James Bond: Objectivist Assassin


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I understand this concept very well, but it still doesn't add up for me. An Objectivist would value their own life above almost anything else. Only something truly exceptional would be more valuable to an Objectivist than their life. I can see an Objectivist dying for his country, but only if that country was based on Objectivist philosophy and values.

Also, Ayn Rand said that "productive achievement" is man's noblest activity. I don't regard James Bond's job being a particularly productive one.

If my memory serves me correctly, did not Galt state that he would kill himself rather than see the tyrants torture what he loved - Dagny?

Sure, but that is completely different. Passionate love for a person is one of the above mentioned exceptions. Do you presume that James Bond loved UK (the country) as passionately as Galt loved Dagny?

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I understand this concept very well, but it still doesn't add up for me. An Objectivist would value their own life above almost anything else. Only something truly exceptional would be more valuable to an Objectivist than their life. I can see an Objectivist dying for his country, but only if that country was based on Objectivist philosophy and values.

Also, Ayn Rand said that "productive achievement" is man's noblest activity. I don't regard James Bond's job being a particularly productive one.

If my memory serves me correctly, did not Galt state that he would kill himself rather than see the tyrants torture what he loved - Dagny?

Sure, but that is completely different. Passionate love for a person is one of the above mentioned exceptions. Do you presume that James Bond loved UK (the country) as passionately as Galt loved Dagny?

I do not presume, however, in his mind the answer should be yes.

Why would you be willing to put your life in danger of it ending if you did not love what you were putting it in jeopardy for?

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I understand this concept very well, but it still doesn't add up for me. An Objectivist would value their own life above almost anything else. Only something truly exceptional would be more valuable to an Objectivist than their life. I can see an Objectivist dying for his country, but only if that country was based on Objectivist philosophy and values.

Also, Ayn Rand said that "productive achievement" is man's noblest activity. I don't regard James Bond's job being a particularly productive one.

Pekka,

If you are going to go the "deduce reality from principles" route, then you probably think Ayn Rand doesn't know what she's talking about re James Bond and Objectivism.

Ayn Rand was one of Bond's biggest fans, especially the Bond in Ian Fleming's books. Read The Romantic Manifesto.

She didn't like what she perceived as Bond mocking himself in films after the earlier ones, though. That really pissed her off.

:smile:

(btw - If you don't think law enforcement is productive, check your premises. Do you think people produce more within a society ruled by gang warfare? Or, maybe, do you believe in society divorced from reality where law enforcement is unnecessary? :smile: )

Michael

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Why would you be willing to put your life in danger of it ending if you did not love what you were putting it in jeopardy for?

Because we have a culture which promotes altruism and sacrifice. Why do people go to fight wars? Because they are told it is their duty. Whether it serves their rational self-interest or not, is a completely different matter. I would argue that it very rarely does.

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Why would you be willing to put your life in danger of it ending if you did not love what you were putting it in jeopardy for?

Because we have a culture which promotes altruism and sacrifice. Why do people go to fight wars? Because they are told it is their duty. Whether it serves their rational self-interest or not, is a completely different matter. I would argue that it very rarely does.

So here in the US where we have a voluntary military, the only reason that they enlist is because they are told it is their duty?

Is that your position relating specifically to the US volunteer?

A...

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I understand this concept very well, but it still doesn't add up for me. An Objectivist would value their own life above almost anything else. Only something truly exceptional would be more valuable to an Objectivist than their life. I can see an Objectivist dying for his country, but only if that country was based on Objectivist philosophy and values.

Also, Ayn Rand said that "productive achievement" is man's noblest activity. I don't regard James Bond's job being a particularly productive one.

Pekka,

If you are going to go the "deduce reality from principles" route, then you probably think Ayn Rand doesn't know what she's talking about re James Bond and Objectivism.

Ayn Rand was one of Bond's biggest fans, especially the Bond in Ian Fleming's books. Read The Romantic Manifesto.

She didn't like what she perceived as Bond mocking himself in films after the earlier ones, though. That really pissed her off.

:smile:

I have not read any Bond books, just seen the movies, and I haven't even read The Romantic Manifesto (though I have read some other non-fiction books by Rand). I am not really qualified to comment on details at that level.

Don't get me wrong, I like many things about James Bond. I can see that Ayn Rand found a lot to like in Bond. I have no problem with that, but I don't like the idea of Bond as some example of an Objectivist. If we need to hold up some people (fictional or not) as examples of Objectivism, then lets hold up people who truly act for their self-interest, without the dirty hint of altruism/sacrifice/duty that is implied in Bond's job?

(btw - If you don't think law enforcement is productive, check your premises. Do you think people produce more within a society ruled by gang warfare? Or, maybe, do you believe in society divorced from reality where law enforcement is unnecessary? :smile: )

Well, an international spy is not the same as a police officer working in their own country.

Law enforcement is necessary, but I would not describe it as productive directly. I would say rather, that it allows other members of society to be productive.

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... the dirty hint of altruism/sacrifice/duty that is implied in Bond's job?

Pekka,

Rand didn't see such a dirty hint.

I rarely channel Rand, but I imagine had you suggested something like that to her in a Q&A, you would have witnessed one of her famous withering scorched-earth blasts against the questioner.

:)

(btw - I, also, don't see such a dirty hint. Maybe we are talking about a different James Bond? :) )

Michael

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There is a cultural disconnect between Rand and America. She was from Russia. This is continued in her closest followers in the 1950s most of whom were Canadian Jews. None of these people quite got into the idea of fighting and dying for your country that country being the United States. Thus what we call "Objectivism" works better for them than for us native born cultural Christians. You cannot imagine any Randian fictional hero wearing the uniform of his country. She waved her wand and presto!--there they were, mature adults now too ripe for that sort of endeavor.

--Brant

if you let any philosophy vet reality for you you'll be vetted into destruction--principles are to be used not abused and they are not reality buffers but action checkers

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You cannot imagine any Randian fictional hero wearing the uniform of his country.

Brant,

I certainly can, even though she never did one. (Well, there were those dudes protecting the first run of the John Galt line--not in uniform, but every single one spontaneously military.)

I can even see Rand saluting an entire class of men in uniform at West Point after delivering one of her most famous talks.

:smile:

Michael

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... and I haven't even read The Romantic Manifesto (though I have read some other non-fiction books by Rand). I am not really qualified to comment on details at that level.

http://litresp.ru/chitat/en/R/rand-ayn/the-romantic-manifesto-a-philosophy-of-literature

The complete book and should be in a searchable format...

A...

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You cannot imagine any Randian fictional hero wearing the uniform of his country.

Brant,

I certainly can, even though she never did one. (Well, there were those dudes protecting the first run of the John Galt line--not in uniform, but every single one spontaneously military.)

I can even see Rand saluting an entire class of men in uniform at West Point after delivering one of her most famous talks.

:smile:

Michael

She was slumming.

--Brant

gump grump, grump and more grump (an infinite supply--it's gump grump all the way down)

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Why would you be willing to put your life in danger of it ending if you did not love what you were putting it in jeopardy for?

Because we have a culture which promotes altruism and sacrifice. Why do people go to fight wars? Because they are told it is their duty. Whether it serves their rational self-interest or not, is a completely different matter. I would argue that it very rarely does.

So here in the US where we have a voluntary military, the only reason that they enlist is because they are told it is their duty?

Is that your position relating specifically to the US volunteer?

A...

One could maybe argue that going to a war is in person's rational self-interest in the best case. Say, for example, if your own country was invaded directly.

But to argue that it is in a person's self-interest to go die in some obscure country at the other side of the globe, for some vague "national interest", is crazy. Incidentally, the concept of a "national interest" is a collectivist construct, or just another way of saying men should serve the "society".

Also, this discussion seems to presume that men on average make decisions based on reason or their rational self-interest.

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... the dirty hint of altruism/sacrifice/duty that is implied in Bond's job?

Pekka,

Rand didn't see such a dirty hint.

I rarely channel Rand, but I imagine had you suggested something like that to her in a Q&A, you would have witnessed one of her famous withering scorched-earth blasts against the questioner.

:smile:

(btw - I, also, don't see such a dirty hint. Maybe we are talking about a different James Bond? :smile: )

Michael

What are you saying then, precisely? That Bond is a good example of an Objectivist?

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... the dirty hint of altruism/sacrifice/duty that is implied in Bond's job?

Pekka,

Rand didn't see such a dirty hint.

I rarely channel Rand, but I imagine had you suggested something like that to her in a Q&A, you would have witnessed one of her famous withering scorched-earth blasts against the questioner.

:smile:

(btw - I, also, don't see such a dirty hint. Maybe we are talking about a different James Bond? :smile: )

Michael

What are you saying then, precisely? That Bond is a good example of an Objectivist?

I hope not. "A good example of an Objectivist" isn't really an Objectivist (although might be considered one) for that would not be an attractive or interesting person.

As for Bond being one--maybe--that's mixing up an esthetic with a philosophy expecting a natural equivalence but it's only oil and water.

This is not an "Objectivist" site. It's an Objectivist living site and is so-called. Living as an ideologue is hardly living at all.

The philosophy of Ayn Rand is called Objectivism because she called it that but it's really not. Her Objectivism is 95% cultural and 5% intellectual by volume if not weight. Metaphysics and epistemology? Reality and reason. Just like science. Because a scientist can compartmentalize it's no problem for him not to consider any Objectivist ethics or politics, where you'll find most of her philosophy--especially in the former. Her Philosophy. It does not travel well unless each supposed adherent refines the hell out of it. This is known as true individualism and requires true critical thinking and none of that cult crap.

--Brant

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What are you saying then, precisely? That Bond is a good example of an Objectivist?

Pekka,

A Romantic Realism hero according to Ayn Rand's Objectivist aesthetics?

Hell yeah.

And she would be the first to say so.

In fact, she did. (Once again, see The Romantic Manifesto.)

Think about concepts based on hierarchical knowledge and less about labels. Especially card-carrying group-think stuff.

It will help you to grok this.

As Rand said over and over in Atlas Shrugged: "Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."

Michael

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This is not an "Objectivist" site. It's an Objectivist living site and is so-called. Living as an ideologue is hardly living at all.

The philosophy of Ayn Rand is called Objectivism because she called it that but it's really not. Her Objectivism is 95% cultural and 5% intellectual by volume if not weight. Metaphysics and epistemology? Reality and reason. Just like science. Because a scientist can compartmentalize it's no problem for him not to consider any Objectivist ethics or politics, where you'll find most of her philosophy--especially in the former. Her Philosophy. It does not travel well unless each supposed adherent refines the hell out of it. This is known as true individualism and requires true critical thinking and none of that cult crap.

I have no idea what this means. Are you saying Objectivism is some theoretical construct that doesn't work in practice?

Pekka,

A Romantic Realism hero according to Ayn Rand's Objectivist aesthetics?

Hell yeah.

And she would be the first to say so.

In fact, she did. (Once again, see The Romantic Manifesto.)

Think about concepts based on hierarchical knowledge and less about labels. Especially card-carrying group-think stuff.

It will help you to grok this.

As Rand said over and over in Atlas Shrugged: "Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."

Michael

Thanks, I will read that book at some point. Maybe even order a copy of it.

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A romantic realism hero is not an Objectivist. He's a Rand hero. Objectivism came into being as a followup to her last novel and is an elaboration on Galt's Speech, which sorta didn't belong in the novel and sorta did. That speech is when the moralizing kicked into high gear. Morality is for controlling people. Control yourself. Control others. For good or bad. Moralizing is over-cooked righteousness. You won't find it in The Fountainhead. In a sense--a wonderful and interesting sense, at least to me--Atlas Shrugged is a mess, also a wonderful and . . . .

--Brant

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But to argue that it is in a person's self-interest to go die in some obscure country at the other side of the globe, for some vague "national interest", is crazy. Incidentally, the concept of a "national interest" is a collectivist construct, or just another way of saying men should serve the "society".

Pekka,

Tell that to a person like Ayn Rand who watched an entire civilization almost go down the tubes, not just once, but twice (WWI and WWII) and, to get started, saw the communist revolution take everything her family had.

She realized that bullies aren't too impressed with syllogisms in a fight.

I agree with you about dying for your country for no reason, that makes no rational sense, but what civilization are you going to leave your kids if it gets destroyed?

Being a good guy sometimes comes with a price. Those who refuse to pay it are not necessarily bad guys. They're not good guys, either. They're just parasites living off the efforts and payments of the good guys.

Bullies exist. The only thing they understand is force.

A is A.

btw - You need to disentangle collectivism a bit more. Just because a group is a collection of individuals, that does not mean it is governed by a philosophy of collectivism. It is a collective, all groups are, but that does not mean all groups are collectivist organizations.

(Look into hierarchical concepts to understand this better.)

Michael

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... and I haven't even read The Romantic Manifesto (though I have read some other non-fiction books by Rand). I am not really qualified to comment on details at that level.

http://litresp.ru/chitat/en/R/rand-ayn/the-romantic-manifesto-a-philosophy-of-literature

The complete book and should be in a searchable format...

A...

Plekka:

Hit the link - the whole book is there...

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I'll tell you what I mean: you need about ten more years of philosophical digestion incorporated into who you are to get a lot of what I'm saying. It only took me 50 years to do the same. (I'd elaborate but you still wouldn't "know" what I mean even if it half revealed itself. It's a brain-body thing, frankly. [This is likely even more obscure to you.] I am trying to make factual statements, not denigrate you in any way.)

--Brant

time accelerates for the newbies, but they can't appreciate it until older

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A romantic realism hero is not an Objectivist.

Brant,

In a sense he is since Romantic Realism is a fundamental part of Objectivist aesthetics.

He just isn't a card-carrying member of a collective preaching an ideology and quoting Rand like scripture like we see in real life.

Call him a sense-of-life Objectivist.

(Oh no!!!! SOLO!!!! :) )

Michael

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