Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Transcendence

Nathaniel Branden (I think it was) said that Rand hits the spot for many people because she addresses the desire or need for transcendence, something sorely lacking in the world today. Even Jeff Walker in The Ayn Rand Cult says in his introduction that although there are many negative things about cults, they are not always 100% negative, and they sometimes fulfil needs and problems that normal society does not. I can agree with that. Rand definitely pitched an emotional appeal to her readers' desire for transcendence.This might well be the case for many believers, and more power to them I guess. If it works for you and makes you happy, that's great (although I doubt this is the case for many Objectivists).

Chuck Palahniuk said "Our Generation has had no Great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives." This quote depresses me immensely (no pun intended). Chuck Palahniuk depresses me immensely. It must be his malevolent sense of life. Anyway, to the extent that it is true today, especially in developed countries, this unfulfilled desire for transcendence must be real. That probably contributes to why people become religious, or otherwise acquire other strong beliefs that dominate their lives.

Maybe it's because I'm not as lucky as those Chuck Palahniuk fans (and Ayn Rand fans) who were born into middle class America and have the time to pretend to be depressed and worry that transcendence is lacking from their lives. Or maybe it's just that I have the gratitude and humility to recognize what is good in my life and appreciate it. To me, happiness and transcendence is being with my Socialist boyfriend Victor. I know he is an evil socialist looter and moocher and we disagree about a lot of things, but these abstract philosophical things don't matter in the grand scheme of things. We've known each other forever and nothing makes me happier in life than being with him. I might post more about my Socialist boyfriend in future.

10 comments:

Kelly said...

With a name like Victor, was there really any chance he'd be anything but a socialist.

Moony said...

Yeah, tell us about him, and some more about your own involvement with Objectivism. It's nice to have a picture of the person behind the blog.

Meg's Marginalia said...

Sure. My boyfriend is impossibly tall, blond and handsome with drilling, intense gray eyes. He puts on a straitlaced facade in publc but enjoys tying me up and spanking me and of course i love it too. I'm also tall, with a model's body and a black 1920's bob and I like wearing black swirling capes and gold brooches
How's that?

Michael Prescott said...

You forgot your solid gold cigarette holder with a dollar sign logo. (I assume you're both chain smokers.)

Meg's Marginalia said...

I'd be happy to share at least parts of my story of how I got into Objectivism, and later into Objectivism criticism, in future blog posts. How about you guys, how did you come across Objectivism?

Moony said...

My introduction was via a bunch of Objectivist trolls who were busy being rude to other posters and posting links to Objectivist literature on a global warming BB. You have to bear in mind that I'm a European and that Ayn Rand and her ideas are part of the common philosophical currency here, which is how I'd managed to go for fifty odd years without encountering either.

I can't say my life has been enriched by the experience so far, and, being a left-winger, my own political leanings will forever prevent me from embracing the philosophy.

Incidentally, spanking is not reserved as a hobby for the political right, y'know! ;-)

Moony said...

that should have been "are NOT part of the common philosophical currency here"

Meg's Marginalia said...

What board is that? Even though I'm pretty conservative is the one left leaning cause I'm actually very passionate about. I say it's because the environment is ALWAYS grateful, and never bites the hand that feeds. ;)

Actually, I'm not even that conservative; it only seems that way to liberals. I think I deviate sufficiently from conservatism that I would be considered moderate.

I think it's sad that environmentalism has been co opted by the left. Everyone is, or should be able to appreciate beauty of nature and work to preserve it. Crazy eco terrorists and annoying college liberals give environmentalism a bad name.

That being said, I dont care if I have to share a platform with eco terrorists and college liberals, I clean the beach, recycle, and attend environmental events anyway. Because to me it's not a political issue but just something i like to do and believe in aside from the political implications.

Also, I didn't encounter Ayn Rand until my 3rd year of university, so I don't think she's really that widespread in any country, it's more that there are certain concentrated virulent pockets of Randroids.

glen.h said...

I got here via some sites that are critical of Libertarianism. The Rands and Libs tend to be fellow travellers both in style and personality, ie, shout at someone long enough and they will come round to your ideas.I had a mild flirtation in my teens with Libertarianism but grew out of it too!

Moony said...

The left shouldn't be allowed to get away with 'owning' environmentalism, if only because political greens are often over-optimistic and somewhat technophobic, and their indifference to possible technical fixes may in the long run kill us, or at least make solving what I think are going to prove to be very severe problems even more difficult.

The BB was one of the many MySpace environmental groups but I don't recall which one it was.