Friday, July 15, 2011
Who is in BioShock’s sights? Part I of III: Ayn Rand
This game has some amazing graphics, and some sweet gameplay. I don’t want to say it’s a bad game, I own it, I’ll be buying the third, but the over all message of this game is that American capitalism is racist, and the experimentation on children and with the super power creating plasmoids implies a link to eugenics, and what’s worse an over all lack of regard for human life. The game is designed to be a criticism of Ayn Rand’s mega hit Atlas Shrugged. The problem is this game reveals it’s over all lack of familiarity with Rand’s masterpiece beyond the surface googled progressive criticism.
Andrew Ryan’s Rapture is a twisted parody of John Galt’s Atlantis, where all the productive citizens who were trying to escape big government forgot that someone has to scrub the toilets… and so the whole thing falls apart, of and did I mention the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Not sure how that could happen if everyone is supposed to be rich but whatever… The greed of entrepreneurs leads them to destroy themselves… Clearly, the developers missed the point.
In the movie version of Atlas Shrugged the most compelling moment to illustrate this point is when a government agent is offering film/novel protagonist Hank Reardon a fortune for his controversial new metal. Hank refuses to sell and the government lackey cannot figure out why, Hank responds, “because it’s mine.” This is the point Progressives will never get. It was Hank’s dream, and the government cannot take it away from him.
There is nothing more insulting to the working and productive class than to have our work undermined by the pickpockets in Washington. But we need our money to pursue our dreams and besides that it’s ours. We made it, we earned it, who is the government to take it from us? The Constitution didn’t permit for that until the 16th amendment and even that has been determined to not apply to income by the Supreme Courts twice! If indeed their redistributive schemes worked maybe we wouldn’t resent it as much but in reality since we declared war on poverty the poor are still poor. Most studies I have read show that when the government declared that war the poverty rate in America was 13%. Today it’s 13%... so yes, the working man, the entrepreneur the productive class is entitled to the fruits of our labors and government and the parasites they feed are not. The Public Unions are not. Those who refuse to get a job and live off wealth confiscated from the tax payer are not. We as individuals can do more to lift people who are willing to work hard up than the government. Our founding fathers felt this way which is why there was no income tax until the progressives took over in 1913. Ayn Rand, like Thomas Jefferson before her sought to reward innovation and hard work, our government punishes it.
The myth of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer needs several blogs to debunk, but in an era where we all have cars, cell phones, computers and ipods I don’t want to hear it. We are all better off as a society, we are all richer and we would not be were it not for the efforts of the super rich Progressives like to demonize.
Eugenics’ biggest advocates were not people like Ayn Rand, but rather people like Margaret Sanger or even playwright George Bernard Shaw , even Charles Darwin and Woodrow Wilson all progressive icons. It was George Bernard Shaw, not Ayn Rand who coined the phrase, “"The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it … If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us are driven to prescribe the lethal chamber (gas chamber) as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations?"-2 So no, plasmoids, experimentations that result in Big Daddys and Little Sisters would not have come from Libertarianism, but like experiments including the Tuskegee experiments were all the result of PROGRESSIVES. The developers try to pin the evil of their philosophy on mine and quite frankly it’s not only insulting it’s obnoxious. Ayn Rand was an advocate of individual rights and Constitutionally limited government. Eugenics is counter to that philosophy.
Moreover there is no historical reference for us to look at and say “we tried Ayn Rand’s ideas and they didn’t work.” The closest we had to that was the era from Washington to John Quincy Adams and then to a lesser degree generally every era right until the Progressives took over in 1913 and ran us into the ground, then Calvin Coolidge saved us only for Progressive Herbert Hoover to flush it down the toilet again… Well you don’t need another history lesson, fact is that in the economic history we prosper best the closer we move to Rand’s ideas and less when we move away from them, but a world where there is almost no government except for a few courts where there are no taxes at all and everyone is free to profit off their own efforts for themselves? It’s never been done. Unlike the opposite philosophy (altruism) which does have a history of implementation and critical failure, Rand’s Minarchism cannot be truly criticized as it has only ever happened in fiction.
1-"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." --Adolf Hitler (Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)
2- Source: George Bernard Shaw, Prefaces (London: Constable and Co., 1934), p. 296.