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Old 08-13-2008   #31
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It's something along the lines of selfish people think only of what is best for them in the short term so they may lie/cheat/steal/generally do anything to get what they want. Whereas a self-interested person will realize that being moral and playing by the rules is beneficial because it will increase the long term benefit to themselves.

Thats the basic idea at least.

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Old 08-13-2008   #32
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Some people worship God. Some people worship the "free market." Some people worship nature. Some people worship their own reflection.

I find Ayn Rand's "philosophy" a combination of #s 2 & 4. It's an odd mix of selfishness, greed and narcissism blended with an utter disdain for the "greater good" through "collective action."

Recall, that Rand was born in the USSR and moved to the US. Thus, her philosophy is a clumsy overreaction to the excesses of Soviet Communism.

As far as her novels go... the dialogue is stilted and the characters are almost universally annoying. It's just plain crappy writing wrapped around a self-absorbed, self-important, selfish "philosophy." I find utterly bizarre that Rand has been "elevated" to cult hero status to many.

Originally Posted by blutzski View Post
Interesting since Atlas Shrugged is the best book I've ever read (just read it for the first time last month). I suppose the difference in perception comes down to the difference between someone who identifies with her philosophy and someone who thinks it's "absurd".

I wonder if it also accounts for the difference between Ron Paul supporters and Obama supporters. Tao's campaign video seems to me like Obama's message of "Vote for me and the government will fix all the injustices you see in the world, give you free stuff, and make the rich pay for it." I can hear Ayn Rand pukeing right now. Ron Paul has a very Ayn Rand message of "Get the government out of the way (since they always screw it up anyway) and let the profit motive work it's magic." Yeah, I know. That scares the shit out of some people.

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