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Thoughts on Ayn Rand, Orwell, Libertarianism, Fascism, and Socialism

FinnMacCool

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This has been bothering me all day and finally I decided to write everything all down. I've been thinking a lot about Ayn Rand. I have read nothing of her I have only read up on her philosophy, that is of Objectivism. From what I've read, Objectivism is a belief that humans exist to achieve what they want. So when I read that I thought "Wow here is someone whom I agree with."

But then I read a little more into it and I got a little funny. Now I agree that human success is doing what you want to do. I've always believed that. But what I'm having a hard time swallowing is the how her beliefs are concerned with individualism etc. All these things that I whole heartedly support but at the same time I find myself a little weary of her ideas about how, if I may speak frankly, that the rest of it is like **** the suffering.

Too be quite honestly lately I've been reading a lot doing a lot of research on different political philosophys (even going as far as reading Mein Kamph). I've been very heavy on socialism also, for awhile. Since I started that thread "Socialism and Me." I became quite taken to Orwell and his writings. His writing seems to speak exactly what I'm thinking and even more so, define what I've been missing. Ever since I've read his stuff, I've been thinking of socialism less as oppression, something that I'm totally against to something that I'm actually totally for. I've done research on several socialist parties, though a lot of whom I already finding that, though I agree with their ideas, it doesn't exactly appeal to me so much as Orwell did. I still would like to think his ideas are possible and perhaps plausible in this day and age but the current socialist parties I'm sort of wary of.

I've also considered the possiblity of Liberterianism. It seems to me a lot more realistic then Socialism and probably more plausible especially nowadays but the whole idea of it doesn't seem to do very much for me because if we established a liberterian society then we would still never advance into at least attempting to get people out of the gutter. Not that I would ever think of handing out paychecks to bums on the street but not everyone who is poor is a bum either. I think people should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor, of course, but I don't think we should just let someone die either. Especially if we have the means and the tools to provide them with ways to get their selves back on track, especially those with children. Maybe their parents made mistakes but their children aren't old enough to make mistakes like that.

Have to end this short. But I hope you guys have thoughts on this. Its something thats been on mind a lot.
 

Comrade Brian

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Could you elaborate what kind of socialism? E.g. Communism, Social Democrats, Democratic Socialism, etc. etc.
 

ngdawg

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I strongly suggest reading Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" and "Anthem". In the vein of many of the Utopic-based books of half a century ago, they tell the stories of protagonists questioning a conformist society and their findings as they embark on their journeys for truth.
I never got into the background beliefs of these novelists. Something there that may reduce or eradicate my appreciation for their work, perhaps.
 

FinnMacCool

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I'm replying to you each individually in one post so I don't seem like a post whore.

I strongly suggest reading Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" and "Anthem". In the vein of many of the Utopic-based books of half a century ago, they tell the stories of protagonists questioning a conformist society and their findings as they embark on their journeys for truth.
I never got into the background beliefs of these novelists. Something there that may reduce or eradicate my appreciation for their work, perhaps.
I think your right about that. Ever since I read 1984 I've been very interested in politically drived, Dystopian novels and I was going to read Anthem as well after having read Huxley's Brave New World and Bradbury's Farenheit 451. I never looked into either authors own politics. For all I know they could be fascists (though considering the subject matter of both, I find that highly unlikely) but ever since I've found that Ayn Rand has a philosophy I happen to disagree with, I've been hesitant about reading her books. I suppose I'll have to give it a try anyways though because I don't think I will be able to rest until I do.

Could you elaborate what kind of socialism? E.g. Communism, Social Democrats, Democratic Socialism, etc. etc.
Pretty much just socialism in general. But I've been a little bit more into the idea of Orwell's vision of democratic socialism probably because I love Orwell's writing and I also find it a bit more realistic then hardcore socialism, no offence Comrade ;)

The answer you're looking for is libertarianism, I promise

Ayn Rand was an extremist. Don't take that as an insult neccisarily, cause that's not how it's intended. What I am trying to get across is that there are such things as moderates in every direction, not just left and right. I consider us up.
I guess the end goal would be voluntary socialism, where we go out and participate in the economy, work, and earn what we deserve based on supply and demand, but once that is done, we realize that it is better for everyone if we work together and share.
The problem that lies in this goal is that it's unrealistic because people are greedy. Greed plays an interesting role in economics and society because to a certain degree it's great, since it fuels innovation and good hard work, but then it also leads to the adherant inequities in the capitalist system. This goal would require greed to exist only in the world of commerce, and complete, or at least quite a bit of selflessness in the world outside of commerce.
Thanks for your input. You may very well be right.
 
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Comrade Brian

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FinnMacCool said:
Pretty much just socialism in general. But I've been a little bit more into the idea of Orwell's vision of democratic socialism probably because I love Orwell's writing and I also find it a bit more realistic then hardcore socialism, no offence Comrade ;)
No, no offense. It is your opinion that it can't work(or very improbable), it is my opinion that it can work. The only ones I can't stand are those who think Stalin and the likes are like heroes to us, or those who consider him a hero, I don't consider anyone a hero, everyone does many bad and good things(even bith Hitler and Stalin).
 

FinnMacCool

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No, no offense. It is your opinion that it can't work(or very improbable), it is my opinion that it can work. The only ones I can't stand are those who think Stalin and the likes are like heroes to us, or those who consider him a hero, I don't consider anyone a hero, everyone does many bad and good things(even bith Hitler and Stalin).
I've never thought of Stalin as a socialist leader honestly. More like a dictator. It's true that his economics were far left but when it comes to social policies, he was an authoritarian to the core. Socialism is supposed to be both I think. I think my ideas of a socialist government, if you can even call it socialism though, is to have businesses do pretty much what they want but to have regulations so they don't blow the whole ****ing world up in the process of making a buck you know?
If my ideas are socialist, which I'm not even sure if they are (thats what I'm trying to figure out), then its definatly quite unlike socialism as it is defined even by some other socialists.
 
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Comrade Brian

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FinnMacCool said:
I've never thought of Stalin as a socialist leader honestly. More like a dictator. It's true that his economics were far left but when it comes to social policies, he was an authoritarian to the core. Socialism is supposed to be both I think. I think my ideas of a socialist government, if you can even call it socialism though, is to have businesses do pretty much what they want but to have regulations so they don't blow the whole ****ing world up in the process of making a buck you know?
Stalin can be considered a socialist leader, but most socialists and other related, call him a Stalinist because of govt. ownership and tons of bureacracy. His social practices were sorta like Hitler's, he employed quite a bit of racism and homophobia, and extremly dictatorial. His economics too are debatable if they are far-left. Far-left is not govt. ownership, but rather public ownership, most far-lefties also view many times govt. ownership worse than private. Stalin is a very, very complicated subject.

Your views would be best described as Democratic Socialism, a more moderate view than most socialists. The best pictures of this would probably be something like Sweden.
 

FinnMacCool

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Stalin can be considered a socialist leader, but most socialists and other related, call him a Stalinist because of govt. ownership and tons of bureacracy. His social practices were sorta like Hitler's, he employed quite a bit of racism and homophobia, and extremly dictatorial. His economics too are debatable if they are far-left. Far-left is not govt. ownership, but rather public ownership, most far-lefties also view many times govt. ownership worse than private. Stalin is a very, very complicated subject.
Well when you say public ownership, it does sound a lot better then gov't ownership. I think I will have to look a bit more into Stalin. He sounds fascinating.
Your views would be best described as Democratic Socialism, a more moderate view than most socialists. The best pictures of this would probably be something like Sweden.
You might be right though the socialist party USA, while modeled after democratic socialism, I can't say I'm a big fan of. Although I like how they get away from the whole russian flag waving, Stalin worshiping, "socialist" bullshit other supposed "socialists" support, to me they just seem like either just a bunch of idiot teenagers (which I am but I consider myself slightly more mature) or a bunch of senile old people. I think if a new party were to take off we should have a completely new look. We would need to look a lot less like a bunch of "tree huggers" as conservatives love to call us and more like a bunch of tea sipping, rational, intellectual assholes. Thats how we will get people to join.
 

Comrade Brian

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FinnMacCool said:
Well when you say public ownership, it does sound a lot better then gov't ownership. I think I will have to look a bit more into Stalin. He sounds fascinating.
Stalin can be a fascinating subject, for a lot of information on him from a more hard-ass socialist, you could read Trotsky's The Revolution Betrayed which I am reading right now(on 3rd ch.)
A word of warning though, it may be great for a viewpoint, but is filled with Socialist/Marxist politics, and those are extremely complicated, for example the division between Stalinists and Trotskyists continues to this day, one could say they are like the Democratic and Republican parties of Marxism. The book can be found here:
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1936-rev/index.htm
 
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Comrade Brian

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FinnMacCool said:
You might be right though the socialist party USA, while modeled after democratic socialism, I can't say I'm a big fan of. Although I like how they get away from the whole russian flag waving, Stalin worshiping, "socialist" bullshit other supposed "socialists" support, to me they just seem like either just a bunch of idiot teenagers (which I am but I consider myself slightly more mature) or a bunch of senile old people. I think if a new party were to take off we should have a completely new look. We would need to look a lot less like a bunch of "tree huggers" as conservatives love to call us and more like a bunch of tea sipping, rational, intellectual assholes. Thats how we will get people to join.
The reason why socialists are viewed as Stalin-worshippers and such, is because Stalin excersized great control of Comintern, which many Communist/Socialist groups were part, Trotsky tried forming a rival one.

You do have to admit most are "tree-huggers", most are environmentalists, but the cons. don't care about environment usually, thinking economy is superior.

Your new idea would look kind of great, except, it would seem only talk, little action, socialists and communists have always tried to combine intellect and action. Becuase those who are only action don't know how things work, and if you are only talk, how does anything get done, so its best to combine the two, you fight and know why you're fighting. Engels probably put it best when he exclaimed, " An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory."

I believe there is something like over a dozen socialist-oriented parties.
 
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FinnMacCool

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You do have to admit most are "tree-huggers", most are environmentalists, but the cons. don't care about environment usually, thinking economy is superior.
Thats not really what I meant. I am very serious about protecting the enviorment. Its extremely important. But its the imagery of it. People are going to have a hard time accepting people who are like, for the lack of a better word, hippies. I'm not a hippy but if you asked me what my politics were I sure as hell sound like one.Cept I don't do drugs haha

Your new idea would look kind of great, except, it would seem only talk, little action, socialists and communists have always tried to combine intellect and action. Becuase those who are only action don't know how things work, and if you are only talk, how does anything get done, so its best to combine the two, you fight and know why you're fighting. Engels probably put it best when he exclaimed, " An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory."
I understand that but still socialism needs to lose both its 1) pyschopath revolutionary image and its 2) Hippy image. Your right though. If there was a way of showing both I would.

Really though I'm just trying to keep an open mind and try new things. I wouldn't have touched socialism with a 10 foot pole if it hadn't been for good ol' Eric Blair. I know how I think things should work in our society but I just need to find a way. Perhaps its socialism or perhaps its libertarianism. The only thing I'm not willing to touch is totalitarianism, for obvious reasons.
 

Technocratic_Utilitarian

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I think your right about that. Ever since I read 1984 I've been very interested in politically drived, Dystopian novels and I was going to read Anthem as well after having read Huxley's Brave New World and Bradbury's Farenheit 451. I never looked into either authors own politics. For all I know they could be fascists (though considering the subject matter of both, I find that highly unlikely) but ever since I've found that Ayn Rand has a philosophy I happen to disagree with, I've been hesitant about reading her books. I suppose I'll have to give it a try anyways though because I don't think I will be able to rest until I do.

Ahh Brave New World: The one True Utopia I have seen in all the literature I have read. I don't really believe it is a dystopia at all. It is painted as such, but ironically, I believe he fails.

Ayn Rand's book "Anthem" is very good, I think, and I agree with some of her concepts, and I think it is well-written, much like BNW and The Giver, her Philosophy doesn't appeal to me, because it is essentially the anti-utilitarian approach. Utilitarianism is, in its most basic, crude form, a form of "altruistic hedonism." On the other hand, Objectivism is in a way a form of egoistic hedonism and rights-based theory."
 

FinnMacCool

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Ahh Brave New World: The one True Utopia I have seen in all the literature I have read. I don't really believe it is a dystopia at all. It is painted as such, but ironically, I believe he fails.
I think its both. Its a negative Utopia. Its a perfect society but they begin to lose interest in things that make people happy and, in my opinion, they don't realize how unhappy they are.
 

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FinnMacCool said:
I understand that but still socialism needs to lose both its 1) pyschopath revolutionary image and its 2) Hippy image. Your right though. If there was a way of showing both I would.
I agree we could lose #1, I'm not saying revolution is a bad thing, but many times a lot of people get psychopathial fanatical about it.
#2, don't really need to get rid of it, Hippies often lived in communes, and socialism does view communes as really cool, but the drugs part should drop, but thats all people tend to think of hippies nowadays, druggies.
 
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