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Thread: Ayn Rand clubs fall on hard times

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Ayn Rand clubs fall on hard times

    The Last of the Ayn Rand Acolytes | The New Republic
    Eight rules governed the original Ayn Rand clubs that proliferated across college campuses in the 1960s, as they sought to seed Objectivism—Rand’s philosophical glorification of laissez-faire capitalism and heroic individualism—in the minds of impressionable youth. And of these eight, only two rules could ever be mentioned publicly: 1) Ayn Rand is the greatest human being who has ever lived, and 2) her novel Atlas Shrugged is the greatest human achievement in the history of the world.

    ...
    Objectivism has a serious youth problem, and the conference’s organizers were quite aware of it. They offered a discount rate for those under 30, a talent show, and extracurricular activities like “late night jams.” It made me wonder: Is Rand’s hyper-capitalist philosophy—which has influenced some of the most powerful political and economic giants of recent history, from Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan to Mark Cuban and Steve Jobs—running out of juice? There was only one way to find out. I would have to attend the conference’s various panels on the virtue of selfishness, the evils of regulation, and the greatness of capitalism’s dark patron saint, and try to fraternize with the next class of Paul Ryans in the making. So I went into the Objectivist sanctums of Cleveland, sporting an Ayn Rand tote bag outfitted with an “I <3 fossil fuels” pin, to gauge the reach of Rand’s cult of unbridled capitalism on today’s political scene.
    "I <3 fossil fuels"???

    Given the conference’s focus on establishing Randian beach heads in American culture, I opted for “Appreciating Ayn Rand’s Tiddlywink Music.”

    Tiddlywink music, for the uninitiated, sounds like the score to “Steamboat Willie” or a tune you might hear on an old-timey carousel: manically upbeat and repetitive, calling to mind a sonic hamster wheel. For an hour, we listened to different examples of the genre, which seems to have been classified as such by Rand and no one else. “Pay attention to the tinkling,” the lecturer encouraged us. To me, it sounded like something a homicidal clown would listen to, or what a particularly sadistic interrogator would blast at high volume to torture his quarry.

    What made Tiddlywink music uniquely pro-capitalist? It has roots in the 1890s, which Rand insisted was the only historical period of true human flourishing. It was an era of unfettered capitalism—child labor, robber barons, tenements—which she loved not in spite of those things, but because of them.
    Many of Ayn Rand's followers consider her artistic tastes to be the uniquely rational ones.

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    Formerly Joedad
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    The gatherings sound more like cult gatherings than clubs. I didn't see much objectivism.

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    Veteran Member Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Apparently Rand liked instrumental music, light, heavy on pianos (tinkley piano at that).
    Her taste in music most certainly did not seem to extend to Beethoven or Bach.

    https://www.targetliberty.com/2018/1...-for-sale.html
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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Then Alex Epstein's "moral case for fossil fuels" - industrial societies use fossil fuels much more than preindustrial societies, therefore, fossil fuels are just plain good.
    When someone noted that his peers were alarmed by a rapidly warming climate, Epstein took a dig at the Green New Deal championed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying, “I think she should be called Venezuela Ocasio-Cortez!” When another audience member invited him to respond to accusations that his acceptance of fossil fuel industry dollars might preclude him from being objective, Epstein steamrolled the question with a John Galt–style show of brio: “I’m that superhero who’s coming to help this industry tell the truth.”

    Epstein’s talk drove home the perverse incentives the Objectivist dogma offers to on-the-make intellectuals: Selling out to the highest bidder is not merely condoned; it’s deemed a positive moral virtue. It didn’t even matter if Epstein really believed his own advocacy; maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. What mattered above all is the belief in the sanctity of the transaction. “That was very interesting,” one of the young Objectivists murmured to me on the way out.
    So if wind turbines and solar panels undersell fossil fuels, he will go into mourning?

    These Randians (Randroids?) were largely STEM majors from all over the world, and many of them left various movement-conservative organizations because they were too radical. The likes of Turning Point USA, YA Liberty, and the Federalist Society.
    Coming into the conference I had been under the impression that Objectivism was a small sect with massive influence. A few days in, it became clear that I was the only one who saw it that way.

    Objectivism, I was now being told, had not gained any real traction in our political culture despite a wide array of high-profile boosters. It had been corrupted and watered down by a following that lacked both dedication and message discipline. Today’s Rand movement is full of transgressors and reprobates.
    Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz, George Bush I, "Quislings, all of them." One Randian lamented that the last good politician was Barry Goldwater. Other deserters: Alan Greenspan, Paul Ryan.

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    Veteran Member Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    "like Saturn, the Revolution devours its children,"
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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    So they.... struggled to remain objective?

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    Like the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, I find the naming of Raynd's rabid philosophy of subjective self-importance to be one of the biggest misnomers.

    There is nothing objective to the importance of self; the whole thing is just a circlejerk of people telling each other it's ok to be solipsistic assholes.

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    This thread is hilarious.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    So they.... struggled to remain objective?
    Seems like it.

    Randians claim that they start with the proposition "A = A", but I have yet to find any account of how they derive Objectivism from that, let alone the divinity of business leaders.

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    Veteran Member Arctish's Avatar
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    A yn said it = A yn is correct

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