The Passion of Ayn Rand

Who knew? Apparently, it was a 1999 TV movie. I only happened to run across it quite by accident while searching for a particular track from one of my favourite progrock bands, but it struck me as quite amusing. Anyway, a little late night music.

Feel free to discuss objectivism if you like… I know our libertarian friends are completely enthralled by the allure of selfishness, the romance of individualistic heroism, and so on. By the way, whatever happened to all of those pissed off conservatives that were “Going Galt” earlier this year? Haven’t heard much from them lately.

32 Comments

Filed under Musical Interludes, Political Ideology

32 responses to “The Passion of Ayn Rand

  1. Well, fortunately, not all libertarians are Objectivists. Indeed, the Objectivists themselves — at least the hardcore ones — don’t much like identifying themselves as libertarians, either.

    This exchange between my friend Peter Jaworski and Paul McKeever (of the Freedom Party) pertains to the latter dispute.

    Jaworski promotes an ecumenical, purely political form of libertarianism and McKeever argues that there is something “irrational” about the idea, in that question-begging manner Objectivists often have. Objectivism, I suppose, must stand alone — a take-it-or-leave it proposition, which most of us (and a significant number of libertarians) are willing to reject.

    For good reason, too.

  2. Okhropir rumiani

    What happened to “going Galt”? Hmm, have you wondered why the economy has been so stubborn to recover? Think about it. 😉

  3. TofKW

    Ha ha …go ahead and ‘Go Galt’ my teabagging American friends. The Chinese and Indians are more than happy to take your place on the research/innovation/entrepreneur fronts. What am I saying, they already have.

  4. Ti-Guy

    Here’s something recent: Jonathan Chait on Ayn Rand, with reference to two recent works. Apparently, she had “abysmal personal hygiene and grooming habits.”

    The only I can say is that if Rand were alive today, she’d be repulsed by Right. The only good thing I’ve ever had to say about her is that she prized reason and was hostile to irrationality. The modern-day members of the cult, for the most part, do as well, but are too preoccupied with the pointless complexity of ideas (that are never really interesting or novel) to ever be concerned about, or even aware of what is happening in real life.

    Objectivism is, above all, humourless and dull.

  5. By the way, whatever happened to all of those pissed off conservatives that were “Going Galt” earlier this year?

    They have discovered, perhaps, the laughable futility of “going Galt” in a nation whose major industries thrive by sucking the state’s tits dry and whose economic infrastructure is held together by the Elmer’s glue of Chinese banks.

    Let us turn to what libertarianism should really look and sound like. Since the movement is largely a Canadian invention (to my embarrassment), I suppose rock’s only known Canadian Objectivist group shall serve as an exemplar.

    “Oh, his mind is not for rent/To any god or government…”. Heh. Great stuff. Check out Lifeson’s ass-kicking moves.

  6. famous people who have gone galt:

    richard m. nixon: “you won’t have dick nixon to kick around anymore.”
    eric cartman: “screw you guys, i’m going home.”
    joaquin phoenix: “this is not a joke.”

    KEvron

  7. …famous people who have gone galt:

    Breaker Morant: “Shoot straight, ye bastards. Don’t make a mess of it!”

  8. greta garbo: “i vant to be alone.”

    KEvron

  9. Ti-Guy

    Let us turn to what libertarianism should really look and sound like. Since the movement is largely a Canadian invention (to my embarrassment)…

    Actually, that Objectivism has had little appeal in Canada is the Canadian invention. One you and the rest of us should be proud of.

    It is an interesting question as to why so many of these founders of Objectivism were Canadian, however.

  10. Navvy

    It is an interesting question as to why so many of these founders of Objectivism were Canadian, however.

    Probably as simple as an inferiority complex. Canadians with a starry eyed view of America who swing for the fences in their attempt to be un-Canadian.

  11. It is an interesting question as to why so many of these founders of Objectivism were Canadian…

    Well, Albertan, anyway… 😉

    It’s a good thing the cretins had somewhere to go, though, eh? The U.S. has functioned as a pretty convenient ideological septic tank for us–David Frum, Mark Steyn, Rachel Marsden, etc. I almost feel guilty.

  12. Probably as simple as an inferiority complex.

    Yep. Colonial self-loathing plays a huge role–which is relatively new, actually. Very few of the pro-British Tories of the early 1900’s idealised the “Mother Country”. A few–Stephen Leacock, for example–could be quite stinging about it. For many of them, Canada represented a re-assertion of British values with which the Brits themselves were losing touch–a “last, best England”, as it were.

    In any case, our Right is thoroughly colonised and civically self-hating to an extent virtually impossible to conceive a century ago.

  13. Navvy

    An inferiority complex manifests as borderline schizo behaviour. Here are the diagnostic criteria from wikipedia:

    -Ideas of reference (excluding delusions of reference)
    -Odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (e.g., superstitiousness, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations)
    -Unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions
    -Odd thinking and speech (e.g., vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate, or stereotyped)
    -Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation
    -Inappropriate or constricted affect
    -Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar
    -Lack of close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
    -Social anxiety that tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgments about self.

    If that’s not a libertarian…

  14. Ti-Guy

    The U.S. has functioned as a pretty convenient ideological septic tank for us–David Frum, Mark Steyn, Rachel Marsden, etc. I almost feel guilty.

    I don’t at all. These people were (and still are) given plenty of space in our public discourse to present their views and Canadians have had the chance make up their own minds.

  15. Ti-Guy

    To add:

    I find the talk of inferiority complexes to be largely an English-Canadian obsession, quite possibly because your elite is obsessed with its stature vis-a-vis the Britain and the USA (which, being the previous and current global powers, is largely understandable…but no less pathetic and boring). It’s the thing I hate most about this country.

    The French-Canadian and First Nations elites rarely talk so scathingly or dismissively about its own. Now and then, it pokes a little fun, but in the end, the degree of cross-class solidarity is quite high.

  16. …your elite is obsessed with its stature vis-a-vis the Britain and the USA.

    Erm…I cannot think of single member of our élite who gives two tenths of a shit about our stature vis-a-vis Britain–and I’m including myself in that statement, to the meagre extent to which I could be said to be part of our élite (well, I’ve got more than one post-secondary degree, which, in Stephen Harper’s Canada, pretty much makes me a Bourbon in exile).

  17. Apparently, she had “abysmal personal hygiene and grooming habits.”

    I always expected the same to be true of Alan Greenspan.

  18. Ti-Guy

    Erm…I cannot think of single member of our élite who gives two tenths of a shit about our stature vis-a-vis Britain…

    You’re right. Neither can I. I retract the statement.

    I was lumping Britain in with that amorphous blob known as “the Anglosphere” and using benchmarks of excellence established by the current leader, the USA, which holds the British (and Australian) elites in higher regard than they do the English Canadian one, since it’s not sufficiently exotic, quaint, or threatening (you notice they can get away with genuine anti-Americanism whereas Canadians are scolded for mere impertinence…right here on this very blog, quite often).

    What did you think about my point about the inferiority complex and the scathing attitudes of English Canadian elites with respect to their own? I am serious about that. I don’t think it’s a sentiment that arises from anything real. I think it’s imposed.

  19. TofKW

    They have discovered, perhaps, the laughable futility of “going Galt” in a nation whose major industries thrive by sucking the state’s tits dry and whose economic infrastructure is held together by the Elmer’s glue of Chinese banks.

    That was kind of my point back at 7:37, though you prose is eloquently superior to mine Sir Francis, and thus more enjoyable. 😉

  20. What an awful shame the feckless poseurs that petulantly vowed to pack up their invaluable “expertise” and sod off to parts unknown in protest of [things they hate]… failed to do so.

  21. What did you think about my point about the inferiority complex and the scathing attitudes of English Canadian elites with respect to their own?

    It’s certainly there, and it is (as you say) virtually unknown among Franco-Canadians.

    I’m not quite sure how to construct a meaningful genealogy of that feature of our cultural life. As I said, it’s a recent thing–a post-war phenomenon, as far as I can tell.

    Remember also that a similar form of self-hating virulence was widespread in Ireland until a few decades ago. It is hard to think of a Modernist Irish intellectual or artist who could stand other Irishmen; Beckett, Wilde, Joyce, and Shaw–just for a start—thought the Irish hopelessly uncultivated and thoroughly beneath them.

    I think the Canada-hatred of our anglo élites is just the most fundamental symptom of their total Americanisation. They’ve internalised American attitudes towards this country, and they wear those attitudes as comfortably as one would wear a pair of Nike shoes or a “Bush Kicks Ass” t-shirt. They are our very own Uncle Toms. They would be rois nègres if they were royal, rather than rectal, creatures.

  22. Ti-Guy

    I love how “Dr. Helen” (wife of InstaPundit and the talent-free, career-less ‘forensic psychologist’) was the first to threaten to “go Galt.”

    Layers of irony…

  23. If I had infinite time on my hands it would be a fun exercise to follow up with each of these prats and expose their pathetic excuses to the light of day…

  24. So come on, enterprising “liberal” journalists… get on the case!

  25. Ti-Guy

    It is hard to think of a Modernist Irish intellectual or artist who could stand other Irishmen; Beckett, Wilde, Joyce, and Shaw–just for a start—thought the Irish hopelessly uncultivated and thoroughly beneath them.

    Well, those people weren’t really Irish, you have to admit…

    In any case, what the rest of us are here to tell you Anglos, in this great dysfunctional family we call Canada is that “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like you.”

  26. Ti-Guy

    Oh and to add

    Remember “the Anglosphere” doesn’t like us much, so it’s not like were committing to this nation without some kind of sacrifice.

  27. Well, those people weren’t really Irish, you have to admit…

    Hmm. Joyce was pretty feckin’ Irish. Lady Wilde, Oscar’s mother, was an ardent Irish nationalist. But, yeah–most of those chaps were Anglo-Irish. My point stands, though.

    “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like you.”

    Sadly, that last item is no longer true. Harper has linked our arms with those of the American Imperium and forced us to become one of the wrinkles of the great unwiped asshole of the world.

  28. Ti-Guy

    Hmm. Joyce was pretty feckin’ Irish. Lady Wilde, Oscar’s mother, was an ardent Irish nationalist. But, yeah–most of those chaps were Anglo-Irish. My point stands, though.

    I don’t think it does, but maybe I’m just being picky. Before the famine, over 60% of Ireland’s 8 million people (at that time) spoke Irish. The character of the country was vastly different and the place largely empty when it emerged from that period.

    DONT GET MAD AT ME! ;): I think you’re excusing the elite’s failings at the expense of the masses.

  29. Before the famine, over 60% of Ireland’s 8 million people (at that time) spoke Irish. The character of the country was vastly different and the place largely empty when it emerged from that period.

    Hmm. I don’t know. Illiterate, dead-eyed wretches staggering drearily through barren, depopulated, wind-swept wastes–sounds like a typical Saturday night in Oshawa to me.

    One of my great-great-grandmothers was a Famine refugee who managed to make it to South London in the mid-1800’s. Bridget Roach–illiterate and six months pregnant on the day of her wedding–would have been an embarrassment to any educated Irish Catholic professional or tradesman. Romanticising the kind of Irish who prayed at holy wells and made pilgrimages to the Stone of Destiny was the preserve of dilettantes like Yeats, who always made sure to avoid the company of the peasantry he eulogised from afar.

    Educated Irish, with their Anglo-Saxon patina, were generally embarrassed by those of their countrymen who did not (or could not) appreciate the “greatness” of the society that produced Shakespeare and Johnson, just as the Coynes and Frums are embarrassed by those of their Stompin’ Tom-loving countrymen who fail to appreciate the “greatness” of the society that produced Elvis, Reagan, and Friedman. Ireland had its cringing house-niggers; we have ours. Ireland had a Michael Collins who liquidated her problem; we have yet to find an equivalent. Therein lies the key difference.

  30. Ti-Guy

    Nicely done.

  31. “I think the Canada-hatred of our anglo élites is just the most fundamental symptom of their total Americanisation.”

    This is the root problem. As someone whose skills-set renders him particularly attractive to large Corporations, I have worked for two of the largest in the last 20 years. Of course, the are both American-based – but global in their scope of operations.

    What one comes to realise when you work for an American-based TNC, is just how inculcated they are with American values. In order to “rise up the ladder” you must at the very least mouth loyalty to these values.

    Do it long enough and you are co-opted. Eventually, if you remain domestically-located, these values creep into the public discourse via private transactions. Eventually, they reach the public arena.

    This phenomena has been occurring since the end of WWII (in an accelerated manner). Do you really wonder why we find ourselves in this condition?

    Since the enactment of FTA with the United States in 1990, over 10,000 Canadian-owned companies have been swallowed-up by Americans.

    The process continues.

    The only thing surprising about this is that Canadian sociologists have not picked-up on it.

    I do it to feed my family. I try my best to remain Canadian in the process. It’s not easy.

  32. Karl Wulf

    This author and most commenters do not understand the Randian allegories, and what Going Galt really means.

    The biggest impact on the economy is not the businesses who go bankrupt. The biggest impacts are due to business owners and investors, both large and small, who
    1) choose to close or sell their businesses because of the increasing taxes, regulations, threatened benefit mandates, and poor economic outlook due to government-induced credit crunch, and those who
    2) choose to not expand, to lay off, and to contract their businesses for the same reasons as above, and those who
    3) choose to never invest or open a business that they otherwise would have with a business-friendly government

    Why disable the most able people…the entrepreneurs?…it doesn’t work because they will contract their businesses to save themselves from the parasites, and the first victims are always the others who have less ability to run a business…the employees of the business owners…most of us.

    Ayn Rand fans call this “going Galt”…when govt loots business, owners stop employing people, taking risks, and everyone gets poorer. The economy is driven by innovators and good managers making enough profit to weather economic storms. Transferring profit from the able to the less able during an economic crisis is like giving the bailout buckets to the weakest, slowest people on the ship. We’ll all sink faster, and the weakest swimmers will drown.

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