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I have found very few women that have not already been beaten down to a flimsy, irrational, empty pulp.
November 18, 2008 3:15 PM   Subscribe

You should contact me if you are a skinny woman. If your words are a meaningful progression of concepts rather than a series of vocalizations induced by your spinal cord for the purpose of complementing my tone of voice.... Are you Libertarian? And Lonely? Is the Atlas in your pants "Shrugging"?
posted by orthogonality (167 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wait I thought that's what Metafilter was for? Dangit i want my $5 back.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:19 PM on November 18, 2008


You know who else shrugged?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:22 PM on November 18, 2008


More people need to introduce the word "mansome" into their vocabularies. I'm doing my part.
posted by zoomorphic at 3:25 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


OMG! I'm so happy that there is a Randian Objectivist dating service. Maybe they'll all hook up with each other and spare us their company now.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:26 PM on November 18, 2008 [14 favorites]


My name is Daniel. I consider myself to be a born-again egoist and I have dedicated the rest of my life to self-improvement. People see me as a socially inept loner because I tend to avoid superficial conversation but actually I love talking to people who like to think (the problem being I don’t know very many).

Egoist is right. Fucking Randians are the most selfish, self-centered people on earth, I swear. Most people are just, you know, selfish, but Randians have a whole philosophy based around how it's noble to be selfish prigs. I dislike them more every single time I encounter new information about them.
posted by Caduceus at 3:27 PM on November 18, 2008 [17 favorites]


This is a good one:

Please note: If you’re overweight, I won’t date you. If you believe in God, I won’t date you. If you vote for Democrats, I won’t date you.

That's quite the narrow window you're leaving yourself there, champ.
posted by Caduceus at 3:28 PM on November 18, 2008 [10 favorites]


Is the Atlas in your pants "Shrugging"

No, but my head is fountaining.
posted by diogenes at 3:28 PM on November 18, 2008 [49 favorites]


Really, nothing is hotter than an accomplished girl in a suit, as long as she is willing to settle down and have my children.
You can only get away with this sentence if you are Michael Caine. And if you say it with a little grin, not too much, just enough. And if you are the second guest on Parkinson.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:28 PM on November 18, 2008 [12 favorites]


Some of Rand's fiction features sex scenes with stylized erotic combat that some claim borders on rape. Rand said that if what The Fountainhead depicted was rape it was "rape by engraved invitation."

Fun stuff.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:31 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fantastic! Another list of people I can avoid! But if most of these folks are "socially inept loner[s]" because of they are so far above the mass of humanity, I don't think I would really run into them much, anyway.

Oh, the opportunities to snark are fantastic! "I am rational, integrated, and efficacious. So far, I’ve never met a person who lives up to the standard I hold for myself (except online)." Integrated? Into yourself? Are you some sort of human möbius? And online conversations only go so far to getting you through life, let alone a single day.

"I love intelligent, sassy girls, particularly those working in consulting or investment banking (but other fields are great too). Really, nothing is hotter than an accomplished girl in a suit, as long as she is willing to settle down and have my children. I want a girl who will support my ambitions against the naysayers in society. And I love nothing more than a sassy, intelligent working girl with child. Or can that girl take some time off from working while she's raising mini-you? Oh, you were self-sufficient from day one, and you came from the womb fully clothed and ready to reap the rewards of this lazy world? Awesome.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:31 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Her "philosophy" is a culturally/economically relativistic corruption of Aristotle for elitist decidophobes.
posted by ageispolis at 3:34 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


"rape by engraved invitation"

Worst prom theme ever.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:34 PM on November 18, 2008 [115 favorites]


Previously. Compared to him, these guys are amateurs.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:36 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I consider myself to be a born-again egoist and I have dedicated the rest of my life to self-improvement. People see me as a socially inept loner because I tend to avoid superficial conversation...

'Nuff said. Get over yourself.

Hint: when having a conversation with a stranger at a social gathering -- what many call a party, reception, gathering, etc. -- don't steer the chat to yourself. Shut up. Listen.

By the way, having a drink or two might help. Err ... wait, maybe not, if you are so fucking into yourself.

Yeah ... you're likely right. You're a socially inept loner. No. You're a socially inept loser!
posted by ericb at 3:39 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Fantastic! Another list of people I can avoid!

Add it to those who boast of their MENSA membership.
posted by ericb at 3:41 PM on November 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


More people need to introduce the word "mansome" into their vocabularies.

Could you say that more... sexfully?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:42 PM on November 18, 2008 [11 favorites]


"Lewis" doesn't get the whole Ayn Rand thing, I don't think.
posted by batmonkey at 3:46 PM on November 18, 2008


Neil Peart joke goes here.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 3:47 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's it. I've had it.

Objectivism/Ayn Rand and by some extension, libertarianism has to be put down as a system. Can't we just do it? Yet no... the libertarian movement seems to be growing at a steady rate. I understand it, it's a philosophy that builds rational points against totalitarianism and the discipline of personal responsibility. That's great and all, but my god it is not a system for societal function. It's absurd. We're a society that works in groups. We have been since them mammoth huntin' days and we always will be. It's called cultural survival.

The idea we can revert to a form of government in which we were already too advanced for pre-constitution is mind-boggling. Who thinks, "hey! those articles of confederation were great! let's do that again!" Like I say, as a proposed system and approach to life it's mind-boggling.

I just... gahhhhh. I can't even deal with it anymore. I've just had it.

I'll end with the great words of my friend Ken, "If we enact a libertarian government I'm aligning myself behind the first sword-waving despot I can find and cowering behind his might."
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 3:48 PM on November 18, 2008 [19 favorites]


Really, nothing is hotter than an accomplished girl in a suit, as long as she is willing to settle down and have my children.

Is Atlas Shrugged meant to be Ironic?

Yup.
posted by racingjs at 3:49 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's like reading singles ads from the 1890's.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:51 PM on November 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


I consider myself to be a born-again egoist

Funny, I consider you to be a self-involved prick.
posted by lumpenprole at 3:51 PM on November 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know, I could have sworn that you wrote 1980's, doctor_negative, and I was agreeing with you.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:52 PM on November 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


I had the exact same reaction Durn Bronzefist, funny how the brain made me see it that way first... like a strange psychosocial multiple draft edit.
posted by ageispolis at 3:55 PM on November 18, 2008


DESPERATELY SEEKING THE OBVIOUS LOGICAL RESULT OF THE OBJECTIVE APPLICATION OF THE CORE PRINCIPLES OF THE UNFETTERED FREE MARKET TO MY HEART
posted by Flunkie at 3:57 PM on November 18, 2008 [14 favorites]


P.S. RON PAUL/GOLD STANDARD '12 - GOOGLE THE RELOVELUTION
posted by Flunkie at 3:57 PM on November 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


AKA SUSAN
posted by boo_radley at 3:59 PM on November 18, 2008


Fkn halrious

Really though, I am aware of the Rand bashing take everyone seems to favor, but how does a cultural phenomenon like this happen? Can anyone pinpoint the first domino in this assasination perputrated by the elite intellectual class? The Fountainhead was required reading in my high school. I enjoyed the book, and years later, read Anthem, which as a dystopin novel I found creepy and amusing in the usual dystopian ways. I would not characterize myself as someone who follows Objectivism and frankly dont care enough about to recommend any of her books based on that- they just are good reads. I guess my my question could be answered by looking again at the main link in the post but,

why is the fallout from her books such a big deal? Who or what started it?
posted by captainsohler at 3:59 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, do you know how hard it is to get a woman to wear a bustle?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:00 PM on November 18, 2008


Especially in her hedgerow!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:03 PM on November 18, 2008 [12 favorites]


Sorry, but no system that gives an enless handjob to the ego (in the guise of exalting your personal responsibility or making you a diamond distributor with oakleaf clusters or whatever) is ever going to really die a natural death.

Since Atlas implies that these people are the ones keeping the lights on and all, I like to take them to task and ask them what, exactly, it is that keeps the lights on. Be specific, include equations.

Seeing white all around the iris is the sweetest candy.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:03 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


these are all so sad, yet awesome
posted by Auden at 4:05 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I never “hook-up” randomly, I never kiss a girl that doesn’t deserve mine. I have yet to find a girl deserving of my falling in love with her.

By A+B...
posted by qvantamon at 4:08 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fkn halrious

Really though, I am aware of the Rand bashing take everyone seems to favor, but how does a cultural phenomenon like this happen? Can anyone pinpoint the first domino in this assasination perputrated by the elite intellectual class? The Fountainhead was required reading in my high school. I enjoyed the book, and years later, read Anthem, which as a dystopin novel I found creepy and amusing in the usual dystopian ways. I would not characterize myself as someone who follows Objectivism and frankly dont care enough about to recommend any of her books based on that- they just are good reads. I guess my my question could be answered by looking again at the main link in the post but,

why is the fallout from her books such a big deal? Who or what started it?
posted by captainsohler at 3:59 PM on November 18 [+] [!]


What follows is pure speculation at best. I'm imagining the growing popularity of it is a combination: the late 70's and 80's rejection of the late 60s cultural revolution (80s kids rejecting their parents values) + The rebellion and deterioration of soviet communism and generic totalitarism in eastern europe + the proliferation of a society where we don't really need to interact/depend on others and the ways in which we do are far more unseen = more people eager to adopted the counter-example that is objectivism.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:09 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty damn sure I think Atlas Shrugged is a heap of heartless bullshit*, but it was so damn dense and unreadable that I gave up after the first few pages and decided I had better ways to spend my time than read a book to prove to myself I don't like it.
So now it sits on my bookshelf. Maybe I'll carve out its insides and turn it into a box someday.

*at least it sounded like it when it was explained to me by a self-declared fascist
posted by dunkadunc at 4:11 PM on November 18, 2008


> "Lewis" doesn't get the whole Ayn Rand thing, I don't think.

I think he's just an opportunist who is trying to get find that impossible somebody on any forum that might get "intelligent" women checking the ads.

And looking at The Atlasphere again, they have a comment from Salon.com reviewer Lynn Harris -- “My personal favorite [niche dating and social networking site].” - if you're paraphrasing that much, you're probably doing it wrong. But now that I've found the review, it makes sense. A bit. I read that it's her favorite [quirky genre-specific dating/social site], but that's me.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:13 PM on November 18, 2008


Fantastic! Another list of people I can avoid!

Add it to those who boast of their MENSA membership.
I'm proud of the work I do for the Memetically Engineered Network of Simian Androids. Nonetheless, these are amazing. Unless most of the people on it are 16, in which case Hi past version of me! You'll grow out of it!

Yes, simian. It's like the Olympics - no pros allowed.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:16 PM on November 18, 2008


At times like these, I like to link to The Abridged Atlas Shrugged. Here's a passage:
"It is I, Francisco d'Anconia, of the oldest most wealthy copper fortune this side of the Atlantic, and don't I want you to know that I'm pissing it all away for a grand reason that I won't tell you!" His perfect physique burst through the door in a mocking manner few could achieve but which he achieved perfectly. He had seen someone do the act before and fail and, after a single try at six months old, he was better at mockingly bursting through doors than anyone on the planet.

"Slacker," Dagny screamed with indignation and a pointed finger.

"Yes Dagny, you silly silly woman, I may seem a slacker to you, but after ten pages of explanation you will know that it is you who slack and it is I who serve a higher cause which will not be explained for another seven hundred pages. Remember, I am a d'Anconia which goes without saying that I know what I am doing," he mocked. He was so perfect at mocking. No man mocked like Francisco. How she wanted to be back in his arms. Were it not for... no! He was a slacker! The very embodiment of slack yet... yet he slacked with purpose. Even that was perfect. No man slacked like Francisco.
Most libertarians I've met fall into one of two categories: the pot-smoking, gun-toting, cabin-building hippy, and the anarchist-turned-internet-libertarian-transforming-into-a-Republican. I find the first sort much more tolerable: how can you argue with a guy actually living his principles; trapping squirrels, forsaking electricity, scoffing at internal combustion? That's someone I can respect.

But these Randians, eesh. We get it already - you're proud to be an asshole. Wonderful. If I don't feel like talking to you it's not because your awesomeness makes me feel so damned mediocre. I'm glad there's a dating service for these people. I just hope they consider child-rearing a pointless endeavor not worthy of these gods-on-earth.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:18 PM on November 18, 2008 [25 favorites]


what
posted by Space Kitty at 4:26 PM on November 18, 2008


Has anyone here dated an ardent, self-professed Randian? Share!
posted by Auden at 4:27 PM on November 18, 2008


Every Randian needs to be air-dropped onto a desert island. Once he or she, buoyed up by an inflated ego, has achieved a painless touch-down without breaking both legs, he or she will generate an entire civilized infrastructure by the sweat of his or her own brow and enthusiastically rape / seduce the next castaway into regenerating the human race.

Not.
posted by bad grammar at 4:28 PM on November 18, 2008


The image accompanying this article about the 1949 Warner Bros. adaptation of The Fountainhead kind of sums it all up, really.
posted by Morpeth at 4:29 PM on November 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


And also: "stylized erotic combat?!"

Hell, I've got sub tendencies myself, and even I just .... no. Moving to the jumping bunnies thread now.
posted by Space Kitty at 4:31 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think I need to write my own non-sanctioned sequel to Atlas Shrugged.

It's going to be called Atlas Hugged and talk about how other people ain't all that bad.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:31 PM on November 18, 2008 [24 favorites]



I consider myself to be a born-again egoist and I have dedicated the rest of my life to self-improvement.


Unfortunately for you, pumpkin, substantive self improvement is really only possible through thorough and honest self assessment.

People see me as a socially inept loner because I tend to avoid superficial conversation but actually I love talking to people who like to think (the problem being I don’t know very many).

Yeah, you're definitely doing it wrong.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:37 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was very briefly a libertarian when I found out I was required to take the lids off metal cans before I put them in the recycling bin.
posted by Evangeline at 4:40 PM on November 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


Auden writes "Has anyone here dated an ardent, self-professed Randian? Share!"

Yes.

Objectivism leads to exactly what you'd expect in the bedroom.
posted by mullingitover at 4:42 PM on November 18, 2008


Married founder of Objectivist movement seeks intellectual heir and soulmate for sexual pyrotechnics that will spur completion of magnum opus. Must be young, malleable but hard, sycophantic but brilliant. Marital status unimportant.
posted by terranova at 4:42 PM on November 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


I dunno, I got a different message out of that book than I've ever seen or heard discussed, a message of the tragedy and waste of ignorance and greed. Everything else just seemed either a product of the times or the result of too much message, not enough artistry.

Maybe I'm just underthinking it.
posted by davejay at 4:44 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Has anyone here dated an ardent, self-professed Randian? Share!

Well, no, but I had a long-term relationship with someone who Had Her Life Changed by reading Rand. My boss (hi Chris!) said the other day that Atlas Shrugged helped motivate him out of a dead-end job into an actual career path. I think this is a different thing, because I keep encountering it in people who don't have any obvious political/ideological affinity for the Objectivist shtick.
posted by brennen at 4:44 PM on November 18, 2008


captainsohler writes "Can anyone pinpoint the first domino in this assasination perputrated by the elite intellectual class?"

People grew up. Read novels where the characters where more than cardboard cutouts. Discovered that, in the real world, Libertarian ideals of freedom to contract mean little when one party to the contract has all the money, and you're the one-paycheck-from-starving party.
posted by orthogonality at 4:45 PM on November 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Not.

My god. It is the 1980's!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:45 PM on November 18, 2008


For all the Randian self-professed requirement for a like-minded partner, it seems painfully clear that what they're really looking for is a total suck-up ego-stroker to echo their own fatuous self-ennoblements. And, clearly, since no Randian could ever acknowledge another's superior intellect without ego-implosion, any two Randians in close proximity will simply fly apart again after trading lip-service and sneers. It is like one magnetic monopole searching for another of the same polarity and hoping they'll get along.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:48 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


These folks make us socially inept loners look bad.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:54 PM on November 18, 2008


Christianity excoriates those who abandon the poor and exalts compassion and charity, and Christianity has long been the dominant ethos of America. This gave the ruling class a bit of pause, as their efforts to rape the earth, steal from the poor, and be without any limitation or check on their own desires were contrary to Christian teachings.

And then Ayn Rand, an escapee from the USSR, came along and said no, there's nothing wrong with being an amoral, exploitative bastard. Rape the earth, for humanity is strong and deserves to do so. Pay as little as possible to your workers; far from you exploiting them, their constant demands of fair pay and benefits are merely the mewlings of parasites too weak to fend for themselves. Anyone who tries to put limits on you or restrain you is committing an unspeakable crime against you, for freedom is the most important thing of all.

This, both to the ruling class and the ever-present ruling-class wannabes, was a revelation; rather than their actions being wrong, or regrettable, they were actually right. The ones who had a problem with them, or tried to regulate or restrain them, were the real bad guys!

Ayn Rand gave the ruling class a philosophical justification for being the amoral, rapacious pieces of shit they wanted to be, and told them that they were not only morally right, but heroic for being amoral, rapacious pieces of shit. That is why her work has endured, and until there is no ruling class, her work will continue to endure.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:56 PM on November 18, 2008 [27 favorites]


Three Easy Steps to Objectivism starring that little guy from Fallout!
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:59 PM on November 18, 2008


Hey, baby ... what are you doing the night of January 16th?
posted by adipocere at 4:59 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


What rubymaverick says in the comments.
posted by Zambrano at 5:00 PM on November 18, 2008


Uh, that was supposed to link to this picture.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:00 PM on November 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


why is the fallout from her books such a big deal? Who or what started it?

First, the worship of the already successful and the disdain for the powerless is essentially the morality of a thug. Money and property should not be privileged above everything else-- love, humanity, justice.


My own experience, going through a Randian phase seems to be a right of passage for a certain kind of smartish, picked on teen. It's like getting measles or trying to bleach your hair at home; an unpleasant experience for you and everyone around you that hopefully leads to growth.

I've always wanted to do a cabaret act where I come on in Ayn Rand drag and read from The Romantic Manifesto until I'm dragged off the stage. That book is Hi-lar-i-ous.

my Dad is a Libertarian, but I think he just doesn't want anyone to take his pot away
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on November 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


Objectivism is my radar for borderline personality disorder.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:17 PM on November 18, 2008 [11 favorites]


Duuude, don't bother with Libertarian chicks. Communist chicks are where it's at. They give to each according to his need, man.
posted by jonmc at 5:19 PM on November 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Christianity excoriates those who abandon the poor and exalts compassion and charity, and Christianity has long been the dominant ethos of America. This gave the ruling class a bit of pause, as their efforts to rape the earth, steal from the poor, and be without any limitation or check on their own desires were contrary to Christian teachings."

Holy moses, Pope Guilty, that's the first time I've ever seen you say anything good about Christianity. That's going up on the wall above my desk.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:21 PM on November 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


(according to an internet test, I took once, I am a "Left-Leaning Libertarian." What the hell that means, I don't know.)
posted by jonmc at 5:22 PM on November 18, 2008


I've never read Rand though. I have a copy of Atlas Shrugged that I got off the dollar rack at a bookstore I worked at because I was in a 'long, complicated books" phase. I read a few pages. I couldn't get into it.
posted by jonmc at 5:26 PM on November 18, 2008



(according to an internet test, I took once, I am a "Left-Leaning Libertarian." What the hell that means, I don't know.)
posted by jonmc at 5:22 PM on November 18 [+] [!]


I KNOW THE EXACT TEST YOUR TALKING ABOUT. And it's BS it's a series of about 5 simple morality skewed questions that is designed to make you seem like you're a libertarian. It's a ridiculous designed by a libertarian website.

[searching for it now]
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:37 PM on November 18, 2008


"Objectivism is my radar for borderline personality disorder."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:17 PM


Hm, that's interesting. What makes you think that?
posted by Auden at 5:38 PM on November 18, 2008


I KNOW THE EXACT TEST YOUR TALKING ABOUT. And it's BS it's a series of about 5 simple morality skewed questions that is designed to make you seem like you're a libertarian. It's a ridiculous designed by a libertarian website.

You're thinking of the Nolan Chart.

(my politics cannot be accurately graphed on that chart)
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:41 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I would really like to know what the historic/philosophic antecedents of "Objectivism" are. I find it hard to believe that a philosophy justifying total selfishness hadn't been put forward before, simply because it is so attractive to certain points of view.

For some reason I'm envisioning a heartless libertine parasite like James Boswell . . .
posted by jfwlucy at 5:42 PM on November 18, 2008


Holy moses, Pope Guilty, that's the first time I've ever seen you say anything good about Christianity. That's going up on the wall above my desk.

Actually, I think a Christianized working class is spectacular for an Objectivist ruling class. There's enough in the New Testament that encourages people to give of themselves even to their own abnegation, and to submit to earthly authorities, that an Objectivist ruler could cheerfully use such sentiments being dominant among the ruled to be an even bigger exploitative shitbag; the only thing better than screwing people over is screwing over people whose sacred text tells them to lie there and take it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:44 PM on November 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


The Divine Right Of Kings?
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty:

If I'm not mistaken, that was pretty much the entire 13th century.
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on November 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


I never “hook-up” randomly, I never kiss a girl that doesn’t deserve mine. I have yet to find a girl deserving of my falling in love with her.

Really, people who say things like this are literally 11 or 12-year-old boys. If these quotes are coming from adult men, then it seems pretty clear their emotional development was frozen for some reason around that point.

I don't know how much Rand and libertarianism and all the other bogeymen people are tossing around here are roots as opposed to leaves -- I think they're more the kind of thing that boys and young men who haven't ever been able to emotionally mature might be drawn to, and so they are. The tribal affiliation rather than the DNA.

I feel kinda sorry for them. Poor bastards are never going to be happy, at least in the traditional finding-love and sharing-a-life kind of way.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:46 PM on November 18, 2008


I never “hook-up” randomly, I never kiss a girl that doesn’t deserve mine. I have yet to find a girl deserving of my falling in love with her.


Translation: I am 35 years old and have never seen a bare breast in the flesh. Nobody can stand to have a beer with me. I am desperately trying to convince myself that this is due to the cluelessness of others rather than my own lameness ("They reason I can't get laid is because everyone's intimidated by how amazing I am!")

Pheh.
posted by jonmc at 5:51 PM on November 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


I should add that I've heard shit similar to this from people of all persuasions, so I guess it's not unique to libertarianism.
posted by jonmc at 5:53 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


NTM, Rand and dating dosen't mix well. Did Dirty Dancing teach us nothing?
posted by jonmc at 5:59 PM on November 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Dating service for libertarians? Heck, we all feel a little Randy now and then.
posted by kcds at 6:01 PM on November 18, 2008 [12 favorites]



I should add that I've heard shit similar to this from people of all persuasions, so I guess it's not unique to libertarianism.
posted by jonmc at 5:53 PM on November 18 [+] [!]


Yeah the problem is that Libertarianism/Objectivism is just the round-a-bout excuse for people who are smart enough to know better.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 6:02 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I read Atlas Shrugged around the time I was graduating high school, but I was so clueless I didn't even know that there was a whole philosophy behind it. After reading the book, I still had no clue about anything philosophical. I had just wanted to complete a big, "important" book, and that fit the bill.

It's such a strange novel. On the one hand it's overlong and overwritten, mundane events are stretched over pages and pages and it gets quite tedious, but at the end there's that whole bizarre, quasi-sci-fi bent to it, which I found just jarring enough to keep my interest. But the Randian stuff I only vaguely remember: if you're a multinational business leader, by God you deserve your own secret lair removed from society. Or something. Probably because the notion is absurd, I didn't find too much Truth in it.

One of these days I might try it again, and this time I'll be able to find the Randian message/propoganda. I haven't read The Fountainhead - how does it compare?
posted by zardoz at 6:04 PM on November 18, 2008


Has anyone here dated an ardent, self-professed Randian? Share!

Why, yes, I have. Here's what it was like:

Ayn Rand gave the ruling class selfish mama's boys a philosophical justification for being the amoral, rapacious pieces of shit they wanted to be, and told them that they were not only morally right, but heroic for being amoral, rapacious pieces of shit. That is why her work has endured, and until there is no ruling class are no more selfish mama's boys, her work will continue to endure.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:09 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Atlas Shrugged 2: One Hour Later
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:16 PM on November 18, 2008 [13 favorites]


(according to an internet test, I took once, I am a "Left-Leaning Libertarian." What the hell that means, I don't know.)
It means that you took a test designed by a libertarian.
posted by Flunkie at 6:17 PM on November 18, 2008


Wow, nothing in a dating thread to reset the Cooter Clock.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:17 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am aware of the Rand bashing take everyone seems to favor, but how does a cultural phenomenon like this happen? [...] The Fountainhead was required reading in my high school. I enjoyed the book...

You pretty much put your finger on it right there. Many things people enjoyed in high school turn out to seem sort of stupid in retrospect, and our embarrassment at having liked them comes out in vitriolic tirades against them later.
posted by tkolar at 6:25 PM on November 18, 2008


Why all the Ayn Rand bashing?
posted by Snyder at 6:30 PM on November 18, 2008


Most of these Atlas profiles are pretty boring, actually. I have yet to find any gems of awesome horror such as quoted in the article.
posted by Tehanu at 6:47 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would really like to know what the historic/philosophic antecedents of "Objectivism" are. I find it hard to believe that a philosophy justifying total selfishness hadn't been put forward before, simply because it is so attractive to certain points of view.

You mean according to Rand? No antecedents (except Aristoteles), she thought of that all by herself, with noone else's help, based solely on Aristotelian logic and nothing else. Also, she's the only one who could think of that because she is that awesome.

But there was a certain guy from way before her that wrote an autobiography with chapters such as "Why I am so wise", "Why I am so clever", "Why I write such good books". Feels kind of "similar"...
posted by qvantamon at 6:50 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Three Easy Steps to Objectivism
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:54 PM on November 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


It means that you took a test designed by a libertarian.

You know who was a "right-leaning-economic-centrist-social-conservative-poland-invading libertarian"?
posted by qvantamon at 6:57 PM on November 18, 2008



But there was a certain guy from way before her that wrote an autobiography with chapters such as "Why I am so wise", "Why I am so clever", "Why I write such good books". Feels kind of "similar"...


Except Nietzsche was being playful and mocking. Don't forget: if you read Nietzsche and think "This means I have to embrace Master Morality!" you've got it completely wrong. Ayn Rand just stole those bits and turned them into a senselessly stupid "system."
posted by nasreddin at 7:12 PM on November 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


I would not characterize myself as someone who follows Objectivism and frankly dont care enough about to recommend any of her books based on that- they just are good reads.

(Picture me with my eyes opening wide to the cartoon *sproing* sound.)

What? Er ... Really?

Well, to each his own, but I can think of few writers who are more tedious. She's like Upton Sinclair. Every time it has the possibility of getting good, the author's insistence upon making a point gets in the way of the narrative.

I find a lot to like about libertarianism, when it stays away from market concepts. But I've come to dislike a lot of the modern libertarian movement. The self-professed Randians are the worst. But they generally attract way too many gold bugs and other survival types, along with the Birchers and right-wing fringe.

I do wish the Democratic Party could come around to civil liberties again. Maybe Obama will take the lead here. Then again, Bill Clinton's record on civil liberties was pretty lame, and during his tenure the party pretty much put it aside. Sure, he'll do better than Bush, but he better do better than Clinton.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:17 PM on November 18, 2008


Yeah, the difference is Nietzsche had a sense of humor.

Either I figured that out, or someone told me, and it made what little Nietzsche I've read make sense.
posted by Snyder at 7:18 PM on November 18, 2008


Objectivist or narcissistic personality disorder? You decide!
posted by peggynature at 7:25 PM on November 18, 2008


Objectivism/Ayn Rand and by some extension, libertarianism has to be put down as a system. Can't we just do it? Yet no...

Libertarians are no threat, and they provide a valuable reminder that you're more important than the groups you belong to.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 7:26 PM on November 18, 2008


Don't forget: if you read Nietzsche and think "This means I have to embrace Master Morality!" you've got it completely wrong.

Would you please elaborate on this, nasreddin?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:26 PM on November 18, 2008


"The Passion of Ayn Rand," a biopic about Rand's affair with Nathaniel Brandon, scored wittily with "What Goes Around."

Despite Rand's best Objectivist intentions, emotions overwhelmed and destroyed relationships. For as Timberlake and other lesser-known mystics proclaim, what goes around, comes back around. Karma is a bitch.
posted by terranova at 7:41 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


The upside to this is that these people will find one another, enter into meaningful, consensual relationships, and discover that they're all much too selfish to devote themselves to child-rearing, and they'll finally die out as an evolutionary offshoot.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:48 PM on November 18, 2008


Mozart was a Red (scroll down to the actual play) (also on video)
(by Murray Rothbard, just to show you guys that libertarian != Randtard)
posted by qvantamon at 8:14 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


i love RUSH loking for girl to give me fountainhead AMIRITE>?!!~
no?
posted by not_on_display at 8:18 PM on November 18, 2008


Wow it's dank with nerdrenaline in here; you guys all found an enemy you can gang up on together?
posted by jessamyn at 8:19 PM on November 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


Would you please elaborate on this, nasreddin?

Master morality isn't a choice. It's something you're born with: you are unable to distinguish between your subjectivity and your actions, you have no notion of being able to act otherwise. Slave morality, on the other hand, creates the notion of a subject separate from its actions in order to then be able to say: "I didn't win (kill him, whatever) because I made the free choice not to do so, and therefore I am more good, not weaker." So there are several reasons why Nietzsche isn't saying "Be a master!":

1) At the point at which you're making any kind of choice at all, even if it's the choice to follow your natural urges, you are already a slave because you're relying on the concept of a separate subject.

2) Nobles--and this is hard to reconcile with our stereotypes about Nietzsche--are historically doomed to defeat and extinction. Simply put, several weaker men will together always be stronger than one strong man. Slave morality also has much more finely developed techniques for social control, of course (i.e., religion). What that means is not only that master morality is a dead end, but also that you are already a slave because there are no more masters.

3) It's a mistake to make the equation "Superman=master morality reborn." The reason people do this is that they confuse Nietzsche's polemical attacks against Christianity (=slave morality) with a prescription. In fact, his goal is first to destroy Christian morality and then to create new values. By talking about the virtues of greed and so on, what he's doing is accomplishing #1--he's knocking the rhetorical ground out from under Christianity's feet, reconfiguring our traditional assumptions about universally-accepted moral truths. As to what #2 looks like, this cannot, by definition, be defined in a clear-cut way--except to the extent that it must promote Life rather than destroying it. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, this doesn't look anything like a Randian egoism; in fact, the final transformation (in the chapter on "The Three Metamorphoses") is into a child, with its "innocence and forgetfulness."

I could go on, but I'll stop here. Suffice to say that Ayn Rand is much more anti-Nietzschean than even someone like St. Francis of Assisi. First, she claims to found everything on "objective" logic--which would have Nietzsche rolling on the floor in a fit of laughter. Second, she creates an external measure of value in the form of material wealth and industrial development, which is yet another idol that Nietzsche would smash. Third, she relies on her heroes to constantly compare themselves to the weak and cowardly scum around them, whereas for Superman this is a matter of supreme and fundamental indifference.
posted by nasreddin at 8:21 PM on November 18, 2008 [43 favorites]


But there was a certain guy from way before her that wrote an autobiography with chapters such as "Why I am so wise", "Why I am so clever", "Why I write such good books". Feels kind of "similar"...

Ecce Homo was "written" in 1888, and by many account this was after syphilis had driven Nietzsche mad.
posted by ellF at 8:21 PM on November 18, 2008


Ecce Homo was "written" in 1888, and by many account this was after syphilis had driven Nietzsche mad.

There's very little conclusive evidence for the syphilis hypothesis, and Nietzsche was perfectly sane until January 1889. In fact, Ecce Homo is a fairly brilliant and coherent book.
posted by nasreddin at 8:26 PM on November 18, 2008


I'd like to point out that the people who sign up for this site are self-selecting for people who place Objectivism above all else. It is theoretically possible to date a sane Libertarian.
posted by Monochrome at 8:34 PM on November 18, 2008


You're all missing the larger picture. If this dating site actually works and these people hook up and breed then we could face an entire generation of girls named "Dagny".

Won't someone please think of the children!


(I wish I could find the actual quote, it was some period-era jab at Nietzsche's fans. "Now the cafe's are full of supermen blowing their noses on the tablecloth.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 PM on November 18, 2008


About me: I do not work. I am a genius who will not abide societies parasitism. I taught myself calculus when I was a small boy. I should be clear, when I say calculus I don't mean calculus as typically described. My calculus is centered around the rotations of a six dimensional extra temporal cube. I'm pretty smart.

In kindergarten on valentines day we were asked to draw a heart. Most of the children hut out the playing card symbol. I drew a factory. Is not industry the very heart of man?

I will have sex with you even if you tell me not to. You will be asking for it. With your eyes or something. They always do. I will stare at you for a long time. This is my getting ready to rape look. There is a secret code. If you utter it you will not be raped. Here I'll give you a clue ƒ(¤ŧ)=Ə:ŧ-log(͏͠͏͠Θ) may the answer to this equation be your Cinderella's slipper and I your prince charming.

Not fatties.
posted by I Foody at 9:22 PM on November 18, 2008 [11 favorites]



I KNOW THE EXACT TEST YOUR TALKING ABOUT. And it's BS it's a series of about 5 simple morality skewed questions that is designed to make you seem like you're a libertarian. It's a ridiculous designed by a libertarian website.

You're thinking of the Nolan Chart.




*face-palm*
I knew it didn't make sense that I was libertarian. Ooops.
posted by niles at 9:45 PM on November 18, 2008


Thanks, nasreddin.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:51 PM on November 18, 2008


I'm a "Randian," although I don't follow Ayn Rand's philosophy uncritically. After an exhaustive few years of unsuccessful dating, I have found my soulmate (although not through this website), who shares my views of life and love. We are compatible mentally, psychologically and sexually. I have never been happier and more satisfied in my life.

Bottom line: Live and let live.
posted by bondgirl53001 at 10:21 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Now I think I'm just reading these books at the wrong time to get all confused and f'd up by them.

I read Ayn Rand books in my late 20s, long after I'd already developed into a halfway decent human being (hopefully), so they didn't do me any damage. And I was not yet a teen when I read Battlefield Earth (and that other one by Hubbard), and I just found it dry and confusing, so I'm in LA and yet not a Scientologist.

Here's to good timing!
posted by davejay at 10:26 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


After I saw The Passion of Ayn Rand on cable, every time she comes up, all I can think of is "[s]he can't even run his own life/ I'll be damned if he'll run mine."

I mean, sure, everybody has problems, but pinning your Messiah Dreams on somebody as fucked up as Rand is almost as unbelievable as picking Hubbard. Yeesh.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:03 PM on November 18, 2008


This is someone who needs to lower their physical attractiveness standards.

Any halfwit can get someone to proclaim, and maybe even follow through, his criteria.

Still, isn't this another "look at this _____ retard! hahaha" mefi post that should have been deleted long ago?
posted by porpoise at 11:12 PM on November 18, 2008


libertarianism has to be put down as a system.

Easy, just buy them tickets, one-by-one, to paragons of freedom. Like, you know, Somalia and shit.
posted by rodgerd at 11:30 PM on November 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: I have found my soulmate (although not through this website)
posted by bardic at 11:54 PM on November 18, 2008


Look, you can deride Objectivists in specific, but you should not discount that paranoiac grain around which Randian Objectivism grows: that the centralization of power in State hands is dangerous, an historic recipe for war and the police state. And they, conversely, can screed white-knuckled against looters and statists, but it will never invalidate one fear of the contemporary Left: that the centralization of power in the hands of private entities is equally dangerous.

Is there a word in our political lexicon that conveys a radical cynicism, an equal sense of danger from all sides? Aren't we really looking for some synthesis that tries to weave maximal liberty out of web of faithless systems? It's telling that the names we use to embody our uneasy, searching politics are obvious contradictions: Left-Libertarian. Communist-Anarchy. Market-Socialism. (I, myself, prefer the term "Libertarian Anti-Monopolist," and I know it's fundamentally flawed. I value Mill's definition of Liberty, but I'll be damned if I know exactly how it's realized in the 21st century. I value Hobbes, but I also recognize his Sovereign as a blackshirted Fascist.)

We should abandon our sense of ease when we talk politics. We need to be painfully aware of the imperfections in our well-worn beliefs. And we need to be less spastic in trashing other hypotheses, and more syncretic in appropriating whatever works from each. You should challenge yourselves to understand how someone might come away from Soviet Communism with some poison like Objectivism fermenting in her mind. Rand wasn't a unique specimen.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:22 AM on November 19, 2008 [11 favorites]


libertarianism has to be put down as a system

Everything has to be put down as a system.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:25 AM on November 19, 2008


"Libertarian Socialist" only sounds like an oxymoron if you are completely ignorant of the history of socialism.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:53 AM on November 19, 2008


Thousands of years ago, after the Kinslayer Wars, Bakunin was driven underground, where he conspired with the Deep Gnomes to one day retake the Elfhome with steel and magic.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:24 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


And I'm not saying that implicit contradictions nullify a philosophy, I'm saying that we're forced to take them on in building functional politics for a world that increasingly transcends our theories.

Someone advocates rebuilding from the bottom up? Excellent, more power to him. I've volunteered with some of those organizations, I've heard many of their sales pitches, and I'm not sure that the implicit trust in "local unions and orgs" sounds any different than a Capitalist-Anarchist's faith in the mythically powerful "small business." But it's much better than putting faith in monopolies or monopsodies.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:31 AM on November 19, 2008


Well, I for one chose Rapture.

Shame about the Big Daddies.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:46 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Has anyone here dated an ardent, self-professed Randian? Share!

No, but I smoked a lot of weed with one. I did, however, date a Mormon. She had rubber underwear.

One day, she went out 'shopping' and a bunch of her brethren came in to convert me. Some two hours later, they were begging me to shut up so they could leave.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:52 AM on November 19, 2008


You know what would be really cool? If a small country (say the size of Wales) went TOTALLY Libertarian. Like, with a capital L. Then, in six months, when people houses burn down because no one could agree on how to fund a fire department, and people get murdered willy-nilly by jilted gun-toting lovers because no one could agree about how to fund a police force, I can sit here and laugh. And laugh, and laugh some more. And point, rudely, whilst pissing myself laughing.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:57 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


It is theoretically possible to date a sane Libertarian.

I'm only willing to go as far as the postulate. Who's up for the experimentation phase?
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:37 AM on November 19, 2008


I'll admit it: Objectivists are my favorite people to make fun of. Vanilla libertarians are actually hunky-dory with me, because I get it: the state's coercive power is founded on violence, and it continually goes replenishes these foundations with violence to achieve its aims. I happen to think that there can be legitimate violence, but smart libertarians are very good at keeping you honest about just which moments of violence can be legitimated.

Objectivists, on the other hand, claim to be able to derive principles of action from a tautology, and that makes me giggle every time. This is the logical equivalent of dividing by zero. Plus, it's such an un-Objectivist, subservient thing to do, declaring oneself an Objectivist. And what horrible writing they've devoted themselves to! On the aesthetic level alone, the born-again Christian at least has the Sistine Chapel, the Pietà, and the King James Bible. The height of Objectivist aesthetics is Fountainhead, and its most important philosophical works all occupy the nadir of literary achievement....

Anyway, I like making fun of Objectivists, and I feel a little bad for that, sometimes. Mostly, I worry that I've failed to grant a hearing to another human being whose reason probably has granted them insight into something I haven't quite figured out yet. But... well, then I meet another one, or re-read a few pages from Atlas Shrugged. And I realize that this is just sentimental claptrap dressed up like hard-nosed realism, and that's funny. A lot of people grant Rand begrudging respect for her role in preserving a capitalist culture against the inroads of communism. But her work doesn't do anything that the Road to Serfdom couldn't have achieved on its own, except make political ideology personal, rendering the later Cold War conflicts comprehensible through the lens of sex and romantic attachments.

Some two hours later, they were begging me to shut up so they could leave.

Transcript or it didn't happen.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:51 AM on November 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I know girls with supervillain fetishes, and what they're into pretty much mirrors what Ayn was into - which is why I equate Objectivism with Gorean lifestyle. It's much easier to understand them as an internet fetish community, like furries or giantess fans.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:55 AM on November 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


reading Sewer, Gas and Electric *almost* tempted me to read a bit of Rand again. mostly for humor value, though. Rand - or at least a simulacra of her - is a character in the book.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:16 AM on November 19, 2008


archive of insane personal ad
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:47 AM on November 19, 2008


Did Dirty Dancing teach us nothing?

Nobody puts babby in the corner?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:09 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I only kiss those who deserve, and so far I have only encountered one who did.
posted by snofoam at 6:53 AM on November 19, 2008


Did Dirty Dancing teach us nothing?

Nobody puts babby in the corner?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:09 AM on November 19 [+] [!]


How is babby formed in corner?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:17 AM on November 19, 2008


Transcript or it didn't happen.

It was basically a young redneck's version of the the prologue from "The God Delusion".
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:22 AM on November 19, 2008


I am going to laugh in the face of the next person who accuses me of judging Ayn Rand fans unfairly.

Avoiding them is just survival instinct, to prevent myself from dying from massive blunt trauma after banging my head against the wall repeatedly.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:56 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know what would be really cool? If a small country (say the size of Wales) went TOTALLY Libertarian. Like, with a capital L. Then, in six months, when people houses burn down because no one could agree on how to fund a fire department, and people get murdered willy-nilly by jilted gun-toting lovers because no one could agree about how to fund a police force, I can sit here and laugh. And laugh, and laugh some more. And point, rudely, whilst pissing myself laughing.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:57 AM on November 19 [1 favorite +] [!]


As rodgerd pointed out above, that's already happened, and it's called Somalia. It's not a pretty picture. (Interestingly, part of Somalia has broken away and established a functioning government - Somaliland. But no international recognition yet, largely because of a general prejudice against separatism in African international politics.)

It's all about balance. Of course, government power can be abused. That's why no one here is advocating for a totalitarian state. But the other extreme is just as bad. It's like eating nothing but sugar or eating nothing at all and starving - they are both bad ideas.

That's why most people prefer liberalism (in the old fashioned I like free speech and free assembly way), not libertarianism, with some government regulation of the markets to make insane financial crises like the one happening right now not happen.

But my absolute favorite response to the whole thing is the Bob the Angry flower cartoon linked above. Entreprenuers are not the "producers" of society. Those are farmers, and workers, and people in the service sector - they are financed by capitalists, but nothing is happening without them. And in the end, when all goes to hell - we're all farmers again, because farming is the only truly necessary industry for survival.
posted by jb at 8:59 AM on November 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Say what you want about the tenets of Libertarian Objectivism, dudes, at least it's an ethos.
posted by interrobang at 9:07 AM on November 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


Say what you want about the tenets of Libertarian Objectivism, dudes, at least it's an ethos.

[resists the urge to mentions eugenics, NAMBLA, white power, black power, and -- of course -- naziism]
posted by tkolar at 9:57 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Say what you want about the tenets of Libertarian Objectivism, dudes, at least it's an ethos.

...where the ultimate value of any action is how much it benefits your self-interest. By that standard Palin's actions in Troopergate were positively saintly.
posted by casarkos at 10:02 AM on November 19, 2008


[resists the urge to mentions eugenics, NAMBLA, white power, black power, and -- of course -- naziism]

Your resisting skills need work.
posted by electroboy at 10:50 AM on November 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


...resists the urge to mentions...
Your resisting skills need work.


Apparently my grammar skills as well.
posted by tkolar at 12:30 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fucking Randians are the most selfish, self-centered people on earth, I swear. Most people are just, you know, selfish, but Randians have a whole philosophy based around how it's noble to be selfish prigs.

yeah, try being raised by one.

*shudder*

it took until well into my adulthood to realize that the root of all her political beliefs was based on reading one book in college--and never really reading another one after that. she's become a very unhappy woman, as you might well imagine.
posted by RedEmma at 12:43 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I haven't read The Fountainhead - how does it compare?

*SPOILER ALERT*

Fountainhead is comprised of a smirking, smarmy yellow journalist, a spineless guy, a woman who is raped but was "asking for it", and a brilliant architect. For most of the novel, it's watching these four snark at each other and yell at each other. Then the architect builds a giant, daring, status-quo-shattering building, which he then dynamites to the ground. He is put on for blowing up the building. Just when it seems a guilty verdict is imminent, he stands, and makes a speech that begins with "The first man who invented fire was later burned at the stake for doing so ..." and then blathers on for another 40 pages. He is found not guilty. Capitalism triumphs. The end.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:01 PM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


He is put on trial for blowing up the building.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:05 PM on November 19, 2008


I second rmd1023's recommendation for Sewer, Gas, & Electric, a cyberpunk book with a sense of humor. Matt Ruff's a fun author.

dunkadunc: I'm pretty damn sure I think Atlas Shrugged is a heap of heartless bullshit*... So now it sits on my bookshelf. Maybe I'll carve out its insides and turn it into a box someday.

Fitting uses for it include a tip jar & an ashtray*.

*In case you need a defense: Smoking is Objectivist because it shows casual control over the element of fire.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:54 PM on November 19, 2008


Just when it seems a guilty verdict is imminent, he stands, and makes a speech that begins with "The first man who invented fire was later burned at the stake for doing so ..." and then blathers on for another 40 pages. He is found not guilty. Capitalism triumphs. The end.

Of the many inconsistencies in Rand's books, that's one of my favorites: her supermen are supposed to be alone in this world of second-class looters who maintain a corrupt legal system. But whenever one of the ubermenschen is on trial, he just has to rant about Capitalism for a while and the jury acquits him.

I'm pretty sure Rand didn't understand how the American legal system works. Or the American political system. Or monetary policy. Or agriculture. Or mid-twentieth-century grain shipping methods. Or human psychology.
posted by COBRA! at 2:08 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


In case you need a defense: Smoking is Objectivist because it shows casual control over the element of fire.

I would like to point out that this is an actual quote from "The Romantic Manifesto."

Like I said, comdey goldmine.
posted by The Whelk at 3:21 PM on November 19, 2008



Objectivism/Ayn Rand and by some extension, libertarianism has to be put down as a system. Can't we just do it? Yet no...

Libertarians are no threat, and they provide a valuable reminder that you're more important than the groups you belong to.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 7:26 PM on November 18 [+] [!]


Ummmmm... No. That's not what Libertarianism. Libertarians are a threat because they're advocating a SYSTEM of government that inherently leads to small-scale anarchy and aids corporate interests. That group thing you're talking about? That's simply basic human decency and reason that allows you are realize you're more important than the groups you belong to. But that is not undermine the effectiveness of a group's humane effort.


libertarianism has to be put down as a system

Everything has to be put down as a system.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:25 AM on November 19 [+] [!]


That doesn't make sense.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 3:38 PM on November 19, 2008


Everything has to be put down as a system.
That doesn't make sense.


If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.
posted by tkolar at 3:48 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


"We're taking the Buddha off the streets!"
posted by Pronoiac at 4:11 PM on November 19, 2008


I'll end with the great words of my friend Ken, "If we enact a libertarian government I'm aligning myself behind the first sword-waving despot I can find and cowering behind his might."

I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Apparently, lots of people find liberty very frightening.
posted by BigSky at 5:44 PM on November 19, 2008


In Libertarianism, you get as much freedom as you can afford, AND NOT ONE PENNY MORE YOU FUCKING PARASITE LOOTER!
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:47 PM on November 19, 2008


I came.
posted by Eideteker at 6:10 PM on November 19, 2008


I'll end with the great words of my friend Ken, "If we enact a libertarian government I'm aligning myself behind the first sword-waving despot I can find and cowering behind his might."

I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Apparently, lots of people find liberty very frightening.
posted by BigSky at 5:44 PM on November 19 [+] [!]


Liberty? Huh? I'm talking about anarchy. Unless you were making a point that true liberty is simply anarchy... I'm curious.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 7:07 PM on November 19, 2008


Wow it's dank with nerdrenaline in here; you guys all found an enemy you can gang up on together?

You must be new here.
posted by electroboy at 9:07 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Liberty? Huh? I'm talking about anarchy. Unless you were making a point that true liberty is simply anarchy... I'm curious.

If it's a "libertarian government" then it isn't anarchy. It's still the USA. Contrary to MetaFilter opinion, the Libertarian platform is not promoting complete dissolution of government.

Lower taxes is not the same as gangs of men waving machetes and hoisting jerry cans of gasoline, marching down the street.

Legalizing prostitution, gambling and narcotics is not the same as regional warlords taking over local communities.

Libertarians don't advocate anarchy. Anarcho-capitalists do.
posted by BigSky at 9:25 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


In defense of libertarianism I'll merely say that if the Democrats or Republicans were marginalized to the extent that the Libertarian party is marginalized, then they would lose their moderate base and have nothing but wackjob extremists left. In other words, they would look as crazy or crazier. If the Libertarian party became a mainstream party it would be co-opted by moderate mainstream interests just as the other major parties have been. Compromise would be the order of the day, and we'd probably wind up with a fiscally conservative party that doesn't care what you do in your bedroom.

The flip side of libertarianism is authoritarianism. I hope we are not all keen on fascism and limiting civil rights on metafilter.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:41 AM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Libertarians don't advocate anarchy. Anarcho-capitalists do.

Generally, yes, but the capital-L Libertarian party isn't winning many recruits by advocating for the total repeal of Antitrust laws. Only in a Capitalist-Anarchist's world do monopolies form solely through state intervention and dissipate only to market forces.
posted by kid ichorous at 3:34 AM on November 20, 2008


Well, to be fair, Anarchy isn't all "Woo, mom and dad are gone for the weekend! Let's drink brown liquor and break stuff!" The fundamental idea is to live without a coercive central government.
posted by electroboy at 8:01 AM on November 20, 2008


It's strange how small the Anarchist's party in Somalia is. You'd figure everyone there would be intent on maintaining their glorious lack of a coercive central government.
posted by tkolar at 1:16 PM on November 20, 2008


Historically anarchism is a faction of socialism; the anarcho-capitalists (which is an oxymoron, as property rights without a state to protect them are impossible, reducing property to merely a matter of who is strong enough to hold on to it) don't show up until about the 50's.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:07 PM on November 20, 2008


The flip side of libertarianism is authoritarianism.

The flipside of Strawman is what?
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:45 AM on November 21, 2008


Strawman? Explicate.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:10 AM on November 21, 2008


I dunno, you don't get much more strawman than SOMALIA IS THE LIBERTARIAN PARADISE, HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR PARADISE LIBERTARIANS? IF YOU LIKE LIBERTARIANISM SO MUCH WHY DON'T YOU MOVE TO SOMALIA, when most of what people originally said was "Hey, they've had no central government since '91, yet they have good telecom services and small business is doing well."
posted by electroboy at 12:33 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


The fundamental idea is to live without a coercive central government.

I always thought anarchism was the lack of a heirarchical command structure. "Life without a coercive central government" is an enormous umbrella, and would include the anti-Federalists.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:44 PM on November 21, 2008


Has anyone here dated an ardent, self-professed Randian? Share!
posted by Auden at 7:27 PM on November 18 [+] [!]


Ooh, ooh, me, I did! He was a Bush-admin political appointee, and now he's a freelancer setting out to overturn the regulatory state. Amazingly (or frighteningly) he is not a nutcase, and may even turn out to achieve some of his goals. It was only one date, though, because we started screaming at each other about federalism.
posted by footnote at 11:56 AM on November 22, 2008


small business is doing very well

Specifically, piracy of supertankers.

But hell, pirates are cool right? All they need are a few ninjas and it will be an Internet wonderland.

The bottom line is this: show me a real world Libertarian paradise and I might have the slightest shred of interest in listening to your fantasies. Until then, I'm looking at the closest real world analogies that exist, and my answer is "No thanks."
posted by tkolar at 8:25 AM on November 24, 2008


I hope one day your strawmen have the courage to leave you. It's terrible the abuse they've suffered at your hands.
posted by electroboy at 12:05 PM on November 24, 2008


I grew up in a neighbourhood which now has a large Somalian refugee community. There is a reason that these people - vast majority of whom are accomplished and well-educated - have left their country to live in tiny roach infested apartments and drive taxi-cabs in snowy Toronto. They are very patriotic - there are Somalian flags in the local coffee shop. They love their country, but they left.

Because Somalia is a hell-hole, a major humanitarian disaster, violent and unstable.
posted by jb at 12:36 PM on November 24, 2008


Right, and again, no one is saying that Somalia is a great place to live. Just that some measures of quality of life conditions have improved from the time that Somalia did have a central government. Obviously the hardcore libertarians will point to this as evidence that a central government isn't necessary or desirable, anti-libertarians will cite Somalia's problems as evidence that libertarianism/anarchism doesn't work and reasonable people will examine the situation and draw a more reasonable conclusion.
posted by electroboy at 1:33 PM on November 24, 2008


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