Jump to content






Photo
- - - - -

Kanye West and Objectivism


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 vaguelyhumanoid

vaguelyhumanoid
  • Members
  • 28 posts

Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:42 PM

A few months ago, Kanye West released his new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Tomorrow, he will release the video for All of the Lights:



(it's just the song)

So, what would Objectivist aesthetics say about Kanye West's newest album, and rap more generally?

#2 Michael Stuart Kelly

Michael Stuart Kelly

    $$$$$$

  • Root Admin
  • 20,380 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:04 PM

Jackie,

Welcome to OL.

I wouldn't worry about what "Objectivist aesthetics" would say about anything. If you like an artist like KW, and you resonate with him, go for it.

Be happy.

If you are interested in the kind of art Ayn Rand enjoyed, you can add it to what you like, not replace what you like with it. (Some of it is drop-dead gorgeous, so I highly recommend it.)

But I believe you would kick yourself bitterly later if you deny yourself art and entertainment you enjoy because someone else says you shouldn't enjoy it.

.Michael

Know thyself...


#3 studiodekadent

studiodekadent

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 1,192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia
  • Interests:Austrian and Evolutionary Economics, Objectivism, Electro-Industrial Music (Listening/Composing/ Producing), Synthesizers, Goth/Industrial/ Cyberpunk/Formal Fashion, Makeup (more than my mother), Drinking, Blackjack, Debauchery of Assorted Varieties.

Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:10 PM

I actually disagree with quite a bit of Rand's aesthetic theory (I think the basic idea of "art concretizes moral concepts" is correct though). But I will say one thing,

Hip Hop as a culture is very into showing off wealth; conspicuous consumption. Basically, buying high-end goods not for the quality of the good and its enhancement of one's life, but as a way to show off to other people. This is classic second-hander behavior and as such it contradicts Objectivism.

This, however, is a criticism of the cultural mileu of some parts of Hip Hop (specifically, the semi-mainstream "Glam Rap" artists). I wouldn't apply this judgment to all rap per se or anyone that likes rap. From my knowledge, however, Kanye West is a "Glam Rapper" so my criticism may have some points regarding his work.

Does this mean, automatically, that anyone that likes Kanye West is philosophically corrupt. Of course not.
www.myspace.com/studiodekadent

#4 vaguelyhumanoid

vaguelyhumanoid
  • Members
  • 28 posts

Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:16 PM

Michael, good advice. I'm refreshed by how non-dogmatic you are, as is evidenced here and in your guidelines page.

I quite like Kanye. For a while I dismissed pretty much all modern rap out of hand if it wasn't sufficiently indie, but I'm over that. Really, I don't consider myself primarily a fan of hip-hop, or indie rock, or rockabilly, or drum and bass, or thrash, or whatever. I consider myself a fan of good music.

Studio, I think you're sorta judging Kanye out of hand without actually listening to much of his work. While he collaborates with some glammy artists, he doesn't really fall into that category himself. He does sometimes veer towards that, or towards self-aggrandizement more generally, but it's not really a defining feature of his work. BTW, it's cool that you like Austrian economics. I do as well, though I was banned from the Mises Institute forums for lashing out at the Institute over Gary North.

Edited by vaguelyhumanoid, 30 January 2011 - 11:21 PM.


#5 Ted Keer

Ted Keer

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 3,084 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:03 AM

West is an ass, but that doesn't mean his music (with which I am totally unfamiliar) is no good. Hip Hop is too wide a genre to make blanket declarations. I think Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is one of the best albums of the last 15 years, and am a fan of Outcast.

Have you read Romantic Manifesto? You should figure out for yourself whether you agree with Rand's concepts, and if so, how they apply to West's work or anything else you value.



Confession is always weakness. The grave soul keeps its own secrets, and takes its own punishment in silence.

#6 Michael Stuart Kelly

Michael Stuart Kelly

    $$$$$$

  • Root Admin
  • 20,380 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2011 - 02:13 AM

Jackie,

I just listened to "All of the Lights."

Helluva 'n arrangement. I started getting excited with all the fanfares and stuff and thinking, "Woah! I like this!"

Then after it got real good, Kayne came in.

Biiirrrrrzzzzzzz... poof... He fizzled down my high with some really lame-sounding rap...

Oh well...

:)

The kids like him, I guess.

Still, it's a fantastic arrangement. And Kayne's part is thankfully small. I'm glad I listened to it.

Michael

Know thyself...


#7 studiodekadent

studiodekadent

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 1,192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia
  • Interests:Austrian and Evolutionary Economics, Objectivism, Electro-Industrial Music (Listening/Composing/ Producing), Synthesizers, Goth/Industrial/ Cyberpunk/Formal Fashion, Makeup (more than my mother), Drinking, Blackjack, Debauchery of Assorted Varieties.

Posted 31 January 2011 - 05:40 AM

Studio, I think you're sorta judging Kanye out of hand without actually listening to much of his work. While he collaborates with some glammy artists, he doesn't really fall into that category himself. He does sometimes veer towards that, or towards self-aggrandizement more generally, but it's not really a defining feature of his work.


As I stated before I don't know much about Kanye, so I admit what I said was based mostly on a few seconds of hearing his stuff plus a lot of media appearances and photo shoots. I concede this may have given me a mistaken impression.

The point about second-handing conspicuous consumption was more about certain elements of hip hop culture generally, and one of the reasons I have distaste towards it. Other reasons include the fact that I don't really like hip hop as a form of music. I'm an electro-industrial and EBM kinda guy, mostly. I should add, however, I do have respect for Timbaland; he's very talented with a synth and sampler.

BTW, it's cool that you like Austrian economics. I do as well, though I was banned from the Mises Institute forums for lashing out at the Institute over Gary North.


Thanks very much! I'm an economist by education (MBusEcon and BEcon), and I'd consider myself Austrian school (as well as Evolutionary; the two are consistent). I admit whilst I respect the Mises Institute as a source for Austrian writings and scholarship, some of their members can be a bit insular and intellectually cultish (like the Orthodox Objectivists). Plus, the paleo-libertarian cultural conservatism of some of them grates against my gothic, cosmotarian sensitivities :)

If you ever want to talk about economics or anything, feel free to PM me.

Edited by studiodekadent, 31 January 2011 - 05:45 AM.

www.myspace.com/studiodekadent

#8 vaguelyhumanoid

vaguelyhumanoid
  • Members
  • 28 posts

Posted 31 January 2011 - 01:46 PM

Jackie,

I just listened to "All of the Lights."

Helluva 'n arrangement. I started getting excited with all the fanfares and stuff and thinking, "Woah! I like this!"

Then after it got real good, Kayne came in.

Biiirrrrrzzzzzzz... poof... He fizzled down my high with some really lame-sounding rap...

Oh well...

:)

The kids like him, I guess.

Still, it's a fantastic arrangement. And Kayne's part is thankfully small. I'm glad I listened to it.

Michael


Yeah, it isn't one of his better raps. However, he can be very good as a rapper sometimes-for instance, on his song Diamonds from Sierra Leone.

Thanks very much! I'm an economist by education (MBusEcon and BEcon), and I'd consider myself Austrian school (as well as Evolutionary; the two are consistent). I admit whilst I respect the Mises Institute as a source for Austrian writings and scholarship, some of their members can be a bit insular and intellectually cultish (like the Orthodox Objectivists). Plus, the paleo-libertarian cultural conservatism of some of them grates against my gothic, cosmotarian sensitivities :)

If you ever want to talk about economics or anything, feel free to PM me.


Gary North isn't even a paleolib, though. He's a Christian Reconstructionist, and that horrifies me.

#9 studiodekadent

studiodekadent

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 1,192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia
  • Interests:Austrian and Evolutionary Economics, Objectivism, Electro-Industrial Music (Listening/Composing/ Producing), Synthesizers, Goth/Industrial/ Cyberpunk/Formal Fashion, Makeup (more than my mother), Drinking, Blackjack, Debauchery of Assorted Varieties.

Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:11 PM

Gary North isn't even a paleolib, though. He's a Christian Reconstructionist, and that horrifies me.


I can see why. Christian Reconstructionists are virulent enemies of liberty.
www.myspace.com/studiodekadent

#10 Ted Keer

Ted Keer

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 3,084 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:07 PM


Gary North isn't even a paleolib, though. He's a Christian Reconstructionist, and that horrifies me.


I can see why. Christian Reconstructionists are virulent enemies of liberty.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Reconstructionism

Christian Reconstructionism is a religious and theological movement within Protestant Christianity that calls for Christians to put their faith into action in all areas of life, within the private sphere of life and the public sphere as well. The primary beliefs characteristic of Christian Reconstructionism include[1]:

  • Calvinism, for its description of individual spiritual regeneration by the Holy Spirit that is required to change people on a personal level before any positive cultural changes can occur,
  • Theonomy: applying the general principles of Old Testament and New Testament Law to the corresponding family, church and civil governments (compare with theocracy); while in favor of Separation of church and state at the national level, theonomists believe the state is under God and is therefore commanded to enforce God's Law.
  • Postmillennialism, the Christian eschatological belief that God's kingdom began at the first coming of Jesus Christ, and will advance progressively throughout history until it fills the whole earth through conversion to the Christian faith and worldview,
  • The presuppositional apologetics of Cornelius Van Til which holds there is no neutrality between believers and nonbelievers, that the Bible reveals a self-authenticating worldview and system of truth, and that non-Christian, non-Reformed belief systems self-destruct when they become more consistent with their presuppositions, (Bahnsen, Van Til's Apologetic, pp. 1456, 97, 3156) or even the presuppositionalist approach of Gordon Clark, and
  • Decentralized political order resulting in minimal state power and laissez-faire economics.




Confession is always weakness. The grave soul keeps its own secrets, and takes its own punishment in silence.

#11 Jonathan

Jonathan

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 3,299 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Minnesota

Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:57 PM

I like some of Kanye's stuff, but he really can be a little too self-important. Or a lot too self-important. Have you seen the South Park Fishsticks episode? If not, check it out. I thought it did a good job of putting Kanye in his place.

J

#12 studiodekadent

studiodekadent

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 1,192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia
  • Interests:Austrian and Evolutionary Economics, Objectivism, Electro-Industrial Music (Listening/Composing/ Producing), Synthesizers, Goth/Industrial/ Cyberpunk/Formal Fashion, Makeup (more than my mother), Drinking, Blackjack, Debauchery of Assorted Varieties.

Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:53 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Reconstructionism

Christian Reconstructionism is a religious and theological movement within Protestant Christianity that calls for Christians to put their faith into action in all areas of life, within the private sphere of life and the public sphere as well. The primary beliefs characteristic of Christian Reconstructionism include[1]:

  • Calvinism, for its description of individual spiritual regeneration by the Holy Spirit that is required to change people on a personal level before any positive cultural changes can occur,
  • Theonomy: applying the general principles of Old Testament and New Testament Law to the corresponding family, church and civil governments (compare with theocracy); while in favor of Separation of church and state at the national level, theonomists believe the state is under God and is therefore commanded to enforce God's Law.
  • Postmillennialism, the Christian eschatological belief that God's kingdom began at the first coming of Jesus Christ, and will advance progressively throughout history until it fills the whole earth through conversion to the Christian faith and worldview,
  • The presuppositional apologetics of Cornelius Van Til which holds there is no neutrality between believers and nonbelievers, that the Bible reveals a self-authenticating worldview and system of truth, and that non-Christian, non-Reformed belief systems self-destruct when they become more consistent with their presuppositions, (Bahnsen, Van Til's Apologetic, pp. 1456, 97, 3156) or even the presuppositionalist approach of Gordon Clark, and
  • Decentralized political order resulting in minimal state power and laissez-faire economics.


Whilst CR's are entitled to believe what they wish, I simply don't see how Theonomy can not contradict Minarchism and Laissez-Faire free markets. Especially when "theonomists believe that the state is under God and is therefore commanded to enforce God's Law."
www.myspace.com/studiodekadent

#13 BaalChatzaf

BaalChatzaf

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 11,435 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Currently residing in New Jersey, the Bad-a-Bing State.
  • Interests:mathematics, physics, alternative energy sources.

    I am also involved in preparing recorded books for blind and dyslexic folks.

Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:59 AM

Whilst CR's are entitled to believe what they wish, I simply don't see how Theonomy can not contradict Minarchism and Laissez-Faire free markets. Especially when "theonomists believe that the state is under God and is therefore commanded to enforce God's Law."


Whoever knows God's law is King? No thank you. Anyone who tries to forbid me to eat a pork-chop, by force, is in for a hard time.

Ba'al Chatzaf



אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#14 Ted Keer

Ted Keer

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 3,084 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:03 AM


Whilst CR's are entitled to believe what they wish, I simply don't see how Theonomy can not contradict Minarchism and Laissez-Faire free markets. Especially when "theonomists believe that the state is under God and is therefore commanded to enforce God's Law."


Whoever knows God's law is King? No thank you. Anyone who tries to forbid me to eat a pork-chop, by force, is in for a hard time.

Ba'al Chatzaf


You're so sexy when you talk like that.



Confession is always weakness. The grave soul keeps its own secrets, and takes its own punishment in silence.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users