NFLer Chris Kluwe takes on Ayn Rand

American football player Chris Kluwe, perhaps best known of late for his defense of gay people in general, and gay marriage in particular, has weighed into the debate over Ayn Rand and objectivism in an article he published over at Salon.

Chris-Kluwe

Kluwe also has a penchant for writing, as when he took on a homophobic Maryland politician, with some hilarity.

It’s a long piece, but worth a read – here’s a snippet:

A world full of Ayn Rand’s John Galts is a world that will eventually consist of only one person, and then none, once his lifespan concludes. John Galt doesn’t care for the disasters that affect his neighbors — they can sink or swim on their own (and they’ll sink). John Galt doesn’t care for the public good, because all he can see is his own good (and he’ll wonder why it gets harder and harder to get the resources he needs). John Galt doesn’t recognize that genius arises under any circumstances (and he’ll never know how many geniuses he excluded from paradise because their parents didn’t fit his ideals, or why the population keeps shrinking).

John Galt is a remorseless shark feeding on those unable to get out of his way, the blood-churned waters boiling around him as he takes in everything he requires for his own happiness without thought of the cost to others, rending and tearing the stability of social interactions until his once-teeming world is barren and lifeless, collapsed under the gluttonous appetite of self.

Then he starves, and no one is left to mourn his passing.

Are you John Galt?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Ferdiad

    Ah, yeah actually they do. Do you disagree? Or do you just like making vague comments?

  • Ferdiad

    Point to me where Rand said in Atlas Shrugged that “no one” can take “anything” from “any form of government.” Just another uninformed commenter that can’t distinguish fact from fiction.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    At least now you know why they hide underground

  • BradCerenzia

    I agree, and that’s what you were doing: attacking the writer (“pot shots by a wanna be”) by asserting they are a “wanna be”. Ad hominem.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    *BLAM!*

    Sorry, sorry, I thought she was a pocket gopher. I had no idea fairies were subterranean by nature.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Not if you believe, really believe…do you believe? Come on, clap your hands…oops! there went tinker bell…
    :-(

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Doubtful, because they’ll be dead.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Not as distraught as them!
    8-O

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    If I find out I’ve actually been slaughtering hobbits with my .17 HMR varmint rifle, I’ll be most distraught.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Maybe you’re just looking with grownup eyes. I find that zorbear sees all kinds of things that I don’t…
    ;-)

  • keirmeister

    Justice? Both people pay for something, but you want to deny giving it to one group because they advocate something you don’t like?

    By the way, taxes are not STOLEN money. They are the cost we pay for creating, consuming, and supporting THE COMMONS.

    Can it be abused? Of course, but your premise is otherwise incompatible with living in a society.

  • keirmeister

    Yep, of course I read what you wrote. That’s why I’m ridiculing it. I even read it out loud to a number of people and they were shocked by your apparent lack of reason and historical understanding. And your defense of Robber Barons betrays a psychopathy all too prevalent in the “We Built This” selfishness crowd.

    And what you call “Daily Koz” talking points is what we educated people call facts. But thanks for trying.

  • KaelVarnson

    Did you even read what I wrote? OF COURSE they needed money. I can see I’m wasting my time with you.

    Oh, one last thing. The so-called “robber barons” were neither robbers nor barons. That’s just another smear term used to try and discredit dreaded “big business.” The so-called robber barons brought mankind (literally) out of the darkness and ushered in the actual progress that the so-called “progressives” tried to snuff out. Not only did Rockefeller literally save the whales (by making whale oil obsolete), he brought the price of heating and lighting fuel down so low that even the poorest of the poor could afford it. Rockefeller was a genius and a great American hero.

    Try reading something other than Daily Koz talking points.

  • KaelVarnson

    No. I’m advocating for justice. Those who advocate against social security *deserve to have their stolen money returned to them.* Those who advocate for theft (such as you) deserve NOT to have your money returned to you.

  • keirmeister

    Do you see your contradictions? In essence, you are supporting Social Security – a system we pay into with defined benefits.

    Then you say people who advocate against it deserve it but not those who advocate FOR it. In both cases, citizens are paying the money…but now you want to STEAL the benefits from one group because you don’t approve of their free speech. The person’s speech should be irrelevant, yet you discriminate.

    Do you not see your contradictions?

  • keirmeister

    Again, you rewrite history, completely ignoring the fact that things were so bad we had to develop CHILD LABOR LAWS. You also conveniently ignore the fact that children were put to work because families were dirt poor and needed MONEY.

    I mean, jeezus, do you not understand the term “Robber Baron”? That is the historical context you choose to ignore.

    So don’t try the “see you can’t refute my claims” bullshit. It’s an old Right-Wing trap that doesn’t work with me. Common sense alone refutes you.

  • KaelVarnson

    And yet you can’t refute my claims. At least you’re honest about your ad hominem attacks.

    As to child labor, what do you think children did *before* their *parents* sent them to factories to work? They worked on farms, as they still do all over the world today. Parents thought the factories were a better place for their children than the farm, just as they do today in places like Vietnam and other developing nations. Sure, life isn’t easy in an industrializing country, but those who are in it at the time think it better than the alternative (doing piece work on an assembly line with a roof over one’s head is more desirable to most than toiling in the heat and brutal weather conditions on a farm). We should always hold context, and be careful when judging historical conditions by today’s standards. It wasn’t until sufficient wealth was created by the industrial revolution that afforded parents the wealth to pull their children out of the factories, and off the farms, and put them into school.

  • keirmeister

    …Individuals with different needs and abilities with regard to what they can contribute. And because of this, your last sentence makes no Earthly sense.

  • keirmeister

    Your revision of history is either brutally dishonest or frighteningly stupid.

    The late 19th century was a period when “the rights of individuals were most sacred and protected?” You seriously wrote something this asinine and are not embarrassed by it?

    I mean…wow. Should I even bother…?

    You even conveniently forget the abusive child labor that built much of the industrial revolution. But whatever. Anyone who could write something as mind-numbingly dumb as what you just wrote cannot be swayed by contrary facts that are easily found by a simple Google search.

    And yes, I’m choosing to respond with name calling. I’m all for a good debate, but we are in no way obliged to tolerate such absurdity.

  • KaelVarnson

    She actually quit smoking in the 70’s. That was the time when a lot of new information was available about the dangers of smoking. Almost half the population smoked until that time.

  • KaelVarnson

    Are children and the elderly not individuals? Society is merely a group of individuals. There is no society as such.

  • KaelVarnson

    Late 19th century America was the closest this country has come to Laissez Faire, a time when the rights of individuals were most sacred and protected, and in which we saw an industrial revolution raise millions out of subsistence farming misery. This was a time when the U.S. absorbed millions of uneducated, poverty-stricken immigrants, and had jobs for all who wanted to work. And oh by the way, there was no “safety net.” In fact, it is well documented that at that time there were “an embarrassing” number of charities available. But the vast majority didn’t need them. An old saying of the day sums up the average American’s feelings about the safety net idea: “better dead in a ditch than on the dole.” Laissez Faire would create the most prosperous and benevolent society in history, just as America was in the late 19th century.

  • Dale Netherton

    The pot shots are superfluous because the don’t pertain to anything that represents Ayn Rand or her writings. They are inconsequential because any honest investigator could easily discern the shallowness of the critique.

  • Dale Netherton

    Ad Hominiem means attacking the person. The dumb conclusions are something else.

  • keirmeister

    You’re trying to play a semantic argument with me, but that ain’t gonna work with me.

    I also question your conclusion that corporate tax rates (even “high” ones) induce avoidance…as if this is recent behavior.

    As for the progressive income tax….I need to respond to “unbelievable”?!?

  • KaelVarnson

    I’m an Objectivist and I don’t believe that I am a John Galt. If anything, I’m more of an Eddie Willers, if that. But I still love my life and I’m inspired by the John Galts of the world, both fictional and real.

  • keirmeister

    I used to love Dennis Miller’s esoteric brand of comedy. But once he went “full Republican,” he forgot one of the main rules of humor: insult up, not down. That’s why most Conservative “humor” is anything but.

  • KaelVarnson

    Or, perhaps you read Rand in your 30’s and had still not given up your sense of idealism (one of the best aspects of youth). Perhaps you were inspired by Rand’s vision of a society where the individual was sovereign and his rights were protected. You were stirred by her vision of man as a moral hero who was honest, virtuous, independent, productive, happy and proud. You were given the words to defend your deeply held conviction that a man could not survive in a world that constantly tells him that to be a good person, he has to give up all his values and sacrifice himself to people he doesn’t know and has never met. Perhaps you learned that your life belongs to you and the good is to live it. Perhaps.

  • keirmeister

    I see you exhibit the same behavior as other Randian types I’ve seen – this romantic poetic flourish when writing about the virtues of selfishness.

    Honestly, it’s quite beautiful. I’m not afraid to say it. The problem is, all of it is simple romanticization of societal interactions – at not well grounded in how human nature works or the realities people and societies actually face.

    Society is not just about “individuals pursuing their own happiness.” It’s more than just “individuals.” Again, notice that your rhetoric says nothing about children and the elderly.

    Objectivism is not a complete philosophy, thus it is inherently flawed. As Rand herself said, check your premises.

  • KaelVarnson

    BillFromDover doesn’t even realize he’s hating the poor. He’s not clever enough to realize that he needs the poor to stay poor in order to have some group to “fight for.” Don’t you see, it’s all about money for him. He props up a ridiculous straw man argument about “elites” in order to continue being the *champion* of the poor, who he will continue to hold down through distribution schemes, a minimum wage, and every other immoral welfare state conjuration imaginable… simply to keep the looters in power.

  • keirmeister

    And thus you miss the irony.

    By that same reasoning, fighting for the rights of those less fortunate, creating a social safety net for others can also ensure the prosperity and FREEDOMS of us all.

    History has shown that a prosperous society – and one that tends to the needs of ALL of its citizens – is one that is more concerned about its freedoms and rights.

    What has history shown about laissez faire?

  • KaelVarnson

    America in the 19th century. The Great Northern Railway

  • KaelVarnson

    Galt was a man who loved his life and who lived by the creed that he would not sacrifice his life for anyone, nor sacrifice anyone’s life for his. No slaves, no masters. Just individuals pursuing their own happiness, trading value for value.

  • KaelVarnson

    Tell me, if the government stole the wealth from your paycheck every other week (which it does) for your entire life, wouldn’t you be entitled to get as much of that money back if you could?

    In fact, the only people who deserve to get their money back from these government redistribution schemes are those who advocated against them. Those who advocate for the welfare state (social security, medicare, etc) do NOT deserve to get their money back

  • KaelVarnson

    In fact, the only people who deserve to get their money back from these government redistribution schemes are those who advocated against them. Those who advocate for the welfare state (social security, medicare, etc) do NOT deserve to get their money back

  • KaelVarnson

    I hope I end up old, don’t you? She was never poor. And the records are unclear as to what “services” she “accepted” from the government. But let’s take your premise that she did. Tell me, if the government stole the wealth from your paycheck every other week (which it does) for your entire life, wouldn’t you be entitled to get as much of that money back if you could?

    In fact, the only people who deserve to get their money back from these government redistribution schemes are those who advocated against them. Those who advocate for the welfare state (social security, medicare, etc) do NOT deserve to get their money back.

  • KaelVarnson

    Oh, but you are wrong, keirmeister. Galt was fighting for himself, for his own personal selfish values, in fighting for the individual rights of all. For a rational man or woman, there is no dichotomy between their rights and the rights of others. To live as a human is to recognize that you and your neighbor share one common right, from which all others derive: your right to be left alone (laissez faire) and live (right to life).

  • BillFromDover

    OK, make that me.

    Nice try… now can ya show me just ONE major corporation that paid a 35% income tax rate?

    Never mind!

  • BillFromDover

    So… now this is now all ya have to offer as an argument?

    Dontcha just hate it when cogent thought escapes you and ya have to resort to posting something as stupid as this for those on all the Internet tubes to read?

  • BillFromDover

    “…including losses and damages.” from what?

    And how did we get from grants for education” to Jews riding on trains in France?

    Hello…. straw man!

  • BillFromDover

    But… but… but, according to fuguewriter, she deserved these government handouts.

    What am I missing here?

  • fuguewriter
  • BillFromDover

    fuguewriter’s?

  • fuguewriter

    Why do you hate the poor? : (

  • fuguewriter

    Ah, yes: money was taken from her by force and she recouped a *small* amount of it in real dollar terms including losses and damages. What hypocrisy.: it’s certainly the Ayn Rand philosophy to be a victim.

    Your argument amounts to: Jews shouldn’t have ridden on the trains of Vichy France because they were run by an immoral government.

    Grotesque.

  • BillFromDover

    Show us just ONE major corporation that paid a 35% income tax rate… just one?

    Pretty please with sugar?

    I can show ya many that paid absolutely nothing… for a start:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/06/01/how-our-largest-corporations-made-170-billion-during-great-recession-and-paid-no-taxes/

  • BillFromDover

    Dennis Miller ceased to be funny the moment he chose the dark side.

    Can anybody name one funny conservative comedian?

    Didn’t think so!

  • BillFromDover

    Because they don’t have as much money as the elites?

    I can believe how you guys continually debase the poor for having practically nothing.

    Oh… your side worked HARD for your wealth…. well excusefuckingme!

  • BillFromDover

    “(Hopefully you’re not going in the debunked direction of “Ayn Rand was a
    hypocrite for a social worker making use of government programs for
    which Rand had contributed her whole adult life in the U.S.”

    Why should I make an argument when you just did it for me?

    Is she not a fucking hypocrite?

  • BillFromDover

    “are superfluous and inconsequential.”

    In what way?

  • fuguewriter

    Energy markets and banking were and are not non-regulated. If you maintain they were, the onus is on you. But that is contrafactual. A free economy is a holistic system: you might as well maintain everyone must have a pacemaker because liver failure occurs without blood – it is that nonsensical.

    So you deny our corporate tax *rates* are high? Which induces avoidance, does it not? Silence on the progressive income tax – not even a try, there.

  • keirmeister

    We have many examples of deregulated markets wreaking havoc (think energy and banking), but I’m sure you know this.

    As for the highest corporate tax rates….you don’t seem to be making the distinction between the statutory and effective rates, but I’m sure you realize this as well. Nice try though.

  • BradCerenzia

    Ad hominem attacks are tedious, Dale.

  • fuguewriter

    Why do Progressives hate the poor? : (

  • fuguewriter

    “Insanely low” – unbelievably progressive taxes and highest corporate tax rates in the OECD.

    “Nonexistent regulations” – and the planet you’re referring to is – ? So you can use gold as money, write gold contracts? Who knew?

    The 2007-2008 crash is the completely predictable result of fiat money. But it’s as nothing compared to what your system is piling up in unfunded liabilities. Just wait until you see what $96-222trillion in unfunded liabilities.

    Better hope for change – back to economic freedom.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Good point there, too. The inconsistencies and hypocrisies boggle the mind, don’t they?

    Moreover, those railroads were built not on private land, but on public right-of-way grants from the government.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    ‘Fraid not. We have farmers, cows, and prairie dogs around here. Sadly, although the dog-towns appear to be large enough to shelter hobbits, I have yet to see any.

  • Dale Netherton

    Better stick with banging heads. Evidently didn’t read or understand what was presented in Atlas Shrugged. These pot shots by a wanna be looking for an eye catching headline are superfluous and inconsequential.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I like big moving targets.

  • keirmeister

    What. In. The. Hell. Are. You. Talking. About?

    Never been tried before? Those were your words, not mine. Indeed, what you’re talking about has be tried over and over again to disastrous results.

    Insanely low taxes on the rich and corporations? Check.

    Nonexistent regulations? Check.

    ..And how did that work out for us?

    By the way, sarcasm only works when the underlying point has truth to it. Or are you just channelling Dennis Miller?

  • fuguewriter

    And therein we see the profound, ossified conservatism of today: “it’s never been tried before.” That’s a deeply Progressive, innovation-oriented way of thinking. Let’s not talk about the economic disaster brewing as all those things happened – or the dozens of millions killed by collectivism.

  • fuguewriter

    I see a link. Please make an argument. (Hopefully you’re not going in the debunked direction of “Ayn Rand was a hypocrite for a social worker making use of government programs for which Rand had contributed her whole adult life in the U.S.” The onus is on you to prove hypocrisy, which you will have a hard time doing: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/government_grants_and_scholarships.html )

  • BillFromDover
  • keirmeister

    Dead on! And I could never understand why Rand cultists couldn’t grasp the idea that Dagny Taggart INHERITED her railway line. It’s like a complete mental disconnect.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I prefer orcs.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    What? You mean you don’t?
    :-D

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Exactly. Roarke wasn’t even paid to create a building, but merely to design it. After that, the execution of that design did not belong to him, nor was it his capital investment to be allowed to destroy. He ‘stole’ the result of another man’s investment and labor. (Well, destroyed it — which most societies label as a criminal act at minimum. And in that particular case, risking a mass catastrophe, given Roarke’s chosen method of destruction.)

    Anyway, I realized pretty early on that Rand was a rather sloppy philosophical polemicist, who also had little to no understanding of human and group psychology.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The first time I realized circular reasoning was a common habit among utopist authors was when I read Walden II (B.F. Skinner) at around the same time I read Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward”. In both cases, there’s a proponent character who essentially says exactly this, that of course this philosophy works because, well, look around you, here it is.

    Except that it isn’t real, but fictional. And a fictional assertion never proves the likelihood of reality — otherwise we’d all have hobbits and orcs as neighbors. ;-)

  • Jackie Hill

    we’re screwed anyway you look.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, the taxpayers supported those stinking clouds of Gauloise cigies that created her Objectivist halo at the end.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you Wikileaks. Perhaps ‘feudal’ is more appropriate.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Don’t forget the children and little kitties! :(

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Very brave to enter a mob of morons and attempt critical reasoning!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yes, critical reasoning.

  • keirmeister

    It’s a long thread, but it exemplifies what happens when a lone liberal comments in a Right-Wing den of stupid.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/10/19/atlas-shrugged-three-go

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Rand falls into all the same traps as the others. Up to and including
    writing fiction and using the circular logic of the ‘existence’ of a
    fictional outcome as proof that the system is not only ideal, but it’s
    workable.” Very perceptive. If fact Thomas Aguinas used the very same set of Greek philosophical points to reach the very opposite conclusion from Anus Rand—-the existence of God. The only point in common between these two, aside from the fact that one was a brilliant scholar and the other a pretentious dilettante was circular reasoning.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I don’t personally know that many lazy fairies.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yes indeed: orcs and their friends the trolls, who visit here often. The trolls usually leave comments, the orcs, incapable of coherent thought, just leave anonymous down vote arrows.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “I have yet to meet a follower of Rand who didn’t fervently believe that he or she is another John Galt.” This segues nicely into Keirmeister’s post. Perfect mediocrity is its own absolute success that’s why there is an army of Galt losers hanging around sites like Breitbart, to elevate their self- victimization to superior status. If it weren’t for the comedy, we might for a brief compassionate moment, consider tragedy.

  • keirmeister

    The system Ayn Rand upholds has never existed in the history of mankind.

    Yet despite this, we have traveled to the moon, harnessed the atom, cloned animals, cured diseases, created the internet, built powerful computers, and created some of the most beautiful art and music ever known.

    And therein lies the central flaw of your premise.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I like you!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, knit one purl two!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Either Galt is a hypocrite, or he’s a shark.” Indeed, the very definition of a Republican.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You sociopaths are so hot! especially defending the laissez fair, which in Rand’s case was a portfolio of mediocre literary dreck, Hollywood trash and half baked dilatanti philosophical conceits. She was free to be all she couldn’t be and it was rather pathetic.

  • fuguewriter

    How wrong you are. The system she upholds is the only one that produces the prosperity, innovation, and abundance that makes life-extension and medical breakthroughs possible. Why do you hate the poor, the sick, and the old? Please, develop some compassion. : (

  • fuguewriter

    You cannot have a small-government or individualist Fascist. You do know what Fascism is, yes? From its founder: “Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State … The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone.” – Mussolini and Gentile, 1932, in the “Italian Encyclopedia,” definition of “Fascism.” This is in no way ever even close to compatible with Rand. As for children – I have a higher estimate of them than you.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    They get it; we just don’t want it. :-)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “The woman had a point right there, and it was an heroic one in which in her time she stood almost alone” You are correct in that: The point was on the top of her head, which made her America’s most notable fascist pinhead. I agree with the premise of your last sentence: Anyone under the age of ten is probably ill-equipped to deal with Rand’s arguments.

  • fuguewriter

    For the most part one of the silliest articles ever written on Ayn Rand and “Atlas Shrugged” – and that’s saying something.

    To begin with where I agree with Kluwe, she does ignore empathy in her philosophical system. (It’s one reason I’m not an Objectivist. I’m very high-empathic.) She also was going up against several thousands of years’ of theory and praxis that used empathy, altruism, and societal concern as an excuse for the most horrific abuses. Remember that anything bad that bad capitalists did is utterly dwarfed, really made microscopic, by the bad done in the name of alleged altruism, “the people” – especially “the toilers” – and a collectivist State. The Nazis were collectivists right along with the Fascists and the Communists (of Russian, Chinese, Pol Pot, and other varieties). The woman had a point right there, and it was an heroic one in which in her time she stood almost alone. She’s necessarily shifted and deepened the debate even among those who disagree with her.

    But Kluwe is all over the map in his errors about Rand. A smattering:

    – Galt is the least posibly sociopathic human being. He wants a society of complete peace, mutual agreement, and flawless observance of individual rights in which no one is sacrificed to any other – least of all himself. In the novel he is offered dictatorial power, total control – and refuses to eve refuse it.

    – In Galt’s world, society does not -allow- the individual to exist.

    – In a “Galtian” world it will be free trade: so schools will be private and either for-profit or charitable. (The whole school paradigm is changing anyway. You can get a top-flight university-level education utterly free on the Net.)

    – “Mines run out and the streams dry up”? What is this apocalypticism? A free-market capitalist society is best-adapted for resource-shifting and innovation.

    – “an army to protect him but has no concern about how it’s funded or staffed.” This is crazy. A Galtian world would be minarchical – government would be extremely small (no crony capitalism) and use fees, contract fees, and other voluntary forms of financing would make it very easy to finance. In time, there’d be

    – “hurricanes hit coastlines” This does not overturn Galt at all. Rand believed that freedom and using one’s rational faculty was the best way to deal with disasters that happened. She also didn’t intend Galt to be a stock mouthpiece for everything that needs be said. He wasn’t providing a totalistic, finalistic Code of Twenty-five Commandments. Kluwe is looking for safety provided for by no effort of one’s own.

    – Nothing Galt says is against a safety net. Not one word. But a government-enforced safety net – most certainly. One reason is that government cannot do it right. Look at Social Security and Medicare.

    “Empathy teaches us that contributing to this safety net is beneficial for all, because we never know when it will be our turn.” – Kluwe just made an argument from self-interest!

    – Kluwe’s not familiar with disaster insurance. This is why it’s fruitless to talk about economic phenomena without economics.

    – “should we just throw our hands up in the air and say, “not my responsibility”?” No! This is one of the first times Rand has been accused of advocating a lazybones ethic. She’s the original, undiluted Type A overachiever.

    “take care of the underlying foundations of peace and security” This is the same jump from “We need X” to “The government must provide X” without even an argument. Shall we make that argument about, say, sexual partners?

    It goes on and on like that. Kluwe means well, but is essentially ill-equipped to deal with Rand’s arguments.

  • KingCranky

    In what universe is a railroad not government-dependent?

  • KingCranky

    Apparently, the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps with no government assistance” Randians refuse to see the overwhelming irony in “Atlas Shrugged”, the heroine runs a railroad, one of the most government-dependent industries around.

    Then again, Rand’s acolytes will never be accused of logical consistency, and when she accepted, instead of rejected, government assistance for herself, neither will Rand.

  • keirmeister

    THANK YOU BeccaM! That was always my takeaway from The Fountainhead. Roarke was PAID to create a building for a client. The legitimate owner added some stupid additions. Roarke gets insulted and blows it up. That makes him an Objectivist hero?

  • keirmeister

    Think of the logic of your own statement: “Galt fought for any man…” to fight for something is to sacrifice. What was Galt sacrificing? And if he did sacrifice something, did he enter into a contract to be reimbursed?

    No. According to your interpretation, Galt gave of himself to make a better world. That sounds altruistic to me. And it’s the type of behavior we expect from members of a SOCIETY!

    See, you can’t have it both ways. Either Galt is a hypocrite, or he’s a shark.

    And thus is the problem with Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. You mention a “straw man” while ignoring the basic flaw in Objectivism: It requires behaviors and realities of human beings and societies that is counter to ALL OF HISTORY.

    I studies Ayn Rand, and understand what she believes. That’s how I know she’s full of shit.

  • arleeda

    But Rand ended up old, poor and accepting government social services.

  • Shlomo Abrin

    Ayn Rand’s ideal is the ‘Logan’s Run’ of philosophy. Everything will be going along quite swimmingly until someone gets sick or ages. In none of her writing does one find children, disabled, or the elderly. The only enemy she recognizes is restraining influence on the limbic system and she personifies that by calling it ‘government’.

    The die hards always say the same thing i.e. “You just don’t get it.” They’re quite right. I don’t.

  • Burke

    Those who strike out against Ayn Rand with malicious misrepresentations like this reveal more about themselves than about her.

  • lynchie

    It amazes me more how thin your skins are you Randians. Now tell me that you take absolutely nothing from any form of government. Just because you say a book is great doesn’t make it great. Like all books of fiction it is mostly bullshit.

  • KaelVarnson

    OH the irony! Kluwe has unwittingly stated the exact opposite of what Galt stood for. Kluwe writes that Galt was a “shark feeding on those unable to get out of his way.” Umm, actually Rand’s villains in Atlas were the parasites, the sharks, feeding off the blood of others. Galt fought for any man or woman who desired the free and unfettered use of his or her own mind.

    The argument that Rand hated the poor and fought for only the “elite”, “rich” and “powerful” is a straw man, fabricated by those who are afraid to know what Rand really believed: that man is a sovereign individual whose mind is her sole means of survival, whose mind must be left free to pursue her values, and that the only social system consonant with those needs is one that allows her the freedom to think, act and keep the products of her labor…i.e., laissez faire.

  • KaelVarnson

    Joe, I completely agree. More straw man arguments, ad hominem attacks, and misrepresentations by people who hate *what they’ve read that Ayn Rand stood for.* They must be awfully afraid to read that man is a sovereign individual whose mind is her sole means of survival, whose mind must be left free to pursue her values, and that the only social system consonant with those needs is one that allows her the freedom to think, act and keep the products of her labor…i.e., laissez faire.

  • Thered3065

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    So, yes, some of us have actually read her books and realized when we
    were still in high school that she had nothing useful to say.

  • Hue-Man

    PBS Newshour on Friday had a great piece about the UC Berkeley studies reported widely in Feb, 2012. “‘Pernicious’ Effects of Economic Inequality
    It’s been said that money is the root of all evil. Does money make people more likely to lie, cheat and steal? Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on new research from the University of California, Berkeley about how wealth and inequality affects us psychologically.” http://video.pbs.org/video/2365030354/#

    The message I keep getting and (naively?) rejecting is that the 1% are unable to see past their own self-interest and that they are not really that different from the rest of us. I’m slowly accepting that they believe that if you own 100% of everything, you don’t even have to acknowledge the existence of “the little people.” Sad. Fortunately, few of them read history – otherwise, they might stumble across July, 1789, and its aftermath or more recently, October, 1917.

  • Suemarie

    John – Chris is the grand marshal in next week’s Minneapolis Pride Parade! I am sad he’s leaving Minneapolis.

  • tomtallis

    If you’re a 14 year old teen boy and you think that Ayn Rand is the greatest writer ever, that’s to be expected. If, 20 years later, you STILL think that Ayn Rand is the greatest writer ever. you have serious maturity problems.

  • unclemike

    Ah, “both sides do it.”

    Of course.

  • slideguy

    Actually, yes. I picked up a copy of “Anthem” from a free box on campus back in the 60s. I’d heard her name, was interested to read something she wrote, and was pleased to see that it was short. Good thing, too. One of the worst pieces of crap I’ve ever read, stylistically, and philosophically. And in the throes of lust, I read “Atlas Shrugged” because the object of my lust loved it. Better than “Anthem”, but pretty bad. Do you not see the irony in John Galt and his friends not getting what they want, so they form a union and go on strike?

  • keirmeister

    I got into this long LONG argument over at the Breitbart site about Rand, Objectivism, and Atlas Shrugged. It was really funny, because I was brought to the site after trying to see if “Atlas Shrugged: Part 3″ was ever going to be filmed.

    All I said was that I liked the concept of the story itself, even if I found the underlining premise to be flawed – and I WANTED the movies to do well, but found them disappointing.

    You can imagine the sh*tstorm that ensued. I was immediately attacked from all directions. It was amazing…and AWESOME!

    Fortunately, these Right-Winger types are HORRIBLE debaters. One guy kept saying HE was John Galt, because he was a “maker” while others were “takers” and that he hated Obama.

    Why?

    Because his family business wasn’t doing well, and the government programs he took advantage of to help his business didn’t work.

    His family business…that he didn’t start. And he took federal money.

    I laughed my ass off in his virtual face, but I think I hit a nerve when I told him he wasn’t John Galt, he was Dagny Taggart! I swear, I don’t think the guy even read the book.

    But like almost all Right-Wing Conservatives, those folks at the Breitbart site had incredibly thin skins.

    The lesson: argue with information to back up what you say, don’t be afraid to “be mean,” and don’t let them have the last word. And when you trap them, kick ‘em in the balls for good measure.

  • PeteWa

    fan boi haz a sad.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yes, actually. Being the voracious reader I’ve always been, I read Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Intro to the Objectivist Epistomology, The Virtue of Selfishness, and several others.

    And y’know, it’s funny — fanatic converts like yourself simply assert that failing to agree with her appalling political philosophies is ‘intellectually dishonest’ or, as you say, arguing against things she never said or stood for.

    But then you never identify exactly how her positions are being misrepresented. Disagreement with and objection to the gross immorality of Rand’s proposals isn’t misrepresentation either.

    Like every other political philosopher’s attempt to posit a utopian society, Rand falls into all the same traps as the others. Up to and including writing fiction and using the circular logic of the ‘existence’ of a fictional outcome as proof that the system is not only ideal, but it’s workable.

    Care to know what happened when I reached the turgid, overwrought end of The Fountainhead? I laughed my ass off. Roarke commits what would today be considered an act of terrorism; if nothing else, it was the criminal destruction of someone else’s property and as such ought to have been prosecuted as a crime. To find out if this ridiculous tale was just a fluke, I read Atlas Shrugged — and it had an even more absurd ending.

    Objectivism isn’t at all workable. Human nature simply will not go down that path. Worse, it’s inherently destructive to society as a whole, as well as to the planet’s ecosystems.

  • Randy

    I have yet to meet a follower of Rand who didn’t fervently believe that he or she is another John Galt. I’ve never met any of them who think, even for a moment, that they aren’t the heroic producers in society who deserve everything they can take.

    What they really are saying is that they are so much more brilliant than you or me, or the rest of humanity, that they deserve all the riches, and they would never ever be, even for a moment, exceptional.

    They all have a pretty high opinion of their talents and use to society.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Well Rand did write Anthem which is about the dark age that results from John Galt’s hissy fit.

    But the Randites only read the books that reinforce their world view.

  • KLG

    Time to break out John Rogers again:

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

  • Joe

    Kluwe has either never read Rand, or is intellectually dishonest. Like her detractors always do, he has resorted to arguing against things she never said or stood for. The idiocy of the comments liking this article are telling as well. Have any of you actually EVER READ Rand? You’re attributing a bunch of nonsense to her she’s never said.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Having read her books I repeat: “it amazes me that a hack…”.etc and so forth

  • Zorba

    I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead when I was about 12 or 13. At the time, I was fascinated by her work. By the time I was 14 or 15, I figured out that she was a total hack and idiot.
    So, yes, some of us have actually read her books and realized when we were still in high school that she had nothing useful to say.

  • bkmn

    Unfortunately Mr. Kluwe uses too many big words, which would totally mess with the minds of Paul Ryan, Michele Bachman, Rick Perry and many other Republican hopefuls.

  • Just an elbow

    Seems to me you miss the point that within the broad spectrum there are those few that exist. That’s ridiculous.

    it also keeps you from noting the context in which this statement:

    “If you want to get rid of the moocher, you don’t do it by excluding everyone you think could be a moocher”,
    takes place.

    It doesn’t help when your hatred of Ronnie’s talking points keep you from acknowledging a well written piece. Pity.

  • Ferdiad

    It still amazes me how many people criticize Rand that have never actually read her books. The comments here clearly show that trend is still alive. I have to say though that most conservatives that praise Rand have never read her books either. The “moochers” are alive in well, but most of them reside in D.C. and wear both the D and R flags and make their money off the government.

  • Kes

    A pretty good piece, but he lost me with this: “the welfare collectors who churn out babies because it means another weekly check to buy shoes or purses.” Really? Reiterating this ridiculous, regurgitated, racist Reagan rhetoric? It doesn’t help when progressives pretend as if the Rs’ talking points have some underlying merit.

  • lynchie

    It was the way W operated. Either your with us or against us. It is the way Ohighness operates. My drones are bigger than yours and even if it is illegal I will take you out. His comment to boys dating his daughters “don’t forget I have drones”. It is the bully taken to the extreme. Ayn Rand was a sham. Her view on the economy and the world was a bully’s view but she reserved the right to collect SS and Medicare at the end of her squalid life. It is how the GOP operate. We lost the presidency so we will do everything to stop it from being successful. Don’t for a second think that they want to examine what they did wrong in their mind it is all about taking the ball and going home because it didn’t turn out their way.

    The poor and elderly screw them they are going to die soon anyway let’s hurry them along but I want whatever scraps they have because it is somehow owed to me.

  • cole3244

    to say kluwe & ayanbadejo are square pegs forced into round holes in the nfl is an understatement, how surprised and ecstatic i was when both of them verbalized their opinions on gay rights, to see nfl players speaking up tells me the times are a changin and that can only be a good thing, imho!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep: Alley Ayn with a shift.

  • Ty Morgan

    What a beautifully written piece.(SO now can we stop calling football players dumb jocks?)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    You are correct, Chico – Kluwe came to the defense of Ayanbadejo in a deliciously obscene letter :)

  • iamlegion

    Spot on. Her entire philosophy, taken to its logical extreme, consists of nothing more than strength-based anarchy – if I have the power to take what I want, and you don’t have the power to stop me, then you don’t deserve anything I don’t allow you to have. This is exactly how modern corporations are run – I’ll support you as long as you can kick my ass, and the moment you can’t I’ll stick a knife in your back. And I’ll have learned exactly nothing from the process.

  • condew

    Yes, I think that’s exactly how it happened; a couple of fiction writers brainstorming about bad ideas.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I *so* have to repost this–

    “How Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard came up with their big ideas.” (satire)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5YWTFW5WMw

  • Chico Gonzalez

    You misread what is at the link:

    “Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has spoken out in favor
    of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. Yahoo
    has published a letter that Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr.
    wrote last week to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, urging him to “inhibit
    such expressions from your employee.” This is Minnesota Vikings punter
    Chris Kluwe’s response to Burns.”

  • ComradeRutherford

    Ayn Rand could only get sexually aroused by thinking of the hundreds of millions of people that would die if her ‘philosophy’ became the supreme law of the land. Rand became exactly like the Stalin she abhorred.

  • condew

    Great description of where Libertainism ultimately leads, “…until his once-teeming world is barren and lifeless, collapsed under the gluttonous appetite of self. Then he starves, and no one is left to mourn his passing.”

  • Sam_Handwich

    I believe you have confused Kluwe with Brendon Ayanbadejo in the “homophobic Maryland politician” link above.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It still amazes me that a hack like Ayn Rand continues to inspire the zombie world of the sociopath. Her intellectual prowess is more myth than fact. She is mostly known for using Aristotle and the Greeks for decorating her dimly lit Platonic cave.

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