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  • #46
    Re: Who is John Galt?

    Many of Heinlein's characters are famously like this: a little too close to the author for him to have achieved "parallax" in writing them. That doesn't necessarily mean bad writing or even a bad reading experience, but at that point it does basically become a matter of whether the author is someone you'd like to have a beer with (Heinlein up until he was about 40, yes; after, not so much).

    There are also always going to be writer:reader combinations that click or don't. For instance, I love Rex Stout so much I just can't tell whether what's going on in his books is good writing -- all I know is they're wonderful. At the opposite end, I would go well out of my way just for the pleasure of punching Margaret Atwood in the face, as a person, so I can't evaluate her writing (except that at the very beginning of The Robber Bride, before I realized the full shock horror of her unsuitability to breath oxygen, I thought she might be on to something. But that could also be blind squirrel syndrome.)
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    • #47
      Re: Who is John Galt?

      Pretty much what we were talking about.

      From the article at the first link, this line sums up exactly how I've always felt about totalist systems like Objectivism:

      It's not uncommon for people to seek out belief systems, whether political or spiritual, that make them feel good about how they already live their lives.
      Last edited by Kepler; 04-11-2011, 10:02 AM.
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      • #48
        Re: Who is John Galt?

        "My philosophy, in essence, is 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." As a little kid I interpreted this to mean: Love yourself. Nowadays, Rand's bit is best summed up by the rapper Drake, who sang: "Imma do me."
        Even our founders thought man had the God given right to "pursue happiness". I 've interpreted Rand's 'productive acheivement' to mean that you should take care of yourself so you don't become a burden to others. I think divorcing your wife and abandoning your kids runs counter to that.

        Good news is that NGC is showing Atlas Shrugged in Lansing, MI. (and many more than first listed)
        No man is entitled to the benefits of freedom if he is not vigilant in its preservation. - Douglas MacArthur

        The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. - Albert Einstein

        I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.- Thomas Jefferson

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        • #49
          Re: Who is John Galt?

          The Objectivists I've known who were over 30 were pretty much all like the dad in the story. Thinking about it, they were all divorced, bitter white male engineers, too. They really were. About a half dozen of them. Weird.

          Small sample size but... ew.
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          • #50
            Re: Who is John Galt?

            Originally posted by Kepler View Post
            Pretty much what we were talking about.

            From the article at the first link, this line sums up exactly how I've always felt about totalist systems like Objectivism:
            Sullivan's best line evar?
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            • #51
              Re: Who is John Galt?

              Originally posted by Kepler View Post
              The Objectivists I've known who were over 30 were pretty much all like the dad in the story. Thinking about it, they were all divorced, bitter white male engineers, too. They really were. About a half dozen of them. Weird.
              Selfishness isn't exactly a trait that correlates well with long-lasting stable relationships.

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              • #52
                Re: Who is John Galt?

                Originally posted by Kepler View Post
                Pretty much what we were talking about.

                From the article at the first link, this line sums up exactly how I've always felt about totalist systems like Objectivism:
                But, wouldn't a truly pure Objectivist realize that this is insufficient?

                "My philosophy, in essence, is 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."
                Where it seems to fall apart is when people don't account for the fact that acting on behalf of others will most certainly contribute to their own happiness and moral purpose -- at least on a personal level. When it's interpreted only to apply to oneself it's incomplete. If that doesn't register with someone, it should be no surprise they are rigid, stubborn and divorced. Or a terrorist.
                Last edited by XYZ; 04-16-2011, 02:10 AM.
                I wish I am able to live long enough to do all the things I was attributed to.

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                • #53
                  Re: Who is John Galt?

                  Repeat after me "One does not need to agree with Ayn Rand's view of life to agree to the general tenor of the critique"... there done.

                  Rand... having not read her but only heard things said of her, seems to have a problem in that she sees people as machines and not as social creatures. That does not excuse the sins of liberalism created by their own good intentions. That people should be called upon to seek out their most personal-favoring ends is madness unto itself... on the other hand, one should not be looking to wield the power of armed force to extract things from the citizenry (which is what occurs with gov't enforced corruption of the market place).

                  Generally though... Rand's critique is valid... people are going to want rewards for the ability to produce and will not produce if they feel that their actions are not rewarded... psych class lines this out beautifully. If you construct a society where the social contract with the producing class is broken... as you will see going forward... then the society will be weakened... this is what corrupt societies do... it takes away from the technically able and gives to the socially powered and the armed. It depresses the ability of individuals and collections of individuals to flourish due to free actions of their own accord. This is the promise made to the young generation in America... if we, through our own corruption (righteous or otherwise), do not fulfill the contract then we should realize the consequences therein.... but of course we don't want to do that... but a honest person would need to do so.

                  Rand may be batty... but that doesn't mean the things that we see and the lessons lined out doesn't matter. The ad hominem doesn't reject the critique of liberalism, corruption, liberal-fascism, and its various shades.
                  Last edited by Patman; 04-16-2011, 02:16 AM.
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                  • #54
                    Re: Who is John Galt?

                    Originally posted by Patman View Post
                    Repeat after me "One does not need to agree with Ayn Rand's view of life to agree to the general tenor of the critique"... there done.

                    Rand... having not read her but only heard things said of her, seems to have a problem in that she sees people as machines and not as social creatures. That does not excuse the sins of liberalism created by their own good intentions. That people should be called upon to seek out their most personal-favoring ends is madness unto itself... on the other hand, one should not be looking to wield the power of armed force to extract things from the citizenry (which is what occurs with gov't enforced corruption of the market place).

                    Generally though... Rand's critique is valid... people are going to want rewards for the ability to produce and will not produce if they feel that their actions are not rewarded... psych class lines this out beautifully. If you construct a society where the social contract with the producing class is broken... as you will see going forward... then the society will be weakened... this is what corrupt societies do... it takes away from the technically able and gives to the socially powered and the armed. It depresses the ability of individuals and collections of individuals to flourish due to free actions of their own accord. This is the promise made to the young generation in America... if we, through our own corruption (righteous or otherwise), do not fulfill the contract then we should realize the consequences therein.... but of course we don't want to do that... but a honest person would need to do so.

                    Rand may be batty... but that doesn't mean the things that we see and the lessons lined out doesn't matter. The ad hominem doesn't reject the critique of liberalism, corruption, liberal-fascism, and its various shades.

                    All this without reading anything she wrote?
                    I wish I am able to live long enough to do all the things I was attributed to.

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                    • #55
                      Re: Who is John Galt?

                      Interesting take on Ayn Rand.

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                      • #56
                        Re: Who is John Galt?

                        Originally posted by XYZ View Post
                        All this without reading anything she wrote?
                        you see what people say.... if everybody else has done a good job of crystallizing her ideas and drawbacks then its just a matter of figuring where it goes. Ideas are ideas. If I can discuss the "fair tax" without having read its manifesto (despite being asked to do so several times by its supporters who can't explain their own ideas) then its no problem to do the same with other things.
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                        • #57
                          Re: Who is John Galt?

                          I read a comment responding to a review of the film last night that made me laugh, and it went something like this:
                          "You may like Ayn Rand, but it's a pretty good bet she would have hated you."

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                          • #58
                            Re: Who is John Galt?

                            Originally posted by Patman View Post
                            you see what people say.... if everybody else has done a good job of crystallizing her ideas and drawbacks then its just a matter of figuring where it goes. Ideas are ideas. If I can discuss the "fair tax" without having read its manifesto (despite being asked to do so several times by its supporters who can't explain their own ideas) then its no problem to do the same with other things.
                            Possibly, but an on the other hand example: If I judged USCHO posters solely based on what other posters say about them...I'd be walking in a wilderness of mirrors
                            I wish I am able to live long enough to do all the things I was attributed to.

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                            • #59
                              Re: Who is John Galt?

                              Originally posted by XYZ View Post
                              Possibly, but an on the other hand example: If I judged USCHO posters solely based on what other posters say about them...I'd be walking in a wilderness of mirrors
                              Pffft. Just look at their rep. I hear that Rimbaud is a real a-hole.

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                              • #60
                                Re: Who is John Galt?

                                I saw the movie last night. I think the only movie I saw after reading the book that did not disappoint me was "The Hunt for Red October". It was 1 hr and 45 min. and covered about a third of the book. They should have made it 2.5 hours. I wish they would hve develpoed the characters better. But for those of us that read the book, that's no biggie. Very fast paced. Followed the book pretty close. There were a few deviations, mostly minor details. I'm looking forward to Parts II + III.

                                The showing that I went to (7:15 pm friday) was full. Nobody under the age of 30. Even with all the poor reviews, it received a standing (some people were still sitting) ovation at the end. I guess there is no accounting for poor taste.
                                No man is entitled to the benefits of freedom if he is not vigilant in its preservation. - Douglas MacArthur

                                The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. - Albert Einstein

                                I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.- Thomas Jefferson

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