except themselves, and their surrendering to the collective that tells them that they can't, will never, and should never even try.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:20 PM
 
2,286 posts, read 1,106,003 times
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Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
It makes me very sad to read your last post, Z3n1th 0N3. Because the fact is that you have fallen into the collective's firm beliefs - beliefs that are meant to make you bow down and give up.

It is not true that you have to come from money, nor is it true that Rand's heroes came from money - Howard Roark certainly did not.

There are a lot of folks on this forum alone who didn't come from money, but set their goals and worked toward them, not flinching, not sidestepping, not indulging - and achieved their goals. I started out as homeless in 1977, living in the back of a pickup truck with a small child - and have gone on to get everything we wanted. No 40-hour a week jobs, usually a fulltime and two part-time jobs; no holidays or weekends off, for YEARS - but we bought our own home, owned our own businesses, and then sold everything to buy the farm here. Along the way we raised three of our own and several foster kids, and paid those bills. It isn't easy. It isn't all fun. There is no time to waste or relax or putter. Eye on the goal, baby - eye on the goal.

There is nothing stopping anyone from achieving their goals - except themselves, and their surrendering to the collective that tells them that they can't, will never, and should never even try.

Oh, so you were fortunate enough to have a job, or a few at one time, for that matter. What year was that again? How long have you been retired and working on your farm? How long have you been out of the labor market?

I'm glad you found what worked for you. Apparently all it took was reading some Ayn Rand and you were sold on it and set out to conquer the world. One thing I've learned on these forums is that you can't argue with someone who is only capable of speaking from their own personal experience. Sadly, that is all they know, and that is all they can usually reference. So I will take the liberty of ending my participation in this discussion, because I have had my say. Nothing else that I say will make any sense to you. I'm sorry.

Signed

-Guy who has defied the odds and worked very hard to get where he is, but realizes what has become of the modern working world.

PS Just because I think this way doesn't mean I have given up on my goals or dreams or have given in to the evil "collective". I just try to understand the world as a whole, not just my little bubble and what some author from 50 years ago told me to think. By the way, did you use public schools and public roads during your life? Didn't the "collective" help provide those services for you? Just like most folks who speak your lingo, the collective sucks until you need them to provide for you. My family is the same way. Funny how welfare became a good thing so quickly when my sister and cousins were so responsible and got knocked up.

Last edited by Z3N1TH 0N3; 12-09-2011 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 5,697,061 times
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We moved to the farm 3.5 years ago.
BTW, I am still in the labor market - I have a 10 month job working for the local school district. It gives me the time I need to address the farm chores, as well as the money I need to continue to build the farm that had been let go for over 20 years. It also is an excellent way to become a part of the new area and neighbors' lives, to become familiar with an unfamiliar social cohesion, to - fit in. So yes, I "use" public schools - even though I paid for private school for my own children, while my taxes paid for public schools. Holding oneself completely apart from the collective can get you Waco'ed; it does not like to be denied. (Which was pointed out in longhand detail in both "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged", BTW.)

So let me understand this - you offer personal experiences to delineate why Rand's philosophy is invalid and inapplicable, yet when someone else does the same, their experiences are discounted and invalidated by you? Why are you so resentful and angry, and have to start making personal attacks? Is it because of my age, my experiences, to all of which you cannot relate, or the fact that you don't like being told that you still can make something of yourself and achieve your goals, no matter of what the collective has tried to convince you?

Would it impress you more if I offered personal anecdotes of my children and foster children, as well as friends and business associates, who have done the same - or merely make you insist even more angrily that those personal experiences and knowledge are even more invalid because they are specific and not generalized, or because they didn't happen in the past two years, and simply don't apply to your specific situation?

The point of philosophy is to open up your eyes to possibilities and perceptions that may not have occured to you before. Yet each philosopher can still only see things from their own human perspective and experiences; you can't get an Martian's or Venusian's viewpoint from a human being. If it can apply generally to a group of humans, or even to an era or over several eras, it is still a human's viewpoint on the human experience. Taking the philosophy that applies to one's own situation is a choice. Using the philosophy that applies to an individual's stuation is a choice. If you choose to insist that because it has worked and applied in specific situations, that it is not a generalized workable philosophy and therefore invalid, that of course is your choice too.

Last edited by SCGranny; 12-10-2011 at 08:23 AM..
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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If you choose to insist that because it has worked and applied in specific situations, that it is not a generalized workable philosophy and therefore invalid, that of course is your choice too.
People agree that aspects of socialism have worked for them in some cases, too. So I guess we agree on this particular point. Philosophy can't be proven wrong, it can only be criticized. And even then, criticism comes from a person's perspective, so innately it is flawed due to it's imperfect source. If you feel that objectivism is making your life better, all the power to you. I follow objectivism as well, but I do feel that it has some significant shortcomings.

Again, coming from a guy who has worked diligently to get to where he is now. I'm not a slacker and don't look for handouts from anybody when I am perfectly capable of handling the task. That said, I have benefited from collectivism and I have no fear of acknowledging that I am not completely able to handle all things on my own. I use public roads every day. I have used public schools throughout my childhood. I graduated from a publicly funded university. I have received public funds to fund my education. I have used public transportation. I have received medical treatment from a publicly funded healthcare facility. I have used public libraries. If not for those things, I could not have done what I have done. My sister would not be able to afford her child if not for public assistance. Same for my cousins. We are human beings, we are not binary coded robots like the characters that Rand depicts where everything is 1 or 0, yes or no, right or wrong. There are a lot of gray areas in life.

If you want to continue thinking that you are completely self-reliant, have at it. I just think you overestimate your abilities, as do most people who think along the same lines as you. I believe that you have benefited from collectivism more than you are willing to acknowledge. And separating yourself from the "collective" has nothing to do with getting yourself "Waco'ed". It has everything to do with what you are personally capable of, which, unless you come from a significant amount of money, is limited. If you don't want to accept that, so be it. What do I know anyway?

Last edited by Z3N1TH 0N3; 12-10-2011 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Chesapeake Bay area of MD
2,143 posts, read 1,116,929 times
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One thing a lot of people do not consider is prescription medications. When TSHTF, will you be able to get them? I know, or at least feel, that I probably would have been dead a long time ago if it were not for various type of anti-biotics. There are many other medicines that people require. Can they stock up? What is their shelf life?

I suppose, if you live close to Mexico, you might be able to stock up on some medications, if you trust the quality, but what about their shelf life? If you wait for TSHTF, will it be available? Can you afford to cycle expired medications into the trash and keep the supply fresh?

What will be more valuable, bullets or pills?
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