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The 2020 Election - Capitalism vs Collectivism Rand Style The essence of the 2020 Presidential election is shaping up to be capitalism vs. collectivism in the way Ayn Rand laid it out. I don't know what's happened in the Objectivist subcommunity. I keep seeing the enormous difficulty our fearless leaders have in applying Rand's thinking to current events. This might be because of sematics, gobs and gobs of semantics. For example, President Trump is considered among the intelligentsia (both within O-Land and without) as a nationalist. We rarely hear of him referred to as a capitalist. But capitalist he is. And I mean politically. How many times has he said at important events like the State of the Union that America will never become a socialist country? He said it at the UN. He said it at one rally after another. He has preached the gospel of a non-socialist America in the short time he has been a politician more than anyone since Ayn Rand if public spread of the idea is the measure. And I'm including Ronald Reagan in that. In President Trump's conception, a capitalist society cannot exist without a nation or nations to practice it in. This is probably why he never bothered with the theory of capitalism. His life has been more about living capitalism than talking about it. In other words, he's been too busy building things and making money from it to bother with studying and forming mental constructs he can use to condemn people with or get a job at a think tank with. I happen to think he's right about living it first, then preaching it. Frankly, I myself fall short on doing the same. (I'm working on correcting that, though.) Our O-Land luminaries are so stuck on abstract ideas they gleaned from Rand, they don't know how to apply them to current affairs. In the post following this one, I am going to present a case from a person who is NOT an Objectivist, but who dug up a lecture by Rand (on the McGovern campaign) and applied it to what is unfolding right before our eyes. Every day. And it has been happening for a long time. Yet nobody in O-Land has been talking about it. Just like they are missing the critical issue of the 2020 campaign, capitalism vs. collectivism, because in their heads and pronouncements, they claim President Trump is no capitalist. They call him a fascist, big government person yada yada yada, and that leads them to anywhere except the fundaments. Oh, they get the collectivism part. I mean, with Bernie openly calling himself a socialist, all the Dem primary candidates agreeing with supplying health care for illegal aliens, and so on, how can anyone miss it? But bashing collectivism in abstract terms only (with the exception, maybe, of pointing to Venezuela), and all the while saying capitalism is the answer--without having anything concrete to point to that modern folks understand or relate to, is just plain stomp down lame. The issue of the century is right before them, in Randian terms at that, and they are missing it. Well other people are not missing it. I'm presenting below a post about someone not in O-Land who didn't miss it. And it's brilliant. Hopefully other examples will arise and someone (or I) will add it to this thread as time goes along. In fact, I believe we are seeing the start of a new wave of Rand in politics--totally outside of O-Land. Time will tell. Michael
Epitome of the Collectivist Soul The following tweet does not get any clearer. It is the perfect example of a collectivist soul taken to the extreme for a political agenda. I read about this on Rush Limbaugh: You Won’t Believe What Insane Liberals Want to Donate to Justice Ginsburg From the transcript: A collectivist soul thinks this way. And it is entirely normal for him. In essence, a collectivist (like Simon) thinks of human lives as replacements for reality. Except that is not entirely accurate since it is from my perspective. In other words, it is accurate from my perspective, but not from his. From his perspective, reality doesn't exist and only other people to be distributed by him (and those like him) exist. I mean, the fact that one cannot give a literal day of one's life to another human being is merely an inconvenient detail for this guy's utopic vision. Never mind that this capacity does not exist in reality and never will exist if life as we know it is the standard. For him, reality is so timesome and insignificant, wot? And there's more. The Distributed Ones are nothing to him but raw material or barnyard animals that can be remolded, reengineered and/or destroyed at will. Sometimes he will entertain himself with such human livestock and make stories about them (principally victimization stories to promote a collectivist political agenda), but other than that, they are all interchangeable and, ultimately, dispensable. In outlook on the individual, this kind of mind is more insect than human. Michael
This struck me today while I was reading a book. My thought is that totalitarians like Schicklgruber or Stalin or Mao didn't choose to do what they didn't because of "altruist" premises. Rand's argument is that no selfish (Randian sense) would commit the horrors that they committed. But, while I was sitting down, I reflected on how much time I spend thinking about politics and I came to the idea that these men did the things that they did because they had the desire to shape society/the world. Any thoughts?