<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dale:
<B>I've got a passage from Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL that Ayn Rand would appreciate:
------<P>`You wish to be anonymous?' <P>`I wish to be left alone,' said Scrooge. `Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.' <P>`Many can't go there; and many would rather die.' <P>`If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, `they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that.' <P>`But you might know it,' observed the gentleman. <P>`It's not my business,' Scrooge returned. `It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!'
-----------<P>Looks like Charley had her type pegged over a century ago....unless of course I am missing the more obvious explanation, that Ayn Rand *is* Charles Dickens, whose life has been extended through preternatural means (possibly involving a sex change, although to look at Ayn Rand, perhaps not)...<P>- Dale<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Ooo! This is interesting. I think I'm going to actually have to drop the "character mantel" of Jim for a moment, and play devils advocate as Real Life Jim. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/smile.gif"><P>FWIW to any readers out there that aren't our small, clannish group of friends (maybe both of you who are reading?) I am not an Objectivist in any real sense of the word, but I do sympathize with at least some of what Ayn Rand has to say. The following isn't exactly how I personally feel, but it makes for a good "foil argument" to the exellent point that RL Dale has made. Plus, it's probably how Comic Strip Jim would feel *hee*<P>Yes, this passage is a perfect example. As I understand it, philanthropy and Objectivism are not mutually exclusive. However, Ayn Rand doesn't subscribe to "morality arguments" such as noblise oblige', "Christian Charity" or "The right thing to do, just because." Her feelings on this matter is that Scrooge should be free to choose whether or not he wants to be philanthropic or not, without pushy, guilt-tripping supernatural Statists trying to brainwash him *hee hee*<P>Scrooge makes the point, in that he has donated to certain institutions which provide a certain social safety net...I don't know whether this is supposed to be through taxes, or donations he chose to make.The point is that Scrooge, and Objectivists...if they are going to be Philanthropic, they want something out of it. It has to suit them...it has to be a two way street. It can be something as simple as "I like to donate money because I like the feeling I get seeing peoples reactions" or "I am building a new community center in town because the last thing I need are those damn kids becoming violent gangsters and possibly hurting myself and those I care about. I consider it an investment..." You think Bill Gates donates money out of Christian Goodness? No, he does it because he gets something out of it: Props as one of the worlds biggest donators, good PR, a bunch of Bill Gates centers cranking out future employees...etc etc...<P>Scrooge shouldn't be weedled, coaxed, or scared out of his money. He works hard for it. He provides work for Bob Cratchet. Obviously, Bob has made a decision that working for Scrooge outweighs any value he could get by trying to go out and find someone else to work for. Come on..this is a big city. I don't understand why Bob-o keeps taking ol' Neeezers shit unless he decides to. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/smile.gif"><P>Thus, the forces of Socialist Guilt, as represented by the Three Ghosts, essentially pressure Scrooge into blowing large amounts of money on people "just because." ALTHOUGH...although..it could be argued (I realize) that Scrooge just finally saw how he could enjoy giving money away. If this is the case, then yes, it would fit within the parameters of an Objectivist viewpoint. Scrooge gives money away because he likes the attention he gets from all the townfolk. He likes the feeling he gets taking Tiny Tim under his wing, and bringing him up. Yes, this reduces the end of the book to mere stimulus response, but thats my job here, Dale: to drain all the joy and magic out of your life! <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/smile.gif"><P>But the big point is that Scrooge was left to make the choice on his own. I suppose the possibility of him changing only slightly, or none at all still applied. At least we're left with the impression that Scrooge could still make this decision. Unlike modern socialist systems, in which the fruits of others hard labor are wrenched away at virtual gunpoint in order to fund those with less...and continue to remain poor because the system encourages them to do so...because they keep getting free Government money and goodies.<P>The problem with Capitalism in America is that it has merged too closely with the Government, and both have corrupted the other. But that's an argument for another day <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/smile.gif"><P>(Of course, most Capitalists forget that 75%+ of all wealthy in this nation is inherited, not earned...)