Yep, Im new here. I've read The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Anthem, and The Romantic Manifesto. I've also read essays by Peter Kropotkin and Noam Chomsky. I listen to Rage Against the Machine, Sublime, A Perfect Circle, Crass, etc. Im not into the whole punk scene however. Im a straight A student; last quarter I got 3 A+s and one A. I like reading and studying computers/computer security. I live in rural Indiana.
Why did I tell you all that? To give you a sort of background to who I am and what has shaped me. Now, onto the problems that have racked my brain for far too long.
I was religious until about 12 or 13. Then I realized it was all a load of shit. I guess thats when I really started wondering and becoming interested in things. Other religions. Not really philosophy, not right away. Im still interested in more "spiritual" religions, at the age of 17. I still go to a Pentacostal Church, being forced to by my mother.
I saw that in religion, most of the people are fairly hypocritical. They said one thing to each others face and another thing behind their backs. Not to mention the superstition. So I dropped religion, took up reason, I suppose.
I read parts of the works of Robert Ingersoll, visited sites like infidels.org, The Ragged Trousered Philosopher, http://www.fullmoon.nu/book/, and of course, infoshop.org
Let me say that I do not advocate Communism, in the sense of China, or any other "communist" country. I do not advocate socialism by a government. What has appealed to me most is anarchism, and I will explain why.
In the anarchism I studied, by Kropotkin, and the majority of other anarchists, there is no capital. No government. Society is run by organizations, of free voluntary association. To back this up, Kropotkin pointed to the thousands of organizations that men create, voluntarily, for no profit. The Life Boat Association, he mentioned, which worked to save the lives of men. All these groups that had certain interests, worked together freely. They were not required to work.
In my eyes, I've always seen capitalism -- and I must stress that I mean capitalism in the real-world sense, not the ideal sense that I think Rand promotes -- has served to stupefy and enslave man. We have a population caught up in reality TV shows and NBA playoffs and they don't give a shit that 1 billion people live on a dollar a day, or thousands of children die every hour. It pisses me off that people just buy, buy, buy, consume, consume, consume, and do not appear to think for themselves. When I've discussed politics at school, many of the kids can only respond with "I love America, Im a patriot." I ask them why and they have nothing. No arguments to back it up. Its like they are a void, filled with everything the TV sells them.
People go to work, many at jobs they hate. For example, I work at a fast food job. It sucks. My pay is capped at $6.20 an hour. I have to work 30 hours a week to put gas in my car + make the car payment, and I've only got a little left over, while attending school. I don't mind work. Working itself does not bother me. The fact that I have to work with people who seem to be slightly incompetent DOES piss me off. So, we go to work at jobs we hate, to make enough money to live. That has alway seemed the jist of capitalism to me. You get paid to survive, and purchase things for your happiness. Meanwhile, your employer sits in an office and makes millions of the labor of little workers making $6.00 an hour.
Never seemed right to me. In an anarchist society, the idea is that people work free of charge. In return, goods are distributed free of charge. I mean, lets say there is a shoe factory in your town. Town has a population of 1,000 people. The factory can make 500 shoes a day. You can, in two days, make enough shoes to give everyone in your town a pair. The surplus that could amount is staggering, and the idea in anarchism is that everyone gets a pair of shoes. What then, after the factory doesn't have to work? You can work somewhere else, or just enjoy recreation. The bourgeoisie gets to enjoy recreation quite a bit, do they not? Million dollar yachts and fine dining and music.
Maybe some of you will tell me I need to go read this book or that; that is fine, I probably will. But I ask you as well to visit infoshop.org and read the Anarchist FAQ, the myths of capitalism and such. At least see where I am coming from. Im not here to try and convert people, its quite the opposite.
When I discovered Anthem, I fell in love. Atlas Shrugged is probably my favorite novel. The characters in Rands novel were people I wanted to be like. I could identify with them. I am a definite fan of Ayn Rand, do not get me wrong. I see many good things in capitalism as well. The ability to work and get ahead. Get paid according to your work, your drive and ambition can make you rich.
One last thing is, what type of government would Objectivists advocate? I do not agree with, for example, Bush's wiretapping. I hold that as an individual, I may not have a right to privacy. But I still desire it. What right does anyone else have to invade it? If we allow it, what else will we allow? I like 1984 because I think it paints many possibilities. I do not want a totalitarian government. You know what I want? I could almost cry as I type this, because I want it so badly... I want a world without hunger, where everyone can work a job they love. A world without racism, without ignorance, a world of intelligence and education. A world without pollution, without crime. The struggle I have is deciding whether Objectivism can do this or not. It just seems that with capitalism, we always have a surplus of food... which gets burned because we can't profit off of it...meanwhile, people are starving.
I look forward to hearing from you all, because this inner philosophical/spiritual struggle has literally left me not knowing what to think about anything. Im so goddamned confused it isn't funny. I have a hard time knowing who I am and what I want to do anymore.