Rogster

I know who is John Galt

15 posts in this topic

Being English, I began as most Englishmen unfortunately begin: As a statist socialist, who thinks that the automatic solution to any problem, is government intervention. I remember that I would say "We need a law for that sort of thing!", or "The government should do something about that!"; without considering the morality, philosophical basis and implications of such action. I just... didn't think :D

However, around a year ago, I was introduced to the works of Ayn Rand. I don't remember what I read or saw, which prompted me to find and read Atlas Shrugged; perhaps I was held by some solitary voice of reason, in a wilderness of irrationality, and that I held onto that solitary voice, in hope of escaping my own depravity.

For me, Atlas Shrugged was a torturous rebuke, because I was guilty of the evils that Ayn Rand exposed. In my mind, a war was being waged with every chapter that I read, between the ideas I had held and been taught to uphold, all my life, and the ideas that Ayn Rand had introduced me to. It was as though I had spent a lifetime in the service of evil, and then one day finally realised that what I was serving, was evil.

For some time, I was incredibly angry at myself for spending my life in the service of evil. I wanted desperately to free myself of the guilt; I wanted to become a man whose face is without pain or fear or guilt.

In time, and with more re-reading of Atlas Shrugged and further reading of "The Fountainhead", "The Virtue of Selfishness" and "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal"; I realised that the guilt I was feeling, was intentional and integral to statism and socialism. I realised that the very existence of these systems, is dependant on the existence of this guilt, that they feed on guilt, by both encouraging it, rewarding it, and forcing it upon us, against our own volition.

In their defence, many would argue that if men accepted statism and socialism, in any degree; then there is no non-hypocritical defence that anyone can use against these systems - "You have accepted our bribe; eaten our apple; taken the bait - Now your life belongs to us!"

Needless to say, I am now free of their guilt, thanks to the works of Ayn Rand, and am now working towards becoming that rarity which is "the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being—the self-made man".

Sadly, it is very hard and lonely, living in a society in which the overwhelming vast majority of people are statist socialist / mixed economy advocates, rather than those who advocate for free market, laissez-faire capitalism and limited government. Americans are truly fortunate to have been born into a society that came closest to the latter.

These days, I think of myself as an Objectivist, rather than Libertarian or Conservative. I know that I am no expert, so I am doing as Yaron Brook advised, which is to "educate, educate and educate" myself.

I shall end now, by providing you all with what I consider to be the most accurate representation of a man whose face is without pain or fear or guilt: http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/6770/deliverance.jpg

Cordially

Rogster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll drink to that - cheers!

There's a few Objectivists in the UK. Check out the UKOA mailing list and the various groups in London. Also UKIP folks will at least agree with you on most points re: freedom. And the Adam Smith Institute, whilst not Objectivist, has quite a few folks in it that are very welcoming to that philosophy.

The one thing we do have in the UK that the US doesn't really have as much, though (NYC Junto excepted) is much closer bonds between the Libertarians and Conservatives and Objectivists, simply because of the law of numbers, and because the opposition is so much further left. Tory events are where I met most of the UK Objectivists I know.

Welcome to the rational side!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the risk of boring FORUM members with yet another incredibly obvious point, I point out that that's a painting of a famous picture of Frank Sinatra.

frank-sinatra-studio--c117375311246646778.jpeg

(I never know what is and isn't Common Knowledge.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At the risk of boring FORUM members with yet another incredibly obvious point, I point out that that's a painting of a famous picture of Frank Sinatra.

Thanks for clearing that up. I much prefer it to be a real figure of human greatness, than just something imagined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At the risk of boring FORUM members with yet another incredibly obvious point, I point out that that's a painting of a famous picture of Frank Sinatra.

frank-sinatra-studio--c117375311246646778.jpeg

(I never know what is and isn't Common Knowledge.)

Well, yes, I was pretty certain Frank Sinatra was the model for the painting, but that does not tell me who painted it, nor does it alter the fact that it is a painting of a man's face which shows neither pain nor fear nor guilt. If showing that was the artist's intent, then it is entirely irrelevant to say it is a painting of Frank Sinatra.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At the risk of boring FORUM members with yet another incredibly obvious point, I point out that that's a painting of a famous picture of Frank Sinatra.

Thanks for clearing that up. I much prefer it to be a real figure of human greatness, than just something imagined.

If it had been "just something imagined", that would imply greatness in the painter,and thus the greatness would still be real human greatness. But in truth, the painting emphsizes the qualities of fearless, guiltless innocence much more than the photograph does. It is the painter, the artist, which makes the painting great, and of much more value to inspiration, than the photograph.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Forum!

You wrote that you don't really remember how you were introduced to Ayn Rand. If you do recall it someday, it can be very useful for helping you reach other people. Once in a while we all have books recommended to us, but I'm sure most of those suggestions are quickly forgotten. Yet for the purposes of spreading a philosophy to open minds, it can help a lot to know what attracted you initially, what caught your attention.

It's not a major point, but something to keep in mind if you do recall it someday.

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, yes, I was pretty certain Frank Sinatra was the model for the painting, but that does not tell me who painted it, nor does it alter the fact that it is a painting of a man's face which shows neither pain nor fear nor guilt. If showing that was the artist's intent, then it is entirely irrelevant to say it is a painting of Frank Sinatra.

I agree that the painting has the qualities you're excited about. I also agree that the fact that the painting is based on a famous picture isn't that important. But a split second after I realized that that was Sinatra, my assessment of the "real" Sinatra came up and clashed with the painting's strengths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree that the painting has the qualities you're excited about. I also agree that the fact that the painting is based on a famous picture isn't that important. But a split second after I realized that that was Sinatra, my assessment of the "real" Sinatra came up and clashed with the painting's strengths.

Personally, I've struggled to find what I think of as "Objectivist Art" and "Objectivist Music". So much art and music, centres on the negative themes that Ayn Rand warned about, in her books.

Even after browsing through the hundreds of songs that I have, I couldn't find a single one that made me think "This is what Halley's Fifth Concerto would sound like" (albeit not necessarily in terms of classical music).

Even after visiting numerous art galleries, and viewing online art; I have yet to find art that represents Ayn Rand's view of Man as a 'heroic being', eg. with a Man's head raised high, in the way that only a truly painless, fearless and guiltless individual, could genuinely manage.

I'm convinced that Objectivists need food for their mind, in the form of art and music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Personally, I've struggled to find what I think of as "Objectivist Art" and "Objectivist Music".

There really aren't such things, but there is plenty of art and music Objectivists love and enjoy. Check out the arts sub-forums under "Values" on THE FORUM and you will have more leads than you will have time to follow up on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Being English, I began as most Englishmen unfortunately begin: As a statist socialist, who thinks that the automatic solution to any problem, is government intervention. I remember that I would say "We need a law for that sort of thing!", or "The government should do something about that!"; without considering the morality, philosophical basis and implications of such action. I just... didn't think :D

However, around a year ago, I was introduced to the works of Ayn Rand...

Cordially

Rogster

It's exciting to read such a great success story :)

I'd say it is also difficult (albeit not as much) to socialize with Americans. Socialism has been making a very long bull run and doesn't look like it's turning around anytime soon.

I recently tried to explain the perils of modern unions to some extended family members and was outcast faster than you can spell Mississippi :D

I have been building up fuel though -- there is a certain way you must present things to make reality a part of the conversation. It is not a particularly easy task. A lot of good fuel for my lately is coming from this book:

http://fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson/

Now I believe I have an approach people will hear and understand. If I start with a question like "What if everyone was unionized?" then lead into the lost profits of business people, then lead into investor shareholders not getting a return, then lead into how those shareholders will invest in more profitable business ventures, then explain how the business will start eroding due to lack of funding (from shareholders) to repair equipment and how this will lead to collapse of the business itself. I might offer the person a compromise they could latch on to (since their opinions would be quite unstable at this point) saying that the more successful a union is the more it will destroy the business and it's jobs.

.. anyway I'm falling off the subject. Congrats! It's nice living without the guilt all the time isn't it?

Have a beer on me :D

beer.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Being English, I began as most Englishmen unfortunately begin: As a statist socialist, who thinks that the automatic solution to any problem, is government intervention. I remember that I would say "We need a law for that sort of thing!", or "The government should do something about that!"; without considering the morality, philosophical basis and implications of such action. I just... didn't think :D

However, around a year ago, I was introduced to the works of Ayn Rand...

Cordially

Rogster

It's exciting to read such a great success story :)

I'd say it is also difficult (albeit not as much) to socialize with Americans. Socialism has been making a very long bull run and doesn't look like it's turning around anytime soon.

I recently tried to explain the perils of modern unions to some extended family members and was outcast faster than you can spell Mississippi :D

I have been building up fuel though -- there is a certain way you must present things to make reality a part of the conversation. It is not a particularly easy task. A lot of good fuel for my lately is coming from this book:

http://fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson/

Now I believe I have an approach people will hear and understand. If I start with a question like "What if everyone was unionized?" then lead into the lost profits of business people, then lead into investor shareholders not getting a return, then lead into how those shareholders will invest in more profitable business ventures, then explain how the business will start eroding due to lack of funding (from shareholders) to repair equipment and how this will lead to collapse of the business itself. I might offer the person a compromise they could latch on to (since their opinions would be quite unstable at this point) saying that the more successful a union is the more it will destroy the business and it's jobs.

.. anyway I'm falling off the subject. Congrats! It's nice living without the guilt all the time isn't it?

Have a beer on me :D

beer.jpg

Whilst Hazlitt is no doubt a very impressive economist, his writing is shall we say not quite aimed at the less intelligent minds. A book that simplifies Hazlitt for the common man (and unashamedly quotes him right at the start) is Hunter Lewis' "Where Keynes went wrong" - give it a shot, it has plenty more material for educating socialists. I love the format - first he states what Keynes actually believed (and yes, I was shocked. 0% interest rates as the ultimate and most desirable ideal? Money printed having the same value as money earned? What was he smoking?) and then refutes him in simple arguments written for your wife (assuming she's not an economist :D).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites