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Your Top 10 books of all time.

 
 
OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 02:35 pm
The fact that her views represent the opposite end of the spectrum from most, is precisely what I found so grounding. If one followed her principles to the letter; he would indeed be ruthless. But, he would inevitably be poor, If he strictly placed "good of society" over his own needs. Rand correctly pointed out that without sucsessful business owners, there would be few jobs. Her prophecies regarding government control of business, has proven accurate. When those who haven't earned wealth take charge of it, collapse is sure to follow. Unlike Rand, I'm quite charitable... But the jobs I'm able to provide, do to my selfishness, dwarf the amount of good done by any money I give away.
dròm_et_rêve wrote:
Her attitude is not of sacrificing yourself, but rather screwing over your neighbour for your own game. That's what Capitalism is. I picked up little, apart from rejecting the ideas presented to me.

That is a terribly unfair statement. One of my neighbors could not have afforded his condo, prior to going to work for a selfish capitalist pig (me). Every one of my employees, even my secretary, earns well above the national average. They all work harder than the national average, and make me more money than their underpaid peers would. No consideration of their "needs" is ever given insofar as pay. If I were to sacrifice myself, I would soon have no jobs to offer. My greed is one of the most important ingredients in managing a successful company. Without my greed, I would have no jobs and what would I have to give to charity?

On the other hand; I agree with you completely that family, friends and the quality time associated with them are another important form of wealth largely unaddressed by Rand. It is very important not adopt her works as some form of religion because they are hopelessly inadequate. Only after visiting Costa Rica did I discover that people can be amazingly happy, while existing on a sustenance, which would make your average Capitalist suicidal. I envy their Pura Vida, or Pure Life to the point I may join them one day soon. I won't forget, however, my capitalist philosophy is what enabled me to meet them in the first place. Rand also expressed the importance of putting a premium on ones time. "Every minute spent doing something you don't want to do; is a minute you're never going to get back".
Perhaps you didn't find her works "grounding" because you were raised with a healthy dose of "take care of yourself first" in the first place. My mom gave to the point that if she had lived to retirement age, she would have required assistance. The works of Ayn Rand simply helped me establish the opposite end of the spectrum, so I could find a comfortable spot in the middle. You are correct in assuming money can't buy happiness, but surely you recognize its advantages. You can not give that which you do not have.
I apologize Cav, if this tangent annoys you. My intention wasn't to hijack your thread.
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 02:56 pm
Embarrassed Oh, silly me. sorry. Drom's thread. I guess you wouldn't have participated if it annoyed you.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 02:58 pm
Quote:
On the other hand; I agree with you completely that family, friends and the quality time associated with them are another important form of wealth largely unaddressed by Rand.


I think that this passage says it all:

Quote:
I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grant my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish to claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned.


http://www.ibiblio.org/ais/sllant11.htm

As an individualist, I believe that Rand was little concerned with family ties as such. As her passage indicates, her concern was with people who held to a similar level of ideals as she did, whether they were blood relatives or not. She also never had children.
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 03:08 pm
Reardon's brother was a deplorable loser. I'd feel the same way in that instance. I do give my family the benefit of the doubt far more often than I do strangers though.
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Roberta
 
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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 09:29 pm
Grayfan, I loved Catch 22 too. In fact, I've enjoyed most of Heller's work. And, yes, the Scarlet Letter is a great book. I wish it weren't required reading in school. I don't like "havetas" when it comes to reading. I appreciated it only after I reread it--on my own.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 01:07 am
I had trouble with liking "havetas" too, Roberta. Luckily, an avidity for reading got me over some of it.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 01:09 am
I can even say why I had trouble: it was that I connected "haveta" to having to also analyze, and I never want to analyze a book right away, I just want to experience it as a flow, and analyze it as it reverberates in my brain over time, instead of for next Tuesday's 11 a.m. class. The effort to analyze academically is very useful, I support the effort, but I dragged my own feet at it.
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Roberta
 
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Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 09:00 am
Osso, I was a lit major, and all I did was read and analyze. It turned me off actively analyzing what I read. Now I absorb, think, and mull. And I read what I want. Being a grown up does have its percs.
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drom et reve
 
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Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2004 03:47 am
I would have replied sooner; but I was travelling)

Occom- you (and Phoenix) argue your case exquisitely. Of course, there is a place for capitalism, and for aspiration. Yet, aspiration need not be paired with ruthlessness, as it often is. I am glad that Rand has helped you, and that you got something out of it. I thought that her writing style was flaccid and her characters one-dimensional, but if it helped you to aim high, then it's not that bad.

Back to my list:

Lolita by Nabokov. This was another book that I could not stop reading; I think that the protagonist, Humbert, and his obsession with 'Lolita' is intolerably sick, but this novel is very captivating. It mocks the idea of married bliss, and 'small towns;' its prose is a wide field of meanings and counter meanings; it vividly shows a deviant in a way that not only causes the reader to be repulsed, but also to understand such a cold deviant.

Ficciones by Borges. One can say very little to do Borges' work justice: it is exhilirating, constantly challenges the imagination and the emotions, and is beautifully wide-ranging. A masterpiece.




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