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09 February 2014 @ 05:59 am
My mother made me a libertarian  
We now know that Ayn Rand's excesses can be blamed on her childhood. Her mother made her give her toys to the needy, and she grew up to blame all our problems on mandatory altruism.

I have now learned that Ma in Little House on the Prairie is portrayed as the same sort of mother. Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, whose contribution to Little House was somewhere between editorial assistance and writing the whole thing, was one of the leading libertarian thinkers of the 1930s.

My mother made me feel bad ("you should be grateful"*) about having toys but never actually took them away from me, so I was able to get over libertarianism.

* When I read in Stranger in a Strange Land that gratitude always includes resentment, I believed it, but I've learned that such feelings are nowhere near universal, and I figured out how not to feel that way about those I love.

Thanx to Making Light.
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Carol Kennedycakmpls on February 9th, 2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
I've never felt resentment in my gratitude. I think this is related to my never feeling "Why me?" about bad things, but rather "Why not me?" I'll have to think about this--over the years you have given me many things to think about, and I am grateful, without resentment!

(Another possible connection is my spouse's observation years ago--and I have always agreed with it--that generally, the most intelligent people we know like to meet others who are "smarter" than they are, who know things they don't.)
El Coyote Gordo: fractal brainsupergee on February 9th, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
I don't think in ordered terms. I love meeting people who know things I don't, and they tend to be of comparable intelligence. I've met a few people whom I am willing to concede are smarter than I am, and I guess I do like it more because I'm liable to learn more new things, but I haven't really thought of it that way.

Also, learning new things doesn't kick in the gratitude/resentment thing; that tends to come with physical needs.