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Wednesday, January 25 - 6:58pmSanction this postReply
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I stopped following them shortly after they separated Ellen Johnson from their organization.  She was a good spokesman for the cause.  One of my favorite quips was "The invisible and the non-existent look a lot alike."  The current president, David Silverman, was parodied on Colbert for his goatee beard: The American Atheists would gain more followers if their president did not look like Satan."  See here:  

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xIjBON9sccs/Ux7_Ly7-e9I/AAAAAAAAIY0/4wI--wt6zsY/s1600/Tides-Devil.jpg

 

My current involvement is with the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers.  It was through them that I found out about Kayla Williams, an Iraq war veteran and Ayn Rand fan.  She wrote about her war experiences in Love My Rifle More than You.

http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2015/08/love-my-rifle-more-than-you.html

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 1/25, 6:58pm)



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Thursday, January 26 - 8:55amSanction this postReply
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Trump and Postmodernism

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 1/26, 8:55am)



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Monday, January 30 - 4:03amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the link, Luke. As interesting as it was, I have a different understanding of the anti-hero. I suggest The Thomas Crowne Affair from 1968. I contrasted that with the 1999 remake in an essay here on RoR http://rebirthofreason.com/Spirit/Movies/80.shtml.   There, I also pointed to Confessions of Felix Krull Confidence Man by Thomas Mann (Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull).  It is not that the anti-hero has bad values, but that he has none. 

 

I never watched The Sopranos.  (We tried the first episode and as much as I liked the ending, it was not compelling.) But I get the point from other stories in the genre such as Goodfellas and The Godfather. In the movie version of The Godfather, at Sonny's wedding, Michael's wife Kate is taken aback by the gangsters around her.  "My father is just a powerful man, like a governor or a senator," Michael says.  "Governors and senators don't have people killed!" she protests.  "You're naive, Kate," he replies.  But if the dons did not care, if they put their men into losing battles just for the fun of it, if they walked away from a deal with all the money on the table because money means nothing, they would anti-heroes. In fact, Michael Coreleon is a hero in the romantic sense. (As a side note, under Don Vito, the family never dealt in drugs. He found them immoral. Sonny took the family into drugs by disobeying his father and his own lack of judgment, his lack of values, got him killed.)

 

Donald Trump does have values. He is not only not an Objectivist in any sense of the word, his values apparently are not even objective. The article cited above does make an interesting point, though. When Donald Trump gave money to Democrat Party candidates, no one complained.  My point here is that Donald Trump contributed to the party that buttered his bread. If he tossed contributions to any party, willy-nilly, that would have been anti-heroic.

 

On the matter of post-modernism, Objectivish writers have been cogent and incisive in pointing out that the post-modernist are not "value free." They are solidly ethno-centric. I refer to Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen Hicks reviewed on RoR here http://rebirthofreason.com/Store/Explaining_Postmodernism.shtml .

I did not read this book.  But I did have a graduate class in postmodernist theory; and later, here in Austin, at the local Ayn Rand Meet-Up, one of the others at our table, who did read it, spoke well to the truth.  

 

In my class (criminology theory), they were going on and on about cultural relativism and all cultures being equal and all that.  So, I brought up the then-current investigation of insurance wholesalers by Eliot Spitzer, and the Bernie Madoff scandal.  "They just cheated other rich people. And it's the rules of their own game.  So why do you care? Don't they have a right to capitalist culture?"  Of course, no one had anything to say...  Postmodernists are not cultural relativists.  Postmodernism is an assault on reality, reason, and integrity in order to dominate anyone and everyone by the destruction of other people's values in order to impose their own rule.

 

De-construction (so-called) can be a valid intellectual tool -- if your goal is to understand how something is constructed. But "de-contruction" is an anti-concept. The concept is analysis.  Ayn Rand was excellent at "taking apart" the intellectual framework of modern politics, showing that collectivism rests on altruism which rests on mysticism. But her point was not to demonstrate that all ideas are meaningless mutterings taught by your local subjective culture. And it was not her goal to impose her own rule to fill the vacuum.

 

In fact, I have had a hard time getting people Galt's Gulch Online to understand why Ayn Rand valued the liberals of her time. She admired Adlai Stevenson, but disagreed completely with his politics. The liberals offered an intellectual approach to politics: they identified problems and offered solutions based on a theory of human action. She disagreed with all of the particulars.  But she vehemently opposed the "me-too" traditional conservatives who had no ideas except to keep whatever it was we seem to have inherited from the past.  The liberals and progressives of the previous century were wrong in many particulars, but were right in their approach. When the conservatives of Europe wanted to ban comic books, Eleanor Roosevelt spoke up for freedom of the press.

 

That is a conflict of values, on both sides. The postmodernist anti-hero has no values because those who preach postmodernism want to impose their own rule for no other reason except to rule. All of that was explained well in Ayn Rand's fiction and non-fiction.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 1/30, 5:58pm)



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