Tag Archives: bully

Ayn Rand’s Answer to the Left’s Bullying

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Smug, self-righteous leftists bully anyone who dare disagree with their doctrinaire suppositions. This is a cynical but effective ploy that is socially castrating millions of sane, but otherwise intimidated potential critics. Rational, logical, and clear-thinking Americans are silencing themselves for fear of being ostracized by the true believers of various marxian faiths.

The leftist Thought Police wield the weapon of political correctness to silence any and all criticism of the left’s campaign to hijack the U.S. government to accomplish its authoritarian ends. The best way to counter-act such shameless political correctness is contained in an excerpt of Ayn Rand’s non-fiction work “The Virtue of Selfishness“:

In our political life, the Argument from Intimidation is the almost exclusive method of discussion. Predominantly, today’s political debates consist of smears and apologies, or intimidation and appeasement. The first is usually (though not exclusively) practiced by the “liberals,” the second by the “conservatives.” The champions, in this respect, are the “liberal” Republicans who practice both; the first toward their “conservative” fellow Republicans – the second, toward the Democrats.

All smears are Arguments from Intimidation: they consist of derogatory assertions without any evidence or proof, offered as a substitute for evidence or proof, aimed at the moral cowardice or unthinking credulity of the hearers.

The Argument from Intimidation is not new; it has been used in all ages and cultures, but seldom on so wide a scale as today. It is used more crudely in politics than in other fields of activity, but it is not confined to politics. It permeates our entire culture. It is a symptom of cultural bankruptcy.

How does one resist that Argument? There is only one weapon against it: moral certainty.

When one enters any intellectual battle, big or small, public or private, one cannot seek, desire or expect the enemy’s sanction. Truth or falsehood must be one’s sole concern and sole criterion of judgment – not anyone’s approval or disapproval; and, above all, not the approval of those whose standards are the opposite’s of one’s own.

Let me emphasize that the Argument from Intimidation does not consist of introducing moral judgment into intellectual issues, but of substituting moral judgment for intellectual argument. Moral evaluations are implicit in most intellectual issues; it is not merely permissible, but mandatory to pass moral judgment when and where appropriate; to suppress such judgment is an act of moral cowardice. But a moral judgment must always follow, not precede (or supersede), the reasons on which it is based.

When one give reasons for one’s verdict, one assumes responsibility for it and lays oneself open to objective judgment: if one’s reasons are wrong or false, one suffers the consequences. But to condemn without giving reasons is an act of irresponsibility, a kind of moral “hit-and-run” driving, which is the essence of the Argument from Intimidation.

Observe that the men who use that Argument are the ones who dread a reasoned moral attack more than any other kind of battle – and when they encounter a morally confident adversary, they are loudest in protesting that “moralizing” should be kept out of intellectual discussions. But to discuss evil in a manner implying neutrality is to sanction it.

The Argument from Intimidation illustrates why it is important to be certain of one’s premises and one’s moral ground. It illustrates the kind of intellectual pitfall that awaits those who venture forth without a full, clear, consistent set of convictions, wholly integrated all the way down to fundamentals – those who recklessly leap into battle, armed with nothing but a few random notions floating in a fog of the unknown, the unidentified, the undefined, the unproved, and supported by nothing but their feelings, hopes and fears. The Argument from Intimidation is their Nemesis.

In moral and intellectual issues, it is not enough to be right; one has to know that one is right.

The most illustrious example of the proper answer to the Argument from Intimidation was given in American history by the man who, rejecting the enemy’s moral standards and with full certainty of his own rectitude, said:

“If this be treason, make the most of it.”

(Ayn Rand, July, 1964)

Bullied Bus Monitor: What Do You Expect, America?

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We have reached a very sad place in American society. What would have been unheard of when I was a child (less than 25 years ago) is now one of the hot topics of the week. Not only is the topic being discussed, there is actually a video of the event- an adult being bullied by kids. An even sadder part of the story is that it was not the adult that posted the video, it was the teenagers that committed this heinous act that posted it, bragging about what they had done.

If you have not seen the video, and want to know what is going on, here is the video. (For full disclosure, I must admit that I cannot bring myself to watch the actual video, but have heard and read numerous reports on the details of what is actually shown.)

As the DailyDot puts it:

A group of teens in Greece, N.Y. became Internet celebrities for all the wrong reasons yesterday after a video that showed them harassing Karen Klein, a bus monitor, surfaced on YouTube. The bullying was vile, nasty, and hard to watch.

 

When I first read the article yesterday, my heart went out to Ms. Klein. Today, we hear her side of the story. The anger that I felt yesterday is even more intense today, after hearing from her personally.

Image via thedailywh.at

In an article at thedailywh.at, this is what Ms. Klein had to say about the event:

What was Klein thinking as the juvenile delinquents berated her Monday?

Something about me being so fat and ugly your kids probably should commit suicide. I don’t think they knew my son had… I wanted to punch them is what I wanted to do. So that’s why I laid back, tried to ignore it. Because I really wanted to hurt them, you know?

 

Just ten years ago, her son took his life, and here are these kids taunting her that this is what she should do. She tried to ignore it. She tried.

Personally, this hit home. A little more than 11 years ago my husband took his own life. She said she wanted to “punch them”. I wasn’t the one being berated, and I want to punch them now! I want to hear from the parents of these teenagers! How are they going to be disciplined for this?  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the parents actually defend the actions of these teenagers!

When I was growing up, if I had participated in something like this, I most certainly would not have been brave enough to post it somewhere bragging about it! However, I would never have dreamed of doing something like this! I was not the most innocent of children, yet I was raised to respect other people, and with no question, respect your elders! When I did step out of line with disrespect towards others I was disciplined, as I should have been!

However, in a day and age where “disciplining” a child is perceived as “abuse”, it is quite possible that the parents of these teenagers will see nothing wrong with their actions. It very well may be the case that the parents will defend their children’s  right  to “free speech”, rather than disciplining them appropriately. I hope this is not the case, but society has taught me not to expect any differently.

** Update:  **
In an interview this morning on Good Morning America, Robert Helm, the father of one of the boys has responded, saying:

“My heart broke. I couldn’t believe my son could treat another human being like that.”

He goes on to say that his son “now knows he was wrong”, saying it was a “stupid mistake” and that his son is “paying for it”, and believes his son’s image out all over the internet is punishment enough.  Mr. Helm’s son did not know that this kind of behavior was wrong before? He now realizes it? Just as I expected, it doesn’t seem as though there will be any real discipline delivered to this boy. Though he is not saying it is OK what his son has done, Mr. Helm said he believes having it aired on the internet for the entire world to see is punishment enough. You have got to be kidding me! These kids posted the video themselves! This was not punishment, they were reveling in their vileness!

Unfortunately, the family has received death threats, as the family’s information was put out online. While I do not agree with the death threats, this man is not doing his son any favors by thinking this is “punishment enough”!

Proverbs 13:24 is very clear:

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

America was founded on Biblical truth, yet in today’s America, we have forgotten the cornerstone of truth. We no longer live our day-to-day lives on these Truths, but rather reject the Bible for “politically correct” parenting. In today’s society, to spank a child is, in many places, actually against the law. Discipline is not “politically correct”.  Instead, so often the child is allowed to get his or her own way, and the parent tries to be a “friend” rather than a parent. The end result? Karen Klein is the recipient of the end result of modern parenting in America.  Can we really expect anything different?

Thankfully, the story doesn’t end here. Again, quoting the DailyDot:

But the viral video wasn’t the end of the story. The Internet rallied around Klein, and within 24 hours had raised more than $150,000 for her.

Again, I ask the question… What do we expect, America? If you are not taught to respect your elders, and that there are consequences for your actions, what do we expect? Many of the youth today are simply a product of politically correct parenting.

However, we do have hope in our future, as represented here by a very young group of Marines. The actual video has been removed by the person who posted it, but this is a screenshot of those young men:

God bless these young men, and all who have supported Karen Klein! I hope she enjoys her vacation of a lifetime! She most certainly deserves it!