Leisa Miller: 3 Reasons Millennials Should Ditch Karl Marx for Ayn Rand

Dear avocado-toast-eating brethren,

We need to drop Karl Marx like we dropped cable TV.

We’re a generation that’s sick of wars (and threats of wars), mass shootings, and media sensationalism. As the ambassadors of the sharing economy and investors in cryptocurrency, we hold innovation and entrepreneurship in high esteem.

Karl Marx is not who we think he is. His philosophy doesn’t align with our values at all. We need to look to somebody more in touch with what’s important to us — someone like Ayn Rand.

Here are 3 reasons we should kick ol’ Karl to the curb and pick up Ayn Rand instead.

We hate the constant stream of wars the US gets involved in. Whether it’s Iraq or Afghanistan, or the threat of the Islamic State or North Korea, we’re just tired of it all. Why can’t everyone get along? Why do we have to topple regime after regime and flex our muscles on Twitter? Don’t even get us started on the mass shootings. It’s 2017, for crying out loud! This violence needs to stop.

If only Karl Marx felt the same way. But unfortunately, he says that the only way to bring about the ideal political state is through violent revolution:

In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.

The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx

Oh, brother… Please: No. More. Wars.

Ayn Rand, on the other hand, is not a proponent of violence. She says violence should only be a means of self-defense. If someone invades your country, you can retaliate. If someone punches you in the face, you can retaliate. If someone tries to steal your stuff, you can retaliate. But there’s no reason you should employ violence other than if you or your stuff are attacked.

“A civilized society is one in which physical force is banned from human relationships—in which the government, acting as a policeman, may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.”

The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand

Karl Marx appeals to your emotional indignation.

I groan every time a Boomer rants about “entitled Millennials these days.” We are not entitled. We are not lazy. And when they try to guilt us into going to church more or playing video games less or buying a house or getting married “while we’re still young?” Puh-lease. Emotional appeals are the worst.

And don’t even get us started on media sensationalism. We’ve had enough of the red, shouting faces, the blatant lying and fear-mongering, the “Wars on Christmas.” The media is constantly trying to pit us against each other.

It turns out that Karl Marx uses the same “Us vs. Them” hysteria as CNN and Fox News. He appeals to pathos and emotional outrage to – like we discussed above – try to get us to start a war.

“Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”

The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx

We’re not having any of that though, are we? We’re done being manipulated by outrage and hysteria. It’s time to change the channel to something a little calmer, more grounded, and personally empowering.

Ayn Rand, fortunately, has the peaceful empowerment we’re so desperately missing. While Karl Marx wants you to blame others (the bourgeoisie) for your plights, Ayn Rand wants you to introspect and perhaps reassess your values. Rather than encouraging you to camouflage yourself into a “union of workers,” she wants to empower you as an individual to create a meaningful life for yourself. Mass hysteria, be gone!

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

Karl Marx wants mankind to rest on its laurels.

Welp, we’ve got pretty good iPhones, Space X can salvage and relaunch rockets, and thanks to services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron, we no longer have to go to the grocery store. Time to pack up! Call it a day! Everyone, go home! There’s no more need for innovation.

At least, according to Karl Marx.

If Marx had his way, all incentives to improve and create cooler things would be stripped out of our lives along with our private property. Following the logical progression of his communal philosophy, when we’re all slaving away for “the greater good,” and the highest achieving members of society are having the fruits of their labors redistributed to the lowest achievers (insert flashback to the freeloaders of group projects at school), that’s what will happen. Innovation would cease to occur under Marxism.

“The claim that men should be retained in jobs that have become unnecessary, doing work that is wasteful or superfluous, to spare them the difficulties of retraining for new jobs—thus contributing, as in the case of railroads, to the virtual destruction of an entire industry—this is the doctrine of the divine right of stagnation.”

The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand

But with Ayn Rand’s philosophy, our stuff will always remain ours. We don’t have to share our Nintendo Switch with our little sister (who drops her phone 10 times a day) unless we want to. We can rest easy knowing that if we take a big risk (and invest in cryptocurrencies while our parents mutter “Ponzi scheme” under their breath), we have the opportunity for a big reward. And best of all, with Ayn Rand’s philosophy reaffirming our desire to be great and create great things, maybe someday we will have JARVIS, jetpacks, and flying hammocks.

The fact of the matter is that Karl Marx doesn’t align with what’s important to us Millennials. If it were up to him, we’d be starting more violent wars, we’d be widening the gap of distrust between one another, and we’d strip ourselves of all incentives to make the world cooler than it already is. So it’s time we adopt a new philosopher. Let’s look up to people like Ayn Rand.

Leisa Miller

Leisa Miller

Leisa Miller is a marketing coordinator at FEE. Driven by a desire for adventure, she moved to Warsaw, Poland in 2015 to work for a serial entrepreneur she met on the internet. 15 months and several hundred pierogi later, she came back to the States to hone her marketing skills at a tech startup in Charleston, South Carolina, before eventually making her way to Atlanta and joining the FEE team. In her free time, Leisa enjoys listening to 20th century classical music, learning languages, preparing Gongfu style tea, and swing dancing. You can follow her writing and personal projects on her website.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

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21 Responses to Leisa Miller: 3 Reasons Millennials Should Ditch Karl Marx for Ayn Rand

  1. Fisky

    Ayn Rand was a violent, predatory bitch who assaulted her followers and demanded sexual favours from them, excommunicating any who refused. She also supported nuclear war with various countries, while living on the government dole in her twilight years.

    There is no doubt that if a lunatic Randroid regime ever came to power, far more people would be killed than under Stalin or Mao.

  2. mh

    You don’t have to look outside of this blog to see the dangers of following the looney that Fisky has so accurately described above.

    Exhibit A: Iampeter

  3. Infidel Tiger

    Both are anti-human death cults.

  4. Fisky

    Most Marxists have at least one redeeming feature in that they occasionally get laid. Not so with the Randroids!

  5. Infidel Tiger

    It’s an incel cult.

  6. JC

    Oh stop, Artie. There are a few bad bits in Randian phil, but the nearly all is top shelf.

  7. JC

    She also supported nuclear war with various countries, while living on the government dole in her twilight years.

    She supported confronting the Soviet Union head on. Reagan did that and we ended up with a Soviet Unionless.

    Rand was drawing on her Social Security, which is not a pension as such. A US pension is something entirely different. SS is a government run supe- like system and the money you pay in is promised to you past 60. She paid in and deserved her own money.

  8. mh

    “A civilized society is one in which physical force is banned from human relationships—in which the government, acting as a policeman, may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.”

    The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand

    The Physical Force Squad is watching!

  9. Nato

    You had me at flying hammocks

  10. Colonel Crispin Berka, King's Fusiliers Corps.

    Interpreting Progressives through music parody, with apologies to Oasis.

    Don’t Read Marx In Anger

    Tax me to the peak Laffer goes
    where AOC knows,
    basic income will stay.
    But please don’t put welfare in the hands,
    of the cult of Ayn Rand,
    who’ll throw it all away.

    Gonna start Green New Deal from my bed.
    `Cos Nancy said my brains went to my head.
    Gotta stop munching mad mushrooms,
    Chavez could be running the place,
    Diss my idea and the problem’s your race.
    Cos you `aint ever gonna burn Karl Marx out.

    And so Hayek can wait, he knows it’s too late as kids want e-qua-li-ty.
    Freedom slides away, but don’t read Marx in anger, I heard you say.

  11. Herodotus

    Perhaps in line with Ayn Rand’s view there should be a violent reaction to the white-anting of our country?

  12. CameronH

    The naivety on display is the above rant is mindboggling. We are well and truly f#$ked if this is the level of thinking we have in our future.

  13. Mother Lode

    Makes a point well worth making – kids don’t realise the real consequences of Marxist and/or socialist ideology.

    It appeals to a kindergarten level of understanding where the child lives in a cocooned world of ease they have not earned. Someone else (Mummy and Daddy) keep them fed, clothed, let them play, give them presents from time to time, let them watch TV, and at worst send them to their room for misbehaving.

    And when they are with their friends they think nothing of sharing and giving away stuff they never had to earn.

    No idea about their parents job. No idea about the efforts of people outside their family set and school friends. No idea how much their world benefits from what has been built up by people over centuries, the sacrifices made, the discipline they had.

    It is all so easy.

    Yet looking at everywhere it is tried there is exactly the suspicion of others and jealously guarded possessions (tangible and intangible) used by the leaders to keep people in their place, the grinding poverty (which of course means lack of distractions from the poverty) and the stifling lack of variety and sclerotic impossibility of innovation as predicted in the above.

    Funnily enough, the only areas the old Soviet Union seemed able to make significant advances were in the areas they competed most with other nations – notably defence technology. Within the USSR no such spur existed.

  14. Terry

    “We can rest easy knowing that if we take a big risk (and invest in cryptocurrencies while our parents mutter “Ponzi scheme” under their breath), we have the opportunity for a big reward.”

    Full stop? WTF?

    Where’s the part about the consequences when the “big risk” turns out to be just that.

    It might be tempting to think some kind of epiphany (on the evils of socialism) is going on here.

    It seems more like replacing one fad with another without much understanding of why.

  15. Stimpson J. Cat

    Any Rand is a gateway drug to Libertarianism and should be banned.

  16. Rohan

    And she supports investing in cryptocurrencies. LOL.

  17. Squirrel

    Most of the nonsense doing the rounds at present is just the latest manifestation of radical chic – they’ll get over it, even if they don’t end up on the other side of the spectrum.

  18. The BigBlueCat

    But with Ayn Rand’s philosophy, our stuff will always remain ours. We don’t have to share our Nintendo Switch with our little sister (who drops her phone 10 times a day) unless we want to. We can rest easy knowing that if we take a big risk (and invest in cryptocurrencies while our parents mutter “Ponzi scheme” under their breath), we have the opportunity for a big reward. And best of all, with Ayn Rand’s philosophy reaffirming our desire to be great and create great things, maybe someday we will have JARVIS, jetpacks, and flying hammocks.

    I don’t think Objectivism is the only philosophy that supports property rights, investment and socio-economic development …. what Objectivism does do is encourage self-ism and avoiding self-sacrifice. By Rand’s own admission:

    This concept does not include a moral evaluation; it does not tell us whether concern with one’s own interests is good or evil; nor does it tell us what constitutes man’s actual interests. It is the task of ethics to answer such questions.

    So Objectivism as a philosophy is devoid of ethics??? An observation of adherents to Objectivism perhaps supports the premise that there is, in fact, a lack of ethics in many of their beliefs and practices …

  19. Mitchell Porter

    Hello there… I was wondering if any millennials even read Catallaxy! (I am Gen X myself.)

    To those saying that Objectivism would necessarily lead to open borders, surely it doesn’t have to, any more than an Objectivist household is obligated to take in anyone willing to do housework or help pay the bills, or an Objectivist business is obliged to employ anyone who applies for a job.

    Also, one commenter above presents a quote without context from Rand, and uses it to imply that “Objectivism as a philosophy is devoid of ethics”. Well, of course that is false. In the quoted essay, Rand is first trying to sever the association, due to a purely altruistic notion of ethics, between the word “selfishness” and the connotation of evil, in order to examine self-interest objectively, precisely so as to then reach the morally correct attitude towards it.

    Her conclusion is that rational self-interest is the very essence of virtue, and the foundation of justice, because it allows people to keep what they have earned in life. Not just financially earned, but earned by means of their character, bravery, realism, etc.

    So Objectivism does have an ethics, it’s just different in its emphasis from the usual discussion of morality. Objectivists like to say that altruism is based on feelings whereas Objectivist ethics is based on reason, but of course there are feelings at work here too – the feeling that people deserve to keep that which they have obtained through their efforts or their qualities, feelings of respect or admiration for self-sufficiency and people who keep to themselves, etc.

  20. Stimpson J. Cat

    We don’t have to share our Nintendo Switch with our little sister (who drops her phone 10 times a day) unless we want to.

    The big issues.
    😂

  21. Iampeter

    Most Marxists have at least one redeeming feature in that they occasionally get laid. Not so with the Randroids!

    It’s an incel cult.

    Hmmm, a lot of projection here from actual incel, death cultists, AKA Christians.

    The big issues.
    😂

    Yep, FEE is quite a joke. Like most libertarians, they ripped off Rand’s economics, without crediting her, and without understanding the philosophical foundations on which it all rests and why.
    They then proceeded to create a hopeless political movement that has achieved F A.

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