Inconsistency…

April 8, 2012 § 8 Comments

How is it with those quite moralizing saying that you should support yourself and not live – on the state? How many of those are really, and genuinely, supporting themselves? How many of those have been and still are living on for instance a spouse I started to wonder on a walk in the woods today?

Physical exercise makes you start to ponder over things, be creative and solve problems – also.

How is it actually? Are people supporting themselves their whole lives? Can they? Are they capable? Despite all kinds of conditions, circumstances and life events?

And how many are actually wanting to live on somebody else? It’s okay if it’s a spouse even a whole life, but not if it should be “on the state” or on welfare? Not even if it was for a short time? Not even if that person didn’t have anyone that could support her or him, doesn’t even have a spouse to live on?

And this talk about “freedom”? Do those “swearing allegiance” to freedom really allow other the people the freedom they are talking so loudly about and praising? Are they really allowing other people (for instance those standing closest) the freedom to think for themselves and believe what they believe in?

Are the people that are talking far and wide about freedom really as broad-minded or “liberal” as they directly or indirectly are asking other people to be?

What would actual freedom be?

And what about respect? True, genuine? To listen and be listened to?

Only certain people are worth it? Preferably those with a position in the society? And only certain women?

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§ 8 Responses to Inconsistency…

  • k says:

    This post was triggered by an article by George Monbiot “How Ayn Rand became the new right’s version of Marx.”

    In this he refered to a documentary “All watched over by machines of loving grace” made by Adam Curtis and sent on the British BBC last fall.

    Also see Harald Ofstad and his book “Our contempt for weakness.” 

    An article about the new edition of this book

    In ”Evil – self-contempt” you can read in Swedish:

    Kanske är det också så som professorn i praktisk filosofi, Harald Ofstad, hävdat, att vårt moderna samhälle hos många producerar ett slags självförakt.”

    This book was first published in 1972.

    “Ribban för hur lyckade vi bör vara, hur mycket pengar vi bör tjäna, hur vackra vi bör vara, vilken status vi bör ha osv, ligger väldigt högt.

    Det betyder, säger Ofstad, att många människor aldrig har en chans att komma i närheten av de idealbilder samhällets ställer upp för oss. Många får inte de jobb de önskar, blir inte så framgångsrika som de ville bli.

    Ur dessa besvikelser, fortsätter Ofstad, föds ett kompensationsbehov: ‘Jag ska ta mig tusan ta igen det jag inte fick och visa vad jag går för.’

    Finns det då ingen möjlighet att på ett konstruktivt sätt hävda sig och visa sig duktig får man ta till andra metoder. Man kan exempelvis indirekt försöka erövra en gnutta självförtroende genom att nedvärdera och trampa på andra: ‘Jag är ju i alla fall ingen alkis, knarkare eller svartskalle – jag är ju i alla fall bättre än dem!’

    Och det är här Harald Ofstad ser en mycket viktig förklaring till invandrarfientligheten och den ondska som följer i dess kölvatten.

    Ondska, menar många, uppstår helt enkelt ur ett bristtillstånd. Ett barn som inte är önskat kanske inte får den kärlek och trygghet som behövs för att kunna utvecklas normalt. Och då måste barnet på ett eller annat sätt kompensera sig.

    När den engelska journalisten Gitta Sereny i ett långt reportage försöker förstå varför de två tioåringarna i Liverpool kunde föra bort och döda en tioåring är hon inne på samma tanke. Hon undviker att demonisera de tioåriga pojkarna genom att se dem mot en bakgrund av sociala misslyckanden och sexuella övergrepp som också gör de unga förövarna till offer.

    Det tycks som ingen av pojkarnas föräldrar har orkat med sin föräldraroll. I stället har de flytt in i spriten och inte kunnat ge sina barn den trygghet och omtanke som krävs för ett harmoniskt vuxenblivande.

    För Sereny är det självklart att ‘ingen föds ond.’ Man blir ‘ond’ genom den brist eller de kränkningar man utsätts för, tycks vara hennes budskap.

    Givetvis gäller då också det omvända: ingen föds god. Det finns alltså ingen given mänsklig natur. Människan blir vad hon själv och det samhälle som omger henne gör henne till. Ur detta perspektiv, fortsätter Sereny, är inte bara de två tioåringarna och deras föräldrar utan också det samhälle som omger dem medskyldiga till det förfärliga mordet på James Bulger.

    En annan form av brist finns i utanförskapet.

    Svaret på ‘ondskans problem’ och det brutala våldet i samhället bör sökas i känslan av att inte behövas. Det hävdar Sverker Sörlin, professor i miljöhistoria, i antologin Rädslans barn – en antologi om våld.

    Om det handlar om skinnskallar eller invandrare spelar ingen roll: ‘Båda dessa grupper känner sig kollektivt kränkta, av ett samhälle som inte vill ha dem till någonting, inte till fäder, inte till söner, inte till grannar, inte till medborgare, inte ens till arbetskraft, vilket eljest alltid varit en räddning.’”

    I think Alice Miller says the truth about this.

    Read more about Gitta Sereny:

    “At the heart of her work lies an obsession with explaining evil and discovering what makes people commit monstrous acts.”

  • k says:

    The market is more moral and objective than the state? To live on another individual is something different compared to living on the state? Those who can’t support themselves, and don’t have anybody to support them deserve to founder?

    If you are smart enough you’ll find somebody that can support you, if you aren’t able to support yourself of some reason? Let alone if you want to support yourself or not. And if you don’t find that person you deserve to founder?

    Survival of the fittest you know.

    Monbiot writes in his article about Ayn Rand and her philosophy:

    “I wonder how many would continue to worship at the shrine of Ayn Rand if they knew that towards the end of her life she signed on for both Medicare and social security.

    She had railed furiously against both programmes, as they represented everything she despised about the intrusive state.

    Her belief system was no match for the realities of age and ill health.”

    And what about the near relative who realize she or he can’t support the one she or he cares for?

    And how is it for those who earn just enough to support themselves to see other people suffer around them, if they have very little or no ability to help?

     And I want to underline that I have during my whole worklife contributed with paying taxes that have gone to the security-nets. Thus also trusting that I should get help if I needed or will need in the future.

    To adequately protect yourself is something else than selfishness!? Or there can be a not sound selfishness AND a sound.

    And maybe Rand should have chosen another word for this, then “selfishness”!? She didn’t though. Was it only because of language problems?

    Quite ironically: apparently she gave the impression to people that she was “very intelligent”, so I don’t know… :^)

    With her presumed intelligence she maybe could have chosen her words with even more care? Or?

    • k says:

      Monbiot writes:

      “It is not hard to see why Rand appeals to billionaires. She offers them something that is crucial to every successful political movement: a sense of victimhood [and we are told not to be or behave like victims, to think positively etc!!! Shouldn’t those too be asked the same, whether loudly epressed or not]. She tells them that they are parasitised by the ungrateful poor and oppressed by intrusive, controlling governments.

      It is harder to see what it gives the ordinary teabaggers, who would suffer grievously from a withdrawal of government.

      But such is the degree of misinformation which saturates this movement and so prevalent in the US is Willy Loman syndrome (the gulf between reality and expectations) that millions blithely volunteer themselves as billionaires’ doormats.”

      The Willy Loman syndrome is defined as:

      “A mid-life crisis in which pursuing desired accomplishments becomes increasingly unreachable due to age, economic conditions and other outside factors.”

      Also see here about this “syndrome”. And about “The Death of a Salesman” and Willy Loman, “En handelsresandes död” in Swedish

      And a person like Warren Buffy (himself a billionaire) is mocked by not only his peers, but also by people who have very little money and who have small hopes of changing their situation, when he says “Stop Cuddling the Super-Rich”. Strange!

    • k says:

      In the article “Ayn Rand and the Vip-DIPers” in Huffington Post you can read:

      “Unfortunately, Miss Rand was a fatal victim of lung cancer.

      However, it was revealed in the recent ‘Oral History of Ayn Rand’ by Scott McConnell (founder of the media department at the Ayn Rand Institute) that in the end Ayn was a vip-dipper as well. An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand’s law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand’s behalf she secured Rand’s Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O’Connor (husband Frank O’Connor).

      As Pryor said, ‘Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out’ without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn ‘despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently… She didn’t feel that an individual should take help.’

      But alas she did and said it was wrong for everyone else to do so. Apart from the strong implication that those who take the help are morally weak, it is also a philosophic point that such help dulls the will to work, to save and government assistance is said to dull the entrepreneurial spirit.

      In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest.”

      How practical! 😉

      And I definitely not reject that we all have a personal responsibility for ourselves and for what we do…

      • k says:

        And as a person writes as a reply to the news about Rand signing up for Medicare and social security:

        “… while all the conservatives in Congress are screaming about how wrong the Obama healthcare plan is, none of the hypocrites are willing to give up their extremely generous government healthcare plan. How about just one of you empty suits give up your own healthcare, then you will have somewhat more credibility when spewing your venom.”

        Another replies:

        “It really reveals the inconsistency at the base of the philosophy. Getting rid of entitlements sounds just great-but don’t take mine!”

        But yet, a blogger defends Rand’s action… If she had been stolen from she had the right to get her money back!!!

  • k says:

    And despite all talk about freedom in this neoliberal era we are more controlled and restricted, not less. Our time at work is more scheduled. We aren’t freer there. We are the opposite.

    The Internet has opened the world, but it also means we are or can be more controlled.

    So, how is it with the much praised freedom?

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