Just the general ramblings and writings of a person in his own little world.
Or why Socialism now scares the hell out of me (with a smidgeon of spoilers)
Published on September 25, 2004 By Gamefreak99 In International
So. This summer has treated me well. Among other things, I read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Boy oh boy...

Before I had never really understood the socialist idea. I mean, I understand the economic theory rightly enough. It didn't really sound _that_ bad to me. I mean, why wage war with other countries over a period of some 40 years when they are just doing things a different way? I wasn't able to understand our hatred of them and, of equal importance, their hatred of us. This book changed the way I think.

The book has a simple enough premise; a certain architect, Howard Roark, likes building buildings this way when everyone else says it should be done another way. He attempts a style which I could never put into words. I compare it to ideals during the Middle Ages; people are worthless and God is great vs during the Renaissance where people suddenly look back to the Romans and Greeks and see that people are things of beauty and magnificence. Roark is isolated from a society that demands that people think their ways and buildings be built how they like them. Juxtaposed with Roark is Ellsworth Toohey, a news reporter. Toohey _sees_ how things work and how people think. He promotes the socialist ideals in society so that he might manipulate things to his gain. Toohey is the person that is shaping what people should like, what they should 'think'.

The problem with Toohey's whole philosophy is the lack of the individual. Rand is obviously very pro-individual but shares her ideas in a way that opens new doors of thought instead of jamming it down our throats (which, now that I think of it, is a far more cunning way to impose ideals on others). Through Toohey we see what socialism is at its core: The Collective. Rand talks through Roark about "people living second-hand lives". Everyone knows at least one person with this trait or lack thereof. People who worry every second about what’s popular and "in". They live for other people and not themselves. They don't sit and think about what they want but listen to society and do what is needed of them.

It is very scary to think that there could ever be a society in which people do not think. That's part of what makes America great, the power of the individual to do what they want. That's the theory behind Open Source, if you don't like something then throw your two cents in and fix it. You don't have to be like everyone else, you can like whatever you god-damn want to.

I really don't care who you are or what you believe but The Fountainhead is a superb book that I would highly recommend picking up (and for those Commie's out there, The Collective says it's good

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