And granted, I’m a little behind the times here, talking about a person whose most famous works came out in the ’40s and ’50s, although folks still bow at her altar today—as do Marxists for Marx, that cantankerous, boil-butted fundamentalist. The thing is, they’re both so verbally autocratic—and then others translate this emotion with a hammer in hand. Anyway, I read the following quote the other day, from Ayn Rand, who is the author of the massive-sellers The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. She is also the ‘founder’ of Objectivism. She writes:
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
Who outside of, well, possibly God (who never precisely returns my emails), lunatic dictators and fundamentalists of all sorts, religious or non-religious, could really believe this?
In other words, I must contradict Ayn Rand. I think I’ll write her a letter that I think she’ll read. Even though she’s dead. Those two ideas may be a contradiction.
That hat contradicts both logic and fashion, so does smoking and freedom. ‘I am free to smoke, and then smoking chains me by addiction, gives me cancer, and I am anything but free.’ A contradiction.
Definition: Contradictory: of words or propositions so related that both cannot be true and both cannot be false; “‘perfect’ and ‘imperfect’ are contradictory terms.”
We live on a perpetually spinning yet life-producing round rock, and we don’t fall off, though we fall down, and it’s going nobody-knows-where, warmed by the sun, cooled by water falling from clouds, yet we claim to be in control of our own lives; we feel and/or long to be ‘free,’ yet are utterly dependent on everything—nature, air and others; we are imbued with a relentless yearn for life, yet must die, all the while living in a curious balancing act of choices and non-choices, controls and freedoms. And by our very physical design, we misperceive what we believe is certain.
So Ayn, to say contradictions do not exist, is naughty. And silly. And some would say idiotic. Calling you naughty may be a contradiction to what you really are. Although that hat is rather naughty. And I’ll give you this: you are thought-provoking—but you’re actually a fundamentalist. Minus the fun. Although the ‘fun’ in fundamentalism might also be a contradiction. Or maybe I don’t know what a contradiction is. Which would mean my so-called logic has contradicted itself. Damn.
Ditto with this:
“People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it—walk.”
As long as the ‘straight’ is the same direction as Ayn Rand. Otherwise, according to the above, one doesn’t understand. Anything. Unless you’re saying two people can go in opposite directions and both be right. But that would be a contradiction, and generally leads to war, or worse, ill-feeling. I went over all this with Atlas, and he shrugged.
My life—a very fortunate and wonderful life—my existence, is all bound together and pulled apart by contradiction. Which may be a contradiction.
Feel free to contradict me.
Yours in love and contradiction,