Kemmis v. Rand

After carefully reading both Kemmis and Rand, I found myself torn between two very different ideologies; civic republicanism and classic liberalism.  While at first Rand seems brave and bold, he sounds increasingly selfish and uncompromising after reading Kemmis’ interpretation of a government. Rand’s extremist view represents the innovators, original thinkers that veer off the path who want to create and build.  The Rand reading is eye opening as the speech of a man persecuting those who are followers insinuates that nothing would be done if it were not for the individuals that were later persecuted for their innovative actions. Rand argues that society would be perpetually stuck in an outdated society without these select leaders, and while reading, you can’t help but think Rand does make an excellent point.

Kemmis on the other hand has a completely different view of how society should function.  While using his barn as a microcosm for society, he describes the towns’ effort and how the barn relied on all of its contributors in order for it to function. In the reading Kemmis is able to describe how the community works, and when the barn is constructed with the help of the community.  It is a holistic effort, one that can only work if every member of the community is willing to help just as much as the other.  While this community is ideal, it is also fictional and unrealistic. While I was following Kemmis’ general train of thought throughout the reading, Kemmis’ idea of complete selflessness is where I found myself torn between the two ideologies.  While it would be nice if everyone had a shared interest in each other, the fact is that there will always be an individual like the one Rand refers to in “The Fountainhead.”

When posed the question, “Which ideology works?” I found myself giving the same frustrating answer that I had given earlier in the week.   In my personal opinion-not that this is a platform for my own beliefs-a culmination of the two is the most logical, sensible way of running a community, and further, a government.  Both Rand and Kemmis have interesting ideas and valid points, but they are both too extreme, and when asked to pick one, I couldn’t.  Additionally, I couldn’t help but relate these readings to the modern political parties. Although the modern political parties are most definitely watered down versions of the two extreme readings from Rand and Kemmis, I would have to say that Kemmis’ reading most reflects the democrats’ view of government. With their emphasis on shared values and community building, it is easy see the parallel between Kemmis and the Democratic party.  Rand’s views on the other hand, are similar to that of the Republican Party’s with their emphasis on individualism.  Kemmis would be spearheading social welfare programs and creating homeless shelters, whereas Rand would be eliminating social security and constructing new tax cuts.

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One Response to Kemmis v. Rand

  1. kaschuma says:

    I agree with you that the further I look into the values of classical liberalism, the more selfish and impossible it becomes. Your linking of Ann Rand to the Republican party reminded me of an interesting article I read comparing her to Warren Buffet. It draws many of the same conclusions that you did.
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-fair-society/201108/warren-buffet-versus-ayn-rand
    This blog takes the rather bold step of claiming that civic republicanism is the only way to run a government, but I would agree with you that both ideologies are too extreme to be followed completely.

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