Category Archive 'Mallory Ortberg'

26 Sep 2018

Old but Good

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20 Aug 2015

Ayn Rand’s Narnia

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HelpingIsFutile

Mallory Ortberg delivers another of her amusing Ayn Rand parodies. This time imagining what you’d get if Ayn Rand had written C.S. Lewis’s Narnia stories. Personally, I find them much improved.

If the witch understood the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the Deep Magic differently, for when a willing victim who has committed no treachery, dies in a traitor’s stead, the stone table will crack and even death itself will turn backwards.”

“Oh, how interesting,” Lucy said. “What is the true meaning of sacrifice, Aslan?”

“It is an artificial anti-concept,” Aslan said in his low, golden voice. “It is the ultimate force of destruction. The very word self less suggests self-immolation, a complete annihilation of one’s own self for the sake of others. Sacrifice destroys knowledge, skill, talent, usefulness, all in the name of duty. It destroys love and self-esteem, which are the same thing. Self-sacrifice is an immoral nightmare.”

“I don’t quite understand,” Lucy said. “Does this mean Edmund is going to die instead of you?”

“Let us put it this way,” Aslan said. “If I exchange a penny for a dollar, have I made a sacrifice?”

“No,” Lucy said.

“But if I were to exchange a dollar for a penny instead,” Aslan said, sounding rather as if he had a locomotive in his throat, “would I be making a sacrifice then?”

“Y-e-s,” Lucy said.

“And you understand why your brother is not the dollar, in this analogy,” he said.

“So Edmund must die,” Lucy said triumphantly, “or else you would be betraying your own values!”

“Exactly,” Aslan said. “Have a penny.”

Edmund burst into tears, like a Communist.

“Oh, do be quiet,” Lucy said to Edmund. “I want to listen to Aslan explain his plans for a transcontinental railroad into Calormen again.”

Read the whole thing.

12 Apr 2015

Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

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hprand

Mallory Ortberg has another episode of Harry Potter as written by Ayn Rand.

“The Ministry of Magic has fallen,” Neville said in despair.

Harry laughed long and loud. “You should not mourn the government,” he told Neville. “The state has never shed a tear for you. Why waste your tears on it?”

He picked up his wand. “For my part, I withdrew my consent to be governed years ago. Taxation is destroying private resources.” A smile played across Harry’s lips. “I hope they destroyed the national bank, while they were at it. I should like to see the goblins of Gringotts face their real enemy — deregulation.”

***

HERE LIES DOBBY, the stone read, A FREE ELF.

Underneath, in slightly smaller letters, it continued: What is the basic, the essential, the crucial principle that differentiates freedom from slavery? It is the principle of voluntary action versus physical coercion or compulsion. Freedom, in a political context, has only one meaning: the absence of physical coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity. It means freedom from the coercive power of the state—and nothing else. If one upholds freedom, one must uphold man’s individual rights; if one upholds man’s individual rights, one must uphold his right to his own life, to his own liberty, to the pursuit of his own happiness—which means: one must uphold a political system that guarantees and protects these rights—which means: the politico-economic system of capitalism. Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries. Since knowledge, thinking, and rational action are properties of the individual, since the choice to exercise his rational faculty or not depends on the individual, man’s survival requires that those who think be free of the interference of those who don’t. Since men are neither omniscient nor infallible, they must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man’s mind. A rational mind does not work under compulsion; it does not subordinate its grasp of reality to anyone’s orders, directives, or controls; it does not sacrifice its knowledge, its view of the truth, to anyone’s opinions, threats, wishes, plans, or “welfare.” Such a mind may be hampered by others, it may be silenced, proscribed, imprisoned, or destroyed; it cannot be forced; a wand is not an argument. It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of such minds—from the intransigent innovators—that all of mankind’s knowledge and achievements have come. It is to such minds that mankind owes its survival.

The gravestone was seven and a half feet tall.

***

NINETEEN YEARS LATER

“I’m taking the children down the Platform 9 3/4s to see them off to school,” Ginny said to Harry. “Want to come?”

“I build trains,” Harry said, adjusting his hat so that the brim sat low over one eye, “I don’t watch children board them.”

Ginny respected him for it.


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