How Ayn Rand Tanked The Economy

Screen-shot-2011-04-11-at-9.46.35-PM-e1302612380309Ayn Rand was a godawful writer, and in ironic fashion her philosophy failed disastrously in her personal life. Yet decades after her death, her work’s destructive influence has never been stronger. The Awl rips apart the “Objectivist” doctrine championed by Rand and one of her most adoring disciples, former Fed chief Alan Greenspan:

That pill-popping, boy-crazy nincompoop Ayn Rand has got a lot to answer for. Indeed, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that we owe at least part of the recent economic crisis to her and her philosophy of Objectivism, since former Fed chief Alan Greenspan was a lifelong disciple of both.

The two first met in the ’50s. Back then, a gang of acolytes, calling themselves the Collective, used to gather at Rand’s apartment on East 36th Street every Saturday night so they could tell each other how smart they all were. Along came Greenspan one evening, shy and somber.

It took a while for Greenspan and Rand to warm to one another. She nicknamed him “the undertaker,” owing to his dark clothes and mournful air, and he, a self-avowed logical positivist, required a certain amount of wooing on the philosophical side. But in time he became fiercely devoted to Rand, one of her most trusted confidants; he taught her something of the economics she shoehorned into Atlas Shrugged. He wrote for The Objectivist magazine, and stayed a close friend until her death in 1982.

Though the schemes of both these idealists crashed mightily and catastrophically to earth, both steadfastly refused ever to regret or repudiate the follies of Objectivism. The shocking thing is that despite all the evidence—which could not possibly be more damning—many on Wall Street and on the right continue to insist that Ayn Rand is a genius and that Objectivism is the answer to all mankind’s problems.

If that were so, doesn’t it stand to reason that the top genius’s own life would demonstrate at least a few of the benefits of being an Objectivist? Which, sadly, it really, really does not.

Greenspan’s tenure of nearly two decades as the chairman of the Federal Reserve is the second longest in history. Shouldn’t he have bestowed on a grateful public a legacy demonstrating the wisdom of Objectivist laissez-faire policies? We know how that turned out, too.

Read the rest at The Awl

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  • Why

    what tripe, anyone wanting to bash free markets and capitalism cannot look to blame American and the markets there since the 80’s as captialism. Indeed, this is the largest global fascist movement the world has ever seen. Therein lies the source of the problems we are now experiencing. Government backed markets, fixing interest rates and other commodity prices and favoring massive corporate interests and selectively enforcing regulations resemble capitalism about as much as Tim Geitner resembles Megan Fox.

  • Why

    what tripe, anyone wanting to bash free markets and capitalism cannot look to blame American and the markets there since the 80’s as captialism. Indeed, this is the largest global fascist movement the world has ever seen. Therein lies the source of the problems we are now experiencing. Government backed markets, fixing interest rates and other commodity prices and favoring massive corporate interests and selectively enforcing regulations resemble capitalism about as much as Tim Geitner resembles Megan Fox.

    • MoralDrift

      Isn’t that the point though? Capitalism, if left unchecked will always follow the morals of the greedy or, might makes right. Why should we leave the reins of a nation in the hands of business giants and simply pray that they are benevolent?

      In the same token, what is to be said about unions then? If we live in a nation of competition, then just as the wealthy congregate so should the rest of us. The union, the club, the party originate as genuine expressions of collective will and in theory work towards the common good. To agree to the doctrine of might makes right, implies agreement in the idea of persons pooling their resources for common causes, unions and corporations being prime examples.

      The real problem with all of this is that those who claim to despise the collective and herald the individual above all else, are truly liars. The lie is that there is strength enough in the individual to take on the world, which is exactly how conglomerated businessmen would love you to think. Splitting human beings up into individual consumers is vital to stripping the maximum amount of value from your existence. Individually wrapped, individually sealed neat little trinkets devoid of genuine ties to their environment and the other shrink-wrapped individuals all just in it for themselves.

      • DeepCough

        Indeed, the individuals who insist so on society, or “the collective,” acknowledging their rugged individualism are not only the grossest liars, but the most probable fascists.

        • Gamsamgee

          Yep, and lots of them work for the military-industrial complex, or in corporations that make most of their money on government contracts. If you point out this contradiction they’ll say ‘Oh but the constitution mandates defence’ – I kind of missed the bit where it says ‘And we shall build bases in many lands, verily this shalt be paid for by we the people in order for us to obtain natural resources so mighty men may travel round in cheaply fueled iron carriages and sky engines may kill many disobedient foreigners of a dusky hue’….

          • GoodDoktorBad

            ” I kind of missed the bit where it says ‘And we shall build bases in many lands, verily this shalt be paid for by we the people in order for us to obtain natural resources so mighty men may travel round in cheaply fueled iron carriages and sky engines may kill many disobedient foreigners of a dusky hue’….”

            Actually, this is completly consistant with the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”. The idea that we can rightiously mow down any obstacle (human, animal, vegtable or mineral) that stands in the way of the triump of the “nation”. This is at the core of the founding of many nations including the ancient Eygyptian and Roman empires. The USSR illustrated there own version of Manifest Destiny in there proclomation:
            :”we will bury you” to the west (USA, England etc.).
            We declare ourselves enemies to everyone with a single, potent phrase…

            REAL fucked up ain’t it?

      • Edtheduck

        It’s also interesting that many Libertarians tend to have a theoretical view about markets that doesn’t correspond to the real world. For instance you’ll see Randroids and their friends insist that in a free market monopolies would never arise, ignoring the fact that once a company has a capital advantage it can easily wipe out any competition especially if there’s no government to stop it (could you really see Walmart play nice towards small retailers?). But there’s another issue governing competition particularly relevant to a modern tech economy – that of established standards. A company gets into the market early, establishes a standard and then anyone else who deviates from it finds it hard to compete. Microsoft Windows has plenty of competitors but all of them put together perhaps have 10% of the market, not because of MS superiority but because of the established Windows/Office standard – businesses buy Windows, home users need to buy a computer compatible with work, schools have to buy computers kids are likely to use in the corporate world…. Similarly think about tech wars such as VHS/Beta, HD-DVD/Blu-Ray or even Qwerty keyboards v the rest – unless markets are regulated you see the same 90%/10% mix all over the place.

        Then there’s the issue of some products requiring vast infrastructure to build (i.e. new cars, jet planes) so the only entrants into those markets would be already huge multinationals. Hence the Libby theory that businesses would stay small and competitive would stop anyone from building large-scale tech unless small companies worked together in some sort of cartel. Then they’d probably merge into a big corporation to create economies of scale. And we’re back to square one…

        While I’m ranting can someone explain to me how companies, copyright and intellectual property can even exist without some sort of government setting down rules for their operation? If you favour a tiny government that does nothing other than enforce business & property law then a) It will be easy to bribe or control and business will make sure it gets the laws it pays for (as now) and b) By favouring business ahead of individuals then its not very good for liberty (am pretty sure the property rights of billionaires would take precedence over the rights of us peasants).

        I’d like to see some democratic governments where the people have a fair say, not corporate communism as exists presently (and will continue to exist in Libbyland, but worse).

  • DeepCough

    One should keep in mind that the whole of Ayn Rand’s philosophy on life was based on “The Jungle Book,” and
    at the end of the “The Jungle Book,” (which would be in the actual book, not the movie), the main character, in an act of pure individualism, destroys his hometown.

  • DeepCough

    One should keep in mind that the whole of Ayn Rand’s philosophy on life was based on “The Jungle Book,” and
    at the end of the “The Jungle Book,” (which would be in the actual book, not the movie), the main character, in an act of pure individualism, destroys his hometown.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      I love how something as deeply philosophical as that would get the Disney treatment. I guess thats just the cartoon version of the hollywood treatment of book though.

      • DeepCough

        Well, the “Jungle Book” was just one of many literary victims to the whitewashing of Disney, which (to stay on topic), went very much against the “Objectivist” views of Ayn Rand.

      • 5by5

        What ever will the Randoids do with a character like Baloo, that Bagheera called a, “shiftless, stupid, jungle bum?” Isn’t he just the kind that the Tea Party crowd (those who claim Ayn as one of their conservobot heroes), would happily kick to the curb? He’s the definition of slack. :-)

  • Drinky McGee

    She wrote the most two-dimensional characters this side of the funny papers. I’ve known a number of attractive women in my life who were big fans, though. In other words, I’ve occasionally pretended to take Rand seriously in order to make myself agreeable to a batty broad. I think Rand would appreciate that kind of mercenary behavior.

  • Drinky McGee

    She wrote the most two-dimensional characters this side of the funny papers. I’ve known a number of attractive women in my life who were big fans, though. In other words, I’ve occasionally pretended to take Rand seriously in order to make myself agreeable to a batty broad. I think Rand would appreciate that kind of mercenary behavior.

  • Drinky McGee

    She wrote the most two-dimensional characters this side of the funny papers. I’ve known a number of attractive women in my life who were big fans, though. In other words, I’ve occasionally pretended to take Rand seriously in order to make myself agreeable to a batty broad. I think Rand would appreciate that kind of mercenary behavior.

    • Lola

      Someone didn’t read a 50 page speech.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I love how something as deeply philosophical as that would get the Disney treatment. I guess thats just the cartoon version of the hollywood treatment of book though.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t that the point though? Capitalism, if left unchecked will always follow the morals of the greedy or, might makes right. Why should we leave the reins of a nation in the hands of business giants and simply pray that they are benevolent?

    In the same token, what is to be said about unions then? If we live in a nation of competition, then just as the wealthy congregate so should the rest of us. The union, the club, the party originate as genuine expressions of collective will and in theory work towards the common good. To agree to the doctrine of might makes right, implies agreement in the idea of persons pooling their resources for common causes, unions and corporations being prime examples.

    The real problem with all of this is that those who claim to despise the collective and herald the individual above all else, are truly liars. The lie is that there is strength enough in the individual to take on the world, which is exactly how conglomerated businessmen would love you to think. Splitting human beings up into individual consumers is vital to stripping the maximum amount of value from your existence. Individually wrapped, individually sealed neat little trinkets devoid of genuine ties to their environment and the other shrink-wrapped individuals all just in it for themselves.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAPUJHWIYQJWKN7HUCSCVHKVTQ David Meadows

    Articles like this, is why i’m very loyal to this website, and its products.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAPUJHWIYQJWKN7HUCSCVHKVTQ David Meadows

    Articles like this, is why i’m very loyal to this website, and its products.

    • Lola

      And the reason for the world we live in.

  • Anonymous

    I would love for all the executives and Randites to go close themselves away in a secret base somewhere like in Atlas Shrugged. No need for an invisible dome. I promise to leave them alone. Of course, they’ll starve to death very quickly because they won’t have anyone to produce food or cook it, no one to do the cleaning, no one to do any maintenance and keep the sewers and water and air running… you know, the people who ACTUALLY do work and know wth they’re doing. So please, run along and hide yourselves in a little bunker up in the mountains somewhere expecting the world to collapse and give the reins of power over to people who have some idea how things work.

  • quartz99

    I would love for all the executives and Randites to go close themselves away in a secret base somewhere like in Atlas Shrugged. No need for an invisible dome. I promise to leave them alone. Of course, they’ll starve to death very quickly because they won’t have anyone to produce food or cook it, no one to do the cleaning, no one to do any maintenance and keep the sewers and water and air running… you know, the people who ACTUALLY do work and know wth they’re doing. So please, run along and hide yourselves in a little bunker up in the mountains somewhere expecting the world to collapse and give the reins of power over to people who have some idea how things work.

    • Flemdawg2

      Those people would never leave as the executives today subscribe to the crony capitalism just like James Taggert and ALL the clowns in congress are the Wesley Much’s of the book.. Both think economies run on back office deals, pay offs, and directives…

    • Irving Greenfield

      Why would you say that? Of course there would be people to do those things. And they would bill them for their services. I think that Ayn Rand point was that people are supposed to work for their own benefit, and not for the benefit of others. That others, morally, have no claim on the time, labor, and wealth of others. I don’t think that you have read the book. You are making the assumption that Dagny Taggert, Hank Reardon, and Fransico D’anconia did not do any work. They were very inventive people, and were tired of the Govt. taking the fruits of their labor, and divvying it out to others who did not work for it.

  • Ricky Jazzercise

    Am I the only one that’s noticed that “objectivism” as Rand called it, is basically the exact same thing that the Chuch of Satan believes in? Seriously, the Church of Satan are aspiritual (they don’t believe in Satan) and believe in the potency of the individual over anything else. Ayn Rand and Anton Lavey should have been best friends.

  • Ricky Jazzercise

    Am I the only one that’s noticed that “objectivism” as Rand called it, is basically the exact same thing that the Chuch of Satan believes in? Seriously, the Church of Satan are aspiritual (they don’t believe in Satan) and believe in the potency of the individual over anything else. Ayn Rand and Anton Lavey should have been best friends.

    • Flurble

      And Aleister Crowley… ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’

      • Rev2020

        Crowley’s philosophy is MUCH more sophisticated than most casual readers understand. It is *very* spiritual, the idea being that we all have a true, divine will that is in harmony with everybody else’s true, divine will. If we all connect to that higher self — “Every Man and Woman Is a Star” — there will no longer be conflict between our individual Wills and the Will of others (or the Will of God, as some might say.) The Victorians believed that stars in the heavens never collided — thus “Every Man and Woman Is a Star” implied that individuals sufficiently in tune with their higher selves could act on their desires innocently, like children, and yet never step on anybody else’s toes. Like Superconductivity, it does actually work, though currently only under very specific conditions.

      • Godozo

        He also said “Love is the law, love under will.”

        Implying an enlightened form of individualism, at least to my mind.

    • Butter Knife

      Don’t forget about the drug-fueled bisexual orgies!

      Not that I see anything particularly wrong with those, mind you, but it does stand out as another point of similarity.

    • DRLECHCTER

      I have always suspected Rand was a closet thelemite. It is interesting that the whole wall st ethic that rand helped foster is so essentially Crowlian. If there is evil, maybe he did manage to channel it. That was certainly his boast.The interesting thing is, his philosophy as summarized in the book of the law can be seen as simply a rewrite of covert ruling class ethics.

  • DeepCough

    Well, the “Jungle Book” was just one of many literary victims to the whitewashing of Disney, which (to stay on topic), went very much against the “Objectivist” views of Ayn Rand.

  • DeepCough

    Indeed, the individuals who insist so on society, or “the collective,” acknowledging their rugged individualism are not only the grossest liars, but the most probable fascists.

  • Flurble

    And Aleister Crowley… ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Who could have foreseen that a philosophy built on the back of a speed junkie’s feverish hatred of communism might somehow fall short of the mark when applied in real life? Who, I ask you, could possibly have guessed that it might not work out as well in real life as it did on paper?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Who could have foreseen that a philosophy built on the back of a speed junkie’s feverish hatred of communism might somehow fall short of the mark when applied in real life? Who, I ask you, could possibly have guessed that it might not work out as well in real life as it did on paper?

    • Butter Knife

      Too bad Trotsky wasn’t around. I’m sure he could have given some insight on the folly of utopian idealism.

      Although I suppose the object lesson might not have fully lodged itself in his brain long enough before the ice axe.

      Poor, poor Snowball.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        No doubt. No ones really champing at the bit to tout communism as a perfect answer either…except for a few addlepated rejects on various campuses around the globe…but utopian bullshit comes in more than one flavor…and Ayn Rand’s version has been a major player in granting a salable excuse for gangsterism to the worst common denominator in our politics for nearly fifty years now.

  • Edtheduck

    It’s also interesting that many Libertarians tend to have a theoretical view about markets that doesn’t correspond to the real world. For instance you’ll see Randroids and their friends insist that in a free market monopolies would never arise, ignoring the fact that once a company has a capital advantage it can easily wipe out any competition especially if there’s no government to stop it (could you really see Walmart play nice towards small retailers?). But there’s another issue governing competition particularly relevant to a modern tech economy – that of established standards. A company gets into the market early, establishes a standard and then anyone else who deviates from it finds it hard to compete. Microsoft Windows has plenty of competitors but all of them put together perhaps have 10% of the market, not because of MS superiority but because of the established Windows/Office standard – businesses buy Windows, home users need to buy a computer compatible with work, schools have to buy computers kids are likely to use in the corporate world…. Similarly think about tech wars such as VHS/Beta, HD-DVD/Blu-Ray or even Qwerty keyboards v the rest – unless markets are regulated you see the same 90%/10% mix all over the place.

    Then there’s the issue of some products requiring vast infrastructure to build (i.e. new cars, jet planes) so the only entrants into those markets would be already huge multinationals. Hence the Libby theory that businesses would stay small and competitive would stop anyone from building large-scale tech unless small companies worked together in some sort of cartel. Then they’d probably merge into a big corporation to create economies of scale. And we’re back to square one…

    While I’m ranting can someone explain to me how companies, copyright and intellectual property can even exist without some sort of government setting down rules for their operation? If you favour a tiny government that does nothing other than enforce business & property law then a) It will be easy to bribe or control and business will make sure it gets the laws it pays for (as now) and b) By favouring business ahead of individuals then its not very good for liberty (am pretty sure the property rights of billionaires would take precedence over the rights of us peasants).

    I’d like to see some democratic governments where the people have a fair say, not corporate communism as exists presently (and will continue to exist in Libbyland, but worse).

  • Gamsamgee

    Yep, and lots of them work for the military-industrial complex, or in corporations that make most of their money on government contracts. If you point out this contradiction they’ll say ‘Oh but the constitution mandates defence’ – I kind of missed the bit where it says ‘And we shall build bases in many lands, verily this shalt be paid for by we the people in order for us to obtain natural resources so mighty men may travel round in cheaply fueled iron carriages and sky engines may kill many disobedient foreigners of a dusky hue’….

  • http://twitter.com/Genespark Gene Park

    Rand’s protagonists were sociopathic characterizations. Those who find them attractive find their owns personas validated.

  • http://twitter.com/Genespark Gene Park

    Rand’s protagonists were sociopathic characterizations. Those who find them attractive find their owns personas validated.

    • Matt

      Yes, that’s how it works.
      Wonderful trueism!

  • Rev2020

    Crowley’s philosophy is MUCH more sophisticated than most casual readers understand. It is *very* spiritual, the idea being that we all have a true, divine will that is in harmony with everybody else’s true, divine will. If we all connect to that higher self — “Every Man and Woman Is a Star” — there will no longer be conflict between our individual Wills and the Will of others (or the Will of God, as some might say.) The Victorians believed that stars in the heavens never collided — thus “Every Man and Woman Is a Star” implied that individuals sufficiently in tune with their higher selves could act on their desires innocently, like children, and yet never step on anybody else’s toes. Like Superconductivity, it does actually work, though currently only under very specific conditions.

  • Flemdawg2

    Those people would never leave as the executives today subscribe to the crony capitalism just like James Taggert and ALL the clowns in congress are the Wesley Much’s of the book.. Both think economies run on back office deals, pay offs, and directives…

  • Michialtoo

    There is not a single commentary on this article, nor the article itself, that even comes close to the core value of the objectivism communicated in the stories she used to define her philosophy, existentialism. Not even one. Trying to paint an equivalency and logical connection between what we loosely call the capitalism we are living today with the moral code that she articulated is a fundamental impossibility. The better term to describe the capitalist (I use this term with distaste here) as we are living it today is true crony capitalism, or, in her words, the Aristocracy of Pull. Not true capitalism. True capitalism is built upon empowering the competence of the entity and all it’s members – not how smart they think they – those are the corporate parasites we live with all around us, now.

  • Michialtoo

    There is not a single commentary on this article, nor the article itself, that even comes close to the core value of the objectivism communicated in the stories she used to define her philosophy, existentialism. Not even one. Trying to paint an equivalency and logical connection between what we loosely call the capitalism we are living today with the moral code that she articulated is a fundamental impossibility. The better term to describe the capitalist (I use this term with distaste here) as we are living it today is true crony capitalism, or, in her words, the Aristocracy of Pull. Not true capitalism. True capitalism is built upon empowering the competence of the entity and all it’s members – not how smart they think they – those are the corporate parasites we live with all around us, now.

  • Michialtoo

    There is not a single commentary on this article, nor the article itself, that even comes close to the core value of the objectivism communicated in the stories she used to define her philosophy, existentialism. Not even one. Trying to paint an equivalency and logical connection between what we loosely call the capitalism we are living today with the moral code that she articulated is a fundamental impossibility. The better term to describe the capitalist (I use this term with distaste here) as we are living it today is true crony capitalism, or, in her words, the Aristocracy of Pull. Not true capitalism. True capitalism is built upon empowering the competence of the entity and all it’s members – not how smart they think they – those are the corporate parasites we live with all around us, now.

  • Michialtoo

    There is not a single commentary on this article, nor the article itself, that even comes close to the core value of the objectivism communicated in the stories she used to define her philosophy, existentialism. Not even one. Trying to paint an equivalency and logical connection between what we loosely call the capitalism we are living today with the moral code that she articulated is a fundamental impossibility. The better term to describe the capitalist (I use this term with distaste here) as we are living it today is true crony capitalism, or, in her words, the Aristocracy of Pull. Not true capitalism. True capitalism is built upon empowering the competence of the entity and all it’s members – not how smart they think they – those are the corporate parasites we live with all around us, now.

    • TheBreckening

      You’re the only one on here that makes sense. Thank you.
      Capitalism is a repeatedly distorted term that has lost all of its original meaning in the present day.
      Just like “liberalism”, capitalism is never given a chance because of constant government interference on the market (i.e. transactions between us humans), may it be through the state-endorsed creation of fascist corporations protected by endless regulations or a titanic tax payer funded military/industrial complex.
      Government, in any form, is a cancer that will always grow, merely because of its nature of greed and power.

      • quartz99

        Actually, capitalism in its truest form is what gave us child labor and slavery and products that killed people while corporations skated by with no responsibility for it. Liberalism is the funny notion that those things are wrong. It was regulations that stopped those sorts of things and it’s been DEregulation that put us into the mess we’re in now. Capitalism at its heart is “screw everyone else as much as you can get away with in whatever way profits you the most”. True capitalism is the buying of power, because that brings the biggest ROI. For a prime example of that, just look at all the companies that currently not only pay no taxes but get BILLIONS from the government (ie, your and my tax money) at tax time. Large corporations actually consider their tax groups to be profit centers and they are treated as such.

        Sadly, history tells us that all social systems devolve into this same sort of capitalism and corruption. Human nature to screw over your neighbors so you can get just one penny ahead of everyone else.

        • TheBreckening

          You realize corporations don’t exist without government approval and charters? (Also, land grants and property rights.)
          The very thing you want to regulate corporations is the same entity which allowed it to EXIST.
          They are in collusion to make the most profits for the corporation and to send it’s board members into high political office positions.
          As long as you have corporations and government, there will be (and IS) a revolving door between the two, perpetuating their mutual rape of America.
          Yes regulation is needed, but it’s naive to trust the government to do it.
          Socialism, communism, crony fascist-capitalism – NONE of it works or will work.
          All roads of government lead to tyranny.
          Also, do you know how many people the FDA has killed with your precious regulation?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAPUJHWIYQJWKN7HUCSCVHKVTQ David Meadows

            Private regulation group would never sellout to a corporation would they? You should also add that Unregulated Free Market Capitalism will also never work, there would be nothing but Monopolies running everything. No system will work because people on top, don’t care about anyone but themselves, no matter what system it is. By the way, do you know how many people where killed before such things as the FDA and precious regulation???

    • Lola

      Thank you for saying this

  • TheBreckening

    You’re the only one on here that makes sense. Thank you.
    Capitalism is a repeatedly distorted term that has lost all of its original meaning in the present day.
    Just like “liberalism”, capitalism is never given a chance because of constant government interference on the market (i.e. transactions between us humans), may it be through the state-endorsed creation of fascist corporations protected by endless regulations or a titanic tax payer funded military/industrial complex.
    Government, in any form, is a cancer that will always grow, merely because of its nature of greed and power.

  • Butter Knife

    Too bad Trotsky wasn’t around. I’m sure he could have given some insight on the folly of utopian idealism.

    Although I suppose the object lesson might not have fully lodged itself in his brain long enough before the ice axe.

    Poor, poor Snowball.

  • Butter Knife

    Don’t forget about the drug-fueled bisexual orgies!

    Not that I see anything particularly wrong with those, mind you, but it does stand out as another point of similarity.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    No doubt. No ones really champing at the bit to tout communism as a perfect answer either…except for a few addlepated rejects on various campuses around the globe…but utopian bullshit comes in more than one flavor…and Ayn Rand’s version has been a major player in granting a salable excuse for gangsterism to the worst common denominator in our politics for nearly fifty years now.

  • Matt

    Yes, that’s how it works.
    Wonderful trueism!

  • Matt

    It seems odd to me that a true fountainhead would hang around an old ladies apartment while naming himself and other FOLLOWERS the “collective,” no matter how smart and cool she was. And whats up with her giving him a nickname, like a pet you only half like.
    Also,
    Love her novels they are beautiful….poetic
    Just because pigs can’t talk doesn’t mean you should not bother giving Orwell’s “Animal Farm” serious consideration. Right? Pick up “The Fountainhead”

  • Matt

    It seems odd to me that a true fountainhead would hang around an old ladies apartment while naming himself and other FOLLOWERS the “collective,” no matter how smart and cool she was. And whats up with her giving him a nickname, like a pet you only half like.
    Also,
    Love her novels they are beautiful….poetic
    Just because pigs can’t talk doesn’t mean you should not bother giving Orwell’s “Animal Farm” serious consideration. Right? Pick up “The Fountainhead”

  • 5by5

    Milton Friedman is pissed, because he wanted the credit for tanking the economy.

  • 5by5

    Milton Friedman is pissed, because he wanted the credit for tanking the economy.

  • 5by5

    What ever will the Randoids do with a character like Baloo, that Bagheera called a, “shiftless, stupid, jungle bum?” Isn’t he just the kind that the Tea Party crowd (those who claim Ayn as one of their conservobot heroes), would happily kick to the curb? He’s the definition of slack. :-)

  • DRLECHCTER

    I have always suspected Rand was a closet thelemite. It is interesting that the whole wall st ethic that rand helped foster is so essentially Crowlian. If there is evil, maybe he did manage to channel it. That was certainly his boast.The interesting thing is, his philosophy as summarized in the book of the law can be seen as simply a rewrite of covert ruling class ethics.

  • Godozo

    He also said “Love is the law, love under will.”

    Implying an enlightened form of individualism, at least to my mind.

  • justmatt

    wow I read a couple comments, not all, but a couple, and I can tell that none of you guys fucking get it. first off ayn rand wasn’t a genious industrialist who was expected to be a billionaire. she was a fucking writer who knew that those whose time is worth more because of talent should get what they deserve (more money per hour). second, in atlas shrugged all the producers fed and clothed themselves i’m talking straight to your face quartz 99. they had 2 jobs and because of no taxes they were almost overflowing with produce. i know it is just a book, but don’t try and push some bullshit “you need me, the everyday blue-collared worker” onto this forum because the whole book is about those who will find happiness in working very very hard and those who won’t want to work at all. What she was trying to illustrate was that with people who were willing to work hard and with knowledge you CAN be sustaining without any moochers.

  • justmatt

    wow I read a couple comments, not all, but a couple, and I can tell that none of you guys fucking get it. first off ayn rand wasn’t a genious industrialist who was expected to be a billionaire. she was a fucking writer who knew that those whose time is worth more because of talent should get what they deserve (more money per hour). second, in atlas shrugged all the producers fed and clothed themselves i’m talking straight to your face quartz 99. they had 2 jobs and because of no taxes they were almost overflowing with produce. i know it is just a book, but don’t try and push some bullshit “you need me, the everyday blue-collared worker” onto this forum because the whole book is about those who will find happiness in working very very hard and those who won’t want to work at all. What she was trying to illustrate was that with people who were willing to work hard and with knowledge you CAN be sustaining without any moochers.

    • Arg

      However in the real world the rich will just pay someone to do all the hard work as they’ve done for almost all of human history. Is quite funny to read stories about CEOs where they’ll mention how many hours they work. While I’m sure this is true it has to be remembered that said CEOs have other people to do day to day things that take up much of the time of ordinary citizens (looking after kids, cutting grass, fixing shelves, cooking dinner) and many of the things they count as ‘work’ the rest of us would see as pleasure – business lunches at nice restaurants, discussing deals over a round of golf, popping along to conferences in Paris and so on. You also need to take into account that reward only follows hard work in an approximate sense – plenty of people work two jobs but earn peanuts (even in low tax economies), there’s tons of egghead science nerds who make very average salaries. Furthermore in the past we often see the creators of new ideas and technology often made relatively little in their lifetimes – Tesla should have been as rich as Rockerfeller (but wasn’t)… how much cash did Copernicus make from revolutionising science? Or Maxwell? Or Turing? It seems that the most productive and innovative members of society often earn a pretty average middle-class living while being socially marginalised, then the suits profit off their discoveries. Meanwhile Paris Hilton is worth $100 million and counting…

      • Adam

        Also, Alan Turing had the great, grand honor of being socially ostracized, harassed, and driven to suicide for being gay. Just wanted to throw that in there.

        “Hey, thanks for revolutionizing mathematics, practically inventing computers, and helping to defeat fascism, but you’re an awful person for fucking dudes. Sincerely, Great Britain.”

        But, yeah, I don’t really see capitalism (in its current form, anyway) as being the meritocracy that it’s supposed to be; while I don’t consider myself informed enough regarding economics or Ayn Rand to talk masses of shit, I fail to understand how many corporate executives and managers could be considered truly “great men” (or great women, not to ignore the ladies) based on their job descriptions and accomplishments, particularly when talking about the financial sector. What exactly are their skills and abilities? I don’t know, guess I’m just your standard disaffected lefty.

  • justmatt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjwuGHPilwI&NR=1&feature=fvwp

    and here you see ron paul say that alan greenspan betrayed all the beleifs of ayn rand. I beleive he knows more than the author of this article on economics.

  • justmatt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjwuGHPilwI&NR=1&feature=fvwp

    and here you see ron paul say that alan greenspan betrayed all the beleifs of ayn rand. I beleive he knows more than the author of this article on economics.

  • justmatt

    yo idiot they did self-sustain themselves. John galt collected the greatest minds and the hardest workers and they all worked 2 jobs to support the community. I’m sick of this “you need me, the everyday blue-collar worker” bullshit. the whole point of the book is putting you into your place. John galt isn’t a vampire, you are. using smart phones and laptops and not giving a flying fuck to the men and women that went through college and spent endless nights perfecting technology you couldn’t possibly understand. Understand this: Their time is worth more than your time. that is what it is about if you don’t like it than get a loan and start your own business and lets see how far you get. if not thenaccept a job to support yourself and hobbies. either way know your role and shut your mouth

  • Anonymous

    Oh look, my very own blithering Randroid troll. I feel special now.

    Fact is, I did own my own successful single proprietorship. The accounting was beyond boring and the sales mind numbing. So I dissolved it and went back to an office where I don’t have to do either anymore. I know several C-level execs. About three of them are people who came up from doing things for themselves. The rest couldn’t cook their own meal or clean a toilet or till the soil to grow food without a bevy of servants and illegals to do it for them even if you etched out the directions in small words on a gold plate. Please, lock them in a small space with no servants. Just make sure to install plenty of cameras so the rest of us can laugh hysterically as they fall apart. Fiction !== Fact.

    I’m not blue collar, though considering I’m capable of doing actual work instead of lounging on a golf course pretending I’m special and deserve 350 million dollars a year for running a previous company into the ground while I was busy jet-setting in Paris on the company’s dime, I can see where you might have made that mistake.

  • Bud Bundy

    I know how to use a rifle yo idiot.

    I’m sick of this “you need me, the everyday blue-collar worker” bullshit. the whole point of the book is putting you into your place. I joined the Army and learned how to kill people.

    Understand this: I will kill you.

  • Bud Bundy

    For those of you who are too stupid: The Military is blue collar.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, capitalism in its truest form is what gave us child labor and slavery and products that killed people while corporations skated by with no responsibility for it. Liberalism is the funny notion that those things are wrong. It was regulations that stopped those sorts of things and it’s been DEregulation that put us into the mess we’re in now. Capitalism at its heart is “screw everyone else as much as you can get away with in whatever way profits you the most”. True capitalism is the buying of power, because that brings the biggest ROI. For a prime example of that, just look at all the companies that currently not only pay no taxes but get BILLIONS from the government (ie, your and my tax money) at tax time. Large corporations actually consider their tax groups to be profit centers and they are treated as such.

    Sadly, history tells us that all social systems devolve into this same sort of capitalism and corruption. Human nature to screw over your neighbors so you can get just one penny ahead of everyone else.

  • Arg

    However in the real world the rich will just pay someone to do all the hard work as they’ve done for almost all of human history. Is quite funny to read stories about CEOs where they’ll mention how many hours they work. While I’m sure this is true it has to be remembered that said CEOs have other people to do day to day things that take up much of the time of ordinary citizens (looking after kids, cutting grass, fixing shelves, cooking dinner) and many of the things they count as ‘work’ the rest of us would see as pleasure – business lunches at nice restaurants, discussing deals over a round of golf, popping along to conferences in Paris and so on. You also need to take into account that reward only follows hard work in an approximate sense – plenty of people work two jobs but earn peanuts (even in low tax economies), there’s tons of egghead science nerds who make very average salaries. Furthermore in the past we often see the creators of new ideas and technology often made relatively little in their lifetimes – Tesla should have been as rich as Rockerfeller (but wasn’t)… how much cash did Copernicus make from revolutionising science? Or Maxwell? Or Turing? It seems that the most productive and innovative members of society often earn a pretty average middle-class living while being socially marginalised, then the suits profit off their discoveries. Meanwhile Paris Hilton is worth $100 million and counting…

  • Arg

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the ultimate free-market experiment – that of post-Communist Russia. In the early 90s American & European experts went over there to advise chief drunkard Boris on a ‘500 day dash’ to a market economy. Privatisation, free-markets, low taxes, enterprise… how did it end up? Well Russia was dead for the best part of a decade economically and run by a psychotic gangster class of billionaires. If the theories were correct we’d all be writing about how awesome it is the former Soviet Union is now the world’s number one economic power… Of course the other (more likely) interpretation of events is the West used disaster capitalism to try and finish off a former foe.

  • Arg

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the ultimate free-market experiment – that of post-Communist Russia. In the early 90s American & European experts went over there to advise chief drunkard Boris on a ‘500 day dash’ to a market economy. Privatisation, free-markets, low taxes, enterprise… how did it end up? Well Russia was dead for the best part of a decade economically and run by a psychotic gangster class of billionaires. If the theories were correct we’d all be writing about how awesome it is the former Soviet Union is now the world’s number one economic power… Of course the other (more likely) interpretation of events is the West used disaster capitalism to try and finish off a former foe.

  • Anonymous

    ” I kind of missed the bit where it says ‘And we shall build bases in many lands, verily this shalt be paid for by we the people in order for us to obtain natural resources so mighty men may travel round in cheaply fueled iron carriages and sky engines may kill many disobedient foreigners of a dusky hue’….”

    Actually, this is completly consistant with the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”. The idea that we can rightiously mow down any obstacle (human, animal, vegtable or mineral) that stands in the way of the triump of the “nation”. This is at the core of the founding of many nations including the ancient Eygyptian and Roman empires. The USSR illustrated there own version of Manifest Destiny in there proclomation:
    :”we will bury you” to the west (USA, England etc.).
    We declare ourselves enemies to everyone with a single, potent phrase…

    REAL fucked up ain’t it?

  • TheBreckening

    You realize corporations don’t exist without government approval and charters? (Also, land grants and property rights.)
    The very thing you want to regulate corporations is the same entity which allowed it to EXIST.
    They are in collusion to make the most profits for the corporation and to send it’s board members into high political office positions.
    As long as you have corporations and government, there will be (and IS) a revolving door between the two, perpetuating their mutual rape of America.
    Yes regulation is needed, but it’s naive to trust the government to do it.
    Socialism, communism, crony fascist-capitalism – NONE of it works or will work.
    All roads of government lead to tyranny.
    Also, do you know how many people the FDA has killed with your precious regulation?

  • Adam

    Also, Alan Turing had the great, grand honor of being socially ostracized, harassed, and driven to suicide for being gay. Just wanted to throw that in there.

    “Hey, thanks for revolutionizing mathematics, practically inventing computers, and helping to defeat fascism, but you’re an awful person for fucking dudes. Sincerely, Great Britain.”

    But, yeah, I don’t really see capitalism (in its current form, anyway) as being the meritocracy that it’s supposed to be; while I don’t consider myself informed enough regarding economics or Ayn Rand to talk masses of shit, I fail to understand how many corporate executives and managers could be considered truly “great men” (or great women, not to ignore the ladies) based on their job descriptions and accomplishments, particularly when talking about the financial sector. What exactly are their skills and abilities? I don’t know, guess I’m just your standard disaffected lefty.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAPUJHWIYQJWKN7HUCSCVHKVTQ David Meadows

    Private regulation group would never sellout to a corporation would they? You should also add that Free Market Capitalism will also never work, there would be nothing but Monopolies running everything. No system will work because people on top, don’t care about anyone but themselves, no matter what system it is. By the way, do you know how many people where killed before such things as the FDA and precious regulation???

  • Mary Mcg.

    Fun Fact: She was also a speed freak.

    http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/bio/biofaq.html

  • Mary Mcg.

    Fun Fact: She was also a speed freak.

    http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/bio/biofaq.html

  • Pingback: How Ayn Rand Ruined My Childhood | Disinformation()

  • Irving Greenfield

    Why would you say that? Of course there would be people to do those things. And they would bill them for their services. I think that Ayn Rand point was that people are supposed to work for their own benefit, and not for the benefit of others. That others, morally, have no claim on the time, labor, and wealth of others. I don’t think that you have read the book. You are making the assumption that Dagny Taggert, Hank Reardon, and Fransico D’anconia did not do any work. They were very inventive people, and were tired of the Govt. taking the fruits of their labor, and divvying it out to others who did not work for it.

  • Ategian

    This article is ridiculous, allow me to say I am not a ayn rand follower in the extreme sense, I have taken some of her words and applied  to my own life and I am a much better person for it. The failure of greenspan or th economic system  as a whole in this country does not prove that her philosophy is a failure, it proves that this society in which we live in and how it is run on a whole is a failure. Greenspan believed in less regulation, if Rands philosophy was a part of every individuals life the met down would not have happened because living by this philosophy means , rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness and pride (galts speech). 

  • Ategian

    This article is ridiculous, allow me to say I am not a ayn rand follower in the extreme sense, I have taken some of her words and applied  to my own life and I am a much better person for it. The failure of greenspan or th economic system  as a whole in this country does not prove that her philosophy is a failure, it proves that this society in which we live in and how it is run on a whole is a failure. Greenspan believed in less regulation, if Rands philosophy was a part of every individuals life the met down would not have happened because living by this philosophy means , rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness and pride (galts speech). 

  • Ategian

    This article is ridiculous, allow me to say I am not a ayn rand follower in the extreme sense, I have taken some of her words and applied  to my own life and I am a much better person for it. The failure of greenspan or th economic system  as a whole in this country does not prove that her philosophy is a failure, it proves that this society in which we live in and how it is run on a whole is a failure. Greenspan believed in less regulation, if Rands philosophy was a part of every individuals life the met down would not have happened because living by this philosophy means , rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness and pride (galts speech). 

  • Lola

    You claim a lot here.  Greenspan as Chairman of the Fed really doesn’t have as much power as everyone claims he has.  He can’t micromanage a macro-scale economy, not to mention the job is all guessing in the most part.  From your perspective it seems you’r claiming that Rand controlled Greenspan, which is also true since the majority of his career was after Rand’s death.  As much as you claim Objectivism ruined the economy there is no support of it in this article.  Now if someone went through the points of Objectivism and gave a brief summery of the main points and maybe some citation that can’t be found on Wikipedia this article would have validity.  Objectivism it is a two part philosophy.  This here does not mention either side, only claiming Rand and Greenspan in one article.  What about the inflation Greenspan helped real in?  What about the “American Dream” Greenspan helped to give to millions of people under his tenure?  He knew his stuff, not to mention the rumors going on about how he knew the economic collapse we are in now was going to happen, but no one ever mentions that.  Critics of Objectivism should do a little research before name calling, unless of course they are too scared to take responsibility for their own existence, actions, and beliefs.

  • Lola

    You claim a lot here.  Greenspan as Chairman of the Fed really doesn’t have as much power as everyone claims he has.  He can’t micromanage a macro-scale economy, not to mention the job is all guessing in the most part.  From your perspective it seems you’r claiming that Rand controlled Greenspan, which is also true since the majority of his career was after Rand’s death.  As much as you claim Objectivism ruined the economy there is no support of it in this article.  Now if someone went through the points of Objectivism and gave a brief summery of the main points and maybe some citation that can’t be found on Wikipedia this article would have validity.  Objectivism it is a two part philosophy.  This here does not mention either side, only claiming Rand and Greenspan in one article.  What about the inflation Greenspan helped real in?  What about the “American Dream” Greenspan helped to give to millions of people under his tenure?  He knew his stuff, not to mention the rumors going on about how he knew the economic collapse we are in now was going to happen, but no one ever mentions that.  Critics of Objectivism should do a little research before name calling, unless of course they are too scared to take responsibility for their own existence, actions, and beliefs.

  • Lola

    Someone didn’t read a 50 page speech.

  • Lola

    Thank you for saying this

  • Lola

    And the reason for the world we live in.

  • Canemah

    subjectivist

  • Canemah

    subjectivist

  • quartz99

    Oh look, my very own blithering Randroid troll. I feel special now.

    Fact is, I did own my own successful single proprietorship. The accounting was beyond boring and the sales mind numbing. So I dissolved it and went back to an office where I don’t have to do either anymore. I know several C-level execs. About three of them are people who came up from doing things for themselves. The rest couldn’t cook their own meal or clean a toilet or till the soil to grow food without a bevy of servants and illegals to do it for them even if you etched out the directions in small words on a gold plate. Please, lock them in a small space with no servants. Just make sure to install plenty of cameras so the rest of us can laugh hysterically as they fall apart. Fiction !== Fact.

    I’m not blue collar, though considering I’m capable of doing actual work instead of lounging on a golf course pretending I’m special and deserve 350 million dollars a year for running a previous company into the ground while I was busy jet-setting in Paris on the company’s dime, I can see where you might have made that mistake.

  • Bud Bundy

    For those of you who are too stupid: The Military is blue collar.

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