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cardfannumber1
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I just finished reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, I really enjoyed the book, and It really opened my eyes to how tough some people can be in the mist of a polluted government, but when I started talking about it at work I was informed that “I just didn’t get it” that the book wasn’t meant to be read and enjoyed in a “literal sense” but that it {Atlas Shrugged} was a “political book meant to justify and explain the concepts of the “Right” side” or Ayn Rand’s viewpoint, so, I started thinking about Enders Game, if I translated this {Enders Series} into a political viewpoint, I could say these books were essentially about government control {allowing a 3rd to be born for government need}, government power {taking the 3rd when it {Ender} proved useful} using what they {the government} owns however they want no matter the consequences {allowing a 3rd {Ender} to be born gave the government complete rights to him so it was OK to have a small child annihilate a species}. Then when things started to go wrong, they used people he cared about to get him to do what they wanted. I know that most fiction is written with the writers feelings and viewpoints {cant really write what you feel otherwise}, but I think it would kill me as a reader to think a book is only written to express one’s political views.
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Synesthesia
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Um, it seems to me that these days OSC often uses his books to express political points of views.
Which I have discovered is annoying even when I agree with the points being expressed. Especially if it is done in a heavy handed way and the author conquers characters just to preach at the audience *coughvalentineandeverycharacterespeciallyinenderinexile*
I do not wish to be preached at. I simply want to read an interesting story and writers must be careful not to allow their political points to get in the way of the story.

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Ecthalion
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I always though that Ender's Game and all of the Bean books were supposed to be Sci-fi/mild geopolitical commentary. I enjoyed them far better than his outright political stories like Empire. I even enjoyed them over the rest of the Ender series. I suppose the difference between Atlas and Ender is that Rand wrote it to be an apologetic for her philosophy. I don't think Card's whole purpose was to have a political commentary in his works.
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Orson Scott Card
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I never use my fiction to propound my point of view. People who think they know my politics by reading the politics of my CHARACTERS will mislead themselves. For instance, people often take the Empire books as "my" politics - but what I created was the politics I've seen among people in the military - who are, as you might deduce, people who would volunteer for military service in the midst of a war! Sometimes I agree with what a character says, but I work especially hard to make the characters I DISagree with as eloquent and forceful as possible.

I would be a bad fiction writer if I deformed my characters so that any or all of them agreed with me. Except about restaurants - if I review a restaurant in the process of a novel, then it reflects my feelings <grin>.

If you are curious about my politics, there's no lack of examples of my essays at Ornery.org. Though even there, I tend to write only about what I'm exercised about; I hold many views that I have never shared except in private conversation.

But quoting lines from my novels to reveal the views of Orson Scott Card will probably lead you into serious misconstructions.

Empire and Hidden Empire were political because the CHARACTERS were caught up in politics in the midst of a civil war (or an attempt to create one) and some of them worked at the highest level of government during a time when a major character is trying to manipulate events to make himself the American "Augustus" - the individual who pretends to preserve American Constitutional forms while actually establishing a firmly rooted dictatorship.

To do that, I have him embrace the political views that I think a figure trying to accomplish such a thing in our time would exploit. And while many different groups would oppose him (if they knew what he was doing), I provide only the views of the characters that I have placed where they might be aware of what he's doing and try to prevent him.

What I think odd is that there are people who complain about the politics in my novels - while for the entire Bush administration, EVERY liberal writer wrote nasty things about Bush and the Patriot Act and all sorts of other things and NO ONE seemed to call them on their political insertions. Detective characters who regularly did "preemptive strikes" and their own private "Patriot Act"-type behavior nevertheless expressed Leftist Establishment views like a Christian getting up and bearing witness - regardless of the context. It was distressing to me to see writers I admired deform their novels and tie them to a particular era in American history, especially when the views obviously contradicted the behavior and previously stated views of the characters so employed! THAT'S what politicizing a novel looks like.

But when a novel is a political novel (i.e., a novel in which characters are actively engaged in political debates and contests), it seems it would be hard to write it without giving people's political views....

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Orson Scott Card
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About Atlas Shrugged - the chapter "This Is John Galt Speaking ..." is notorious as a long rant that (if you're a true believer) feels like an absolute vindication or (if you have a different perspective) feels like the most self-indulgent destruction of a story by its own author in literary history <grin>.

Frankly, I find Fountainhead to be by far Rand's best NOVEL. Atlas Shrugged really is Rand's propaganda instrument, but Fountainhead seems to me to stay within the realm of fiction (though Rand's ideas are certainly presented there, too!).

In the end, after flirting with Rand's ideas in college (because aren't we all flattered to think of ourselves as the "superior" beings who do all the creating?), it occurred to me that in a world that actually operated according to her principles, I would have been beaten into submission long before I reached the age of reproduction. Because her "selfishness" actually works only in a parasitic position: in a world in which people acted without any sense of public obligation, the physically dominant alphas would prevail and intellectuals would either support and flatter the killers or would be killed. There are vast swaths of history that demonstrate the accuracy of that conclusion. Intellectual libertarians always seem to me to ignore the fact that they are utterly dependent on the altruistic or at least pro-social behavior of others.

But here I go, revealing that I am profoundly communitarian ...

There are reasons why I remain a Democrat even in an era when the Democratic Party has gone insane. I think of the insanity as a temporary aberration that will get pushed aside ... when somebody finally notices that political correctness is self-contradictory, contrary to fact, and political suicide when actually enacted. People assume when I talk that way that I must be "conservative" or "Republican," but this is far from being the case. On economics, immigration, civil rights, and many other issues I am farther "left" than most Democrats. But I am not insane (in my opinion) and recognize the necessity of compromise to work out tolerable solutions that a whole society can live with, incrementally coming closer to what I would view as "ideal". In other words, I think we have to start from where we are and build consensus to make progress. That's what distresses me when either party sets up rigorous "principles" from which they will not tolerate the slightest variance. The reason I issue diatribes against the extreme Left is because they are the establishment, in control of the media, the literary elite, and the universities, and they show exactly as much tolerance as the Christmas-banning, play-banning Puritans of Cromwell's Protectorate. The teeth of their fascism are already deep in the throat of our society, and so they are the ones who must be railed against and fought; but I can promise you, if ideologues like Huckabee ever got into power from the Right, I'd be screaming about them just as loudly as I do about their equivalent True Believers of the Left.

BUT NOT IN MY FICTION.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
I never use my fiction to propound my point of view. People who think they know my politics by reading the politics of my CHARACTERS will mislead themselves.

....


I would be a bad fiction writer if I deformed my characters so that any or all of them agreed with me.

The politics of your characters and the politics of your fiction are not synonymous. We as readers are perfectly capable of understanding when and how you use your characters "against type," espousing politics you don't believe in, because you are not very subtle about it. Not a criticism, but you do attempt to convey your own philosophy through your fiction, do you not? Are you claiming to be the least successful author in history at actually communicating your ideas? Because from where I sit, they come through. I can (usually) tell that the person writing your fiction and the person writing your political opinion pieces are the same person, with the same ideas. Yes, you are forceful and eloquent even when writing opinions you probably don't espouse personally, but your novels speak as well, and as whole works, they do communicate to the reader what is ultimately right, and what is not- the characters are shading, relief, and counterpoint to the theme. You'd be a poor novelist if you *didn't* let the reader in on your world- and no, it doesn't require that it be *your* world with a thousand facsimiles of *you*.

You've said very similar things about your gay characters, and you were right only in as far as you were willing to go. You treat those characters with as much respect and care as you do all your characters. It's just that the decisions they make, what befalls them, what insights they can offer and what part they play in shaping the narrative still serves you. Your novels do not, ultimately, say anything you don't want them to, if they are any good as novels- which they are. So I don't know where this defensiveness has been coming from. The assumption that people make that you believe every word of what you write? Maybe, but why be so emphatic? Is the world of literature so utterly lacking in subtlety, that you feel you have to explain this to people? If so, I'm sad for that. That isn't how it should be.

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Samprimary
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quote:
But I am not insane (in my opinion) and recognize the necessity of compromise to work out tolerable solutions that a whole society can live with, incrementally coming closer to what I would view as "ideal". In other words, I think we have to start from where we are and build consensus to make progress.
Do you believe that your proposed solutions to the gay marriage issue (keep homosexual acts illegal, fight to destroy any government that allows gays to marry) is a 'consensus building' or otherwise 'tolerable' compromise you are espousing that society can live with?
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scholarette
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I think some attitudes come through indirectly- like when I read some OSC essays that included science, my main thought was, well, that explains some of the stuff in the books.
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
But I am not insane (in my opinion) and recognize the necessity of compromise to work out tolerable solutions that a whole society can live with, incrementally coming closer to what I would view as "ideal". In other words, I think we have to start from where we are and build consensus to make progress.
Do you believe that your proposed solutions to the gay marriage issue (keep homosexual acts illegal, fight to destroy any government that allows gays to marry) is a 'consensus building' or otherwise 'tolerable' compromise you are espousing that society can live with?
I'm society too.
I don't believe in making homosexual acts illegal and not allowing gays to marry.
I think the focus should be on REAL things that destroy families. Like abuse.

I did try to restrain myself...

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Clumpy
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quote:
If you are curious about my politics, there's no lack of examples of my essays at Ornery.org. Though even there, I tend to write only about what I'm exercised about; I hold many views that I have never shared except in private conversation.
I do like this very much, and I feel that viewing Card's published columns as an encyclopediac summary of his beliefs is a mistake. While I've been pretty hard on him in the past about particular things I feel likewise that my comments should not be construed as a denunciation of himself as a person [Smile] . Sometimes to make a strong argument that sticks with people we all approach that type of language, but I have no doubt that most of us are basically decent humans who disagree on a few (albeit important) things.

quote:
In the end, after flirting with Rand's ideas in college (because aren't we all flattered to think of ourselves as the "superior" beings who do all the creating?), it occurred to me that in a world that actually operated according to her principles, I would have been beaten into submission long before I reached the age of reproduction. Because her "selfishness" actually works only in a parasitic position: in a world in which people acted without any sense of public obligation, the physically dominant alphas would prevail and intellectuals would either support and flatter the killers or would be killed. There are vast swaths of history that demonstrate the accuracy of that conclusion. Intellectual libertarians always seem to me to ignore the fact that they are utterly dependent on the altruistic or at least pro-social behavior of others.
Libertarianism overestimates both the ability of the private sector to solve problems and the merit and talent of the successful. Card puts it better.
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Orincoro
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If I walked around all day in a banana suit, it would be unreasonable for me to expect people not to call me "Banana Man."

"I have a deep and churning well of inner-thoughts and feelings I don't share, and I appreciate many different types of fruit" is all very nice, but you can't expect people to approach you as if that's a given- not if you're always just wearing the banana suit.

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Scott R
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There's a difference between a writer's morality/life philosophy and a writer's politics. OSC is saying, if I understand him correctly, that he doesn't put his politics into his books.

I assume he inserts his morality into what he writes-- after all, *I* do. (And of course, all writers are just like me...) An example: when I have a family at the center of a story, they are likely to be a nuclear family; the mother and father will probably be happily and healthily married; and the kids will be of an age when they want to get away from Mom and Dad. If there is a father, he is generally a good father (or trying to be a good father); if there's a mother, she is generally trying to be a good mother.

My morality and my life philosophy may not intersect necessarily with my politics through the medium of my writing. I will probably never write a story about how Arizona's new immigration laws are racist or futile; but my immigrant characters are almost always sympathetic, complex, and "good." That's a moral stance about humanity, not a political one.

You can derive my morality from my fiction-- it should be easy to see that I am chiefly concerned with families. Everything I've published has been about men and women with broken homes, trying to put them back together (sometimes with disastrous results); or coming-of-age tales. That implies a certain traditionally oriented mindset when it comes to family issues.

But I don't think it would be fair to try to extrapolate my position on, say, the welfare system from what I've written.

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Synesthesia
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Am I alone in noticing that he does indeed take over characters to spout out his political and moral views? It's annoying even if a liberal does it...It's more like straight on possession and every good character tends to have those values, and the bad ones, not so much.
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Scott R
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A concise example would help illustrate your point, Syn.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
Am I alone in noticing that he does indeed take over characters to spout out his political and moral views? It's annoying even if a liberal does it...It's more like straight on possession and every good character tends to have those values, and the bad ones, not so much.

No, you're not. Many, many people, both on Hatrack and elsewhere have noted this. In the case of say, Anton and "The Right Way for Homosexuals to Live", it's painfully obvious that this is what is happening.

But what are are you trying to get out this, Syn? It looks like you're just getting yourself wound up again. I think you'd be better off just letting it go.

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MrSquicky
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#1,

I never read Atlas Shrugged, so I can't say about that. However, with The Fountainhead, I look at it as Rand was not really writing narrative fiction so much as a morality play. I don't think that the novel succeeds as narrative fiction, but as a morality play, I think it is pretty well done.

--

There are a lot of books that touch on political issues and have these issues form a lot of the backdrop of what's going on in the book. There's a line between political issues influencing a story and being the primary content and reason for the story, although this line can be hard to place exactly and honestly it can also come down to reader's individual perspectives.

If what you liked/got out of the book was primarily "It really opened my eyes to how tough some people can be in the mist of a polluted government", then it sounds like, to you, it was primarily about the political message. If you also took away an interest in the characters or specific plot, then it had an important narrative component to it.

---

I'll say this, in my experience, Rand's philosophy/political ideas often appeal to people in their late teens/early 20s, but then most of them grow out of it. Those that don't often strike me as people who have some more maturing to do.

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Synesthesia
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I agree with you because I haven't had a serious flare up of IBS in weeks, but I had to jump in.

So I think I will stop and do something else like think about the tattoo I want to get and butterflies and also moths ans I don't want another flare up!

Also Ayn Rand, what little I know of her annoys me. I need to be less annoyed, I think.

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Jake
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Less annoyed is always a good thing to shoot for. [Smile]
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PMH
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
About Atlas Shrugged - the chapter "This Is John Galt Speaking ..." is notorious as a long rant that (if you're a true believer) feels like an absolute vindication or (if you have a different perspective) feels like the most self-indulgent destruction of a story by its own author in literary history <grin>.

Frankly, I find Fountainhead to be by far Rand's best NOVEL. Atlas Shrugged really is Rand's propaganda instrument, but Fountainhead seems to me to stay within the realm of fiction (though Rand's ideas are certainly presented there, too!).


Ayn Rand's goal in life was to portray the ideal man. She realized that first, she had to figure out what constitutes the ideal man; thus, Objectivism.

You can say what you want about her novels..
(although "true believer" connotes mindlessness)

..but Objectivism is a beautiful quantum leap in philosophy, which will lead to major advances in civilization -- if we survive long enough for it to become widely understood.
quote:


In the end, after flirting with Rand's ideas in college (because aren't we all flattered to think of ourselves as the "superior" beings who do all the creating?)


  • It takes much more than flirting.
  • My attraction was that she honors the individual who strives to be the best he can.

quote:

, it occurred to me that in a world that actually operated according to her principles, I would have been beaten into submission long before I reached the age of reproduction. Because her "selfishness" actually works only in a parasitic position: in a world in which people acted without any sense of public obligation, the physically dominant alphas would prevail and intellectuals would either support and flatter the killers or would be killed. There are vast swaths of history that demonstrate the accuracy of that conclusion. Intellectual libertarians always seem to me to ignore the fact that they are utterly dependent on the altruistic or at least pro-social behavior of others.


With that last, you're getting closer: Civilization (in societies) is utterly dependent on the ~pro-social~ (in the sense of respecting others' equal rights) behavior of others (whether ~naturally~ or because of the government's threat of force if they do not.

Her selfishness is, of course, the opposite of parasitical; it is the selfishness of one who produces wealth, without treading on others, and trades it for the produced wealth of others.
quote:



But here I go, revealing that I am profoundly communitarian ...

There are reasons why I remain a Democrat even in an era when the Democratic Party has gone insane. I think of the insanity as a temporary aberration that will get pushed aside ... when somebody finally notices that political correctness is self-contradictory, contrary to fact, and political suicide when actually enacted. People assume when I talk that way that I must be "conservative" or "Republican," but this is far from being the case. On economics, immigration, civil rights, and many other issues I am farther "left" than most Democrats. But I am not insane (in my opinion) and recognize the necessity of compromise to work out tolerable solutions that a whole society can live with, incrementally coming closer to what I would view as "ideal". In other words, I think we have to start from where we are and build consensus to make progress. That's what distresses me when either party sets up rigorous "principles" from which they will not tolerate the slightest variance.


Ayn Rand worked out a set of rigorous principles (no quotes) in her system of philosophy, proven by derivation from perception of reality and ruthlessly honest integration and contradiction resolution. She showed that none of those principles can be negated without their all being. And she showed what areas admit of optional choices.
quote:


The reason I issue diatribes against the extreme Left is because they are the establishment, in control of the media, the literary elite, and the universities, and they show exactly as much tolerance as the Christmas-banning, play-banning Puritans of Cromwell's Protectorate. The teeth of their fascism are already deep in the throat of our society, and so they are the ones who must be railed against and fought; but I can promise you, if ideologues like Huckabee ever got into power from the Right, I'd be screaming about them just as loudly as I do about their equivalent True Believers of the Left.

BUT NOT IN MY FICTION.


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TomDavidson
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quote:
Objectivism is a beautiful quantum leap in philosophy, which will lead to major advances in civilization...
It's so funny when people first go through this stage.
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Scott R
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Don't be patronizing, Tom.
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PMH
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especially when you're replying to someone who's been studying it for 46 years
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rivka
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Ooh, an appeal to authority!

And it's only your second day!

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Scott R
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Never mind, Tom.

You can be patronizing now.

I can't stand it when people start sentences with lower-case letters, and end them without an appropriate punctuation mark.

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BlackBlade
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PMH: Why do you feel it necessary to dredge up all the old threads we've had where Objectivism is discussed? Is it because you would like to talk about it? If so, why not just stick to one thread, mention you are ressurecting it, and bring up what specifically you felt warranted discussion?
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PMH
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BB, If there's a place that educates newbies on how to use the large-N forums spread out all over the place under OSC, I'd love to read it. I think I read all the stickies at the top of each forum that I posted to.

I had no idea that dredging up old threads is considered negative, nor that one should mention that he's resurrecting one.

Not sure what you mean by stick to one thread. My picture was that I'd look around to see what (presumably) OSC admirers thought about Ayn Rand & Objectivism, & reply to posts - wherever - when I had something to say.

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PMH
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rivka, Although I see it's not the custom here, it seems to me to be only grown up to think for a couple of seconds before farting out a reply. My reply was not an appeal to authority - but rather, telling TD that I'm not first going through a stage.
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PMH
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SR, I didn't do either because what I wrote was not a sentence.
(It was a continuation of SR's immediately previous.)

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TomDavidson
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Some people progress through their various stages of philosophical development faster than others, no doubt.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by PMH:
BB, If there's a place that educates newbies on how to use the large-N forums spread out all over the place under OSC, I'd love to read it. I think I read all the stickies at the top of each forum that I posted to.

I had no idea that dredging up old threads is considered negative, nor that one should mention that he's resurrecting one.

Not sure what you mean by stick to one thread. My picture was that I'd look around to see what (presumably) OSC admirers thought about Ayn Rand & Objectivism, & reply to posts - wherever - when I had something to say.

It's no problem, I was mostly being cheeky when I pointed it out. Thread necromancy is a fairly well understood topic in most forum communities.

Mentioning that you resurrected a thread is more of a courtesy than something that is demanded. As is introducing yourself before leaping into in depth topics. It allows people to get a grip on how you approach things as well as know you aren't just a troll lurking around for drama they can drum up. Or worse, somebody trying to get us to do their homework. [Wink]

Don't worry if you feel like you are off to a rocky start. Participate in a few other threads and ask others what they think about things and I think you'll find you fit right in.

Of course, you'd also fit right in if you grew an enormous ego and started acting condescending towards everybody that dared to disagree with you. [Big Grin]

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Priester
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I don't understand why people make such a big deal about OSC's political views. Being a strong Christian believer has not made me stay away from Vonnegut, Asimov or pretty much EVERY science fiction writer. I share very few political and religious views with many of the authors I read but I don't get frustrated with them, least not I be called an "ignorant Christian."

OSC's works have never really come across as overly political to me, and never at the level of a Kurt Vonnegut story. It baffles me at the constant complaints OSC gets. If you have a problem with his fiction just don't read it.

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Scott R
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I forgot:

Welcome to Hatrack, PMH. You're wrong.

In any case, if you're writing a continuation of something someone said, the proper way to indicate it is with ellipses.

And you still need punctuation at the end of the phrase.

Like this:

quote:
Don't be patronizing, Tom.
quote:
...especially when you're replying to someone who's been studying it for 46 years.
[Smile]
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Scott R
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For the record, I've never been a fan of Ayn Rand, or Objectivism. Ever.
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TomDavidson
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Well, you just might have not made it to that stage yet. [Wink]
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Scott R
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My pupal stage was very short. Is that when it happens?
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Samprimary
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It depends usually on the percentage of advantages your class and non-minority statuses confer upon you independent of individual talent. The further you stray from genetically healthy white male in a stable democracy born into a comfortable economic background, the less you are likely to adopt a bootstraps 'got mine' worldview that feeds the desired notion that you are deserving of every inch of your socioeconomic situation you can claim for yourself.

If you're viable for it, it should kick in the same time an equally slim percentage of college kids start to cluster and ideogasm over things like marxism and political anarchism. So look out for the chrysaloid ideology phase.

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Samprimary
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Or, alternately, note for us if you wake up one morning and have begun reflexively secreting a quick-drying mucosal mixture that you are compelled to cocoon yourself to the ceiling with for six months. That, too, can be a transformational stage.
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rivka
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Is THAT what my son has been doing?

Oh, gross.

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PMH
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quote:
Originally posted by Priester:
I don't understand why people make such a big deal about OSC's political views.

In case I'm part of the group you had in mind, I want to say that I agree - at least in the sense that I love OSC's fiction..
(at least Ender into _Shadow of the Hegemon_ and _Magic Street_)

..even though I know that religion is wrong.

OTOH, Although OSC says that his political views cannot be gleaned from those of his characters, I think it remains that his most basic philosophical views do - and should:

Ayn Rand defines art as "a selective re-creation of reality according to the artist's metaphysical value-judgments".
( - Ayn Rand Lexicon - Art )

(IOW, art - not just good art - is a concretization, an exemplification of the artist's views on the most basic issues of philosophy - such as whether the Universe is knowable, whether Man has choice.)

AR emphasizes that Man needs the emotional fuel that's provided by experiencing (a positive) sense of life in concretized form..
..but it strikes me that there's a reason that's deeper, applying to good or bad, positive or negative sense of life art: that people just wouldn't respond to a novel, say, set in an unknowable universe, say, or one in which Man's mind is (completely?) incompetent to know it; there'd be nothing to relate to.

Anyway, I think that's what I like most about the work of OSC that I've read: striving succeeds, morality succeeds, the universe is a basically benevolent place in that sense.

(possibly too benevolent: I don't agree that if you get to know any person well enough, you can't see him as evil. For instance, one who evades the principles of morality whenever it suits his short-term, narrow-range, animal-level interests, is evil (in the sense that his choices will cause bad things to happen to people).)

So an author has to faithfully portray the aspects of reality that are inescapable for humans.

Where choice is operative (as politics certainly is) he may portray either good or bad choices, and show their results..

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Ipso Facto
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Is OSC saying that b/c gender roles are absolutely defined, that "women belong in THIS role and men belong in THAT role therefore any deviation is wrong" is that his premise? Is he saying that a homosexual person, whether biologically ordained or choosing a lifestyle that could be changed or ?whatever reason someone could come up with for loving someone else of the same gender? must be made to understand that they don't get what someone following those gender roles gets?
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Ipso Facto
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I posted in the wrong place. Newbie fart.
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Scott R
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quote:
OTOH, Although OSC says that his political views cannot be gleaned from those of his characters, I think it remains that his most basic philosophical views do - and should:

Ayn Rand defines art as "a selective re-creation of reality according to the artist's metaphysical value-judgments".
( - Ayn Rand Lexicon - Art )

What?
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Kelly1101
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
I never use my fiction to propound my point of view.

I can tell.

I think we have many very different political views. But I know that from reading your interviews, not from reading your books (nearly all of them). And I, for one, very much appreciate that. [Smile]

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Objectivity
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
A concise example would help illustrate your point, Syn.

Not the person that's being asked, and not really political, but one example of OSC's personal view (as he's expressed in other writing) and his using his character to express his personal view can be found in Hidden Empire.

quote:
"The doctor glared at Chinma. "Why didn't you make me-" But then he caught himself and grimaced. "Yes, I should have listened. I've turned into one of those adults."

Being one of "those" adults is a recurring theme in many of OSC's writings. Recently, however, that viewpoint and others have definitely appeared in his novels. In and of itself that's fine, but the integration has become less organic, or else I'm noticing it more. It's especially glaring when the reader has to go through a bunch of verbal gymnastics solely to get to a point that ruins the immersion into the story.

Sadly, it appears that OSC has started to do with his writing the exact same thing that he constantly criticizes Steven Spielberg for, doing things to show he can at the expense of being a good director/writer.

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Jeff C.
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The only views I really know about OSC is that he's a mormon (which is hinted at several times throughout his novels, and that's fine), he's anti-homosexual (I've yet to see anything in his novels that was anti-homosexual), and that he leans more toward the right with his political views. I haven't read the Empire books, so I can't really comment about that material, but as far as the Ender books, specifically EiE, I haven't seen any indication about his views, at least not in that regard.

However, his religion appears periodically. More specifically, his belief in a higher power. Now, I don't see a problem with this in any fashion, but I can imagine people who might. To quote an example of this, I would look back to Children of the Mind when they are all talking about the Outside. I recall a portion of dialogue that proposed the idea that perhaps the entire universe that they knew was formed because a higher being had arrived into a chaotic world, just like this new Outside place, and used the philotes to imagine it. I thought this was a really cool theory, but it does evoke a religious tone. Not only that, but as the novels aged and Ender and Bean grew up, they each began to think about religion more and more, and little hints are given, whether subconsciously placed or not, that they really do believe in God. And again, that's fine. As a religious person myself, although still a skeptic by nature, I can understand how a writer will unwittingly place his ideals into the book he is writing. Every writer does this, even if they don't want to admit it. How could they not?

If a person truly believes that their ideals are right and correct, they why not include them at some point? There's nothing wrong with them, and with only so many viewpoints to use, that writer would have to explore them eventually, which means those ideals will ultimately overlap. It just happens.

So far, I don't see anything wrong with it. As long as OSC doesn't come right out and have Ender or Alvin or <insert character> call homosexuals an abomination or express some other hate speech, then what's the problem? Liberal writers are all over science fiction, constantly bashing religion and conservative ideals. What's wrong with a conservative viewpoint in the same field?

OSC once said, "The lies we live will always be confessed in the stories that we tell".

And I agree with this. We all tell the truth about ourselves when we write, even if we aren't trying to do it. You have to draw from experience when you write, anyway, right? It's subconscious, and you really can't help it. Besides, if you don't like his opinions, find an author that agrees with you. It's not like there aren't anymore out there.

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