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Ayn Rand Inspired Satire

It's not doing you any favors.
  (+8, -6)
(+8, -6)
  [vote for,

When illusion is taken as truth and truth as profanity some of the best satire can be produced.

Ayn Rand takes the cake with her ultimate satirical works on Objectivism which she obviously felt dutiful to produce in the interests of others.

Some may think it profane to call the works of Ayn Rand satire, but I'm not doing it for her or for them.

Other utterly immense texts of satire diluted with prolix verbiage, that will confound new generations of readers can be easily produced.

Subjectivism: An espoused system of thought advocating individuals to rely on their own subjective authority at all times. The work will outline the exact way this is to be thought about.

Essentialism: This system of thought posits that there are certain human essences and through using a deductive method of reasoning excludes all those outside of those definitive delineations. Readers will share these essences or else adopt them for inclusiveness.

Determinism: This cunning work proves that individuals have little to no control over their thoughts and actions and outlines what types of thoughts and actions are possible for the work's cult following.

Each text should fill volumes, or form a thick dense brick of parchment paper printed with almost illegible fine type.

rcarty, Dec 28 2010

Libertards Grenadees
Yes, libertarians have claimed that to me, numerous times. There's even a Lew Rockwell article about it. [EdwinBakery, Dec 30 2010]

Why I am not a Libertarian http://www.airs.com...an/libertarian.html
Read up. [RayfordSteele, Jan 02 2011]

Top 10 Greatest Movie Satires http://www.alternat...review.php?id=00126
A datapoint to determine if satire is liberal or conservative. [AntiQuark, Jan 03 2011]

(?) Why I am not a Librarian http://www.bcieurob...rary-Bookstacks.jpg
Pick up. [rcarty, Jan 03 2011]

United States v. Microsoft http://en.wikipedia...States_v._Microsoft
"The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft abused monopoly power " [AntiQuark, Jan 06 2011]

Who should pay for roads? http://forum.object...php?showtopic=12805
Objectivism gives no answers, just lots of handwaving. [AntiQuark, Jan 06 2011]

Libertarians http://encyclopedia....com/Libertarianism
This article rings especially true. Especially the parts about aspberger's. [EdwinBakery, Jan 07 2011]

Ayn Rand, secret parasite http://dev.null.org...yn_rand_secret_para
Rand secretly claimed welfare payments under a false name [AntiQuark, Feb 01 2011]

Why I am still not a libertarian http://world.std.co...gainst-liberty.html
This was the article I was looking for... [RayfordSteele, Feb 02 2011]

Atlas Shrugged Movie Clip http://www.youtube....watch?v=5PK5Sq3bIHY
Henry Rearden Comes Home. From the upcoming movie. [AntiQuark, Mar 01 2011]

Bio Shock http://bioshock.wik...Cultural_References
[theircompetitor, Feb 02 2014]

Fallen Library Bookstacks http://sandiegolawl...rary-Bookstacks.jpg
why rcarty is not a librarian [JesusHChrist, Feb 07 2014]


       I'd have to explain Ayn Rand but I don't really want to help spread it around.   

       I don't mind Ayn Rand at all, except it's implosiveness as satirical self-contradictory work. The medium defies the message.
rcarty, Dec 28 2010

       I think the movie version might need subtitles telling me when I was supposed to laugh.   

       Big fan of the Randster myself but not sure I'd cancel a date with Mila Kunis to see the book reading, play, movie or trained monkey version of this.
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2010

       Try everything you can to get that trained monkey alone.
rcarty, Dec 28 2010

       But seriously, not that what I said before was particularly funny to anybody but me, I'd love to see a little more entertainment come from the Libertarian, "Fountainhead/Howard Roark" ethos and a little less from the socialist/humanist/gbtgzrcqptf community perspective which has been done to death. I mean, yea, I get it already. I got it the first million times I had the message stuffed into my head with a jackhammer. A little diversity from the entertainment business would be refreshing.
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2010

       It's all nonsense as far as I can tell because those communities are producing and reproducing culture they don't fully understand due to the rate at which time destroys knowledge.   

       I had the pleasure of another anti-homophobia discussion, and I took the antihomophobia (concept) side versus the antihomophobia (materiality) side. My argument was that prior to homosexuality being considered legitimate sexual orientation, homophobia (also a psychiatric term) did not mean fear of homosexuals, but of the same. It was used against gays who feared the patriarchal medical establishment (doctors, gourds) who were 'helping' them. So that was a pretty decent discussion as far as pomo stupidity goes.
rcarty, Dec 28 2010

       You aren't planning to turn back time by putting a hamster in a microwave oven or something are you carty?
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2010

       While reducing a hamster down to some sort of primordial ooze may be instructive about some aspects of history, the exercise itself demonstrates how difficult it is to regain knowledge that has been lost, but somehow built into living structures over time.
rcarty, Dec 28 2010

       I prayed I'd never have to say this again: Put the hamster down, just put it down and we'll talk.   

       Aaaaaaand cue dramatic music, cut to commercial. We'll be right back with "Doctorremulac3, hamster detective" after these messages.
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2010

       I suspect that satire has a liberal bias. Thus you might have a difficult time re-satirizing Rand's works. Also, I doubt the average Randroid would appreciate the joke.
AntiQuark, Dec 29 2010

       We prefer the term "Randinators", but I'd have to hear the joke before appreciating it. Are we talking about Ayn running around being chased by a monkey with a rubber baton like in Benny Hill? Reciting hilarious lists of isms? Where does this go?
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       Perhaps Rand already _is_ satire...
RayfordSteele, Dec 29 2010

       I wish i'd looked at this before. It is i n s p i r e d !   

       // Perhaps Rand already _is_ satire... //   

       It took me a long time to realise Machiavelli was, so you may be right.
nineteenthly, Dec 29 2010

       What would she be satirizing? That is, what foolish ideas or views is she holding up to ridicule by posing as a protagonist of those concepts in an absurd or sarcastic manner?   

       Or does she not know that she's created satire because she's goofy?
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       Now you've made me wonder if satire has to be intentional.   

       She would be satirising the rationalisations governments, individuals and organisations perform in order to promote or justify their policies to themselves.
nineteenthly, Dec 29 2010

       My take was she was throwing out contrasting approaches to getting things done, individualism vs the group or state and showing how they interact but it's pretty obvious what side she was on.   

       I'm a big fan of real world philosophers, that is, those who don't start out their plan for humanity with: "First, everybody changes into..."   

       I think a society that allows the individual to take the lead (vs a group) regularly proves itself to be more successful in case after case. I live in an area and community here in California that creates a very large percentage of all the high tech companies in the world. Yea, I know, bold statement but Palo Alto is the home to Hewlett Packard, Varian, Xerox research park that invented the modern gui (computer interface). The transistor is from here. Silicon Valley is the birthplace of EBAY, Facebook, Intel, Apple, Youtube, Yahoo, etc etc etc. A friend of mine made a documentary that I believe was shown on the BBC and in America about why. Leland Stanford was a railroad tycoon that had wanted to donate some money to Harvard but found them to be full of shit, so he founded Stanford University as a place of learning that would supply the world not with arrogant elitists mincing around in togas, but with real measurable progress in science and industry. His idea was to have the surrounding area be an incubation zone for the development of cutting edge ideas from his university.   

       So it was this free market ethic of a guy who built railroads vs the back east elitist mentality that made an area ripe for innovation. What do we get from Harvard? Scams, government bailouts, carbon credits, stimulus packages etc. All stuff that benefits the few connected elites at the top. From Silicon Valley we've gotten a pretty big portion of the modern high tech world that more or less makes life better for everybody.   

       And behind all these companies it was primarily individuals who were free to profit from their ideas who drove the innovation. Apple = Steve Jobs, not a government panel set up to explore the possibilities of the personal computer. They would have still been working on it, probably retired on fat pensions by now.   

       And by the way, we get a lot of people who move here from England to make their fortunes in the high tech world and they're very welcome here.
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       Here's an idea for a satire: John Galt is actually a warlord in Somalia, who reached the top through his unwavering belief in objectivism and the power of individual gumption and ingenuity.   

       Alas, I doubt the average Randroid would get it.
AntiQuark, Dec 29 2010

       //reached the top through his unwavering belief in objectivism and the power of individual gumption and ingenuity.//   

       ... being used to erase other individual's rights?   

       Yea, somebody obviously doesn't get it.   

       What kind of "roid" are you? Hem?   

       Let me ask you this. Who enslaves and murders more people, the state, groupists or free individuals?
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       Don Quixote charges through on his steed announces that the book has had unspeakable effects on civilization and rides out somewhat embarassed by his actions.
rcarty, Dec 29 2010


       // Does she make you Randy?//   

       I can now say I've actually been involved in a debate about an author where somebody said essentially: "If you like her so much, why don't you marry her?"   

       Thank you for that.   

       And no, I go for hot, shapely, whip-smart blonds. Not Frankensteinish mega minds that look like they need to use a different conditioner.   

       Like her writing though.
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       No other ideology has more efficiently wasted the energy of the people who would spar against it.   

       The literary works of Ayn Rand are not satire simply because they are not intended to be. If an idea disproves itself it is a paradox not a parody.   

       Revisionism is a cynical rhetorical tool.   

       If you wish to formulate an actual satire go ahead, nothing could be easier, but be warned; no other ideology has more efficiently wasted the energy of the people who spar against it. "Fuck you" is a very slippery pig.
WcW, Dec 29 2010

       Wow! I'm speechless.   

       You know the cliche movie scene where somebody makes a speech, there's silence for a bit then one person in the back stands up and starts slowly clapping? Then another, and another?   

       Consider me the person in the back standing up and clapping whether or not anybody else is.   

       Bravo W, bravo!
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       //... being used to erase other individual's rights? //   

       Actually, on page 798 of the epic novel "Rand Shrugged," the hero, Somalia Galt, as he's know, will give a monumental speech in which he explains how his greatest dream is peace and freedom for his fellow Somalis. However, due to his enemies constructing weapons of mass destruction, it will be necessary to engage in a preemptive war of self defense. So he's not erasing EVERYBODY'S rights, only the rights of those who threaten his power, I mean, threaten the freedom of the Somali people.   

       // Let me ask you this. Who enslaves and murders more people, the state, groupists or free individuals? //   

       That's somewhat of a fallacious question. A group will always be more lethal than an individual on simple numeric grounds.   

       That being said, Harry Truman ordered the bombing of Hiroshima, and Arthur Harris ordered the bombing of Dresden. So even freedom-craving individuals can kill thousands of women and children, if it's rhetorically feasible.
AntiQuark, Dec 29 2010

       The free individual working in a free state is more efficient at everything, including killing when need be.   

       Let's compare socialist/communist/fascist states then with free democratic states.   

       I'll anwer the question "who does all the killing" for you, Communism and to a lesser extent fascism was quite simply the black plague of the 20th century. A tenth of a billion people murdered because now and then some douchbag came up with some flimsy reason or another why a self appointed intellectual elite should have absolute power over everybody and decided that genocide was justified as "breaking a few eggs to make an omelette" to bring about their utopian society.   

       They weren't eggs, they were individual human beings.   

       And in an battle between free people and fascists, whoever started it counts. The atom bomb being dropped on Japan was a human tragedy that would never have happened had Japan not decided they wanted to take over the world and kill everybody who got in their way. It was ironically a Soviet ambassador that pounded his fists on the table during a debate over nuclear missiles and said: "Defense is moral, offense is immoral." Probably the one time I agreed with a Soviet ambassador.   

       I can see the difference between a bank robber shooting people during a robbery and the cop that shoots him. Can you?
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       Last time I looked, the most important benefit of Objectivism is that you don't have to give tips to waitresses. You're a slave if you do!   

       Other than that, it's a pretty incoherent philosophy to base your life on.
AntiQuark, Dec 29 2010

       No, that's not ignorant, in fact it's about as clever as repeating "Ayndroids" over and over like nobody got it the first 20 times.   

       I'm curious, what great philosophy do you follow? Let's see if I can come up with a smarmy funny name for it's followers.   

       Go ahead, try me.
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       Makes me Randy just thinking about it.   

       I don't follow an ideology, I've learned to think for myself. I look at the facts, and decide the best course of action on a case-by-case basis. If you want an "-ist" then call me a "Realist."
AntiQuark, Dec 29 2010

       Uh oh, here come the bouncers.   

       Let's just finish our drinks peacfully or were both gonna get bounced outta here. Salut.   

       A realist, good for you. I'll leave it at that.   

       Plus, dabbling in realism myself, I've got to get some work done here.
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2010

       // I've learned to think for myself //   

       We can help you with that. And no, we're not sponsored by the Republican party.   

8th of 7, Dec 29 2010

       //I look at the facts// That's a very impressive achievement, [AntiQuark], given that the number of facts is infinite. And before you tell me that you only look at relevant facts, you might like to ponder such expressions as "framing the debate" and "terms of reference".   

       May I refer you to a short out-of-print book called "History the Betrayer: a Study of Bias" (by Edward Dance), to clarify what all this implies?
pertinax, Dec 30 2010

       // The transistor is from here// wasn't it reverse- engineered from the ship that crashed at Roswell?
afinehowdoyoudo, Dec 30 2010

       I'm really not at liberty to discuss that.
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

       // That's a very impressive achievement, [AntiQuark], given that the number of facts is infinite. //   

       What can I say, I'm one smart cookie!   

       Are you saying that you don't bother with the facts, because there are too many of them?
AntiQuark, Dec 30 2010

       No, [AntiQuark], I'm saying that, because any given list of facts is incomplete, you have to use some form of value-judgement in selecting facts, and, by making such judgements, you can't avoid placing yourself in some sort of relationship to existing communities of ideas, even if that relationship is an adversarial one.   

       So, please do continue to care about facts, but please don't imagine that this somehow places you outside the squalid politics of -isms.
pertinax, Dec 30 2010

       I was going to say this was baked before I realised that the idea describes subjectivism, essentialism and determinism in such a way that Ayn Rand applies to all of them. Satire in an idea about satire in an idea about satire. Well done [rcarty].+   

       Noticed this in an annotation: //Silicon Valley is the birthplace of EBAY, Facebook, Intel, Apple, Youtube, Yahoo, etc etc etc.\\ and without shame or intent of sarcasm this is followed by the words: // makes life better for everybody.\\   

       To some people here I would like to say: Do you realise that many people consider the usa a fascist state? What makes your opinion better than others? Is it because you think you know the only right way to put facts to use in society?
zeno, Dec 30 2010

       // many people consider the usa a fascist state //   

       Now i'll have to be picky. I think the word "Fascist" is overused and misapplied as a merely pejorative term rather than with a specific meaning, and there are several definitions. I think of it rather simplistically as an ideology which regards the citizen's sole duty as being to the nation or the state, so it's sort of opposite to anarchism. There are other definitions i can't remember.   

       By that definition, the USA is clearly not fascist because of global capitalism, which would interfere with the citizen working in favour of a specific nation state's interests.   

       I think this is important because there are other perfectly useful words to describe political systems which are less emotionally charged and more conducive to productive thinking, such as totalitarianism and authoritarianism. It's important to recognise, for example, that Pinochet's Chile was not fascist and his economic policies were allegedly later adopted in the US and Europe (i don't know very much about that). It was clearly oppressive in other ways.
nineteenthly, Dec 30 2010

       // an ideology which regards the citizen's sole duty as being to the nation or the state //   

       Well, by that definition of fascism, I know a great many Americans who are fascists. The nation may not be fascist, but their attitudes toward it are. (They are rural and of advancing age, mostly.)   

       (Just an aside, just because I liked the definition. As you were.)
baconbrain, Dec 30 2010

       // Do you realise that many people consider the usa a fascist state?//   

       Do you realize many people, like you, are drooling morons?   

       You ignored everything I said, saw that I was praising a particular aspect of an area that happens to be in the United States and that's all you saw through the perspective of your blind, xenophobic ignorance. Can you comment on the particular unique set of circumstances that brought about so many successful technology companies in one area? No, because you're not smart enough to do that. Your level of intellect only allows you to see an opportunity to be insulting to make yourself look clever (to yourself) and snap at it like a primitive brained reptile.   

       So advancing high technology doesn't contribute to the betterment of life? The computer you're typing that hateful, stupid, xenophobic bile on was developed in Silicon Valley. What great contributions to society have you made genius?   

       I've traveled the world a bit and find the vast, vast majority of people I've met to be pretty cool, but occasionally I'll come across the odd loser like xeno here who thinks it's cute to make some stupid anti American comment. Sometimes they're Americans themselves but wherever they're from, usually they've seldom if ever been outside a few hundred mile radius of where they were born. For others like me who come across this, try this little trick.   

       Totally agree with the pathetic douchbag then say: "Oh, yes and you know what I really hate about those Americans? They always make stupid blanket generalizations about huge groups of people." Then sit back and watch as the xenophobic asshole lights up and agrees, going into lengthy detail. Just smile, listen, finish your drink and go talk to somebody else.
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

       for libertarians to be funny they'd need a sense of humor.
EdwinBakery, Dec 30 2010

       Funny, your mom was just telling me the same thing. (kidding)
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

       // Oh, yes and you know what I really hate about those Americans? They always make stupid blanket generalizations about huge groups of people. //   

       That's right, Americans have NEVER been guilty of that ((rolls eyes & shakes head)).
AntiQuark, Dec 30 2010

       I was wondering what that rattling sound was.   

       Hmm, don't remember saying Americans are perfect in every way or even better than anybody else. This whole stupid nationalistic thing was brought up by others who think on that level, not me.   

       No, there are stupid, racist, xenophobic assholes wherever you go, in America, and clearly from wherever you live.
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

       Could someone summarise, in about 3-5 sentences, what "Ayn Rand" means in this context, and why we should embrace/revile/vilify/care about this attached level of meaning?   

       It seems a bit similar to someone in the UK saying "Margaret Thatcher" and not being able to tell beforehand whether they are going to get a supremely positive or negative response. Is it that kind of thing? A kind of shorthand for the argument between balancing the power of the unions vs the human cost of change connected to the closure of monolithic-industry and its dependent human communities?
zen_tom, Dec 30 2010

       Did somebody actually table the concept of "sensible balance" between various philosophies?   

       Were trying to have a stupid name calling session here and you bring in this level headed thought out stuff?   

       But seriously, thank you.
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

       Ayn Rand = Objectivism = no government = no taxes = every man for himself = taxes are slavery = if you give a tip to a waitress, you're being her slave!
AntiQuark, Dec 30 2010

       AntiQuark = Dumb = dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.   

       Actually, I take that back.   

       You're right. The core of her philosophy is that if you pay somebody for a service you're a slave.   

       I want you to think that, I want you to believe that, I want you to say that every chance you get to as many people as possible.   

       Will you do that for me?
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

       I don't worship Rand, why would I preach her philosophy?   

       Please enlighten us by giving a summary of Objectivism.
AntiQuark, Dec 30 2010

       Why do you say "us" is there a turd in your pocket?   

       But nope. You've done it. What can I add to the waitress tip/slavery thing?   

       I have no desire to educate you. I want you to stay just the way you are.   

       And besides, maybe I'm wrong about this and that, who knows? We can't all be as clever as you right?   

       So go away taking that as a little victory if it'll shut you up. But do go away.
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

       Don't. Tell. People. What. TO. DO!
daseva, Dec 30 2010

       Like telling people not to tell people what to do?
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2010

       Wow, it seems I missed some hissy fits here and am coming in late, but as an Objectivist I guess I should weigh in.   

       First for the idea, I had to look up satire and found "a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule."   

       By that definition Atlas Shrugged is satire as it holds up several ideas such as "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" and "the politics of pull" to ridicule using satire. Rand wrote in one of her non-fiction works that you can show the error in an idea if you just take it to it's logical extreme, so that sounds like satire also. I don't understand the rest of the idea, but I'm guessing that it is an attempt at humorous anti-Rand stuff, but I'm missing the joke.   

       Now on to the Annos: [WcW]//The literary works of Ayn Rand are not satire simply because they are not intended to be. If an idea disproves itself it is a paradox not a parody.//   

       Not sure on this one, the collapse of the Car Company seems to be a parody, but what do you think.   

       [AQ]//Last time I looked, the most important benefit of Objectivism is that you don't have to give tips to waitresses. You're a slave if you do!//   

       No. Objectivism means that you always pay for the value of a service given, so you are not obligated to tip if the service was poor, but you are if the service was good. You pay the objective value of a service.   

       //I don't follow an ideology, I've learned to think for myself. I look at the facts, and decide the best course of action on a case-by-case basis. If you want an "-ist" then call me a "Realist."//   

       Then I'd call you an Objectivist. I am, even though I don't follow all her teachings as she did make some mistakes when it comes to education. Objectivism starts with Aristotle "A=A" and builds from there.   

       [Zeno]//Do you realise that many people consider the usa a fascist state?//   

       No, fascist states nationalize their industry. You could call Argentina fascist as they nationalized their oil industry. I guess we are a little fascist in that we bailed out so many companies, but a real fascist would expect to get control. We didn't.   

       [AQ]//Ayn Rand = Objectivism = no government = no taxes = every man for himself = taxes are slavery = if you give a tip to a waitress, you're being her slave!//   

       No. Government is necessary as they have the sole monopoly on violence. Armed forces, police, etc. are all valid government services. People should pay for those services. Rand believed taxes were wrong if they charged blindly. If you had a tax on shipping to pay for the navy that protected you in transit, then that’s fine. If you have an income tax that charged you because you made too much money, that’s wrong. You should pay the objective value for all services rendered.   

       [AQ]//Please enlighten us by giving a summary of Objectivism.//   

       Each individual pays value for services rendered. Each transaction is an agreement freely joined on both sides so that each person pays for the Objective value of what is exchanged.
MisterQED, Dec 30 2010

       // Each individual pays value for services rendered. Each transaction is an agreement freely joined on both sides so that each person pays for the Objective value of what is exchanged. //   

       Thank you for a serious explanation.   

       My problem with Objectivism is that its definitions quickly become scattered and diluted. So say we're talking about services rendered. What would be the Objectivist opinion on the following issues:   

       - A childless couple paying school taxes.   

       - A kid knocking on the door and asking an inflated price for chocolate bars, for fundraising.   

       - A panhandler putting out his hand and asking for some change.   

       Depending on your rhetorical ability, you can argue for or against all of these in the Objectivist sense, by redefining what a "service rendered" is.   

       However, from the Objectivists I've met, the consensus in the above examples would be to keep your wallet tightly shut.
AntiQuark, Dec 30 2010

       The bit at the beginning of 'The Fountainhead' about the modernist thatched cottage or whatever it is clearly is satire.
nineteenthly, Dec 30 2010

       libertarians on HB? I don't know if this is disappointing or to be expected.   

       Anyway, the entire philosophy is semantic wordplay bullshit. "Taxes are VIOLENCE, but no my property rights aren't! Why not? Because I DEFINED it like that!" Objectivism is the least worse of all of them - but any absolutism is douchebag thinking.
EdwinBakery, Dec 30 2010

       see my HB inspired by libertarians:
EdwinBakery, Dec 30 2010

       see my Douchebag inspired by the HB.
daseva, Dec 31 2010

       //any absolutism is douchebag thinking//   

       Ironic statement.
doctorremulac3, Dec 31 2010

       [DocReamy], I question your ability to understand irony after the whole //Like telling people not to tell people what to do?// bit.
daseva, Dec 31 2010

       As an expert on irony do you see the irony of accusing somebody of not understanding irony because you don't understand the irony of you telling a person what to do when you tell them don't tell people what to do?   

       Add to that not understanding that "any absolutism is douchebag thinking" is, ironically, an absolutist statement and I'm thinking you're probably not going to make the cover of "People Who Understand Irony Magazine". At least not this month's issue.
doctorremulac3, Dec 31 2010

       See that's the thing. I did understand it in the first place. I was trying for the closed loop first. Sorry bud. This is like a game of charades but we already acted out the dufus, hopefully much to your chagrin if you catch on before the eggnog sets in.
daseva, Dec 31 2010

       Uhhh, yea. I'm going to do something other than converse with you now if that's ok.
doctorremulac3, Dec 31 2010

       A loser's mentality. One your wise to take.   

       This was a really fun thread until your idiocy showed up, docream. Thanks.
daseva, Dec 31 2010

       //A loser's mentality. One your wise to take.//   

       It's spelled: "you're" genius.   

       Now THAT'S ironic.
doctorremulac3, Dec 31 2010

       Thank you. Ok if we stop communicating now?   

       I'll assume that's ok. Have a nice day.
doctorremulac3, Dec 31 2010

       Hey, since we have so many irony experts here, is the following sentence ironic:   

       "To become truly free, one must obey Ayn Rand."   

       I really want to know!
AntiQuark, Dec 31 2010

       // libertarians on HB? //   

       I've always seen this place as dominated by libertarians. As usual, my own political views don't fit into any category but i feel comfortable with either in general. This page reminds me of the interaction between my parents before they divorced.
nineteenthly, Dec 31 2010

       I couldn't be more pleased.
rcarty, Dec 31 2010

       the problem with the libertarian school is how few of its claimed adherents actually live out the principals involved. If you want to live a libertarian lifestyle you cannot do so within the protections of a currently existing state and social system. Yet with so many claimed followers where are the libertarian communities? Where is the 'city on the hill'? I suspect that many would shy away from the name "libertarian" if they could see the philosophy in action. Dogmatic, theological, contradictory, a cult of personality. Buy an island already.
WcW, Dec 31 2010

       What would interest me is the question of how many libertarians are poor and how they explain their situation and respond to it. That's not an accusation in any way. For instance, are there lots who are homeless, unemployed and so forth? Or is it always possible to avoid that situation?
nineteenthly, Dec 31 2010

       [AQ]// My problem with Objectivism is that its definitions quickly become scattered and diluted.//   

       Then you have more reading to do. Rand wrote many treatises on her Philosophy. I’m not saying they will convince you, but you will understand where her views come from as she covers in detail the complete derivation of her Philosophy.   

       As for your situations, I will deal with the first last: //A kid knocking on the door and asking an inflated price for chocolate bars, for fundraising.// // A kid knocking on the door and asking an inflated price for chocolate bars, for fundraising.// Simple answer: It is your money do with it what you will. If you want to just burn it, that is your prerogative. Ownership is necessary or everyone is a beggar .   

       //A childless couple paying school taxes.// Rand would say that taxes in general are wrong. By definition taxes are not an agreement between both parties, they are a demand of the state which you cannot deny. Rand would have each couple pay for the education of their own children, if they choose to.   

       Here is where my views differ from Rand’s. The issue is with the definition of violence. Rand’s is limited to direct, obvious violence. Mine would include things like locking someone up. This is where is gets complicated. Rand lived in a simpler time where people could teach themselves what they needed to know, but that time has passed. A person without an education is in a prison as sure as if they were surrounded by bars. The system works as long as there is an availability of opportunity. To me that means there has to be some kind of forced taxation to provide basic education, but Rand would say that is a slippery slope and that worries me too.
MisterQED, Dec 31 2010

       // Simple answer: It is your money do with it what you will. If you want to just burn it, that is your prerogative. //   

       The reason I gave the panhandler example, is it's easy to explain what the "service rendered" is. Typically, generosity is seen as a virtue, not a vice. A cynical person can argue that giving money to a panhandler (preferably when your associates are watching) is a cheap way to create the illusion that you're a generous person. Thus if you have the reputation of being generous, that can have a positive effect on your wealth depending on your occupation. Like, if you're a salesperson, people think you'll give them a better deal, than a stingy salesperson.   

       That's not actually what I believe, but it's an argument that shows how vague the concept of "services rendered" is.
AntiQuark, Dec 31 2010

       Rand said generocity wasn't a virtue. See Rand's "Virtue of selfishness". You actually do most harm by giving them money. Generocity cheats the receiver, by making him a beggar. Many people now avoid work, because it pays less than unemployment or Social Security. I'm not saying they don't have their place, but they should encourage employment. My wife is a teacher and had her students draw a picture about what the kids wanted to do for a living. One kid drew a mailman delivering mail. The kid didn't want to be a mailman, she wanted to be on welfare like her mom, as she makes almost as much as my wife. As my wife found when asking the parent. Obviously the system is flawed.
MisterQED, Jan 01 2011

       There's no such thing as a free lunch. The government will only give you money if it thinks it'll benefit from that policy, so it wants something back from you. It's a little like an addiction. You get money from them, so you want more because you think it isn't enough. If you won't accept money from them, you won't get addicted to it and you'll find another way of life.
nineteenthly, Jan 01 2011

       // Rand said generocity wasn't a virtue. //   

       But the thing is (for bad or for good) most people think that generosity is a virtue. So it's possible to exploit that sentiment as part of a "services rendered". I'm not saying that generosity HAS to be a virtue, only that most people THINK it's a virtue.   

       Imagine you lived in a village where everyone worshipped Thor. A good businessman would tell everyone that Thor is the best, whether he believes it or not... it's simply better for business!   

       That's related to another of the many problems with Objectivism: it ignores basic facts about human nature. It will never become a dominant philosophy because of that.
AntiQuark, Jan 01 2011

       Generosity of what? It might not be money.   

       If generosity is not a virtue in the sense you mean, that's a failure of phronesis. Generosity, to be a virtue in the Aristotelian sense, would have to fall between two vices, namely meanness and something like paternalism or co-dependency. If it's a vice in that sense, it would be an extreme and there would be an opposite vice and something in the middle. That middle virtue would be closer to one extreme than the other. It seems to me that if you combine the notion that generosity is a vice, as opposed to a morally neutral quality, with a model of virtue as being a form of moderation, meanness would be its opposite but what would be the corresponding vice? It doesn't seem to hold together logically to me.
nineteenthly, Jan 01 2011

       "By definition taxes are not an agreement between both parties, they are a demand of the state which you cannot deny."   

       That's funny - there are no laws whatsoever against leaving most of the developed-world countries - and once you do leave you don't have to pay taxes.   

       Or maybe I should also scream "YOU'RE INITIATING FORCE!!!!!" to my HOA for levying fees because I live in the community.   

       (and before you get to the "you signed a contract with the HOA" cop-out - note that you guys also believe in the legitimacy of implied contracts, like with a restaurant)
EdwinBakery, Jan 01 2011

       Any mention of Rand or Objectivism here seems to lead inevitably to a bucket dumping of tardery.
BunsenHoneydew, Jan 02 2011

       I'm going to repeat myself:   

       According to Objectivism, generosity is a vice and selfishness a virtue. What's the vice on the other side of the virtue of selfishness? If there isn't one, by what model of virtue-based metaethics does Ayn Rand operate?
nineteenthly, Jan 02 2011

       What is the opposite vice to the virtue of selfishness? Self-distruction, self-mutilation or suicide.   

       As for generocity being a failure of phonesis, I and Bill Gates agree. I mention Gates as the creator of the newest form of generocity, the Gates Foundation which doesn't give money away. It invests in good ideas that will produce results. Gates and others want a better world so they give their money to an institution that would pursue their goals, so you see, it is not generocity at all, but a exchange of value. Fair trade.
MisterQED, Jan 02 2011

       How is suicide or self-harm a vice? It seems to me that since libertarianism values freedom, it would also imply that one's body and one's life is one's own property and therefore one has a right to do what one wants with it. Since it's often described as selfish, suicide could even be seen as virtuous.   

       The phronesis issue, sounds about right if it really achieves what it aims to, within the context of that kind of politics.
nineteenthly, Jan 02 2011

       If selfishness is a virtue, then why is free trade better than theft and cheating? If you provide me with a service, why should I pay? Better to run away laughing.
pocmloc, Jan 02 2011

       "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." -it's from some book about food or something by some Indian guy - people post this quote online all the time, so it's hard to get the original source   

       I would add that it justifies a deep-seated sense of entitlement and selfishness under the guise of "property rights"
EdwinBakery, Jan 02 2011

       To be serious for a minute or so, there have been a number of mentions here about “property rights”. Can any of our esteemed contributors tell us what the word “property” is referring to here? Are we talking about portable goods, or are we talking about land? Or are we complacently conflating the two?
pocmloc, Jan 02 2011

       likely "property" refers to both tangible and intangible possessions including what is currently identified as intellectual property. It also includes the enforcement of contracts.
WcW, Jan 02 2011

       /I suspect that satire has a liberal bias./   

       I wonder if this is true? And how one would go about determining such.
bungston, Jan 03 2011

       // I wonder if this is true? And how one would go about determining such //   

       To start, you might look up famous satires, and check how many are liberal vs conservative. (See link for example).
AntiQuark, Jan 03 2011

       In words attributed to JS Mill, "...not all conservatives are stupid; all stupid people are conservative". If this is taken in hand with the assumption that satire is meant for the appreciation of those suitably endowed, then perhaps the contended statement is somewhere on the truth scale.   

       However, there are generally considered two types of satire, that of Horace, and Juvenalian. Rand's Objectivist satire is no doubt a bitter misanthropic anti-mass-society Juvenalian satire that is at once conservative and anti-conservative; whereas, Swift's Gulliver's Travels would be Horatian. Swift was not a liberal in his time, although what it means to be a liberal or conservative has changed over time, and certainly is not in any way defined by contemporary American political discourse.
rcarty, Jan 03 2011

       Can we get a few things straight. First, Ayn Rand was not a libertarian; she repeatedly disowned libertarianism because that stance denies the necessity of a state, whereas Objectivism requires a state to provide defence again foreign threat, protection from domestic threat, and judicial oversight. Second, Ayn Rand's concept of selfishness is not reducible simply to taking whatever you want. It's more fully expressed as rational self-interest, but the "rational" qualification is key; your self-interest must not be at the expense of your existence as a rational being.   

       Regarding the Bill Gates Foundation and suchlike, Rand considered that charity is neither a moral requirement nor the converse, but Gates's attempts to shame others into donating their earned wealth are, according to Objectivism, immoral. Use of terms such as "giving back to society" implies that one took something *from* society, which is not the case for Gates, Dell, Ellison, etc. They simply exchanged value for value, on a voluntary basis. No-one ever bought Windows Vista when they didn't want to, just as no-one ever bought a girl-scout cookie when they didn't want to.   

       [MisterQED] said that "Rand’s [definition of violence] is limited to direct, obvious violence". This is not true; Rand took the term "violence" to refer to any action which infringed on individual's liberty; this includes not only imprisonment but even the threat of imprisonment. (And note that the proscription is againt the *initiation* of violence, not its use in retaliation.)   

       [EdwinBakery] suggests that taxes are voluntary because they can be avoided by leaving the country. This is, of course, true, but entirely misses the point. Objectivism - indeed, any political philosophy - attempts to describe the ideal state. It cannot be invalidated simply by by describing a method of avoiding its opponents. His other posts can be similarly categorized as "missing the point", possibly deliberately, in order to make a different one.   

       [nineteenthly] asks,"According to Objectivism, generosity is a vice and selfishness a virtue. What's the vice on the other side of the virtue of selfishness?" The opposing vice is the notion that altruism - "other-ism", the requirement that one live completely, or even just principally, for the benefit of others - is the only moral stance. Regarding the status of suicide or self-harm, again, the distinction between selfishness as commonly understood and Rand's *rational* self-interest should be understood.   

       "Last time [AntiQuark] looked, the most important benefit of Objectivism is that you don't have to give tips to waitresses. You're a slave if you do!" Well, you certainly don't *have* to tip waitresses, or anyone else, but you're not a slave if you choose to, if only because slavery implies not having a choice. Also, "Objectivism = no government" is wrong; see my first paragraph. [doctorremulac3]'s "The core of her philosophy is that if you pay somebody for a service you're a slave" is also wrong.   

       A minor correction regarding the nature of Fascism; a Communist state takes actual ownership of the means of production, whereas a Fascist state leaves them in private hands but determines how they may be used.   

       I might also mention that this name-calling is really getting old, as is the notion that "Americans" (or "Libertarians" or "Randians") are all the same. Opposition to this collectivist concept is a major aspect of Objectivism.
angel, Jan 05 2011

       There was a point at which i was more familiar with Objectivism than i am now and all that does ring a bell. However, it puts the idea of satire back at the centre. Rand is stretching the meaning of "selfishness" and could be said to be using it obliquely. I'm not sure if that makes it satirical but it seems at least to make it ironic or sarcastic, or something.
nineteenthly, Jan 05 2011

       // No-one ever bought Windows Vista when they didn't want to //   

       Some people would disagree with that. (See link.)
AntiQuark, Jan 06 2011

       There was a period at which I was more familiar with Objectivism than I am now but I remember it as pretty unironic. I'm convinced Rand would say (perhaps disingenuously) that it was the non-Objectivists who twisted the word "virtue" to mean its opposite.
mouseposture, Jan 06 2011

       All this conclusion-free back-and-forth points out why Objectivism is not a useful philosophy. It's so vague, it's hard to arrive at some logical conclusion. See the link above on the question, "who should pay for roads?" Simple question, right? There are no simple answers for Objectivists.   

       The obvious answer is to make every road a toll road. The free market at work! Of course everyone realises far in advance how hellish driving would be if there were a toll booth every 1/4 mile. So you can't really have toll roads... so what do you do?   

       The Objectivist answer is to throw in some straw men, a few begged questions, a couple of slippery slopes, an ad hominem or two... and ta-da, everyone forgets the original question! Problem solved!
AntiQuark, Jan 06 2011

       //Some people would disagree with that//

And some people would be wrong. You're attempting to use the existence of anti-trust legislation to validate itself. If you have a choice between a computer with Vista and no computer, you are quite free to select the "no computer" option, but contrary to the widely-held opinion, Microsoft do not have a monopoly on anything; surely you've heard of Apple and Linux. What you mean is that of the options available, none is precisely what certain people want. When I bought my car, I would have loved a 4-litre V8, but I was not *forced* into buying a 2.2 turbo Diesel. I had a choice; this car with this engine, some other car with a 4-litre V8, some totally different car, or no car at all. It's just the same with computers.

Regarding charging for road usage, did you actually read the link that you posted?
angel, Jan 06 2011

       I'm constantly impressed by people's ability to overlook the 'do not buy' option. I've been not buying a mobile phone for many years now even though, apparently, my life is impossible without one. If people stopped obsessing about buying stuff that they really don't need or want then the world would be a rather nicer place, I suspect, and people might even discuss ideas without having to resort to name-calling.

//The free individual working in a free state//

Now that's irony!
DrBob, Jan 06 2011

       What is the objectivist position on, say, controlling pollution?   

       If I do something that causes my neighbor's property to lose value but technically do it on my own property, is that considered violence against my neighbor's property value?
RayfordSteele, Jan 06 2011

       // Regarding charging for road usage, did you actually read the link that you posted? //   

       I tried, but couldn't quite stomach it. How did it end? Was there an actual conclusion, or just endless bickering?   

       // you are quite free to select the "no computer" option //   

       Some things become a necessity in life, to the point where "do not buy" becomes ludicrous. Like landline phones for example. What do you think would happen if one single company had a monopoly on all landline phones and services? They would have to be broken apart, to allow competition.
AntiQuark, Jan 06 2011

       Oh, but they did! ((evil laugh))
AntiQuark, Jan 07 2011

       here is my analogy   

       Government is like cooking, at best it is about using the ingredients that you have to produce a food that is nourishing to those who are hungry and yet still appetizing to those who are not. When the people are starving the chef must make as much gruel as they can. When the people are full and satisfied the chef needs to work hard to produce food that will be enlivening. Also the food must help the people to be strong and not fat or languid. When kitchen of government is acting from the purpose of producing good food that will be eaten and do those who eat it some good then it is on the right path. If the food is only eaten by a few, palatable to a few, or causes illness or discord between the people then it needs to change. The ways and means of achieving this purpose are meaningless. Communist or Christian Conservative is meaningless, what matters is the balance of the resulting product, to the stomach of the consumer, of which we are all blessed with only one (soul?). This enlightened self interest is like a obnoxious person who demands to use the kitchen to cook his own food and then be charged only for the ingredients that he uses. Anything else would be robbery he shouts. Everyone else in the joint wishes the person would leave and go to another place to eat, but he does not, because there isn't actually any place that is willing to let this obnoxious person cook in their kitchen, largely because they hardly seem trustworthy, or like they would keep things tidy and replace what they broke. So the obnoxious person complains, then eats the food hating it and how much it cost and how unfair it is and everyone else suffers a little, more if the food is actually bad and a poor value. If the food is really bad then people join the call to let them into the kitchen, let them cook for themselves, but so few of these people can actually cook the other people in the place won't allow it, they know that they don't want to cook their own food, they have other things to do. In some rare cases the cooks are so bad that the guests kill them and some of the guests become chefs and usually are even worse. Sometimes the people like the food and stand up to the complainers.   

       I grow tired of the complaining. You do not have my permission to use the kitchen for your own purposes.
WcW, Jan 07 2011

       //If I do something that causes my neighbor's property to lose value but technically do it on my own property, is that considered violence against my neighbor's property value?//

Yes, and you must recompense your neighbour for the loss in value of his property. "Value" includes his ability to enjoy his property.

[AntiQuark], If you cannot be bothered to read the arguments that you're so intent on attempting to refute, your credibility is at risk.

Actually, I know several people without a landline phone, so "do not buy" is certainly not ludicrous.

You should distinguish between a natural monopoly and a coerced monopoly. The former exists in, for example, the control of traffic over a particular bridge, while the latter could be, to use your example, the state-enforced monopoly granted to a particular telecoms provider. British Telecom's monopoly was coerced; no other provider was legally permitted to operate (with the unique exception of Kingston-upon-Hull). If it had been, consumers would have had a choice, as we saw after the market was partially liberated. Apple has (or, at least, had - I'm not sure what the situation is now) a monopoly on music files for the i-Pod. The option always remains to use a different brand of player, but if you've decided on Apple's version, you must accept the consequences of that decision.

[WcW]; enlightened self-interest is being happy to use one's own kitchen and ingredients to cook one's own food, and not being obliged to hand them over to others for no recompense. If I own the kitchen and the ingredients, I don't need (or seek) your permission.
angel, Jan 07 2011

       OK, I was misinformed on that matter; I was under the impression that the i-Pod only accepted files obtained from i-Tunes. But if that *were* the case, the purchaser implicitly accepts the restriction simply by buying the device. Otherwise, it's like buying a 35mm camera and expecting to use 120 film in it.

VHS triumphed over Betamax and V-2000 not by being technically superior (it wasn't) but by having a huge catalogue of movies available (because JVC, the major champion of VHS, had controlling interests in many Hollywood studios, and issued their movies only on VHS). It's pointless buying a Betamax VCR then wanting it to play JVC-controlled tapes, so you must decide where your priorites lie.

We're getting *well* off topic here.
angel, Jan 07 2011

       //If I own the kitchen and the ingredients, I don't need (or seek) your permission.// Problem is, there is only one kitchen - the world - and we all have to share it. This sharing is not going very well just now because some people have better seats (between the cooker and sink) while others are crammed behind the dustbin or under the drainpipe. Unsuprisingly, the ones who are in front of the storecupboard doors think that land ownership is a pretty well established and fair system, and that if I want to get to the cupboard, I should compensate them for their inconvenience in sharing with me what is after all theirs by right.
pocmloc, Jan 07 2011

       That's the trouble with poorly-thought-out analogies; had I realised that kitchen = world, I would have phrased things differently. That being so, [WcW] does not have competence to give or withhold permission, unless he has recently been appointed custodian (not custard-ian) of the world.

Have you considered that some people have better seats than others because they have been more productive?
angel, Jan 07 2011

       The people have the right to demand a government that satisfies their needs, immediate and future, personal and in conscience. Every citizen who may eat of the food of government has equal say in the flavor and type. That is the tyranny and comfort of community. The community I live in lets you leave easily. I support this. I also support and consume many of the items on the menu, which i could not have made myself (social welfare, medicine, security, law and order, infrastructure) and thus I oppose the change which Rand favored, to the barricades if necessary.
WcW, Jan 07 2011

       possibly there would be more food for everyone who survived if the few people with the best seats who seem to be eating a giant portion of the food went to the guillotine. It didn't hurt the productivity much last few times we did it.   

       Here in the US we have as much free market as the richest 1% will allow. The reigns of power are already in the hands of a mighty few. Take your paean for freedom to them, grovel and beg for it, maybe they will throw you some scraps.
WcW, Jan 07 2011

       // Have you considered that some people have better seats than others because they have been more productive? //   

       Sorry but that's sanctimonious b.s. Life does contain a great many elements of being at the right place at the right time. There are hardships that hit randomly and take out otherwise productive people. Sudden emergency healthcare expenses, for example, are the single largest source of bankruptcy in America. Say what you will, but I'm good and ready for Obamacare. And the rich have been gaming the system for awhile now. Payscale differences reflect that much.   

       Rand's heroes and heroines never got sick, never had children, never had to sacrifice anything to keep their homes when the banks went all afoul. Her works are okay for some general principles, but they completely miss the mark when it comes to good economic systemic design. The concept of ownership needs to come to terms with the fact that that ownership is a temporary condition that can affect a resource for much longer than the owner will be around. Or your grandchildren will be fighting over who owns the best spot in the garbage dump. The kitchen has been here longer than we have, and it will be here after we leave. Let's try and keep the mess semi-contained by then.
RayfordSteele, Jan 07 2011

       I said (and you quoted) "some people" not "all people"; surely it's undeniable that Jeff Bezos got where he is not by whingeing that "Larry Ellison has more money than me" but by getting of his ass and creating something that people want to buy. Sure, some people were at the right place at the right time but they still had to recognize the opportunity and have the balls (or Martha Lane Fox's equivalent) to take it; outside of lottery winners, luck doesn't come into it. Paris Hilton didn't earn her money, but her father did, and he's entitled to do what he wants with it.

The way round the issue of emergency healthcare expenses is to free up the insurance market; health insurance in the US is so heavily regulated that it's pretty much impossible for insurers to offer a policy that does what people want. Obamacare seems specifically designed to be gamed by the so-called poor, just as the NHS was in UK. In any event, while it's obviously unfortunate when someone gets ill, it's not my responsibility. If I weren't being taxed so heavily (well over 40%, all told), I would donate more than I do to charitable causes - which, along with insurance, is how heath-care for the less well-off used to be funded - but compassion at the point of a (partly metaphorical) gun is just undiluted socialism.

(Don't forget, also, that voluntary bankruptcy can be a convenient way of writing off all debts while retaining a house and a car. I'm not suggesting that this is a common ploy, but it does happen.)

The concept of ownership is the foundation of a free society; if I'm not allowed to do as I want with my earned property, I have no rights at all. I'm just as opposed to a system where the government gives preferential treatment to business as I am one to one where it restricts the ability to innovate, and this is a core principle of Objectivism; everyone is treated the same because everyone *is* the same.
angel, Jan 10 2011

       // The way round the issue of emergency healthcare expenses is to free up the insurance market //   

       Have to take issue with this. The only reason one would pay the likes of liability or vehicle insurance is to avoid prosecution for not paying it. You will never see that money again under any circumstances.
nineteenthly, Jan 10 2011

       //VHS triumphed over Betamax and V-2000 not by being technically superior (it wasn't)// - urban myth alert! VHS *was* technically superior to Betamax: You could fit a whole movie on a VHS tape, you couldn't fit a whole movie on a Betamax tape.
hippo, Jan 10 2011

       Making long movies was part of the conspiracy.
rcarty, Jan 10 2011

       Yes, precisely. You'll also notice that the titles are quite long, much too long for a standard betamax cartridge.
rcarty, Jan 10 2011

       VHS had more storage capacity but Betamax had other advantages. It was smaller, the VCRs using it had extra useful features earlier than VHS ones, Betamax was higher horizontal resolution, there was less interference between brightness and chroma and so on. I think they were also easier to edit. There's also, i've heard, a problem regarding NTSC vs PAL, meaning that the difference in picture quality is harder to see on an NTSC system than a PAL one. The crucial problem seems to have been the capacity issue because couch potatoes would prefer not to get up and change tapes. I think these were all addressed later on, but not in time to prevent losing out.   

       I find Betamax vs VHS very interesting because i think it explains why Sony are so protective of their stuff nowadays. JVC broke ranks with them and the world ended up with a system which was, well, different. As a result, we ended up with a control freak company and hardware which is nowhere near as useful as it could be.
nineteenthly, Jan 10 2011

       Until you did, [Ian], i had no idea that even existed. I would say that Apple are quite Sony-like in their control freakery too.
nineteenthly, Jan 10 2011

       // The way round the issue of emergency healthcare expenses is to free up the insurance market //   

       Yeah. De-regulation worked so well for the banking and oil industries. Let's do that again. Furthermore, I seem to notice several private insurance companies doing quite well in more tightly regulated countries in Europe. See the Swiss model for example.   

       Surely you recognize that where the intersection of political influence and money are concerned, that the rich have had the advantage for a good while. And so if Obamacare favors the poor then so be it. We as a country will only move forward if they do.   

       // I I weren't being taxed so heavily I would donate more than I do to charitable causes //   

       Care to quote what % you are donating now?   

       Healthcare is at its basic core a social issue. Diseases and ruins spread. What you fail to account for is the fact that you will be already paying for the general state of health of your region, regardless of whether you actually contribute a dime or not, in the form of lost perceived value. Simple example: I live at the edge of the 'right side of the tracks,' a nice suburb in the Detroit metro area. I can throw a stone into Pontiac, which is 'the wrong side of the tracks.' Therefore it's in my interest to do anything I can to support the city of Pontiac, with all of its problems in poor healthcare and nutrition availability, school support, mental health, etc, because if I don't, my property value takes the bigger hit. Comprende? Now, if Pontiac, or indeed Detroit, were restored back to their former glory, then how much does the entire metro region benefit? Either option, support or ignore, represents a tax--one of them with neighbors I'd rather not have to live with.   

       Government has given preferential treatment to businesses for the past decade or three, if you haven't noticed. Or do all of these drug companies finding out *after* they put their wares on the market that their drugs cause cancer / death / etc because the FDA has been weakened to its knees for lack of funding, poor legislative practice, management by bean-counters and coddling up to the drug manufacturers, and companies like BP calling the shots to the government as to how to regulate itself not represent a sad state of affairs?   

       Voluntary bankruptcy ploys are usually engaged by those who have the means to hire lawyers.   

       You have rights: you also inherit responsibilities with those rights. You do not have the right to shirk your responsibilities. If you try, they will follow you anyways.
RayfordSteele, Jan 10 2011

       //The only reason one would pay the likes of liability or vehicle insurance is to avoid prosecution for not paying it. You will never see that money again under any circumstances.//

Beg to differ. The minimum motor vehicle insurance necessary under UK law is third party liability. I pay far more than that for comprehensive cover; had I not done so, I would not have received the full value of my car when it was damaged beyond repair. This has happened on three occasions.

[Rayford], banking is not deregulated, neither is oil, at least not in UK. There is no industry or business that I know of in either of our countries which operates in a fully free manner. If the state would get out of the way, there would be no possibility of industry buying political favours because the favours would not be available. So, yes, I have noticed the preferential treatment given to (some) businesses, and, as I said, I oppose it.

//Care to quote what % you are donating now?//

Apart from the 40+ % involuntary donations? No, frankly, but as I'm already supporting other people's healthcare, leisure centres, art galleries, theatres and golf courses, as well as their children's education, before we even start on those who don't even work for a living, I really don't think I'm obliged to donate further to those causes.

Let's face it, I just fundamentally oppose socialism, so we're never going to agree.
angel, Jan 10 2011

       Socialism=bad, a-priori, without debate and regardless of situation. Got it. I'll bet nobody, or no political party could ever abuse that bandwagon to further their own interest, could they, in a nation where even the mention of the word 'socialist' for a generation resulted in Congressional witchhunts.   

       You think government favors depend simply upon regulation or lack thereof?   

       If so, then wow. Just wow. I guess if you spent more time in a arguably professedly anti-socialist nation such as the US, you might see more of the ill-effects of what can happen. The grass is always greener and all that. Growing up in a rural state where we didn't have leisure centers, art galleries, and golf courses for the most part, nobody wanted to live there save for the undereducated. And yes, I'm also done.
RayfordSteele, Jan 10 2011

       //before we even start on those who don't even work for a living// Aah this is the crux of it perhaps.
pocmloc, Jan 10 2011

       Whereas i work for a living myself, i think it's overrated. Working for a living can be very harmful and antisocial. Much of my work involves hoarding knowledge which could be useful to others if they had it, thereby disempowering them. If i did a lot of it, i'd end up costing the state a lot of money because my children would probably end up at a state school at a cost of thousands of pounds a year. I'd also probably end up costing the health service a lot of money because my whole family would have to use the NHS when they got ill.   

       Concerning car insurance, not something i've used for several years now, it seems like a bit of a con to have to pay hundreds of pounds to get a scratch sorted out which you could've just slapped a bit of nail varnish on, so it seems you're not getting your money's worth. I pay public liability insurance because i must. I haven't the slightest doubt that if a patient died because of my negligence i would simply be jailed and their family wouldn't see a penny.
nineteenthly, Jan 10 2011

       Those that don't want to pay tax are an awful lot like those that don't want to work. First, both actions are necessary for the sustenance of society. However, both whine about how much they have to do, or if they have to do it at all. Those who don't want to pay tax could only have their way if they don't work, so at bottom it's the same position. Both argue that even though they won't contribute in the specified ways of tax or work, they will contribute in alternate ways. In addition, the ways in which they say they will contribute (ie. charity, or perhaps through parentage) would not be sufficient for the functioning of society. Also, neither the tax whinger nor the shirker could perform their respective role without the other. Both despise and decry the accepted, and only verifiable economic system of human society. Both suffer a reduction in standard of living from not working or paying tax. I could go on.   

       Those that don't work often can't work, or can't find anybody who can or will employ them to any useful end, nor will anyone work with them in their company. Also the job market is competitive with finite jobs, so often one person does not work so another can. Even if that is not the case and they are just lazy, the alternative is not to coerce them into labour by threat of starvation or homelessness especiallyby those who claim to be charitable. Often a person who appears well in indolence, becomes physically ill and mentally insane under the strains of labour. Live and let live.
rcarty, Jan 11 2011

       Question for the Randroids: if taxes, social programs, art galleries, etc, will lead to the ruination and waste of a country, then why are countries with taxes, social programs, etc, such nice places to live?   

       I mean, of the 200 countries in the world, there must be at least ONE country that implements Objectivist ideals to some degree. Which country is that, and why is it such a crappy hellhole?   

       Also, to agree with others: yeah, Objectivists are BS-ing when they say they'd give in charity as much as they pay in taxes. The average person pays $5000 (wild guesstimate) in taxes every year. Objectivism says that selfishness as a virtue, there's no way they'd part with $5000... especially for a charity, of which there is usually no services rendered.
AntiQuark, Jan 11 2011

       How are armed forces supported in Randland ?
FlyingToaster, Feb 02 2011

       Remember the military has to be really big, since we are terrified that somebody is going to take our stuff or enslave us. Also a large police force, to enforce "contracts". Not to mention the armies of governmental lawyers for parsing "contracts".
WcW, Feb 02 2011

       rotfl4rcarty's link!
pashute, Mar 01 2011

       Oh god they've made a movies of it. Now we'll never hear the end...
RayfordSteele, Mar 01 2011

       Oh dear god no!
rcarty, Mar 04 2011

       I'm giving this one a croisant just for stimulating so much talk.
briancady413, Mar 04 2011

       rcarty, do you have any other keywords for the why i'm not a librarian article? The link is now broken.
pashute, Feb 02 2014

       Selfishness is quite obviously the way of the universe. To the extent that evolved altruism exists -- as it clearly does -- it only does so because of the evolutionary benefits to the group organism.   

       And yet, like Lamarck, we want the giraffe to grow a taller neck because the trees are tall.   

       Wishful thinking doesn't make it so. Ayn Rand's work may be earnest, but it is so because it is fighting an abomination, one that mankind in the end escaped (and yet never fully appears to escape) only by the skin of its teeth.
theircompetitor, Feb 02 2014

       That will be a difficult picture to replace because it showed that someone had a lot of work to do as a librarian.   

       Ironic is also contrary to what you might expect.
rcarty, Feb 02 2014

       Man, I've been away a while and this brought it all back. PS I just watched AS Part 2 and it wasn't half bad other than some of the casting choices. I think it was better than part 1. Probably because Part I was shot in 6 weeks or so. I've been brought back to Rand due to some of the latest news and acts of government. We are living in interesting times.
MisterQED, Feb 07 2014

       After careful consideration we have concluded that an Ayn Rand inspired Satyr would be much more interesting and worthwhile.
8th of 7, Feb 07 2014

       //...inspired Satyr//   

       <Obligatory literary crosswise pun, involving Greek mythology, science fiction classics, and of course Hamlet: Or indeed comparing Hyperion to Atlas Shrugged. End of Obligatory/>
theircompetitor, Feb 07 2014

       I've long abandoned technical titles, bigsleep, for the Board Room :) But I've been coding non stop for nearly 3 years now since we've started Surre.al   

       Most fun I've ever had, though luckily (for the astronauts), I work on bowling physics, and not rocket physics :)
theircompetitor, Feb 08 2014

       Who is ayn rand?
travbm, Oct 29 2015

       I have a boat. I offer someone a ride on my boat. In the middle of the ocean I tell them they can get off my boat (exercising my property rights) or give me all their money. By the gospel according to Rand I have done nothing wrong.   

       You own a plot of land. I buy the land around it and seed it with land mines. According to Rand this is my right.   

       And I won't even get into monopolies and the idiots who claim they're created by governments.
Voice, Oct 29 2015

       // that’s quite a telling question indeed.//   

       To be fair if I had never heard her name and ideas I would be not one whit a lesser man.
Voice, Oct 29 2015

       The reason it has to be emphasized is that it has to overcome, in a typical high school or college reader, nearly two decades of brainwashing
theircompetitor, Oct 29 2015


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