If Ayn Rand is such a clear thinker and great writer, how to explain this:
The obvious way of reading the passage is that the decadent people on the train “deserved” to die. Yet the very idea of what they “deserved” seems to suggest a higher being or some absolute moral code pronouncing on who “should” get what and why – just the opposite of what Rand proposed.
If the “obvious way of reading the passage” apparently leads all but a few gnostic initiates to “misunderstand” it, perhaps the passage is badly written.
And if this passage “seems to suggest a higher being…” and that is “just the opposite of what Rand proposed” — perhaps, whatever Rand said she believed, what ever her intention, even The Great She couldn’t shake off the stubborn, old fashioned idea of an “absolute moral code.”
Even The Great She was unable to break free of the strictures of successful Drama and Narrative, which seem in all times and cultures to require — as if obeying a cosmic laws or kind of genetic imperative — the supposition (even if it is only there to be mocked) of an “absolute moral code,” in order to resonate. Funny, that. It’s probably nothing, though…
I realize that most Objectivists think most people are stupider than they are (or else everyone would be an Objectivist!)
I believe most people are stupider than I am too.
However, the flaw in the Objectivist “plan” is that their ideal world can only exist if everyone has an IQ of +120.
Like them, I wish this was the case. Unlike them, I realize it is not and never will be.
There is a reason Renaissance Fairs and Star Trek conventions only last one weekend…
Many Objectivist ideas are worthy and profound.
So why haven’t they developed a better spokesman by now?
Is no one even the slightest bit embarrassed about solemnly quoting their moral beliefs from a mid-century “airport” paperback?