Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Reasons I Want to Marry Hank Rearden

In an effort to keep my reasons from droning on and on (because I'm obsessive over a fictional character) I have compiled another one of my ever so (almost) famous lists.

1 - Hank Rearden is the epitome of Republican Capitalist strength. He builds his entire life on the concept that he works for his own good and no man deserves anything that he hasn't earned.

2- He carries the philosophy that the most despicable kind of human being is a human without a purpose. I don't mean a purpose you serve to other people (i.e. Some people exist to make me feel better about myself because they suck). I mean the kind of purpose that gives someone the drive, dedication, passion and responsibility to take control of their own life and make something of themselves.

3- The personal relationship he maintains in the book is because it makes him happy. In turn, his girlfriend is made happy because she knows that everything he does for her is to make himself happy. It sounds ridiculously selfish but what could be more wonderful than being the something in someone's life that they want and need in order to make them happy. Being the pivotal point of happiness for your significant other should be the greatest accomplishment. They should return the favor by being the something that you desire to make yourself happy.

4- The way Ayn Rand makes Hank Rearden speak, the strength in his principles, and the unapologetic nature with which he regards his success and happiness is ridiculously attractive.

I'm perfectly alright with him being a heartless, success-driving, profit motive loving, businessman. Because when you read between the lines of all of those qualities what you get is a man who is responsible for himself and his actions and expects other people to be. He's also a man with a passion which I consider one of the most respectable but rarely encountered qualities in a person.

I'll confess, if I were a lesbian, I would totally want to marry Dagny Taggart... she's basically Hank Rearden in a skirt. For the time being, wanting to be her will have to suffice :)


In Other News, I leave for Dallas in 21 days. How sweet is that? Work, at Tanner's Creek, is going really well. And I think next week I'm going to go and volunteer with the EquiKids program. It's been far too long since I've seen a horse. I miss Jazz : ( I'm working on that too, unfortunately my schedule and Jazz's owner's schedule don't coincide well. Finally, it's been forever since I've talked to my sister. I miss her.


Anonymous said...

You realize that, as a character emeshed in Rand's pro-captialist rehtoric, Rearend is a completely one-sided and fictional parcel of humanity. He less mirrors a real person and is more an anthropomorphic embodiment of Rand's ideals. Of course, an existential capitalist who finds the pinnacle of human worth to exist only in the nexus of one's individualism, one's rational autonomy, sees that the successful entrpreneur, or what-not, has accomplished so much through the sheer force of his indomitable ego, the metaphysical "I" if you will.

In the real world, however, people are products of phenomena (influenced by environment, genetics, experience, upbringing). The capitalist says he earned his money. Yet without his government there would be no capitalism, no support for industry, no economic system, no money. What then is the capitalist without capitalsim? He earned all of his wealth not through his own ego but by working in and through a system that since before birth has shaped his values, his worldview, his identity, and language. He is a product of all these things acting on so much that he isn't even aware of. It takes so much more than the "I" to be human. No man is an island unto himself, which is what Rand would have us beleive.

Man, as Marx, put it, has a "species being" that he [the capitalist] alienates himself from. Humans are social animals that have culture, that rely on learned behavior, that belong to something greater than any single individual, and that such a thing is greater than the sum of its parts. To put it simply, humanity, not idividuality, is what really is important; humanity in the particular individual, and humanity as a whole. The rational-self, the ego, the "I" is such a small snippet of what comprises man's being, yet it is also the only part we have awareness of, and that gives rise to such idealized, unchecked individuality that is short-sighted, reductionist, and a tad megalomaniacal.

Kirk <3's his HCIQ ;)

Anonymous said...

"the most despicable kind of human being is a human without a purpose"

Oh and this bit of wisdom, that presupposes a consequence-based morality, is icky :(


MiddleNameGrace said...

I agree with you on most of the rest of it... but you're going to have to explain why my bit of wisdom is "icky". I can't find a single reason why presupposing consequence based morality is necessarily a bad thing? Isn't that what all morality is? The main problem is the assumption that people believe in morality as a concept and not a superfluous out-dated practice.

Anonymous said...

Morality has consequences, but moral consequences do [should] not make up a moral system ie. Utilitarianism. For one, "moral consequence" presupposes "morality" in the first place. It makes no sense to develop any kind of overarching principle based only on what follows from morality. Rather, consequence should guide and develop morality and not be it's founding principle.

Utilitarianism working under something like Kant's categorical imperative is what an ethical system should look like.