This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Ayn Rand Was NOT a Libertarian

George Washington's picture





 

 

Many people assume that Ayn Rand was a champion of libertarian thought.

But Rand herself pilloried libertarians, condemning libertarianism as being a greater threat to freedom and capitalism than both modern liberalism and conservativism.  For example, Rand said:

All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies, except that they’re anarchists instead of collectivists. But of course, anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism, because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. The anarchist is the scum of the intellectual world of the left, which has given them up. So the right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the Libertarian movement.

 

***

 

I’d rather vote for Bob Hope, the Marx Brothers, or Jerry Lewis [than a candidate from the Libertarian Party].

 

***

 

[The Libertarian Party is] a cheap attempt at publicity, which Libertarians won’t get. Today’s events, particularly Watergate, should teach anyone with amateur political notions that they cannot rush into politics in order to get publicity. The issue is so serious today, that to form a new party based in part on half-baked ideas, and in part on borrowed ideas—I won’t say from whom—is irresponsible, and in today’s context, nearly immoral.

 

***

 

[Libertarians] are not defenders of capitalism. They’re a group of publicity seekers who rush into politics prematurely, because they allegedly want to educate people through a political campaign, which can’t be done. Further, their leadership consists of men of every of persuasion, from religious conservatives to anarchists. Moreover, most of them are my enemies: they spend their time denouncing me, while plagiarizing my ideas. Now, I think it’s a bad beginning for an allegedly pro-capitalist party to start by stealing ideas.

 

***

 

Now here is a party that plagiarizes some of my ideas, mixes it with the exact opposite—with religionists, anarchists, and just about every intellectual misfit and scum they can find—and they call themselves Libertarians, and run for office. I dislike Reagan and Carter; I’m not too enthusiastic about the other candidates. But the worst of them are giants compared to anybody who would attempt something as un-philosophical, low, and pragmatic as the Libertarian Party. It is the last insult to ideas and philosophical consistency.

 

***

 

[Question] Why don’t you approve of the Libertarians, thousands of whom are loyal readers of your works?

 

[Rand] Because Libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people: they plagiarize my ideas when that fits their purpose, and they denounce me in a more vicious manner than any communist publication, when that fits their purpose. They are lower than any pragmatists, and what they hold against Objectivism is morality. They’d like to have an amoral political program.

 

***

 

The Libertarians aren’t worthy of being the means to any end, let alone the end of spreading Objectivism.

Rand also disagreed with libertarians on foreign policy.  For example, most libertarians - including Ron Paul - oppose military intervention against Iran, while the Ayn Rand Institute has supported forceful intervention in Iran.

Rand denounced Arabs as "primitive" and "one of the least developed cultures" who "are typically nomads."  Consequently, Rand contended Arab resentment for Israel was a result of the Jewish state being "the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their (Arabs) continent", while decreeing that "when you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are." (Many libertarians were highly critical of Israeli government at the time.)

Sandeep Jaitly of Fekete Research says that real libertarians do not follow Rand's philosophy.

Murray Rothbard - founder of modern libertarianism, chief academic officer of leading libertarian think tank the Mises Institute, and one of the most important thinkers in the Austrian School of Economics - argued in 1972 that Rand was a champion for her own aggrandizement, not for liberty or reason.

Rothbard accused Rand -in a long but must-read essay - of being acting like a typical cult leader:

The Ayn Rand cult ... flourished for just ten years in the 1960s.... It also promoted slavish dependence on the guru in the name of independence; adoration and obedience to the leader in the name of every person’s individuality; and blind emotion and faith in the guru in the name of Reason.

 

***

 

Since every cult is grounded on a faith in the infallibility of the guru, it becomes necessary to keep its disciples in ignorance of contradictory infidel writings which may wean cult members away from the fold.

 

***

 

Just as Communists are often instructed not to read anti-Communist literature, the Rand cult went further to disseminate what was virtually an Index of Permitted Books.

 

***

 

The philosophical rationale for keeping Rand cultists in blissful ignorance was the Randian theory of "not giving your sanction to the Enemy."

 

***

 

In a development eerily reminiscent of the organized hatred directed against the arch-heretic Emanuel Goldstein in Orwell’s 1984, Rand cultists were required to sign a loyalty oath to Rand; essential to the loyalty oath was a declaration that the signer would henceforth never read any future works of the apostate and arch-heretic Branden [Rand's number 2]. After the split, any Rand cultist seen carrying a book or writing by Branden was promptly excommunicated.

 

***

 

Cultists were required to swear their unquestioning belief that Rand was right and Branden wrong, even though they were not permitted to learn the facts behind the split. In fact, the mere failure to take a stand, the mere attempt to find the facts, or the statement that one could not take a stand on such a grave matter without knowledge of the facts was sufficient for instant expulsion. For such an attitude was conclusive proof of the defective "loyalty" of the disciple to his guru, Ayn Rand.

 

***

 

Just as the Marxist movements developed jargon and slogans which were clung to for fear of uttering incorrect deviations, the same was true in the Randian movement. In the name of "precision of language," in short, nuance and even synonyms were in effect prohibited.

 

***

 

Wit and humor, as might be gathered from this incident, were verboten in the Randian movement. The philosophical rationale was that humor demonstrates that one "is not serious about one’s values." The actual reason, of course, is that no cult can withstand the piercing and sobering effect, the sane perspective, provided by humor. One was permitted to sneer at one’s enemies, but that was the only humor allowed, if humor that be.

 

Personal enjoyment, indeed, was also frowned upon in the movement and denounced as hedonistic "whim-worship." In particular, nothing could be enjoyed for its own sake – every activity had to serve some indirect, "rational" function. Thus, food was not to be savored, but only eaten joylessly as a necessary means of one’s survival; sex was not to be enjoyed for its own sake, but only to be engaged in grimly as a reflection and reaffirmation of one’s "highest values"; painting or movies only to be enjoyed if one could find "rational values" in doing so. All of these values were not simply to be discovered quietly by each person – the heresy of "subjectivism" – but had to be proven to the rest of the cult. In practice, as will be seen further below, the only safe aesthetic or romantic "values" or objects for the member were those explicitly sanctioned by Ayn Rand or other top disciples.

 

***

 

Any such confession meant a harrowing process of ideological and psychological purification, supposedly ending in one’s success at achieving rationality, independence, and self-esteem and therefore an unquestioning and blind devotion to Ayn Rand.

 

***

 

One top young Randian ... was deathly afraid to ask the question, it being so basic that he knew he would be excommunicated on the spot for simply raising the point; but he had complete faith that if Rand should be asked the question, she would answer it satisfactorily and resolve his doubts. And so he waited, year after year, hoping against hope that someone would ask the question, be expelled, but that his own doubts would then be resolved in the process.

 

In the manner of many cults, loyalty to the guru had to supersede loyalty to family and friends – typically the first personal crises for the fledgling Randian. If non-Randian family and friends persisted in their heresies even after being hectored at some length by the young neophyte, they were then considered to be irrational and part of the Enemy and had to be abandoned. The same was true of spouses; many marriages were broken up by the cult leadership who sternly informed either the wife or the husband that their spouses were not sufficiently Randworthy. Indeed, since emotions resulted only from premises, and since the leaders’ premises were by definition supremely rational, that top leadership presumed to try to match and unmatch couples.

 

***

 

One girl, a certified top Randian, who experienced the misfortune of falling in love with an unworthy non-Randian. The leadership told the girl that if she persisted in her desire to marry the man, she would be instantly excommunicated. She did so nevertheless, and was promptly expelled.

 

***

 

But the most important sanction for the enforcement of loyalty and obedience, the most important instrument for psychological control of the members, was the development and practice of Objectivist Psychotherapy. In effect, this psychological theory held that since emotion always stems from incorrect ideas, that therefore all neurosis did so as well; and hence, the cure for that neurosis is to discover and purge oneself of those incorrect ideas and values. And since Randian ideas were all correct and all deviation therefore incorrect, Objectivist Psychotherapy consisted of (a) inculcating everyone with Randian theory – except now in a supposedly psycho-therapeutic setting; and (b) searching for the hidden deviation from Randian theory responsible for the neurosis and purging it by correcting the deviation.

 

***

 

It is no wonder that the enormous psychological pressure of cult membership led to an extremely high turnover in the Randian movement, relatively far more so than among the Communists.

 

***

 

Such fear was greater than that of a Communist member, because the Randian had far less leeway for ideological or personal deviation. Furthermore, since Rand had an absolute and total line on every conceivable question of ideology and daily life, all aspects of such life had to be searched – by oneself and by others – for suspicious heresies and deviations. Everything was the object of fear and suspicion. There was the fear of making an independent judgment, for suppose that the member was to make a statement on some subject on which he did not know Rand’s position, and then were to find out that Rand disagreed.

 

***

 

Every Randian lived in – and indeed was himself – a community of spies and informers, ready to ferret out and denounce any deviations from Randian doctrine. Thus, one time a Randian, walking with a girl friend, told her that he had attended a party at which several Randians had made an impromptu tape imitating the voices of the top Randian leaders. Stricken by this dire information and after spending a sleepless night, the girl rushed to inform the top leadership of this terrible transgression. Promptly, the leading participants were called on the carpet by their Objectivist Psychotherapist and bitterly denounced in their "therapy" sessions: "After all," said the therapist, "you wouldn’t mock God." When the owner of the tape refused the therapist’s demand to relinquish it so that it could be inspected in detail, his doom as a member of the movement was effectively sealed.

 

No Randian, even the top leadership, was exempt from the all-pervasive fear and repression. Every one of the original cadre, for example, was placed on probation at least once, and was forced to demonstrate his loyalty to Rand at length and in numerous ways.

 

***

 

Cult theory decreed that happiness can only be achieved by being a committed Randian; they couldn’t even be intelligent, since how could seemingly intelligent people not be Randians, especially if they commit the gravest sin – failing to become Randians once they were exposed to this new gospel.

 

***

 

The errant member was peremptorily ordered to appear at a "trial" to hear charges against him. If he refused to appear – as he would if he had any shred of self-respect left – then the trial would continue in absentia, with all the members present taking turns in denouncing the expelled member, reading charges against him (again in a manner eerily reminiscent of 1984).... Having his closest friend take the leading part in the heresy proceeding was of course important as a way of forcing the friend to demonstrate his own loyalty to Rand, thereby clearing himself of any lingering taint by association. It is reported that when Branden was expelled, one of his closest former friends in New York sent him a letter proclaiming that the only moral thing he could do at that point was to commit suicide – a strange position for an allegedly pro-life, pro-individual-purpose philosophy to take.

 

***

 

Robotically, the Randians intoned their slogans, generally imitating the poses and manner of Nathaniel and Barbara Branden, and further, imitating their common cult vision of heroes and heroines of the Randian fictional canon .... Many of the young men managed to look like carbon copies of Branden, while the young women tried to look like Barbara Branden, replete with the cigarette-holder held aloft, derived from Ayn Rand herself, that was supposed to symbolize the high moral standards and the mocking contempt wielded by Randian heroines.

 

***

 

Preferring Bach, for example, to Rachmaninoff, subjected one to charges of believing in a "malevolent universe." lf not corrected by self-criticism and psychotherapeutic brainwashing, such deviation could well lead to ejection from the movement.

 

***

 

If the Rand line was totalitarian, encompassing all of one’s life, then, even when all the general premises were agreed upon and Randians checked with headquarters to see who was In or Out, there was still need to have some "judicial" mechanism to resolve concrete issues and to make sure that every member toed the line on that question. No one was ever allowed to be neutral on any issue. The judicial mechanism to resolve such concrete disputes was, as usual in cults, the rank one enjoyed in the Randian hierarchy.

 

***

 

There was an unofficial designation that was far more revealing: "the senior collective" .... each and every one of them was related to each other, all being part of one Canadian Jewish family, relatives of either Nathan or Barbara Branden. There was, for example, Nathan’s sister Elaine Kalberman; his brother-in-law, Harry Kalberman; his first cousin, Dr. Allan Blumenthal, who assumed the mantle of leading Objectivist Psychotherapist after Branden’s expulsion; Barbara’s first cousin, Leonard Piekoff; and Joan Mitchell, wife of Allan Blumenthal. Alan Greenspan’s familial relation was more tenuous, being the former husband of Joan Mitchell. The only non-relative in the class of '43 was Mary Ann Rukovina, who made the top rank after being the college roommate of Joan Mitchell.

 

***

 

The Rand cult was concerned not with every man’s individuality, but only with Rand’s individuality, not with everyone’s right reason but only with Rand’s reason. The only individuality that flowered to the extent of blotting out all others, was Ayn Rand’s herself; everyone else was to become a cipher subject to Rand’s mind and will.

 

***

 

The guiding spirit of the Randian movement was not individual liberty – as it seemed to many young members – but rather personal power for Ayn Rand and her leading disciples. For power within the movement could be secured by totalitarian isolation and control of the minds and lives of every member; but such tactics could scarcely work outside the movement, where power could only hopefully be achieved by cozying up the President and his inner circles of dominion.

 

Thus, power not liberty or reason, was the central thrust of the Randian movement. The major lesson of the history of the movement to libertarians is that It Can Happen Here, that libertarians, despite explicit devotion to reason and individuality, are not exempt from the mystical and totalitarian cultism that pervades other ideological as well as religious movements. Hopefully, libertarians, once bitten by the virus, may now prove immune.

Postscript:  Ayn Rand's main real life hero was apparently a serial killer.  See this this  and this.  That doesn't mean that she didn't write great books; but it does call her judgment into question.

 


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Thu, 11/29/2012 - 23:53 | Link to Comment Mark Noonan
Mark Noonan's picture

Many years ago I tried to read Atlas Shrugged but couldn't get past the first few pages - just too boring.  Maybe it got better as it went along, but it was so bad early on that I'll never find out.  I've had a deep suspicion of Rand ever since I read that, once upon a time, when meeting with William F. Buckley, Jr., she opined to him that, "you are too smart to believe in God".  Which, even if you don't believe in God, is an idiotic statement to make.  If nothing else, all you have to do is crack open the Summa Theologica and you'll see, even if you don't agree, that plenty of very smart people believe in God.  Rand seems to have been a bit too self absorbed - as her rather nauseating polemics against Libertarians indicate.  I also don't have much use for Libertarianism, as such, but I know enough to respect them as being, for the most part, people who honestly hold to their views.

You can do two things and be reasonable - follow God with devotion or follow nothing with devotion.  If you are following God with devotion you are at least keeping to a rational world view which holds that only God has an absolute claim.  If you follow nothing with devotion then you are at least doing skepticism properly.  If, on the other hand, you are devotedly following a person or an ideology, then you are the merest slave.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 09:56 | Link to Comment Mr Joshua
Mr Joshua's picture

How on earth is believing in an invisible god, of which you have no evidence, remotely "reasonable"?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:25 | Link to Comment Mark Noonan
Mark Noonan's picture

Joshua,

Well, I'd have to go through the whole of the aforementioned Summa to really cover it - but the basic thing is that if you don't hold to the concept that there is justice outside of human control then you are all too often going to fall for the notion that mere expediency is the rule. Of course, some people can take the concept of God and twist it around in quite remarkable ways (Jihadists, eg) but you are safer with a belief in an all powerful God who will ultimately ensure justice than without.  As I said, if you are to be a genuine and complete skeptic - which includes being skeptical of skepticism - then you'll also probably remain safe from the worst horrors...but most people who claim skepticism are really only skeptical of God and easily fall for whatever faddish nonsense is coming down the pike. 

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:57 | Link to Comment Mr Joshua
Mr Joshua's picture

"...but most people who claim skepticism are really only skeptical of God and easily fall for whatever faddish nonsense is coming down the pike. "

 

I wouldn't argue against that bit.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 22:12 | Link to Comment outofhere
outofhere's picture

'ians are useless.  You must see through the haze to envision the fog.  Be not a follower but a leader be.  This is the message of the article above.  Open your mind to the endless possibilities of a universe where a Randian or any other 'ian philosophy detracts from true wisdom.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 18:19 | Link to Comment ciao
ciao's picture

You are pretending that she didn't take herself seriously.

She was just another degenerate neo-liberal troll of that ism tradition

 

Neo-liberalism will go the way of neo-Platonism, it was always contrived fit for purpose bs

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 18:25 | Link to Comment Mr Joshua
Mr Joshua's picture

You realise that Plato was the embodiment of everything that Ayn Rand reviled, right? And that she made as much very clear?

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 20:42 | Link to Comment fiddy pence haf...
fiddy pence haff pound's picture

you're acting as if the "crazy Russian bag lady" (author: Mark Ames) ever had a coherent thought

in her sick head. Why?

 

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:29 | Link to Comment the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

shit happens and nobody can do anything about it, even when the democratic majority is against it. such as a war being fought in the name of democracy, by dictatorial fiat. and nobody is what they say they are. Democrats are not Progressives, Republicans are not Conservative, and Libertarians are really Socialists.  George Bush thought he was FDR, Obama thinks he is George Bush.

the mass media is really governance by minority opinion. if the voter doesn't like the candidate, his only choice is to stay home. if you don't like the Rolling Stones, don't buy their records. if only one in a thousand do vote, or do buy a Rolling Stones record, the applause is overwhelming, (by amplification) and no one goes to a concert to boo the singer.

by analogy you have a zero volume stock market, retail investors can't sell the market (that much we know) but clearly fewer and fewer buyers want it either, and with the expansion of the money supply that is a disconnect of huge proportions, and the Presidency is like the zero volume stock market. fewer and fewer people want (either) guy.

but Rand has some nostalgic appeal because she is one of the haters, when it mattered. (or when we thought it mattered) its an amoral consumer world now. save money, why? Bernanke can print bank collateral and rent the money free, (with little or no restraint). your money competing with theirs is like your blue collar job competing with prison labor. (they cancelled Mike Rowe, dammit)

Rand was caught up, just like the Communists, whose dogma was written, by couldn't be ready by the illiterate masses. (Eisenstein tried to turn it into film,- Battleship Potemkin- but it came out as poetry, and you can't eat poetry, or work in it, or live in it, sadly enough) Rand has some of that tragic notion.

 

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 05:18 | Link to Comment Dealyer Turdin
Dealyer Turdin's picture

This shite be rockin' when you're cannin and pannin I'm stockin'.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:18 | Link to Comment jomama
jomama's picture

not mention extremely sexually repressed

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:36 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

You do have documentation for that, correct?

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:04 | Link to Comment mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

In my opinion, Rand appeals most to narcissists.  People who want to believe they are somehow irreplaceable.

The other thing that bothers me about Rand is she had no idea how progress actually happens (inch by inch with contributions from many).  Bill Gates didn't invent the computer or the internet, and he bought most of MS-DOS from a Guy named Tim Paterson.  If he had "gone Galt" the only thing that would have changed is one name on the long list of people who got very rich from improving technology in the 20th century.

So who is John Galt?

Just another made-up superhero.  I think the closest we ever came to someone like that was Tesla (who died broke).  Go figure.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:35 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

In my opinion, Rand appeals most to narcissists. People who want to believe they are somehow irreplaceable.

 

And there's nothing narcissistic about believing that you have insight into the souls of others and can discern their motivations better than they can themselves.

 

So who is John Galt?

Just another made-up superhero.  I think the closest we ever came to someone like that was Tesla (who died broke).  Go figure.

 

So Atlas Shrugged, which is a work of fiction, includes fictional characters engaged in a fictional plot? That's simply shocking!

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:53 | Link to Comment mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Exactly.  It's fiction.  Not based in any reality. 

I INVENTED THE PIANO KEY NECKTIE!!  I INVENTED THE PIANO-KEY NECKTIE!!!  AND YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING!!!

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 15:24 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

You don't understand what fiction is. Fiction must be anchored in reality or it will make no impression on the reader or will simply be incomprehensible. Huck Finn was fiction but you'd be  a fool to say that it doesn't reflect and inform the conscience of individuals to this day. You may be a fool in any case.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 18:25 | Link to Comment mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Probably.

I actually admire Rand's success as a writer.  But make no mistake, she used the same exact mind tricks as L. Ron Hubbard and Anton LaVey.

And it's always fun to see the disciples go apoplectic.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 22:13 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

It's more fun to watch a narcissistic conniver misrepresent your position in the most obvious way in order to make himself feel strong and important.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:15 | Link to Comment smoot27
smoot27's picture

Time to report to your occupy park.  Progress happens through the efforts of individuals who realize benefits from their actions. If this wasn't the case we wouldn't have such a variance in technical advancements in the more capitalistic US than in 3rd world states which have existed for thousands of years longer. Sure individuals replicate best practices began by others, but it was the individuals acting in their own interest before them that passed on the advancements in technology and productivity in the first place so that individuals in the current era can continue to benefit society acting in their own interest. 

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 00:01 | Link to Comment Mark Noonan
Mark Noonan's picture

Progress happens for a lot of reasons - but most importantly it happens when the rule of law exists...and that requires a great deal of exceptionally collective action.  You can't separate out the threads...which is why, on the whole, if I had to choose a past nation to live in, I would prefer the Austro-Hungarian Empire to, say, the British Empire of the mid-19th century.  To be sure, there was a certain species of political liberty available in 1850 Britain which wasn't fully available in 1850 Austria, but there also wasn't the rapacious "liberalism" of the Manchester School which figured that slums were just the product of iron laws of economics (as if there are any).

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:44 | Link to Comment mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Rand lovers almost always have an inflated sense of the importance of their own existence. That was my point. That's why they love her.  She whispers, "you're so special...so valuable" in their ears.

Who do you think was more valuable to the world, Bill Gates or Jonas Salk?

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 15:05 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

Who do you think was more valuable to the world, Bill Gates or Jonas Salk?

 

I think the point is that Gates and Salk are each individuals with the right to live their own lives by their own lights and therefore the relevant question is whose values are better for Salk than Salk's own values and whose values are better for Gates than Gates own values? You need to learn to appreciate the diversity of a world with seven billion individuals living on it each with their own unique point of view. It would be narcissistic to deny that individuals are unique and have a right to pursue their own course.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 17:56 | Link to Comment mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Yeah, I know.  And it's probably narcissistic of me to point out you didn't answer the question.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 18:23 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I don't know anyone named "the world." Perhaps you can introduce us or better yet you could recognize the fallacy of the public good. For extra credit you could comment on the narcissism of those who claim to speak for the public good when they haven't actually talked to the seven billion individuals on the planet.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 18:45 | Link to Comment mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Strike Two!

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 22:05 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

So now you not only speak for the entire world but you've also appointed yourself as umpire of our discussion? No, you're not narcissistic at all.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 23:17 | Link to Comment mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

And that's the ball game!

I will add the inability to answer simple questions to my list of grievances with Rand-tards.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 13:01 | Link to Comment Dealyer Turdin
Dealyer Turdin's picture

There is no ball game, could you hit the sun?  (a teensy weensy modified Salk-ism).   Isn't Windows kind of like Polio for computers?

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:23 | Link to Comment Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

You then support "moral relativism”, and “ethical subjectivism”, which means “winner takes all” and supports Social Darwinism’s “Survival of the Fittest”. Whatever it takes, no matter who gets hurt, it’s “win, win, win”!

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:32 | Link to Comment smoot27
smoot27's picture

We live in a world with more shades of gray than hardlined black and white philosophy.  I believe most libertarians would agree that government serves a purpose and can do some things more efficiently.   With that said, when the scales tip further towards collectivism and corporatism and away from individualism, society declines.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 13:59 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

Israeli intelligence along with Kissinger. Agents of the NWO.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:17 | Link to Comment Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

I am of the opinion that Rand may have been a Zionist shill. She was against collectivism, and yet she supported Zionism, which is about as collective as you can get. I believe her duty was to promote "individualism", so that people would not unite against tyranny; instead they would spend all their time fighting with each other over their individual rights. That is exactly what Libertarians do: argue with each other continually while Rome burns.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:36 | Link to Comment LadyEconomist
LadyEconomist's picture

 

I don't think you understand 'collectivism' and 'individualism" properly.

Collective means homogenous/uniform/this same.

Individualism means heterogeneous/diverse/different.

Car is an example of heterogeneous, separate and different parts working together.

Flour is an example of homogeneous; all particles are this same working together to make a substance.

Your incorrect premise is that individuals cannot work together.

There is a difference between working in unison and working in team/union.

 

 

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:32 | Link to Comment smoot27
smoot27's picture

Funny that the basis of your cliche was a plutocracy

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:38 | Link to Comment Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

How so? Please explain.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:45 | Link to Comment smoot27
smoot27's picture

I'm referring to the Roman Republic which was a plutocracy. 

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:06 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Of course you have documentation for that.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 13:54 | Link to Comment Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

I started to read "Atlas Shrugged" and I couldn't get past the first 40 pages. Rand was a horrible writer; she takes 2 pages to describe situations and surroundings in what could have been written in one paragraph. But my disdain for her is because she was a hypocrite. She hated Muslims/Arabs/Palestinians; calling Palestinians "lower than animals", yet she hates "collectivism". Well, Ayn, isn't "racism" collectivism?

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:22 | Link to Comment LadyEconomist
LadyEconomist's picture

Rand couldn't be a racist because jewish and arabs are this same race. She might be a bigot in your eyes. She probably have had issues more with their religion but she have had issues with all religions. I've read she was atheist.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:05 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

It's a shame that such a standard makes it impossible for you to appreciate insights to be found in the Bible, the works of Shakespeare or the Declaration of Independence. Your reading list of writers who were never wrong must be extremely short but perhaps you'll share it with us.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

If I use your logic, I'd find comfort in reading Hitler's "Mein Kampf'; take out the bad stuff, and adhere to the good. No thanks!

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:42 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

If I use your logic, I'd find comfort in reading Hitler's "Mein Kampf'; take out the bad stuff, and adhere to the good. No thanks!

 

Are you seriously suggesting that Ayn Rand, the Evangelists, Shakespeare and Thomas Jefferson are the moral equivalents of Hitler? But let's cut to the chase and see your list of writers who were never ever wrong about anything.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:20 | Link to Comment smoot27
smoot27's picture

How is racism related to collectivism?  

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:29 | Link to Comment Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

Read Rand's article on the subject:

http://www.freedomkeys.com/ar-racism.htm

 

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:52 | Link to Comment smoot27
smoot27's picture

It's an interesting article Mr. Hudson and I certainly see how institutionalized racism fits the definition.  I'm just curious if all sweeping generalizations individuals make fit the definition of collectivism.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:44 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Do you take exception with Rand's belief that racism has no merit? Do her individual failings negate the value of her well thought out and well spoken observations on the subject?

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 13:36 | Link to Comment sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Although it is beneath my dignity level to remark upon such decrepits as Ayn Rand, I will remark on the subject of forensic finance.

Forensic Finance Bible

Most American citizens still don't understand the primary cause for the global economic meltdown?  Can you believe it?????

The synopsis below is a summary of the connected events, a continuum or continuity of actions, which led to the present situation today --- which profited a select few, while working towards the impoverishment of the majority.

After World War II, the immediate lackeys of the super-rich established a political slush fund called the Black Eagle Trust.  This was based upon recovered Nazi (and to some extent, Empire of Japan) stolen treasures, which most predominantly were taken from Eastern Europe.

The three original controllers of this fund were John McCloy, Robert Lovett and Robert Anderson.  The monies from this fund set the stage for future covert perfidy. (Lovett and McCloy were two members of the group who created the American intelligence establishment.)

Fast forward to the S&L meltdown, which was simply another larger step in national thievery.  (But at least that time, there were about 900 convictions out of 1,000 banksters prosecuted for their financial fraud --- and that was the point certain parties created credit derivatives, the modern securitized financial instruments --- securitization originally began in the early 1900s, and really exploded during the 1920s, leading up to the Great Crash and Great Depression, but securitization was officially ended back then in 1933.)

Forward to 9/11/01, where we heard on the day prior (9/10), the Pentagon's comptroller announce that an auditing team had uncovered $2.3 trillion which was unaccounted for --- we would hear little further about this as on the very next day an airliner would fly into the west wall of the Pentagon, killing most of that auditing team involved (DIA's Financial Management staff), and severely injuring the remaining members.

Concurrent with the aftermath of events of 9/11, the SEC would invoke its emergency powers under Securities Exchange Act Section 12(k), which allowed for the easing of regulatory restrictions for clearing and settling security trades for the next fifteen days. These changes would allow an estimated $240 billion in covert government securities to be cleared upon maturity without the standard regulatory controls around identification of ownership.

Over the next several months, offshore hedge funds would double in value, from an original $2 trillion to over $4 trillion.  Reflect on that for a moment:  $2.3 trillion unaccounted for, with another $240 billion cleared --- which may have been part of that unaccounted for trillions.

Further missing monies from the two wars during the Bush administration:  $8.7 billion in Iraq, and over $17 billion in Afghanistan.

An enormous transformation, originally incremental and slow, but now with more funds at their disposal, truly took off, with the dismantling of the production/consumption economy, and the implementation of the fantasy finance economy.

Which gave us that global meltdown:  John Paulson and his hedge fund, along with Goldman Sachs, designed and created a financial fraud instrument, the Abacus CDO, layered with sure-to-fail crappy loans, which they took out a bunch of credit default swaps (naked swaps, or unregulated insurance instruments) against.

So each naked swap they purchased at $1.4 million apiece, paid out an incredible $100 million --- and that was a bunch of swaps as Paulson made an estimated $3.4 billion on that deal.

Now imagine all the others involved in similar transactions.  So multiply Paulson's deal by 100, or 1,000 and you begin to understand the cause for the meltdown.  Another financial firm, Magnetar Capitals, created a bunch of losing deals --- in fact, 96% of their deals went into the toilet as losses, but they made out like the ultra-bandits they were as they did exactly what Paulson had done.  Now multiply that by 100, or 1,000.

And much or most of those deals were made through AIG, the world's largest "insurance" corporation --- AIG did $460 billion worth of those deals, with no capital to back it up.

That means that AIG sold CDSes at $1.4 million a pop, with $460 billion worth (there were variations in the price, but I'm keeping this as simple as possible), so the possible payouts would range from $20 trillion to a potential $40 trillion or more --- funds which AIG didn't have to pay Paulson (and Alan Greenspan who worked at his hedge fund) and Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, BofA and Citigroup, etc.

Hence that bailout --- better known, as paying off the ultra-thieves who ruined everything for the rest of us --- for many, many years to come.

Now, Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns have been blamed, and they share plenty of blame, but they were the firms that were simply outwitted by JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank doing bear runs on them, after their perfidy left them in highly vulnerable positions, the other three banksters pulled the rug of their counterparties, thus destroying their financial positions.  Further consolidating, further monopolizing the financial industry.

(Paid stooges like Barry Lynn at New America Foundation, which is funded by Pew oil money and David Rockefeller's lackey, private bankster Peter G. Peterson, would have us believes these monopolies just accidentally happen --- never trust those disinformation specialists, they practice "soft" propaganda, and please beware of Bill Moyers [longtime FBI snitch], Kevin Phillips, who would have us believe the CPI, or Consumer Price Index, was the cause of the economic meltdown, Noam Chomsky and Robert Reich, or both truly muddy the waters of truth.)

The rich and super-rich simply became the ultra-rich through their rigging of the markets and their insider trading --- it is really that very simple.

Now the six principal methods of their manipulation are the following:

(1) unlimited number of investors per hedge fund

(2) unlimited number of commodity futures contracts

(3) unlimited number of credit default swaps (or naked swaps)

(4) DTCC's Stock Borrow Program (SBP), which allows for naked short selling

(5) LIBOR rates manipulation, which can and was used to manipulate the prices of structured finance loans (private equity LBO loans based upon securitizations, and securitized financial instruments called credit derivatives), manipulation of the prices of municipal swaps, profiting the banksters but screwing states, counties and cities, mortgage lending and ARMs, etc., etc.)

(6) unlimited unregistered trusts (Normal hiding of wealth and ownership has historically taken place through the use of foundations, trusts, and offshore finance centers, or tax havens, and using those foundations and trusts as conduits, they set up unregistered trusts, especially offshore --- and do you track those unregistered trusts?  You can't!)

Any single usage or combination of the above in a myriad number of ways, offers almost limitless power to the financial-intelligence-complex which primarily runs things in America, and at the global level, the transnational capitalist class, or global banking intelligence complex.

It's really, really that simple . . . .

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 13:15 | Link to Comment Dealyer Turdin
Dealyer Turdin's picture

amazing condensation, any titles or links?

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 13:35 | Link to Comment solgundy
solgundy's picture

Libertarians....duh....like the Yellow strip in the middle of the road

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 13:59 | Link to Comment fourchan
fourchan's picture

well since the word and concept "republic"an is hyjacked by religious nuts and fake rush sycophants, forget it the republic is dead theres no point in argueing.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!