The Joys Of Contriving Literature (Why Ayn — страница 3

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Mississippi bridge, seem to have been inspired by real incidents in the building of the Great Northern (15). Unlike the other transcontinentals, Hill’s railroad was financially sound; and after they went bankrupt, he was able to buy the Northern Pacific and also the Burlington. Hill, sadly, had to end his days furious and frustrated with the ignorant manipulations of the Interstate Commerce Commission. By merely fictionalizing Hill, Rand did not help combat the standard, biased history of American railroads. Her informal and inductive ideas draw from the central concept of her theme. After understanding her theory and reasons why it was never heeded, there are additional, equivocal flaws that most readers should discover. She devoutly defended rational self-interest in ethics

and of laissez-faire capitalism (which is quite distant from the mainstream consensus) (Rand 1962 157). Rand?s case for libertarian rights consists of two phases. The first argues for a variety of ethical egoism, that is, for the position that each person?s actions should be directed to the promotion of that person?s rational interests (Howard Roark?s utilitarian style and John Galt?s devotion to morality). The second aims to demonstrate or exhibit a connection between egoism and rights. Despite this edifying emphasis placed on learning from your own mistakes, Rand’s moral principle is clearly incomplete. The first argument would prove that Ayn Rand either didn?t think through her theory or is completely insensitive. First, it makes no provision for ?privileges of necessity,?

which means it would be morally acceptable to let a drowning person die or a starving person starve even if it would present no burden or difficulty to rescue them (Rand 1990 83). No use of force would be involved, simply a wrong of omission. The second problem with the principle is that it leaves issues of property rights entirely undefined. Is stealing someone’s unattended luggage at an airport a moral wrong? It involves no obvious use of “force” against the victim’s person. Therefore, if “force” is to mean any unauthorized action against property, property rights must be independently defined. Decisions in that area, however, can be no logical consequence of Rand’s moral principle. Why do objectivists think that egoism coheres with the principle that individuals

are ends in themselves? Well, because they only look at one side of it: they see that egoism means that the justification of one?s own actions is always that they serve themselves. One?s actions do not need to serve others. However, the other side of the coin is that other people’s actions or inactions need take no account of the good of others and in fact would be wrong to do so. If egoism is true, others will regard my life as merely a potential resource serving them, just as they should regard everything in the world. My next door neighbor therefore views my life as only good insofar as it helps him. While this result sounds paradoxical, perhaps even contradictory, it is justly drawn from the theory. What matters to each person is solely what serves that person’s

interests. Perhaps her greatest irony is her determination to prove egoism as an essential part of Objectivism. Rand blatantly said that those who depend on others for their support ?are parasites incapable of survival, who exist by destroying those who are capable (Reeb 67).? She seems to overstate the case since dependence is not destruction and if it were, she herself would be useless. It would prove for instance, that no one should depend on farmers for food, or the most hypocritical point, writers for entertainment. Her job in itself refutes her own point. A writer sustains himself on the paper that paper makers create and the assumption that the general public will buy his book. Furthermore, it would refute capitalism. Anyone who is a ?jack-of-all-trades,? has no need to

use ?their capital? to make exchanges. The primary problem with her argument is that realism can not always be determined. There are two types of thought: empirical knowledge and priori (Glenn 73). Empirical knowledge is either an observation or is justified by observations. Priori knowledge is that which is not empirical (73). Objectivists subscribe to empirical knowledge, however, anything that is empirical, needs to be proceeded by proiri thought(73). In order to observe any even (empirical knowledge) one must first theorize about the event (priori knowledge)(73). Thus, objectivists would like to try abstain from using priori thought, but in order to create empirical thought, a rationalist must use priori thought. Probably the most controversial parts of Objectivism are the