Sunday, August 12, 2012

Do Randroids Dream Of Being Elected Veep?



David Lindsay has a great post on Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and Catholicism, here. Also, check out this video by the American Values Network on why Christians must choose between Ayn Rand or Jesus. In my own opinion, unlike economists such as Ludwig von Mises and Karl Marx, who may have believed in dreadful philosophies but could be said to have made interesting and important contributions to economic thought, I don't see any positives in Objectivism, which is, at best, an argument for adolescent selfishness, at worst, a bizarre cult, complete with Randian "Supermen."

4 comments:

  1. What a sick man. Income inequality is growing, the Social Safety Net is under attack, trickle down has repeatedly failed, and yet opposes any kind of taxation on the higher classes or health care reform because his dear sweet goddess said it's "immoral"? Being practical means nothing, just being "moral" by Rand's standards?

    I hear the same thing Ron Paul's economic advisor Peter Schiff; social programs and unions are "immoral". Capitalism is the only "moral" system there is.

    It boils my blood how anti-populist Randians like Paul Ryan appeal to so many. It actually scares me how people eat up his trash.

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  2. Hello CA,

    Thanks for the comment. The Randians and Austrians are sort of inverted Marxists. All the talk of morality and "parasites" used to be part of the Left's lexicon, where the term "parasite" referred to the idle rich (for example, capitalists who did not work but merely owned the means of production, landlords, etc.).

    I don't know why Ayn Rand’s philosophy is popular in the United States. Perhaps it is because so many Americans think they are persecuted proto-millionaires who are only poor because the government prevents them from succeeding? That is one of my guesses.

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  3. 'I don't see any positives in Objectivism, which is, at best, an argument for adolescent selfishness, at worst, a bizarre cult'

    Have to agree there. I remember the first time I picked up a Rand novel. I'd never heard of her and saw a weird thick book in the philosophy section of a bookshop (ironically now closed because it couldn't compete in the free market). The cover looked like something out of a comic book and I read the blurb with disbelief. I can't quote from memory, but the idea that someone wrote a giant text on the premise that the wealthy are the cream of society was something I just found plain confusing. What I found even more confusing was that it was rubbing shoulders with Plato and Descartes.

    'Perhaps it is because so many Americans think they are persecuted proto-millionaires who are only poor because the government prevents them from succeeding?'

    I think there is something in that.

    A couple of things I find ironic:
    1) Rand didn't even seem to invent especially interesting captains of industry. From what I've read they seem more like big babies who spit the dummy out when stopped from being selfish. I suppose I could sort of 'get it' if she depicted capitalists pouring money into researching medicine or something... but that doesn't seem to be what she was aiming at.
    2) Whilst the American right has been lamentably successful at defining economic liberalism with libertarianism, it's astounding just how little interest I sense they have in actually opposing government brutality. Many will still defend George W Bush's disastrous legacy and stir up fear that there's a left wing conspiracy to bow down to terrorists (by not being statist enough) and a supposed Russian plot at world domination.

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  4. Hello Gregor,

    Is Rand popular in the United Kingdom? I have heard that she has very few followers outside of the United States.

    The American Right is an odd mélange of interest groups, which probably accounts for its inconsistent message (how can you be the party of "Christian America" and Randian libertarianism at the same time?). The really hardcore libertarians seem to dislike the mainstream GOP and prefer the likes of Ron Paul.

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