Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Sanction of the Victim

As 'Atlas Shrugged' powers up the best seller list, a book written in 1957 defines the overthrown of the burden of the parasites living off us all. Outselling Obama's Audacity of Hope.What if we just stopped accepting 'authority'

The Sanction of the victim is defined as "the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the 'sin' of creating values." The entire story of Atlas Shrugged can be seen as an answer to the question, what would happen if this sanction were revoked? When Atlas shrugs, relieving himself of the burden of carrying the world, he is revoking his sanction. The concept may be original in the thinking of Ayn Rand and is foundational to her moral theory. She holds that evil is a parasite on the good and can only exist if the good tolerates it. To quote from Galt's Speech, as presented in the novel: "Evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us," and, "I saw that evil was impotent...and the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it." Morality requires that we do not sanction our own victimhood, Rand claims. In adhering to this concept, Rand assigns virtue to the trait of rational self-interest. However, Rand contends that moral selfishness does not mean a license to do whatever one pleases, guided by whims. It means the exacting discipline of defining and pursuing one's rational self-interest. A code of rational self-interest rejects every form of human sacrifice, whether of oneself to others or of others to oneself. Throughout Atlas Shrugged, numerous characters admit that there is something wrong with the world but they cannot put their finger on what it is. The concept they cannot grasp is the sanction of the victim. The first person to grasp the concept is John Galt, who vows to stop the motor of the world by getting the creators of the world to withhold their sanction. We first glimpse the concept in section 121 when Hank Rearden feels he is duty-bound to support his family, despite their hostility towards him.

What a surprise Guardianistas don't like it, and miss the point


North Northwester said...

And reality consists of facts: not feelings or opinions or spin.

That's Ayn Rand's big thing.

'A is A' and all that.

For example. National debt is government borrowing on the money markets to spend on its favoured projects above what tax revenue can fund. It is not 'investment,' or the fault of America, or 'the down swing': it's what the government has borrowed on purpose, while (presumably) sober.

We need to restore the rule of facts and truth back to the centre of political debate, and get the touchy-feely fluff and nonsense out.

Which you can do blogging, OH, or putting up posters, or writing to your MP, but not, I think, amongst ten thousand trots and crusties.

But then, I worry...

JD said...

Ayn Rand was right.
She also pointed out the futility of dealing with irrational people.
I have found out the hard way that it is pointless to attempt to reason with those that neither use it nor know what it is. That's why I will no longer bother talking to 'Guardianistas', nor those that let their emotions be their guide.
It is good to see Rand's name mentioned so often these days. It was not ever thus. If you have not read her works, do yourself a favour and read them.
All the be$t, JD.

wildgoose said...

All we need now is for Atlas (England) to shrug its shoulders and rid itself of its Celtic parasites before they do us any more harm.

Anonymous said...

She also promoted and encourages selfishness, so I can see where you 'wildgoose' got your 'rid itself of its Celtic parasites' statement from. Its a basic tenet Thatcherism that it is only the individual and the pursuit of money that matters, but hey, if that's what you think that's what you think, bit of a cunt though aren't you...

Devil's Kitchen said...


You are precisely the kind of touchy-feely parasite -- or looter -- that the book (and I) despise. You are, in short, evil.

Now fuck off and, preferably, die. But your fucking off will do for now, you fucking mediocrity, you.


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