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May 10, 2005

two "clowns"   (opinion)

In this month's issue of Reason, there were two particular letters to the editor that caught my attention. One for its ability to get to the point, and the other for being ignorant. Both letters were in response to Ayn Rand at 100. Let's go in order, shall we?

The first gives a nice summary of some key Objectivist ideas that I happen to agree with:

"... that man must choose his values and actions by reason; that the individual has a right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing self to others nor others to self; and that no one has the right to seek values from others by physical force, or impose ideas on others by physical force."
This letter is interesting to me because it is succinct, powerful, and to the point.

The author of the second letter, however, seems to be a bit underinformed:

  We see a hint of what Objectivism has in store for the human race in the clown who, according to the Los Angeles Times, criticized the government for using tax-derived funds to provide relief for the victims of the tsunami that swept over South Asia last December. [can't find this... same idea]
  That isn't even "Let them eat cake!" An Objectivist society would be a cold, vicious place, very much like our own during the age of the Robber Barons.
Dennis Anthony
Los Angeles, CA
I wonder if Mr. Anthony rethought his condemnation of Objectivist principles when he read an article in the following month's Reason about how our protectionist government is already barring the countries affected by the Dec. '04 tsunami from helping themselves? (A clear violation of Objectivist philosophy.) To quote one of the articles from the search above, HOORAY FOR FORCED CHARITY!

My feeling on this is very well expressed in the responses to this Slashdot post. It goes like this:

I think *you* should learn about sharing. I do share. What I don't do is get mad at someone else who I don't think shares "enough" (whatever that means this week). Sharing is voluntary and people who think otherwise are usually only interested in sharing when they are on the receiving end of the share.

Posted by yargevad at May 10, 2005 02:33 PM

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