Wisdom of Age

A recurring theme that age is part of wisdom (yes I would say that) but here a great example.

Ayn Rand always was atrocious, but it’s often necessary to grow up to appreciate the fact. I was already mid-40’s before coming across her, so I was OK 😉

[, as a college freshman] was very intimate with her ideas, but that just gave [her] more insight into their outright dysfunctionality, and the strength to say “sayonara!”

What’s scary is that so many Americans have not grown out of that mentally puerile phase. Instead, this contingent – now largely comprised of Tea Party radicals – remains mired in her pop philosophy.

Hat tip to David Morey on FB for the Guardian link.

[Post Note : As if to prove the point. Rand 1, 2, 7 & 8 on this top 100 list!!! Hat tip to Michael Brown on MD.)

14 thoughts on “Wisdom of Age”

  1. Rand is a great author to kindle a flame in young hearts. Once kindled, some hearts just burn out, some shine with obviously wrong Objectivism, and the best ones turn to the pure and wise light of Libertarianism.

    But without her total number of burning hearts will be less.

  2. I agree that Rand’s Objectivism is often a “gateway drug” to Libertarianism.
    But Objectivism “obviously wrong”? It takes careful analysis to show the relation between the two. Rand was a formidable debater & not so easy to refute.

  3. And my point is that (“objective” analysis and debate) doesn’t make her right, just good at arguing by those rules.

  4. Probable nor “wrong”, just unnecessary. A libertarian individualist doesn’t need a belief in “objective”. You certainly need a common basis for arguing with others, but your inner understanding can be based on introspection.

    In the end Libertarianism is abour coexistence of people with quite different views of the universe (but not with all possible views). It’s easy to start learning this art from Rand especially at young age. Later on a person can discover other options available, but remain true to the libertarian core.

  5. Sorry Ian, but you picked a bad example of wisdom that comes from age.
    I read the Bekiempis piece but found it lacking in both wisdom and GOF information. It is replete with the currently fashionable technique of using forceful language, rather than thoughtful reason, to hammer home a point.
    For example, Rand’s philosophy is “dumb”. Even her most ardent critics admit Rand is brilliant, if misguided. Or Rand’s “atrocious tomes “! Bekiempis should hope she herself could write a tenth as well. (to be cont’d)…

  6. Bekiempis claims “deep familiarity” with Rand’s philosophy, but writes of “Rand’s illogical claims that altruism doesn’t exist”. This is about the most elementary mistake one could make regarding Rand. Rand held that being altruistic or being forced to be altruistic (sacrificing one’s values for others) is not only possible but is epidemic & is the major cause of evil in the world.

  7. Hi Craig, it was an example of my point, great example in the sense that it is specifically my point about age. The quality of her arguments / writing – no comment.

    As for Rand’s take on altruism – yes “doesn’t exist” is not the same as “shouldn’t exist” … It was brief piece and really didn’t go far evaluating the actually philosophy. My point – Rand’s view on altrusim is irrelevant, (we’d just end up in a definitional problem over the word) given her other faults.

    For “atruism” – See the Partnership across the Generations post below … (and BTW this thread is another fine example of objectivism – adversarial argument for and against one object – when the post wasn’t event about that object – Rand’s Objectivism.)

  8. Hi Victor – your point about “staying true to a libertarian core” … I think this is very important. The words “liberal” and “freedom” get thoroughly abused, and there always needs to be a balance between freedoms and responsibilities, and the subtleties of the libertarian idea get lost. I’ve been a liberal / social democrat all my life except for the periods when there has been no credible liberal alternative to voting labour / socialist (in UK terms), and yet I find myself almost entirely defending “conservative” institutions these days. It’s almost a no-brainer to support freedom, but much harder not to throw conservative values out “with the bathwater”.

    Your Russian perspective is extremely valuable, given the predominant history of the authoritarian iron fist (silnaya ruka).

  9. The “Russian perspective” has no value at all – exactly because of the predominant history of the authoritarian iron fist. I can only envy your subtle choices between liberal, social democrat, labour, socialist, conservative, etc. In the presence of iron fist today I’m joining in protest marches and occupy action with libertarians, communists, nationalists, European-stile-socialists, US-stile-liberals, and all other kinds of beast.

    Therefore my libertarian activities are confined to the reading and Internet discussions on the theoretical foundations. The additional irony of all this is that libertarian or conservative actions (in ecomical field only) are sometimes taken by the current authoritarian regime. If some protest coalition will succeed in overthrowing it — i’ll find my country further to the left.

  10. That’s the value (to me). Your range of perspectives is greater than the subtleties I’m talking about – so you see more clearly the core that matters.

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