Saturday, November 30, 2013
Spying "Sanction of the Victim" in a Word
I enjoy stopping by Word Spy from time to time to see what new and interesting words are out there in the popular media, but I got a small jolt from an entry I saw this morning:
copyduty -- n. A legal or voluntary obligation assumed by the owner of a work in exchange for having the work protected by copyright.Given the increased cultural currency of my favorite novelist-philosopher, Ayn Rand, I must say that this is an interesting term. The term perfectly exemplifies something she once discussed in a famous speech to the graduating class at West Point: the often-unappreciated cultural influence of philosophers, such as the duty-foisting Immanuel Kant.
She also had a more general umbrella term for such practices as "compensating" for ownership, as if it isn't a right, or it isn't earned by the creative act itself: "sanction of the victim". Rand's longtime collaborator, Leonard Peikoff, defines sanction of the victim as, "the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the 'sin' of creating values."
"[W]hen Walmart opens a new store, it's not uncommon for as many as 10,000 people to apply for just 300 jobs." -- Doug Altner, in "Why Do 1.4 Million Americans Work at Walmart, With Many More Trying To?" at Forbes
"The FDA is waging war against the mind of the individual. The mind is a terrible thing to lay to waste." -- Harry Binswanger, in "FDA Says, 'No Gene Test for You: You Can't Handle the Truth'" at Forbes
"People with strong moral standards often get frustrated because they can't distinguish between explanations and excuses." -- Michael Hurd, in "Control and Serenity Don't Mix" at The Delaware Wave
"When I say I'm thankful to man, I'm expressing reverence for reason; the one quality that animates human beings to thrive and produce. " -- Michael Hurd, in "Thanksgiving, Rationally Speaking" at The Delaware Coast Press
My Two Cents
Right around the time I heard about the Binswanger piece, I also heard about one man's reaction to having been told, erroneously, in his DNA test results, that he was doomed to suffer from a rare, debilitating illness. His reaction -- to understand and question the results -- is an excellent example of someone behaving against the FDA's stereotype. (This is not to say that the FDA's meddling would be justified, even if most people did behave the way the FDA assumes we would.)
The manager of Arsenal F.C. has brought back the club suit:
In a bid to maximise team spirit in his squad, Arsène Wenger recently decided to re-establish the tradition of wearing team suits - proper suits, not tracksuits - to games on match days.Follow the second link for a team shot. It is nice to see, in this era of nihilistic -- and yet snobbish -- pressure to conform to slovenliness, that the players are on board.