Tuesday, May 14, 2013
• • Extolling courage, resolve, steadfastness and sacrifice
Raouf Rasool, Kashmir Images
The Virtue of Selfishness |Egoism |
Ayn Rand, in her “Virtue of Selfishness” explains the term ‘sacrifice’ as the exchanging of that which is valued highly, for that which is valued less, or not at all. Obviously, the logic then says that during sacrifice one gives up something “less valued” in exchange of something “more valuable”. As is true in the Kashmir’s political context, this logic simply trivializes the value of human life and dignity. And in her philosophical thought, ‘Objectivism’, based on the principle that the “highest good is the pursuit of one's own rational self-interest”, Rand’s logic says that “rational self interest” will never ever allow anyone to devalue self-life, which according to her is “irrational”. She says acts that are irrationally and egotistically motivated and not considered sacrifice.
• • Libertarian America: A conversation with Sheldon Richman
Joseph S. Diedrich, Washington Times - Communities
[Q:] What do you think is the greatest hindrance to the libertarian cause? [A:] It’s not the state. It’s the movement’s ahistorical failure to identify the real adversary: corporatism. Randian baggage hurts too. I read [Ayn] Rand when I was first discovering libertarianism. I read the novels and the non-fiction essays. I’m not saying it’s all uniformly bad; I think we can learn from her. But I think there’s also some unfortunate stuff that’s too easily read in her, whether she intended it or not. I think a lot of her writing has lent itself to a [negative] interpretation.
• Wikipedia’s Sexism Toward Female Novelists
Amanda Filipacchi, New York Times
I [....] found other familiar names that had been switched from the “American Novelists” to the “American Women Novelists” category: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ayn Rand, Ann Beattie, Djuna Barnes, Emily Barton, Jennifer Belle, Aimee Bender, Amy Bloom, Judy Blume, Alice Adams, Louisa May Alcott, V. C. Andrews, Mary Higgins Clark — and, upsetting to me: myself. .
• • No easy way to slice through knotty problems
Don Wooten, Quad-Cities Online (Moline, IL)
How about this? Put everyone on Medicare. We know it works for seniors; why not just include everyone and be done with the confusing array of private health insurance programs? [....] I can hear the ghost of Ayn Rand shrieking "Socialism!" So what? Call it something else, like "Efficient Medicine," or "The People's Way," or "Fred." There's nothing wrong with a society taking control of its own health care and the means to manage and pay for it. It's delusional to think that private enterprise is, by definition, more cost-effective than government. Both have downsides, but the latter is in the hands of citizens, not profit-centers.
• • Taking tax online
Justin Short, New York Post
Even the name “Marketplace Fairness Act” sounds like it’s right out of an Ayn Rand novel, as does the White House’s claim that it will “level the playing field” (“NY’s E-Tax Stacks,” April 24).
Friday, May 10, 2013
• • The Future as Foretold from Silicon Valley: Byron Reese’s “Infinite Progess”
Jathan Sadowski, Los Angeles Review of Books
In order to understand how anything that looks like Poverty as we know it today can be eliminated [...] we need only open our eyes to the possibility of a post-scarcity planet where energy is too cheap to meter and too clean to worry about, and material goods are abundant. But, to get there, Reese first has to give us a quick lesson in Randian economics, which teaches that “poverty is an indictment of government, not a reflection of some underlying natural limit.”
• British character actors steal all the glory
AA Gill, Sunday Times (London)
The set of [The Review Show] is basic, an inward-looking elliptical semicircle of three pundits separated by a dirty glass table, with Kirsty Wark as invigilator and spare pundit. It comes from Glasgow, which will suit Wark, the Central Belt’s cultural Ayn Rand, but not any of the others, Paul Morley, Sarfraz Manzoor and Hadley Freeman, all of whom were so keen on the appearance fee and the sound of their own opinions, they flew up to the one city in Britain that would mercilessly mock them.
• • To vote or not to vote
Bob Baker, Nolan Chart
Atlas Shrugged |
When the state reaches its pinnacle and all is taken by the state and only that which the state deems necessary is returned to society, a breaking point will eventually be reached — the Atlas Shrugged moment if you will. I don’t see a John Galt movement occurring, but rather a general giving up and the severe drop in productivity that will follow leaving the state bankrupt of a power source.
• • Marxism Reloaded, A Film by Jason Barker: Review and Commentary by Thomas Riggins
Thomas Riggins, Political Affairs Magazine
Jacques Ranciere leaves us with the view that while Marx wanted a "classless society" what we really need is what he calls an "emancipatory society." This is one "in which each has an equal share." This has a vague utopian sound to it-- a throwback to pre-Marxist French socialist thinking. Marxist logic, he tells us, is to prepare for the future, but he believes "instead that the idea of emancipation is really tied to a sort of appearance in the here and now of those we call the 'have-nots' and of those who make their presence felt through their capacity to think, to intervene politically and to prove themselves capable of organizing economic production." Ayn Rand would like this-- the have-nots and their masters-- only for Ranciere they would be good masters. This is a latter day reincarnation of Plato's Republic.
• • Foxx, GOP budget both are shams
Cliff Moone, Independent Tribune (Concord, NC)
Paul Ryan |
The Ryan-Republican Budget is the Ayn Rand, reactionary wing of that party’s unrepentant, “you didn’t like it the first time, so we’ll shove it down your throats again” plan to provide more handouts to the rich and to corporations while gutting much needed investments in education, infrastructure, research and public safety (according to an article on 3/12/13 in the Washington Post).
• NORTH COAST PATHWAYS: What is a Freethinker?
Carole Beaton, Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
Let’s start with a definition: “Freethinker” is defined as “a person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independent of tradition, authority or established belief.” (Webster) [....] The list of famous Freethinkers could fill several pages of this newspaper, but here are a few: Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, John Lennon, Jodie Foster, Carl Sagan, Ayn Rand, Charles Shultz, Gloria Steinem, Steve Jobs, Alfred Einstein, Daniel Radcliff, Pat Tillman and countless others. Freethinkers strive to know what is true, and truth must conform to reality. As Clarence Darrow once noted, “I do not believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose.”
• • Capitalism is killing our morals, our future; Commentary: In a Market Society, everything is for sal
Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Capitalism is eliminating moral values, as Nobel economist Milton Friedman and capitalism’s philosopher Ayn Rand had been preaching to the generation. As [Harvard philosopher Michael] Sandel puts it: “Each party to a deal decides for him- or herself what value to place on the things being exchanged. This nonjudgmental stance toward values lies at the heart of market reasoning, and explains much of its appeal.” But unfortunately, market capitalism “has exacted a heavy price ... drained public discourse of moral and civic energy.”
Thursday, May 09, 2013
• • Why We Must Change The Narrative On Syria
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, Global Research
[I]t is important to change the accepted narrative about Syrian uprisings. Given the decades lone demonization of Iran, it may be more palatable to associate the fueling of unrest in Syria point to a ‘weaker’ Iran, but let there be no mistake – Syria today is in turmoil in order to promote Israel’s grand strategy – even as the perpetrator – Israel, plays the victim and warns of chemical weapons use by Assad’s regime, demanding intervention. “Evil requires the sanction of the victim.” Ayn Rand.
• Ever More Pointing, Talking
Anne Kadet, Wall Street Journal
Never mind history and architecture. These days, you can book a night-club crawl, a tour of Financial District food carts, a walk through Dyker Heights at Christmas and a hip-hop tour of the Bronx. Other themes include Jewish gangsters, food tours of Staten Island, shopping in the garment district and, for your inner Objectivist, Ayn Rand's New York.
• • How 'Star Trek Science' is changing sweeteners
Joysa Winter, New Hope 360
The sweetener industry is wavering on the edge of two starkly different realities. Will mainstream consumers buy into the ideology of ecological purists, who see the world of genetic manipulation as the embodiment of evil? Don’t you dare mess with the genome of plants, of Mother Nature, to increase corporate profits! Or, will consumers decide that at the end of the day, they don’t care about each minute step of how their food has gotten to their plate? As long as it is affordable, tasty and “nature-identical,” they are going to chow down.
At first glance, this might look like a simple debate between the Modern Day Hippies and the Ideological Offspring of Ayn Rand. But in fact, the lines cannot be drawn so simply.
• The Growing Pains of Jonathan Krohn
Susan Chumsky, New York Times
[Krohn’s] return in March to the Conservative Political Action Conference, the scene of his breakout speech at 13, was unnerving. During a loud but friendly hallway argument with Jamie Weinstein, of The Daily Caller — Mr. Krohn had found comments by the former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey to be “extremely racist” toward Muslims — 10 or so bloggers, mostly from Breitbart.com, circled him and began questioning him about his then-and-now politics. “Two people mocked his clothes,” wrote Chris Moody of Yahoo! News, “and one cursed at him. (Krohn cursed right back.)” Mr. Weinstein tried several times to get them to lay off. Toward the end of the confrontation, one woman suggested that he go get an education: “I would like to recommend ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ ” she said.