December 2, 2008

Ayn Rand On Eco-Totalitarian Parenting

I wish I could forget how much I despise Ayn Rand. Things just published this excerpt from a 1971 collection of essays called, The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolutionwhere she tried to paint a horrific view of the world if the Indian tear-wiping, pollution-hating tree-hugging hippies took over:

Your wife gets up at six A.M - you have insisted that she sleep until the coal furnace, which you lighted, has warmed the house a little. She has to cook breakfast for your son, aged five; there are no breakfast cereals to give him, they have been prohibited as not sufficiently nutritious; there is no canned orange juice - cans pollute the countryside. There are no electric refrigerators.

She has to breast-feed your infant daughter, aged six months; there are no plastic bottles, no baby formulas. There are no products such as "Pampers"; your wife washes diapers for hours each day, by hand, as she washes all the family landury, as she washes the dishes - there are no self-indulgent luxuries such as washing machines or automatic dishwashers or electric irons. There are no vacuum cleaners; she cleans the house by means of a broom.

"There are no shopping centers - they despoil the beauty of the countryside. She walks two miles to the nearest grocery store and stands in line for an hour or two. The purchases she lugs home are a little heavy; but she does not complain - the lady columnist in the newspaper has said it is good for her figure.

So your kid's Scoutmaster is Ted Kaczynski, but at least you still get to be the man of the house.


"In the newspaper" What?! In this vision of the future, they are still cutting down trees to make newspapers? Sheesh!

And apparently they've lost the wheel, too. My granny had a folding wheeled cart to take the groceries home.

Ok, setting aside the fact that the husband could do a little work in the house, i think the funniest aspect is the tone of this. Switch it around just a little bit and it sounds wonderfully rustic:

wake up with the sun, make breakfast from scratch, breastfeed, (ok, all the washing sucks), shop at local farms and smaller run stores.

But what the mom really needs is a bike -- forget lugging the heavy groceries home on you back!

Forget about the tree-hugging vision of the future, this sounds like the "peak oil" vision of the future. All the Rand-spouting, global warming denying, SUV drivers have sucked up all the oil and now we all have to walk to work on the banana plantation. In Maine.
That said, it's always amazing how wrong predictions of the future can go. I mean why don't I have an autogyro launching pad on the top of my mile-high condo? Or do they have those in Dubai now?

it's like half the craft blogs out there. and wasn't there a reality show about living with 19th c technology?

Frontier House. Three was a BBC one set during WWII, as well--coal heat, et c.

This is not entirely dissimilar to the way we're actually--and blissfully--raising X. Except, yeah, there is second, opposable-thumb-bearing adult in the house. She also failed to extend her vision. You'd have a return to an extended family model, as well, with many more thumbs from other generations available to help out. And that sort of economy also makes domestic servants available to the middle class.

Marketplace called the recession the complete failure of the Ayn Rand model. Up yours, Ayn!

No dishwashers? Any good hippie would tell you that dishwashers, used appropriately, are far more energy/water efficient than washing dishes by hand.

And who wants to drink canned orange juice? Eww.

"She has to breastfeed your infant daughter." dirty, dirty heathens!

You hate her because she's a greedy, egotistical b**ch who preached a philosophy designed to appeal to the selfish worst in people. Carry on.

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