Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ayn Rand: thought leader for men stuck at the emotional age of 10

You know do 10 year old boys think. Mostly it's "me first" individualism accompanied by vastly overestimating what they can do on their own (until they need something from someone). Ayn Rand flattered herself by calling her philosophy Objectivism. The problem is that it isn't, because it takes individualistic self-interest as the nature of human nature. As if we were descended from cats.

Only we aren't descended from cats. We're descended from dogs. Not literally of course. But dogs are intensely social animals who are also hunters, and who have to care for their offspring long after they're weaned.

That's us. Perhaps Rand didn't "get" this because a normal family life appeared to be alien to her own life experiences. Whatever the reason, proceeding from invalid premises leads to invalid conclusions, regardless of how logically you build from those invalid premises--or not. Doesn't matter. In computer science this is called GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

But it means that fundamental human nature is a dialectic between individualism and collectivism. Any philosophy that tries to eclipse one of those in the service of the other strays from hardwired human nature. Of course millions of humans stray from hardwired human nature every day of the week. So it's not that we can't. It's that we can't without creating a huge inner dissonance that destroys out ability to be happy.

There are no happy putzes. There are rich putzes. Powerful putzes. Celebrity putzes. Just not happy ones.

Today the irony is that the people in politics who pay the greatest homage to Ayn Rand would have all been despised by her. After all, she was an atheist and pro-abortion. Since today's Republican Party rails against anyone with no religion and is apparently adopting an election platform proposing a constitutional amendment to ban all abortions for any reasons whatsoever--Rand would say they didn't have the slightest understanding of her Objectivist philosophy.

No comments: