Mar 11, 2013

Commentary On Ayn Rand's "For The New Intellectual" 1

Background (Preface): Ayn Rand & The Beginning Of The End of Objectivism 

When culture breaks down... when the structures we built to help us become oppressive... there is a revolt by some people in that system. If the system is of torture then the attitude of this anti-society type will be one of peace. If the person was in a prison type society where everything is regulated (and you have to stand in line for days to buy bread) then the anti-society individual will go to it's opposite extreme. To say 'give me liberty or give me death' in a war is a battle cry, when buying milk, when discussing politics... i.e. When you say it everyday... you got problems.

When I was in High School I read a book called "The Celestine Prophecy'. I was so taken by that fiction book that I went around trying to teach and/or convince people to read it too and to listen to his insights. But I'm a reader. Before High school I had already read over a 1000 fiction books of all kinds. After the Celestine Prophecy I started reading non-fiction. Several dozen books later I began to notice some problems with the theory. 20 years later that book is not in my collection. I don't recommend it. I don't take it's insights seriously... BUT when I was a kid it gave me much needed motivation and a new way of seeing the world. A sort of modern mythological outlook that helps energize the psyche to move into new ways of thinking and perceiving. The problem with Ayn Rand is that most people who read her huge books aren't readers to begin with. ON top of that it takes so much effort and time to read that book that reading other books just as big - so your ideas grow and are not limited to one woman's thoughts - becomes too hard of a task. Ayn Rand wasn't a pleasant person to be around (from what I gather). Most people who love her so much wouldn't like her in person (or so it seems). For kids, who just spent years and years under the authoritarian authority of parents, the idea of complete freedom from authority is intoxicating. This isn't the context Ayn Rand was writing in. In her life communists controlled everything. Business didn't exist. You had no choices that wasn't regulated by the State. To have no choices vs. limited choices isn't the same. Apples and oranges are fruit but they are not the same. If you don't get what you want and throw a tantrum - well, it can be fun - you are nothing more than a little kid who is crying for his mommy because the sun is hot. An alternative solution is to move out of the sun. But it's easier for babies to cry, especially when they lack the intellect to crawl away even if they can crawl. But then the baby grows up and learns that it has the capability to get out of the sun on it's own. So it starts crying for mommy about other things. Eventually the kid grows up and seeks independence to various degrees. Then the kid becomes a parent and it becomes necessary to set up structure and authoritarian rule over their kids to help them get ready for a balanced life (in theory - in practice people don't even like to read an intro book to parenting). So when people come to me spouting rhetoric about the one big book they have EVER read I feel like I am looking at myself about 20 years ago. In high school, excited for the future and looking for a way to live. I found many books, studied religions, history, economics, psychology. So I don't need one book to hold on to for my inner security. But most people don't have the time to catch up with modern knowledge. They can read one book and maybe a few articles. Without reading our culture is dumbing down before our very eyes. 500 years for a complete dumbing down of US is optimistic thinking.

Note: Sentences in bold italics are from Ayn Rand's book "For The New Intellectual"

When a man, a business corporation or an entire society is approaching
bankruptcy, there are two courses that those involved can follow: they can
evade the reality of their situation and act on a frantic, blind, range-of-the moment
expediency—not daring to look ahead, wishing no one would name
the truth, yet desperately hoping that something will save them somehow—
or they can identify the situation, check their premises, discover their hidden
assets and start rebuilding.

This is a simple choice. Although given this was written in the 1950s she probably wasn't aware that a business going bankrupt is not the same as as nation having a deficit. But you have to understand... she's a writer. Her model of the world and her 'hero vision' was established by the age 9   Despite many beliefs on the right... age 9 isn't an age when any sort of wisdom or even knowledge begins.

America, at present, is following the first course. The gray-ness, the stale
cynicism, the noncommittal cautiousness, the guilty evasiveness of our
public voices suggest the attitude of the courtiers in the story “The
Emperor’s New Clothes” who professed admiration for the Emperor’s nonexistent
garments, having accepted the assertion that anyone who failed to
perceive them was morally depraved at heart.

Yeah, whatever. Every country is culturally bankrupt by this definition going back thousands of years. What do you want to return to? The Mythical Garden Of Eden?

Extract from Wikipedia: shmael explains how the Takers rendered themselves above the laws governing life, using the story of The Fall of Man as an example. His version of why the fruit was forbidden to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is: eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil provides the gods with the knowledge of who shall live and who shall die—knowledge which they need to rule the world. The fruit nourishes only the gods, though. If Adam ("man") were to eat from this tree, he might think that he gained the gods' wisdom (without this actually happening) and consequently destroy the world and himself through his arrogance. "And so they said to him, you may eat of every tree in the garden, save the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for on the day you eat of that tree, you will certainly die." Ishmael makes the point that this story of the Fall of Man, which the Takers have adopted as their own, was in fact developed by Leavers to explain the origin of the Takers. If it were of Taker origin, the story would be of liberating ascent instead of a sinful fall.

Well, even if you don't the dissatisfied are always seeking an escape and the biggest escape is the one to a past golden age of which no record exists except some very scary Bible verses.

Let me be the child in the story and declare that the Emperor is naked—or
that America is culturally bankrupt.

Poor woman. Can you imagine what it must be like to have an idealized view of the US (or any society) and to have your fantasies turn out to be wrong. The problem isn't with the US, it's with disappointment & expectations...

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy - the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.” ― Eric Hoffer

By the way, No. She is not a child. She definitely has no innocence left by the time she got to the States. And, yes, just about every country is culturally bankrupt but it goes so far back that blaming one country or system is dumb. There are exceptions in one area or another. My favorite countries are Japan and England in that order - though sometimes that changes - (this is based on societal calm and how they handle problems).

"Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. . . . The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of their inadequacy and impotence. They hate not wickedness but weakness. When it is in their power to do so, the weak destroy weakness wherever they see it." The Passionate State of Mind, aph. 41 (1955)

In any given period of history, a culture is to be judged by its dominant
philosophy, by the prevalent trend of its intellectual life as expressed in
morality, in politics, in economics, in art. Professional intellectuals are the
voice of a culture and are, therefore, its leaders, its integrators and its
bodyguards. America’s intellectual leadership has collapsed. Her virtues, her
values, her enormous power are scattered in a silent underground and will
remain private, subjective, historically impotent if left without intellectual
expression. America is a country without voice or defense—a country sold
out and abandoned by her intellectual bodyguards.

First of all, there are no intellectual bodyguards ANYWHERE. I'm not even sure if such a thing should even be allowed. There were none in Russia, there were none in Ancient Jerusalem (unless you want to call Rabbi's "intellectual bodyguards" though I'm sure Ayn Rand would have cringed at that thought).

Second of all... bodyguards?!?!  You mean like an elite class of intellectuals that can protect a whole society? Sitting in their ivory tower and telling people what to do? Like Communist Russia but for idiot "Intellectuals"? In other words, Ayn Rand's intellectual vision of communism.

Isn't it funny how what you hate the most tends to become a part of your world view even when you do you best to pretend you are right. This is understandable, in a crazy world we can feel insecure and depressed and when we do it's easier to get upset at everyone and everything than it is to learn new things that will actually benefit people OR your situation. Of course, Ayn Rand's philosophy was to think of no ones happiness except your own (see video below). If you did that ... well, some idiots would probably end up dead, in prison or leader of the latest social catastrophe.

Finally, if Ayn Rand's deranged "philosophy" is taken seriously in out time, what does that say about the cultures that follow her like pet dogs?

"It is the malady of our age that the young are so busy teaching us that they have no time left to learn." Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 33 (1973)

Bankruptcy is defined as the state of being at the end of one’s resources.

This woman had definitely reached the end of her mental resources. And by the end of her life, in pursuing her selfish desire, I'm sure she made allot of friends... so she ended up on welfare? Even Donald Trump did better than that and Trump's been bankrupt 4 times! Does that sound like a woman you would like to get to know? Always angry, no compassion, disgusting sexual habits (so it seems given how much ancient news seems to gloss over stuff). Can you even imagine the kind of trauma she must have suffered to become so heartless? When people come from war zones they are emotionally shielded. As veterans have explained, when you are out killing people you live in a different world and when you return that trance changes (personally I think allot more help is needed such as the stuff on my Instant Self Hypnosis site. But you have to use it everyday for it to help. One 20 minute session a day is too much for some lazy people who have more energy to change stuff they know nothing about rather than to get themselves educated. WHO IN THE WORLD BASES THEIR LIFE ON A 100 YEAR OLD FICTION BOOK!!!!!)

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” ― Eric Hoffer

By the way, some people are ALWAYS at the end of their resources. Always in a panic, always scared. When they should be reading, studying and learning they are out engage in activism. Keep in mind, a violent revolution tends to create the very thing they hated.

"Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance." - Lakota

What are the intellectual values or resources offered to us by the present
guardians of our culture? 

The intellectual resources of our global culture are vast, but reading & study is required. I don't know what she was taught in your communist college after getting raped by her king or comrades, but it obviously wasn't very educational.

In philosophy, we are taught that man’s mind is
impotent, that reality is unknowable, that knowledge is an illusion, and
reason a superstition.

I was two courses short of a philosophy minor. I'm guessing she was thinking of Hobbs? Not sure, there were hundreds of philosophers and they wrote allot of stuff, I chose the best that fit accross many fields and kept reading for years. Also, I'm not sure which philosopher said the mind is impotent. I'm guessing Hobbs or Karl Marx as they preferred some sort of clock-like society ... SHE READ ONE BOOK ON PHILOSOPHY AND DECIDED THAT WAS ALL OF PHILOSOPHY i.e. all of thoughts that ever existed. Sorry, she doesn't seem well read to me. She established her vision at age 9 and that sustained her throughout her pathetic life.

"Knowledge is meant to be taught, shared and developed in others. To think yourself as some sort of bodyguard is the height of pride or stupidity or both. Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not organically part of us, while self-esteem derives from the potentialities and achievements of the self. We are proud when we identify ourselves with an imaginary self, a leader, a holy cause, a collective body or possessions. There is fear and intolerance in pride; it is sensitive and uncompromising. The less promise and potency in the self, the more imperative is the need for pride. The core of pride is self-rejection. It is true that when pride releases energies and serves as a spur to achievement, it can lead to a reconciliation with the self and the attainment of genuine self-esteem."
The Passionate State of Mind, aph. 35 (1955)

 In psychology, we are told that man is a helpless
automaton, determined by forces beyond his control, motivated by innate

This one I know. She's talking about Freud.  One guy.  This guy was on cocaine all the time and prescribed it to everyone. Cocaine was in coke so it was no big deal back then... but just because something is no big deal doesn't make it good or even a solution. Also, she obviously hadn't heard of Carl Jung {A FAMOUS STUDENT OF FREUD'S WITH A MORE IN-DEPTH AND BALANCED PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS AND PROOFS... WHAT? SHE COULDN'T T READ MORE THAN ONE BOOK ON PSYCHOLOGY BEFORE SHE BEGAN WRITING HER ESCAPIST FANTASY FICTIONAL MASTERPIECES? SHE HAS ALLOT MORE IN COMMON WITH THE "CULTURALLY BANKRUPT" AMERICANS THAN SHE REALIZES}.

Carl Jung developed a more in-depth psychology (too deep for most people without some background reading - plus he wrote dozens of books, nowadays, people just like to read one book for their life guidance. God forbid she should read more than one person's ideas before declaring herself all knowing!) ...and she was dead decades before proper modern psychology began to develop.

In literature, we are shown a line-up of murderers, dipsomaniacs,
drug addicts, neurotics and psychotics as representatives of man’s soul

You mean like Ayn Rand's characters?...

Notes on Ayn Rand (Sociopath?) from the above video:

2:37 Ayn Rand's philosophy of rational self interest states that the purpose of life is pursuing your own happiness with no regard for others. 

2:50 "I'm challenging the moral code of altruism" Ayn Rand (i.e. she supports the opposite of altruism or in other words, she supports the opposite of charity, get it dufflepuds?)

3:05 " [Love] is immoral if it is a love placed above oneself" Ayn Rand

Q. "If a man of woman is weak is he/she beyond love?" Reply: "He certainly doesn't deserve it" Ayn Rand (The example Colbert uses is one of grandparents, I think with proper questioning kids would have fallen into the same category for Ayn Rand. I don't like kids that much myself but to say they don't deserve to be loved and/or saved seems like something a very disturbed and traumatized individual would say/believe.)


2:37 Ayn Rand's philosophy of rational self interest states that the purpose of life is pursuing your own happiness with no regard for others. 

By Ayn rand's definition Dick Cheney is the perfect example of the sort of capitalism she envision for "free men". You can follow Dick Cheney's example by learning more about Dick (by clicking here).

"An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head." Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 88 (1973) - Eric Hoffer

"We all have private ails. The troublemakers are they who need public cures for their private ails."
Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 43 (1973)

"Ours is a golden age of minorities. At no time in the past have dissident minorities felt so much at home and had so much room to throw their weight around. They speak and act as if they were “the people,” and what they abominate most is the dissent of the majority."  
In Our Time (1976), “The Trend Toward Anarchy,” p. 52

"The explosive component in the contemporary scene is not the clamor of the masses but the self-righteous claims of a multitude of graduates from schools and universities. This army of scribes is clamoring for a society in which planning, regulation, and supervision are paramount and the prerogative of the educated. They hanker for the scribe's golden age, for a return to something like the scribe-dominated societies of ancient Egypt, China, and Europe of the Middle Ages. There is little doubt that the present trend in the new and renovated countries toward social regimentation stems partly from the need to create adequate employment for a large number of scribes. And since the tempo of the production of the literate is continually increasing, the prospect is of ever-swelling bureaucracies."
The Ordeal of Change , Chapter 13, 'Scribe, Writer, and Rebel'

(This expose continues in the next post on the new Russian "Intellectual" of the mid-1900's)

Moving forward: 

Modern Mythology: Star Wars, The Matrix & An Ayn Rand Style Rant 

No comments:

Post a Comment