Friday, June 27, 2008

Ayn Rand and Individualism, continued

Well now it's possible that I may be able to go back and read Rand without looking for her role in the dialectic. That's rather uplifting news. I need something strong to re-believe in right now, and even if individualism plays directly into the dialectical arguments I'm not concerned any longer about how I am "perceived." Just like the U.S. Bill of Rights, Rand's individualism may exist outside as well as inside the dialectic, just like me. I finally do not care what people think about me or my contributions to the global body of anti-NWO literature. As I'm editing the manifesto for print this is a great topic to get my mind in a refreshed direction.

The following is an except from Bobby Garner's email exchange with his elist, and it explains exactly why I never supported LaRouche and yet felt absolutely free to cite him and his editor at EIR, Anton Chaitkin; I cite anyone who says anything pertaining to my work. Unlike Etzioni, whom I often cite, Bobby Garner is one of my most favorite people in the world:

{begin quote}

"An EIR Press Release of Oct. 17, 2006 states: "A lecture titled "Destroying Islamic Totalitarianism: The West's Moral Imperative," featured Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. According to the Daily Bruin newspaper (Oct. 17, 2006), Yaron suggested that a way to defeat these regimes [Islamic totalitarian regimes] is to kill up to hundreds of thousands of their supporters. He said only resurgence in the pride for Western civilization can help the West defeat those Islamic states."

"Contrast that with Ayn Rand's own words concerning the Roots of War: "If peace were the goal of today's intellectuals, a failure of that magnitude -- and the evidence of unspeakable suffering on so large a scale -- would make them pause and check their statist premises. Instead, blind to everything but their hatred for capitalism, they are now asserting that "poverty breeds wars" (and justifying war by sympathizing with a "material greed" of that kind). But the question is: What breeds poverty? If you look a the world of today and if you look back at history, you will see the answer: the degree of a country's freedom is the degree of its prosperity."

"LaRouche also associates Wall Street Capitalism with Ayn Rand:
"Sir Alan Greenspan, the octogenarian one-time paramour of hedonist philosopher-author Ayn Rand..."
"Federal Reserve Chairman Alan "Ayn Rand" Greenspan, and of the inner circles of President Bush ..."
"Will Ayn Rand Disciple Greenspan Repudiate Genocidalist Brook?"
"Ayn Rand's Assault on the General Welfare"
"Rand formulated the principle of "Rational Self-interest" to describe the function of Individualism in the exercise of individual rights. Rational self interest does not violate the ideals of individual rights as she defines them.

"She defined laissez-faire capitalism as: "The ideal political-economic system.... It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man’s rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church." - Introducing Objectivism

"The most vocal criticism of Ayn Rand revolves around one solitary fact: that 1) she blazed her own trail and did not conform to any accepted form of expression or philosophical thought, and 2) she failed to base her own thoughts on previous works of more acceptable experts, and 3) because she appears to quote others with whom she has fundamental disagreements. Those same critics, exhibiting the same delusional insanity, use the activities of the Ayn Rand Institute to defame and discredit her ideals as she expressed them.
Leonard Peikoff: Founder of ARI. Born in Canada, 1933, Peikoff befriended Ayn Rand in 1951. He obtained his doctorate in philosophy at New York University, 1964, studying under Sidney Hook (founder of the University Centers for a Rational Alternative, the predecessor to Lynne Cheney's American Council of Trustees and Alumni). Less than a month after the attacks of Sept. 11, with a full-page ad in the New York Times, Peikoff was calling for attacks, not on the Taliban or al-Qaeda, but on Iran... - EIR
"So, Leonard Peikoff "befriended" Ayn Rand, thus forming an association with her, then after her death, constructed the strawman (Ayn Rand Institute), and then along comes socialist LaRouche et al, who burn it down destroying Ayn Rand's Ideals of individual rights along with it. Or so they, and every other Communist/Socialist/Progressive
/Libertarian/Republican/Democrat/New Age/Unitarian/Communitarian believes.

"There is a lot more detail to this method of deconstruction, but this is sufficient to accurately illustrate the cooperation that goes on between all of todays political ideologies who offer false choices, and put up false fronts of being at odds with one another while working toward a Common Purpose.

"Please address all replies to the topic of Ayn Rand's Ideals concerning Individualism and individual rights.
If you desire to refute her arguments please do so on the basis of her own comments, and in your own words.
I'm not interested in the philosophical drivel of some establishment blessed Ayn Rand expert, so don't try repeating their arguments.
If you get the impression that my attitude parallels Ayn Rand's, then thank you for noticing my claim to Individualism and innate Individual Rights in lieu of the bogus, humanist, UN sponsored and "granted", "human rights".

Bobby Garner

P.S. If I send it you can post it verbatim."

{end quote}


Signifier said...

"The most vocal criticism of Ayn Rand revolves around one solitary fact: that 1) she blazed her own trail and did not conform to any accepted form of expression or philosophical thought, and 2) she failed to base her own thoughts on previous works of more acceptable experts, and 3) because she appears to quote others with whom she has fundamental disagreements."

The above quotation from Bobby Garner is absolutely false in every respect. Rand was not sui generic.

She borrowed heavily from Aristotle -- which is clearly not failing to base her own thoughts on a more acceptable expert.

Rand also borrowed heavily from Isabelle Patterson -- whole swathes of ideas. Isabelle Patterson was the Ayn Rand of her time before Ayn came along. They both were friends for a long time, too.

For dramatic structure and for her ideas as to how to project her kind of fictional hero, she studied the novels of Victor Hugo.

As to what exactly Leonard Peikoff was guilty of or what Alan Greenspan was guilty of -- this article merely insinuates snidely without having the courage to state outrightly what the issues were.

I think it's pretty obvious at this late date what a criminal Alan Greenspan is, but what any of this has to do with Rand or the Rand Institute is beyond me.

Leonard Peikoff has taken many hits from lots of people for being a fool and a pedant, etcetera, but this article really lacks any kind of conviction in its finger-pointing.

I wish I could better understand why this article has any value on your cutting-edge blog. This article is full of error and sophomoric.

Signifier said...

I think Leonard Peikoff's advocacy for attacking Iran is part of Rand's "theory."

On the Phil Donahue show, Rand was asked which country to bomb -- Israel or Iran. Rand chose Iran. Why? Because, for her, Israel represented the values of a "higher culture" with greater developed intelligence.

It was piece of self-serving ideation, don't you think? An individualist who nonetheless retained right to her tribal roots.