The Joys Of Contriving Literature (Why Ayn — страница 2

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. .but if devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking (Rand 1957 566).? Such fundamental laws of morality, that one is never justified in initiating the use of force against others has been adopted as the basic Principle of the Libertarian Party and thus is an intrinsic part of objectivism (Rand 1960 308). This is an illuminating version of the Moral Law in that it highlights an aspect of morality, politics, and law often overlooked: That they are about the justification of the use of force. People who casually toss around ideas about what should and should not be allowed in society, or what restrictions should be put on property rights, often

don’t seem to be aware that they are talking about sending men with guns, against people who may not be willing to comply with them. Thus, since it has not seemed wise to many to “allow” people to harm themselves by freely using drugs, people have shown themselves willing to harm the uncooperative by denying them various rights and privileges of citizenship in addition to the natural penalties, such as they may be, of drug use–in short, by ruining their lives in retribution for disobeying “society.” Rand believes that the long term ramifications behind such conduct should be enough to control the population (304). The later part of her theory is her political ideology. She finds strength in laissez-faire capitalism (Rand 1962 185). Men should interact with each other

in mutual consent; each gaining benefit in a common exchange (185). This follows the rest of her theory by rejecting conformity and collectivism (185). Ayn Rand overtly used her theory in her books which brings about two fatal flaws in terms of popularizing objectivism: her characters become littler more than a transport for her ideals, and her principles are shattered because of the hyperbole used in her fiction. It is revealing that as Rand refined her idea of the heroic personality from the Howard Roark of The Fountainhead to John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, the type became steadily drained of personality. Galt seems little better than a robotic mouthpiece of merciless ideology. Howard Roark was already peculiar enough, since he would just sit staring at the phone while waiting

for work (no less, for days at a time) (Rand 1943 607). He might at least have read magazines or succumbed to building ?typical,? skyscrapers. Subsidiary characters, like Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart, possess something more like real personalities. This deadness of such central characters is an excellent warning that Rand had passed beyond a desire for mere human beings as her ideals. Thus, when psychologists scrutinize her theory, they recognize the story as an unhelpful bit of falseness with which she burdened her case for capitalism. Randian theories were was deemed unworthy of attention because her views were developed and expressed not in dissertations, but in novels and ?later?in articles in which philosophical discussion converged with cultural commentary and political

advocacy. Since her stories are fictional, so far as this is the case, it is left to the reader to judge the psychological and social plausibility of dramatizations of her principles and their alternatives. Her writing style clearly utilizes both rhetoric and hyperbole to make the stories more accessible to readers (which was not necessarily true; The Fountainhead was turned down by 12 publishers). For example, in Atlas Shrugged, Rand obscured historical realities to reinforce her argument and once again exaggerated the situation. Thus, the Taggart Railroad of the novel, the central setting, may strike someone with an average knowledge of American history as the kind of thing that never existed. Most people know that the transcontinental railroads were built with federal

subsidies and federal land grants, (which is ironic within itself. Rand?s theory detests public aid, in other words, altruism) (Hornebrook 15). They may also know that such railroads were tangled up in hopelessly corrupt, politicized financial schemes and in the end were so badly run and managed that they all (Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, & Northern Pacific) went bankrupt in the Panic of 1893 (15). It takes somewhat better knowledge to know about James J. Hill, who built his own transcontinental railroad, the Great Northern, without public subsidies or land grants and often with the political opposition and obstructionism of the rival Northern Pacific and its political backers (15). Some of Rand’s stories about the Taggart, for instance the challenge of building a