Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ayn Rand Exposed

The Lover of Hierarchy

The notion of hierarchy is integral to all forms of authoritarianism, yet this "libertarian" guru revels in it.

The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains. Such is the nature of the “competition” between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of “exploitation” for which you have damned the strong

The Homophobe

[T]o proclaim spiritual sisterhood with lesbians... is so repulsive a set of premises from so loathsome a sense of life that an accurate commentary would require the kind of language I do not like to see in print."

The Philistine

Her hatred of "modern art" never rises above the cartoonish and is mirrored in every dictator and despot of the era.

Early in the twentieth century, for the first time in history, works purporting to be art were created that were not, in fact, art at all--bearing little or no resemblance to the painting, sculpture, literature, music, or dance that had come before. Whereas art had always integrated and made sense of human experience, this new work was invariably fragmented, disorienting, and unintelligible, often intentionally so. In many respects, it was more akin to madness, or to fraud, than to art.

The Liar

She takes the most spun-out hippie world view and tries to make out like this was the philosophy of the New Left. She had to know she was lying.

Intellectually, the activists of the New Left are the most docile conformists. They have accepted as dogma all the philosophical beliefs of their elders for generations: the notions that faith and feeling are superior to reason, that material concerns are evil, that love is the solution to all problems, that the merging of one’s self with a tribe or a community is the noblest way to live. There is not a single basic principle of today’s Establishment which they do not share. Far from being rebels, they embody the philosophic trend of the past 200 years (or longer): the mysticism-altruism-collectivism axis, which has dominated Western philosophy from Kant to Hegel to James and on down

Her Serial Killer Heart Throb

And finally, some compassion for this fifth-rate Nietzsche of the mini-malls.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Right Wing and Culture

The right both promotes and despises corporate culture. They promote it for obvious reasons – profitability and social control, but their more literate members despise it because they think they are above it. They idolize a “high culture”, but have little understanding of it.

I will use culture with a capital “C” to separate what could be called “high culture”, “serious culture” or “folk culture” from the mass of corporatist mind control twaddle.

To be a consistent reactionary, one must reject the whole of Modernity, for Culture after the late 19th Century is hostile to bourgeois society in both its traditional and managerial forms. The writers and artists are all rebels in one manner or another, even if they espouse no overt politics. How unfortunate for the racists that jazz is Black music!

How can any winger honestly claim to love Neruda, Picasso, Bob Dylan, or Miles Davis?

Ayn Rand (1) and Adolph Hitler were consistent cultural reactionaries. Both rejected 20th Century Culture in its entirety and saw it as some kind of nefarious plot to undermine white capitalist society.)

The right winger is forced to be a philistine or live in a state of denial. For if you examine the great cultural figures too closely, they were all opposed to the reactionaries of their day. Rightists who claim to appreciate contemporary Culture, love what they ought to hate and do so by pretending it isn't what it is. Or they live in complete and unrecognized contradiction like Eva Braun dancing to swing music.

Thus to be a reactionary is to be tormented by Culture. One's self-image is one of superiority over the bohemians, leftists, and people of color, but these are the very people who made that Culture. If the philistine option is chosen, one cannot help but feel culturally inferior, no matter how much the “intelektuls” and “crazy artists” are sneered at.

Artists are both the shamans and mine canaries of our society. Creating something new means going beyond the old, means breaking barriers. Creation is thus an act of rebellion and thus in its very essence is in stark contradiction to the reactionary who wishes to turn the clock back. Artists are society's mine canaries in that they warn, often decades in advance, of serious problems within the system.

1. Early in the twentieth century... works purporting to be art were created that were not, in fact, art at all... In many respects, it was more akin to madness, or to fraud, than to art.


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