After a whirlwind mini-survey of classical term
definitions, I had a eureka moment: Ayn Rand's
"objectivism" (subjectivism) is really nothing more
than old/new fashioned hedonism. In her case, she
and her circle weren't merely Epicurean, following
a modest, even acetic life, eschewing politics; she
and hers had quite the high and intimate old/new
Grating on the good, even going against the good, is
what we got with Jamie Dimon, Alan Greenspan
(before their mea culpa) Ken Lewis, Paul Ryan et al.
Whatever brand of hedonism one follows, the upshot
is unconcern for the general welfare, warfare against
it at times, in the drive to attain pleasure. THEIR
pleasure is to get and stay rich, denying thought
toward the day they will be held accountable for
various immoral/illegal deeds.
So Cicero was right: all reasonably capable adults
have a civic duty to participate honorably, morally,
intelligently and responsibly in public life. With
around 310 million souls residing in the nation,
beware electing hedonistic legislators unconcerned
with our shared public places, spaces, life and each
other. They are constitutionally, philosophically
incapable of solving our common problems, indeed,
inimical to the greater good.
It has been Rand or Rand-like ideas which have
brought the greatest economic suffering to the U.S.
in modern times. ( The rise of the radical right-wing
economists here is related.) Looking for a great rep
or senator? Find out what the candidate reads: if he/
she loves Ayn Rand, look elsewhere for a public spirited,