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Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 8:35pmSanction this postReply
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from
http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2002-09-23-ayn-rand_x.htm

"We are the producers of society," says Will Koch, CEO of a development company that owns the Holiday World & Splashin' Safari theme park in Santa Claus, Ind. "We take resources that would be idle and put people to work."

"Business is an available scapegoat," says Frank Bond, founder of Holiday Health Spas, now Bally's, and a developer and manager of real estate, an industry that he says is overtaxed and "regulated to death."

If you want to attack a group of people and still be politically correct, executives are about your last available target, says Bond, who has read the book twice.

"They're going after all CEOs, capitalism itself," says John Aglialoro, CEO of Cybex International, which makes exercise equipment.

Aglialoro paid $1 million for the movie rights to Atlas Shrugged and hopes to seize on renewed interest to raise money over the next year to get the movie independently produced.


Post 1

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 9:16pmSanction this postReply
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Terrific article. This is the type of press needed to attract more people to Objectivism. They may be just curious at first but weren't we all?

Thanks for the link.

Sam


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Post 2

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 9:31pmSanction this postReply
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FYI, Frank Bond is chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Objectivist Center, and John Aglialoro is also a trustee. In addition, Aglialoro owns the film rights to Atlas Shrugged, and is co-executive producer.


Post 3

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 5:04amSanction this postReply
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Thank You Michael for posting this.

For those, already steeped in Objectivist thinking, the most significant idea in this article, needing  to be discussed, is Nicholas Boillot's claim, that in socialism and capitalism  "the greedy and the lazy will ruin the system for the rest".

This is the first idea that came to my mind, when I first read about Objectivism.  That's when I realized that the most important task for teachers, is to teach children to be responsible and productive.

Rebirth of Reason's war should be directed against the greedy and the lazy.  Governing that restricts freedom is merely a system to serve those who feel entitled to more than they have earned.

Promoting Objectivism must be balanced with  War on Greed and Sloth.  Those are enemies that all Objectivists should rally themselves against.  Fighting amongst themselves prevents Objectivists from keeping their eyes on the prize.     


It all seems to come back to kindergarten.
Why did Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall?
Sharon


Post 4

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 5:26amSanction this postReply
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Sam,

I  agree with you, entirely, on Post # 1.  Can you agree with me on Post # 3 ?      :)

Sharon

Post 5

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 6:51amSanction this postReply
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Sharon:

No. I am a strong proponent of greed. In an Objectivist society the slothful would perish without any war against them.

"Greed" (i.e. self-interest) is the "invisible hand" of Adam Smith that manifests bounty to all those who participate in capitalism.

Sam

.


Post 6

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 6:55amSanction this postReply
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...and he conveniently ignores the point that no one expects crime to disappear.  Rand never said that it would be utopia with no need for courts or police or even the armed forces (only tha anarcho-capitalists think that).  Of course some people will cheat and steal.  That is what the jails are for.  In fact, fewer will get away with it because we won't waste our time on non-crimes like smoking pot.

Post 7

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 7:30amSanction this postReply
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Well Sam,

We disagree again.  I do not equate greed with self interest.  Greed is the predisposition to taking more than one has has earned.  In a phrase, opportunistic stealing. 

Is this is another  greyless black and white issue for you?  


Last night at dinner, someone counselled a young child on the social courtesy of leaving the last wafer-thin-mint on the plate; or, at the very least, of asking first, if anyone else would like it. 

What is the Objectivist dividing line between self-interest and greed?                                

Sharon  


Post 8

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 7:42amSanction this postReply
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Kurt,

I agree, only to the extent; that it's more efficient in the long term, and thus more productive, to be pro-active, and to promote what is desired and required; than to wait to pounce and punish those who have already trespassed against you.


Sharon

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Post 9

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 8:16amSanction this postReply
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Sharon:

I find that the purpose of your postings is to dissent with Objectivism without appearing to. I won't enable you further.

Sam 


Post 10

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 8:48amSanction this postReply
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Au Contraire Paul,

I dissent not with Objectivism, but with those who interpret it narrowly.  Ayn Rand had no children to poke their fingers into her philosophy;  I had that luxury, and do still.

I read that Einstein claimed that a scientist should be able to explain her theories to her grandfather.  I say that a philosopher should be able to convince his grandchildren to follow his philosophy.

Thanks for helping me to clarify my thinking.

I can hear my mother's lament,  "Sharon! Can't you agree with anyone?" 

Can't anyone agree with me  *?*
I guess it's au revoir Paul.  I, too, don't want you to be seen talking to the wrong sort of people.   :)

Sharon
 

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Post 11

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 9:25amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the post, Michael!

Sharon and Sam,
The definition of greed in my American Heritage Dictionary is:
A rapacious desire for more than one needs or deserves, as of food, wealth, or power; avarice.

For definitions of rapacious, I find:
1. Taking by force; plundering. 2. Greedy; avaricious; ravenous. 3. Subsisting on live prey.

The conventional meaning of greed is decidedly negative. Sharon's definition seems to be one of the common meanings of the term in use.

I always loved Rand's phrase "radiant greed" in connection with the psyche of her fictional character Dagny Taggart. That fine phrase is posed in the context of Dagny's ravenous sexual desire. I'm definitely for that. It is really a lot of fun to see how Rand sells the reader on a new concept of greed. In talking to people in general, however, one must remember that Rand's meaning is a special one and not what is generally meant by the term.

In my own experience, the most common way that I have heard people use the word greed is in condemning people (usually relatives) who are striving to receive a gift or inheritance. That goes to the element of the unearned in the concept (but unfortunately, it also goes to the element of sheer quantity).

Stephen
(Edited by Stephen Boydstun on 5/01, 12:52pm)


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Post 12

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 5:23pmSanction this postReply
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Uh Sharon. Speaking from experience children will fall for any bullshit you feed them. Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. Religion. Kid's arent the most experienced people in the world to be discussing philosophy with. They honestly don't understand enough about the world to do so.

Hell if you miss out on teaching them just a few key points it will manage to warp their view of the world for years to come. 

A good example is something I picked up from Suze Orman and compared to my life. 

from the time I was about 3 or 4 until I was 13 I made a $3 a week allowance. As a lesson about "saving" I was supposed to put one of those three dollars in a bank account.  At the time I didn't really understand the concept of saving or bank accounts... All I knew is that I was loosing one third of my money each week.  All this did was make me resent the concept of saving. 

I can contrast that to later experiences where, in cases which I took on extra work I recieved extra pay on my allowance (one case I got $40 for two days work helping roof the house). This was in addition to my regular allowance.  After a couple of months I had a healthy collection of money SAVED. This time around I actually understood what saving meant. I'd wanted a Nintendo entertainment system for a while and I couldn't talk my parents into buying it for me.  After a few months of foregoing the occaisional piece of candy or small toy I had enough to buy the video game system on my own. It was a great experience to me and I'd learned the lesson. But the key thing is that first time around they didn't teach me correctly and I didn't get the lesson.

At that point what would I have told them about saving?

Children don't understand the world from an early age, it is the parents responsibility to give them perspective to do so... not the other way around.

---Landon


Post 13

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 - 8:22amSanction this postReply
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Landon,
I agree with you, but I think Sharon means that the presence of children (or perhaps the responsibility for them) would have made Rand reconsider her philosophy.  But, if that is what she means, she's still wrong.
Thanks,
Glenn


Post 14

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 - 2:16pmSanction this postReply
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I think you're right Glenn.  She'd been building the idea of Objectivism since she was a child very few deeply philosophical adults truly affected her (Nietzche, Aristotle and Kant seem to be the only big ones who affected her one way or the other). 

But more accurately I think having children (if it had been a priority for her) wouldn't have changed her ideas in the manner Sharon suggests.  She (Rand) seems like she would've taken the proposition seriously if she had undertaken it, and thus chose not to. I can relate... I'm years off schedule with my career goals and neither Amy nor I could forgive ourselves if the children developed her illness.  But taking it seriously is not the same thing as taking it sacrifically or altruisticly.

---Landon


Post 15

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 - 11:42pmSanction this postReply
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On a related note, in Ayn Rand Answers (p 3), she says that parents don't have the right to neglect their children. Apparently, parenting is a larger responsibility than perhaps a third (or more) of the parents recognize (presuming 1 in 3 children are, at some point or time, neglected by their parents).

Thinking in thirds today.

Ed


Post 16

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 4:27amSanction this postReply
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Glenn, Landon and Ed,   (3/4 of the men talking to me today)

Let me guide your thinking for a moment. 

I have some small idea of Ed's extensive experiences with children and young adults; and either he is afraid of getting in with the wrong crowd; or he's playing a very cagey strategic game, or, (there could be a grey area here) it's something else.  :)

Landon and Glenn, I have to tell you gently, that I think you have no clue.  Now you know how I feel, when all you memorizers of Ayn Rand's Chronicles, claim to know what I understand, or not, about Objectivism.  One good thing about such accusations is; I've learned how to spell hominem.  I'm not being insulting here, I believe that you have not studied child development.  This puts one, as well as two, at a disadvantage. 

Since Ed  (who has some book learning and some first hand knowledge as a trained observer of children) is here eavesdropping, and he loves games, let me suggest a little exercise.  Instead of speaking to you and Landon, Glenn; could I speak to the two of you through Ed?  I'll argue my points with him, and he'll be able to interpret his knowledge of child development and Objectivism to you and me, as the shoes fit. Feel free to chime in, but in the beginning at least, I'll be directing my remarks to Ed.        In the olden days, we used to call this vicarious learning.  Nowadays it's called visiting a medium.  lol

I'll assume that was a yes, and I have made an ass out of you and me.   No matter, I'll press on.

Sharon

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Post 17

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 5:25amSanction this postReply
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Hi Ed,

It's not so funny, that you bring up one of the few statements that Ayn Rand made about children.  All the ones I could find ( The Romantic Manifesto) seemed remembrances of times past. I could find no evidence that she studied children in any serious way.  Is there any?

My remark that has opened this can of worms, reflected an idea of mine, that had Ayn Rand been a mother and a grandmother, she would have realized (as  I did many years ago) that the future of Objectivism lies with children.  I think that I have mentioned over the months, that Objectivists would be advised to work with primary grade teachers in order to hasten the spread of Objectivism.  I discovered this notion after I read Ayn Rand's words in the Playboy magazine.
                                   "When I came here from Soviet Russia...I wanted to secure a society in which I would be free to pursue my own concerns and goals, knowing that the government would not interfere to wreck them, knowing that my life, my work, my future were not at the mercy of the state or of a dictator's whim. This is my attitude today. Only today, I know that such a society is an ideal not yet achieved, that I cannot expect others to achieve it for me, and that I, like every other responsible citizen, must do everything possible to achieve it."

 Because I was a teacher, I knew that children are born "free", lose their freedom to adult autocracy, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to get their freedom back. Later, as I studied child development, I learned how to stop preventing children from thinking. I learned how to stop preventing them from becoming responsible and productive. I learned how to create a free society.

If Ayn Rand had spent serious time with children, she would have noticed this too.  She would have focused attention on this in her later years.  She would have seen the seeds of her philosophy germinating in her grandchildren. She would have written on how to nurture Objectivism in the developing child. 

 She would have come to realize, as I have, that freed children will give you the best treatment in your old age.  She also missed out on the experiences of her own grandparents; so the problems of the aged never crossed her mind. Ayn Rand wrote all about egoism, but she never wrote about egocentrism.

This is the flaw she and everyone else has missed.            And  from that young bastion of wisdom, Jenna Wong's friend;     "When you have no peer review, it's over".

I'm not saying that Objectivism is over.  I'm saying get your kites attached to some children, and watch Objectivism flourish.  Get some peer review from the real experts on freedom.  It's the Simplest Thing in the World.  If you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. 


If you understand what I'm talking about Ed, please interpret it for Glenn and Landon.  They and others have some skewed ideas about young children and schoolmarms.

Thanks for listening.  I think I said it better this time.  Must have been the audience.
Sharon 

Post 18

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 6:21amSanction this postReply
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Sharon said:
Landon and Glenn, I have to tell you gently, that I think you have no clue.
For once we agree.  I don't have a clue what you're talking about.  And I've decided that I don't care.
Now you know how I feel, when all you memorizers of Ayn Rand's Chronicles, claim to know what I understand, or not, about Objectivism.
I don't expect expect you to memorize Rand's writings on Objectivism, just to understand them.
I'm not being insulting here, I believe that you have not studied child development.
Actually, you are being insulting here.  The fact that you don't realize it just indicates that it comes naturally.
Sam was right.  You should not be encouraged.  And with that I say: have a nice life.
Glenn


Post 19

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 7:14amSanction this postReply
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Well Ed,

I'm down to three men still listening. You can go back to thinking in thirds.  :)  

Sharon

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