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Ayn Rand: The Boring Bitch Is Back


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http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/

excerpt:

" “This is because there are boys and girls among us who have never overcome the Randian infection. The Galt speech continues to ring in their ears for years like a maddening tinnitus, turning each of them into what next year’s Physicians’ Desk Reference will (undoubtedly) term an Ayn Rand Asshole (ARA). They constitute a relatively small percentage of Rand readers, these ARAs. But they make their reading count. Thanks to them, the Rand Experience is no longer limited to those who have read the books. It’s metastasized. You, me, all of us, we’re living it. Because it’s the ARA Army of antigovernment-antiregulation puritans who have spent the past three decades gleefully pulling the cooling rods out of the American economy. For a while, it got very big and very hot. Then it popped. And now the rest of us have to spend the next decade scaling the slippery slopes of the huge suppurative crater that was left behind.

Feeling fisted by the Invisible Hand of the Market lo these past fifteen months? Lost a job lately? Or half the value of your 401(k)? Or a home? All three? Been wondering whence the too-long-ascendant political and economic ideas and forces behind Greenspanism, John Thainism, blind Wall Street plunder, bankruptcy, credit-default swaps, Bernie Madoff, and the ensuing Cannibalism in the Streets? Then you, sir, need to give thanks to Ayn Rand Assholes everywhere—as well as the steely loins from which they sprang.”

Whole article and the links contained within is well worth a read. So true, so true.

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I've never read any of her stuff, but I've seen some interviews. She had an interesting perspective on the world from what I can gather.

Daniel Hannan was talking about Atlas Shrugged the other day too: link

I do find it amusing that the free market is blamed for this mess though. Banking cartels, deposit insurance, bail outs, to big to fails... not very free market, is it?

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I have read Atlas Shrugged - and the basic principles are solid to me, but were more appropriate in their unqualified form for the period it was written.

I HAVE to take a view that social intervention is necessary to a degree, and that captains of industry are no more heroic than politicians, as with historic experience this seems the case.

I would recommend, for those like me with a right-wing bent, 'Liberal Fascism' as a less entertaining but more balanced polemic on the ills of socialism - and also admitting some worthy adoptable strengths. But both of them are right in that people should be prepared to stand up for conservative values.

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dunno this seems appropriate

"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed."
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I haven’t read Rand’s work for decades, but I do recall two things: A) It was a giant pedantic bore; 2) Debating it with people in College was always a hoot. The thing that struck me most was the lack of rigor in the arguments — it was more religion than logic, more wishful thinking than reality based observations of how humans actually behave.

You can the concentration of ARAs in a certain groupings. These are the folks who blame the CRA for the collapse of the economy; ARAs tend to be hardcore idealogues; many are rabidly partisan. All too many are deeply uninformed. They breathje co0gnitive dissonance they most people breathe oxygen. When confronted with facts, data, reality that challenge their ideology, they make up new facts.

I imagine that Freud would bluntly use Randian logic to note they inhabit a guise of superiority in part to compensate for vast and deeply felt inferiorities and insecurities.

Why does this sound so familiar.

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exactly,what free market?regulators who failed to regulate,ratings agencies etc etc

Elliot Spitzer (yes, that naughty boy) wrote quite a good article where he ripped through the pretenses of the regulators in the US who now claim they lacked sufficient power etc. His argument is they had more than enough power but were blinded by ideology into believing that they could do their jobs best by doing nothing at all. That is where free market ideology gets you anyway. I think this topic always turns into a "no true Scotsman" thing so I'll leave this here.

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Nothing would make me happier than a Rand V Keynes cage fight with both participants being mortally wounded and then their ideas expunged from human consciousness.

There is one meta cause of this crises and this is the ontological failing of Keynes, and then the fact that even Keynsians are only ever half Keynsians, in that you never hear them calling for spending cuts when the economy is in bubble inflate mode.

Thanks to Keynes and the resultant central bank interfering we have have replaced a natural business cycle with bubble inflate, bubble pop repeat ad infinitum.

We have now reached the point where we have so reified production and consumption via the Keynsian fetishisation of the eXchange mechanism that we can no longer really even begin to think economically in any ontologically valid way. Note how in result of the crises there is no discussion about retooling, reskilling anything at all like that in any way, just get the credit tap on and everything will be hunky dory, so we just have CBs stimulating via the medium of investment bank, its a total farce.

Rand is the ignorant yang to the deluded yin of Keynes.

Time to remove the foundations that allows such a horrendous dichotomy.

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Nothing would make me happier than a Rand V Keynes cage fight with both participants being mortally wounded and then their ideas expunged from human consciousness.

There is one meta cause of this crises and this is the ontological failing of Keynes, and then the fact that even Keynsians are only ever half Keynsians, in that you never hear them calling for spending cuts when the economy is in bubble inflate mode.

Thanks to Keynes and the resultant central bank interfering we have have replaced a natural business cycle with bubble inflate, bubble pop repeat ad infinitum.

We have now reached the point where we have so reified production and consumption via the Keynsian fetishisation of the eXchange mechanism that we can no longer really even begin to think economically in any ontologically valid way. Note how in result of the crises there is no discussion about retooling, reskilling anything at all like that in any way, just get the credit tap on and everything will be hunky dory, so we just have CBs stimulating via the medium of investment bank, its a total farce.

Rand is the ignorant yang to the deluded yin of Keynes.

Time to remove the foundations that allows such a horrendous dichotomy.

+10.

I couldn't agree more.

Some people may have mistaken me for a keynsian.

True I'd pick keynes over rand because what he wrote about how money works is spot on.

Did you know that keynes towards the end of his general theory said that he felt the future had more to learn from the spirit of gesell than marx?

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From the Spenglerian viewpoint, it's irrelevant what economic system is adopted - democracy, always the result of the ossification of the culture, becomes the dictatorship of the rich, in which the real power is concentrated among a small number of relative unknowns who cluster behind the frontmen. Whether you arrive at this point via Randianism, Keynesianism or flat-out Socialism is immaterial.

We're just re-living the last days of Rome.

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As far as I know a great deal of left wing over-spending claptrap is written (and instigated) in the name of Keynes - but opposing his basically capitalist stance

I suspect that if you put Keynes and Rand in a cage fight they'd end up having a good natured debate and find some common ground

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I think all you people on here miss an important word: oligarchy.

Words like `socialism` `fascism` and `democracy` are almost always defined by the person who says them.

So they become redundant.

But oligarchy can be any system where real power is centralised.

So everyone on earth lives in an oligarchy with different structures. Ours is an oligarchy with a system of representative (sic) government. North Korea is an oligarchy with terrific gymnastic displays. But we all live in oligarchies.

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Yup. The kind of tiny state randian fantasy world of the libertarians would end being as much an oligarchy as crony socialism.

Run by a few with power who would act to subvert the system for their own ends.

Outcome is the same.

Yep.

Any state = oligarchy. After that it'a merely a question of what they order their slaves to get up to. For some reason political thought revolves around describing the different orders from above as being fundamentally different systems. Weird, innit.

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Also amuses me that these supposed philosophers spend the greatest portion of their life engaged in introspection and navel inspection to formulate a way for people to function and engage - then hold the irrational belief that it can be possible without everyone else going through the same introspection and fluff gazing.

The best philosophy is also the only philosophy possible: what will be will be.

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Also amuses me that these supposed philosophers spend the greatest portion of their life engaged in introspection and navel inspection to formulate a way for people to function and engage - then hold the irrational belief that it can be possible without everyone else going through the same introspection and fluff gazing.

The best philosophy is also the only philosophy possible: what will be will be.

Quite right Alan.

Off you go then.

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Although im aware people dont agree on HPC, this is why i tend towards (and im going to use some of those words) some kind of libertarian socialist/liberal system with a huge bent on decentralisation of power. Like, start with Scandinavia and then try and decentralise that further...

Socially tolerant, liberal, where major resources (energy/transport/the post!) are publicly owned but more importantly publicly controlled...

Let ordinary people make mistakes together...

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