25th October 2013

“Faith and force… are corollaries: every period of history dominated by mysticism, was a period of statism, of dictatorship, of tyranny.”

Ayn Rand1905 – 1982

5 Responses to “25th October 2013”

  1. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    It is precisely this perspective that I like so much about Rand: The biggness of the statement. She has a way of capturing truisms that hold across the many millenia. Faith and force are corrolaries, one precipitates the other.

    An observation much like gravity where we might not know exactly why it causes the object to fall to the Earth but we have observed it enough times to know that it always will.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Whether that mysticism was directed at a deity or towards the state itself (as in communism), the result is exactly the same. It is in this essential realization that Ms. Rand failed, and in the separation of socialism (the economics upon which the political mysticism of communism is based) from the mystic.

    I ask that one think of the most successful application of socialism: the kibbutzim of Israel.

  3. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Jeff she said “dominated by” not “directed at” and this what I take exception to. This does not refer to alternative deities or nations states but to the general corrolary: faith and force.

    As for successful kibbutzim I’d have to ask which of the three movements are you referring to?

    I can’t help but to think that what is at the core of kibbutz is more some weird-like 9th century Craniology stuff of the Paul Broca school or nutty Eugnics practice more than socialism.

    THe kibbutz crowd were not classic Marxists, though their system resembled Communism; I admit Marxists/ Stalinists/etc were hostile to Zionism.

    Some of the kibbutzim have been criticized for “abandoning” socialist principles and turning to capitalist projects in order to make the kibbutz more self-sufficient economically. Some weird attempt to run as collective enterprises within a free market system? They even held elections and practised democracy.

    I know you don’t like Rand but, I don’t see that the pass/fail you mention applies in this context.

  4. Will Says:

    Mysticism per se dominates nothing, and there is no universally-accepted definition. I like Rand’s literary ability (it sells novels), but I’m wary of anyone who speaks in absolutes. Along the continuum of faith and politics, all is relative: infinite perceptions; infinite shades of gray.

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    “every period of history dominated by mysticism” is a fair statement, I think you are missing the context. If not, what period of history wasn’t?

    I don’t think she is speaking to a particular brand of mysticism: Any would do, Catholocism, Judaism, Santaria, witchcraft? They are all the same supernatural mumbo jumbo.

    She has spoken to corrollary: Faith and force and they most certainly have one followed another throughout history.

    And that history has most certainly been marked by oppressive human governing.