Monday, August 23, 2010

The Roark factor

"Mama, we talk about democracy, total freedom and all that stuff. Then why can't someone do drugs as his wont, because at the end of the day, even if everyone does it, maybe the country's ruined but he wouldn't be doing nothing harmful.", Vivek says today when we were talking about the most happening drug case.

I've been thinking about it all day and when there was a power cut and I and Amma were talking about something else, I pose the same question to her and she responds, "Because if you have a stupid drunkard bozo walking across the road, imagine the number of vehicles which have to stop and what if he hurts someone or worse misbehaves with a lady." Ofcourse, she's right. We have to ensure that one person's freedom does not, at any cost, intervene into others'.

After this, I don't know how it all started off but for about the next 3 minutes or so, I became an extreme objectivist. I became Rand's mouthpiece. Of all the things I like about The Fountainhead, it is the way in which Rand has convinced us to turn our tables and made Altruism the villain. For that, hats off Rand. I ain't the only one who's been heavily influence by the demigod Roark. RGV and Anurag Kashyap have referenced it a lot of times and probably the most quoted book I've heard, by someone who stands out or stands up, is The Fountainhead. All that apart, what was I talking about to Amma. And why this piece.

The best I like about Objectivism, as created by Ayn Rand, is that concept of a man whose sole pursuit in life is personal happiness. That guy who doesn't give a shit about what his neighbour does, who knows he doesn't have to impress others and sleeps every night, a proud man. That is what I talked about. What the world would be like if everyone strove for individual perfection instead of telling the rest of the world what they should be doing to achieve happiness(paradoxical?), they not strive for fulfillment of their personal whims and fancies. Somebody would be irresponsible and dependent only when there was always somebody to tell him what to do or take care of him even if he didn't give a shit. The moment everybody stops giving a beggar alms, he'd have to earn it. All I'm saying is people who did whatever they wanted to gave more to the world than those who got accustomed to the ways of the world. And since no person would be born ready made to accept the world as it is, making compromises, all those people judged arrogant, selfish and unflinching, die happier than those who became good citizens, took the system in their stride and strove all their lives for pensions and retirement plans.

Apart from that, one more thing I spoke to Amma about was that at the core of human heart, nobody likes to be told. People, if left for themselves tend to be more 'law abiding citizens'(I hope that's the right term when referring to the kind of blokes any government wants) when there is no external force acting upon them, or alternatively, all their life's they become slaves. The problem with this democracy of ours is that it neither gives us total liberty nor is it like a China or a USSR where no matter who you were, you are just another citizen. Another one of those Common Men(portrayed so ruthlessly in the satires of Gogol) that you worked for the Government all your life and no matter how thin, you still were securely wrapped in that blanket called Safety. But that isn't my matter of concern right now. All I'm saying is, consider this situation. You are walking on a deserted road and there's a big stone in the middle of it. When you are walking past it, more often than not, your conscience nags you to pick it up lest somebody drives over it. But one, if somebody came and told you to pick it up, you'd get defensive and refuse to do it because nobody likes to be ordered. You do it to be a nice man, atleast because that act convinces your conscience. But if somebody asks you to, you'd ask why he himself wasn't doing it.(I've seen a lot in case of kids I teach. If a kid does something wrong, instead of telling her to correct it, if I tell the other person that what she did was right and ignore the first child, she'd want to correct her mistake). Now our whole system, the concept of a Government is like that person who tells you to do stuff. Police, Courts and other of all those innumerable departments are those people who make those restrictions. If we didn't have those, we'd be better citizens. Trust me. And two, you wouldn't do it if there were a lot of people walking up and down the road because you'd be scared that they'd think of you as a nutcase. So people who actually think about the world instead of themselves, are pretty much , the world.

But you'd say we need someone to set a common barrier for how much of a liberty you have in such a large democracy like ours. Sure. But that's the problem with things big and large and I'm gonna talk about all that soon. But for now, all I have to say is that if a child born is left unpolluted till he becomes a citizen, the world would be a much better place to live in.

Because even if there's always a Toohey to make a world a sadder, meeker, cowardly place there's also a Roark who stands for integrity, liberty and happiness. And for the Roark who inspired a lot of Roarks in this world, thank you Rand.

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