Skip

In our house we no longer say, "Who is John Galt?" Instead we say, "Who's our little princess?"
August 12, 2010 6:55 AM   Subscribe


 
It's funny until you remember that people like this actually exist.
posted by stavrogin at 7:00 AM on August 12, 2010 [21 favorites]


just thought i'd drop in and mention that the biggest manipulative sociopath i've ever had the displeasure of knowing loves ayn rand.
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:02 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh please. I haven't even READ Rand, nor am I a true libertarian, but even I know her thing about 'looters' is focused on people using the threat of violence (ie, laws and subsequent fines or jail terms) to take things from you against your will.

The whole point of libertarianism is voluntary charity, rather than coerced. And no matter how Objectivist a parent might be, they're not going to be telling their kids not to share their toys. There was no force involved, it was a simple request from someone at the same power level, and those simple requests, voluntary cooperation and sharing, is what being libertarian is ABOUT.

The author pretends this is parody, but it's more like character assassination. It's a complete misrepresentation of the ethos.
posted by Malor at 7:04 AM on August 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


a = a. Or something. I sort of liked The Fountainhead when I read it back in college, though.
posted by jquinby at 7:06 AM on August 12, 2010


That was really funny, Malor.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:08 AM on August 12, 2010 [94 favorites]


And no matter how Objectivist a parent might be, they're not going to be telling their kids not to share their toys.

Next you'll be telling us that the Irish shouldn't actually eat their own children!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:09 AM on August 12, 2010 [33 favorites]


I think rand is like white boy rhastafarian. It's loved by these losers who haven't accomplished shit, but love to sit around talking about their philosophy, and most of them seem to think getting baked is a requirement to talk about it. Honestly, how many people that love Ayn Rand's work, especially atlas, could say that they would be worthy of running off when all the other intelligent captains of industry did. Further more, since all of them would say that they would be, who among them would really make an impact if they were to do so?
posted by djduckie at 7:12 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Single
Column
McSweeney's
Post
posted by DU at 7:14 AM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Next you'll be telling us that the Irish shouldn't actually eat their own children!

I think what forced Malor to make his humor-destroying comment was the fact that on the very first comment on this thread stavrogin said "it's funny until you remember that people like this actually exist."

Note that you didn't remind stavrogin that nobody is suggesting the Irish should actually eat their own children.
posted by falameufilho at 7:15 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think we can expect some Objectivist Rand fanboy to drop by and tell us what we are reading is, in fact, not humour. Because humour or humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.

This Objectivist will go on to suggest that because the OP has never truly understood the Randian ethos which is based on pure merit and absolute rigour to their morals, this cannot be satire. Because satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

Therefore, they will go on, this post is ill-conceived and not a correct use of wit, and so does not meet the criteria for jocularity or political satire. It is, in fact, worse than Scalzi's Ayn Rand’s A Selfish Christmas not-parody from a few years back.

They will close their statement with a suggestion that, even though they support the notions of humour, satire and wit, unless it is done in the correct Randian spirit it is actually an attack on right minded people everywhere and should be ignored or suppressed.

That is what we can expect.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:16 AM on August 12, 2010 [15 favorites]


"Bed wetting looter" is now my insult of choice.
posted by Leta at 7:18 AM on August 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


It's a complete misrepresentation of the ethos.

Except for where it represents it as terrible.

(Despite it having some aspects I feel make sense, it tends to encourage a lot of the most appalling behaviour (and a lot of it I just find morally repugnant). Communism seems great, but you never seem to get it without some crazed lunatic taking power...)
posted by opsin at 7:21 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a complete misrepresentation of the ethos.

Really?
posted by Rykey at 7:21 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


just thought i'd drop in and mention that the biggest manipulative sociopath i've ever had the displeasure of knowing loves dropping irrelevant, anecdotal evidence in order to malign people who i disagree with.
posted by signalnine at 7:22 AM on August 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


I dunno about all that stuff, clvrmnky, but I just didn't think it was funny. The other parents needed to be either a little more absurd or a little more believable to make it work (for me).
posted by Mister_A at 7:23 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


A Modest Proposal, this was not.
posted by Malor at 7:26 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh please. I haven't even READ Rand ...

Well, you should. You'd learn that the the "violence" that we're talking about extends far beyond just fines and jail terms and extends to things like welfare and public housing. You know, sharing. Kids would do well to learn this at an early age; pre-kindergarten.

This socialistic "law of the land" that our children are thrust into in our nations playgrounds and day care centers is just buttering them up for the socialistic takeover of our daily lives by Obama and his leftist revolutionaries. If we don't start teaching them now we'll lose everything we've worked so hard for. You see it's all about family values and decency. We just don't have that anymore, but people like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are going to give it to us. We deserve it.

I hope that clears up your confusion.
posted by All Out of Lulz at 7:26 AM on August 12, 2010 [13 favorites]


Objectivism is not the same thing as libertarianism.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:27 AM on August 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


HUMOR RON PAUL
posted by DU at 7:28 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


And no matter how Objectivist a parent might be, they're not going to be telling their kids not to share their toys.

Hah! Erm, maybe you should read Atlas Shrugged. The parents are NOT on the same "power level" as their kids, and that would mean that the parents were ordering their kids to share, and that sort of thing is what gets you killed in a horrific tunnel fire, with seventeen paragraphs explaining, in great detail, exactly why you deserved it and why the world is better off without you. Pretty much the only time Ayn is ok with someone ordering someone to do something is if it's a guy ordering someone to have sex with him, and even then it's only ok if he has good cheekbones.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:29 AM on August 12, 2010 [19 favorites]


The only person I know who claims to be an Objectivist is just not enough of an asshole for me to buy it.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:30 AM on August 12, 2010


Shakespeherian has it. They're closely related, but Rand's objectivism is much less supportive of charity than Malor's hypothetical libertarian.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:30 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


This socialistic "law of the land" that our children are thrust into in our nations playgrounds and day care centers is just buttering them up for the socialistic takeover of our daily lives by Obama and his leftist revolutionaries.

Yeah, the WaPo article starts off by saying they didn't give Rand Paul an allowance because that's like government handouts. First of all, allowances aren't for spending money they are training wheels. Second of all, did Rand have to pay room and board as an infant too?
posted by DU at 7:30 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


You'd learn that the the "violence" that we're talking about extends far beyond just fines and jail terms and extends to things like welfare and public housing. You know, sharing.

So, wait contributing to welfare and public housing is optional? Last time I checked, the "sharing" involved here is enforced by fines and jail terms.
posted by signalnine at 7:31 AM on August 12, 2010


Wow, Rykey, that reads like The Onion.

You know, to be honest I really admire all these Libertarians. Most of them were born into privileged backgrounds, so it must have been hard to give that all up at the tender age of 2 to live on the streets and make their own way in the world. I also don't think they get enough credit for refusing to benefit from their racial privileges by getting cosmetic surgery to appear black. You can say a lot about them, but you can't say they aren't self reliant.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:31 AM on August 12, 2010 [15 favorites]


The author pretends this is parody, but it's more like character assassination. It's a complete misrepresentation of the ethos.

Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:31 AM on August 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


"Bed wetting looter" is now my insult of choice.

Must. Resist. Sock puppet. Urge . . .
posted by The Bellman at 7:32 AM on August 12, 2010


The whole point of libertarianism is voluntary charity

Anyone for lemonade?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:32 AM on August 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


What is it with MetaFilter and Ayn Rand?
posted by Gator at 7:34 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, wait contributing to welfare and public housing is optional? Last time I checked, the "sharing" involved here is enforced by fines and jail terms.

Sharing doesn't have to be voluntary. With the selfish, it cannot be.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:34 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like to suggest, without a hint of satire, that everyone should eat children, both their own and the children of strangers or perhaps the neighbors children. Really, what else are they good for?
posted by dortmunder at 7:35 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think what forced Malor to make his humor-destroying comment was the fact that on the very first comment on this thread stavrogin said "it's funny until you remember that people like this actually exist."

Note that you didn't remind stavrogin that nobody is suggesting the Irish should actually eat their own children.


falameufilho, from Rykey's link, about Rand Paul's experience growing up in an Objectivist household:
They did not give out allowances, which they viewed as a parental version of a government handout. They did not believe in strict curfews; Mr. Paul says that unintended consequences — like speeding home to beat the clock — can result from excessive meddling from a central authority.
Allowances are handouts! Children are moochers! Giving your child money to go see a movie is EVIL COMMIE PINKO SOCIALISM! Like I said, people like actually this exist, and name their children after Ayn Rand.
posted by stavrogin at 7:37 AM on August 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


What is it with MetaFilter and Ayn Rand?

Ayn Rand annoys the ever living hell out of liberals, of which I am one. (Both annoyed by her and a liberal.) IMHO, much like Communism, Objectivism works great until society fails around it.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:39 AM on August 12, 2010


The "all the hardcore sex parts" bit is proof that the author has never read Atlas Shrugged, is delusional, or is a liar.

Consequently, I'm not inclined to take his opinions seriously.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:40 AM on August 12, 2010


What is it with MetaFilter and Ayn Rand?

MetaFilter is a community and communities generally don't work well with self-absorbed pricks.

It's also an amazing counter to the belief that you have the right to "go Galt," since anyone who thinks they'd punish the rest of us here by depriving us of their talents are setting themselves up for a rather hilarious revelation.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:41 AM on August 12, 2010 [13 favorites]


I think we can expect some Objectivist Rand fanboy to drop by

Where am I? Is this real life?
posted by yerfatma at 7:43 AM on August 12, 2010



The "all the hardcore sex parts" bit is proof that the author has never read Atlas Shrugged, is delusional, or is a liar.


Or being funny?
posted by tiger yang at 7:48 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Finally, a link to McSweeney's.
posted by Plutor at 7:51 AM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


The 24 Types of Libertarian

which I just stole this morning from a previously deleted thread
posted by yhbc at 7:53 AM on August 12, 2010 [17 favorites]


It has been a long time since I read (ugh) Atlas Shrugged but I definitely remember that in the Gulch, you couldn't do something like put on a free musical performance for your friends. There had to be, at minimum, a symbolic exchange of money for performance services, even among peers. Capitalist exchange was what proved you were on the same power level and no coercion had occurred.

So no, Malor, you're wrong about Objectivism. Sharing IS slavery. Charity is ALWAYS bad. Children should never just let somebody use their toys - they should only rent them.
posted by zjacreman at 7:53 AM on August 12, 2010 [20 favorites]


I'd rather know what it is with America and libertarianism.
posted by DU at 7:53 AM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is this something I would need an American to understand?
posted by public at 7:54 AM on August 12, 2010


Gator: "What is it with MetaFilter and Ayn Rand?"

MetaFilter's demos trend to run 21-35, and a surprising number of non-MeFite 21-35 year olds list Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead as one of their favorite books because, despite having never worked an honest day in their life, they think they're entitled to a lot more than the relatively ridiculous opulence in which all of us in the western world live. For those of us who, at the very least, acknowledge our privilege, this is pretty frustrating.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:59 AM on August 12, 2010 [20 favorites]


And no matter how Objectivist a parent might be, they're not going to be telling their kids not to share their toys.

beats me - ayn rand, to the best of my knowledge, had almost nothing to say about children

which is kind of strange and revealing
posted by pyramid termite at 7:59 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


People with strong feelings about Ayn Rand: please form a long, tedious line to my left.
posted by kid ichorous at 8:00 AM on August 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


Or being funny?

Hm. Let me try it...

Hey, I don't blame Sarah Palin for running over that kid in the street! He was probably going to ask her what newspapers she reads!

What was that? She actually never did anything remotely like that?

No. Not funny.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:01 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Note that you didn't remind stavrogin that nobody is suggesting the Irish should actually eat their own children.

If you think no one interpreted Swift's satirical "Modest Proposal" as a serious recommendation, you have far more faith in humanity than I, good sir.

Everything I know about Ayn Rand: "Rhymes with sane?" "No. Rhymes with mine."
posted by erniepan at 8:02 AM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


I haven't even READ Rand....The whole point of libertarianism is voluntary charity

I have read some Rand -- in fact, I've read and re-read The Fountainhead dozens of times, as it's a book I really enjoy despite the fact that I largely reject objectivism. And I've read Anthem and parts of some of her essays.

And while libertarians may or may not believe in voluntary charity, Rand is pretty much down on it as most of us would understand charity. She clearly doesn't believe in it as an expression of compassion, as a response to need. Positive charity exists in one form, the form you see when Roark gives money to Mallory to keep sculpting whatever Mallory wants because he likes what Mallory produces on a self-guided basis. It's really patronage, really just another economic bargain. Support for the likes of widows and orphans is scorned as vapid sentimentality and collectivist, the kind of thing a Wynand paper would advocate when it's basely pandering to a corrupt society.

If the toddler in this piece were to "share" the ball, it would only be because she recognized the beautiful athleticism of her fellow toddler to which she tossed it, because she delighted in the sheer competency with which he handled it, or something along those lines.

So to my mind, the piece is pretty much on.
posted by weston at 8:05 AM on August 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


Can we stop doing this thread over and over, please?
posted by nasreddin at 8:06 AM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


And no matter how Objectivist a parent might be, they're not going to be telling their kids not to share their toys.

They may not actually tell their kids not to share, but if this FAQ from the Ayn Rand Institute is any indication, they're not exactly going to be encouraging sharing, either.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:07 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everything I know about Ayn Rand: "Rhymes with sane?" "No. Rhymes with mine."

Love. This.
posted by grubi at 8:09 AM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Can we stop doing this thread over and over, please?

Makes you nostalgic for music piracy threads, doesn't it.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:10 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Indeed. Children who share toys deserve to asphyxiate on coal fumes, but to be fair, that's because their collectivist parents have already poisoned them in that critical formative stage. Collectivist children choking to death is a good thing. Ethical debates can still be had about whether children choking to death is a greater or lesser good than being raped by an architect with really good cheekbones when the architect can tell that's what a woman really wants..
posted by Drastic at 8:10 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


despite having never worked an honest day in their life, they think they're entitled to a lot more than the relatively ridiculous opulence in which all of us in the western world live. For those of us who, at the very least, acknowledge our privilege, this is pretty frustrating.

Alternatively, it could be they like the book because they have to live around a bunch of other entitled people who insist not only on having relative opulence but on looking down on anyone else openly striving for it and think their viewpoint represents enlightenment.

Could be anyway. I hate both groups.
posted by yerfatma at 8:11 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'd rather know what it is with America and libertarianism.

1. Myth of hard work and meritocracy being a sole factor to success in life
2. Minus the reality of stolen land, slavery, inheritance laws and capital to make capital
3. Minus understanding "government handouts" like disaster relief, food & drug regulation, the value of a police force or the ability to go to court if wronged...
4. Equals "ZOMG, you people are taking from me (or theoretically preventing me from getting mine)!"

Strangely, I never hear libertarians talk about reparations to Indians for their land, taken by force, or black folks for labor and the capital earned thereof, also taken by force.

Actually, I usually hear them arguing against any kind of action or policy which would even give a nod towards these wrongs, so I guess the issue of earning it and keeping it only applies after they got theirs but not in the process of how it was achieved in the first place.
posted by yeloson at 8:12 AM on August 12, 2010 [22 favorites]


The author pretends this is parody, but it's more like character assassination. It's a complete misrepresentation of the ethos.

I always appreciate your ability to write such absurd satire with an absolutely straight face, Malor.
posted by codacorolla at 8:15 AM on August 12, 2010


Let's just do a metafilter survey instead of pretending to have a discussion.

Please answer the following question:

Do you support Objectivism and Ayn Rand's philosophy?

1: Strongly Support
2: Somewhat Support
3: Maybe, don't know, don't care
4: Somewhat oppose
5: Strongly oppose
posted by empath at 8:17 AM on August 12, 2010


I'm a libertarian in that I feel that I should be able to do whatever the hell I want, while the government should stop people from doing shit that annoys me.
posted by empath at 8:18 AM on August 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


The whole point of libertarianism is voluntary charity

And though the major point of my last comment was to distinguish between Rand and objectivists and any potential voluntarily charitable libertarians... I'm not sure I should let this pass.

I have made the acquaintance of some libertarians I'd put in the little-l side of things who are charitable in practice and discussion, but I have to say that increasingly I'm instead encountering people who believe in the economic bargain as the only morally sound exchange: that charity depletes the giver and ruins the receiver, that any such would-be receivers are inherently unworthy.

This may be a symptom of fundamentalism rather than libertarianism per se, and I believe that thoughtful libertarianism makes some positive contributions to the world, because its proponents sometimes do some nice thinking about incentives and how to apply markets as tools. But when you have a philosophy in which all you have is a hammer/market, well, that philosophy might tend to attract people who tend to favor simple, clear, and wrong answers.
posted by weston at 8:18 AM on August 12, 2010


I'm a libertarian in that I feel that I should be able to do whatever the hell I want, while the government should stop people from doing shit that annoys me.

Ah. Traditional libertarianism.
posted by grubi at 8:23 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Strangely, I never hear libertarians talk about reparations to Indians for their land, taken by force, or black folks for labor and the capital earned thereof, also taken by force.

That's where your Rothbard comes in handy. The land is yours if you improved it. Never mind the question of what "improved" means.
posted by weston at 8:25 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's a good question -- why don't libertarians support reparations?
posted by empath at 8:27 AM on August 12, 2010


Hey, I don't blame Sarah Palin for running over that kid in the street! He was probably going to ask her what newspapers she reads!

What was that? She actually never did anything remotely like that?

No. Not funny.


I thought it was funny.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:29 AM on August 12, 2010


I strongly support Ayn Rand's haircut. Objectivist, yeah, but also kicky and modern.
posted by everichon at 8:30 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


McSweeny's vs. Ayn Rand on Metafilter? No matter who wins, we all lose.
posted by Who_Am_I at 8:31 AM on August 12, 2010


McSweeny's vs. Ayn Rand on Metafilter? No matter who wins, we all lose.

Yes, but iPhone Scientology Star Wars lolcat Sarah Palin!
posted by grubi at 8:32 AM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


the biggest manipulative sociopath i've ever had the displeasure of knowing loves [...] to malign people who i disagree with

Wow, that's awfully nice of them to go maligning the people you disagree with (as opposed to the people they disagree with). Sociopath? Sure, but he's my sociopath.

you couldn't do something like put on a free musical performance for your friends. There had to be, at minimum, a symbolic exchange of money for performance services, even among peers. Capitalist exchange was what proved you were on the same power level and no coercion had occurred.

I don't understand this. You can still be selfish and do something like a free musical performance for purely selfish reasons. What if your selfishness is to establish name recognition in order to be able to charge more for pre-recorded performances? There's absolutely no way to measure all the potential avenues for capitalistic enrichment, yet because a direct correlation doesn't exist it's automatically bad?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:33 AM on August 12, 2010


You can still be selfish and do something like a free musical performance for purely selfish reasons.

One of the best things about objectivism is that Any Rand is the ultimate authority on it and you are not allowed to disagree with how to do it because you should bow to her authority.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:38 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


The author pretends this is parody, but it's more like character assassination. It's a complete misrepresentation of the ethos.

You're new here, aren't you?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:43 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


stavrogin, Rand Paul was not named for Ayn Rand, though it seems likely that he adopted the sobriquet for a reason.

From the NYT piece:

As a teenager, he studied the Austrian economists that his father revered, as well as the iconic free-market novelist and philosopher, Ayn Rand (she was not the inspiration for Rand’s name, which is short for Randal; he was called Randy growing up).
posted by Gin and Comics at 8:43 AM on August 12, 2010


The hilarious thing about all the libertarian mentions here is that Objectivists hate libertarians with the fire of a million suns. An Objectivist would be very unhappy to be associated with libertarianism.

Why? St. Ayn told them too. This is despite the fact that they often have the same goals. But oh the narcissism of minor differences.
posted by melissam at 8:54 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


because you should bow to her authority.

It would be so much better to imagine her saying that in an Eric Cartman voice.
posted by blucevalo at 8:55 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Clearly, the girl should have charged a reasonable fee for the use of her ball.
posted by Galt at 8:56 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


If we're going to keep having this thread, I'm going to keep linking to this comic.

Bob The Angry Flower: Atlas Shrugged 2
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:59 AM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Next you'll be telling us that the Irish shouldn't actually eat their own children!

Wait. Have I been doing it wrong?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:00 AM on August 12, 2010


LOLRandroids!
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:01 AM on August 12, 2010


Hey, I don't blame Sarah Palin for running over that kid in the street! He was probably going to ask her what newspapers she reads!

What was that? She actually never did anything remotely like that?

No. Not funny.


In all due respect, I think you're misreading some of this. The author’s deliberate use of a misleading narrative authority is taken to such silly heights that he (the character) even misreads the text of this own ethos - thus showing he has clearly appropriated Rand for his own personal means, thus raising the satirical stakes of the story to absurd, entirely unrealistic proportions.

It would be akin to a story of a philosophy professor who wildly misquotes Kant’s Deontological ethic in an attempt to argue why he shouldn’t pay his taxes. It’s not a jab at the creator of the original artifact or the philosophy in question but more at its legions of ‘followers’ who wildly poach a patchwork of canonized works for their own personal, day-to-day gain.

It’s satire, and it’s funny.
posted by tiger yang at 9:04 AM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Just thought i'd drop in and mention that the biggest manipulative sociopath I've ever had the displeasure of knowing lives in my pants.
posted by Decani at 9:07 AM on August 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


Thank God there are no didactic Progressives. Especially on this site.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:09 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't really think the problem with selfishness-as-a-virtue objectivists is the didacticism.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:17 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, Weston--I wasn't familiar with Rothbard. Why do so many free market advocates place so much faith in magical things like "spontaneous order" and "invisible hands"?
posted by Kirk Grim at 9:21 AM on August 12, 2010


Say what you will, but Ayn Rand was one of the better characters in Sewer, Gas, & Electric by Matt Ruff.

The best character, of course, is Meisterbrau, the mutant great white shark living in the sewers, but that just goes without saying.
posted by quin at 9:23 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Fucking hell it's Decani. Are you back then?
posted by longbaugh at 9:29 AM on August 12, 2010


TrialByMedia> just thought i'd drop in and mention that the biggest manipulative sociopath i've ever had the displeasure of knowing loves ayn rand.

I resent that. I am not an Ayn Rand fan.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 9:30 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


On the hardcore thing: I've known people who categorize any sex scene more explicit than "and then they made love" as hardcore. Probably still says more about the author than the character though.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:32 AM on August 12, 2010


Thank you tiger yang, spot on. This was more of an "this is an intellectually humorous short story" than a "hahaha, fuck Ayn Rand!" post. Also,

Single
Column
McSweeney's
Post


Well actually,

Multiple
Link
Metafilter
Post
Branching
From
McSweeney's
Link
To
Collection
Of
Online
Short
Stories
Maintained
By
That
Author
As
Well
As
Similar
In
Topic
Story
Published
By
Author
On
Non-McSweeney's
Website.

But I thought that putting [MLPBFMLTCOOSSMBTAAWASITSPBAONW] might be unneccessary with that whole "More Inside" thing.
posted by Chipmazing at 9:32 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


It’s satire, and it’s funny.

"Satire" is the ridiculing of actual, observed folly. The ridiculing of non-existent things found only in the ridiculer's imagination will need its own word. "glennbecking", perhaps.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:45 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Satire" is the ridiculing of actual, observed folly. The ridiculing of non-existent things found only in the ridiculer's imagination will need its own word. "glennbecking", perhaps.

What the hell are you talking about?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:45 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why do so many free market advocates place so much faith in magical things like "spontaneous order"

Spontaneous order really can cover an awful lot of ground. Unless you believe in some kind of supernatural guiding force, you're a product of spontaneous order. And I don't doubt that human society would have some kind of emergent order in the absence of a state.

The problem in my mind is that spontaneity/emergence is, as they say, like a box of chocolates -- any system complex enough to organize into something like a desirable society is going to have other less desirable potential modes/phases of organization.
posted by weston at 9:46 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fucking hell it's Decani. Are you back then?
posted by longbaugh at 5:29 PM on August 12


I regret to report that I appear to be so. I can only offer my sincere hopes that this unseemly and impertinent return will cause a minimum of annoyance to a minimum of people. So how the devil are you, anyway?
posted by Decani at 9:48 AM on August 12, 2010



"Satire" is the ridiculing of actual, observed folly.


Or the use of hypothetical scenarios enlisting observed, all-too-human behaviors.

The ridiculing of non-existent things found only in the ridiculer's imagination will need its own word. "glennbecking", perhaps.

Yes, clearly. I'll try remind fans of Kafka, Borges, Márquez and Self of this.
posted by tiger yang at 9:56 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm going to start a neoliberal punk band called "Invisible Hands," and their first single will be "Premature Spontaneous Order." I just need to write the lyrics…
posted by LMGM at 10:20 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am waiting for "spontaneous order" to do these invoices while I "go Galt" and read the funny stuff on the intarwebs.
posted by Xoebe at 10:24 AM on August 12, 2010


I used to work as a housecleaner for a couple of Objectivists (they were fair employers, and paid me well for hard work, so I'll give them that). One day as I was sweeping the kitchen I somehow got into a talk with the wife about something political. I don't know why I did this, since the mention of any of my liberal values tended to provoke her into haranguing me for half an hour at least (once one of my roommates got stoned and ate a carton of blueberries I'd been saving for breakfast. I told her about it and she became furious on my behalf, claiming that my friend had no right to take my property and that he was a disrespectful person who didn't deserve my friendship. I decided that a carton of blueberries wasn't worth ending a friendship over and the person remains one of my closest friends. Anyhoo).

So for some reason I brought up the fact that yeloson rightly brings up--that the economic power of America is built on a foundation of theft and enslavement. I focused on the appropriation of Native American lands by white settlers, but I also mentioned the murder of Native Americans (the Trail of Tears), the repercussions of these historical actions into the present day, the quality of life (or lack thereof) on reservations, etc.

I was kind of wondering what she would say to this. Would she deny that Native American lands had been stolen? Or was she so far gone she would refuse to admit that there was anything culpable about the settlement (re: invasion) of America?

She sort of blinked for a second, and then said, "Well, you know, the Native Americans didn't have property laws."

I just sort of stared at her, speechless, and then returned to sweeping the floor.
posted by duvatney at 10:25 AM on August 12, 2010 [25 favorites]


I'm going to start a neoliberal punk band called "Invisible Hands"

(Invisible thumbs up)
posted by Kirk Grim at 10:28 AM on August 12, 2010


Next you'll be telling us that the Irish shouldn't actually eat their own children!

This is a serious misinterpretation. If you had actually read A Modest Proposal, you'd know that it nowhere recommends that anyone should eat their own children. Rather, it proposes that poor Irish children be sold as delicacies to the upper classes.

You may think your comment is parody of Swift's views, but it's more like character assassination. No matter how Objectivist a parent may be, they're not going to eat their children themselves.
posted by baf at 10:50 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Am I really going to be the first one to bring up that the Simpsons already did the toddler Ayn Rand thing?
posted by redsparkler at 10:51 AM on August 12, 2010


Unless you believe in some kind of supernatural guiding force, you're a product of spontaneous order. And I don't doubt that human society would have some kind of emergent order in the absence of a state.

Yeah, we might have Fiefdoms instead, or powerful Trade Guild Consortiums or whatever equally complex and abuse-prone organizational structures that create regulations of various kinds that you might prefer to substitute. But all of these various legal or organizational fictions that aren't technically "states"--even corporations--are basically just state-like entities that are more or less organized according to the same basic design.

They all have governing charters of various kinds, they all demand taxes in the form of debt notes or natural resources or labor. They impose, either through direct force or forcible control of vital resources, rules on people.

They are also a natural part and parcel of any "spontaneous" ordering process we might imagine, not distinct from it. States evolved into their current form basically in the same way other natural phenomena do. Aliens did not swoop down one day in 1776 and visit the horrors of the state and bureaucracy upon us--all these mechanisms evolved out of our own needful efforts to regulate ourselves and to solve the increasingly complex problems we face.

That's where libertarians (and for that matter, anarcho-syndicalists) fundamentally go wrong. They view state-like entities in general as an artificial imposition on the natural order, when in fact, in some form, these entities are a necessary mechanism of any natural ordering process.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:58 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'd rather know what it is with America and libertarianism.

Basically I agree with what yeloson said. But I want to add that there narrative of how America was born is shoved down your gullet in this manner: The Great Men Who Founded The Country Stood Up Against the Evil Oppressing Government. During elementary school you get told this story about these rebels who threw off the shackles of Tyranny and Taxation over and over again, because for whatever reason your grade school teacher's aren't co-ordinating with each other and you just keep starting history class back in 1492 working your way up to just after the Civil War and then whoops it's summertime. I spent my tweens having very little idea what happened between 1865 and 1917, (not to mention anywhere else in the world or previous to 1492), because of this nonsense. Aliens might have invaded for all I knew.
posted by edbles at 10:58 AM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


"I've been all over the world and have lived among every kind of culture and I can say, without any hesitation, that the most ignorant, rude, selfish, and self-centered people on earth are babies."
posted by gum at 11:01 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just tweeted a link to the McSweeney's story. A guy I follow on there -- engineer, largely humorless, poorly-formed ideas, inflated sense of superiority, someone who thinks poor people just need to work harder and fat people need to eat less -- says, "Wow, that was an extemely [sic] republian [sic] link you just posted. I find that interesting. I like it." And that was soon followed by "No [sic] that I've read the wiki page [for Atlas Shrugged] I think I need to read that whole book! Sounds facinating [sic]! Everything I always say."

I'm proud like I just folded my own little objectivist paper boat and set it to sail on the Mighty Smug River.

Well that, mixed with a sinking feeling of, oh GOD what have I just done?
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:47 AM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


She sort of blinked for a second, and then said, "Well, you know, the Native Americans didn't have property laws."

So, I guess all those treaties were just for show?

Rationalization is a helluva drug.
posted by yeloson at 12:10 PM on August 12, 2010


The first rule of satirizing republicans is that they will always be crazier than you can possibly make up.
posted by empath at 12:51 PM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Joe Beese, satire is taking something that is basically true and exaggerating it for comedic effect. As we've discussed Rand Paul not getting allowance because it's like a government handout and Shui Mai Baby's friend who happily took the story literally, I don't believe this piece is unfair or unreasonable satire. Also, you're equivalent joke may well be funny if you fleshed it out into a longer piece, and weren't using it to angrily refute mefite commenters.
posted by mreleganza at 1:29 PM on August 12, 2010


That's where libertarians... go wrong. They view state-like entities in general as an artificial imposition on the natural order, when... in some form, these entities are a necessary mechanism of any natural ordering process.

Or, as I've heard it put around the net: any sufficiently well-organized community is indistinguishable from government.
posted by weston at 1:36 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Am I really going to be the first one to bring up that the Simpsons already did the toddler Ayn Rand thing?
posted by redsparkler


It was done even better the first time:

Ayn Rand school for tots
A is A
posted by laptolain at 2:51 PM on August 12, 2010


The joke is on people who regard any ideology (including Objectivists) as absolute. There is no perfect system of thinking; even Ghandi's philosophy, for all its demonstrated power, has a fatal flaw that no rational, critical-thinking person should be able to ignore: he forbade his followers from punching slow-walking people in the back of the head.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:17 PM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


The joke is on people who regard any ideology (including Objectivists) as absolute. There is no perfect system of thinking; even Ghandi's philosophy, for all its demonstrated power, has a fatal flaw that no rational, critical-thinking person should be able to ignore: he forbade his followers from punching slow-walking people in the back of the head.

This is just...I can't even....Can I join your cult?
posted by edbles at 3:32 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


...he forbade his followers from punching slow-walking people in the back of the head.

And that's the sole reason I'm not a Ghandist.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:56 PM on August 12, 2010


If you join my philosophical cult, I will allow you to punch ALL SORTS of people in the back of the head, regardless of if they are eating babies or not.
posted by cerulgalactus at 4:55 PM on August 12, 2010


It's Gandhi not Ghandi. Thank you!
posted by cynicalidealist at 5:13 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anybody feel like a road trip?
posted by mullingitover at 6:30 PM on August 12, 2010


It's spreading.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:11 AM on August 13, 2010


...he forbade his followers from punching slow-walking people in the back of the head.

Punching slowmovers in the back of the head is wrong; it just causes them to stop and starts a fight. A cattle prod or similar device, which could nonverbally motivate them to get a move on, might be more suitable.
posted by acb at 7:06 AM on August 13, 2010


related: Ayn Rand goes global.
posted by twirlypen at 1:53 PM on August 13, 2010


« Older Like postsecret, but more unsettling!   |   Minority Graduation Rates Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post