Monday, March 16, 2009

PJTV: Atlas Shrugged continued

PJTV interviews the executive director, Yaron Brook, of the Ayn Rand Institute about Atlas Shrugged, Rand's philosophy and how it pertains to the current crisis, and "going John Galt."

You can watch the interview here.

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Blogger Michael Caution said...

I think Dr. Brook hit the nail on the head. John Galt's strike primarily stems from a moral revolution not concretely economic issues such as a higher tax rate. What people need to do, given our unique economic situation today, is start to examine and question the morality of altruism and whether it is proper for the life of a human being. This is what Ayn Rand presents for us to examine in her novel Atlas Shrugged. The Morality of Death (altruism) vs. the Morality of Life (Egoism).

9:33 AM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Martin Lindeskog said...

I am glad to hear that you have interviewed Yaron Brook. I tried to watch the video, but it didn't start. I have to try again.

10:33 AM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger BobH said...

Please allow me to ramble and state the obvious.

First off, I just don't see this Morality of Death vs. Morality of Life crap. Life and death have nothing to do with it. It has to do with morality because that is the justification we use so we can still feel good about ourselves when we attack and injure other people.

In "Choosing the Right Pond", Robert H. Frank makes the point that the least productive workers in a company (or members of a society) do not allow the most productive members to be paid in proportion to the differences in productivity. This is a matter of economic data, not political philosophy and that is the really important issue here. The least productive members could, of course, withdraw from the society or enterprise and allow the most productive to interact only with themselves, something which, for obvious reasons, the least productive would never do. The alternative is socialism, which is when the least productive substantially raise the costs to the most productive for not cooperating.

And, yes, I've read "Atlas Shrugged" (and "The Fountainhead"). Both were about three times as long as they should have been.

End of rant.

1:39 PM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

BobH - what prevents any large scale drop out by either party is inertia. Nobody wants to be the one to sacrifice first.

2:26 PM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger C smith said...

The funny thing is, you've missed the whole underlying context of Rand and Galt specifically. Galt was an individualistic industrialist. He took risk. He added to society by producing.

These institutions and people who you are coming to the aid of, bear no resemblance to that ideal. They have been propped up by the government, and made riskless, since the early 80s.

The bankes and financiers already are dead weight. They are uncreative, the rely on the labors of others...they, for the past 30 years, are what Rand railed against.

The point is, corporations have been worshipping at the altar of socialism for years...they were brought there by Reagan. They wouldn't know how to make anything or survive without the gov't. So, yeah, I'm with you. Get them off people who truly need assistance with projects and aid have more access to it.

3:36 PM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

"The bankes and financiers already are...what Rand railed against."?? Wow, C Smith, are you off track. Objectivism reveres any honest practitioner of any productive enterprise, be it banking, steel production, software programmer or cleaning service. Honest bankers are essential to the well-being of society. Unfortunately, in a world where all countries doggedly refuse to operate on the gold standard, some fraud is built in to banking as such. But that's the fault of the countries (governments), not the bankers per se.

6:13 PM, March 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, wrong, or indifferent, I consider banking to have become an opportunistic progression that has become what it is over the centuries as bartering went away and money rose to the surface. Overall, banking and bankers are a good thing, as money itself is a better and more stable trade item than the actual fruits of ones labor. Money and banks have been extremely helpful for society in general to become what it is. They have helped money itself to become a tool. It beats the tar out of subsistence farming. It would be silly trying to trade 5 bushels of oats for a tank of gas (and you could only afford gas at harvest), or a milk cow for a mortgage payment. With all of us haggling over the worth of our wares every day, who would have time for work?

Well, obviously, I need a cup of coffee.

5:53 AM, March 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The single global currency Putin is now on about is but one step away, eh? Our own leaders currently in place, are diminishing our country. Russia sees the gap.

6:46 AM, March 18, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

And, yes, I've read "Atlas Shrugged" (and "The Fountainhead"). Both were about three times as long as they should have been.

End of rant.

Well, like the man said, 'brevity is the soul of wit' (where, to be clear, wit in the sense of intelligence, not humor).

There isn't any real ambiguity in what it means to go Galt. In the fantasy universe of Atlas Shrugged, Galt and a few others were glorious producers and the rest of us were scum-sucking parasites. Galt and his few buddies withheld their brilliance from the world whereupon it rapidly crashesd, and they reemerged to recreate the world into a glorious anarcho-libertarian utopia.

It was a fantasy novel. So was Harry Potter. The primary difference being, J.K. Rowling could actually write. But it's not real life. You want to go Galt, be my guest. But don't weasel out of it by claiming that taking some time off next week, or seeing fewer patients, or quitting smoking is 'going Galt'. It's not. You want to withhold your indispensible creativity from the rest of us and hide out in a remote location and await the inevitable collapse we face in your absence? Go right ahead. I dare you. It'll be a real learning experience for you. It might just help you distinguish between a badly written fantasy novel and reality.

2:02 AM, March 20, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

Though on behalf of libs everywhere, I do have a list of people I'd like you to convince to 'go Galt', and quietly hide somewhere far away until civilization collapses.

Glenn Reynolds
Rush Libmaugh
Sean Hannity
Glenn Beck
John Boehner
Michelle Malkin
James Dobson
Karl Rove
Al Gonzales
Everyone at Free Republic
Everyone at WingNutDaily

I could go on, but I won't, because who'm I kidding. None of you are 'going Galt'. Instapundit etc are going to still be online tomorrow. And next month. And in December. And next year. Etc etc etc. Sadly.

2:13 AM, March 20, 2009  

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