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What is your opinion of her? How about her works? Better yet, where do you lie on the political spectrum? In other words, "I'm going to apply market Capitalism to all areas of my life!" Or, "I'm a social beast, hear me roar! (Or tie the 'social safety net' to... well, everyone... because it's socialism)."
 

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The Political Compass

I have been informed this test has a liberal bias, but I'm not so sure about that. It was made by Europeans, and the people who told me it had a liberal bias were hardcore out-west conservatives in the US. I think it is possible to argue that the entire US political system is shifted on the liberal-conservative spectrum to the right signifigantly, so it would appear to have a liberal bias to those in the US but be fair and objective to those outside the US. On the other hand, you could just as easily argue everyone outside the US is an extreme liberal, thus goes perspective.

Anyhoo, I am a social liberal and a fiscal left-centist around there (i.e., not a socialist all the way but closer to that than pure capitalism). Really I don't think extreme rheotric does anyone any good, decisions shouldn't be made off of ideas that exclude shades of gray. In that vein, I don't really like Ayn Rand. I think she has some good ideas and expresses them in powerful metaphor, but the people who like Ayn Rand really really like Ayn Ran. I suppose ideologically it reminds me of communism; great ideal, it doesn't work in it's purest form, and those who buy into such extreme ideals just lead people into crisis because their conviction is stronger than the forces of reality.
 

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Ayn Rand is awesome :) And from what I have heard from a certain someone, The Fountainhead is quite an amazing piece of literature. I am uncertain of where exactly I lie on the political spectrum, but I would agree with Rand that socialism is not the way to go, and that our society is currently moving closer to its destruction because of the corrupt system of government we have today. We are certainly not the same country, politically speaking, as we were at our foundation. I am not sure if I would go so far as to say that there should be no sort of government regulation (taxation, etc.), as Rand does, because I find it very difficult to imagine our country without such regulations. However, I do believe that, in theory, a government that does not regulate its people sounds mighty fine. But realistically, I cannot really see it happening. But that does not mean that there is no hope for this generation to change things up! We as a people just need to stop being so stupid and greedy and work towards a plan that actually makes sense.
 

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Ayn Rand is awesome :) And from what I have heard from a certain someone, The Fountainhead is quite an amazing piece of literature. I am uncertain of where exactly I lie on the political spectrum, but I would agree with Rand that socialism is not the way to go, and that our society is currently moving closer to its destruction because of the corrupt system of government we have today. We are certainly not the same country, politically speaking, as we were at our foundation. I am not sure if I would go so far as to say that there should be no sort of government regulation (taxation, etc.), as Rand does, because I find it very difficult to imagine our country without such regulations. However, I do believe that, in theory, a government that does not regulate its people sounds mighty fine. But realistically, I cannot really see it happening. But that does not mean that there is no hope for this generation to change things up! We as a people just need to stop being so stupid and greedy and work towards a plan that actually makes sense.
Actually, Rand professes greed - but this greed is supposed to help the self. Greed, according to Ms. Rand, is an active pressure in our daily lives that affects everything: the individual must decide whether or not to delve deeper into the their own greed, morals, and intellectual being. I fancy the idea of man being able to to choose for himself. And in modern culture, Free-Market Capitalism - not this Crony junk we have today - seems to be the only way to truly progress individually and culturally... history says so, and I trust that guy.
 

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If I were living in the 1830s, I would be a Whig. (Goddamn you, Andrew Jackson, you prejudiced bastard. YOU CAUSED THE TRAIL OF TEARS!!)
If I were living in the late 1800s, I would definitely be a Populist.
If I were living in the early 1910s-1920s I would be a Progressive.
If I were living anytime before the Republican-Democratic flip, I would be Republican.
Now that I live after the flip, I lean heavily left.

And that is the product of my AP US History political party study sesh. Now you know where I lie on the political spectrum, and better yet, throughout the ages! (Seriously, the Populists.)

As for Ayn Rand, I haven't read any of her work, but I have seen a few quotes from her several times drifting around on the internetz, and she seems like a swell gal. I would love to be educated on why exactly that is so and more about her ideas and her work.
 

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I like the quote in my signature :)

I haven't read anything on her besides what I found on Wikipedia; from what I read, I like the way she gives emphasis on individual freedom as opposed to more collectivist societies. I just think she goes a little too far on it. Taking the test @adverseaffects mentioned (although I did it a bit too quickly) I found myself as a libertarian a little bit to the left on the economic scale.
 

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I've typed and deleted a few responses. I'll just say (and that's all I'm going to say) that I would find it really curious and surprising if many infps agreed with this:

"1. Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.
2. Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses) is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.
3. Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.
4. The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man’s rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church."

The Ayn Rand Institute: Introducing Objectivism
 

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Somehow I read all of Atlas Shrugged during my senior year of high school. I found it weak, both as a literary work and in its philosophy.

My main problem with the book is with the false choice that it presents between extreme individualism she believed could be found in capitalism and extreme collectivism found in communism.

Due to her background it's understandable that she would come to reject any type of collectivist thinking, and certainly her ideas aren't without some merit. But the fact that she's taken seriously as a philosopher by some is rather disturbing.

There does not need to be a conflict between collective well being and individual expression.
 

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I consider myself a sort of anarcho-communist. I believe that people should have as much freedom as possible, and that the cost of dependancy on any kind of market for anyone in any way is too high in this regard. It's perhaps difficult to imagine a society of this kind, but I'm working on a prose poem that's partly about one. And I mean, to the people in the Middle Ages, our post-industrial society would have sounded mad. A span of 500 years has not become lesser the last 500 years. And with a person dying of hunger every other second when there's more than enough food for many times the amount of people there are on the planet, it's obvious changes to this degree are logical.

As for Rand, I obviously don't agree with her philosophy.

First and foremostly, it's built on the idea that the world is objective. Which, in my very humble opinion, is completely ridiculous. How would she know?

Second. Society is just as dependant on everyone else as it is on her brutal visionaries: Her objective world view presupposes that things make sense. This means that gravity pulls rain out of the clouds, chocolate is sweet due to its ingredients, and people experience things which in terms later make them act in certain ways. When some thus become ruthless visionaries, and others do not, why are the fortunate ones to have everything, and the unfortunate nothing? I think such a world would ironically enough be collectivistic because a completely open market could very possibly be a very healthy one, but many would be sacrificed for the few.

Third. The characters she uses to advertise her ideas with are psychogically impossible. One character in Atlas Shrugged is for example tortured. Eventually so much the torture machine breaks. He then proceeds to offer to fix it himself so he can be tortured some more. This is her ideal human being. In the 1959 Mike Wallace interview with her that is on YouTube, she says that love is something earned, and that very few people deserve it. While she does, she seems to me to be very moved. Whether it's pride, or because she's realizing the preposterousness of what she's saying, I think Ayn Rand needed a hug. Not to be believed.

Not to mention that according to the video game BioShock, which takes place in a dystopian objectivist society, lots of poor people not able to make it on the market, leads to the organization of societies within the objectivist society that soon threaten the voluntarily very weak, official one; and science depending solely on the market to the development of soon ubiquitous drugs that give you tele- and pyrokinesis at first, but then render you a drug-addicted, rabbit-mask-wearing zombie.

 
You do not want to be a drug-addicted, rabbit-mask-wearing zombie.
 
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@Listener summed up my views nicely. I read about 2/3 the way through Atlas Shrugged when I was 16.... interesting sometimes, but mostly bad. Ended up buying since I didn't feel like renewing it part way through. Bad choice, now I have a book on my shelf I'll probably never finish. Also had to read a short book by her the same year. Why people take her seriously is a good question.
 

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Ayn Rand? I never understand why she is so popular in US. Her thoughts are scary and some of worst people in my country really love her . . . But i may be biased, being leftist myself. :) But still I think that if INFPs are smurfs, she is Gargamel. :)
 

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Not a fan of Ayn Rand at all. There are certainly people I'm less a fan of, but she's not really my cup of tea.

As for me, I usually tell people that I'm a non-doctrinaire communist. I discovered that term on the RevLeft forums several years ago and decided it sums up my opinions quite nicely. "Far left socialist" also works.
 

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ayn rand is rubbish.

I don't mind her writing style sometimes. That is decent (not brilliant).

She is obviously intelligent, so god (or should that be Galt?) knows why she did not spend some time actually questioning her beliefs/logic. Obtuse and ideological.

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as for political "spectrum"
I'm a conservative liberal (though I have to admit neither term means a whole lot to me personally) with a preference toward compassion and the reduction of unnecessary suffering before most other things - the ideal state should be founded upon these concerns, and I don't give a damn whether someone calls it capitalist or communist or even fascist.
 

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I think Ayn Rand has a her own point of view, and that seems to be the gift we have here. I love it on a certain level, it is very aquarian in it's archetype.
My personal judgment is that objectivism contradicts it's self upon formation, for her to hypothesize that all things are objective from her subjective human point of view is an oxymoron.

I will now give you my take on objectivism.

1) Reality exists as a neutral relative absolute. All facts, all knowing are influenced by perception, and generally realm of mind, which hopes, and fears etc... are a part of . Thus making all fact, all truth only relatively real...(including what I'm saying right now.) To subscribe to any fact ever, requires faith in perception (which always has thresholds). If the whole world was blind, the "facts" would be different. The only truth is awareness behind perception, and judgement. In simply being, you become aligned with all knowing.

2)Reason is only relatively real. It is still based on an evaluation of less or more (perception). It is tied to the sensual and phenomenal, and eventually is a subjective judgement of it. Thus, knowledge can only be attained by experiencing the being (awareness) behind the perception, and eventual judgement of perception. Experiencing the being that lies behind the doing is knowing.

3) The ends are the means. The neutral awareness that lies beyond perception is the same in everything. There is no sacrifice, there is only the awareness interacting with the awareness. The essence interacting with the essence. There is no living for others, but only for the self in it's many forms.

4) Once you figure out the first 3, number four will be something we can't even imagine.


Meow.
 

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The Political Compass

I have been informed this test has a liberal bias, but I'm not so sure about that. It was made by Europeans, and the people who told me it had a liberal bias were hardcore out-west conservatives in the US. I think it is possible to argue that the entire US political system is shifted on the liberal-conservative spectrum to the right signifigantly, so it would appear to have a liberal bias to those in the US but be fair and objective to those outside the US.
You are absolutely correct.

Your Democrat party is more akin to British conservatism. Your Republican party is quite far-right on our political spectrum. Having said that, the British political spectrum has coalesced massively in the past 20 years. The three major parties are all centrist parties these days. In fact, there are only two main parties now, ever since the Lib Dems allowed themselves to be devoured by the Conservatives.
 

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I loved Atlas Shrugged. Well except maybe the weirdly misogynistic overtones. But it was the 50s. What I loved about it was that in my life I feel like people don't think the value of quality is any longer something to strive for. So many of my students fail to take pride in their efforts and work, and expect to be rewarded equally for lackluster product. I see many friends with an entitlement mindset and they're totally unhappy but they don't really know why. Maybe, for me, she put a name to a problem I was having trouble putting m finger on.

The cocktail party scene where she skewers the upper crust is masterfully written. When they talk about plot being passé in literature, melody in music, and reason in philosophy I almost cried laughing. I also really like the way she uses words. The descriptive terms she uses have a certain mouthfeel and sound remarkable when you read them aloud. I'm thinking of things like the picture she paints of Dagny, perhaps, although I'm in my nice warm bed and don't quite want to get up and find a quote ATM. But if anyone wants one you can ask and I will provide.

Finally, I like how she takes everything to reductio ad absurdum levels. And I like utopian and dystopian fiction, and Atlas Shrugged is both.
 

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I tihnk Ayn Rand takes a beautiful idea, appreciating individuality not at the stake of "fitting in" and uses that to support horrible ideas. As with any utopian/dystopian fiction, it is written using extreme premises to make a point- this good thing leads to "utopia", this bad thing leads to "dystopia". These are taking actual ideas and taking them to impossible extremes to make a point. The first idea is so beauitful and can be used in writing to hood-wink the readers, in my opinion... (extreme paraphrasing going on nwo) the travel from Clause A: Individuality is good and should be appreciated to B: therefore we should de-stabilize any collective societies is missing a hundred shades of gray in-between, inclduing brotherly love and compassion, but whatever, I'm just a bleeding heart liberal with too much faith in humanity I guess ;D
 

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I despise Rand because of her heartless approach to morality which is almost the exact opposite of what is right, true and decent. Also, for all of her attempts at seeming rational, she fails to understand some very simple things, and treats people as fitting into consistent categories that never fluctuate. She defines human worth by the wrong standards and would demand that nobody dare be born with a personality that involved a need for interconnectedness or cooperation. I doubt that any truly intelligent person would ever be fooled by her if not for her eloquent appeals to emotion, which ironically tend to be against the very people most likely to be swayed by them.
 

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I'm a socially conservative leftist so I guess I'm her exact opposite. But she would still like me since I'm blond and muscular : ) But seriously, for any society to work it must be built on human nature, so promoting individualism regardless of our social/collective nature is bound to fail. It like E O Wilson said about Marxism - nice theory, wrong species.
 
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