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Thread: Ayn Rand

  1. #31
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    It is interesting that with most writers, you can admire and appreciate them irrespective of their particular political, religious or social views. (You don't have to be Russian Orthodox to appreciate Dostoyevsky, or a Roman Catholic Tory to appreciate Evelyn Waugh.) But all the discussion here has been about la Rand's ideas and not about her novels.

    Which rather supports this Christian churchgoer ( a more accurate and less loaded description than "Christian" tout court) of left wing sympathies in his decision not to waste time reading her immensely long works.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  2. #32
    ancient atoms hypatia_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruggerlad View Post
    It is interesting that with most writers, you can admire and appreciate them irrespective of their particular political, religious or social views. (You don't have to be Russian Orthodox to appreciate Dostoyevsky, or a Roman Catholic Tory to appreciate Evelyn Waugh.) But all the discussion here has been about la Rand's ideas and not about her novels.

    Which rather supports this Christian churchgoer ( a more accurate and less loaded description than "Christian" tout court) of left wing sympathies in his decision not to waste time reading her immensely long works.
    You bring up two great points.

    1.) Her works are insanely long. I am proud of giving anything a chance, but even I had to skim a bit of John Galt's speech at the end of Atlas. Does she really need so many words to get her point across?

    2.) It is really interesting to me how her works can inspire someone, then you get into a discussion about her as an author and it's a completely different subject. I like to think that novels are more about what the readers get out of them than what the authors believe.
    Last edited by hypatia_; 05-29-2013 at 09:17 PM.
    “the sense of being which in calm hours arises, we know not how, in the soul, is not diverse from things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one with them and proceeds obviously from the same source.... Here is the fountain of action and of thought....

  3. #33
    ancient atoms hypatia_'s Avatar
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    It seems Ayn Rand contradicts herself. Here's a quote by her:

    "Both the industrialist and the artist have to place the quality of their product first. The financial reward is only the consequence."

    The first part is what I like about objectivism. You focus 100% on the quality of whatever you're doing.

    But this quote makes it seem like money doesn't really matter, and that's what I got from her writing. Not this money is the only thing that matters stuff.
    “the sense of being which in calm hours arises, we know not how, in the soul, is not diverse from things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one with them and proceeds obviously from the same source.... Here is the fountain of action and of thought....

  4. #34
    The caffeinated newbie SFG75's Avatar
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    I would contend that while a person may disagree with her philosophy, she is not a lightweight. An earlier comparison equated her to the likes of Glenn Beck. Mr Beck does not have a coherent philosophy of his own other than crude, backyard libertarianism mixed with conservatism. I do not contend that her views are accurate or what I necessarily believe. I do contend that her philosophy is a valid one and the sales of her books point that out. Those of us on the "left" must give credit where it is due, and not write people off simply because we find a given philosophy repugnant.

  5. #35
    Registered User Darcy88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFG75 View Post
    I would contend that while a person may disagree with her philosophy, she is not a lightweight. An earlier comparison equated her to the likes of Glenn Beck. Mr Beck does not have a coherent philosophy of his own other than crude, backyard libertarianism mixed with conservatism. I do not contend that her views are accurate or what I necessarily believe. I do contend that her philosophy is a valid one and the sales of her books point that out. Those of us on the "left" must give credit where it is due, and not write people off simply because we find a given philosophy repugnant.
    I read a book of hers called the Virtue of Selfishness. In it she put forth her understanding of some of Nietzsche's basic ideas. Her analysis of him was puerile, laughably so. To me she is a "lightweight." It has nothing to do with how utterly opposed to her philosophy I am. Hayek and others propose ideas I find distasteful and wrong but I will still acknowledge the force of their intellect. I can't do it with Rand. I simply see little of substance or sophistication in her writing.
    “To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”

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  6. #36
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    Darcy88- I find you quite passionate in your distaste for her. And that is admirable. Many people(Most would you say?) dislike Ayn Rand. And I respect the opinions given.
    hypatia_ - I agree with most of your points and arguments. They are interesting points to make, and some that I haven't thought of either.

    To expand, Ayn Rand did come from communist Russia, and that's going to have an impact on the way someone views society. Of course she's going to see the good in capitalism, and discourage any form of socialism that she sees in government, including blowing it out of proportion to make her point. Her philosophy, objectivism, displays the pure form of capitalism. Less government, self sufficiency, and achievement of self success.
    I found the mention of money interesting, because to me, money was a symbol for success used by Rand. We don't give out "brownie points" for being successful, or "gold stars". People who are successful get money. Is it fair that we are taught to succeed, but to hate money? There is a difference in greed, and success. Rand's protagonists display success, and the government displays greed to profit from that success. To destroy that success.
    No, her thoughts aren't going to be entirely original. What truly is "original" these days?
    Also, here is an example of a Christian who enjoys Rand and her works. Ironic? Yes. But, I can disagree with her philosophy towards religion. Although, I fail to see how this is such a paradox. I'm not going to get into a religion debate, but objectivism does run aline with some Christian views. Christianity teaches to work hard, and success will come to them. It also teaches that we should never not be working. There is a fundamental idea of Ayn Rand's work. That we should pursue work. Howard Roark, even when he could not be an architect, still went to the quarry. John Galt, although capable of living in his own ideal society hidden in the mountains with his ingenious engine to save the world, still went to work for Dagny Taggart in a blue collar job. Another misleading view is that one could say that Christians must do everything to help others. This is misleading because Christians are taught to help themselves first. It's sort of like the airplane safety regulations: In the case of cabin pressure changes- to first put on your own mask, then help others around you. That's the Christian view. Help yourself, know yourself, achieve self success, then you can move on to helping others. I doubt Ayn Rand would declare you "evil" for helping someone. She would if you didn't help yourself first though. Which comes back to the essence of socialism vs capitalism. I found that to be her main point in the novels. And achieving self-sufficiency and independence, and discouraging strong government.
    I will also say, that it's going to be interpreted negatively if you view it in a negative light. I came into her novels not knowing a thing about who she was. And came out enjoying her views, and disagreeing with some as well, as one will do with any author. If I went in with negative feelings towards her, I would end up shredding her apart, and probably burning books(No.. No... The only book I'll ever burn is Fifty Shades...). I respect everyones views though, and only wanted to offer my own. I view her as an author with a history that made her write these dramatic books. And I enjoyed, and managed to learn some things along the way as well.
    Also, all of these views are my own, including those of how I interpret Christianity.
    Faith... Hope... Love... But the greatest of these is Love.

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