SERIOUSLY, FUCK AYN RAND

Posted in Rants on March 10th, 2009 by Ed

I used to think Ayn Rand was the bomb but I outgrew it. You know, when I turned 12.

We all know that liberalism is for the (naive, inexperienced, foolish) young while conservatism is a natural byproduct of aging, maturing, and gaining experience with the world, right? Conventional wisdom gets it wrong yet again. The surge in popularity of objectivism and libertarianism on campus underscores how right wing ideology, not pie-in-sky liberalism, is the real fantasyland for kids who have absolutely no experience in the real world.

Yes, Ayn Rand is making a comeback among the college-aged. Objectivism is even getting some mainstream press in light of Commissar Obama frog-marching the nation toward hardcore Communism. Heroic individualists are threatening to "go galt" now that Obama has completely eliminated all incentive for anyone to work ever again, re-enacting their own version of the "producers' strike" in Atlas Shrugged.

I've gotten a little more mellow in recent years, believe it or not, less keen to argue and more able to see middle ground. But there is no middle ground here, no way for us to meet halfway in intellectual compromise: If you are an Objectivist, you are retarded. This is a judgment call, and I just made it. Grow up or fuck off. Those are your two options.

First of all, let us never overlook the fact that Rand's novels are atrocious as literature. Boring, repetitive, unconscionably long-winded, and written at approximately a 10th Grade level. Her wooden characters, the dialogue that makes you feel like you're being lectured by your uncle, and the idiotic plot all read as if written by a 17 year-old shut-in who spends a lot of time touching himself under a life-sized poster of Hayek. Atlas Shrugged is to literature what Battlefield: Earth is to film – it's five times too long and leaves readers wondering if Rand ever met another human being let alone successfully interacted with one.

Second, whatever respect we could have for Rand in light of her awful writing skills is obliterated by her unbelievably sophomoric "philosophy." It's exactly the kind of anti-intellectual, preachy, self-aggrandizing shit that plays well with immature people who think the world revolves around them – in other words, college kids. Yet Objectivists themselves have contempt for academia, which refuses to dignify their little cult with serious study. But who could be expected to take this sort of thing seriously?

"Just this weekend," said Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) on Wednesday in an interview with TWI, "I had a guy come up to me in my district and tell me that he was losing his interest in the business he'd run for years because the president wanted to punish him for his success."

John, your constituent is a friggin' idiot. He is exactly the kind of ex-fratboy MBA who thinks of himself as a linchpin of society, an "Atlas" upon whom the nation rests, but in reality could be replaced by any literate college grad or, in many cases, an unusually motivated ape. Think about this logic (or "logic") for a second: this guy no longer wants to run his business because his taxes went up a few percent. The government wants to reduce his income by 10%, so his response is to reduce it by 100%. Sheer brilliance. Go ahead, Mr. Irreplaceable. Close your business. Go broke to "teach us a lesson" about how important you are. We'll just have to struggle on without you. I am trying to be tactful here, but if this logic makes sense to you, I have to be emphatic: you are retarded. You're far more likely to be in the bottom rung of society than among the "producers."

Conventional wisdom is wrong. It's not "Liberal at 20 or no heart, conservative at 30 or no brain." Only the young can indulge (on mom and dad's tuition dollar, by the way) this kind of solipsistic ME ME ME horseshit. People who mature beyond adolescence start realizing that, hey, there are other people in the world and that sitting on one's ass lecturing them about what they shouldn't have done is of limited use. Politics is about solving problems, not moralizing. Life is about living in society, not in one's own head. Objectivists are right to target college kids, though, a demographic highly susceptible to new "-isms" in their first foray away from Ham Bone, Iowa or wherever. They're also the kind of people most likely to find dichotomous, black-and-white morality appealing. Accordingly I should go easy on this new generation of Objectivists with their natural abundance of naivete, youth, and selfishness. Happily, those who mature emotionally beyond the age of 18 will soon outgrow it. But there's a fine line between deserving sympathy and inviting a vicious intellectual beatdown, and the line is starting to blur.

In conclusion, if any of this was insufficiently clear: Man, fuck Ayn Rand.

STUMPY

Posted in Quick Hits on March 10th, 2009 by Ed

Rufus needed an emergency tail-ectomy, but he is availing himself of the magical healing powers of my shoulder.

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