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Tuesday, April 11 - 12:35pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Paul.  Really good article (despite the very snarky attitude and the last sentence or two)



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Saturday, April 15 - 2:23amSanction this postReply
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So their national government has required cirriculum for colleges there? Seems a bit odd to see Rand and Nozick grouped with Hobbes instead of being grouped with Locke, but if they are reading the original texts, I suppose it will come out in the wash.



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Monday, April 17 - 3:33amSanction this postReply
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I agree that Ayn Rand belongs with the liberals, not the conservatives, but I was also surprised to see Anthony Giddens in with the socialists. 

 

The article was OK as far as it went for at least admitting the existence and influence of Rand's ideas. 

 

As for the national curriculum, most of the national governments in the world have national curricula for their national schools.  In Finland, just for example, private schools are not allowed except by government permission and they must follow the government curriculum. Finland is more explicit, but not exceptional in the intent.  It is one reason why it is bad thinking to wring our hands over "American" education being "behind" most of the other industrialized nations.  Whether Japan or Slovakia, they are small, ethnically unified, culturally conforming - and education is limited to those who pass certain tests - and it ends with childhood more or less.  In America, we actually have about 100,000 independent school systems, public and private. And by law the public schools take everyone for 12 years.  And professionals return to school in the middle of their careers for advanced degrees. 

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/17, 3:34am)



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Wednesday, April 19 - 3:17amSanction this postReply
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If I may continue ...  The world's university graduates come here for post-graduate education. Our universities compete with each other. We have no national system.  Even Ohio State and the University of Ohio compete against Michigan State and the University of Michigan: publicly funded schools in competition.

 

One of my colleagues is getting one of her kids into college right now and I overheard her talking with someone else about her push for a smal religious school versus a big state university.  She is not religious, especially, but it was the fact that the professors at the college are not researchers: the person whose name is in the schedule is the person who actually teaches the class. That was why my wife and I chose Eastern Michigan when we could have gone to the U of M: EMU had no strong program of teaching assistants; grad students were clericals; teaching was the job of the professors.

 

Of course, for those master's and doctorate candidates from abroad, it is the research that brings them here.  Those other nations just do not have that. Their national systems do not encourage innovative thinking.  

 

But even at the K-12 level, America's non-system is attractive.  When I worked for Kawasaki one of my Japanese colleagues was sorry to be sent home because he wanted his children to be in American schools.  He said, "I can name all of the Japanese who have won Nobel prizes."  

 

The funny thing is that you cannot teach innovation or creativity.  Back in the 1990s, some business schools tried bringing in entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to teach their secrets. It fizzled.  The fact is that there is no formula for success.  The Austrian ecoomists argue what entrepreneurship "is" but they have to argue it because it is ineffable.  



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Tuesday, April 25 - 7:59amSanction this postReply
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"The Guardian," a leftists newspaper, published this? Are they changing their attitude, or did they publish it to lead - in a deceitful way - their readers to Monbiot and Bekiempis opposition to Rand? Viewed in this way, it makes more sense, for the artfully sly way is closer to their leftwing character.



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Wednesday, April 26 - 3:42amSanction this postReply
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Manfred's comments underscore the fact that to many admirers of the works of Ayn Rand, as to many conservatives in general, every silver lining has a cloud. It may be a statistical fact that conservatives are pessimists. The question is often debated and both sides cite polling data. Among the very many citations:

 

Heritage Foundation from 1986 (archive was scanned; many small errors throughout)

http://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/conservatism-optimistic-or-pessimistic

 

Alternately, however, these conservatives in this moment see themselves as optimists.

http://thecollegeconservative.com/2017/02/13/liberals-the-anti-optimists/



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Tuesday, May 16 - 12:54pmSanction this postReply
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Apparently somebody has written an entire book on the topic. National Review was not impressed.



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Friday, May 19 - 4:06amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the link, Peter.  Discussing a review of a book rather than the book itself opens an even more distant narrative. Overall, and in line with the actual topic here, being "influenced by Ayn Rand" can be like being influenced by Thoreau's Walden. You do not have to live in the woods, study ants, and protest taxes to consider the advantages of simplifying your life, appreciating Nature, or - well, why not? - protesting taxes and the unjust wars they support. In fact, just living in the woods is a theme that many "Rand fans" find appealing. Over on the Galt's Gulch Online forum, someone who kills deer for a living is held in high esteem just for that: the virtue of the rugged life. Over on MSK's Objectivist Living, it is also an easy assumption that urban life is squalor, suburbs are utopia, and farming is heaven.  So, are the virtuously selfish acolytes of Ayn Rand or of Henry David Thoreau?

 

I think that the answer is that to whatever extent possible, each person makes the best use of whatever they inherit; and that "best use" depends on their personal values.  I accept those values as intractable, perhaps even ineffable.  In other words, you cannot get into someone else's head - not easily, anyway - and as if they were an automobile engine or a computer program, deconstruct and reconstruct them to explain everything that makes them who they are.  

 

That being as it may, Eric Schmidt's public statements put him 180 degrees opposite T. J. Rodgers.  Both may have been "influenced by Ayn Rand" but Rodgers seems to have taken her to heart, arguing against the impracticality of altruism and the injustice of taxation by regulation, whereas Schmidt is aligned with his father's enterprise, government control of other people. 

 

We passed through the 1980s rather quickly, but the decade was labeled "The Me Generation" for the maturation of the "post-war baby boom." Hippies became yuppies. Silicon Valley in particular became a paradigm for deep cultural shifts.  William Shockley found Bell Labs too restrictive for his genius.  But his own vice presidents, the "Fairchildren," launched a new growth of enteprises that in turn spawned yet another each in the time frame of a "Moore generation."  Ultimately, America passed from being a nation of farmers to being a nation of factory employees to being a nation of entrepreneurs. 

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 5/19, 4:09am)



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