A License to…Look Out For Number One

Living in a Material World, Part Two

Atlas Shrugged and Went About his Own Business

Atlas Shrugged and Went About his Own Business

Not long ago, while riding the commuter train home, I sat down on an upper row seat not far from a young Indian woman. Her head was covered so I believed her to be a devoutly religious person. On her lap was Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. I wondered what interested her in Rand’s lengthy novel.

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As you know there has been much in the media-the politically biased-media-about corporate greed, fairness and income inequality. The “social justice “rhetoric is ubiquitous, whether here in the U.S. or in re-salvaged unrepentant Greece.

In op-eds and news commentaries we are lectured to with the by-products of the liberal elites (e.g., Paul Krugman (see my previous post about economist Krugman’s $225K payday in return for his thoughts on Income Inequality!), by Progressive politicians (e.g., Hillary Clinton and Liz Warren) and by their media puppets (e.g., MSNBC), all of whom feign a disdain for money, that “filthy lucre”, while quietly reaping enormous capital gains of their own (See also Vanity Fair’s glossy wealth-guilt sympathy card dated August 2015, the article “The Charlie War”, regarding the French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo coming into mega-Euros.) Looking out for number one has never been so savoir faire.

Then not long ago we were accosted by the “commoners” – the OWS protesters. Though largely unfocused and self-trivializing we were told by our ‘betters’ that these poor folk just wanted to generate a discussion about what is ethically the “right thing to do” in the world of money and specifically money as a power or a force to use for “good” and not for selfish materialistic pleasure (ahem, Vanity Fair). The Wall Street bulls and bears became the effigies they wanted to burn or, rather, smoke to get their solvency high.

The OWS’ trashy 60’s bohemian style protest became a mixed message diatribe against a ‘rigged” system, a system that didn’t appear (in their cloud computing at least) to offer them a break into the big leagues of the adult material world. Apparently, the OWS protestors ‘just’ wanted to “survive” materially, debt-free, well-off and on their own terms-no pain, all gain, Greek style.

OWS! May Day!

OWS! May Day!

It was noted though by those standing head and shoulders (a stock chart term) above the “Leaning Forward” genuflectors that the protestors was certainly compromised in their messaging. Their signage/texting revealed the protesters demands.

Their demands included gaining “justly” (a word replacement for “freely”) the same materialistic “well-being” that someone else had achieved under the rubrics “income equality” and “free tuition” and “social justice”. Their socialist mantras were remarkably self-centered, covetous and Marxist.

Is the OWS’ ‘just’ quest for materialism-looking out for number one-any different from the Wall Street gang “running with the bulls” down Wall Street in hopes of not being gored by unleashed regulators? And, rigged or not rigged, Materialism, in the light of day, wears the same “envy green” scrubs.

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Unions are all about looking out for Number One.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) a federal union, is fighting against reforms of the badly run VA administration. You won’t see AFGE publicly decrying a measure that would mean that their union members may be held responsible and they may be fired or their bonus withheld. AFGE is currently working in Congress to stop VA reform. From a Daily Caller Article:

A union representing government employees on Tuesday condemned a bill meant to reform how bonuses are awarded at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“It’s time to turn the page on morale-busting measures like Rep. Miller’s proposal and focus on the mission of delivering top-quality care to America’s veterans,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. declared in a statement.

Yeah, it’s about time to focus on others…

Here is why AFGE’s is against VA reform:

A Koch Brothers-funded front group called the Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) has been making waves on Capitol Hill lately, promoting a long list of anti-VA, anti-worker proposals that would break this sacred promise and leave veterans out to dry. Led by former Wall Street bank employee and failed Senate candidate Pete Hegseth, CVA has been the driving force behind efforts to dismantle the VA health care system and trim service members’ hard-earned disability and other benefits.

Yeah, those evil Koch Brothers trying to help veterans by removing bad employees-not Number One on AFGE’s list.

Why make the VA better for our wounded veterans when union members are more G_d-Damn important?

Looking out for Number One leaves the robbed and wounded man left for dead alongside the road…until the Good Samaritan comes along to care for him.

 

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Going Number One Onto Others:

The recent abominable SCOTUS decision made it possible for homosexual couples to look out for their Number One mission-use their new-found legal licentiousness to bash Christians and to seek material gain via law suits against Christian wedding cake bakers who refuse their demands. All done under the guise of ‘true love’ and “equality” (actually, unabated unnatural desires).

Looking out for number one has never been so “User friendly” for lawyers and bullies.

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A well-known looking out for Number One persona:

Objectivism is my Game.

Objectivism is my Game.

Ayn Rand’s (1905-1982) novels portray the philosophy of Objectivism. The (paper) weighty “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead” clearly identify the key tenets of Objectivism: objective reality, reason, individualism over group-think, self-interest and ego-ism.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism:

There are four pillars to Rand’s objectivism: objective reality, reason, self-interest and capitalism.

Reason: direct stimuli from nature; there is no God, no soul, no intuition, nothing beyond what we determine though reason.

For Rand Man is all there is. There is no spiritual reality of angels, demons and God. The heroism of man was to be worshipped, as did the Greek stoic philosophers and the food-and-wine-friendly Epicureans who avoided God and enjoyed the ‘heroics’ of pleasure.

Early Greek philosophers taught that man was mortal, corporal, and that sensory inputs were the only reality available to mankind. God was described as elsewhere and angry so therefore the true God was not of any material benefit to mankind. Avoid pain, seek pleasure. Be your own hero. Be Number One.

Rand’s Self-interest: your own self-interest and happiness is what life is all about. You take care of Number One.

Capitalism for the Objectivist is all about individual rights and private property; self-reliance, free trade, entrepreneurship and initiative all operate freely and without coercion within capitalism and the free market system. I have no issues with Rand’s objective definition of capitalism. As a Christian in the Kingdom of God I do have a problem with Rand’s use of capitalism as a means to flee from God and from responsibility towards others and to use it as self-promotion, as a prosperity gospel.

Ayn Rand’s described herself as a romantic-realist. Her Objectivism is atheistic, rejecting faith and religion. It believes only in reason and what the self can determine. For her it was every man for himself, the survival of the fittest. This viewpoint is born out of a godless Darwinian materialist view of life, the Enlightenment era and philosophical naturalism. Objectivism is blind faith in Number One-Yourself.

Rugged individualism, for Rand, was a force like other forces of nature and something to be reckoned with. As you might imagine this type of thinking would certainly feed the ego and especially if the person who embraces Objectivism is successful in life. For these people pride of place means you’ve made it to the top of the heap. Your self-esteem is rewarded. You are recognized by your peers as having objectively “made it.”

Ayn Rand’s extreme philosophy is most likely a reaction to her early life in Russia during the Communist Revolution. As a child she learned to despise coercion, government intrusion and totalitarianism. She came to oppose statism and collectivism while she promoted social systems which protected individual rights and personal initiatives. As a romantic realist she hated the dystopian effects created by those seeking to create a man-made utopia. Though a polemic, Rand never insisted that others be made to accept her philosophy. She was “laissez faire” with respect to others.

A Christian Perspective:

The Kingdom of God’s answer to Looking Out for Number One: kenosis- a ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” The Apostle Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, II Corinthians 8:9

A Christian’s response to Ayn Rand

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The call of "Number One"

The call of “Number One”

Before Ayn Rand another voice of philosophical naturalism had chosen the similar atheistic force with which to respond to “the law of life”: Jack London (1876 – 1916).

Remember Buck and the rugged ‘individual’s’ response to “The Call of the Wild”? It’s a tale of primitive and bestial survival, of self-interest, of the strong seeking to overcome nature. It’s a tale of reversion to innate instincts and characteristics of our evolutionary heritage-a looking out for Number One and a dog eat dog meal ticket.

Five Years of Faithfulness

Wordpress anniversary-5Yrs

You Registered on WordPress 5 years ago!

Sally, you registered on WordPress.com 5 years ago!

So, Sally Paradise you are five years old!

 Born in the Year of the Dragon (the author, that is), Sally has fire in her belly.

 A lot has happened during the past five years: A lady friend from church went to be with the Lord last month. Over a thousand people came to her Memorial Service last weekend to remember her and to rejoice in her work in the Lord.

 And, it was almost a year ago, almost Father’s Day that my dad went to be with the Lord. He was 85. There were others lost, both physically and spiritually.

 Beyond the losses there have been multiple gains and blessings from God.  One of which has been there has no no change in my job status ~ I am still working, though many around me have been out of work since Obama (the Greatest Income Unequalizer of all time) took his second oath of office. 

My first post, Jun 4, 2009 @ 17:59, a short story:

Almost Like Praying

Since this is a party of sorts I thought I should drudge up some Sally snapshots ~  some forgotten posts ~ which over the five years have gained the most attention and have also been some of my favorites. I’ll pick. You decide.

 I’ve written posts on many topics, topics which piqued my interest. Most topics originated from a book, an essay or an article that I read on the train to and from work. Here are a few posts born out of those many miles on parallel tracks.

 Political Commentary:

 Sally, not to be outdone by the late night comedians, joked when administrations changed hands. There is always a new supply of fodder for the Animal Farm of politics. And, with cogent insight, Sally has shared reflections upon our country’s state of mind.

Obama’s First Christmas Album

The Ebony Calf

 Here goes. Start the bubble machine.

 Politics:

Course Correction Needed: 2012, I’m Shovel Ready 

Human Rights Repository

 

Social Commentary:

Tear Down That Anthropocentricity

Boy, Are You in Trouble!

Label Me “In Christ”

The People of the “White Privilege” Lie

America’s ‘DeValued’ Moral Currency

 

Human Evil (Sally recommends KingdomVenturers blog):

Hell is Empty and All The Devils Are Here”

 

Human Interest:

tête-à-tête

History as Cynicism

 

Poetry:

Resurrection Doesn’t Stop There

The first snow of the year fell last night

How Do You Know Its Christmas?

When I Think of Christmas

Earthquake Day

 

Short Stories: 

Work 

Wild Horses 

Afternoon Aliens

 

Science:

God Saw That It Was Good – All Along (Theistic Evolution)

Envision

God Saw That It Was Good and So Do I

Man-Made Panic: Climate Change & Anti-Industrialism

Climate Apocalyptic-ism & The WannaBe Oppressed

Cooler Heads Will Prevail 

Cartesian Circle

 

Free Market Capitalism/Economics:

The Good News and Capitalism All Under One Tent

Feral Gov’t Debt Limit Explained

A Tale of Two Waitresses

The Taxonomy of The No-Class Warrior’s Obamanomics

Exactly!

Depends On You

Minimum Wage Or The Price We Pay For Stupid

Looking Out for Number One and Finding Zero

 

Book Reviews/Situation Ethics:

Ritual Meet Entropy: A Father’s Story

Crooked Letters Come to Terms Among the Kudzu

 

Education:

Worker Bees, Education Reform and Our Little Ones

Logocentrism

A Landscape With Dragons; Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture

 

Gender Issues:

The Church and Gender

What’s “Biblical” About It? 

Good Company – He Chooses You

 

Apologetics/Philosophy:

Atheism in Retreat

Alvin Plantinga & atheism’s arguments

Wrestling with God?

Saving Leonardo and Modern Man From Himself

The Faith Based-Materialist Myth & Baron Muchausen

 

Christianity/Character: 

So God Gave Them Up

Enter In His Gates

The Catch of The Day

Pretense, Part 1: A Look at Evil, Pretense and Suffering

Life Lessons I Will Pass On to My Kids

The True Gospel

The Road Less Traveled By – To The Solidification Zone

Beginning to Imagine the Kingdom of God

Exclusion & Embrace in the Garden of Good & Evil

“Doubly Dead and Uprooted” 

“All who are thirsty come”

 

 This is sum of Sally: “That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

Has the Dark Night Risen in You?

The recent massacre of innocent lives at the movie theatre should shock everyone back into reality.  Sadly, I doubt this will happen. Entertainment violence must go on for the sake of masses.  Liberal causes must be funded with the proceeds.

 As a kid I paid 25 cents for a Batman or Superman comic. I understood these illustrated ‘funny’ papers as fantasy narratives. The bad guys appeared as a weird assortment of surreal characters that seemed to be annoyances more than anything. I stopped buying comic books when I grew up.

 The Batman cult has evolved from fantasy comic books to serial spoofs (TV’s Adam West) to abstracted violence (Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher) to evil and chaos personified – Heath Ledger’s Joker (Christopher Nolan).  None of this is lost on the ravenous crowds who lust for more bloody entertainment.

 Teens, adults, even parents with young children come to the theatre to watch the gladiator sport of murder on the big screen. No age is immune to an addiction to violence. And the addiction is gladly reinforced by the profiteers of Hollywood.

 The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan. Auteurial vision. I see nothing but decadence from the bottom up. I will not go to see this movie out of respect for the victims. I don’t need Batman.

 Something to think about:  you know how a TV jingle or ad gets in your head and stays there?  What is lurking in your head, crouching, waiting to come out?  Will a psychotic break push you to unload the burned-in images of your anger, discontent, loneliness and rage onto others in the form of a cold-calculated bullet?

You are responsible for what you load into your heart, mind and soul. And, for what comes out.

Added:  https://sallyparadise.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-trajectory-of-jared-lee-loughner/

In memoriam, from Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony #3 “Sorrowful Songs”: