There’s an Atlas Shrugged (the book) page on Facebook which I didn’t know about as I am not generally keen on the Randian philosophy, or whatever morphological monstrosity its current manifestation is at the hands of materialistic, utilitarian youthful types of the day. In fact, I would never have known if one my Facebook “friends” had not liked this page, and thus, filtered in a Thanksgiving greeting from said Atlas Shrugged page on her wall.
This person, who really meets more the “acquaintance” requirements than “friendship” criteria in my sphere, is not someone I envision as being the most literate or philosophically-minded person in the world. This person is female and quite obese. She has recently come to represent a new archetype I’ve been pondering for the past several months.
She is very obese, overbearing, loud, exaggerated, excessive. In all manners of existence. She is quite the antithesis to me, but we get along on a level required of social intelligence that allows us to coexist with others flexibly on that plane of existence that is born of necessity and pragmatic cooperation. Which is to say, we have absolutely nothing in common other than dumb circumstance. Whatever. It’s all good. We are both mature enough to realize we can skirt each other while still precariously humoring the other’s incontrovertible presence in our daily rigmarole.
We are diametric opposites.
Whereas I am a minimalist, a modern day urban ascetic, a battle further compounded by the absolute need to survive in an environment that requires more, much more, she…well…
I have coined a word for her type. A maximilist.
She approaches life from a completely foreign perch than my own. Initially, I was astounded to discover she was an alleged Randian (if in fact, Facebook likes are indicative of anything), or that she even knew who Ayn Rand was, but after reading the passage which was posted as a Thanksgiving greeting on the Atlas Shrugged Facebook page, it sorta fell into place.
It now made sense why she would like this Randian principle of abundance…because my acquaintance is a maximilist.
Maximilism has a face.
My friend is obese and she indulges in all facets of the world and life, and she measures spiritual accomplishment and succor by how many avenues of sensory experience she can affix her reality to, and of course, the more vivid and physically sensational, the better.
A maximilist is a vessel that leaves himself enough space to absorb as much of life’s sensations as possible (and if there is not space, this does not prevent further accumulation). Food, sex, emotion, pleasure, pain…the maximilist merely requires a sensation in order to feel sated. This leads to obesity, addiction, abuse, emotional gluttony, sadism, passive bullyism. A maximilist is a veritable feast of human existential byproduct. A maximilist will create sensation if the environment has none to offer. The maximilist is an abundance addict.
Abundance, of the Randian reference above, is the denouement to a maximilist life lived, the final act of a life steered and fueled by maximilism that is writ overbearingly in the daily life of the subject, a series of seconds, minutes, hours, days, that serve to multiply the more, more, more, that he so craves for the lifeblood of his soul.
The Randian bullshit about productivity is merely soulless ambition, fathomless desire; it is a base hunger, robotic in its inhumanity. It is an outlook that asks itself how much until we’ve filled the container?…and answers, good, let’s keep piling it on after that in order to prove our efficacy as human consumers of abundance.
We will continue to till the seeds of productivity and the excess redeems our existence. Because we are maximilists!
As a minimalist, this pains me.
For a minimalist, abundance is the floor of the container; for the maximilist, abundance is the burial of the container in overflow.
It’s not difficult to see how American obesity’s new clarion call might very well be Ayn Rand. The American drive to survive and excel was usurped by the mutated virus of maximilism, a state in which abundance created a bottomless well for our collectively gluttonous belly to draw upon.