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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Ayn Rand could be wrong, or is she?

"Who is John Galt?" This is the famous opening of the novel, "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand which became famous in the country during the 70's. This is about the disappearance of intellectuals, artists, industrialists and innovators thereby putting production at a stand still. In the story, the question "Who is John Galt?" became a byword for things or people unexplainably missing although the owner of the name was not known. As the story unfolds, we see the protagonist try to unravel the mystery of the question. it turns out that John Galt is a man who is no longer contented with how the world is turning out to be. He observed that people are becoming lazy as they become dependent on the very limited producers there are, who in turn, do nothing about it. Thus, he decided to "stop the motor of the world" by luring all these innovators and industrialists by setting up an ideal world of his own where only producers can live.

Ayn Rand is a philosopher who used literature as her venue to propagate her philosophy she calls "Objectivism". She is not the only philosopher who did that. If I recall correctly, French novelist, playwright, existentialist philosopher, and literary critic Jean Paul Sartre and lover and collaborator Simone de Beauvoir, author of
The Second Sex, among others, also used literature as a base for their teachings.

In a nutshell, Objectivism is based on Aristotle's equation that A is A. Hence, in Rand's point of view, there are no gray areas. A lie is a lie. White lies don't exist. In the same manner does she question the validity of religion and ultimately, the existence of God. In her frame of mind, alruism is a no-no for it breeds dependence. In her book, The virute of selfishness, she defines selfishness as different from our common usage of the word, but rather, a "self-respecting, self-supporting human being who neither sacrifices others to himself nor sacrifices himself to others." In this book, she teaches us that self-sacrifice does not exist. She defines self-sacrifice as the giving up of a higher value in favor of a lower value. Given this definition, self-sacrifice is non-existent since all of man's actions are dictated by what he seems to be the higher value.

I better stop there. I am not a philosopher! As a matter of fact, I flunked Philosophy because I was ill-advised. I took it during my very first year in college because a friend who was "breaking me in", a third year student, was taking it. I never knew about pre-requisites. And don't ask me why the university where I studied, which will remain unnamed, allowed it. (In fairness, the professor did question it, but my gallant friend argued, "Why not? We will never know if he's prepared or not until the course card is given, right? Some friend, huh?) That and Political Science II. Guess who was also in it. And yes, Samantha, I was not an A student. Well, at least, I took it as a challenge later and tried learning Philosophy on my own. My understanding might seem derailed or even demented but at least, I have a framework to live by :-)

Anyway, I think Rand committed a mistake. She denied the fact that people are different. That some are blessed with intellect some are not. Most importantly, in our context, some are born rich, and some are born poor. In our present world, that spells a lot of difference. It's all a matter of opportunity. The haves will have more opportunity than the have-nots. The former study in good schools, the latter hardly go to one. And if they do, the education they receive may not be up to par. The former have access on the most recent trends in technology, the latter don't. The former have more books to read, the latter don't. The former is concerned on learning, the latter is more concerned about survival. In this scenario, t is only in real altruism, not the kind that propagates dependence, that will even the score.

But is she totally wrong then? In fairness, let me first paraphrase Dr. Emerita Quito who said that there is no philosophy that is so right that we must take it in its entirety or a philosophy that is so wrong we should throw it altogether. To study Rand, we must understand the spatio-temporal aspect of her circumstances.

Ayn Rand was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum and educated in Russia and moved to the United States in 1926 thereafter moving to Hollywood to begin a career as a screenwriter. That says it all, doesn't it? She experienced the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. She experienced the shift from autocracy to communism. In her move to the States, she lived a life from "each according to his need" to "each according to his ability". Working in Hollywood, a very capitlalistic place with a very capitalistic industry and making it big, what conclusion do you think one can have?

However, that is no longer the point. The correct question to ask is can she be relevant to us, Filipinos? Can we espouse her teachings? I would answer in the affirmative. Yes, when I see poor people in the slums drinking early in the morning instead of trying to earn a living. Yes, when I see children of poor families turning to pick pockets or mendicants begging for a dime. Yes, when it is now apparent that the order of the day in media is mediocrity and "xeroxed" art. Yes when the biggest tv networks are competing for soap operas so that the average person can stayed glued on the boob tube, thinking that being the underdog is noble. Yes, when I see rich kids wasting their parent's money by playing hookey and not studying their lessons. Yes when I see young boys and girls doing nothing but daydream of becoming a hot rock star of an actor or actress. Yes, when I see people standing in a long queue to purchase a lotto ticket for "easy street" instead of making everything possible to make himself/herself better. Yes, when i couldn't walk late at night without worrying to be mugged by someone who has given up the fight to survive squarely. Yes, when the people are governed by a defeatist attitude that everything is lost.

Ah, this is such a complicated world. And philosophy is too complicated I don't know why I even bothered.

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68 Comments:

Blogger R. O. said...

Hi, may i call you Tito Rolly na rin? Interesting thoughts.

I believe, though, that that Ayn Rand is such a selfish person who should've long been discredited. I cannot stomach her thoughts, but I admit I have yet to read her novels.

I believe, too, that our lives have become so complicated because we've been confused by arrogant and selfish philosophers like Ayn Rand.

Sir, I hope you won't delete this but I can't blame you if you did.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

x-p Thanks for dropping by. I hve been reading your blog too but has not commented in it yet. Sure. Everybody calls me tito. Why should I delete your comment? There is nothing oppressive that you've written. You are just voicing out your opinion as i do. I am always for an open discussion as long as it stays on the issue and not developing into personal attacks.
As a matter of fact, I do share some of your feelings. Read again. hehehe

10:43 AM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

Si Master XP talaga, me pagka melodramatic ang dating. =) Hindi ka idi-delete ni Tito Rolly. Cool si Tito Rolly! Besides, wala namang offensive sa sinulat mo.

Ayn Rand is one of my Dad's favorite authors but not because of "Atlas Shrugged," but because of "The Fountainhead" --- the story of architect Howard Roark. I think part my Dad's self-effacing ways was due to the fact na naimpluwensyahan sya ni Rand. Heavy reading ang mga Ayn Rand books, parang Marcel Proust at Tolstoy ang dating. Dapat marami kang oras. Kasi bitin naman pag reading between-the-lines ka.

As to her philosophy and its relation to our current state, I think her beliefs will work in a society that values everyone's rights to achievement with equality. Dito sa atin, ang "equality" ay isang napakamakulay na salita na me sari-saring kahulugan. Kelangan ayusin muna na lahat ng magsusumikap ay me pagkakataong umunlad.

Dito, malabo yan.

Mag-apply ka palang sa trabaho, makikita mo na ang requirements ay may gender, age, at experience limitations.

Kung nagtatrabaho ka naman, mapapansin mo na ang promotion mo ay nakasalalay sa dami ng kakilala mo na mga boss mo at sa kahusayan mo sa pag-chica. Politika lagi ang usapan. Ang pananaw na uunlad ka sa lipunang ito dahil ikaw ay matalino o madaming merits ay hindi totoo! Puro abilidad.

Sa palagay ko, hindi yung "abilidad" sa pag-chica ang ibig sabihin ni Ayn Rand sa Objectivism nya. Ang sabi nya ay malinaw:

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."
--- Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged

Kawawa talaga tayo.

Lobotomy ang kailangan ng karamihan sa atin.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Cerridwen said...

Hi Tito Rolly,

I am a reader of Ayn Rands works. I even went as far as buying the DVD movie Passion of Ayn Rand. Her philosphy base on objectivism has been debated for a long time. Not because I read her material do not mean I agree with ALL her point of views. She is a harsh woman who is hard to please. She favored reading Friedrich Nietzsche's writings which I pressume contributed to most of how she view her philosophy.

A know a guy who adored & followed A. Rand and let me tell you, he is one hard man to figure out and be with. I blame his belief and adoration for Ayn Rand for making it hard to settle down with. Hence...I am single *whew*

11:08 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Doc Emer Thanks. XP or any other reader is welcome to oppose my views. As long as they stay within the issue. I don't care. I respect other's opinion so that they would mine,too. Besides, I have no illusions that i am an intelligent man. Maybe practical but not intelligent.

Ah, The Fountainhead. The architect who blew his work to smithereens. Or was that the Anthem? hmm...

Anyway, you're right. These are the reasons why Ayn Rand wouldn't work in our society. The playing field is just not right for her philosophy. Hindi pantay-pantay. But I would, in part, suggest a few of her thinking. Like trying to be the best that you are. To stop being mediocre as we sometimes become to relaxed and contented with what hwe have.

Cerridwen I think I saw that film in HBO. It was there that I learned what a henpeck her husband was and her true relationship with Nathaniel Branden. i've read some of her works, too. But I couldn't agree with most of what she says. Like to her, abstract art is not beautiful. She's wrong. She doesn't know what the philosophy of the genre is. All she would espouse is classical art. She did not take into consideration a lot of things like psychology of the artist during the time of creation...his shortcomings and beliefs which will lead to why his works are like that...

Haha there are a lot of men who do not believe in Ayn Rand. You don't really have to stay single in that case. LOL!!! Biro lnag ha.

1:03 PM  
Blogger santi said...

Tito Rolly,
I just want to say that I agree and I share the same feeling in what you said in your closing.

2:09 PM  
Blogger ajay said...

Heavy itong post mo na ito tito..kailangan kong basahin ng paulit-ulit,hehe. Unfortunately, di ko pa nababasa si Rand. Pero subukan mo ring basahin si Victor Frankl, siya ay prime existentialist na nagsulat ng "Man's Search for Meaning." Frankl, a survivor of Jewish concentration camps, echoes the famous dictum of Nietzsche that "He who has a why to live for can live with almost any how."

3:33 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

it's funny you talked about altruism. this has long been debated especially when evolution is discussed - paano raw ba magkakaroon ng altruism pag survival of the fittest ang pinaka main driving force.

it turns out that there is an evolutionary explanation to altruism - and the subsequent discussion on the topic is very interesting.

5:00 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Santi sa haba ng sinabi ko, sa huli ka lang agree? hahahaha Joke.... Thanks fo reading this til the end. Medyo mahaba na naman yata, e no?

Ajay Victor E. Frankl - the Viennese doctor and existenticalist. From what I gathered, interesting ang theories niya and that life, according to him is full of ironies. That life can only be complete with birth and death, that depression is needed so we can know happiness? Tama ba ko so far? Sige, hahanapin ko yung libro. Thanks.

5:04 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Santi Sa dami ng sinabi ko, sa huli ka lang agree? HAHAHA joke lang. Thanks, pare.

Ajay hmm si Victor Emil Frankl. Mukhang maganda nga ang libro niya. From what I gathered, for him life is full of ironies which we all need. In order for life to be complete, we have to die first. Interesting. i'll try to find the book.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ayn Rand's philosophy took off but plummetted quickly. It was just a fad, a philosophy that does not capture reality. Besides A is A, objectivism also means either your A or not A, but should never take zero as an option. Make a stand, or not. Which means, there is no room for diplomacy in waging war.

Applying objectivism to her work, it's either complete garbage or...garbage. But, to her credit, she has created a fictional icon out of Howard Roark.

5:14 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Anonymous Thanks for dropping by. Yes, either your A or not A. Seems like you have read her, too. And yes, a lot of people do not even consider her a philosopher but merely a novelist, actually. But I beg to differ. Her works are not complete garbage. There are a few things we can learn from her.

Why not sign in your name next time. Just in case, I don't mind hearing a different opinion. haha

8:53 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

Ay naku Tito, no wonder. I first picked up Atlas Shrugged from my dad's library, a battered and earmarked copy, so I thought it had to be interesting.

I never got past the first page. And I never tried to have a go at it again ever... hehe.

Like I've stated in Papa's blog, my notion is that we make reasons for our passions and truths out of what we believe in. Maybe this is a bit half-baked and too self-serving. I offer no excuses for it though. Just that it helps me makes sense of a lot of things, and it helps me somehow to be forgiving.

Siguro, even if I read her book at the time that it became a hit, I still wouldn't have taken in her philosophy. I don't know much about philosophy either but I just feel that hers would be so much like putting life in a box and making everything square. That means we'll have to walk through life tiptoeing on numbers. Quite stiff in the face of life's many surprises and mean pranks.

I cannot, even with, or maybe because of, everything that I've come to know in my life, ever believe that man was made to be that way.

I agree with you when you said that not all men are born equal. Some are well able to deal with the cards they're dealt with and some, they cheat. Or bail out of the game. Because they don't know better? Or weren't born as tough? As well-constructed?

If we keep to calling A an A and nothing but, I think that would stand to negate a lot of things involved in the collective whole we call man. What about personal reasons and individual choices? And if these should fail to measure up, what about mercy? Compassion? Empathy? Sympathy?

I know. Too many gray areas that obscure the clear-cut road to a purposeful and prolific life. But maybe man needs his foibles so those who are lined up for it can experience their hour of redemption.

Having said that, I have, in my life, witnessed that for some of us, the most that can be claimed of glory, is to stand up from a fall. And the only merit that can be awarded is for trying.

But like you, I too would draw the line on compassion. Those who would not even give it a decent attempt, I do not wish to know.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Jet said...

Alam mo Tito parang malabo ang dating saken nung last paragraph ko. So please allow me to take a little more space so I can put it more clearly.

What I meant was, those who will not give life a decent enough attempt, I have no compassion for and would not even wish to know. I do think I'm a very sympthetic person pero pagdating sa defeatist attitude, sorry but no cigar.

Yun lang po. Thank you. :)

8:43 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

i don't like philosophical lessons hiding in novels. siguro kaya i never did like ayn rand. when i read a novel, i want to be entertained. i want to suspend my disbelief. i want to be inside the story.

i definitely don't want a lecture.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Tanggero said...

Hi Sir Rolly,
It is good to read sometimes about some point of views on philosophy which always will direct to the QUESTION of what is the meaning of life-(correct me if I'm wrong). And then directed to individualism, (sometimes)communism, religion, ethics and laws, etc.
Ayn Rand (as Cerridwen said) was a reader of Nietzsche's works which were more about anti-religion (anti-christ) and morality issues. This must explain about much of her works. This link is an essay compairing their (Nietzsche and Rand) similiraties and differences:
http://www.objectivistcenter.org/obj-studies/cyber/SH4intro.asp

11:56 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Jet I was never a follower of Ayn Rand either. Although i read two of her books -- Atlas Shrugged and The virtue of selfishness. Actually, if you analyze what she's saying, maayos naman. Kung baga sa debate halos puro truism. Pag sa debate yun, talo na siya, hehe. Like in the virtue of selfishness, iba ang context ng selfishness niya. And come to think about it, tama siya. Who will argue against making yourself be the best there is? Di ba lahat naman tayo aspired to be the best?

Anyway, this post is not really about Ayn Rand but i'd like to address the common Filipino na may defeatist attitude nga. porke ganun na yung nakikita sa tv, okay na yun! Porke naghihirap na Pilipinas, tatawa na lang.

And don't ever apologize for making long comments. Matyaga akong magbasa. Besides, naintindihan ko naman yung first post mo. I don't think there was anything wrong in it. :-) Thanks for your wonderful comments.

Batjay Bosing, actually hindi naman ganon ka boring ang Atlas Shrugged and Anthem. Atsaka tago naman ang philosophy niya. As a matter of fact, kaya nga siya naglabas ng iba pang libro na non-fiction e.

Tanggero Uy, tagay ko na pala. hehe Yah, it is good to read other opinions, too. I don't think anyone has a monopoly of intelligence. Lalo na sa katulad kong mababaw. Ang dali kong ma-sway. But nevertheless, medyo nag-iisip din naman kahit konti. I like to be critical with what I'm reading too.

i never liked Nietzche. First, I don't understand him. Second, the famous "God is dead" is a real turn-off for me. This is plain arrogance. If in that context alone, you should know by now that I don't like Rand either. But then, I happen to have read two of her books and somehow, naintindihan ko ng konti.

At any rate, my posture re Rand can be summarized on my last paragraph. I think we can learn something from her, too.

4:42 PM  
Blogger mari said...

hi tito rolly, honestly i have never liked philosophy either. in college, profound issues they tackle dont stir my interest that much...i studied it because it was a pre-requisite in my course. anyway, this is an interesting entry. i dont know how or what to comment because i'm not familiar with rand and the only memory i have of nietszche (did i get the spelling right?) is antithesis hehe.

i appreciate what you wrote and the others' comments. :)

9:14 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Mari Sino ba naging teacher mo sa Philosophy? Hindi ka ba naging estudyante ni Dra. Quito? Ang sarapdaw magturo nun. As a matter of fact, i know of two people who pursued philosophy because of her. One is Jim Guevarra who is now, I believe with the philosophy department, and my former EVP Mr. Raymond Briones. Myu wife speaks highly of her too kasi, kaya siya nakatapos ng pag-aaral is due to Quito's prodding. She used to be her secretary.

Mahirap intindihin talaga because you need full concentration, no?

11:41 AM  
Blogger Sassy Lawyer said...

Una muna, Doc Emr, kaya nagpapaalam si X-P kung pwede siya maki-Tito Rolly kasi mas matanda s'ya kay Tito Rolly. hahahaha

Kidding aside. Ayn Rand has been recommended to me so many times but, for some reason, I never got around to reading her. Baka hindi ako mahilig sa "authors of the season".

Anyway, the black-and-white world is a child's world. Things are good or bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral. It is simplistic. How great if life were all that simple, ano? But it isn't. Kahit naman sa science, which is supposed to be more exact than philosophy and the social sciences can ever be, there are infinite shades of grey between black and white.

5:00 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Sassy Ganun ba? LOL! he couldn't be. In one of my responses, I recommended a song by Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick. He doesn't know the song. Kaya imposibleng mas matanda siya sakin.

YEs, masyadong simplistic ang pananaw ni Ayn Rand na ginawang complicated. That's why hindi pwede yung sinasabi niya. But then, philosophy is like that di ba? Finding the ideal world? Nirvana... Shangri-la... heaven.

8:35 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

titorolly,
hindi ako bilib kay rand, titorolly.
isa: ang prinsipyo niyang objectivism ay dahil lamang sa sama ng loob niya sa pagkakakuha ng state ng kanilang kabuhayan.kaya abot-langit ang puri niya sa capitalism at sa mga taong nagiging successful sa kanilang walang pankundangang pagpapayaman kahit sino pa
ang masagasaan. (virtue of selfishness).

ikalawa: ang sinasabi niyang sa sariling pagpupunyagi lang ng isang tao makakamit niya ang tagumpay ay taliwas sa mga nangyayari sa kapanahunan ngayon kung saan ang team work ay may pinahahalagahan.

Napatunayan din niya ito nan kung hindi sa tulong ni BLumenthal (Branden), ang naging kabit niya at nagtayo ng institute para sa kaniya, disin sana ay hindi siya
makakaalis sa pagiging ordinaryong manunulat lamang.
Kailan man ay hindi siya naging top brass para makapabigay siya ng mga leksyion sa pakikisama sa tao sa isang organisasyon ng negosyo.

Sa kabila ng pilosopiyang itinuro niya, ang buhay niya ay nawalan ng kulay nang iwanan siya ni Blumenthal.

Ang mga nagpatuloy ng kaniyang paniniwala ay nagtatangkang baguhin ang mga itinuro niya sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay nila ng ibang interpretasyon
na taliwas naman sa sinulat ni rand.

Sa kabuuan, siya ang babaeng maraming kabiguan sa buhay na pinipilit niyang takpan sa pagsusulat ng pilosopiyang kahit siya ay hindi niya nasunod.

8:39 AM  
Blogger R. O. said...

Paunawa sa lahat dito:

Bata pa po ako na nagkukunwaring matanda.

=)

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ikalawa: ang sinasabi niyang sa sariling pagpupunyagi lang ng isang tao makakamit niya ang tagumpay ay taliwas sa mga nangyayari sa kapanahunan ngayon kung saan ang team work ay may pinahahalagahan."

Sa kabaligtaran, nangyayari pa rin yan and she focused on that tendency. Yung tendency ng ibang tao na makisakay sa grupo. Ilang beses na ba tayong nakakilala ng mga taong ganito? Ako madami na. Yung mga linta sa mundo na walang ginawa kundi gatasan hanggang sa mapiga at walang matira. But she did not say that "grouping together" is bad or that helping those less fortunate is bad. Gusto nya lang bigyan ng emphasis yung self-responsibility.

After reading Ayn Rand's, nabuksan yung mga mata ko (kahit minsan sobrang extremes ng illustration para iparating yung puntos nya) and I read a lot I didn't like, but I'm thankful that I am no longer blind :)

P.S.
la akong akong account sa Blogger kaya Anonymous yung posting... niweys, ako si Allan at napadaan ako thru Sassy's blog

9:43 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Cathy Mabuti naman at nadalaw ka uli. Marami rin akong natutunan at napatunayan sa mga sinabi mo. hindi ako sigurado kung totoo kasi yung napanood ko na kabit ni Ayn Rand si Nathaniel Branden e. eheheh. Alam mo naman ang Hollywood, maraming pa-cinematic effect. E sa pagkakapanood ko, talagang hayagan ang relasyon nila at walang pakundangan kung pano kawawain ang kanyang asawa.

Sa totoo lang, hindi rin ako bilib sa mga sinabi niya at binanggit ko ito sa mga unang talata ng aking entry. Pero sa aking pagmumuni-muni noong nakaraang undas, naisip ko lang, baka naman pwede nating gamitin ang kanyang tinuran tungkol sa pagpapahalaga sa sarili at sariling sikap. PArang iyon ang kulang sa atin ngayon e. Iyon lang naman ang aking gustong sabihin.

At tama ka, siya ay resulta ng kanyang naging kapalaran. Sinabi ko rin na kung ating pag-aaralan si Ayn Rand ng tama, hindi natin siya dapat ialis sa konteksto ng kanyang panahon. Naranasan niya ang pagpapalit ng gobyerno na kumamkam sa kanilang mga ari-arian. At ng siya nga ay lumipat sa Estados Unidos, nakita niya na ang isang tao ay walang limitasyon kahit gaano kayaman niya gustong maging. Basta siya lamang ay sumusunod sa tamang aral at nagsusumikap. Ang problema nga lang sa teoryang ito ay hindi naman pantay-pantay ang tao. Lalo na sa panahon natin ngayon na maraming manggagantso at swapang. Ginagamit nila ang kanilang impluwensiya upang lalong magkamal ng salapi kahit ito ay galing sa masamang paraan. Kahit si Ayn Rand naman ay tutol dito, di ba?

Salamat uli sa pagdalaw at napaganda ang ating kwentuhan. nakakatuwa itong post kong ito. MAraming kuro-kuro ang aking nabasa.

11:10 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

xp Nakakatuwa ka. hehehe. Ako naman ang kabaligtaran mo. Ako ay matanda na na nagpapanggap na bata pa.

Allan salamat sa iyong pagdalaw. Taliwas sa sinabi mo, ang aking basa kay Ayn Rand ay galit siya sa mga taong nakikisakay lamang. Iyon yata talaga ang punto niya sa kanyang mga nobela e. Sabi niya, ang pinakaimportante sa lahat ay magkaron ng pagpapahalaga sa sariling kakanyahan. Tulad nga ng binanggit ni Dr. Emer sa bandang itaas ng mga komentaryo dito: ...with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."
--- Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged
Dahil dito kaya ko nasabi na palagay ko ay pwede nating gamitin ito dahil parang nawawala na ng tiwala ang karamihan sa atin sa halaga ng sariling kakanyahan. Ang aking teorya ay kung ang bawat isa sa atin ay magpapakabuti at magsisipag upang mapaganda ang ating sarili, kasama na diyan ang mga pulitiko na sana ay magpakabuti na, susunod ang lipunan at tayo ay uunlad. Maaaring ako'y mali dahil ako naman ay isang abang guro lamang na nagkaroon ng pagkakataong makapagbasa nuong una pang panahon ng libro ni Ayn Rand, at nakakita ng puwang sa kanyang mga sinasabi. Tulad ng sinabi ko na rin sa umpisa pa lang, wala naman sigurong pilosopiya na sadyang maling-mali na dapat nating itapong lahat o isang pilosopiya na tamang-tama upang tanggapin natin ito ng buong-buo.
Salamat naman at nadalaw ka pagkatapos mong pumunta kay Sassy. Mabibigat ang mga tampok na ideya duon e. Di ko pa alam kung ika'y mayron din blog. Kung mayron man ay dadalawin rin kita upang tingnan kung ano ang iyong mga ideya.

Pahabol sulat:

xp pasensiya ka na. ngayon ko lang napansin na ang naisulat ko pala sa una kong sagot ko sayo ay oppressive gayong ang aking dapat isulat ay offensive. Hehe Minsan nahihirapan ako sa ingles e. Sa aking dila, pareho lang ang tunog nila e.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Taliwas sa sinabi mo, ang aking basa kay Ayn Rand ay galit siya sa mga taong nakikisakay lamang. Iyon yata talaga ang punto niya sa kanyang mga nobela e. Sabi niya, ang pinakaimportante sa lahat ay magkaron ng pagpapahalaga sa sariling kakanyahan..."

di ba yung nga yung sinabi ko :) ayaw nya ng mga linta na nakikisakay lang pero di ibig sabihin na against sya sa "grouping together" o "teamwork"...

nga pala me me blog din ako pero puros kalokohan lang at walang seryosong usapan :) kung la kang magawa at gustong mag aksaya ng panahon dalaw ka lang sa http://www.moster.us ;)

11:47 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

Allan,
Yan mismong masamang ugaling yan ang pinopromote ni Rand sa kaniyang pilosopiya, ang individualism.
Ang sagasaan ang iba, ang gumamit ng tao para lang makamit ang tagumpay. Ang mga rider. Ang mga sipsip na puwedeng ipagkanulo ang kaibigan para lang makuha ang promotion sa opisina. Dahil hindi naranasan ni Rand ang makipaglaro sa pulitika ng opisina, itinuturo niya ang hindi dapat. Itinuro niya ang kahalagahan ng mga kalayaan subali't dinidiktahan niya pati ang buhay ng
mga nakasama niya sa kaniyang pagpapalaganap ng kaniyang pilosopiya.

Ang pilosopiya niya tungkol sa selfishness as a vitue ang nagtuturo na huwag kilalanin ang mga sakripisyo ng mga taong malalapit saiyo para lang makamit ang tagumpay.Ito rin ang nagtuturo na hindi kailangan ang maging mapagparaya.hindi nya alam ang kasabihang kung ano ang itinanim, siyang aanihin.

Hindi pa uso sa kaniyang panahon ang team work.
Ang pilosopiyang makakatayo sa mahabang panahon ay yong
hindi mapapabalintunaan ng panahon at ng pagbabagong sosyedad.

Ang pilosopiya ni Jose Rizal ay hanggang ngayon ay napapatunayan pang totoo kahit daang taon na ang nakaraan.

Sa kaniyang nobelang Noli marami siyang pilosopiya na dinaan lang niya sa mga salita ng mga tauhan na hanggang ngayon ay maoobserbahang nagaganap pa rin sa ating sosyedad.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contrary to most people, I actually enjoy philosophy. There's just something about searching for answers and not just taking in everything you're told. I for one don't believe or follow anything simply on the premise "because I told you so". It may be complicated but then i guess thats expected of something that analyzes things that are indeed complex. And despite Sir Cortel discouraging me from pursuing it, I really couldn't care less.
First of all, with not an ounce of hostility I wanted to point out something to one of you're readers I think her name is Cathy. I do agree with you when you said "Hindi ako bilib kay rand . . ." but I to disregard her philosophy based on the events that occured in her life is a fallacy. Ad Hominem - Circumstancial. Like I said, no hostility intended hope you don't mind :).
To my actual comment. I agree with you Sir so my reaction will actually be in support of your post. Also, I have not read any of Ann Rand's works so I will have to base my reaction on what you wrote and also Aristotle's philosophy since its what objectivism is based on.
Aristotle equated that A is A, and therefore we can classify A with other As. He tried to show that everything belongs in categories and sub-categories. Sure this works for animals, plants, and other objects, humans on the other hand can only be classified by thier physical aspect. One cannot completely classify humans into black and white, there has to be inumerous shades of gray if you take into consideration that humans are not merely comprised by their physical aspect. Both Aristotle and Rand did not take "qualia" into consideration. Qualia is subjective concious experience. This means that if you have two human subjects, subject A and subject B, even if you place the two in the exact same environment and with the exact same resources, they still will not be the same, you cannot "engineer" their thinking. This is because the way they interpret and react to various stimuli is entirely different. Therefore making humans SUBJECTIVE.
This is the same for other abstract concepts percieved by the human mind. Concepts such as love, good, bad, beauty, etc. Since these concepts are realized only by the mind, and the human mind is subjective, then the standards by which we gage these concepts are also subjective from mind-to-mind (person-to-person). Thus the existence of people like myself and Sir Rolly that view abstract art as art.
Art:
1. creation of beautiful things: the creation of beautiful or thought-provoking works, for example, in painting, music, or writing
2. beautiful objects: beautiful or thought-provoking works produced through creative activity
Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Hence, what is viewed as art is also subjective primarily because the concept of beauty is subjective.
Also, since no one human being is the same, we cannot be all equal, one will always have more than the other or less than the other. We cannot create a Utopia where everyone has equal abilities and everyone is given equal opportunities.
Her take on mediocrity is nothing new. No one in the right mind through course of history has condoned mediocrity and I doubt if anyone will anytime soon. And despite the inumerable rants and lectures against mediocrity, somehow it takes little effect on those these lectures are directed to. I myself are sometimes (or many times hehehe :)) guilty of mediocrity in my own right.
Whoa, that was one long comment. Sorry got carried away again hehehe :).
-Samantha
Sir is it okay to ask you to link me up (http://blurty.com/users/devlshlyangelic)? Its not much of a profound blog, its mostly my inane ramblings but I'd really appreciate it :)

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops my bad. I think I previously typed Ann Rand instead of Ayn Rand. Sorry :)

10:20 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

to you another anonymous,
...but I to disregard her philosophy based on the events that occured in her life is a fallacy

--would you like to follow an advice of a person who is consumed by hate and rejection ?

...You believed that A can not be A, somehow between black and white,there is grey. It is being subjective that makes us human being.

--Rand's objectivism rejects subjectivism. Pray tell what Rand's philosophy should I believe in?

...Rand's objectivism supports a free market with no government intervention.
--Economic survival of a country needs government intervention in the form of subsidies,tariffs, taxes, quotas,etc.

11:34 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

i hope i do not intimidate some guys. you should know by now, that i got two angels, one on my right shoulder and the other one on my left. you are talking to the angel on my left. bring it on. bwahahaha.
Otherwise, the angel on the right is as harmless as your pet cat. meow.
hi titorolly, peace tayo. may dala akong white hankie.
pero galing ng baliktaktakan dito, panay tama sa akin. buhay ang dugo ni pinay eheste ni cat.ahahay

5:14 AM  
Blogger jillsabs said...

hi tito rolly!

Atlas Shrugged is my favorite book, of course, being the lit major that i was, i concentrated more on the fiction part (development of characters) rather on the philosophy (which i'll be reading really soon, promise).

i agree with you when you say that her philosophy of objectivism will not work in our setting because it will only work in a perfect society, where people are ruled by their heads rather than the faulty and smarmy heart.

obviously, i am not a romantic. i like to see things in black and white and ayn rand inspired me to try and view things in black and white because when we begin coloring things with our romantic musings, we end up discarding meritocracy and instead uphold a more substandard view because it is the kind thing to do, rather that it being the right thing to do.

besides, how can you not love or at least be intrigued with a book which basically says: Love is evil, money is good?

Dagny Taggart is my idol :)

10:48 AM  
Blogger santi said...

Tito Rolly,
Sali uli ako ng konti. Di ako nakapag-comment noong una eh. OK ang palitan ng opinion, para kang nasa classroom.
I also saw the movie 'Fountainhead'. In my opinion, we need somebody like that in our government who will do his task and see to it that it is being done no matter what. The only problem is that nobody cannot dictate to him what to do or he will have to do. He will do it the way he thinks and feels how it should be done. We just have to find somebody whose integrity and visions are suited to our goals.

1:27 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Anonymous-Allan Oo nga. medyo nalito ako kasi magkasunod kong nabasa ang comment mo at ni Cathy e. Sige, pupuntahan ko yung site mo.

Cathy tila hindi yata ganun ang pagkakabasa ko. Although sinabi nyang individualism at selfishness, she made some qualifications. Kaya nga sabi ko, hindi siya pwedeng debater kasi puro truism yung sinasabi niya. Hindi debatable.

pero tama ka sa puntong ang isang pilosiya na talagang maganda ay yung subok kahit sa anong panahon. At totoong maraming sinabi si Rizal na hanggang ngayon ay akma pa rin ang mga sinabi.

8:41 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Samantha i'm glad you participated here. And i told Mr. Cortel to read your comments. He should be proud as I am. Mukhang marami kang natututunan sa Philo class mo.

Anyway, Cathy is a very good cyber friend of mine. And she speaks her mind when she has to. No pushover, this woman. But affable nevertheless. You should try going to her site, too. As a matter of fact, I'd recommend all the links i have here.

Cathy Before anything else, allow me to introduce to you one of my students, Samantha. She is a third year high school student. A very good one as you can see. young as she is, she uses her mind and is critical of what she's being fed. Allow me to brag a little, we teach them critical thinking kasi e. HAHAHA
Anyway, she's also a member of my debate team.

Now on to your discussion, "You believed that A can not be A, somehow between black and white,there is grey. It is being subjective that makes us human being.

--Rand's objectivism rejects subjectivism. Pray tell what Rand's philosophy should I believe in?

Let me correct that equation. Rand believes that A is A and to her frame of mind, either you are an A or not A. So, basically walang gray, which is not true. At least we agree on that aspect. :-) And of course, rejecting most of her ideals because it wouldn't work.

I hope so, too -- that nobody would be intimidated to speak their minds here. Actually maganda nga ang mga sinasabi mo, nabubuhay ang discussion. There is "unity in diversity" and besides, it is only in a clean and honest discourse of ideas are great ones born. As long as we remain civil and open, maganda magiging resulta ng discussion. And as long as commenters stay focussed on the issue, I will always welcome them. Ang pangit kapag napunta sa personal na level e. Ad hominem nga ba yun, Samantha?

9:01 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Jillsabs Hmmm, now you've given me a time reference until what time Ayn Rand has been read. Someone said it became a fad that resulted to oblivion which i think truly happened. Wala na kong nakikitang nagbabasa nito ngayon e. I read it during the late 70's pa. You mentioning Dagny Taggart brought back the character in my mind. Hahaha.

So, you want to see only black and white. I can see where this is coming from, it's the idealist in you. I was also like that ones. I don't want to be a party pooper but i say, be prepared to be disillusioned, my child. Life is full of gray areas. Case in point, if your best friend has cancer but his/her family wouldn't tell her because they don't want her to be upset, would you be the one to tell her about her affliction if she confides in you and says she suspects something awry? Well, it might not be a good example but you can see the point, right?

9:08 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Santi I'm glad you came back to say your piece.
"...The only problem is that nobody cannot dictate to him what to do or he will have to do. He will do it the way he thinks and feels how it should be done. We just have to find somebody whose integrity and visions are suited to our goals."

There's the rub. If we had a leader who thinks he's the only guy who is correct, gulo din ang bagsak. As a matter of fact, we did. Marcos was like that. he believed that he was great and that noone can question him. This is the mark of a true dictator. And you know what? For a dictator to succeed, dapat mangmang ang subjects nya. We don't want that, do we?

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Sir Rolly for the compliment. I was a quite flattered to be honest hehehe :) Oh no Sir Cortel, baka pagalitan pa ako nun hehehe :) So anyways, let me just clarify what I commented earlier.
1. I'm not saying that we should follow her philosophy. I'm just saying that to disregard an argument based on the person's circumstance in life is a false premise. Ad hominem - circumstancial like all other fallacies does not refer to the truth of the argument but rather the validity of the argument.
2. I don't believe that A cannot be A, I'm just saying that in the human case, we are too diverse to confine to variables and categories. I can be A, I cannot be A and I ALSO can be something in between.
3. I didnt say that it is subjectivity that makes us human. Rather I said that humans are subjective (take note that I did not say that it was what made them human). I said that it is this subjectivity that makes us UNIQUE, not human.
4. I do not support Rand. My comment actually tries to refute her philosophy. I am in full support of some form of government for a society to function harmoniously.
5.Please don't view as what I posted earlier or what I'm posting right now as against you. It really isn't, I promise. It was just my point of view. Please don't get angry at me or anything, like I said those comments were made with no hostility intended. Peace tayo :)
-Samantha
P.S. Btw, Sir Rolly I'd like to thank you for having a blog like this, it really provokes thought without impossing and allows us to express our opinions. Hope I knew more people who had blogs like this :)

12:29 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

Hi Samantha,
good to know that as young as you are, you already immersed yourself in the intellectual intercourse with adult people like us.

Don't sound apologetic. Forget about the gaps between age, academic status and life experience. Just speak out and up.

I personally believe that Rand's statements were mere propositions that when evaluated in the course of time
proved to be untrue.

In the same manner that Nietzche proposition that "When a woman becomes a scholar,there is usually something wrong with her sexual organ" is wrong.

What I am pointing at is the circumstances that made the expert advance the proposition.

We knew already the background of Rand as per discussion and how she came about her objectivism/individualism, her views about capitalism and welfare issues. She came from our country that was undergoing political transition when she was growing up.

Given a different scenario, would her belief still stand ? Even in the case analyses, we have consider time frame and the environmental factors that brought the situation into focus.

Nietzche lived at the time when women were nothing but bearers of the race. Now women are found even in male-dominated-professions and yet they do not have to grow that "frontal bulge".

Santiago is very emotional in tackling the issue of UP charter change. When people becomes emotional, rationality is diminished. And this why I do not subscribe to Rand's tenets.

Her philosophy should be taught with caution especially to young people.

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Cathy! :)
First of all, thank you for not immeadiately disregarding my opinion and not trying to lecture me right away like I was some ignorant little kid. I don't get that alot from most adults, either they're busy trying to prove me wrong or trying to shut me up.

May I make it clear that I am not in anyway agreeing with Rand's philosophy, I strongly oppose it. I just pointed out the Ad Hominem - Circumstancial fallacy becuase in Philosophy class we were taught that to refute a Philosophy you attack his arguments and not the person itself or the person's circumstance for that matter. Ofcourse circumstance and other stimuli influenced her beliefs but thats not what you question in Philosophy, you attck the arguments itself not what caused it.
Although I don't believe that environment stimuli pre-determine one's actions. The subject's stimuli = subject's actions is another philosophy which is from Skinner. I believe that although these stimuli may INFLUENCE what one does, it is still the individual which makes the CHOICE what to believe or how to react to it. Therefore I believe that her philosophy should be accredited to her and not to the circumstance she was in. But thats an entirely diffrent story.
And although I strongly disagree with Rand, the circumstance she was in is not a VALID premise by which to disregard her philosophy. This means that refuting her using her circumstance does not make the refutal FALSE OR TRUE but it does make it INVALID. And in philosophy we were taught that invalid arguments do not hold water.
Case Studys and Case Analyses are used in Psychology, Economics and maybe other social sciences but it is not used in philosophy. Atleast I don't remember it having been mentioned in my philosophy class.
I do agree that many philosophies are proposals or propositions that eventually over time are refuted by many others.
I wouldn't disregard a proposition merely on the premise that it was fueled by emotion. I don't consider who proposed it but rather the proposition itself. If indeed the proposal was irrational then I disregard it becuase I don't agree it's beliefs. In the same way that when I agree with a proposal despite it being fueled by emotion its becuase I agree and believe that the said proposal should be carried out. Take for example if I am on the school board and a furious mom proposed tighter security measures becuase her son got beaten up while waiting for his ride home by students who didn't even study in the same school. The mom had very strong emotions but it does not make the argument irrational does it? And so I still would accept that proposal. And although it is true that many times does emotion cloud better judgement but it does not make thier arguments irrational ALL THE TIME so it would be a hasty generalization to say that emotions will arguments irrational, disregarding the argument itself based on the person making the argument rather than the sense of the argument itself. Truth be told to me it doesn't matter if it was my illiterate maid who made the proposal, if I think it makes sense then I'll listen to her. But ofcourse it is highly unlikely that she would think of anything else aside from her tela novelas. Like I said earlier, this does not mean that we should believe in Rand, I myself don't agree with her philosophy, but there should be a better reason to disregard her proposal than becuase she only believed that due to the fact that she had a really crummy life.
Wow that was a really long comment, I tend to get carried away on Sir Rolly's blog. I hope he doesn't mind hehehe :)) -Samantha
P.S. Sir Rolly sorry this turned out to be a dicussion between Cathy and myself, I really didn't intend it. Hope you don't mind :)

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont know if my comment is relevant or not. I doubt if i've truly comprehended this article. I believe in gray areas sometimes because whether or not we like it, it is but humane to give way to mediocrity. An A may turn into B when given the right guidance and acquire the right skills. If we, teachers, label a kid a slow one and make him or her feel that then s/he will also believe and live that. Would we want that?

This world is getting smaller because of altruism. No longer are we thinking of ourselves but we've expanded our horizons to include our neighbors, then our community then our country and now we think as inhabitants of one universe. So if we were to practice selfishness, then indeed i will be joining the ones who have given up on life.

This is not to say that i am for dependence on others. I'm just saying maybe we can offer help to those who deserve it. A candle doesn't lose anything when it lights another. ~zha

5:10 PM  
Blogger joffin said...

sir,
back to bl;ogging na ako uli! medyo bigatin ang topic natin ah, philosophy... naku diyan ako nabingwit ni mister dahil nung 15 anyos kami, fan kami pareho ng existentialism.
kapanapanabik ang makipagbalitaktakan tungkol sa philosophy. pero nakakapagod rin. sir sakali mang hindi pa ninyo nababasa, ang librong sophie's world ni jostein gaarder napakagandang kwento/history of philosophy....

6:44 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Zha I believe in gray areas, too. Rand's proposition that there is nothing other than A is A is not acceptable to me. All I am saying is that we can use part of her philosophy under the circumstances by which I ended this entry. Well, in some sort of way. That of making oneself matter.

A candle doesn't lose anything when it lights another. Very profound, my friend. Now that's the reason why I had been urging you to start a blog! Thanks for coming and commenting.

Joffin!!! What a surprise! i had been frequenting your blog but I always see you haven't posted anything yet. I'm glad you're back.
Wow! Existentialism at the age of 15. Bigat nyo ng mister mo. Ako, nagumpisa sa little prince hanggang Richard Bach. And yes, I've read Sophie's World. A must read for anyone studying philosophy for the first time.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Quill Driver said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Quill Driver said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Quill Driver said...

Madami sana akong dapat sabihin pero sisimulan ko muna dito:
-
Ang sinabi mo:
Ayn Rand is a philosopher who used literature as her venue to propagate her philosophy she calls "Objectivism".
-
Ayon sa aking pagkaalala, si Rand ay isang manunulat na naghahanap ng pilosopiya na maari niyang gamitin sa kanyang nobela. Nang wala siyang mahanap na umaayon sa kanyang buhay at katha, nagsimula siya ng sarili niya. Ito mismo ang kanyang paliwanag.
-
Sabi mo:
Anyway, this post is not really about Ayn Rand but i'd like to address the common Filipino na may defeatist attitude nga.
-
E siguro dapat pala ang title mo The Defeatist Attitidue of Filipinos. Make up your mind :)
-
Sabi ni Cathy:
Yan mismong masamang ugaling yan ang pinopromote ni Rand sa kaniyang pilosopiya, ang individualism. Ang sagasaan ang iba, ang gumamit ng tao para lang makamit ang tagumpay. Ang mga rider. Ang mga sipsip na puwedeng ipagkanulo ang kaibigan para lang makuha ang promotion sa opisina.
-
Ayon sa aking pagkaalala, ang mga ito mismo ang ayaw ni Ayn Rand dahil nga naniniwala siya sa kakanyahan ng isang tao -- ang kanyang kakayahan na tumayo sa sariling paa at managot sa sarili. Ang igalang ang bawat tao.
-
Sabi pa niya:
subali't dinidiktahan niya pati ang buhay ng mga nakasama
-
Ayon sa aking pagkaalala, itinataguyod ni Rand ang sariling pag-iisip (integrity of the mind).
-
Tungkol sa teamwork:
Hindi sumang-ayon si Rand sa dependency pero itinataguyod niya ang trade (halaga kapalit ng halaga). Malaya ka kung gusto mong iwaldas sa kung kaninuman ang iyong pinagpaguran sa pamamagitan ng isip o gawa, basta ito ay iyong sariling desisyon at hindi idinidikta ng gobyerno at simbahan. At dapat alalahanin mo na ang inaakala mong pagtulong ay maaring isang paraan para lalong di tumayo sa sariling paa ang iyong kapwa tao.
-
'Yong iba kong comments sa susunod na lang. Sorry at naulit 'yong na-post ko kaya dinelete ko na lang.

11:03 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Quill Driver E siguro dapat pala ang title mo The Defeatist Attitidue of Filipinos. Make up your mind :) Kung ganon rin lang e lalo na sigurong dapat kong siguruhin ang isip ko base sa title pa lang. Is she right or isn't she. Kaya lang siguro naman I am entitled to give my article my own title, ano?

Sa punto nung mga sinabi mo na patungkol kay Cathy, siguro siya na lang ang dapat sumagot ng mga yon. Pero siguro ang binabanggit niya ay tungkol sa kung papaano niya diniktahan ang kanyang asawa na walang nagawa kundi sumunod na lang ng sumunod sa kanya. Kahit ito ay ang walang pakundangan niyang pangangaliwa kasama ni Nathaniel Branden. Napanood ko ito sa hBO noong bandang 2001.

Salamat sa pagdalaw.

3:23 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

To Quill,
pag nagbasa ako ng pilospiya ng isang tao, hindi lang ang isinulat niya ang aking binabasa kung hindi pati ang tungkol sa kaniyang buhay. Binabasa ko rin ang history ng kapanahunan niya at ano ang mga kamaliang naobserbahan niya na dapat ituwid. Ang taong makakapagsulat ng pilosopiya na tanggap pa rin kahit matagal na siyang nawala ay hindi lang isang pilosopher kung hindi visionary rin.Hindi ako naniniwala sa
mga disipulo ni Rand na binabaluktot na ang kaniyang
isinusulat dahil alam nilang hindi na ito tanggap sa
kapanahunan ngayon.

Ano ba ang sinabi niya at ang kaniyang ginawa?Nagtugma
ba ito.

Mapapatawad natin ang mga pari kung sila ay nagsesermon
ng tungkol sa kasalanan na kanila ring ginagawa dahil
hindi naman sila ang sumulat noon.

Pero si Hesus siguro na pinaggalingan ng mga Beatitudes ay di mo mapapatawad kung siya mismo ang
susuway sa kaniyang mga itinuro. Nakita mo siya na kahit pinahirapan ay tinupad pa rin niya ang kaniyang
itinurong pag ikaw ay binato ay gantihan mo ng tinapay.
Ako siguro ay sasabihin ko rin saiyo yon bilang Kristiyano pero pag binato mo ako babatuhin din kita
ng tinapay na may palamang bato. Aheeek

2:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Friend Rolly. You make so much sense and make the incomprehensible comprehensible. I loved this article. You make so much sense. :-) I learned a lot from you.

Friend, Arlene

2:42 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Arlene!!! My dear friend Arlene! Finally, you were able to post a comment. I'm glad you did. You know I always look forward to your take on whatever I do.

7:34 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Hey, this is by far the biggest number I've had in comments since I started blogging. Thanks to all of you, especially to Cathy who kept the discussion flowing.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Ate Sienna said...

unkel rolly, pareho kami ni jet, hindi ko talaga mabasa-basa ang mga libro ni ayn rand kasi nga siguro hindi sya appealing for me. like batjay, i want to read because i want to be entertained, to be suspended from my reality and maybe thru that if i get to think after, then i would gladly accept it. pero siguro nga, the hype about ayn rand's novels being very philosophical turned me off right away...

7:46 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

I can understand you Samantha, you do not believe in Rand but you object to my strong rejection of her philosophy because you think that this rejection is based on my perception of Rand as a person.

Let me put it this way. I do not believe in her philosophy because it teaches egoism and selfishness as virtues.

Voltaire said and I quote, The discovery of what is true and the practice of that which is good are the most important objects of philosophy.

Thus my rejection of her philosophy.

Now as to ad hominem...It is my penchant of analyzing the person and where she is coming from. Hold on to your seat, I do not think that she is a philosopher-- a true one at that.

As Rivarol had stated," It is easy for men to write and talk like philosophers, but to act one with wisdom is the rub!".

Thus,I do not like her.

The Rand philosophy is already passe' but many are hitching their fortunes by propagating tenets that make one feel good until the philosophy ceases the moment the truth is acknowledged. No man is an island. No one succeeds with his ability alone. That is reality.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Quill Driver said...

Cathy,
'Pag babatuhin mo ako, pwedeng breadsticks na lang?

Wala naman sigurong pinilit si Ayn na sumunod sa nais niya kung di sila sang-ayon. Hindi siya gumamit ng baril upang sundin siya ng mga nakasama niya. Pwede naman siyang iniwan ng kanyang asawa kung hindi siya sang-ayon sa isip at gawa ni Ayn. Napanood ko rin ang Passion of Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, holds that:

1. Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.

2. Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses) is man's only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.

3. Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.

4. The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.

Ang tanong na may silbi ba si ang pananaw ni Ayn sa pagpapaunlad ng Pilipinas?

Sa dami ng pangungurakot na nangyayari sa gobyerno ngayon, dapat talagang bawasan ang pakikialam ng gobyerno sa industriya. (4) ng Objectivism. Sa post na 'to ni Tito Rolly, sa (1) at (3) madaming di sumasang-ayon. At si Cathy, na di sumasang-ayon dahil di raw tugma ang pananaw sa buhay ni Ayn sa kung papaano siya nabuhay.

1:28 PM  
Blogger jillsabs said...

you hit it right on the head when you called me an idealist :)

i guess i choose to be because it's easier that way. it's always easier to see things in black and white rather than to delve into the murky areas.

but i do acknowledge that situations such as the one you presented before me do exist. hirap talaga ng buhay no?

1:57 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

"It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others."


Rand came into this thinking because of what she witnessed in Russia during the Bolshevik revolution and the time of Stalin when personal properties were seized in order to contribute to collectivism, a system promoted by Stalin in order to achieve his dream of massive Russia's transformation from peasantry to industrialization.

The means used by Russia's power was terror, slavery and extortion.

In the US, in the same era, US was being built by the robber barons and the tycoons, like Vanderbilt, Drew, Fisk, Carnegie,et. These were the people admired by Rand for their individualism. People did not attempt to pass judgement on matters of moral, history and economics on these men who brought the US to its present incomparable position.

They did not get their fortunes by subscribing to laizzes faire principle. They fought their own war.They eliminated the forces that prevent them from achieving their goals at whatever costs.Very interesting to read that one mogul initiated war in one of the small countries in order to protect his business.

12:33 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

Pwede naman siyang iniwan ng kanyang asawa kung hindi siya sang-ayon sa isip at gawa ni Ayn.

The husband was a parasite. He did not have gainful employment as a bit player in Hollywood. It was not even he who promoted Rand's "philosophy" but it was Rand's lover Branden.

Branden left her when she was already dictating the former what to do.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Quill Driver said...

But didn't Nathaniel Branden leave her because he wanted to protect the vision/philosophy they held? He knew he was wrong, at least according to his wife, Barbara, in the Passion of Ayn Rand. But I think he did not say the philospohy was wrong. He said, "a philosophy should not be judged by its teachers." Of course you do not agree with this statement.

And how about Alan Greenspan? Doesn't he share the same views as Ayn Rand? His voice still shakes America.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ang daya nyo sir, pinatanong nyo pa kay kim kung sino ako. =) hehe! I could have merely answered if you asked "who are you?" but you clearly said "can I have a clue?" instead :-P

Grabe! ang dami naman nyan, but amazingly I got through all of that..

I kind of lost track about what I was about to say, but anyways, I'll just say that she may actually be right or she may be wrong, but hey! who knows! Maybe she just tells us these things to hide her own insecurities or to have an excuse to be what she may call as "selfish". But she makes a lot of sense, except for that part of people being indifferent though..

hold on for this, this might just make you dizzy:

What you said earlier, about Rand denying the fact that everyone is different, may be a paradox. In a way she is contradicting herself. I mean look, she thinks differently and obviously her purpose of writing these philosophies and publishing them is for her to be able to reach out to the people that think differently. If everybody was the same, then what would be the purpose of her writings? Everybody has the same idea anyway if that was the case.

okaaay, that might have strayed off a bit :-)

eri

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello again Cathy :)
I see you actually read my insanely long babble :))
Just a reaction from the comment you directed to me
First of all lets consider the definition of philosopher.
phi•los•o•pher [fi lóss?f?r]
n
-PHILOSOPHY somebody who studies life and reality: somebody who seeks to understand and explain the nature of life and reality, especially a scholar of philosophy or related fields
-somebody holding particular beliefs: a person who believes in aparticular philosophy and thinks and acts accordingly
-thinking person: somebody who is given to thinking deeply and seriously about human affairs and life in general
-14th century. Formed from Old French philosophe via Latin from Greek philosophos , literally “lover of knowledge,” from sophia “learning, wisdom.”]
Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

By literal definition from its roots Philosopher basically means lover of wisdom. But who am I to say what is wise and what is not, so I move on to the other three definitions. Is Rand not “somebody who seeks to understand and explain the nature of life and reality, especially a scholar of philosophy or related fields”? Is she not “somebody holding particular beliefs”? Is she not “somebody who is given to thinking deeply and seriously about human affairs and life in general”? I think she fits the description fairly well. And although I strongly disagree with her proposal because I agree that it is in fact unbelievably selfish, I give her credit for her thoughts because she did use logic to build her arguments and as I’ve learned logic is not as easy as most perceive it. As quill driver said she did not force anyone to accept her proposal and yet she has quite a number of followers, there must have been at least the slightest shred of logic for her to have been so convincing to them. The same is with Aristotle, the originator of the concept of objectivism, many disagree, some agree with many of his other philosophic proposals yet we still consider him a philosopher. Same with Gilbert Ryle, who refuted Descartes and said that the soul was the “dogma of the ghost in the machine” so many disagree with him but he too is considered a philosopher. But then again isn’t the most important definition of philosopher is that who loves wisdom. So I guess in that case, what you consider wise may be entirely different from what others consider wise so I guess we’re all entitled to whom we view as philosophers in one way or another. As you had earlier quoted Voltaire, “The discovery of what is true and the practice of that which is good are the most important objects of philosophy” but isn’t it true that in some cultures what may be perceived as good is perceived as evil in another culture?

As for Ad Hominem, we as a basic in philosophy we we’re taught not attack the person but rather the argument itself. Attack the arguments all you want, it just might refute that philosophy but attacking the philosopher just does not hold water in the realm of logic. Attacking Rand does not do her philosophy any damage.
Is it that you don’t like her or you don’t like her philosophy? :)

I agree completely that indeed no man is an island and no man succeeds solely on his own abilities. In fact I strongly agree with the “7 habits of highly effective people” concept of synergy. Its also a very good book by the way. :)
-Samantha :)

10:17 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

"somebody holding particular beliefs: a person who believes in aparticular philosophy and thinks and acts accordingly "

This is from your definition of a philosopher.
This is the reason why I am rejecting her as a "philosopher".Her acts were contrary to what she thought and taught.

Shaftesbury said and I quote: It is not a head merely
but a heart and a resolution which complete the REAL
philosopher.Rand was pure head.

12:09 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

"a philosophy should not be judged by its teachers."

Let me clarify this. I said, I do not subscribe to the philosophy of individualism, selfishness and objectivism. With or without Rand.

It is not the way, Samantha would like to put it that I do not want her philosophy because I did not like her as a person.

I do not like her as a person and I do not want the way
her Johnny-come-lately-disciples hype and sanitize her ancient philosophy to enrich themselves.

How can she talk about business when she herself was not an entrepreneur?

Would you like to read a how-to-manual authored by
somebody who just lift the instructions from her readings?

How would one talk about success in a corporate world or in any complex organization when she hadn't experience one ?

How would one talk about success of business empire when she hadn't put up one ?

12:47 AM  
Blogger Quill Driver said...

So the question really is, can it be done? Can we point to a time in history and say 'that is Ayn Rand's philopsophy in action'? And if it was possible, is it universally possible? Or at least, can it be done in the Philippines, too?

On a social level, Ayn Rand's world view has never yet happened to its full extent. She claimed the US was nearest to it at some point when she was alive. But no country actually tried to fully implement what Ayn Rand said then failed.

I think when it comes to community development, microfinancing (grameen)is consonant to Ayn Rand's views. Dole out is not.

On a personal level, Ayn Rand claimed her life is a proof that her philosophy is possible.

Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System of the US (on his fifth term), is closely associated with Objectivism *. He agreed with the repudiation of the Brandens. Some believe his views can make or break the US economy.

'I do not want the way her Johnny-come-lately-disciples hype and sanitize her ancient philosophy to enrich themselves.'

I do not know any. But if that were true, something is wrong. I do not see why her philosophy needs to be sanitized or is ancient.

10:22 AM  
Blogger shaz said...

despite not totally understanding her philosophy, i cried a river after reading her book " We the Living". i guess she will remain to me a great novelist rather than a significant figure in philosophy. in these times i prefer a schopenhauer school of thought that speaks of the unspeakable suffering of the world. all the same, you did a beautiful job discussing her. thanks

4:41 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Quill Driver Thanks for your very interesting inputs on this.

Jillsabs Part of the reasons why I want to be young again is because I regret having lost some of my idealisms. The world opened its eyes to me revealing an ugly face and I want it the way I saw it the first time.

eri Thanks for coming back. See, you have an interesting take on the issue. Her hiding her own insecurities... that's interesting indeed. Maybe you should opt to be a psychologist someday...:-)

shaz With much regret, I haven't read We the Living yet. Maybe i won't anymore. Wow! Schopenhauer! No, I haven't read him either. Heard of him in my master's degree, though. But I've read Emile Zola's Germinal. Been to your site and brought my wn coffee, too. :-) Nice writing.

7:45 AM  
Blogger dr tes said...

if you read AYN for her philosophy, your mind will surely twist but if you read AYN as the storyteller, its not as heavy as it is, the story might even moved you. Howard Roark, you are my hero.

1:47 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Dr. Tes Thanks for dropping by. Sorry for the delayed response but I had been busy.

I also liked the way Rand wrote her stories.

3:58 PM  

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MGA TURO NI TITO:
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