Restore Stephen Baldwin?

 Posted by on 6 May 2010 at 7:00 am  Ethics, Funny, Religion
May 062010

The whole “Restore Stephen Baldwin” campaign leaves me utterly speechless:

Happily, others have overcome their shock to make hysterical satires, namely Ignore Stephen Baldwin – Restore Joss Whedon

(Hat tip: Steve Simpson)

Now that I think about it, the campaign reminds me of a scene from Atlas Shrugged. (I covered it in Session 15 of Explore Atlas Shrugged.) The setting is a meeting between Jim and Dagny Taggart, with Jim speaking first.

“Dagny”–his voice was the soft, nasal, monotonous whine of a beggar–”I want to be president of a railroad. I want it. Why can’t I have my wish as you always have yours? Why shouldn’t I be given the fulfillment of my desires as you always fulfill any desire of your own? Why should you be happy while I suffer? Oh yes, the world is yours, you’re the one who has the brains to run it. Then why do you permit suffering in your world? You proclaim the pursuit of happiness, but you doom me to frustration. Don’t I have the right to demand any form of happiness I choose? Isn’t that a debt which you owe me? Am I not your brother?” …

“It’s your sin if I suffer! It’s your moral failure! I’m your brother, therefore I’m your responsibility, but you’ve failed to supply my wants, therefore you’re guilty! All of mankind’s moral leaders have said so for centuries–who are you to say otherwise? You’re so proud of yourself, you think that you’re pure and good–but you can’t be good, so long as I’m wretched. My misery is the measure of your sin. My contentment is the measure of your virtue. I want this kind of world, today’s world, it gives me my share of authority, it allows me to feel important–make it work for me!–do something!–how do I know what?–it’s your problem and your duty! You have the privilege of strength, but I–I have the right of weakness! That’s a moral absolute! Don’t you know it! Don’t you? Don’t you?” …

There was no reason to feel more revulsion than usual, she thought; he had merely uttered the things which were preached, heard and accepted everywhere; but this creed was usually expounded in the third person, and Jim had had the open effrontery to expound it in the first. She wondered whether people accepted the doctrine of sacrifice provided its recipients did not identify the nature of their own claims and actions. She turned to leave.

Congratulations, Stephen Baldwin. You have the effrontery of James Taggart.

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