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PKD

What would you say to my socialist friend?

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PKD    0

So my socialist friend from Sweden continues to badmouth Ayn Rand and Objectivism.

http://theferrett.livejournal.com/1465285.html?thread=72334789#t72334789

I don't really know what to say to that. In which way would a philosophy of individualism turn people into robots? He also seems to think Objectivists are devoid of empathy.

Would welcome participation in that discussion.

PKD

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The philosophy of collectivism turns people into murderers. Having empathy for those who deserve it instead of indiscriminately is justice, and it is the opposite of robotic. Here is what indiscriminate empathy gets you:

Swedish Welfare State Collapses as Immigrants Wage War

Last year I wrote an article about how Swedish society is disintegrating and is in danger of collapsing, at least in certain areas and regions. The country that gave us Bergman, ABBA and Volvo could become known as the Bosnia of northern Europe. The “Swedish model” would no longer refer to a stable and peaceful state with an advanced economy, but to a Eurabian horror story of utopian multiculturalism, socialist mismanagement and runaway immigration. Some thought I was exaggerating, and that talk of the possibility of a future civil war in Sweden was pure paranoia. Was it?

Muslim riots in Sweden

All European countries are run by corrupt and treacherous elites, committed to destroying national identities via third-world mass immigration, political correctness and race-hate laws, and the persecution of anyone that dares oppose this platform

Sweden is such an example of this.

Edited by Grames

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Your friend isn't very original. After awhile you notice that you are hearing the exact same things said over and over again. There are criticisms of Objectivism which, while being incorrect, were made with good intention (they aren't hysterical or poisonous). I think the best ones are in the Ayn Rand article of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Oh, btw, there is an article about Ayn Rand in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (its online, google it). So, accusations of her being a "pseudo-philosopher" ring pretty hollow with that in mind.

Anyways, the two main points in the whole thread that were brought up were 1) Objectivism leads to one being emotionally stunted/delusional/anti-social, 2) Ayn Rand is guilty of having her arguments rest on equivocation, and she is imprecise in her definitions, which are interelated claims.

Guess what, they didn't make any attempt to back up there assertions. So there isn't really any needs to worry about them, but I will go over the points anyways.

1)

watch this...

The typical liberal is a person who is very intelligent, but deep down he is very depressed inside, usually because of his relationship with his parents. This depression is usually dealt with by becoming interested in politics, where he perceives that he can gain some sort of control over his life by "making a difference", or changing other people's minds. Also, liberals usually use humor to downplay their depression, it can't be a coincidence that most comedians are liberals, and most comedians are depressed.

See, that was fallacy ridden and arbitrary, but it might make sense to some people who read that. In fact that description basically is a mixture of the dog from family guy and my uncle, both of whom happen to be named Brian.

There are actually several contradicting (or at the very least, it would be hysterical to accuse most Objectivists of having all those traits at once) stereotypes about Objectivists, and only one of them is really accurate, and that is only for some.

A) Objectivists are assholes- Probably the most true stereotype, but I don't even consider a bad things. Tolerance and Open Mindedness are not virtues. So when we lack that we get called assholes.

B) Objectivists are cultists, insane, delusional, are grandiose, living in a fantasy world- I actually have never met an Objectivist like this, ever. I have heard stories of some embarassing things Ayn Rand fans have done in the past. But they usually get informed of the folly of their ways. For instance Leonard Peikoff mentioned that a bunch of Fountain head fans who wanted to be like Howard Roark switched their majors to architecture, and other people even spray painted their hair orange. Of course this made him face palm when he heard about it, and I am sure they were eventually informed that they were being immature and silly.

C) Objectivists are emotionally stunted, anti-social, have no friends etc. - I know there are plenty of social Objectivists, and I have met anti-social ones. I don't think any causal link can be found between Objectivism and having no friends, or being emotionally stunted. This means I don't think emotionally stunted people seek out Objectivism, and I certainly don't think Objectivism creates emotionally stunted or anti-social behavior.

2) There are tons of articles dealing with accusations of Ayn Rand being guilt of the fallacy of equivocation. For specific subjects I would read the Stanford article that I mentioned above, then look up issues that concern you, I guarantee you you will find a response, and if you can't, there will most likely be a thread on this forum about it.

P.S. Devoid of Empathy- Your friend is hysterically off on that one. Speaking for personal experience I am probably one of the more empathetic people I know, but I can also be very cruel when I have to be. It is just justice, dealing with people based one who they are and how they act towards you. I once drove a blind lady to a place she needed to when she was lost, but I don't shed a tear when I hear about my evil grandmother not having anyone talk to her anymore.

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There's nothing to debate. Your friend didn't divulge any reasoning behind his conclusions.

Ask him which specific parts of Objectivism he disagrees with and why.

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"People who subscribe to that philosophy are robots, not humans. Humans are compassionate."

"Robot" is perhaps the most revealing pejorative he could have chosen.  Robots are rigid, inflexible, efficient and incapable of 'compassion'.

 

I would not say anything else to him, at all.  He likes his misery just the way it is, and is only angry that we aren't willing to share it.

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PKD:

While I hate group condemnation, your Swedish friend seems quite representational of his countrymen (and country women) who subscribe to "The Law of Jante."

 

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

 

Observe the Ten Rules; they are so collectivist as to be the antithesis of everything Ayn Rand advocated. One might even assume the Elders of the society in Anthem lived by these rules. And while modern Swedes are so all-inclusive that their national security may be at risk as a result of runaway immigration, they were the among the first (if not THE first) to implement eugenics as a state policy nearly 100 years ago.

 

And if at all possible, appeal to his intellectual nature, (assuming he has any), and engage him in an extended discussion on Objectivist ethics. Who knows, you might persuade a socialist to reason.

 

Edit: I see that this thread is a bit dated, but this tidbit of info about our Scandinavian friends is the sort of thing to bare in mind whenever dealing with natives of Europe.

Edited by Repairman

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If socialism is so great because it's empathetic to one's fellow man, open Swede borders and extend automatic citizenship to immigrants from anywhere in the third world. Swede society will collapse or institute draconian reforms to its welfare state in about a week.

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