You’ve got to laugh: Atlas Shrugged edition

The 99% refuse to support looters and moochers.

The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.
For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.
They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.

(HT: Marginal Revolution who suggest taking the story with a grain of salt, why not a latte or Chardonnay?)

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109 Responses to You’ve got to laugh: Atlas Shrugged edition

  1. JamesK

    Piers Morgan interviewing Michael Moore last night:-

    Piers Morgan:
    I need you to admit the bleeding obvious. I need you to sit here and say, I’m in the 1 percent, because it’s important.

    Michael Moore:
    Well, I can’t. Because I’m not.

    Morgan:
    You’re not in if 1 percent?

    Moore:
    Of course I’m not. How can I be in the 1 percent?

    Morgan:
    Because you’re worth millions.

    Moore:
    No, that’s not true. Listen, I do really well. I do well. But what’s the point, though?…

  2. ar

    The Lunch-Counter Revolution.

  3. Marky Mark

    Haha, how do they tell who is who? The anti-government rhetoric? The smell? The appearance? The general state of being un- or ill-informed? I will admit, though, it’s interesting to observe the rise of Occupartheid (can I trademark that one?).

    Especially seeing as how it’s arising from their inability to manage a system to meet their own food requirements. That’s really encouraging for people who are suggesting they should be in charge.

  4. Cliff Maurer

    Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution (on Thursday) — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons”

    So the Occupiers are protesting the top 1% and excluding the bottom 5%, say, from their ranks.
    In which case they can only claim to represent the something under 94%.

  5. Infidel Tiger

    Their parents spat on Hendrix, they spit on the homeless.

    Not much changes.

  6. Token

    The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

    Who would’ve thought the criminal class would take advantage of the naive, idealistic cashed up middle class kiddies?

  7. Gab

    Related: London Occupantionists don’t occupy tents at night.

    An independent thermal imaging company, commissioned by the Daily Mail, captured these pictures after similar footage from a police helicopter found only one in ten tents were occupied after dark.

    The yoof of today, no stamina.

  8. Token

    For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.

    Can you imagine the special dietary demands this lot would be laying down for the “free” grab provided by the collective?

    * Is that gluten free rice?
    * Are those chickens free range, kosher and halal?
    * Are those vegetables organic? Have they been grown using illegal immigrant labour? Did they use “natural” fertiliser (no fertiliser from the evil agri-businesses)

    Hell is meeting the catering requirements of the entitled lefty class.

  9. Marky Mark

    I don’t think they’d be too worried about kosher food.

  10. Capitalist Piggy

    Re: Michael Moore interview:

    “Documentary filmmaker and multimillionaire Michael Moore squirms in the interview above as he refuses to admit he’s in the top 1% (transcript available here), which seems highly unlikely because it would only take $344,000 of income in 2009 to be in the top 1%, and Moore’s net worth is estimated be $50 million.

    Total box office revenues from Moore’s movies come to about 1/3 of a billion dollars ($342 million), and “Fahrenheit 911” by itself grossed $222 million on a production budget of only $6 million. He also repeatedly claims that “capitalism did nothing for me.”

  11. papachango

    roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad…

    that sounds yummy. I might rock on down and get a free feed, as part of the 99%*

    Anyone know the cutoff figure for the worldwide 1%? Got a friend in a nice corporate job who keeps banging on about Occupying, and who I’m pretty sure would be in the top 1% worldwide

  12. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/2074047159/Supersizers-Go-Ep-13-Ancient-Rome

    They could get a few really horrible catering ideas here. That’d get rid of all but the stalwarts.

  13. Adrien

    Sheep’s milk cheese salad. Jay-sus. People in Manhattan are such wankers.

    They had something similar in the Occupy Melbourne thing – We Feed Everybody – it said. It was free. Didn’t look as fancy as the Wall Street menu.

    I didn’t have any, they welcomed donations and everything but it was only a matter of time before reality came along.

  14. Adrien

    So the Occupiers are protesting the top 1% and excluding the bottom 5%, say, from their ranks. In which case they can only claim to represent the something under 94%.

    They’ve been reading Aristotle. 🙂

  15. David Elson

    There’s something dishonest about being worth millions and dressing (and behaving) like a hobo 😛

  16. Jim Rose

    Many a class warrior does not like to rub shoulders with those they appointed themselves to represent.

    If those involved had any real experience with charity work or other community service, they would realised that some of the downtrodden help themselves whenever they can and this free-loading would have been anticipated and dealt with.

    Vinny de Paul and others foodbanks handle this freeloading problem with ease and pragmatism.

    The community service of the occupy … food kitchen must have been in environmental and like organisations well away from meeting ordinary people.

  17. Jack

    Michael Moore’s chutzpah in denying he is part of the 1% is impressive. Even the village idiot can see that Moore has been eating tax minimization plans and investment funds morning, noon and night.

  18. Jim Rose

    Total box office revenues from Moore’s movies come to about 1/3 of a billion dollars ($342 million), and “Fahrenheit 911? by itself grossed $222 million on a production budget of only $6 million

    Michael Moore must not have a good agent or business manager.

  19. Jim Rose

    Fahrenheit 911 raked in $230 million in theaters and another $3 million in DVD sales.

    After the theaters take their traditional 50% cut, that leaves roughly $130 million.

    Take away marketing, production and distribution expenses and Moore is conservatively left with $80 million.

    Moore was able to secure a deal from Miramax which guaranteed him 27% of his film’s net revenues, or roughly $21.6 million.

    Michael also was entitled to 50% of the profits of Sicko which are estimated to be $17 million.

    Moore is the author of several best selling books and received a $1 million advance for “Dude Where’s My Country” plus a generous percentage of the book sales.

    Moore financed his first documentary Roger and Me by holding neighborhood bingo nights around his hometown of Flint Michigan.

    He eventually sold the documentary to Warner Brothers for $3 million.

    HT: http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/directors/michael-moore-net-worth/

  20. m0nty

    Come to think of it, how did that Atlas Shrugged movie go? Given how many Tea Party members there are in the US, surely it was a smash hit, just as big as Michael Moore’s films? Anyone got box office figures? Bueller?

    Oh wait, Google tells me it made less than $5 million on a $20 million budget. Aww. Oh well. I guess parts 2 and 3 are on the backburner.

  21. Dangph

    m0nty, are you defending Michael Moore? Do you find him to be a truthful person? I’m just curious.

  22. .

    Capitalism works, doesn’t it monty?

  23. Winston Smith

    Papachango, due to being a salary earner in a corporate management structure, and being one of 7 Billion people, I’d almost guarantee they’re one of the 1%.

  24. Jim Rose

    Michael Moore has described in detail what he did with the $3 million he made selling Roger & Me to Warner Bros.

    “1.I told the guy who did my 1040 not to declare any deductions other than the mortgage and to pay the full federal, state and city tax rate. I proudly contributed nearly 1 million dollars for the privilege of being a citizen of this great country.

    2. Of the remaining $2 million, I decided to divide it up the way I once heard the folksinger/activist Harry Chapin tell me how he lived: “One for me, one for the other guy.” So I took half the money — $1 million — and established a foundation to give it all away.

    3. The remaining million went like this: I paid off all my debts, paid off the debts of some friends and family members, bought my parents a new refrigerator, set up college funds for our nieces and nephews, helped rebuild a black church that had been burned down in Flint, gave out a thousand turkeys at Thanksgiving, bought filmmaking equipment to send to the Vietnamese (my own personal reparations for a country we had ravaged), annually bought 10,000 toys to give to Toys for Tots at Christmas, got myself a new American-made Honda, and took out a mortgage on an apartment above a Baby Gap in New York City.

    4. What remained went into a simple, low-interest savings account. I made the decision that I would never buy a share of stock (I didn’t understand the casino known as the New York Stock Exchange and I did not believe in investing in a system I did not agree with).”

    HT: http://reason.com/blog/2011/10/28/michael-moore-me-and-my-millio

    Gates and buffett gave almost all of their wealth away to the benefit of strangers, not friends and family. confirms the moore’s generosity falls away with social distance.

    What happened to the millions he made from subsequent ventures?

  25. LaRouchite

    Didn’t that Atlas Shrugged movie lose millions at the box office? I don’t even think it made 25% of it’s budget.

    lol

    I want to see it Battlefield Earth style to see how bad it actually is.

  26. .

    I didn’t understand the casino known as the New York Stock Exchange and I did not believe in investing in a system I did not agree with

    Dumbarse twice admits a lack of understanding and twice condemns the NYSE after making engaging in a bit of childish name calling (unlike mine).

    Why did anyone ever take this fat reprobate seriously?

  27. .

    Well Lyndon – at least it’s supporters didn’t go begging like the entire ABC drama unit, or the actor’s work for the dole schemes known as Home and Away and Neighbours.

  28. Sinclair Davidson

    The book is still a best-seller after 50 years.

  29. wreckage

    I love how they, westerners living an opulent lifestyle, define themselves as the mass of humanity. The only way they’re not in the rich list is if they pare it down to the top 1%; it’s the only bracket of bloated plutocrats that doesn’t include them.

  30. LaRouchite

    Well Lyndon – at least it’s supporters didn’t go begging like the entire ABC drama unit, or the actor’s work for the dole schemes known as Home and Away and Neighbours.

    Don’t spit the dummy.

    Budget $20 million

    Box office $4,627,375

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged:_Part_I

    The reviews are appalling too, who was the genius that thought turning that book into a movie was a good idea?

    Part 1 my arse, ain’t gonna be no Part 2.

  31. .

    Don’t spit the dummy.

    ???

    All I’m saying is at least it didn’t cost *you* money. Cheer up lad.

  32. JC

    LolDouche… Do you have any other links than Crikey and Wiki. LOl You’re very narrowly focused, aren’t you?

    I saw the movie on the web and thought it was quite good despite the canning by leftwing critics. Dagny is a stunning blond and she’s worthwhile seeing.

    Dude, how did the Centrlink interview go on Friday?

  33. Rococo Liberal

    I’m as right wing as they come, but Atlas SHrugged is an awful book. It is neither a good novel, nor a decent political tract. The Rand woman was fruitcake.

    La dildo should realise that three of the biggest film franchises in the World, are all Tory, British efforts: Potter, Rings, and Bond.

  34. JC

    And dickhead, wiki is not a reliable source for anything even remotely controversial as Atlas Shrrugged would be with lefties, who would edit wiki at the drop of a hat.

    For all we know you may have doctored Wiki before posting here. And being an unemployed, venom filled leftie I wouldn’t put it past you. Here’s the official numbers for the movie.

    Box Office
    Budget:
    $6,500,000 (estimate
    d)
    Opening Weekend:
    $1,686,347 (USA) (17 April 2011) (299 Screens)
    Gross:

    $4,563,873 (USA) (15 May 2011)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/

    In other words it was a tiny budget movie by Hollywood standards that didn’t do well at the theater but may actually do a lot better and make a profit once it comes out in video as some movies do that.

  35. Gab

    Special edition DVD will be released early November.

    You can pre-order here, m0ntevideo. (pun intended)

  36. JC

    RL

    If it comes out on vid I suggest you watch it. It’s actually not bad as it places the moochers right in the modern day context like the Odumbo administration.

    Banning Rearden steel from producing superior steel is almost a carbon copy of the Odumbo Administration attempting to ban Boeing from setting a plant in a right-to-work State and siccing the Union controlled Labor board onto the company.

    I actually like the movie, and a little corny in parts but, by god it rings true of the present day goings on.

  37. JC

    Tbanks Gab

    I’ll certainly order it and watch it again if only because Dagny is really hot and presents with a lot of zest.

    There’s a great scene where she tells the union official to go fuck himself.

  38. Rococo Liberal

    JC

    I will probably have to watch the movie if it comes out on DVD, as my wife, like many Tory women in the Eatern Suburbs is a die-hard Rand fan.

    And you bring up a good point; many ilms that tank at the box-office will often make up for it via DVD sales. This is particulalry true of films that are made for adults rather than teenagers. Cinemas have become so horrible to visit these days, that miost of us now prefer to wait until films for grown-ups come out on DVD. I did quite a bit of the tax work on movies in my last firm, and I recall that most of the non-teenage films all regarded te dvd market as the most important one.

    I think this will be true of Atlas Shrugged.

  39. .

    Rococo,

    I have read a fair bit of capitalism: the unknown ideal. it’s not a bad effort by a non economist. She comes up with some good policy ideas any good economist would.

    Her novels offer nothing like Captain Jack Aubery or the house of Finwe so I’m not interested.

  40. JC

    I thought the Foutainhead was a great book and the old time movie was pretty good too. The special effects of trying to present a ultra skyscraper is amusing as it’s so badly done.

    It was a really good movie and did well when it came out.

    ———-

    Back to LolDouche (aka Loldildo).

    Movied celebrating the individual and individual achievement scare him. I can understand that. It frightens loldildo.

    Don’t be scared dild.

  41. Sinclair Davidson

    I always imagined the movie would be black and white.

  42. JC

    Sinc

    Just going by memory from what I read… I believe they had to rush production on the first part because the owner of the rights would lose them if they didn’t film it. So they decided to go low budget of the first part and then raise the stakes on 2 and 3.

    I guess video sales will also give them an idea on what to do next time, if there is one. As RL suggests it could do much better through vid sales. and I suspect it will.

  43. Jim Rose

    Most films lose money, made up by a small tail of blockbusters.

    The DVD revenues are larger than from the cinema box offices, so much so that there were long actors and writers strikes a few years ago over their division.

    There is a cherished film industry maxim that “nobody knows anything”

    There is a busy media industry literature based in the LA business schools. They study extreme uncertainty and the desire of audiences for novelty.

    The lighting in the Godfather was dark not because of a desire to create that imagery, but because the budget was so tight because it was a movie that was not expected to come to much.

  44. Rococo Liberal

    The Fountainhead movie was great stuff. I remember going to see it at Paddington Townhall years ago with my wife. There were a lot of luvvies in the audience who came to scorn. They tended to laugh nervously at the more serious moments, but at the end you could see that the movie affected them, primarily because it was just so different to any film they had ever seen before.

    If only Rand had a sense of humour

  45. m0nty

    m0nty, are you defending Michael Moore? Do you find him to be a truthful person? I’m just curious.

    Nup. Never watched one of his movies. I don’t think he has all that much interesting to say about #occupy either, and his interview with Piers Morgan showed why.

  46. m0nty

    For all we know you may have doctored Wiki before posting here. And being an unemployed, venom filled leftie I wouldn’t put it past you. Here’s the official numbers for the movie.

    IMDb is user-generated content just like Wikipedia, JC. There’s nothing official about it. For all we know, you may have doctored IMDb before posting here. (Actually, it’s easier to see Wiki edit histories than those of IMDb, as the former is readable by all and the latter is behind a login-wall.)

  47. Jarrah

    “Never watched one of his movies.”

    Bowling for Columbine is worth watching. His analysis is simplistic, but I think accurately identifies the key factor in gun violence – culture, not gun laws or ownership rates.

  48. Rex

    JC, you seem to know a lot about wiki editing

  49. .

    He’s partly right. it’s the drug war.

    His idea that military bases cause massacres is fucking bollocks. There is no military base in Childers, QLD.

  50. MarkL of Canberra

    I like the way Michael Moore pays his staff and workers below-par rates for the ‘privilege’ of working for his bloatedness, refuses to let them unionise, and forces them to do unpaid overtime.He screws his workers and acts like a Dickensian mill-owner.

    All the time while posing as a lefty! it’s a great cover for a exploitive sod like him.

    Mk50
    Brisbane

  51. Jim Rose

    refuses to let them unionise

    what is your source? would be a great read.

  52. Infidel Tiger

    Moore also lives in a Park Avenue penthouse and private schools his sprogs.

  53. .

    All the time while posing as a lefty! it’s a great cover for a exploitive sod like him.

    I’ve met a few cunts like this.

  54. Peter Patton

    Adrien

    So the Occupiers are protesting the top 1% and excluding the bottom 5%, say, from their ranks. In which case they can only claim to represent the something under 94%.

    All while being completely oblivious they are being astroturfed by the top 2-5%!

  55. Peter Patton

    dot

    I was going to say I don’t who is worse, Moore or Susan Sarandon. But them I remembered Rocky Horror Picture Show. Besides having [had] greats tits and legs, Sarandon is also much, much richer than Moore. All my bad manners evaporate if a dudette’s pushing 9 figures.

  56. JC

    JC, you seem to know a lot about wiki editing

    I do actually Rexford. I’m aware for instance that William Connelly, a noted AGW alammist was thrown off wiki for editing thousands of pages to slant the stuff his way.

  57. Peter Patton

    IT

    OTOH, if in my presence, Sarandon ever started up with that ‘I’m a leftie’ shtick, my bad manners would return quite quickly, as I quickly reminded myself, the world is full of great tits and legs.

  58. Peter Patton

    dot

    I recently read Derrida trying to paint himself as a lefty a decade or so ago. He sounded like an old man eating ice cream.

  59. Peter Patton

    What a pity Ayn Rand didn’t die in a fiery plane crash before her speed addled fingers got to “who is John Galt”? I read her for the first time this year. HOW have she and her excerable books remained topics of conversation for intelligent, let alone interesting people? She is like those kids from school who wrote a precocious piece in Composition in 6th Class, and somehow or other, it was read out in every class for years afterward. My own Room 101 has Christine Harris reading out once more, her life as an HB pencil – I kid you not.

    In retrospect, teachers should be able to spot this sort of thing. I call it the Mary Bennett Syndrome. A wise teacher would have said firmly, “that’s enough now, Ayn, you’ve delighted us far too much”.

  60. Peter Patton

    A more senitive acquaintance – an American baby boomer – assures me, you REALLY had to be there, and that she was a real cult among American teenagers during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. If that’s true, it sure says a lot about those times.

  61. Michael Sutcliffe

    Ayn Rand appeals to the rationalists. Don’t evaluate her from a literary perspective – evaluate her ideas from a rationalist perspective and enjoy the clarity and rational consistency in her thought. She’s the only person I’m aware of who has put forward a complete philosophy – metaphysical, epistemological and ethical – that is rationally consistent and applicable to the human condition without having to accept some unrealistic context or false premise.

  62. Adrien

    evaluate her ideas from a rationalist perspective

    Let’s instead evaluate her rationalist perspective on the basis of her life.

    She spruiks freedom, freedom, freedom. And manages to convert this into the idol worship of those with the highest social status, a codified rulebook for her associates including instructions as to what music they should listen to resulting in a mini-cult wherein she decides who shall be who’s lover etc.

    Yep. Sounds like rationalism to me.

  63. Adrien

    She’s the only person I’m aware of who has put forward a complete philosophy – metaphysical, epistemological and ethical – that is rationally consistent and applicable to the human condition without having to accept some unrealistic context or false premise.

    May I suggest you read a book sometime.

  64. wreckage

    Pure rationalism is irrational.

  65. Michael Sutcliffe

    May I suggest you read a book sometime.

    Pure rationalism is irrational.

    Why don’t you, or any of the other losers so offended by Rand’s philosophy, actually disprove her core thesis? If she’s wrong it can’t be that hard.

  66. Peter Patton

    without having to accept some unrealistic context or false premise

    Did you actually pay attention to what her nauseatingly vapid vicarious speed freak ‘characters’ said? In real life, there would have been a lot of people slapped after the 300th or so “who is John Galt”, and unquestionably gun shots when he finally ascends.

    I’m sorry, Michael, I think she is close to the most ridiculous, deluded, and so not smart person I have read for quite some time. At least Susan Mitchell has never claimed otherwise. Maybe it is because I am reading her sooooo out of context. 1957 was a pretty scary time for liberty. It was damned hard to sell, and seemingly hard even to get anyone to listen. Thank god the neocons kept at it I suppose.

    But the other thing that really pissed me off – but she does have a pass on this point, given she was actually writing in the 1950s – is this Brodie’s Notes

    I Am Not a Nietzschean. I Am Not Even Nietzsche. Nietzsche Was Just Trying To Be me.

    But she did not come within a light year of getting Nietzsche. Oh, good grief, what I would give to witness Nietzsche’s introduction to John Galt! The idiotic materialist vulgarity would have forced Nietzsche to switch her amphetamine for Ratsak.

    I’ve read so many writers lately, who also think/thought they are/were Nietzsche – Foucault, Judith Butler, Derrida, and Spivak. I mean, FMD, Derrida also thought he was Socrates! The thing is, that any writer who has this I Am Nietzsche psychosis loses before even starting. Again, I would love to witness the horrified snorts as Nietzsche is paraded with this interminable red-carpet of wogs wearing I Am Nietzsche T-Shirts. At least with Rand, he could have scored some wiked goey, I supposed

    Rand appeals to the same type of kids who lap up these post-structuralist and – even worse – postcolonialist shamans: the folks who don’t realize that they are paid up members conforming to the non-comformists.

  67. wreckage

    I didn’t say she was wrong, and I’m not offended by her or her work.

  68. Michael Sutcliffe

    I’ve never read any of Rand’s fiction. I believe most her writings on politics or ethics – i.e. everything beyond her central thesis – are just ramblings and personal opinion. I think some of the experiments she conducted in her personal life were weird and doomed to failure.

    Regardless, Rand’s writing continues to be a success and is widely considered still relevant today, still introducing new ideas to people, and doesn’t look like being out of print, let alone proved incorrect, any time soon.

    But, Peter, most of all my comments above apply to you as well. If she’s wrong and her ideas are simply childish garbage that appeals to people lower than yourself then disprove her core thesis. Believe me, better people than you are continually trying and failing.

  69. Michael Sutcliffe

    Sorry, screwed up that first sentence because I’m having a telephone conversation at the same time. It should read:

    I’ve never read any of Rand’s fiction. I believe most her writings on art or aesthetics – i.e. everything beyond her central thesis – are just ramblings and personal opinion.

  70. Michael Sutcliffe

    Rand appeals to the same type of kids who lap up these post-structuralist and – even worse – postcolonialist shamans: the folks who don’t realize that they are paid up members conforming to the non-comformists.

    No offence intended (really), but that’s a bit of how I think of you! (based entirely on your posts, of course I may think completely different in real life.)

  71. THR

    Why don’t you, or any of the other losers so offended by Rand’s philosophy, actually disprove her core thesis? If she’s wrong it can’t be that hard.

    She starts from wrong and arrogantly idiotic premises. She gets her ontology completely wrong and seems to believe in some radically atomistic individualism. She gets her epistemology wrong and presupposes some total, self-reflexive, unmediated access to the world. These are errors that would be beneath most first-year philosophy students. From here, Rand, in shrill voice and turgid prose, purports to preach what she calls ‘objectivism’.

    There are great individualistic philosophers out there – Nietzsche (as mentioned), Foucault (in his own way) and even Nozick. Rand isn’t one of them. There are better philosophers of liberty, and I’m sure many here could point them out to you. As far as philosophy of consciousness is concerned, Sartre is smarter than Rand.

  72. Peter Patton

    Michael

    I wrote you a lengthy, considered, conciliatory reply, which got lost when the site down. I didn’t save, and am not up for retyping, except for one bit. If it is not in her fiction or aesthetics, WHERE is Rand’s “central message”? And please explain it here, coz there are too many Jeffrey Archer novels to re-read before I could be coaxed back to that tedious drug-addicted airhead.

  73. Michael Sutcliffe

    I know you hate her THR, but that’s not enough. You’ve made the claims, pick something and prove it wrong.

  74. THR

    You’ve made the claims, pick something and prove it wrong.

    See above. She can’t do ontology, and can’t do epistemology. Her basic assumptions don’t withstand the slightest scrutiny. From this, the ethics and aesthetics (Dostoevsky is immoral!!1!) are not even worth considering.

  75. Peter Patton

    Oh good god, and you don’t even have drug addiction to excuse you.

  76. Michael Sutcliffe

    Peter, I’m assuming Rand’s message is in her fiction, I’ve just never read it. She also wrote many essays and had many interviews and debates and there is a body of knowledge around her philosophy you can access. I’ve found the American academic Gary Hull to be good in terms of explaining objectivist philosophy to people who are new to it.

    Rand’s philosphy:

    In my words: humans are just a phenomenon of nature so it’s foolish to go looking for a higher morality elsewhere. There is no ‘universal good’. There is only what is good for human life, and the only measure of value is human life. People who sacrifice any aspect of human life to some higher cause are actually being destructive. Humans are just another animal with the critical difference being we are the animal who can reason. It is this ability to reason that allows us to live as moral beings. As other animals survive according to varying levels of instinct, human beings are currently the only animal that survives according to the values they adopt for themselves. Whether we truly have free will or not is irrelevant, but as man survives according to his values we should think of our relationship to the world in terms of us having free will.

    Reality is objective. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, and you don’t do any crap like create your own reality (in terms of the world you are delivered into – you can influence outcomes from your choices and actions). We gain our understanding of the world through rational analysis based on what we obtain via our senses. As man’s life is the yardstick of value, improving human life means improving your own life as much as anything to improve other’s lives, so there is nothing morally wrong with rational self-interest, it is morally on par with helping others (who are worthy of help).

  77. THR

    Reality is objective. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, and you don’t do any crap like create your own reality (in terms of the world you are delivered into – you can influence outcomes from your choices and actions).

    Except that there’s a century of research in cognitive science which shows clearly that humans actively construct their own ‘reality’.

  78. Michael Sutcliffe

    THR, that’s just piss. This is the best site I’ve found trying to combat Rand on a blog over a long time:

    http://www.aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com/

    And after quite a few goes of debating on it, and many years of monitoring it, I don’t think they’ve laid a finger on her. There’s plenty of abuse: she took drugs, she accepted welfare in her later life, her personal relationships were weird. But nothing to compromise her central tenets.

  79. Michael Sutcliffe

    Except that there’s a century of research in cognitive science which shows clearly that humans actively construct their own ‘reality’.

    Are you claiming there is or isn’t an objective reality in the universe?

  80. C.L.

    …humans actively construct their own ‘reality’.

    Lefty ones certainly do.

  81. THR

    Are you claiming there is or isn’t an objective reality in the universe?

    I’m claiming that humans have no unmediated access to objective reality. In the end, even the hardest science has a degree of arbitrariness in its designations. Take the Periodic Table for instance. It’s evolved to explain a whole series of phenomena, but conceivably, one could construct another system to do the same thing.

  82. Michael Sutcliffe

    Any other version of the periodic table would still identify and classify elements in the same way, or it would be wrong. all knowledge is on a continuum and there is always a degree of arbitrariness in what we don’t know. That doesn’t mean we can’t know what is effectively an absolute. Cue the oft used example of quantum physics not degrading the usefulness or factualness of Newtonian physics.

    We’ve been over this before and I don’t really want to do it again. I really just want to give Peter a primer.

  83. Peter Patton

    Michael, I don’t condemn any of her lifestyle, but as somebody who knows a bit about neuropharmacology, trust me, you do not go to the speed-freak counter when you are after a giant on philosophy! Her prose reaks of speed-freak, just as after a few paragraphs of Bob Ellis, we wink at each other, acknowledging he is a fine stylist of ‘alcoholic prose’.

  84. JC

    I think the important thing to take away for Atlas Shrugged is that there are really great people and I mean possessing the greatness gene. They do make a difference. The left of course can’t abide that sort of thinking.

    Some of us are really resourceful and have what it takes in the brains and determination department.

  85. THR

    Any other version of the periodic table would still identify and classify elements in the same way, or it would be wrong.

    There could conceivably be an entirely different system in which ‘elements’ do not exist, and which nonetheless explains the data.

    Also, Rand identifies rationality with consciousness. The grater part of our mental processes are not conscious at all – not only is our consciousness biased and fragmentary in all sorts of ways, we aren’t even aware of this happening most of the time Rand completely ignored this. It sounds like you’re ignoring this as well, which is about the same as believing that the moon is made of cheese, and dismissing all evidence to the contrary.

  86. wreckage

    THR, for once, I like your argument.

    Ultimately though if you follow the reasoning you can very easily end up clutching a copy of “Fortean times” and talking too fast.

    Ultimately science done properly can work even if everyone’s universe is objectively different, thanks to the repeatability of experiments, and statistical analysis.

    I’d also say that the subjectivity of knowledge knits pretty well with Hayek’s argument that imperfect information makes a free economy an adaptive necessity.

    After all, if we go with a moderate interpretation, let’s say everyone’s perception of reality is at least somewhat arbitrary. Isn’t it better then that they negotiate outcomes between each other rather than have them imposed by fiat?

  87. Michael Sutcliffe

    Rand’s philosphy:

    In her words from my memory with my explanation. And if I misquote her I don’t care! If you’re worried about my accuracy do your own research (and good on you if you do!):

    My philosophy in essence is man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement his noblest activity and reason his only absolute.

    heroic being – You know you are mortal, you know you are irrelevant in the universe, yet you live celebrating the wonderful phenomenon that is your life.

    your happiness as your moral purpose – if your values are morally correct, then the satisfaction of these values will bring you happiness.

    productive achievement – using your talents and abilities to work hard and improve your life is the most moral thing you can do. Through capitalism it also helps everyone else and is the only way by which humans improve their lot.

    Reason the only absolute – the only thing you should always depend in terms of how you should act.

    Ayn Rand was once asked to condense her philosophy into a statement should could deliver while standing on one foot:

    Metaphysics, objective reality. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed.

    Epistemology, reason. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    Ethics, rational self-interest. Man is an end to himself.

  88. Peter Patton

    JC

    I think the greatest Australian who has ever lived is Rupert Murdoch, and one of the shoddiest books I have ever read is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I think Rupert Murdoch is a genius, while Ayn Rand was an incredibly ordinary woman regurgitating sophomoric impressions of those she could never appreciate, so she fudged it with a permanent stash of goey, which clearly satisfied many.

    Maybe if I lived in their time, or mainlined their poison, I could appreciate her as more than the earnest, sweating lady, smoking in the back row of the Creative Writing class.

  89. Rococo Liberal

    As a philosopher rand is a great novelist and as a novelist she is a great philosopher.

    SOme of the tenets of her thinking may be correct, but her essential humorlessness makes her miss the core of the human condition.

    Philosophy may be tragedy, it is more likely farce, but it certainly isn’t melodrama. And melodrama is Rand’s true state of being.

  90. THR

    After all, if we go with a moderate interpretation, let’s say everyone’s perception of reality is at least somewhat arbitrary. Isn’t it better then that they negotiate outcomes between each other rather than have them imposed by fiat?

    Yes, probably. We might disagree, though, about how that negotiation takes place.

    your happiness as your moral purpose

    How does Rand define happiness? What makes her think that it has anything at all to do with moral purpose, which sounds rather school-marmish? And why does she think happiness is a worthy goal at all?

    Also, Rand lacks any account of other people. This is an essential pre-requisite of any ontology, and without it, no philosopher will produce any decent work. There’s a reason why you, for instance, are typing here in English and not Swahili, and it has nothing to do with ‘objective reality’.

  91. THR

    I think the greatest Australian who has ever lived is Rupert Murdoch

    I believe he renounced his Australian status some time ago.

  92. JC

    SOme of the tenets of her thinking may be correct, but her essential humorlessness makes her miss the core of the human condition.

    Ever seen a Russian smile laugh? They are inherently miserable human beings, so why expect more from Rand.

  93. JC

    I believe he renounced his Australian status some time ago.

    Dual citizenship.

  94. Peter Patton

    JC

    Who isn’t up for a bit of vicarious lurv with the “greatness gene”. I am. I even loved Giant! 🙂 I could read Pericles all day, still find it hard to believe that Alexander The Great ever lived, or that Augustus’ Res Gestae was not ghost-written by Gough Whitlam.

    In a spasm of positivity, let me agree John Galt brought me closer to the greatest, by presenting as so quintessentially not great. Ironically, I think Rand’s speed freakery zapped her ‘mantannae’. Maybe she was better with male characters in her youth. But John Galt was more drag than dude.

  95. Peter Patton

    THR

    Who said anything about his passport? Have you heard him speak?

  96. Peter Patton

    JC

    Are you sure Murdoch has dual citizenship? He had to give up his Australian citizenship, coz we didn’t allow dual citizenship at the time [1980s?]. I know we allow dual-citizenship now, but did Murdoch ever recover his?

  97. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Michael:

    Are you claiming there is or isn’t an objective reality in the universe?

    It’s a tenet of the left wing secular faith that reality is well, relative to the viewpoint of the state. And the state is subordinate only to the whims and wishes of the leader. Look at Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-Il, Castro. What they have in common is totalitarian power, which requires that every conceivable alternative power structure (the Church, the Masons, the unions, whatever) be destroyed or placed under total state control. The USSR and the DPRK both had/have something called ‘unions’. Hint at withdrawing labour to improve conditions for the workers, and you’ll get a bullet in the head. So much for any value these ‘unions’ might have.

    Yet, western authoritarian regimes permitted alternative power structures to remain. Mussolini did not touch the Church and left the political power structure of the King intact. Franco and Pinochet left other power structures intact as well. Reprehensible and unpleasant as these regimes were, they were not a patch as bad as the socialist-rooted regimes of Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim Il-Sung or castro.

    Hence lefties recognise no absolutes, no ‘incontrovertible facts or pesky things like that.

    This is a very useful worldview for totalitarians as it enables morality to be abandoned, inverted, turned upside down. To paraphrase Bill Whittle; ‘if the US constitution had a simple declarative statement that ‘water flows downhill’, an activist judge could qualify that with ‘except with certain minor quantum effects whereby it can flow uphill under near-unique conditions’. the next activist judge can then build on that to say that water flows both down and up hill. And a decade after that a left-wing special interest group called the ‘water flows uphill society’ gets the ‘water flows uphill act’ passed in their congress, and it is upheld by yet more judges on the basis of judicial precedent.

    Thus a simple declarative statement can become enshrined in law to mean the exact opposite of what it says in plain English.

    It is this mutable sliminess which makes socialism so irresistibly attractive to totalitarians. A very perspicacious Pole who went on to become Pope noted that the two great totalitarian left-wing secular faiths which murdered 20% of Poland’s population 1939-49, national socialism and international socialism, both shared exactly the same moral inversion.

    In moral terms, they were indistinguishable: both acted in exactly the same manner. Anything the state decided was moral, even if it was contradictory or capricious.

    it’s also why lefties reject the concept of evil when it applied to regimes/tyrants they love. They just redefine it. So Stalin and Mao were not evil because they were socialist (so the tens of millions butchered deserved it), but Pinochet was because he persecuted leftists (and the hundreds he had killed were pure as the driven snow as they were leftists): therefore, in lefty-world, Pinochet was utterly evil, and Stalin, Mao and Hitler just made a few regrettable errors of judgement, all perfectly understandable to a lefty!

    Mk50
    Brisbane
    (formerly MarkL of Canberra)

  98. Michael Sutcliffe

    How does Rand define happiness?

    Satisfaction of your values.

    What makes her think that it has anything at all to do with moral purpose, which sounds rather schoolmarmish?

    There is no higher moral purpose to pursue than human wellbeing. Are you saying there is some sort of higher service to God or something? Your values are the manifestation of how you live from a moral perspective. You have bad values you will have a bad life. You have good values you will live a good life. You have good values and you live up to them you will live a good life and be happy, and that’s the highest purpose a human can achieve.

    And why does she think happiness is a worthy goal at all?

    Because there is no higher goal than having good values and living up to them, and this brings happiness.

    Also, Rand lacks any account of other people. This is an essential pre-requisite of any ontology, and without it, no philosopher will produce any decent work.

    Honestly, you have no understand of Rand at all.

    Rands account of other people is throughout all her work. You should treat other people through voluntary interaction, trading value for value to mutual benefit. You should not use violence unless violence is initiated against you. You should live by judging others and holding them to account and you should expect to be judged yourself and held to account. Sacrificing yourself to other people who are not worthy is destructive and not in line with civilised behaviour. Helping others who are worthy to achieve their potential is completely in line with a person who is in love with the act of creative achievement.

    There’s a reason why you, for instance, are typing here in English and not Swahili, and it has nothing to do with ‘objective reality’.

    It has everything to do with objective reality. However, what’s more important is that the ideas I’m conveying will rationally mean the same thing to a swahili speaker or an english speaker regardless of the language they are conveyed in (much like your periodic table example) and that is also objective reality.

  99. Michael Sutcliffe

    Finally, what I’d say is the same thing I said above. You need to ask yourself why it matters if she’s chipper or humourless, she had weird relationships or a traditional husband and two kids, whether she took drugs or was a teetotaller, whether she was personable or abrupt and unlikeable. Even whether she was a good novelist or a crap fiction writer. Just maybe you’re letting your own biases take over. Evaluate her ideas on their own merits. If you still can’t stand her then pick other philosophers who espouse the same ideas to investigate them, although I’m afraid you’ll probably need to integrate them in the way Rand proposes, as I’m not aware of anyone else who has done that.

  100. Peter Patton

    THR

    How does Rand define happiness?

    Oh FFS, where is that revolver? Did you seriously type that? For one supposedly so unimpressed with Rand, you sure do over read her.

  101. THR

    Satisfaction of your values.

    But satisfaction often takes place contrary to one’s values. Why do you think Catholics so often engage in pre-marital sex?

    There is no higher moral purpose to pursue than human wellbeing.

    Firstly, who determines that ‘wellbeing’? Secondly, I’m reminded of Nietzsche’s line that ‘happiness’ is for Christians, cows, women and Englishmen.

    You have bad values you will have a bad life.

    Aren’t there plenty of examples of Jon-like individuals who suffer, in spite of ‘good values’, whilst the wicked prosper? Even by Rand’s own standards, plenty of ‘evil’ collectivists have been happy.

    Honestly, you have no understand of Rand at all.

    Rands account of other people is throughout all her work. You should treat other people through voluntary interaction, trading value for value to mutual benefit.

    No, you have no understanding of ontology. The self is literally contructed (in large part) by other people. (In the first instance, one’s parents). Human subjects are not closed atoms that merely ‘interact’ with others.

    I’m conveying will rationally mean the same thing to a swahili speaker or an english speaker regardless of the language they are conveyed in (much like your periodic table example) and that is also objective reality.

    Nonsense. There are plenty of words and ideas that are language-specific. Milan Kundera’s ‘litost’, for instance. There are parts of ‘reality’ that disappear outside of language-specific situations.

  102. THR

    For one supposedly so unimpressed with Rand, you sure do over read her.

    Calm down, you unwashed chimp. There ae many definitions of happiness, from Aristotle to Schopenhauer, and the question is worth asking.

  103. .

    THR’s “intellectualism’ (if we can call it that) is to refuse to condemn Lenin for his incitement of murder of the middle classes and then calls classical liberals and libertarians as the murderers who fed men, women and children into the incinerators of the holocaust.

    What a filthy, deplorable wreck of a human being.

    Who cares what he thinks?

  104. Peter Patton

    In the case of Rand, hapiness is a warm gun!

  105. Mk50 of Brisbane

    As I said above at 5:51PM, Dot!

    it’s also why lefties reject the concept of evil when it applied to regimes/tyrants they love. They just redefine it. So Stalin and Mao were not evil because they were socialist (so the tens of millions butchered deserved it), but Pinochet was because he persecuted leftists (and the hundreds he had killed were pure as the driven snow as they were leftists): therefore, in lefty-world, Pinochet was utterly evil, and Stalin, Mao and Hitler just made a few regrettable errors of judgement, all perfectly understandable to a lefty!

    Mk50
    Brisbane
    (formerly MarkL of Canberra)

  106. Peter Patton

    If the flames must be kept aroar in perpetuity to spit thre cloven hooves of Lenin, as Communism’s pure undistilled avatar, how must Rand gesture to her own role in the eventauuly scary, but triumphant loss of Lenin, and his oriental bum-chum, Stalin?

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