1. nhope
    Offline

    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    NH Seacoast

    Best Quote Today

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by nhope, Jun 22, 2013.

    "Every man is free to rise as far as he's able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he'll rise." -Ayn Rand
     
  2. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Unfortunately, this isn't exactly true. There are numerous other factors involved in success, not all of them within the direct control or contained within the personality and personal attributes of an individual. In a perfect world, in ideal conditions, this would be more true, although still not 100%.
     
  3. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Like a lot of other things that Ayn Rand wrote, this is simply refusing to admit no one rises without a great deal of assistance from somewhere, often times from people who are exploited.

    Frankly, her writing was so bad and her philosophy so empty (no one skewered it more thoroughly than William F. Buckley in The Jeweler's Eye) that I am stunned anytime someone quotes her.
     
  4. Justin Rocket 2
    Offline

    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    194
    I've not read the Jeweler's Eye, but my personal experience has been that I've not found anyone criticize her who actually understood what her philosophy was.

    For example, a common criticism is that she's against taking care of the less fortunate. But, many of the heroes in her stories are always trying to help others. That is, until they give up in frustration because government (which has been bought by their competitors) keeps interfering.
     
  5. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    My criticism of her is twofold. First and foremost, her philosophy is not a philosophy at all, but simply unvarnished materialism. She recognized no spiritual or ethical element at all. What's more, our own experience in the past quarter century, from the time the Soviet sphere collapsed and the capital class felt they were no longer obliged to keep the middle class as a bulwark against revolution, we have seen this materialism in action - no tax is low enough, no profit is high enough. My second criticism is that she assumes that any advantages of birth - whether economic, physical or in cognitive ability - are and should be permanent. No value is given to the individual human dignity of the person born with a severe developmental disability. But if the current supports we have in this country through governmental intervention did not exist, who would care for them? Where would they live? What kind of work would they do (since employing a person with, say, a severe intellectual disability, is not going to boost profits)? And, as a matter of fact, many of the socialist-leaning governments she excoriated do a much better job of that than we do.

    On top of everything else, she was a genuinely poor fiction writer. The ending to Atlas Shrugged was one of the most ridiculous contrivances I ever read.
     
  6. blackstar21595
    Offline

    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Brooklyn,NY
    I like to think that the following quote is better; "My idea of a joke is a four-inch dick on a two-inch lieutenant."- Tobias Wolffe
     
  7. MainerMikeBrown
    Offline

    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    60
    Many people with emotional or physical disabilities can't do certain things.
     
  8. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    467
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I've got a corkscrew like that!

    well done for saving the thread :D
     
  9. MainerMikeBrown
    Offline

    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    60
    In life, I do the best I can, but I also have to be realistic. I think that balance is something everyone needs.
     
  10. Cydramech
    Offline

    Cydramech Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Savannah, Georgia
    Ayn Rand ain't great, but she sure as hell isn't the worse either (Karl Marx too, albeit at least he wasn't a Keynesian). It is a good quote on its own, and would be very true if there was no government (which is ironic since Ayn Rand is a minarchist hypocrite and despised anyone that didn't support her corporate vision of a government).
     
  11. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    Every time Ayn Rand is mentioned, I remember a quote by Lisa Simpson.
    As far as your quote is concerned, like a lot of Rand's philosophy, it's unaware of the realities of life for a lot of severely disadvantaged people. However, provided that you are not very poor, sick, disabled, all alone in the world, living in a dictatorship etc, then yes, her quote applies in principle and ultimately, even in the worst circumstanes, striving for better and never losing hope can help us achieve more in our lives. Unfortunately, the kind of outlook Rand had is similar to people who in this day and age claim that every person's individual responsibility is to clothe and feed themselves. Ignorant and privileged bs.

    I lived in many different places, and the best, without contest, were those that governed themselves by "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need". If you think about it, the current worldwide economic breakdown, which is in turn responsible for so much suffering, could have been completely avoided if we adhered to this one simple ethical guideline.
     
  12. nhope
    Offline

    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    NH Seacoast
    hm...I wonder if you would have responded differently had I not stated the author. But I stopped paying attention when you made it personal. Not nice, is it?

    Without factoring biased or negative opinions of her work into this, I still feel this is a strong quote.

    "Every man is free to rise as far as he's able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he'll rise."

    I read this means that every man, when being truthful about his limitations and abilities, has the power to push himself beyond his comfort level to see what he is truly capable of achieving, and the reason to determine whether or not he wants to.

    Just the quote, not her worlds.
     
  13. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    467
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yeah those Keynesians and their rubbish reality TV shows. No one even knows why they're famous... :D
     
  14. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    No, I would not have reacted differently had I not known the source. The thought, though nice, is not true. I have seen far too many instances in which people are NOT free to rise based solely on their abilities. It would be wonderful if it were true. Mentioning that it was Ayn Rand simply provided a larger target for critique.
     

Share This Page