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August 30th, 2012
01:03 pm
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Saddled with tyranny
 
Alright, so: this OKCupid profile got linked on Twitter. The greatest highlight is that the "proud conservative American and brony" who "work(s) very hard to enmesh the philosophy of Ayn Rand within the framework of tolerance and love espoused by Pink Pie and friends" is "trying to finish the first draft of (his) e-book entitled Serfdom in Equestria, an expose on the liberal agenda slowly eroding freedom in the My Little Pony universe."

Things kinda escalated, and, um ... I may or may not have offered to play devil's advocate on that topic, in the service of sparking an interesting debate.

So:

The "liberal agenda slowly eroding freedom" in Equestria is NOT Celestia's 1000+ years of absolute rule -- but Princess Luna's return.

[Princess Luna]

MARXIST MASTERMIND: THREAT OR MENACE?


Consider these facts:
  • Celestia basically is Objectivist hero Mane Galt. Before the days of Equestria, there was a collectivized society in which unicorns shared control of the sun. A society so deeply dysfunctional that the three races of ponies destroyed a nation through the Tragedy of the Commons, and almost drove themselves extinct. Celestia's rise to power shows how the power of the productive individual will always create better results than a system of useless parasites. Since then, Celestia has managed the sun and guided the state to create a Randian utopia.

  • A thousand years ago, as the series tells us in its opener, Luna "... became resentful. ... One fateful day, the younger unicorn refused to lower the moon to make way for the dawn." Wait -- WAIT. What call could a non-parasite ever have to become resentful? If she was providing a legitimate service to Equestria, she could have simply withdrawn it, and the world would quickly crumple at its lack. Note she didn't withdraw her moon from society -- she used it to block the sun, source of crops and heat and light. Just like useless and illegitimate trade unions trying to leech off of benevolent industrialists, the only power this evil liberal has is to loot and destroy the products of others.

  • Celestia defeated Luna, of course. But she would retain within her the seeds of Equestria's future downfall: guilt. Alas, she could not be the perfect paragon of enlightened selfishness that Equestria deserved; she could not rid herself of the notion that kindness could have ever transformed the lunar looter's inherent uselessness.

  • So Luna returned from the moon and decreed that the night would last forever. Again, she was holding Equestria for ransom: confiscating ponykind's earnings by force. Classical big-state liberalism.

  • There was a fight, triangle won, and then ... Celestia gave half of the state's power to an unelected, unaccountable war criminal. What!

  • Look at the nightmare of modern liberalism demonstrated by Luna's return ... in fact, look at Nightmare Night (since that's the main evidence the show gives us). She waltzed into Ponyville when they were having a simple seasonal festival, and declared by fiat that they would change it into a celebration of excess. In honor of herself, naturally. When the citizens protested, she attacked them with sonic and biological weapons. Again the show of force to get her way. Liberals cannot change, they can only steal.

The solution is clear: it is time once again for Celestia to go Galt. Leave the resourceless mountain peak to the lunar looter and her useless minions of the state. Take all of Equestria's producers and retreat into the laissez-faire unregulated paradise of the Everfree Forest, and let an irredeemable society spasm in its death throes.




EDITED TO ADD: A friend writes via IM, "I do, however, think your conclusion is off. Celestia can no longer be trusted to act in her own best interests (*gag*). We need a new hero. And do you know who was founding an autonomous, self-sufficient utopia? Braeburn."

Of course! And the Appleloosans were putting to productive use land which the irrational and superstitious natives wanted to leave fallow. Titans of industry!

Current Location: ~spiral
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[User Picture]
From:elynne
Date:August 30th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
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can't... stop... giggling...
From:xviith_et_seq
Date:August 30th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
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The title is the best part.

(Deleted comment)
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From:baxil
Date:August 31st, 2012 02:49 am (UTC)
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... Upvote? Where's the upvotes? Why can't I give you all of my upvotes ever? AAH IT'S LIKE WEB 3.1 BY NOW WHY DOESN'T LIVEJOURNAL HAVE AN UPVOTE BUTTON

*ehem*

So, er, instead I'll just have to spout the praises of the most consistent Objectivist on the show: Discord.

He, um, (tries to keep a straight face) rejected institutionalized violence and bureaucracy in all its forms, and was the absolute pinnacle of enlightened self-interest. His reign brought great benefits to Equestria, such as chocolate rain, not through benevolence but through simply transforming the world into one which was more bountiful and productive.

Also note that Great Objectivist Villain™ Luna was the driving factor behind shutting down his reign the first time, when she convinced her sister to wield the Elements of Harmony against him.
(Deleted comment)
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From:baxil
Date:August 31st, 2012 02:57 am (UTC)
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I don't know, arguably Chrysalis failed in her ideals because she had to resort to the violence of the state in her effort to eradicate the state. That she was better in wielding it doesn't make her morally superior.

But Trixie? Pulled down by the weak and small-minded after she demonstrated her inherent superiority. Her entertainment was a valuable service for the ponies of Equestria, boosting morale, and in fair exchange for a fair wage. She's a capitalist icon, and the jealous masses couldn't abide that.
(Deleted comment)
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From:baxil
Date:August 31st, 2012 03:04 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]
From:citrakayah
Date:August 31st, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
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You are maintaining an impossible standard for objectivism here.

Consistency.
[User Picture]
From:prickvixen
Date:September 1st, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
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'Chocolate rain'? Is that an actual thing in MLP?
(Deleted comment)
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From:Deskairn
Date:August 31st, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)

Troll Account?

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That profile doesn't look like a real account. There are too many blatant discrepancies. Notably, Ayn Rand was both a militant atheist and an opponent of disability programs, and I doubt someone with great familiarity with the show would call Pinkie 'Pink Pie'. Meanwhile, pretty much everything that isn't self-contradictory is one or another loud negative stereotype.

This looks like someone playing a mean-spirited joke by combining several straw men together. It looks like the sort of person who can't handle the idea that people they disagree with are capable of intelligence, so they work way too hard to present a picture of cognitive dissonance.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:August 31st, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Troll Account?

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I'd love to think that that sort of hypocrisy is a sign of insincerity, but America's joke of a modern conservative movement makes that an untenable assumption.

(I realize that this tilts me dangerously close to "the sort of person who can't handle the idea that people they disagree with are capable of intelligence", but seriously, movement conservatism of the sort idolized -- though not represented -- by our case study has been marching for a decade or more in anti-intellectual lockstep into a dangerous, dysfunctional wasteland. For instance, only 1 in 4 Republican voters thinks that Obama was born in the US despite all official documentation to the contrary. Simply by the law of averages, a lot of IQ 100+ people believe that, which is testament not to their idiocy but the virulence and danger of the memetic turf they're in.)

If I had to lay down money, I'd bet on sincere, but I'll grant that this is a textbook case of Poe's Law (and/or Corollary).

Edited at 2012-08-31 06:54 pm (UTC)
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From:circuit_four
Date:September 6th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)

Re: Troll Account?

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Man, speaking as an experienced student of "psychoceramics"... I could flip a coin on this one, I really could. I sympathize with Deskairn's points, but I think I'm with you on this one -- all you have to do is read a few pages of Snopes to confirm that, yes, there really are lots of people in this society -- liberal, conservative, and What I Don't Even -- whose worldviews are THAT disordered. D: D: D:
[User Picture]
From:circuit_four
Date:September 6th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)

Re: Troll Account?

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Also, HI! Miss ya. Best to Luna. <3

Edited at 2012-09-06 05:18 am (UTC)
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From:baxil
Date:September 6th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
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Hi back! It'll be great to see you at RF. :D
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