shekfu

John Stossel and Dennis Miller Gush About Ayn Rand

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I got this in the mail today:

"Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, is scheduled to be interviewed on the Dennis Miller (radio) Show tomorrow, Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at 12:15 PM Eastern time. Please check your local listing for program times in your area, since the show is often broadcast at different times around the country. Mr. Miller is an Ayn Rand fan."

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Apparently it is now already archived.

There is a permanent link to the show here and you can download an MP3 version of the show from that page. Dr. Brook appears 1:13:40 into the show.

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I've listened to five or six episodes of his show now (including Brook's appearance), and it's clear that Miller is one of those "cherry-picker" fans of Ayn Rand who merely selects a few things that he likes from her ideas and disregards the rest (her fiction is apparently what draws him to her - he cited Howard Rourke as his all-time favorite fictional character). Describing himself as a "pragmatist", he either fails to grasp or refuses to accept the idea of consistently applying philosophic principles to reality. He is openly religious, praises altruism, and decries selfishness, so he obviously has not grasped in a comprehensive way, or has rejected, the Objectivist philosophy. He also said he is willing to give up to fifty cents of every dollar to "help strangers" (from that I infer that he thinks everyone else should be willing to do so, also). So much for Miller as a voice of reason and defender of "the individual" against "the collective".

But his help in giving Rand's ideas more attention, and in a respectful manner, can only help make more people take the time to investigate them.

As for his show, I find him to be quite funny and entertaining most of the time (as are some of his guests), so I will continue to listen. It's not a bad replacement for John Batchelor, who went off the air last September.

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He is openly religious, praises altruism, and decries selfishness, so he obviously has not grasped in a comprehensive way, or has rejected, the Objectivist philosophy. He also said he is willing to give up to fifty cents of every dollar to "help strangers" (from that I infer that he thinks everyone else should be willing to do so, also). So much for Miller as a voice of reason and defender of "the individual" against "the collective".

Rush Limbaugh also has significant faults but to his credit is an Ayn Rand admirer, as are a number of other "conservatives" (but no means all - I would bet that Ann Coulter for instance positively despises Objectivism.)

It might be more of a psychological/sense of life issue than a philosophic one. I have yet to hear of a single representative of the strident left - the nasty, nihilist, America/capitalism-hating crowd - ever say anything positive about Ayn Rand or Objectivism. Valuers are being cheated by Christianity, but it's all they've been offered for moral guidance, and they find no affinity with the leftist nihilists. They do find affinity with some of Ayn Rand's ideas, but most of them are too old to change their philosophy down to the core. Also, psycho-epistemologically, acceptance of the arbitrary is a mind cancer. I believe it makes it virtually impossible for people who've spent years accepting the arbitrary (i.e. faith) to grasp what it means to consistently act on logic and principle.

I think that introducing teens to Objectivism is the only real hope for the future.

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They do find affinity with some of Ayn Rand's ideas, but most of them are too old to change their philosophy down to the core. Also, psycho-epistemologically, acceptance of the arbitrary is a mind cancer. I believe it makes it virtually impossible for people who've spent years accepting the arbitrary (i.e. faith) to grasp what it means to consistently act on logic and principle.

I think that introducing teens to Objectivism is the only real hope for the future.

Picking up on the mental attitude theme, I noticed the following. It was a 60 minutes program dealing with the Nigerian scams (you know, send us release money so we can deposit millions in your bank account). A central figure was broke, and had lost two businesses and his house and property. It turns out he had been paying for years, and receiving only fake documents in return. Eventually he received his cheque for millions of dollars, only to find (surprise??) that it bounced.

Now all this makes one shake his head in wonder at the mental workings of some folks, but what really struck me after the reporter asked him to promise not to send any more money, was his hesitation. Eventually he said he still had this hope that things would work out, and that he deserved to be rewarded. With reluctance he conceded that he had no more to send anyway.

This is the mentality of those who cling to their mystical beliefs. It is wishful thinking put into practice. It takes a rare person to admit his disillusion, but I have seen it.

About 25 years ago, I saw an interview with an ex side-kick of Billy Graham, I think his name was Templeton. :P

Templeton had been with Billy on his early crusades, but eventually decided that there was no father figure God who looked after us. His reasons? That nature was so cruel; that God would create an animal that could only survive at the pain and death of another. This was not the work of a loving father.

I had to give him credit, because few ever return to reality from the depths he came from. He had the courage to reject ideas that he would have preferred to hold, but few do.

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I'm very happy to see that Dr. Brook identified both Iran and Saudi Arabia as the appropriate targets. I just finished watching the Q&A to an ARI lecture and he did it there as well. I was definitely wrong several months ago when I criticized them for ignoring the Saudis. I guess I didn't look hard enough.

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