Friday, May 28, 2010


(Possibly irrelevant title above, truly irrelevant picture below)

"Kant was the first hippie in history."

------------ "Apollo and Dionysus", Ayn Rand

While my view of Rand's little squad of objectivists largely overlaps those of my Wikipedia mentor Miborovsky, I happen to understand the background of her theories. Born Alisa Z Rosenbaum, the Russian Jew had a privileged upbringing, only to have everything lost to the revolution. Regrets and perhaps embarrassments are more potent motivators than many of us are aware of. While Rand repeatedly bashed Kant, Nietzsche and Sartre in her writings for the destruction of pure reason, faith and morality (in that order), she certainly did not have any of those to herself.

I have substantial reason to doubt that Rand believed in her own worship of capitalism; what she has done is only reactionary to what happened to her during her formative years. The scary part is that, others have taken her madness seriously.


I have been sporadically checking my political standing since I was made aware of the test; to be honest, my results did not vary by a large margin. The results in my facebook profile (-0.25, 2.51) was done probably in 2007, and the one (-0.50, 1.44) below just now.

It is of course, no surprise that my alignment drifted slightly to the pale green (!) third quadrant (i.e. towards a Friedman-ish libertarian, well not even close, my current position would put me in an unenviable proximity to Gordon Brown) after two and a half years at university, prolonged exposure to stereotypical liberals in lectures this year certainly had some effect too. BTW, in hind sight nothing swayed my political opinion more than a certain book by Eric Hobsbawm, and I shall elaborate later.

I have always presented myself as a South Park Republican with some militant traits: I have been openly Pro-Life, Pro-Death Penalty, Pro-Judeo-Chrstian-Hiberno-Anglo-Saxon traditional values, as well as having full membership of both NZ National Party and UK Convervatives (Commonwealth Citizens in UK enjoy full franchise in all levels of elections) , et cetera. The only right wing organisation I could not associate myself with is Act on Campus, because their president is a wanker.

Deep down, I know my true colours. I voted, and sort of campaigned for Darcy Peacock in his (failed) attempt to be re-elected as AUSA president because I like his mannerisms, despite the rational part of my mind tells me that he is just another average white liberal vegetarian hippie who is probably going to become a list Labour MP; my favourite tutor is virulently socialist (well most people in the Department of History are lefties); and some Boere chick I dated before turned full-blown fundamental Marxist, noticed any trends?


FYI, I have been to the US a few times, and strangely the place I liked the most is San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi's electorate, a.k.a. the hippie capitol of the world. The town is erratic like my own mind: some streets are posh and pristine, the next block could be filthy and full of homeless crackheads. On paper I can make an endless list of reasons why I don't want to live there, however I must admit in my own time, that it feels like being at home. Later in that trip I have driven a really good rental car (Travel Tip #0000001: How to get the best rental deals at McCurran: First scout the yard first to see if any company had vehicles with non-Arizona plates, then talk to the respective counter for a discount in case you intend to return the car in that state anyway) through the mountains, deserts and cities of the West Coast. The cities were vibrant, the small towns are peaceful yet boring. The only place I had an acute dislike was Los Angeles, on all accounts too similar to Auckland with too many cars on motorways.
I have whined about certain enterprising members of the Green movement in my umbrella post, now I have going to take on the bigger subject of global warming.

First, I am not entirely convinced about anthropogenic climate change. Climate science is not developed to the degree of genetics or quantum physics to be reliable. While reducing fossil fuel usage is fundamentally a good idea, I am not comfortable with the notion of sacrificing human living standard to control emissions.

On the other hand, warming may not be a bad thing. I know there will be more haters of me if I say this, but controlled warming of the earth will open up new habitable lands, new communication routes and increase productivity of agriculture worldwide. It is a bad thing, however, when viewed with national interest as general changes in climate reshuffles world geopolitics,

Finally and most importantly, other natural catastrophes, both likely (mega-volcano eruption, cataclysmic pole shift) and unlikely (meteor of the size of Ayers rock, duh), that may happen without warning and wipe out mankind. H. Sapiens have managed to gone so far with an incredible streak of good luck, and I shall hope that we manage fine until one day, when science had advanced so far that Nature of no longer an obstacle to our continued existence.


To sum up this post:

Omnia mutantur, nihil interit

Translated: "Life will go on as it has always gone on—that is, badly"