Good morning on this the twenty sixth day of November, in the year of our Lord 2016.
Holidays make for very busy times, and as I’ve discovered over the years, about sixteen times so when you have little children you’re responsible for. Especially when they’re around other people’s little children they’re responsible for. My brother-in-law and his wife are over, staying with my parents-in-law, and so that makes for five children ranging from ages three months to seven years. The amount of energy and ability to create trouble seemingly out of thin air (but really by using couches, chairs, walls, and floors) is astonishing.
Which also gets to the heart of the failure of a great many philosophies. Both communism and Objectivism are failures if anyone ever tries them, though of the two communism will always be worse because Objectivism does nothing to stamp out the religious impulse in man which will make the Hobbesian fight of all-against-all more cooperative, while communism will generally murder all of the religious people, or die trying (it never managed to succeed completely). Be that as it may, one of the biggest failings of both is that they seem to have been constructed for a race of men who is never born and who never dies. This seems to be a trait common to beliefs popular among relatively rich people; they take little notice of how life is actually lived, especially for the common man, and extend this moment into forever.
Both Marxism and Objectivism assume that all people are economic producers, but children are not economic producers. Of course marxism and objectivism don’t literally assume that children don’t exist, but they both treat children so unrealistically that they might as well assume children away. Marxism collectivises children, but in general the only people who love children enough to put up with all of the work and stress and misery and pain that raising children entails are the child’s parents. There are people who step into the role of parents, but they bond to only a few children who they believe will stay with them forever; they act like parents and have the same needs as parents. And among these needs, commonly, is the need to teach one’s children and the need to have a strong bi-directional bond with one’s children. Marxism gives these to the state; though in practice it did generally leave children with their parents rather than turning all children into orphans (as it should have) because however unrealistic marxists are, they weren’t suicidal. The most dangerous place in the world to be is between a healthy parent and its child.
Objetivism isn’t very coherent, and I do think that sometimes it’s just repudiating some collectivist concept which no sane person (but alas too many marxists) have espoused, but under misleading terminology. Having said that, it was very clear from the first 150 pages of Atlas Shrugged that Ayn Rand doesn’t really believe that children are children; they’re all miniature adults. Presumably she knows that babies have nothing to trade their parents, and equally presumably she came up with some explanation to cover this glaring flaw in her scheme, but until you actually raise children (Rand never did), you don’t have any sense of just how much raising children is carrying a very cute cross with more than a few splinters in it. It’s good work. It’s worthwhile work. It’s a participation in God’s boundless generosity and therefore a source of happiness. What it isn’t is comfortable work. If you don’t tap into the source of all life, it is soul-crushing work. All good work is, of course; you must exert energy to lift heavy things, and if you don’t eat, you will exhaust yourself quickly lifting heavy things. All really good work is like that. It takes from you because you have something to give. Only God gives to us without asking or needing anything in return. That’s why God is the source of all success, and why saints get so much done.