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Ja, het deed mij eerst ook denken aan mijn verre verleden als katholieke jongen toen ik in de mooie Gregoriaanse zangboeken na het Gloria Patri de afko “euouae” zag staan en daarop de tekst “Et In Saecula Saeculorum, Amen” moest zingen. Ik schaam me niet voor dit verleden: ik heb mijzelf immers genezen (al ging dat niet zonder slag of stoot) en hoewel ik een zwak plekje voor Gregoriaans in mijn muzikantenhart heb gehouden, bleken de klinkers niets met het Gloria Patri te maken te hebben.

Daarna dacht ik nog dat het een echolaliaanse tekst was van een Tourette-patient. De koordirigent in mij zag onmiddelijk dat het alle vijf klinkers waren die ik zo goed uit Hellwag’s klinkerdriehoek ken. Helaas, weer mis.

Deze vijf magische letters zijn de vijf polen van mijn psychologische ego: Ik ben, volgens de Breyers-Devere Probe of Human Worth (BDPHW) een Absolutistische, Egoïstische, Intelectualistische, Optimistische Übermensch.


Moral Absolutist (A) vs. Moral Relativist (R)

Moral absolutists believe in an absolute moral structure, usually based upon a religion or a dubious belief-system such as Freudianism and Marxism. They are apt to use phrases such as “It’s only right!”

Relativists believe that morals are relative to a situation, and can rarely make expedient business decisions, or even decide where to have dinner.

Egoists (E) vs. Team-Players (T)

Egoists perform best in individual endeavors such as the arts, in which it is imperative that one consciousness grasp the whole undertaking. They also relate everything you say in terms of events in their own lives, no matter how remote the connection.

Team players function best in a team environment, but they may or not be leaders (See Übermensch). Team Players may be sheep who hide their mediocrity in the crowd.

Intellectual (I) vs. Feeler (F)

Intellectuals approach problems with thought, but can’t even eat a sandwich without telling you about some book you never read.

Feelers respond emotionally and immediately, and do not tend to filter experience through their logical faculties. Feelers want their feelings affirmed, and understood, but rarely analyzed, especially by intellectuals, and certainly not be Absolutist Intellectuals.

Optimist (O) vs. Pessimist (P)

Optimists believe the universe tends toward progress, and usually carry themselves in a happy manner that is especially irksome to pessimists.

All pessimists believe that they are realists, and that their individual world is programmed for defeat.

Übermensch/Überfrau (U) vs. Sheep (S)

Übermenschen (“overmen”) have overcome self-doubt, and do whatever they do confidently; they are the leaders of the team if Team-Players, and often are blazingly original minds if Egoists. Masters of themselves, they refuse to be dominated by (or even interested in the lives of) other people.

Sheep, whatever their other qualities, follow the herds, and try to hide their indelible mediocrity. Sheep who are also Team Players, function well in such a milieu, while Egoistic Sheep always make noises about being better than the other sheep and being Übermensch material, but seldom are.

Op wie lijk ik dan? Ieder mens is natuurlijk uniek, maar ik kom het meest overeen met Theodoor Roosevelt en Alan Greenspan. Niet de minste. Qua beroep zou ik Televisie-evangelist moeten worden, of een “smiling Butler” in de stijl van Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand klopt wel, maar die butler, of erger nog, die evangelist….nou nee.

Trouwens even nog gezocht naar de “smiling butlers” vond ik dit op Noodle Food, een website van Diana Hsieh:

This “Strange Bedfellows” article first caught my attention for its bizarre understanding of Ayn Rand. Here’s how it starts:

In the mid-20th century a brash author, Ayn Rand, wrote two best selling novels, The Fountainhead (1943), and Atlas Shrugged (1957). Rand was the consummate economic conservative. In her world the good guys were entrepreneurs, tycoons who bought land, built factories, and lived in lush splendor. She hated taxation, hated government, hated anything that stood in the way of strong people who got what they wanted. Billboards and smiling butlers were the symbols of virtue in Rand’s world. There were no other. Her bold, courageous capitalists slept around at will, as promiscuous as pit bull terriers. Mom and dad, church on Sunday, or anything that smacked of charity was for liberal do-gooders.

I love the bit about “smiling butlers,” since nary a butler appears anywhere in Ayn Rand’s fiction, as far I recall. (I searched the Objectivism Research CD-ROM for the term “butler” but came up with no hits.)

Just for the record, I should say that Ayn Rand opposed coercive taxation, advocated limited government, and championed the individual rights of all, including producers. That’s a far cry from “hat[ing] taxation, hat[ing] government, hat[ing] anything that stood in the way of strong people who got what they wanted.” Although I’m not exactly sure how promiscuous pit bull terriers are, none of Ayn Rand’s heroes were “casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior” by any stretch of the imagination.

The article is equally inaccurate in its characterization of capitalism. However, the delicious irony is that its basic point — that the altruism of Christianity is inconsistent with capitalism — is from Ayn Rand herself. But don’t get too excited… it advocates abandoning capitalism for Christianity.

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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2. By Dan Geddes on Dec 22, 2008 | Reply


    The suggested vocation of “Ayn Rand’s Butler” should be associated with Alan Greenspan, who of course was never her butler, but more her “intellectual lackey” or valet. I thought the notion of Ayn Rand having a butler would be intrinsically humorous.

    For televangelist you should bear in mind the assumption that many/most televangelists are conscious and deliberate frauds. This fits their AEIOU personalities with the possible exception of Absolutist. You might think of them as relativists, but if you keep in mind that their moral code is self-aggrandizement, and that they are absolute about it, and don’t want to have any philosophical discussions about it, then it fits.


    Dan Geddes
    The Satirist

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