Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Wealthcare: the Cult of Ayn Rand

Wealthcare: the Cult of Ayn Rand

Jonanthan Chait's big-picture view of Objectivism's influence after reading the two Rand biographies.  I would have posted this when it first came out, but it was difficult to find an ungated version.

Posted to the Reviews Of Books Related To Libertarianism and Criticisms of Objectivism (or Ayn Rand) indexes.

Here's the money line:
"But the basic inverted Marxism at the heart of her ideology has become the central focus of both modern conservative thought and Republican policy-making. (That ideology holds that the world is fundamentally divided between virtuous creators of wealth and lazy parasites, the identity of whom is the reverse of what Marx believed.)"


Michael Clendenin Miller said...

As mtnrunner2 clearly explained today on his blog, Fun With Gravity, the money in this line is counterfeit.

Mike Huben said...

mtnrunner2 says lots of stupid things.

First, he calls Chait's description "absurdity" without any justification.

Then he argues against the strawman "that neither conservatives nor Republicans [...] are not advocates of her philosophy." Chait said ideology, not philosophy. Look up the difference.

Another idiocy: "Rand's ideology is not a buffet lunch. It is an integrated system, and if you don't accept her morality, you are not an advocate of her ideas." Rand herself was notorious for complaining that others stole her ideas without taking the philosophy that went with her ideology, especially libertarians.

Michael, you really ought to get past your confirmation bias.

Joanna Liberation said...

Ayn Rand as the basic inverted Marxism. Yes I like that. One cannot look at Marxism as something fundamentally new. It is just the pinnacle of more primitive statist ideas that kept peoples destitute till industrial revolution. Of course, for statist ideas to reach this intellectual pinnacle, at least timid liberalism had to be elaborated scientifically and implemented first. In other words, free markets and industrial revolution were required to spur the creation of marxism. Ayn Rand and libertarianisms were then created as a final say against statism, so no wonder they are inverted Marxism, no holds barred. Action and reaction.

Chris said...

Marxism as "the pinnacle of more primitive statist ideas that kept peoples destitute till industrial revolution"

I have no idea what this means. Are you comparing Marxism to 17th century absolute monarchy? To the Roman Republic?

What "primitive state" ever advocated worker-controlled factories?

Joanna Liberation said...

I don't need to compare communism to 17th century absolute monarchy because they are precisely same thing. Yes, worker-controlled factories fairy tale does sound better than all the devine rights of kings, but the purpose is always the same, to provide absolute rulers with moral legitimacy.

Joanna Liberation said...

Chris, in short, I don't differentiate forms of government by looking at government propaganda. Communist states are actually more backwards than the Roman Republic. Communist propaganda does sound better though, after all, it has been created by XIX century capitalism.

Chris said...

"I don't need to compare communism to 17th century absolute monarchy because they are precisely same thing...the purpose is always the same."

Human history just isn't this simple or homogenous. There's a saying that if all you have a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. I guess ideology works similarly: if you're a libertarian, everything else in human endeavour looks collectivist or statist.

Joanna Liberation said...

Chris, would you like to argue that absolute monarchy promotes individual freedom?

Chris said...

Arguing that is not the point. The point is that absolute monarchy is not the same social structure or political arrangement as communism.