I am back! After almost a week in hiatus, here I am again, writing for the sake of writing. I wish you are out there reading this one… and I hope that you keep coming back.
Why was I away for a couple of days? Well, I have to attend to an urgent matter in Bulacan, where there was no internet connection for some weird reasons. That gave me 5 full days of nothing but reading Atlas Shrugged. Now, I am almost half-way done with the book. Quite fast right?! That’s what you get without the distraction called the internet!
I am really shocked reading at such pace, because knowing my love-hate relationship with Ayn Rand, I won’t be able to stand her for more than two hours. But reading AS for the past few days, I have to admit that I was reading it like those times when I read Harry Potter. 5 hours straight! Imagine! Well, I do think it was her shorter sentences and her gripping plot that made me stuck to the story. She also lays her philosophy in a reader-friendly way. Compared to The Fountainhead, this one is an easier read.
One thing that I get from reading AS is one of the basic tenets of Objectivism: trading value for value. This means, to us humans, that the only moral thing for a man to do is to trade something he values for a thing another one values. For example, if I want an iPhone 5 (where its value comes from the fact that it was a product of hours of research and sweat from Steve Jobs), I would have to trade it for my money, provided that that money is something out of my hardwork. It is only logical I think– it really does make sense. (And yes, I have survived Francisco d’Anconia’s three page speech!)
And of course, whenever Ayn Rand gets in me, I have this anti-poor sentiments sometimes. I was watching for the news few days ago when I have learned about the Guatemala Compound Demolition which had its share of violence. I hate to say this, but I could not possibly side with the informal settlers knowing that they have started the violence. First and foremost, they are in no position to fight for that property! The property is not theirs; but there they were, throwing molotov bombs and some shit! They need to realize the fact that when the time when they needed to vacate the place comes, they need to vacate it asap, especially considering that negotiation talks have been on going ever since 2004.
Neither do they have the impertinent right to refuse the compensations given by the city government. They should realize that these compensations are just out of grace. Following AR’s value for value, they do not deserve the value of their compensation because they do not have any value to trade it for. In fact, they were the transgressors here!
Winnie Monsod had it right when she asked one of the community leaders if they presented a counteroffer during the negotiations, say, an offer to make an agreement that the informal settlers would just buy the land on a particular term. That would be a better compromise, I think! But there was the community leader whining about how the poor are being treated as scums. Uhm, excuse me, you acted like scums! They should realize that they can not keep on using the victim card here, because at some point, one has need to work for the things one owns. Winnie Monsod was right, one has to pay his rent at some point in time.