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Is Rush Going Full-On Ayn Rand?

It is so rare to hear Rush Limbaugh talking about the human mind in philosophical terms, but once he started, he sounded like he was writing an almost-Randian follow-up to Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

Rush did not mention Ayn Rand in the link below, but he contended that the human mind creates natural resources. As humans needed more food, the human mind created more food. As humans needed more oil, the human mind created more oil. And so on.

He said the human mind is the most precious resource on earth and the most powerful one. What's more, the left intends to stifle the human mind, shape it (i.e., cripple it) through propaganda and indoctrination, and get people to accept centralized authority by default over using their individual minds. And this is shown through environmentalism.

Dayaamm!

:) 

From yesterday's Rush Limbaugh show:

The Human Mind Is the Answer to Every Liberal Apocalypse

Rush talked about an article that caused him to go off on this roll. It's by Donald J. Boudreaux and published at the American Institute for Economic Research.

There Are No Natural Resources

I read this article and it's a beautiful apple with a bright shiny sheen, but it also has a big ugly worm in it. Boudreaux suggested studying economist Julian Simon along with other free market greats. Up to there, all well and good.

But the last half of the article preached the value of accepting immigrants in a tone (without actually saying it) of unconditionally admitting all immigrants into one's country. Why? Because each immigrant brings another unit of that precious resource, the human mind. Boudreaux's equation is that more immigrants will bring more wealth, even if they show up poor.

OK... That's pretty good as poetry. But if adopted unconditionally as political policy, it's a recipe for a country's suicide. Some immigrants will bring more wealth, even if they show up poor. But other immigrants will bring death and destruction. You cannot eliminate context. It's a pretty good bet that in a large group of people coming in, there will be criminals, terrorists, etc. You need to screen them out as much as possible. One competent terrorist can undo the good work of thousands of productive people and kill many more. 

But why criticize Boudreaux for this when he did not talk about it? Precisely because he did not talk about it. He wrote an article about the human mind, but halfway through, suddenly veered off into a discussion about immigrants. So it's reasonable to assume Boudreaux intended to catch a ride on the current immigration controversies for more audience--to include a current controversy hook so to speak. And I'm fine with that. But that controversy in today's culture is centered on disputes about legal and illegal immigration and screening. To leave these parts out says about as much as discussing them, especially since the topic of immigration does not flow easily from a discussion of the human mind and natural resources like oil.

In short, Boudreaux correctly notes that the human mind is the source of all wealth. But he does not deal with human minds that have been corrupted and hellbent on perpetrating evil on others. Leaving that out to cash in on the benefits of a controversy without even giving lip service to the issues taints his gushes of both the mind and immigrants. It gives his article a Kumbaya tone.

Speaking of which, any resource can be used for good or evil. A metaphor I like to use at times is atomic energy. You can use atomic energy to light up a city or blow it up. The resource stays the same. Ditto for the human mind. Human intelligence can serve the propagation of humankind as a species, human happiness, etc., or it can destroy everyone. 

Boudreaux did not even touch on this as he preached about the good of immigrants. Incidentally, the ortho-Randians, especially the head honchos over at ARI, have this same blindness. Rand said evil is impotent, so they believe any evil among immigrants will be impotent. She said the human mind was the source of all wealth, so they believe immigrants will unconditionally be a source of wealth for America since each immigrant has a mind. She was an immigrant, so they believe immigrants are unconditionally good. And so on. They may not say it in these terms, but these are their conceptual premises.

In other words, when they talk about immigration, they leave out context. They divorce their principles from a huge part of reality that is relevant to the concepts their principles are based on. It's a nice gesture to preach unconditional love all humankind, but it's a cognitive error, an identification error. This is a perfect example of leading with an evaluation, then later trying to identify what fits. The correct sequence is to identify correctly so one can evaluate correctly.

Now the surprise.

We all know where Rush comes down on unrestricted immigration. He's 100% against it. He even coined the term, "undocumented Democrat." :)  

Yet he did not talk about this part of Boudreaux's article. He only talked about the glory of the human mind and how it increases the resources on earth instead of depleting them as environmentalist like to constantly claim.

In other words, Rush Limbaugh stuck to philosophical fundamentals this time instead of politics in extracting the good from an article. He allowed the foundational truth in the article shine through without embracing (or even rebutting) a beside-the-point toxic implication the author created. His focus was on the efficacy of the mind, not on immigration.

That's the opposite of what ortho-Randians are doing these days when talking about the efficacy of the immigrant. Instead of leaving out irrelevant implications, they leave out half the principle (the context). And they leave out the mind...

Dayaamm!

Rand's ideas are strong enough to survive her official disciples, and survive in surprising places...

I love it...

:) 

Michael

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Back in the early '90s when I ran a campus club we had a member who would bring in tapes he had made of Limbaugh quoting and expounding on Rand during his radio show.  So Limbaugh has been an admirer for many years.  Though he'd always work in a disapproving comment about atheism. 

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I edited the following for brevity. Peter Back in 2002 Roger wrote and quoted:

Hi, again, everyone -- Roger Bissell here. I am again sharing some comments by my friend, Dean Brooks, long-time poster to AOL Objectivism discussion lists. He can be reached off-list at dean@ontics.com, though he also has been following the discussion in the archives....REB

[Dean Brooks writes] The following is an essay I wrote several years ago.  It estimates the relative popularity of Ayn Rand and about a hundred other intellectual figures on America Online, using member profiles. At that time I was heavily involved in a philosophy discussion group on AOL.  We tried unsuccessfully to get AOL to create a separate Objectivism forum:  this, plus a 300-name petition, were our chief arguments.  It seems very relevant to the "Is Objectivism in trouble?" discussion . . . . If we break down the meaning of "intellectual movement" we find that while the differentia is intellect, the genus it belongs to is *movement*.  This article is some evidence of just that – the direction in which we are moving intellectually. Cheers, Dean

 Ayn Rand Winning Friends Online. How is Ayn Rand's intellectual influence holding up as Atlas Shrugged turns forty?  Extremely well, at least in the online world.  In a search of self-descriptive member profiles on America Online (AOL) conducted over several days in July 1997, the following names or terms were mentioned (in order of decreasing frequency): Ayn Rand/Objectivism/John Galt/Atlas Shrugged 1,559 Nietzsche/Zarathustra 1,085 Plato 976 Aristotle 846 Ralph Waldo Emerson 794 Marx Brothers/Groucho/Harpo/Chico 765 Rush Limbaugh 684 Tolkien 677 libertarian 671 Thomas Jefferson 560  Robert Heinlein Montessori 247 Ernest Hemingway 158 Ronald Reagan 157 H. L. Mencken 154 Narnia 148 . . . . John Maynard Keynes 20 Barry Goldwater 18 Milton Friedman 13 Harry Browne 12 Nathaniel Branden 8 William F. Buckley 7 classical liberal 7 Thomas Sowell 7 Clarence Thomas 7 Betty Friedan 6 Leonard Peikoff 6 Ludwig von Mises 4 Cato Institute 2 David Kelley 2 John Hospers 1 Rose Wilder Lane 1 paleolibertarian 1 Murray Rothbard 1 Harry Hazlitt, Russell Kirk, Robert Nozick -- no mentions. Anarchy, Star Trek, Generation X, Jesus Christ, Tom Cruise, Bible, Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, X-Files, President Clinton, Mormon, and Wicca all generated too many hits to count using the AOL search engine.  For technical reasons, this strongly suggests totals above 750 but not necessarily above Rand's total of 1,559.

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/15/2018 at 11:36 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Rush did not mention Ayn Rand in the link below, but he contended that the human mind creates natural resources. As humans needed more food, the human mind created more food. As humans needed more oil, the human mind created more oil. And so on.

I guess everyone heard that Rush Limbaugh has advanced lung cancer. What a waste. "Just don't smoke." When I heard about the diagnosis, I really felt bad . . . and sorry for him.

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3 hours ago, Peter said:

I guess everyone heard that Rush Limbaugh has advanced lung cancer. What a waste. "Just don't smoke." When I heard about the diagnosis, I really felt bad . . . and sorry for him.

Peter,

I hope he will get better. He did not mention the prognosis, but he did mention he was going to get treatment with a slew of top-quality doctors. So there must be some hope.

But even considering the worst, Rush has lived exactly how he has wanted. And he has left his mark on humanity.

Not bad...

Michael

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