Friday, April 22, 2011

Walking It and Talking It

Someone is cranky:
None of the characters expresses a hint of sympathetic human emotion — which is precisely the point. [Ayn] Rand’s novels are vehicles for a system of thought known as Objectivism. Rand developed this philosophy at the length of Tolstoy, with the intellectual pretensions of Hegel, but it can be summarized on a napkin. Reason is everything. Religion is a fraud. Selfishness is a virtue. Altruism is a crime against human excellence. Self-sacrifice is weakness. Weakness is contemptible. “The Objectivist ethics, in essence,” said Rand, “hold that man exists for his own sake, that the pursuit of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose, that he must not sacrifice himself to others, nor sacrifice others to himself.”

If Objectivism seems familiar, it is because most people know it under another name: adolescence. Many of us experienced a few unfortunate years of invincible self-involvement, testing moral boundaries and prone to stormy egotism and hero worship. Usually one grows out of it, eventually discovering that the quality of our lives is tied to the benefit of others. Rand’s achievement was to turn a phase into a philosophy, as attractive as an outbreak of acne.
The foregoing condemnation was written by Michael Gerson, chief speechwriter and senior policy advisor for George W. Bush.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Seems Mr. Gerson has enabled more of this "system of thought" than he would presently care to admit.

vacuumslayer said...

Gee, ya think? Gerson is one of those guys who's desperately striving to get that "reasonable conservative" label to stick to him. Although frankly with all the batshittiness currently out there in the ether, I find his hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness downright refreshing.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I think he's trying to distance himself from Rand and Objectivisim because the rubes are going to find out that she's an atheist, and that'll shit the bed for the GOP.

Substance McGravitas said...

What could shit the bed for the GOP? Boys kissing boys?

M. Bouffant said...

Live boy or dead girl is the standard answer.

Smut Clyde said...

but it can be summarized on a napkin

While standing on one leg??