Yesterday, I remarked about my tardiness in following up.
Back in April, I started a series about Atlas Shrugged and how Objectivism is contributing to collapse. It's been seven months, so I'm way behind. In fact, I'm so behind and so many new people have started reading this blog that I'm going to review what I rewrote back then. That it helps explain the nature of the hornet I'm swatting is a bonus.Time for the next section of relevant quotes from that entry.
More quotes tomorrow."There are two novels that can transform a bookish 14-year-old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish daydream that can lead to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood ...in which large chunks of the day are spent inventing ways to make real life more like a fantasy novel. The other is a book about orcs."~Raj Patel in The Value of Nothing.Ah, yes, Alan Greenspan. This is where the post turns a little more serious. The late Paul Samuelson had the following to say about him:
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
~Dorothy Parker on Atlas Shrugged
"Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel written by Alan Greenspan's dominatrix.~Inventor on Daily Kos.
And this brings us to Alan Greenspan, whom I've known for over 50 years and who I regarded as one of the best young business economists. Townsend-Greenspan was his company. But the trouble is that he had been an Ayn Rander. You can take the boy out of the cult but you can't take the cult out of the boy. He actually had instruction, probably pinned on the wall: 'Nothing from this office should go forth which discredits the capitalist system. Greed is good.'Yet again the similarity between Objectivism and Scientology appears, and not in a funny way, either.
Greenspan also makes a cameo in Maureen Dowd's comment on Atlas Shrugged, along with Paul Ryan.
Congressman Ryan has said the reason he got involved in public service was “by and large” because of Rand, and he has encouraged his staffers to read “Atlas Shrugged.”Ms. Dowd brings me to the serious point of this post (gloating is not a serious point), Objectivism is a philosophy that is contributing to our problems. Worse yet, it is becoming a response to our problems, making them even worse.
You’d think that our fiscal meltdown would have shown the flaw in Rand’s philosophy. She thought we could derive morals from the markets. But we derived immorality from the markets.
What Rand and acolytes like Alan Greenspan failed to realize is that if everyone acts in self-interest and no one takes into account the weakness to the entire system that occurs when everybody indulges in the same kind of risky behavior, the innocent and the guilty are engulfed.
What, you say, Objectivism causes collapse? Yes. It's all there in the manual. But that's the subject of Part II.