Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Quote of the Day: On “rightists”

Since, today, there are no clear definitions of political terms, I use the word “rightist” to denote the views of those who are predominantly in favor of individual freedom and capitalism—and the word “leftist” to denote the views of those who are predominantly in favor of government controls and socialism.
As to the middle or ‘center,’ I take it to mean ‘zero,’ i.e., no dominant position, i.e., a pendulum swinging from side to side, moment by moment.”

……………………………………………………………..- Ayn Rand

It describes the centrists in the government to a ‘t,’ don’t you think?

And if you go by the standard she uses, there very very few “rightists” around – as the so-called “rightists” who inhabit the Kiwiblog comments thickets might demonstrate—a result that Rand (who wrote the above in 1971) predicted, saying in the paragraph that followed,

    “For about half a century [and remember that this process accelerated after 1971], the intellectuals, most of whom are leftist, have been struggling to achieve a spatial situation which is geometrically impossible: a political field consisting of a middle and a left-of-middle, with no right-of-middle. They came close to succeeding. Their success was made possible by the non-philosophical attitude of most rightists, who surrendered the intellect to the leftists, accepted their basic premises, and mouthed empty slogans in answer to deadly political principles—or: who accepted a wholesaler's warehouse of tainted meat, then haggled over the price and cut of the chops at the corner grocery store.
    “This permitted the intellectuals to play the game of ‘window dressing,’ i.e., to preach political tolerance or impartiality and to practice it, on suitable occasions, by featuring the weakest, most befuddled champion of capitalism as a representative of the right. (Which led people to the conclusion: ‘If this is the best that can be said for the right, then the leftist position must be true.’)

Still going on, isn’t it.

PS: For the record, I still describe myself as neither right nor left, whatever label Tim Selwyn gives me.  And that’s partly because of the very intellectual bankruptcy of the right that Rand describes so well.

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14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FROM THE LIBZ WEBSITE IN DRUG POLICY:

"All adults, as the legitimate owners of their own lives and bodies, have the right to ingest whatever substances they please, on the condition they do not violate the rights of others and they take responsibility for their actions"

"Even the chemical arch-demon of our time, methamphetamine, or "P", is far less dangerous than you have been led to believe"

then...

The Libertarianz Party agrees that P (methamphetamine) is a bad drug that nobody should be taking. "The P problem has caused me many a sleepless night," says Libertarianz Drugs Spokesman, Dr. Richard Goode. "P is widely known to lead to addiction, psychosis, and violent crime. It ravages communities, exacerbates the gang problem and destroys the aspirations of our young people."

WOW - so much intellectual consistency & prowess in evidence there !

Libertarianism is a load of bollocks because you are all arguing for a utopia in the face of reality, human nature and empirical evidence.

Rand this, Rand that. Why the need to constantly hold in reverence every word uttered by a woman could pass as off as Helen Clarks's sister?

From Dr Ellis' book: Is Objectivism religion?

"Dr Ellis is at his best when evaluating Objectivist psychology. He finds parallels between the mentality that created Jehovah and the mentality that created John Galt. There is a need to feel superior in people attracted to such heroes which gives rise to condemning and punitive attitudes, intolerance, dogmatism, and other religious traits."

"Dr. Ellis demonstrates that Objectivism is a perfection-demanding philosophy which attracts fanatics."

Is Rand your God? Are her writings your Bible? Are Dagny Taggart & John Galt Mary & Jesus?


PS: Who the fuck wrote your immigration policy? I've seen more sane writings produced by Patricia
Krenwinkel.

9/09/2009 09:46:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

I'm sure he feels better after all that ...

Back to Rand's comment: What disgusts me, perhaps most of all, are the capitalists who have become almost apologetic for their beliefs and actions; something that has gained momentum over the last 50 odd years.

This, as much as anything else, has played right (!) into the hands of the sanctimonious left.

9/09/2009 09:52:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

I should ignore this arse, but I'm not going to.

"Libertarianism is a load of bollocks because you are all arguing for a utopia ... "

No, we're not, you silly little boy.

But ironically, everybody else is.

9/09/2009 09:54:00 am  
Anonymous Sean Fitzpatrick said...

Anon

I for one have never read any of Rand's books and I would not describe myself as an objectivist - doesn't stop me being an active and welcome member of the Libertarianz.

As for 'utopia' - I think Sus sums it up perfectly. Libz is about the only party that doesn't promise heaven on earth paid for by some other poor schmuck's income.

9/09/2009 10:10:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

"I for one have never read any of Rand's books and I would not describe myself as an objectivist - doesn't stop me being an active and welcome member of the Libertarianz."

Although neither as active nor as welcome as you would be if you had. :-P

9/09/2009 10:21:00 am  
Anonymous Sean Fitzpatrick said...

Touche!

9/09/2009 12:09:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sus said" I should ignore this arse, but I'm not going to."

Oh stunning you're so above the fray. Once again, I'll reiterate..

Libertarians are a minute group on the political spectrum whose religious faith is unknown to and not accepted by the vast majority [your 1000 votes in the '08 GE is testament to that, but I digress].

Lib ideas ARE Utopian because there has never yet been a libertarian society (though one or two did briefly come close to some libertarian ideas, the Minoans and Dorians for example)

These two aforementioned facts should not keep one from considering some libertarian beliefs, however there is good reason for caution about accepting them for practical purposes.[Again, it's all theory, no empirical evidence AGAIN (ooops tautology alert)]

Libertarianism in a sense is more of a plaything for 30 to 40 something, well-to-do white people. Something to pander to their egos, their over-inflated sense of intellectual prowess and state of enlightenment.

9/09/2009 04:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's odd, cos I'd have said the exact same thing about socialism

9/09/2009 04:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

"These two aforementioned facts should not keep one from considering *some* libertarian beliefs .. "

That's generous of you.

So who would you see liberated and who would you enslave?

9/09/2009 04:49:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

Libertarianism in a sense is more of a plaything for 30 to 40 something, well-to-do white people. Something to pander to their egos, their over-inflated sense of intellectual prowess and state of enlightenment.

Libertariansim is certainly seen in this light, and this is something which must be remedied if it is ever to gain traction.

It is frustrating to read that some libs have never read Rand. Rand was not your 'rich white woman' - far from it. Her main support was from the rank and file workers, not the illuminati.

"Intellectuals" despised her, and they still do.

9/09/2009 05:01:00 pm  
Anonymous twr said...

So brown people aren't supposed to mind being theived off to support others' whims?

9/09/2009 05:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

"Rand was not your 'rich white woman' - far from it. Her main support was from the rank and file workers, not the illuminati."

There is a parallel (of sorts) there with Thatcher who also enjoyed support from the working class for the opportunity to purchase their council properties.

And in my experience they admired her toughness, too. She made the other Western European leaders (not to mention much of her own cabinet) look like girls.

None of which endeared her to the chatterers.

9/09/2009 06:13:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

Ruth and Sus are dead on in their analysis of Rand's support.

Most "rich, white 30-40 somethings" are more than happy to use the government for their own means, even if they would rather think not. That is the result of getting government interfering in the economy; invariably, many businessmen are all too happy to go along with it, so long as their business benefits.

9/09/2009 09:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your analysis of the political spectrum doesn't put Libertarians on it?

That is strange. Because Everyone else in NZ thinks ACT is to the Right of National and they all know that ACT stands for less taxes and less government in every facet of peoples lives. So on that score you are not giving the public their due. They do know the spectrum.

It is just that Libertarianz are so far to the right on that spectrum that it cannot be seen with the naked eye. The same way as Alliance and Jim Andertons party are so far to the left along with the Workers party and whatever else that they cannot be seen either.

I guess the problem that people habve with the extreme right (libertarianz) is that it leaves the weak to exposed. Because people nowadays generally care about others in their society they are willing to give up some of their freedoms to ensure their neighbour is ok. In addition, society inevitably leads to peoples individual rights coming into conflict. Instead of dealing with this everytime through the courts as a tort, there are some things that people consider to be so bad as to be against "society" - this is where the so-called "nanny state" comes in.

The resulting mixture of government-run sectors and societal rules is a direct result of popular sentiment.

Imposing libertarianism on the majority would be to diminish their rights since they have chosen government to enforce the rules they want. The reason they take tax from everyone is because they can.

We do live under libertarianism because people freely choose to live under the rules of the place where they live. The government is chosen by the majority of people and they hold sovereignty over all this land. You are free to choose another government in this land if you want. But your idea of rights will clash with the current one and...you will lose.

9/14/2009 10:38:00 pm  

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