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It is morally defensible to establish a nation-state built around maintaining a specific and exclusive ethnic population
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The Post Modern Rand: Nietzsche's Heir
Submitted by seymourblogger on Wed, 2011-10-26 00:50
I've been here around three days. At the same time I am rereading Fountainhead. First I want to separate myself from Objectivist Dogma as developed by the Brandens, and to acknowledge my great debt to them for having done so. When I was 25 I never - never - would have been able to absorb Rand any other way. I just was not advanced enough in my thinking to perceive it in her fiction.
An Object does not exist until and unless it is observed - William Burroughs
Paraphrasing Rand: The most difficult thing is to explain the perfectly obvious to those who refuse to see it. (Probably impossible.)
I want to do this here, as I expect to get the most sophisticated arguments here, and perhaps some support. I am out to lay the "object" before you for your observation. I see it all now in her fiction, and every day as I read more, I am dumbfounded. She leaps over the abyss that Foucault stopped dead at. She is in the same camp as Jean Baudrillard. Looking back in precession, it is all Nietzsche. Both Baudrillard and Rand were steeped blood, bone, mind, feelings, down to the Inscription of the Body all the way to the cellular level with the thought of Nietzsche. Foucault came to Nietzsche late. Through Heidegger. And he has said he would never have gone to Nietzsche had it not been for Heidegger.
Baudrillard came from peasants, the first to ever go to university, and he was an outsider all his life. His reading of Nietzsche for his exams must have been radical indeed as they failed him. An aside: Foucault also failed his exams the first time he took them. Two of the major European thinkers of the 20th century failed them. The French system is rigorous, rigid, demanding and authoritarian. It is also subsidized and while not freely available to excellent students, available enough. The Foucauldian grid of power/knowledge. The Objectivist position is government sponsored free education versus unregulated education under a capitalist model. Does the very interesting European University use this model? They have all the good people there, not permanently, but doing seminars and workshops and classes. The College de France is another model that is thrilling but that Foucault found confining after he lectured at Berkeley. He was thinking of moving to California. He died instead.
I will concentrate on what Rand says in her fiction, not on her non-fiction writing about her philosophy. I am ignoring it as it was largely done in collaboration with Branden. So please don't bring it in here, as I won't respond to it. And please do knock me dead with direct quotes from her fiction and from Nietzsche. Foucault and Baudrillard too if you wish as I shall use them too.
Here's Rand: ....Howard, when you look back, does it seem to you as if all your days had rolled forward evenly, like a sort of typing exercise, all alike? Or were their stops - points reached - and then the typing rolled on again?
"There were stops."
"Did you know them at the time - did you know that that's what they were?"
"I didn't. I knew afterward....."(F 25th ed p. 542-3)
This is the first conversation in Howard's office with Gail.
In Foucault's language a stop can be seen as a CUT, although he saves the term for a more elaborate genealogy rather than a personal instance in a life. IMO it is the micro, so I will use it. The typing rolling on is linear time. The cut or stop is the Event, when time stops, a discontinuous "cut". This is the position of post modernism. Time is no longer linear, progressive, historical. Time is discontinuous, filled with Events that come from elsewhere (seen again in the Cortland dynamiting), unpredictable, without causes, and having consequences spiraling out into the world that astonish. Think 9-11 here.
Yes, this is Foucault. But it is Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals coming through Foucault. It is Nietzsche coming through Rand directly to us.
Now for Baudrillard who is steeped in Nietzsche from early on as is Rand:
The Events (stops,cuts) in a personal life are the times when your Destiny line intersects your historical life. The two are in parallel universes and rarely meet. This is the kind of thinking Rand would have labeled mystic in arrogance at an Objectivist Q&A, while she asserted it in her fiction. Her love affair with Nietzsche runs deep.
Life is what happens to you as you are carrying out your plans. - John Lennon (It sure did, didn't it for him.)
If you like this sort of thing I will continue. There's really an entire book that could come from this. I'd like to hear from anyone interested.
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