A entrevista desta filósofa é provocação na medida certa. Quer um bom argumento para ler esse longo post? Olha o que ela escreveu em 1934 (sim, sua vó era virgem!), aos 29 anos:
“I want to be known as the greatest champion of reason and the greatest enemy of religion.”
Em itálico, as falas do entrevistador.
In the Middle Ages, man’s life expectancy was 30 years. If it were true that industry is destructive to human life, one would find life expectancy declining in the more advanced countries. But it has been rising steadily. Anyone over 30 years of age today, give a silent “Thank you” to the nearest, sootiest smokestacks you can find.
What about the other species?
Contrary to the ecologists, nature does not stand still and does not maintain the kind of “equilibrium” that guarantees the survival of any particular species – least of all her greatest and most fragile product, man. [Cult Update 12] Man cannot survive in the state of nature ecologists envision. Man has to discover and produce everything he needs, which means that he has to alter his background. Man has to manufacture things. The lowest tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man.
Don’t you enjoy the world’s biological diversity? Doesn’t the natural world fill you with wonder?
No. You know when I’m filled with wonder? When I look up at skyscrapers, at the manmade, at what men were able to achieve on their own, without the help of faith or any sort of mysticism.
So, mass transit and roads themselves should all be private. No more departments of transportation or motor vehicles.
The only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off. By their very natures, bureaucrats are neither intelligent nor competent, but parasites. The competent do not go in for government service.
How about in the visual arts?
One finds the same sewer in somewhat different forms. The visual arts are ruled by a single principle: distortion. The kindest thing to say would be that the purpose is to take in the suckers and provide a field-day for pretentious mediocrities. I do not know which is worse: to practice modern art as a colossal fraud, or to do it sincerely. [Obj 1047] “Something made by an artist” is not a definition of art. A beard and a vacant stare are not the defining characteristics of an artist.
And in music?
In the field of musical perception, man is still in a state of infancy. Until a conceptual vocabulary is defined, no objectively valid criterion of esthetic judgment is possible in music.
Essa parte agora é SENSACIONAL:
Well, do you enjoy the work of minimalist composers, like Philip Glass and John Adams?
The endless repetition of few notes and of a rhythmic pattern that beats against the brain with the regularity of the ancient torture of water drops falling on a man’s skull, paralyzes cognitive processes, obliterates awareness and disintegrates the mind. Such music produces a state of sensory deprivation.
Surely there must be some bright spot somewhere. For instance, don’t you think US postage stamps are better than ever? After the Elvis stamp in 1993, they really started branching out.
Now this I agree with fully! There is change in the world of stamps, and spectacular displays of human imagination. I like the enormous amount of talent displayed on stamps – more than one can find in today’s art galleries.
You also wrote in that early journal, [Journals 73] “Some day I’ll find out whether I’m an unusual specimen of humanity in that my instincts and reason are so inseparably one, with the reason ruling the instincts. Am I unusually intelligent or merely unusually honest?” What is your answer?
Honesty is a form of superior intelligence.
Meanwhile, you’ve had countless critics.
I don’t give a damn about my critics. I have not heard a good one. I would love to see an honorable adversary, but I have stopped hoping.
Do you ever conclude that you take things too seriously?
[Journals 88] The truly joyous man does not laugh too much, because there is little to laugh at in life as it is today. The truly joyous man takes himself very seriously, because there is no joy without self and pride in self.
It’s from a letter you wrote to a friend in 1948: “I have seldom enjoyed anything concrete or in the present. I am always in the abstract or future.” When you think about the future, what do you see?
If America is to be saved from destruction, she will be saved by her sense of life. [Obj 610] Contemporary events are slowly bringing men’s minds to Objectivism. If men dedicate themselves to the greatest of all crusades, a crusade for the absolutism of reason, the twenty-first century will have a chance.
Abaixo, tuma entrevista com Ayn em 1959.