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Question on Ayn Rand...

What are your thoughts on Ayn Rand's theory of objectivism?

Hages 7 Aug 27
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I enjoyed The Fountainhead when I first read it, way back when. I think, for people who are doormats or give too much of themselves (I'm thinking of one specific Ayn Rand enthusiast I know) her "virtue of selfishness" can seem liberating, but her ideas about the economy and second-handers and all that (as I understand it) are seriously flawed. I think LenHazell's analysis is correct, she tried to do the right thing but was damaged by her circumstances, and I think Marionville's diagnosis of NPD is right too.

I never read Atlas Shrugged but Adam Lee of "Daylight Atheism" did an entertaining chapter-by-chapter review of it. [patheos.com]

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Objectivism is a philosophical system developed by Russian-American writer Ayn Rand. ... Rand described Objectivism as "the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute".

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Self centered

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I think she was basically a hedonist and pursued a classic “me first” agenda. Donald Trump is immediately jumping into my mind...and also something that Margaret Thatcher once said that could have come straight out of Rand’s mouth...”There is no such thing as society, there are only individual men and women, and there are families”. I think she may have had some type of personality disorder, but that is purely speculation on my part. She definitely displayed selfishness and a lack of empathy, sometimes indicators of a narcissist personality disorder.

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Rand was a realist in denial, vainly trying to combine pragmatism, hedonism and idealism in to a system that explained her own own life experience but hampered by being a product of her times and prejudices..
As a philosopher she was a great speculative novelist.
Her major achievement was Ellsworth Toohey one of the greatest literary villains of all time.

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It is a caricature of philosophy that only Americans take seriously.
And it quickly degenerated into a bona fide cult.

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I'm with Barjoe. I thought her ideas to be incredibly selfish and ignorant of community. Capitalism at its most corrupt.

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Mixed feelings of Ayn Rand. I read some of her Objectivist essays years ago and didn't think there was much there.

That being said, I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged.

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John Hodgman as Ayn Rand...

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Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. She stresses the pursuit of happiness. Objectivism as opposed to collectivism. I don't agree in as much as pursuit of happiness for others is a form of collectivism. She feels the most important thing in life is to provide for oneself. Every man for himself. I don't think that's always good for society. She feels like 'too bad for society'. Apathy in the form of a lack of empathy. I didn't feel good about her conclusions reading Atlas Shrugged. She felt collectivism is instant communism. I prefer the term community. I don't think she was a good person.

I feel she was endeavouring to be a good person but was fundamentally damaged by her life.

@LenHazell53 She had no empathy for others. Why should others have empathy for her?

@barjoe
Ever considered the idea that she displayed the classic traits of asperger's syndrome?
If this or something similar were true she would exist in a time incapable of diagnosing her and her writings were her only form of therapy.
This is what I meant by damaged.

@LenHazell53 I've read that theory before. I don't think so. I think autism is overdiagnosed. Some people are just socially awkward, nerdy, shy. It doesn't always mean they're on the spectrum. I think Ayn Rand was a classic NT neurotic.

@barjoe good points

@LenHazell53 The theory of Ayn Rand and autism is based on people with Aspergers not understanding concept of Empathy. She understood empathy she didn't have empathy. She preached not caring for others. She was mean and selfish.

@LenHazell53 having been diagnosed as on the spectrum, and having friends who are as well, I can say we do feel empathy, loads of it. But some people with autism have trouble parsing tone or reading body language or facial expressions—once they understand the sentiment, they can empathize! I think she showed more of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder than anything. I think you're spot-on when you say she was damaged.

@altschmerz
Thank you and I empathise, my grandson has been diagnosed with aspergers, we have spent hours together helping him to understand facial and vocal clues, making games out of learning to recognise other people's feelings.
As a consequence he has developed an interest in acting and is considering a career in performing arts but is sill young enough to be balancing that against being a bus driver. 😉

@LenHazell53 some light reading for ya: [neuroclastic.com]

@LenHazell53 regarding acting and bus driving: why not do both! 😁

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