Network for the Environment and Social (Human) Security

Ayn Rand and Climate Change

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Ecology, Featured | 7 comments

Shop Now

This Article is Listed in Ecology, Featured Section, and has been viewed

(1368)

times.

GD Star Rating
loading...

Ayn_Rand1The last article I wrote was about Ubuntu. Which is a very nice concept. The tenor of the article was the unrealistic hope to get rid of money. This article is about the extreme on the other side of the spectrum, this is about the extreme selfishness of a philosophy named Objectivism.

This philosophy was developed by Ayn Rand (1), who was an American writer of Jewish-Russian origins and whose influence is still felt today. Ayn Rand was born in Saint Petersburg/Russia as Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, February 2 – O.S. January 20 – 1905. There she grew up until she left for the USA  in 1926. She wrote novels, playwrights and for the screen. The most famous books of her are The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
Ayn Rand died on March 6, 1982

Admittedly I have only read one book by Ayn Rand, it is called Anthem. As the title already implies it is supposed to be the anthem of her philosophy. There is no reason to assume, that Ms. Rand would call one book Anthem and the tenor would be different than that of her other books. Ayn Rand is almost thirty years dead, but her ideas are still finding fertile soil and are influencing political decisions. Paul Ryan, who ran, with Mitt Romney, 2012 as a Vice-President of the USA admitted publicly his devotion to Ayn Rand and how he made all his staffers read Ayn Rand. It is important to note, that Ayn Rand is rather an US-American phenomenon, in Europe she is almost unknown.

The book Anthem is a well written book but  as a model for society it is deeply flawed.
The very premise of the story may lay out a dramatic background to the narrative, but it is not so in the developed countries. No one decides for anyone what to work or with whom to procreate. Even if social mobility is sluggish and does not happen as often as it should, it does happen. And not only by chance but as an inherent part of human society. The story is about a street sweeper. A person who is forced by society to clean the streets. In the course of the narrative he meets a girl. Of course they fall in love but can’t find to each other. All because society has decided so.

That man and that woman can’t be a couple is the topic of many romantic stories. Some with a happy ending and some, as Romeo and Juliet, have a tragic ending. In Ayn Rand’s story it is neither. Our hero runs away into a uncharted area.The girl follows him and together they go further and further into the dark forest. There they miraculously find a old building, where they settle down. At some point the hero dreams of getting his friends to this place, where they would all live happily together.
The book ends with one word: EGO.

The Ego? What kind of statement is this? The fulfillment of what my Ego dictates me is the most important thing in the world? The pursuit of my happiness above the happiness of my family and friends and of society as a whole.

But before we delve into the theoretical scaffolding of Objectivism let’s return to the story itself. As already mentioned our heroes find in the uncharted forest a house in which stay can live. The house has not been abandoned for a long time, since everything is just fine. The house is ready to be inhabited. Whoever built the house and why it was abandoned is not mentioned in the story. But this is a very important point. Again this is not real life. No one just get’s up in the morning and leaves everything behind. It might happen in times of war or natural catastrophes, but just like this?

So here are our heroes in a functioning building that they got for free. Just because the owner was not around when our heroes arrived does not mean it is free for the taking, so actually our heroes are real freeloaders and moochers. They just take what they need without thinking.

This is a very egocentric behavior. This might work very well, and might even be imperative, somewhere alone in an uncharted forest but how does that work out in a city. Or in a immensely  overpopulated world?

If one lives alone somewhere without neighbors, thia person has absolute freedom. The more people share in the same space, the personal freedom is being more and more reduced. This does not happen out of malice but out of necessity.

So far we have only talked about the interaction between human beings, but how are we going to treat nature? Although nature in balance is of utmost importance to the well being of human beings, it is of no consequence to the Ayn Rand disciple. The breakdown of nature will probably happen long after I die. My children, and their generation, will shoulder the consequences of the selfishness of my generation.
The whole idea of Objectivism is not about being objective. To be truly objective means to recognize the social fabric and our dependency of nature. True objectivism means to take every possible outcome of a certain action into account and to act in a manner, which would benefit society as a whole and not just me. The Objectivism of Ayn Rand is another word for Ego-centrism.

Today we have come to a point where the concept of Together has to be taken on a much broader sense. It is not enough only to think how a society can function,today we have to think how I can contribute to society and how society can co-exist with nature. All this is not possible if I put my ego before everything else. Today every philosophy must end with the word:

ECO!

* Picture of Ayn Rand courtesy of Wikipedia.org under Fair Use conditions.

For further information:

1. Ayn Rand 

Ayn_Rand on Rationalwiki

Ayn Rand on Salon.com

Here is what John Oliver has to say about Ayn Rand.

 

 

 

Ayn Rand and Climate Change, 9.9 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
Share Button

7 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. James

    before, parenthood is an enomorus responsibility; it is an impossible responsibility for young people who are ambitious and struggling , but poor; particularly if they are intelligent and conscientious enough not to abandon their child on a doorstep nor to surrender it to adoption. For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence: parenthood would force them to give up their future, and condemn them to a life of hopeless drudgery, of slavery to a child’s physical and financial needs. The situation of the unwed mother, abandonded by her lover, is even worse.”The fact that having a kid is a bad thing has absolutely nothing to do with whether abortion is right or wrong. It entirely rests on whether the foetus is considered human or not.If you do consider the foetus human, then surely it is an individual’s responsibility not to get pregnant if they don’t want a kid, and if they do get pregnant, they should take the consequences of their own actions.If you don’t consider the foetus human, then it shouldn’t really matter what the consequences of having a kid are, because there would be no problem getting rid of it anyway.The argument that “pregnancy is a death sentence”, really shouldn’t affect either argument should it?

  2. Caroline

    Legalize!!! Please write about strongest legal drugs in the world, and how we can buy it online, and how the climate change will be better with some good weed, and please name the artice (Bong of the nation).

    Caroline …….

    p.s. You are so cute, i love your photos

    • Max Amiram

      Caroline,
      thanks for your compliments. I already wrote about Hemp and Climate Change. But even if I would know where you could buy the stuff, I wouldn’t tell anyone. This is not what this website is all about. Sorry to disappoint you.
      Still all the best,
      Max

  3. Mr John Lampard

    Mr. Nadel, We are happy to hear about your Nobel nominee for this year, I am Mr John Lampard, I Need You For An Urgent Business transaction. Kindly reply for more information by sending me an email. Thanks

    • Max Amiram

      Hi Mr. John Lampard,
      I will write you an e-mail. Perhaps you have a valid business proposal. But I have to inform you I have not been nominated for any prize.
      All the best,
      Max

  4. Pebo Lebrock

    Listen MAX NADEL: regarding your relationship with my wife Kellie Lebrock is not, “NO” No: Is not the rite asnwer out ove your mouth, his mouth is rite, Yes: Yes yes yes yes Yes; That man Keliie Lebrock “I’ ask let her knwo somthing half way gthat is true, Max when geting in bed tow seelp yes and not no know one thing their is somthing and yet why and when each voe you lay down two sleep at night what happnes ith your eye’s reall as “Heall”

    I know it’s yio, i seaerched for you all over the net and here tou are hiding in zimbabwi, i am coming to get you and hunt you down, leave my wide alone.

    • Max Amiram

      Here we go again. What is it with the people visiting nesseq.com and leaving strange comments? Normally I should just delete such non-sense but it would be against my comment policy. As long as it is written in English and is not spam or uses profanity I will publish it. Perhaps I should change the priorities. From now on comments have to relate to the topic of Climate Change and Sustainability in a broad sense, be in English and should not contain profanity.
      To Mr. Pebo Lebrock. Take it from me, you should trust your wife more. She has no interest in a relationship with me or with anyone else for that matter. She only thinks about you! Don’t bother to come to Zimbabwe, I am not there. I am not even in Africa.
      All the best,
      Max

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *