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Rebirth of Reason

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Sunday, March 6 - 11:16amSanction this postReply

That clearly isn't how the communist ideology would view Rand.  It looks more like a copy-paste from a much earlier version of Ayn Rand article appearing on Wikipedia.  There is something on that page that talks about the Communipedia article having been copied from an anarchist wikipedia-like site.  But the Ayn Rand article on the anarchist site is radically different

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Monday, March 7 - 7:31pmSanction this postReply

Completing my master's in 2010, one of my professors was Pamela Graves, a good Marxist. (Women and Socialism here:http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=GruberWomen and Labour Women here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Labour-Women-British-Politics-1918-1939/dp/0521412471).  When I turned in my first paper, it was ungraded. All she wrote was "See me."  I made an appointment.  In her office, her first words were "You write well, Mr. Marotta, but history is a science."


History is a science, Steve.


Ayn Rand declared her greatest enemy not to be Karl Marx, but Immanuel Kant.  You might enjoy a re-reading of We the Living.  A reflection of that is this, "Defending Capitalism Against Ayn Rand" (http://libertyunbound.com/node/858).  


That the CommunWiki website keeps the anarchist cut-and-paste, speaks to what the Marxists identify as the (and I quote) "objective facts of history."


Ludwig von Mises once wrote that socialists and advocates of the free market agree on the facts, that at a certain time and place a given commodity had some price. What they disagree on is what the facts mean.


A true Marxist would, indeed, argue against all of the assertions attributed to Ayn Rand, but would agree 100% with the factual statement that the assertions were made.  "Rand held that the only moral social system is laissez-faire capitalism. Her political views were strongly individualist and hence anti-statist and anti-Communist."


You really do not undertand the Bolshevik context. Rand could stand out in her university class and denounce the Bolsheviks, but only because they allowed her in the classroom in the first place, which the Czarist social context could not.  She knew that.  To Ayn Rand, the Bolsheviks betrayed the Revolution. ... but you are not a revolutionary, are you?

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Tuesday, March 8 - 11:08amSanction this postReply



That Communist Wiki article is NOT a cut-paste from the Ayn Rand article on the anarchy site.  They aren't the same at all.  Didn't you bother to look?



Marotta says, "Ayn Rand declared her greatest enemy not to be Karl Marx, but Immanuel Kant."


His point, whatever it might be, is lost.  And, what is left is the mistaken impression that Ayn Rand was passionatly opposed to Immanuel Kant, but not to Karl Marx.  Does he really believe that Ayn Rand was okay with Marxism?  And isn't the context here political?


If he really believes that Marxists hold the same set of 'facts,' I have a bridge he might want to buy.  History, for the Marxist, is just fodder for propoganda.  They revise 'facts' to suit ideology. 


And perhaps he could tell us what a "good Marxist" is.  Is that one who respects individual rights?  No? Then what is his standard for "good" when applied to the political realm?



I'm an Objectivist, Marotta.  A radical for Capitalism.  As such, I would never find myself in the strange position of parsing that line between Czarist Russia and Communist Soviet Union as you did, as if that was where one went to sniff out the truth.  Or to find some small reason to view Communist Russia as superior to the Czarist world.  Why?



He likes to make sneaky little attacks on Ayn Rand.  Why?  He points us to that article in Liberty, which I warn others is NOT worth the time wasted picking out its flaws.  In that article the author's total mischaracterization Rand's fiction becomes his means of a false attack on Rand.  Why would Marotta point us to an article like this? 


First is the central theme of the article that Marotta holds up for us to read:


[Rand] thought that the heroes she created were exemplars of pure, uncorrupted capitalism. In fact, the heroes she created in Atlas Shrugged came from her sense of life, which was not only un-capitalist but anti-capitalist.



Next is the beginning of the intellectual con-game where the 'switch' is made.  Notice what is missing is the nature of fiction.  And the fact that it can not, and should not, be literal if it is to carry a theme.  Next, this flimsy argument, which could only be taken seriously by someone like Marotta who has always had some kind of strange need to attack Rand.


[Rand] thought that the sum of [Atlas Shrugged's heroes] economic activities and interactions provides a template of what laissez-faire capitalism would be like. She was wrong. When the heroes who embody her sense of life engage in economic activities, they function like Communist administrators, not capitalist businessmen.


Let's be clear.  The argument is that Hank Reardon, for example, functioned more like a Communist adminstrator than a Capitalist businessman.  That is the argument that has to be won for this article to make sense.


The heroes of Atlas Shrugged are heroic because, like Communist bureaucrats, they produce or maintain impressive products, not mean little ones. It would be unimaginable for a Rand hero to be a manufacturer of “penny ante” products, such as disposable baby diapers, menstrual tampons, or dependable contraceptives.


I imagine everyone reading that (except maybe for Marotta) grasps the two obvious errors.  The Communist bureaucrats did not produce.  They enslaved and confiscated.  Is that the source of wealth?   The kind of production that is admirable is that which flows from creative minds that are free and that represent the abilities and character of the producer.  That is the kind of production that Rand admired and symbolized with the characters she created.  The second error is one regarding art.  You don't chose a product like disposable baby diapers to represent the value of free minds to the survival of man for artistic reasons, not just economic reasons.  Just as one doesn't choose to dwell on a small mole on the cheek of a beautiful woman when painting her portrait in a way that one hopes will capture her beauty.  Someone who paints her in a way that focuses on the mole is someone who is anti-beauty and/or not a fan of that woman, just as this author's call for Rand to write about manufacturers of baby diapers is, in this case, anti-Rand.


...an author with Ayn Rand’s sense of life could not make the hero of his works a retailer, no matter how successful he might be...


Actually, she could.  She would choose to show a retailer who exemplified the character traits and epistemology that marks the heart of Capitalism in the area of free trade.  Because she didn't in Atlas Shrugged doesn't make the case that she couldn't.  Total nonsense.  In Atlas Shrugged she had a banker, a miner, a steel magnate, a rail road executive, a philosopher, an inventor, and if she had chosen to, she could have portrayed a national retailer.  The statement is just a bald assertion with no evidence.


Because the Soviets had the same sense of life as the author in this short story (i.e., the same as Rand), they were extremely proud of the enormous hydroelectric dams they built, and their retailing was horribly inefficient.


The author acts as if he has proven his point.  But, in a court of law, one would say, "Objection.  Facts not in evidence."  He has only demonstrated that he is more in love with his failed arguments... arguments that I'm sure relate in some tortuous fashion to his sense of life, not Rands.  The Soviets took their brutal, collectivist destruction of individual rights and attempted to hold up things like a hydroelectric dam as a justification.  Rand showed that the individual exercising their minds free from force, free of the collective yoke, produced real wealth.  The difference in sense of life is like the difference between a collection of cockroaches so great in number as to crush those beneath them, and the soaring, benevolent spirit of a free man.  Marotta, how do you not see that?

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