Ayn Rand

If you’re comfortable translating the ruthless pursuit of excellence as ‘greed’, I guess this counts as trying.

(I’m qabbalistically joined at the hip with Ayn Rand, so objectivism on the topic is beyond my reach.)

April 11, 2017admin 40 Comments »
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40 Responses to this entry

  • Brett Stevens Says:

    Objectivity and subjectivity are both illusions anyway.

    I never liked Rand, but the point is this: we either reward performance, or we subsidize everyone equally.

    That latter method does not work.

    Therefore Rand, distasteful as some of her ideas may seem, is both correct and morally correct while the rest of the herd is pursuing an emotional goal that is not realistic and always ends badly.

    Communism was tried. It failed. Socialism was tried… it failed… then was hybridized with capitalism in order to keep the state going. Now all these states are going bankrupt and importing third worlders to try to make up the difference.

    Soon, we will view liberal democracy and social welfare as being just as failed as Communism and National Socialism.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 5:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rohme Giuliano Says:

    Ayn Rand on the Nazis: “They were altruists!”

    [Reply]

    Lucian Reply:

    This is the same as Land attacking “hot collectivities” in the name of “cold collectivities” – the problem with Nazis was they were too loyal.

    [Reply]

    Rohme Giuliano Reply:

    This is something Rand said during a televised interview and, for all the things one could say about the Nazi’s attempt at combating modernity, calling them altruists is a very strange reprobation.

    Racism as altruism in the form of primitive collectivism: that is Rand’s line of thought.

    Of course, Rand’s more principled than a liberal. She scorns the reverse racism of a minority doting over their ‘ethnic pride’ as much as a majority doting over their supremacy.

    Apologizing for one’s supremacy is not in her wheelhouse. Believing oneself superior because one belongs to a collectivity is the highest breech of her ethics.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 5:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Artxell Knaphni Says:

    In a way, it’s the deepest of ironies, that “rugged individualism” should require any political expression. Collective persuasion, of others, ought to be irrelevant. Can’t be very ‘rugged’ if it requires any kind of cooperation, or coercion; that wouldn’t exactly be self-reliance, would it?

    The characteristic theme that keeps emerging, in various areas and ways; is the need for simplification ( i.e., “what you could see in front of your eyes”, or “Objectivism”). It’s very telling, that the theoretically challenged should always seek such simplicity of references. As is the taste for uncomplicated narrative celebration of singular solutions in heroic form.

    All of this is yet more nostalgia; whether all the object philosophies, like OOO, etc., these are all cults of simplification, akin to Scientology, a relentless faith in the fevered phantasms of sluggish minds, forever fearful of not being able to always inhabit their own slime.

    [Reply]

    Rohme Giuliano Reply:

    I quite take your point.

    Can Rand’s ideas advance an accelerationist discourse?

    Was she simply writing a palimpsest over “The Fable of the Bees” without Mandeville’s scandalous wit?

    My lust is garnered in Baudrillard’s eppigram: ‘Communism will come from the death of the social.’.

    Also, remember Bentham’s covenant: ‘The community is a fictitious body…The interests of the community then is the sum of interests of the several members who compose it.’.

    Both statements are auguries of each other.

    One is an uncristened communism, looking nothing like it did in the oneirism of its Teutonic author; communism in the most paradoxical of senses. Sublative, communism, from a privation of community, will emerge in the reeling of its loss.

    The other is the basis for theoretical capitalism, or orthodox economics, a ‘technology’ as Mr. Land calls it, deterritorializing and recoding organic communities into mechanical ones and beginning the process of the former.

    Do you disagree, Mr. Knaphni?

    [Reply]

    Artxell Knaphni Reply:

    NEW PROFUSIONS OF EXCESS BEYOND THE CYBORG

    [Rohme Giuliano] “I quite take your point.

    Can Rand’s ideas advance an accelerationist discourse?

    Was she simply writing a palimpsest over “The Fable of the Bees” without Mandeville’s scandalous wit?

    My lust is garnered in Baudrillard’s eppigram: ‘Communism will come from the death of the social.’.

    Also, remember Bentham’s covenant: ‘The community is a fictitious body…The interests of the community then is the sum of interests of the several members who compose it.’.

    Both statements are auguries of each other.

    One is an uncristened communism, looking nothing like it did in the oneirism of its Teutonic author; communism in the most paradoxical of senses. Sublative, communism, from a privation of community, will emerge in the reeling of its loss.

    The other is the basis for theoretical capitalism, or orthodox economics, a ‘technology’ as Mr. Land calls it, deterritorializing and recoding organic communities into mechanical ones and beginning the process of the former.

    Do you disagree, Mr. Knaphni?”

    {AK}: If I understand it correctly, it’s an interesting line of thought.

    “The community is a fictitious body”
    “the oneirism of its Teutonic author”

    Interesting lines.

    I’ve only watched a couple of videos of Rand; I was able to infer her limits from that. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

    One can construct all kinds of casuistical systems of the Social, based on whatever principles one chooses. They’ll all ‘work’, to varying degrees. Combining systems, too, is interesting. Without ‘genuine commitment’, however, whatever that is and however it comes about, all coagulations of community eventually dissolve.

    I’m going to say that conventional political ideologies, largely based on social divisions and functions of prior developmental stages, will lose the kind of central relevance that they once enjoyed. Living on, as cultural-historic references, they will no longer quite fit or express the already emerging conditions consigning them to this marginal relevance.

    Notions of the organic and mechanic are not so easy to distinguish in absolute terms. Whether grafting alleged figures of organi(city) onto alleged technological artificiality; or converting communities from the hegemony of organic signs to rational signs, to technological signs, and then to a techno-organic playpark of cyborg nostalgia; all of that is happening anyway. But it’s not the main event or attraction going on.

    Right now, the key figure is the oneiric. I’ve written a little about it, this century, here and there. Back in the early 1990s, it was the best, most convenient and suitable, way of producing, or eliciting, the most insight, out of all conceivable prophecies of extremity. All prior conceptions of extremity have been normalised. But a fresh, as yet entirely unheard of, set of notions, has already begun to exercise its effects.

    [Reply]

    Rohme Giuliano Reply:

    Thank you for your pith.

    When we view organic and mechanic as representing different linguistic models of the world we come close to absolute terms.

    The organistic: proemiac, anthropomorphic, naturemorphic, sanative.

    “Society is a body with a health and well-being.”

    It’s problematics are parasitological/hemmorhagic.

    The mechanistic: partitive, incorporeal, artifactual, cartographic.

    “Society should run as a machine.”

    It’s problematics are operational/optimizational.

    Both counterpositional models coexist within the same society, often within the same person.

    Rohme Giuliano Reply:

    Can you tell me more about your notion of the oneiric? I am intrigued and unfamiliar.

    G. Eiríksson Reply:

    https://evmed.asu.edu/sites/default/files/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-05%20at%206.19.54%20AM.png

    » Many people think that genetic engineering will change everything, even our very bodies and minds. It will, eventually. Right now, however, attempts to apply new genetic knowledge are having profound effects, not on our bodies, but on how we understand our bodies. They are revealing that our central metaphor for the body is fundamentally flawed. The body is not a machine. It is something very different, a soma shaped by selection with systems unlike anything an engineer would design. Replacing the machine metaphor with a more biological view of the body will change biology in fundamental ways.

    The transition will be difficult because the metaphor of body as machine has served us well. It sped escape from vitalism, and encouraged analyses of the body’s components, connections, and functions, as if they were the creations of some extraordinarily clever cosmic engineer. It has yielded explanations with boxes and arrows, as if the parts are components of an efficient device. Thanks to the metaphor of the body as machine, vitalism has been replaced by an incredible understanding of the body’s mechanisms.

    Now, however, genetic advances are revealing the metaphor’s limitations. For instance, a decade ago it was reasonable to think we would find the genes that cause bipolar disease. New data has dashed these hopes. Bipolar disease is not caused by consistent genetic variations with large effects. Instead, it may arise from a many different mutations, or from the interacting tiny effects of dozens of genes.

    We like to think of genes as information quanta whose proteins serve specific functions. However, many regulate the expression of other genes that regulate developmental pathways that are regulated by environmental factors that are detected by yet other bodily systems unlike those in any machine. Even the word “regulate” implies coherent planning, when the reality is systems that work, one way or another, by mechanisms sometimes so entangled we cannot fully describe them. We can identify the main players, insulin and glucagon in glucose regulation, the amygdala in responding to treats and losses. But the details? Dozens of genes, hormones and neural pathways influence each other in interactions that defy description, even while they do what needs to be done. We have assumed, following the metaphor of the machine, that the body is extremely complex. We have yet to acknowledge that some evolved systems may be indescribably complex.

    Indescribable complexity implies nothing supernatural. Bodies and their origins are purely physical. It also has nothing to do with so-called irreducible complexity, that last bastion of creationists desperate to avoid the reality of unintelligent design. Indescribable complexity does, however, confront us with the inadequacy of models built to suit our human preferences for discrete categories, specific functions, and one directional causal arrows. »—Randolph Nesse, professor of Life Sciences

    John Hannon Reply:

    “The characteristic that keeps emerging, in various areas and ways; is the need for simplification.”

    In Atlas Shrugged (p 978), Rand writes –

    “There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.”

    Reminds me of that old song – “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with Mister In-between.”
    Not going to get you very far in quantum computing.

    [Reply]

    Rohme Giuliano Reply:

    @Artxell Knaphni

    This is a sagacious assessment, G. Eiriksson.

    May I here-forth call you Son of Erik in our correspondences?

    Naturally, the real exceeds our mechanomorphic modelings of it.

    I don’t see genetics going beyond its physicalist foundations for if a geneticist says there is no ‘life force’ except the organizational matrix of genes, the nucleotide sequence of the human genome, then the game is a methodological cartography of halving halves and mapping the partitive interrelationalities until that system is incorporeal, is it not?

    Am I to take there is indeterminacy at the heart of genetics, similar to quantum indeterminacy for physics?

    At what level is there indeterminacy? In the entelechies of genotype?

    I quote Merleau-Ponty from ‘The Structure of Behavior’: “One needs to introduce an active principle of order, an entelechy, only when one tries to compose the organism by means of the summation of separated processes. For it is then that the whole, with its remarkable constants, seems to demand an ordering factor which maintains them.”

    If you look at genes closely enough, you can see the ‘life force’ returning with all the negative fecundity of wonderment and puzzlement.

    Also, I don’t mean to counterpose linguistic frames of mechanic and organic wrongly. They coalate quite nicely in medicine, etiology, agriculture (GMO’s) etc.. The collation is not so beneficent when adopted into political languages: a mechanistic system (global capitalism) and an organistic system (nationalism).. a crude thought.

    I’ll await from you further edification.

    [Reply]

    Rohme Giuliano Reply:

    One more thought, Eiriksson. A coda, if you please.

    Taking the organistic and mechanistic metaphors further, how do countries enter into wars?

    Usually on the naturemorphic concept of predation, no? “The nation is under threat. We must do it for the survival of our people and our way of life.” The nation’s ‘survival’ is equated as the individual’s survival transmitting an anthropomorphic understanding of a nation in mortal danger.

    But the United States, is after all, an apex predator, and the American public understands, even if obtusely, wars are expropriative and, in a liberal-hypocritical fashion, bemoans wars which will surely happen without their approval.

    Now here’s a thought.

    The American public, in a thirst to accumulate, demands a quorum be held for the purposes of determining the next country to invade for resource extraction and sourcing of cheap labor. Experts assay the material wealth of a country measured against the cost of its invasion. The public votes on the most profitable country: mercantilist social democracy, a bellicose welfare state.

    Here, the democratic content and the rentier agenda of the state are 1:1, as it was with the anthropomorphic image of the state in a mortal danger. The entire social body moves in unison of a fluid operational logic of predation, from its highest caste to its lowest caste, a super-organism.

    What interests me is, jumping back to real life, how a state’s operational logic differs entirely from the expressible democratic content, like the function of repression, as if state and polity were each other’s unconscious. They rely on each other, but in entirely different modes of disavowal.

    G. Eiríksson Reply:

    Yes, you may call me that — naturally. Also just Erik, or if you need to identify me to people who might have met me, a few people have known me as Guðjón (Godjon, Godjohn, Guthjon), Big G, Guido; and Goth Ericson; or simply G. I prefer Erik.

    As for bios: I think you know more about these aspects of biology than me. Have you checked out quantum biology?

    Rohme Giuliano Reply:

    @Artxell Knaphni

    Ok, Erik. 🙂

    No, I have not! I don’t think I would know where to start either.

    I’m currently reading Fanged Noumena and enjoying it. Have you read our dear Mr. Land’s collected writings?

    [Reply]

    G. Eiríksson Reply:

    You might then also be curioused by defanged noumena, aka Ray Brassier’s ‘toothless critique of Nick Land’.

    Wagner Reply:

    This link works: https://therealmovement.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/noumena-defanged-ray-brassiers-toothless-critique-of-nick-land/

    “Land, says Brassier, is neoliberalism on steroids:”

    I *knew* that I smelled monkeypanic when Walker Storz asked Nickpuppet how he differed from a neoliberal on the neoreaction-for-dummies post last month.

    Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 5:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dale Rooster Says:

    I fell in love with her work my senior year of high school. Who knows if I would have majored in philosophy had it not been for her influence. Then I found Nietzsche (amongst Kierkegaard, Camus, Dostoyevsky) in college. She had her faults, of course. But her life and work, like Nietzsche’s, will always be an inspiration to artists, writers and poets.

    [Reply]

    Wagner Reply:

    Usually I wouldn’t quote encyclopedia dramatica but this is funny:

    “Nietzsche was a cranky, curmudgeonly crazy man who thought people sucked and there was no reason to not be an asshole.
    Aleister Crowley read Nietzsche and didn’t get it, so he created a fucked up version of Nietzsche’s already fucked-up ideology and called it Thelema.
    Ayn Rand read Nietzsche and Crowley and didn’t get it, so she created a fucked up version of Nietzsche’s and Crowley’s already fucked-up ideologies and called it Objectivism.
    Anton LaVey read Nietzsche, Crowley and Rand and didn’t get any of it, so he created a fucked up version of those already fucked-up ideologies and called it The Church of Satan.”

    [Reply]

    Michael Rothblatt Reply:

    Ayn Rand was a deeply conflicted figure. She hated religion yet deeply admired Thomas Aquinas (whilst loathing Kant), perhaps unsurprisingly:

    “[…] there are many indications that Aquinas adhered to the common view of the Churchmen of his and previous times that the just price was the common market price. If so, then he could scarcely also hold that the just price equaled cost of production, since the two can and do differ. Thus his conclusion in the Summa was that “the value of economic goods is that which comes into human use and is measured by a monetary price, for which purpose money was invented.” Particularly revealing was a reply Aquinas made as early as 1262 in a letter to Jacopo da Viterbo (d. 1308), a lector of the Dominican monastery in Florence and later archbishop of Naples. In his letter, Aquinas referred to the common market price as the normative and just price with which to compare other contracts. Moreover, in the Summa, Aquinas notes the influence of supply and demand on prices. A more abundant supply in one place will tend to lower price in that place, and vice versa. Furthermore, St. Thomas described without at all condemning the activities of merchants in making profits by buying goods where they were abundant and cheap, and then transporting and selling them in places where they are dear. None of this looks like a cost-of-production view of the just price.

    Finally, and most charmingly and crucially, Aquinas, in his great Summa, raised a question that had been discussed by Cicero. A merchant is carrying grain to a famine-stricken area. He knows that soon other merchants are following him with many more supplies of grain. Is the merchant obliged to tell the starving citizenry of the supplies coming soon and thereby suffer a lower price, or is it all right for him to keep silent and reap the rewards of a high price? To Cicero, the merchant was duty-bound to disclose his information and sell at a lower price. But St. Thomas argued differently. Since the arrival of the later merchants was a future event and therefore uncertain, Aquinas declared justice did not require him to tell his customers about the impending arrival of his competitors. He could sell his own grain at the prevailing market price for that area, even though it was extremely high. Of course, Aquinas went on amiably, if the merchant wished to tell his customers anyway, that would be especially virtuous, but justice did not require him to do so. There is no starker example of Aquinas’s opting for the just price as the current price, determined by demand and supply, rather than the cost of production (which of course did not change much from the area of abundance to the famine area).

    A piece of indirect evidence is that Giles of Lessines (d. c.1304), a student of Albert and Aquinas and a Dominican professor of theology at Paris, analyzed the just price similarly, and flatly declared that it was the common market price. Giles stressed, furthermore, that a good is properly worth as much as it can be sold for without coercion or fraud.

    It should come as no surprise that Aquinas, in contrast to Aristotle, was highly favorable towards the activities of the merchant. Mercantile profit, he declared, was a stipend for the merchant’s labor, and a reward for shouldering the risks of transportation. In a commentary to Aristotle’s Politics (1272), Aquinas noted shrewdly that greater risks in sea transportation resulted in greater profits for merchants. In his Commentary to the Sentences of Peter Lombard, written in the 1250s, Thomas followed preceding theologians in arguing that merchants could ply their trade without committing sin. But in his later work, he was far more positive, pointing out that merchants perform the important function of bringing goods from where they are abundant to where they are scarce.

    Particularly important was Aquinas’s brief outline of the mutual benefit each person derives from exchange. As he put it in the Summa: “buying and selling seems to have been instituted for the mutual advantage of both parties, since one needs something that belongs to the other, and conversely.”

    Building on Aristotle’s theory of money, Aquinas pointed out its indispensability as a medium of exchange, a “measure” of expression of values, and a unit of account. In contrast to Aristotle, Aquinas was not frightened at the idea of the value of money fluctuating on the market. On the contrary, Aquinas recognized that the purchasing power of money was bound to fluctuate, and was content if it fluctuated, as it usually did, more stably than did particular prices.”

    It’s where that virtue ethics of hers comes from. Of course, she didn’t get Aquinas. If she did she would have hated him for being a ‘collectivist.’

    [Reply]

    Wagner Reply:

    Wut I didn’t know he wrote commentaries on Aristotle. Researching now it looks like he wrote zero on Plato? Why? Aristotle is “The Philosopher” and Plato is chopped liver – what is the meaning of this? Any idea, Rothblatt? Did he do it because it made it easier to control philosophy (the minds of the people) in the war between Reason and Revelation?

    Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 6:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • M.G. Zhang Says:

    @Brett Stevens

    I doubt very much you, by which I assume you meant the masses, will view Social Democracy with the disdain afforded National Socialism. Your Western Elite are quite stable in their position and solidifying their power at pace. As with our governing caste in China, you will find that the modern conception of the ruling ideology will simply take new shapes with old nomenclature. In China, Communism is a word describing our National Capitalism which is rapidly evolving into Colonial Mercantilism by way of our African projects. So too will your ruling class make Social Democracy into a term that describes International Capitalism and Soft Imperialism.

    Power is being consolidated in the West. Ideologies are not being eroded or erased, but re-purposed for the task ahead: uniting the empire by way of sacrificing the universally hated white prole.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 8:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    You would be noticeably happier if you ignored what the Guardian is doing.

    At least put warning:Guardian tags on so I know not to waste my time.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 9:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • mobius Says:

    nyuk… 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 11:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Wagner Says:

    I think you’re joined at the hip with a different female jew, but that’s just me.

    On another note, I’m watching Conan the Barbarian for the first time and am wondering–while looking at frogtwitter–if the phenomenon “Moldbug” would have happened if the Sovereign of California during the years of UR had been a mindbuilder instead of a bodybuilder. Makes you think.

    [Reply]

    Blogospheroid Reply:

    By mind builder ,d o you mean an AI programmer?

    [Reply]

    Wagner Reply:

    No, does my brow look low to you? You guys should consider seeing Land as a priest promising you that Robo-Jesus is going to come someday and save you all from your sins.

    [Reply]

    An Fomoire Reply:

    I for one welcome the coming of

    void update() {
    sins.mult(0);
    return Jesus;
    }

    Frank Reply:

    That would be left-accelerationism. Land’s prophesy is more like, “Robo-Anti-Christ is going to come someday, and put you all in a zoo, next to your cousins; and you’ll be too dumb to understand the fact that you’re a zoo animal, which is why you deserve it.”

    Posted on April 12th, 2017 at 5:27 am Reply | Quote
  • Lucian Says:

    >(I’m qabbalistically joined at the hip with Ayn Rand, so objectivism on the topic is beyond my reach.)

    It’s an INTJ thing.

    (yes, I’m aware INTJs don’t believe in silly things like personality archetypes)

    [Reply]

    Wagner Reply:

    Nope, nor do INFJs (like Jung himself). Gay, gay, and gay. Folk psychology.

    [Reply]

    Lucian Reply:

    ‘I must create a folk psychology or be enslaved by another man’s’ – Curtis Yarvin

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 12th, 2017 at 5:30 am Reply | Quote
  • G. Eiríksson Says:

    » The BBC made a 16-episode TV series in 1965 entitled Hereward the Wake, based on Kingsley’s novel. Hereward was portrayed by actor Alfred Lynch. However, not one episode of this BBC series has survived, according to the archive records. »

    Are you kidding me?

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 12th, 2017 at 12:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Uriel Fiori Says:

    the qabbalistic connection was rather fun to find out (a few months back). but what are your opinions on, generally, virtue ethics and Aristotle (which seem to be the guiding thread of Rand’s Objectivism)? I had spotted similarities before, but this is more endorsement than I had previously expected.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 12th, 2017 at 12:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • G. Eiríksson Says:

    @RG: or you can even call me simply GE, which stands for G (as in ‘gee’) and is my initialism (of Goth Ericsson).

    To answer your q, I have read some of Land’s essays in F.N.

    If see anything you find salient, do post ad libitum.

    [Reply]

    Wagner Reply:

    I’m excited to read the book he’s working on now, which contrary to popular opinion isn’t on bitcoin, but is titled “How I Jewed the Alt-Right”. Surely to make it to the New York Times bestseller list.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 13th, 2017 at 8:18 am Reply | Quote
  • Pseudo-chrysostom Says:

    Too bad ‘individuals’ are but contingent strata for beings so much greater at the limit anyways.

    Racial Holy War is always the game of existence. Leftoid transhuman advocates are fain to imagine a ‘post-categorization’ future; such is a vain hope. Far from obviating ‘noticing’, the acceleration of techne will draw it out in stark relief, *intensify* the tendency; wondrous new tribal gods will join the fray, and as always, ‘muh values’ remains a contingency in the face of essential re-production and expansion of the race.

    Like a fungus in macro, essentially self re-producing forms inevitably dominate their space, and come to infiltrate other spaces with other forms, that might lack the same ontological ‘stickyness’ it does. The form of race wins the Race. *Merely* memetically coordinated forms, inevitably replaced, even through memetic capture, even through completely honest fealty and conversion; such after all was the fate of Rome.

    This plane is a war zone, and armies win wars.

    [Reply]

    G. Eiríksson Reply:

    Get some sun, you little wanker.

    [Reply]

    Pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    Lol.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytzGInyyFHU

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 13th, 2017 at 9:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • G. Eiríksson Says:

    http://skinofcolorsociety.org

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 14th, 2017 at 9:15 pm Reply | Quote

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