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Re: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist

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  • Thom Young
    As Rodney knows, I love a good debate about philosophy and/or ideology! :) However, this whole Objectivism is fascism debate was something that we had in
    Message 1 of 23 , Jan 18, 2011
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      As Rodney knows, I love a good debate about philosophy and/or ideology! :)

      However, this whole "Objectivism is fascism" debate was something that we had in this list almost exactly a year and a half ago, so I'm just going to repeat what I wrote then.

      As a refresher, I am not an Objectivist. I am most fervently a Postmodernist (a philosophy that Obectivism is very much opposed to--and I relish good debates with Rodney and others about those differences).

      My PhD is in literature (Modern and Postmodern), but I minored in philosophy back in the days of my bachelor's degree. I find a lot of faults with the philosophical writings of Ayn Rand, but I have not read her entire canon. I have read three of her novels and about 10 of her philosophical essays, thus I am familiar with her ideas but I am not an expert on them.

      However, this much is certain: The differences between the respective ideologies clearly proves that Objectivism is not Fascism. Following are some excerpts of what I wrote almost 18 months ago:

      Neither the Ayn Rand Institute nor Objectivism advocates fascism. A compare-contrast analysis of Rand's writings against Mussolini's The Doctrine of Fascism would undoubtedly come down with more items on the contrast side than it would on the comparison side. Additionally, in 1941 Rand wrote an open letter to all Fifth Columnists in which she clearly distances herself from fascism--the text of which can be read here:

      http://fare.tunes.org/liberty/library/taifc.html

      Objectivism borrows a great deal from Romanticism's aesthetics while being diametrically opposed to Romanticism's concept of "essential human nature." Yet, that conflict is not insurmountable as it merely requires a reworking of the aesthetics of Romanticism in which "emotional subjective truths" are replaced with "logical objective truths" (along with reworking the purpose of artistic works and what they mean within the human community).

      As far as I know, Rand never addressed these conflicting concepts. However, it may be that Leonard Peikoff has addressed some of these problems in his post-Rand Objectivist writings (I haven't read any of Peikoff's books).

      Anyway, to anyone who has actually read Rand's ideas, Objectivism cannot be considered a brand of fascism. The label of fascism seems to have been slapped on it, though, by people who object to the Objectivist opposition to welfare and other social programs--as well as to the Objectivist stance toward people who have undeveloped critical thinking skills.

      However, unlike fascism and neo-fascist groups, Objectivism doesn't hold that people with undeveloped critical thinking skills are that way due to genetics. Indeed, Objectivism holds that anyone can raise himself or herself up through an Aristotelian education that disciplines the mind.

      What I have not seen Objectivism address is how such a thing is to be accomplished by an impoverished population that does not have access to all of the resources that the more affluent members of society have. They may point to the "Horatio Alger" types who have overcome social status to develop disciplined minds, but such individuals are exceptions who were able to get access to educational resources despite their social status.

       




      --- On Tue, 1/18/11, silent_reels <subs@...> wrote:

      From: silent_reels <subs@...>
      Subject: Re: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist
      To: ditkomania@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 2:11 PM

       

      At 10:41 AM 1/18/2011, "Bob" wrote:

       The strangest thing about so many Ditko fans (most here, I'd say) is that they're fans not 'despite' the fact that Ditko's philosophy is morally bankrupt and fascist, but 'because' of those crazed ideals.

      More of Bob's arbitrary claims, backed up by nothing.


      I'm a fan of his work...his style and his creativity; but certainly not of the twisted, simpleton's, self-centered world view the man spouts.

      More of Bob's name-calling, without any substance.


      And I'd forgotten that I'd already done an essay on such fans:

      http://tilthelasthemlockdies.blogspot.com/2010/05/fans.html

      Everyone should check this link out.  It's more of Bob's patterns name-calling and arbitrary claims, but never a shred of backing up any of it.  (And he calls Objectivists "crazed religionists"?  Really?)

      Here's a paragraph from the above article:

      Later, having conveniently forgotten my experience with Mr. Bradbury's diseased fan base, I joined an online group of Steve Ditko fans. Once again I made the mistake of assuming that these people would want to discuss the various points concerning Ditko's artwork and his vast and varied career in the publishing industry. Oh, I knew there would be some discussion of his wacky political ideas, but I really couldn't believe that almost all of the people in the group would actually be adherents of fascism. I was wrong. After a while I realized that these creeps actually admired Mr. Ditko's diseased political and philosophical teachings! I was stunned, but why should I have been? I'd walked into a leech-infested swamp. I spread as much salt as I could on the infestation and left.

      Obviously, the last statement is a lie.  "Left"?  We should be so lucky.

      Seriously, folks, I know I don't have to point all this out.  It's embarrassing to do so.  My estimate of the people on this list -- well, minus one, at least -- is quite high.  It only takes common sense to see through Bob's tactics.

      Allen:  I think you should write that article, if you're still interested.

      Rodney Schroeter


    • Allen Smith
      An interesting reply, Thom.  I have religious views that would preclude me ever embracing Objectivism, but I felt it was unfair for Ditko s views to ever be
      Message 2 of 23 , Jan 18, 2011
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        An interesting reply, Thom.  I have religious views that would preclude me ever embracing Objectivism, but I felt it was unfair for Ditko's views to ever be called fascist.
         
             Allen Smith

        --- On Tue, 1/18/11, Thom Young <thomyoung@...> wrote:

        From: Thom Young <thomyoung@...>
        Subject: Re: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist
        To: ditkomania@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 3:15 PM

         




        --- On Tue, 1/18/11, silent_reels <subs@...> wrote:


        From: silent_reels <subs@...>
        Subject: Re: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist
        To: ditkomania@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 2:11 PM

         
        At 10:41 AM 1/18/2011, "Bob" wrote:
         The strangest thing about so many Ditko fans (most here, I'd say) is that they're fans not 'despite' the fact that Ditko's philosophy is morally bankrupt and fascist, but 'because' of those crazed ideals.

        More of Bob's arbitrary claims, backed up by nothing.


        I'm a fan of his work...his style and his creativity; but certainly not of the twisted, simpleton's, self-centered world view the man spouts.

        More of Bob's name-calling, without any substance.


        And I'd forgotten that I'd already done an essay on such fans:

        http://tilthelasthemlockdies.blogspot.com/2010/05/fans.html

        Everyone should check this link out.  It's more of Bob's patterns name-calling and arbitrary claims, but never a shred of backing up any of it.  (And he calls Objectivists "crazed religionists"?  Really?)

        Here's a paragraph from the above article:

        Later, having conveniently forgotten my experience with Mr. Bradbury's diseased fan base, I joined an online group of Steve Ditko fans. Once again I made the mistake of assuming that these people would want to discuss the various points concerning Ditko's artwork and his vast and varied career in the publishing industry. Oh, I knew there would be some discussion of his wacky political ideas, but I really couldn't believe that almost all of the people in the group would actually be adherents of fascism. I was wrong. After a while I realized that these creeps actually admired Mr. Ditko's diseased political and philosophical teachings! I was stunned, but why should I have been? I'd walked into a leech-infested swamp. I spread as much salt as I could on the infestation and left.

        Obviously, the last statement is a lie.  "Left"?  We should be so lucky.

        Seriously, folks, I know I don't have to point all this out.  It's embarrassing to do so.  My estimate of the people on this list -- well, minus one, at least -- is quite high.  It only takes common sense to see through Bob's tactics.

        Allen:  I think you should write that article, if you're still interested.

        Rodney Schroeter
        As Rodney knows, I love a good debate about philosophy and/or ideology! :)

        However, this whole "Objectivism is fascism" debate was something that we had in this list almost exactly a year and a half ago, so I'm just going to repeat what I wrote then.

        As a refresher, I am not an Objectivist. I am most fervently a Postmodernist (a philosophy that Obectivism is very much opposed to--and I relish good debates with Rodney and others about those differences).

        My PhD is in literature (Modern and Postmodern), but I minored in philosophy back in the days of my bachelor's degree. I find a lot of faults with the philosophical writings of Ayn Rand, but I have not read her entire canon. I have read three of her novels and about 10 of her philosophical essays, thus I am familiar with her ideas but I am not an expert on them.

        However, this much is certain: The differences between the respective ideologies clearly proves that Objectivism is not Fascism. Following are some excerpts of what I wrote almost 18 months ago:

        Neither the Ayn Rand Institute nor Objectivism advocates fascism. A compare-contrast analysis of Rand's writings against Mussolini's The Doctrine of Fascism would undoubtedly come down with more items on the contrast side than it would on the comparison side. Additionally, in 1941 Rand wrote an open letter to all Fifth Columnists in which she clearly distances herself from fascism--the text of which can be read here:

        http://fare.tunes.org/liberty/library/taifc.html

        Objectivism borrows a great deal from Romanticism's aesthetics while being diametrically opposed to Romanticism's concept of "essential human nature." Yet, that conflict is not insurmountable as it merely requires a reworking of the aesthetics of Romanticism in which "emotional subjective truths" are replaced with "logical objective truths" (along with reworking the purpose of artistic works and what they mean within the human community).

        As far as I know, Rand never addressed these conflicting concepts. However, it may be that Leonard Peikoff has addressed some of these problems in his post-Rand Objectivist writings (I haven't read any of Peikoff's books).

        Anyway, to anyone who has actually read Rand's ideas, Objectivism cannot be considered a brand of fascism. The label of fascism seems to have been slapped on it, though, by people who object to the Objectivist opposition to welfare and other social programs--as well as to the Objectivist stance toward people who have undeveloped critical thinking skills.

        However, unlike fascism and neo-fascist groups, Objectivism doesn't hold that people with undeveloped critical thinking skills are that way due to genetics. Indeed, Objectivism holds that anyone can raise himself or herself up through an Aristotelian education that disciplines the mind.

        What I have not seen Objectivism address is how such a thing is to be accomplished by an impoverished population that does not have access to all of the resources that the more affluent members of society have. They may point to the "Horatio Alger" types who have overcome social status to develop disciplined minds, but such individuals are exceptions who were able to get access to educational resources despite their social status.

         



      • Allen Smith
        I d also argue with the idea that Ditko s views are self centered.  Of course, they are because they are based on personal viewpoints, but that s true of my
        Message 3 of 23 , Jan 18, 2011
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          I'd also argue with the idea that Ditko's views are self centered.  Of course, they are because they are based on personal viewpoints, but that's true of my own view, your view, everyone else's views.  And, self centered as opposed to what? 
           
               Allen Smith

          --- On Tue, 1/18/11, silent_reels <subs@...> wrote:

          From: silent_reels <subs@...>
          Subject: Re: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist
          To: ditkomania@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 2:11 PM

           
          At 10:41 AM 1/18/2011, "Bob" wrote:
           The strangest thing about so many Ditko fans (most here, I'd say) is that they're fans not 'despite' the fact that Ditko's philosophy is morally bankrupt and fascist, but 'because' of those crazed ideals.

          More of Bob's arbitrary claims, backed up by nothing.


          I'm a fan of his work...his style and his creativity; but certainly not of the twisted, simpleton's, self-centered world view the man spouts.

          More of Bob's name-calling, without any substance.


          And I'd forgotten that I'd already done an essay on such fans:

          http://tilthelasthemlockdies.blogspot.com/2010/05/fans.html

          Everyone should check this link out.  It's more of Bob's patterns name-calling and arbitrary claims, but never a shred of backing up any of it.  (And he calls Objectivists "crazed religionists"?  Really?)

          Here's a paragraph from the above article:

          Later, having conveniently forgotten my experience with Mr. Bradbury's diseased fan base, I joined an online group of Steve Ditko fans. Once again I made the mistake of assuming that these people would want to discuss the various points concerning Ditko's artwork and his vast and varied career in the publishing industry. Oh, I knew there would be some discussion of his wacky political ideas, but I really couldn't believe that almost all of the people in the group would actually be adherents of fascism. I was wrong. After a while I realized that these creeps actually admired Mr. Ditko's diseased political and philosophical teachings! I was stunned, but why should I have been? I'd walked into a leech-infested swamp. I spread as much salt as I could on the infestation and left.

          Obviously, the last statement is a lie.  "Left"?  We should be so lucky.

          Seriously, folks, I know I don't have to point all this out.  It's embarrassing to do so.  My estimate of the people on this list -- well, minus one, at least -- is quite high.  It only takes common sense to see through Bob's tactics.

          Allen:  I think you should write that article, if you're still interested.

          Rodney Schroeter

        • Allen Smith
          I m not familiar with Bradbury s politics/philosophy.  What are they that you would call them crazed?        Allen Smith ... From: Bob
          Message 4 of 23 , Jan 18, 2011
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            I'm not familiar with Bradbury's politics/philosophy.  What are they that you would call them crazed?
             
                 Allen Smith

            --- On Tue, 1/18/11, Bob <jamesrobertsmith@...> wrote:

            From: Bob <jamesrobertsmith@...>
            Subject: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist
            To: ditkomania@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 11:41 AM

             


            The strangest thing about so many Ditko fans (most here, I'd say) is that they're fans not 'despite' the fact that Ditko's philosophy is morally bankrupt and fascist, but 'because' of those crazed ideals.

            I'm a fan of his work...his style and his creativity; but certainly not of the twisted, simpleton's, self-centered world view the man spouts.

            And I'd forgotten that I'd already done an essay on such fans:

            http://tilthelasthemlockdies.blogspot.com/2010/05/fans.html


          • Allen Smith
            This is why Ditko remains as relevant as he ever was when it comes to his art.  I see him as an indie cartoonist with Objectivist views.  I do wish he d pay
            Message 5 of 23 , Jan 18, 2011
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              This is why Ditko remains as relevant as he ever was when it comes to his art.  I see him as an indie cartoonist with Objectivist views.  I do wish he'd pay more attention to the quality of his storytelling, however.  He uses his stories to advocate his position on Objectivism, but when the story falls flat, at worst, he's just writing a political/philosophical screed.  Not entertaining enough.  In the days of the Question and Mr. A, when he was at his best, he was able to tell a compelling story along with advocating Randian views.  A great accomplishment.  Now, Ditko remains an effective writer/artist, but he could be much better by working on the craft of telling stories along with expressing his philosophical views.  But, even Ditko not at his best is worth quite a lot.
               
                   Allen Smith

              --- On Tue, 1/18/11, MichaelB <Michael.R.Brown@...> wrote:

              From: MichaelB <Michael.R.Brown@...>
              Subject: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist
              To: ditkomania@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 11:19 AM

               
              --- In ditkomania@yahoogroups.com, "Allen" <metron12001@...> wrote:
              >
              > For a minute there I was going "wha?" when you ascribed certain views to Mr. Smith; it was another Mr. Smith. My view is that Ditko has never advocated the use of force to enforce his views, I can see nothing fascist about him.

              This is known as the "non-aggression priciple", an principle pretty much universaly accepted (I would almost say fundamentatly accepted) amoung libertarians and Objectivists.

              >I don't know enough about Ayn Rand to make the same statement, but Ditko seems to adovocate a strong, hardworking, honest brand of rugged individualism. I would hope that the other Mr. Smith doesn't feel that holding people accounable for the consequences of their actions is fascist in any way. But he can speak for himself.
              >
              > Allen Smith

              Again, that view of "strong, hardworking, honest brand of rugged individualism" is pretty much the view of libertarians & Objectivists. With that, is the view that they should be able to keep what they earned, and not accept the government (or others) using force to take from them what they have earned. This is why those of the 'other side' (socialists, communists, 'liberals', progressives) don't like them, because they fell that government can and should take from some to give to others.

              Michael Brown


            • silent_reels
              At 02:15 PM 1/18/2011, Thom wrote: As Rodney knows, I love a good debate about philosophy and/or ideology! ... I wholeheartedly add my agreement. And the
              Message 6 of 23 , Jan 18, 2011
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                At 02:15 PM 1/18/2011, Thom wrote:


                As Rodney knows, I love a good debate about philosophy and/or ideology! :)

                I wholeheartedly add my agreement.  And the following clarification is long overdue:

                I met fellow Ditkomaniac Joe Ziermann at last year's Windy City Pulp & Paper Show.  We had a great, several-hour long visit.  (It's April 15-17 this year, Joe; it would be GREAT if you could make it again.)

                We discussed how heated some of the comments got on the Ditkomania list.  This was shortly after a particularly scurrilous rant (dated 3-28-2010 by He Who Shall Not be Named).  Joe also said, "That Thom fellow, he's really giving you a hard time."  I told Joe, "We do disagree and debate each other, but we're on the friendliest of terms with each other."  That surprised Joe.

                So, if it surprises anyone else, I can get along with people who would disagree with my philosophy (probably a majority of people I interact with!).  Specifically, I do get along with Thom.

                And speaking of disagreements, here's a mild one:


                Anyway, to anyone who has actually read Rand's ideas, Objectivism cannot be considered a brand of fascism. The label of fascism seems to have been slapped on it, though, by people who object to the Objectivist opposition to welfare and other social programs--as well as to the Objectivist stance toward people who have undeveloped critical thinking skills.

                That last statement made me blink in confusion, until I read the following clarification.


                However, unlike fascism and neo-fascist groups, Objectivism doesn't hold that people with undeveloped critical thinking skills are that way due to genetics. Indeed, Objectivism holds that anyone can raise himself or herself up through an Aristotelian education that disciplines the mind.


                I'm going to call you on that one, Thom.  The brain is like any organ of the body.  It can malfunction or deteriorate in later life, as with Alzheimer's.  Or it can be defective at birth.

                I don't think there's an "Objectivist stance" other than that.  I can tell you how one Objectivist (me) helped his wife through several years of her mother's Alzheimer's.  It was very difficult, but we helped her at the appropriate levels, through constant visits, making sure she had supervision and medical treatment, walks outside, transportation, etc.

                I don't believe a physiological element is responsible for the CONTENT or METHODOLOGY of a person's mind; if that were true, racism would be valid (though that implication alone is not argument against the connection).  But a diminished brain obviously can affect the capacity to think.

                And can a person be born with a brain of a greater capacity, and thus have greater intelligence?  Ayn Rand herself rejected that (as I recall, she totally dismissed the idea when someone suggested it was true of her).  But that's not something I believe Objectivism can answer.

                What I have not seen Objectivism address is how such a thing is to be accomplished by an impoverished population that does not have access to all of the resources that the more affluent members of society have.

                They can't.  But I don't consider wealth to be tied to "resources" alone.  Rationality and freedom are also required.  I believe that's why India has accomplished so much as a country in the past decades.  Did they all of a sudden get more "resources"?  No, they threw off socialism, to an extent.  (Ayn Rand's work is fairly well known in India.)

                If anyone's into economics, George Reisman has done a tremendous amount of writing in the subject, using Objectivism as a basis.  http://capitalism.net/

                Thanks once again, Thom, for taking the time to add something positive to this debate.  (And Allen, and Michael, and anyone else I forgot.)

                Rodney Schroeter
                http://www.linkedin.com/in/rodneyschroeter
                (Please check out my LinkedIn page, and connect if you are so inclined!)
              • Thom Young
                Thanks, Rodney. ... I m going to call you on that one, Thom.  The brain is like any organ of the body.  It can malfunction or deteriorate in later life, as
                Message 7 of 23 , Jan 18, 2011
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                  Thanks, Rodney.

                  I can't take the time right now to comment on everything in your message, but I did want to clarify this point:

                  --- On Tue, 1/18/11, silent_reels <subs@...> wrote:
                  I'm going to call you on that one, Thom.  The brain is like any organ of the body.  It can malfunction or deteriorate in later life, as with Alzheimer's.  Or it can be defective at birth.

                  I don't think you and I disagree on this at all as far as what I was saying about Objectivism (not my own beliefs on the subject, but what I was saying about Objectivism. The problem is that I wasn't very clear in my earlier e-mail, and if I had been more clear then I don't think you would disagree with me.

                  Part of the reason why I wasn't clear was that I was trying to be too cute in my phrasing.

                  You are absolutely correct regarding such things as Alzheimer's, other forms of dementia, and various forms of mental illness. My too-cute phrase "people who have undeveloped critical thinking skills" wasn't a reference to people with various forms of health problems related to brain and/or emotional disorders. I was referring solely to people with "normal health" who otherwise do not have finely developed critical thinking skills (which do not have to be acquired through formal education but which much be developed through active use of the critical faculties.

                  The works of Rand that I have read--with her emphasis on the Apollonian in all things--would clearly indicate that she believes that the development of intellect (i.e., critical thinking skills) is a key Objectivism.

                  On the other hand, fascists (particularly the Nazis, with whom I am intimately familiar through my grandfather and his brother--both of whom were members of the SS in World War II) tend to attribute certain people as "inferior" not necessarily due to true disorders (such as Alzheimer's, et cetera) but due to a genetic predisposition towards being capable of fully developed intellects. Thus, to the Nazis, people of African descent could not have fully developed intellects even if they have "healthy brains."

                  I have never seen anything in the works of Rand that I have read that indicate any sort of Nationalist or Racist view on which humans are capable and which humans are incapable of developing their intellect based on their culture or race--which is what I meant when I earlier wrote, "Objectivism holds that anyone can raise himself or herself up through an Aristotelian education that disciplines the mind."

                  For Rand (and Ditko), the emphasis is clearly on the Aristotelian, and I respect that.

                  However, there are non-Aristotelian systems of logic into which I put equal stock (Alfred Korzybski's "general semantics" as explained in his book Science and Sanity and Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics, for instance)--and as a Postmodernist, I am more interested in those non-Aristotelian systems than I am in the Aristotelian system that is promoted by the Rationalist-based Modern philosophies (including Objectivism).*

                  However, I fully understand those Modern inclinations toward the Aristotelian and the notion that an Aristotelian-trained mind (an Apollonian mind) is the goal.

                  * Romanticism being a Modern philosophy that is based in emotions and intuition rather than rationalism; thus, Romanticism does not put as much stock in Aristotle (Romanticism prefers Dionysus over Apollo).

                • Thom Young
                  Too many typos in that last e-mail of mine--such as forgetting to close my parenthetical statements with a parenthesis, as well as other such typos. :) Oh
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jan 18, 2011
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                    Too many typos in that last e-mail of mine--such as forgetting to close my parenthetical statements with a parenthesis, as well as other such typos. :)

                    Oh well, I was in a hurry and I hate to proofread.

                    --- On Tue, 1/18/11, Thom Young <thomyoung@...> wrote:

                    From: Thom Young <thomyoung@...>
                    Subject: Re: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist
                    To: ditkomania@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 7:55 PM

                     

                    Thanks, Rodney.

                    I can't take the time right now to comment on everything in your message, but I did want to clarify this point:

                    --- On Tue, 1/18/11, silent_reels <subs@...> wrote:
                    I'm going to call you on that one, Thom.  The brain is like any organ of the body.  It can malfunction or deteriorate in later life, as with Alzheimer's.  Or it can be defective at birth.

                    I don't think you and I disagree on this at all as far as what I was saying about Objectivism (not my own beliefs on the subject, but what I was saying about Objectivism. The problem is that I wasn't very clear in my earlier e-mail, and if I had been more clear then I don't think you would disagree with me.

                    Part of the reason why I wasn't clear was that I was trying to be too cute in my phrasing.

                    You are absolutely correct regarding such things as Alzheimer's, other forms of dementia, and various forms of mental illness. My too-cute phrase "people who have undeveloped critical thinking skills" wasn't a reference to people with various forms of health problems related to brain and/or emotional disorders. I was referring solely to people with "normal health" who otherwise do not have finely developed critical thinking skills (which do not have to be acquired through formal education but which much be developed through active use of the critical faculties.

                    The works of Rand that I have read--with her emphasis on the Apollonian in all things--would clearly indicate that she believes that the development of intellect (i.e., critical thinking skills) is a key Objectivism.

                    On the other hand, fascists (particularly the Nazis, with whom I am intimately familiar through my grandfather and his brother--both of whom were members of the SS in World War II) tend to attribute certain people as "inferior" not necessarily due to true disorders (such as Alzheimer's, et cetera) but due to a genetic predisposition towards being capable of fully developed intellects. Thus, to the Nazis, people of African descent could not have fully developed intellects even if they have "healthy brains."

                    I have never seen anything in the works of Rand that I have read that indicate any sort of Nationalist or Racist view on which humans are capable and which humans are incapable of developing their intellect based on their culture or race--which is what I meant when I earlier wrote, "Objectivism holds that anyone can raise himself or herself up through an Aristotelian education that disciplines the mind."

                    For Rand (and Ditko), the emphasis is clearly on the Aristotelian, and I respect that.

                    However, there are non-Aristotelian systems of logic into which I put equal stock (Alfred Korzybski's "general semantics" as explained in his book Science and Sanity and Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics, for instance)--and as a Postmodernist, I am more interested in those non-Aristotelian systems than I am in the Aristotelian system that is promoted by the Rationalist-based Modern philosophies (including Objectivism).*

                    However, I fully understand those Modern inclinations toward the Aristotelian and the notion that an Aristotelian-trained mind (an Apollonian mind) is the goal.

                    * Romanticism being a Modern philosophy that is based in emotions and intuition rather than rationalism; thus, Romanticism does not put as much stock in Aristotle (Romanticism prefers Dionysus over Apollo).


                  • BLBcomics.com
                    My understanding of the term fascism as it appears in dictionaries is control over major levers of government by corporations. Whoever says Ditko s work
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jan 29, 2011
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                      My understanding of the term "fascism" as it appears in dictionaries is control over major levers of government by corporations.

                      Whoever says Ditko's work smacks of fascism simply does not understand the term properly

                      robert beerbohm
                      http://stores.ebay.com/BLBcomics/_i.html?_nkw=ditko&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sid=741687
                    • silent_reels
                      Those dictionaries have it backwards. Fascism is control over business (major or minor) and personal affairs by government. An example would be the
                      Message 10 of 23 , Jan 29, 2011
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                        Those dictionaries have it backwards. Fascism is control over business (major or minor) and personal affairs by government. An example would be the government taking over a car manufacturer, firing its president, and telling it what to produce.

                        Regarding your other confusion, Bob:

                        http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/government_grants_and_scholarships.html

                        ...particularly the paragraph staring:

                        "The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind."

                        Rodney Schroeter


                        --- In ditkomania@yahoogroups.com, "BLBcomics.com" <beerbohmrl@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > My understanding of the term "fascism" as it appears in dictionaries is control over major levers of government by corporations.
                        >
                        > Whoever says Ditko's work smacks of fascism simply does not understand the term properly
                        >
                        > robert beerbohm
                      • Thom Young
                        What dictionaries indicate fascism involves corporations controlling governments. That sounds very much like what Aldous Huxley calls the new totalitarianism
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jan 29, 2011
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                          What dictionaries indicate fascism involves corporations controlling governments. That sounds very much like what Aldous Huxley calls "the new totalitarianism" in his 1958 non-fiction book BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED, but it does not sound like historical fascism.

                          Fascism is a political ideology that advocates a one-party form of government (eliminating all other parties) and an extreme sense of nationalism (usually tied to ethnicity rather than the nation). It's true that fascism usually promotes operating a nation in accordance with corporate perspectives, but that's not the same as corporations operating the country. Instead, fascism as it developed in Italy, Spain, and to some degree in Germany (Nazism being a slight variation on fascism), advocates the government "pulling the levers" of the nation's industries (which is why the full name of the Nazi Party was actually the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (the National Socialist German Workers' Party). The concept of collectivism (socialism) is a key component of fascism (as it was in Italy and Spain as well) even though fascism is truly at an opposite end of the political spectrum from Marxism and Maoism.

                          Rand, of course, was opposed to fascism due to its association with collectivism.

                          The initial fascist movement was started by Italian syndicalists in World War I who combined extreme right-wing political views along with the economic system of collectivism. People who consider Rand and Objectivism to be fascistic are looking only at the idea of extreme right-wing politics and ignoring the Objectivist preference for laissez-faire capitalism. However, fascism is actually opposed to laissez-faire capitalism--which is why corporations would not advocate fascist rule. Fascism opposes the concept of individualism that is a key component of laissez-faire capitalism. Thus, fascists would be opposed to Rand and Objectivism.

                          Fascists also oppose the severe control of state socialism (such as Marxism) in which the workers are (theoretically) in charge of the industries under the operation of the central government.

                          Fascists view the nation as an organic community (symbolized by the Roman fasces), and that the community requires a singular collective identity with an "Other" to violently oppose so as to keep the community strong. Thus, fascism holds that a shared cultural/ethnic identity is created by the collective and its government--that shared cultural values are superior to individualism.

                          Italian and Spanish fascism (and most other forms of fascism) favor an economic system in which industrialists and the laborers work together to maximize production that would serve the interests of the state--though Nazi Germany did not use this economic view--preferring, instead, to have the Party legislate the interests of the industrialists and the laborers.

                          Here is an English translation of Mussolini's "The Doctrine of Fascism":

                          http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/reading/germany/mussolini.htm

                          --- On Sat, 1/29/11, BLBcomics.com <beerbohmrl@...> wrote:

                          From: BLBcomics.com <beerbohmrl@...>
                          Subject: [ditkomania] Re: Ditko as fascist
                          To: ditkomania@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Saturday, January 29, 2011, 3:46 PM

                           

                          My understanding of the term "fascism" as it appears in dictionaries is control over major levers of government by corporations.

                          Whoever says Ditko's work smacks of fascism simply does not understand the term properly

                          robert beerbohm
                          http://stores.ebay.com/BLBcomics/_i.html?_nkw=ditko&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sid=741687


                        • BLBcomics.com
                          Yo Rod, Well, never let it be said i am not many a time confused by the ways of the world -:) However, twas the major corporations which put that certain
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jan 29, 2011
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                            Yo Rod,

                            Well, never let it be said i am not many a time confused by the ways of the world -:)

                            However, twas the major corporations which put that certain (un-named) dude in power in 1932 Germany, then they simply lost control over him post ipso facto, which has altered many a person's perceptions of what fascism was defined as

                            By your definition then Stalin was a Fascist as that is what his version of Soviet style "communism" was then as defined by you just now, yet never called Fascist as the Soviet government did indeed control all levers of life there

                            Similarly, these days when one mentions "underground comix" most think of contents when back in the day with those of us involved in building that movement of creator owned royalty paying "alternative" comics, we all knew it meant methodology of distribution outside of the ID system doing the Comics Code stuff on the news stands.

                            That perception is radically different now as well

                            I read Atlas Shrugged and a couple other Rand novels back in the 60s so it has been a while. I do remember not agreeing with many aspects of what i read then, but have no inclination of re-reading her stuff to get more up to date

                            Might you agree there is a bit of irony in O'Conner's reality on the ground when she was faced with lung cancer surgeries as well as taking in SS payments?

                            Robert Beerbohm

                            --- In ditkomania@yahoogroups.com, "silent_reels" <subs@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Those dictionaries have it backwards. Fascism is control over business (major or minor) and personal affairs by government. An example would be the government taking over a car manufacturer, firing its president, and telling it what to produce.
                            >
                            > Regarding your other confusion, Bob:
                            >
                            > http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/government_grants_and_scholarships.html
                            >
                            > ...particularly the paragraph staring:
                            >
                            > "The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind."
                            >
                            > Rodney Schroeter
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In ditkomania@yahoogroups.com, "BLBcomics.com" <beerbohmrl@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > My understanding of the term "fascism" as it appears in dictionaries is control over major levers of government by corporations.
                            > >
                            > > Whoever says Ditko's work smacks of fascism simply does not understand the term properly
                            > >
                            > > robert beerbohm
                            >
                          • BLBcomics.com
                            ... Hi Thom, And we might use another term as stated by General turn Prez Ike whose parting shot speech was warning us against the dangers of a
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jan 29, 2011
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                              --- In ditkomania@yahoogroups.com, Thom Young <thomyoung@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > What dictionaries indicate fascism involves corporations controlling governments. That sounds very much like what Aldous Huxley calls "the new totalitarianism" in his 1958 non-fiction book BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED, but it does not sound like historical fascism.

                              Hi Thom,

                              And we might use another term as stated by General turn Prez Ike whose parting shot speech was warning us against the dangers of a "military-industrial" complex who do indeed control our government in the USA for decades now - Huxley was a visionary. I own a first printing of Doors of Perception printed in 1954. Fun book.

                              Robert Beerbohm
                              http://stores.ebay.com/BLBcomics
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