Econoparody: The Cinders of Ayn Rand Posted on December 10, 2011 by Yves Smith The folks at Versus have released a set of holiday econoparodies. This is my favorite: They’ve also published a sampler, and you can see longer versions of each one featured: Post navigation ← Most Evil Person of the Year Award? Eurocrisis Solutions For Whom? → Subscribe to Post Comments 69 comments SqueakyRat December 10, 2011 at 5:50 am Greenspan’s career will be a subject of historians’ curiosity for centuries. I mean, how did this dope do it? ella December 10, 2011 at 8:47 am Greenspan did it the old fashion way, with crony capitalism. He was propped up by the elites who benefited the most from his policies. It is amazing that now so many of them cry class warfare and don’t demonize the rich… as though they did not rely on crony capitalism. It is easy to be rich when you can manipulate the government, and the regulators to do your bidding. Next all you need to do is convince the public that you are the true job creators, should not pay any tax or be regulated and that you are successful because you earned it. Up the Ante December 10, 2011 at 9:03 am As you said is the very essence of Ahnold’s “Let’s Party.”. LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm Clearly, Greenspan was a shill for the 1%. He was like the Foreman to the Plantation owner, an Agent for the 1% jwthomas December 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm Read the chapter on Greenspan in Matt Taibbi’s “The Great Derangement” for the full story of his rise to power and prestige despite a total lack of competence. Tao Jonesing December 10, 2011 at 11:19 am Dope? The guy is a genius who accomplished everything he set out to do. Greenspan is evil, not stupid. Learn how to spot the difference. LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm Tao, would you say the same of *Uncle Henry*? Leeskyblue December 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm It is fallacy to believe that one “dope” or genius, devil or saint ever “does it” alone. Who were all the people who eagerly danced with Mephisto and his demon goddess? Who were the rest of us who circled the periphery of the same ballroom but would not hear the music? Now that we all know the building is collapsing, what are we doing about it? — Blaming one benighted fiddler who played the songs many wanted to hear, and the rest of us tolerated? LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm Leeskyblue, whose payroll are you on? “We are all equally guilty” for the ruin of our *nation*? F. Beard December 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm Amen! I have loathed Greenspan since he said to Congress “If you understood what I just said, then I misspoke.” Also, “You con’t fight the Fed” used to make me sick with all the corruption it implied. LRT December 10, 2011 at 6:47 am The continued US fascination with fringe movements based on the writings of half educated and semi literate maniacs amazes European observers. In any other country Rand would have sunk without trace. Incapable of reading, incapable of connected thought. Beyond parody – to attempt to summarize her ‘thought’ is to find oneself deep in parody. And yet still an object of fascination, evidently. Goodness knows why! F. Beard December 10, 2011 at 7:28 am If Ayn Rand did so well, it was because leftists gave her a target as wide as a barn. I used to be an Ayn Rand fan. Reading the Old Testament quickly cured me. Her hypocrisy and philosophical inconsistency also helped. Praedor December 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm Then of course there is the nice factoid that Rand lived out her elder years dependent upon Medicare and Social Security. Blunt December 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm Mr. Beard, I’m glad you left Rand behind, but I swear I thought you were gonna say you’d done it because you grew up and had your 27th birthday. Nothing seems more jejune and a piece with adolescent angst than the writings and idees fixes of Ayn Rand. F. Beard December 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm but I swear I thought you were gonna say you’d done it because you grew up and had your 27th birthday. Blunt I can’t say when I moved beyond Ayn Rand. It was much later than 27 though. Really, it was like a disease; I had to justify everything I did from a selfish point of view. It became terrifying. Luckily I grabbed the Old Testament in desperation and it reset my mind. T’was a close call though. mansoor h. khan December 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm F. Beard said: “Reading the Old Testament quickly cured me”. Can you please be more specific? Why and How? Mansoor H. Khan Up the Ante December 10, 2011 at 9:05 am I’ll refer you back to Ahnold’s “Let’s Party.”. America, where ‘happy smug ignorance’ feels free to alight. LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm Up – Again, yes, “Let’s Pahty” like it’s 1938. Paperchaser December 10, 2011 at 9:21 am Yes, yes, awful US, etc., but I’ve noticed she’s also pretty big in India. I can’t venture to say why, since I tend to change the subject when her work comes up. mansoor h. khan December 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm Paperchaser, “but I’ve noticed she’s also pretty big in India. I can’t venture to say why” Monkey see monkey do if the monkey being copied is powerful, successful, wealthy and respected. Many, many young educated in the developing world want to be like and be part of the global 1%. Only an Epic collapse will make people question the values of the 1%. mansoor h. khan Paperchaser December 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm I see your point, Mr. Khan, but to me it seems a bit of a dodge. India obviously has its own history of institutionalized inequality, and in a context where the tradition that enforced that institutionalized inequality is being challenged by other forces of history, I’m not sure that educated young Indians wanting to be like the American 1% is the most comprehensive explanation for the appeal of objectivism here. But yes, yes, of course, as I pointed out before, awful Americans, etc. How dare they model institutionalized inequality to an impressionable country like India. mansoor h. khan December 12, 2011 at 6:45 am Paperchaser, “enforced that institutionalized” All religions/thought systems of world are being conquered (at least it appears for now) by Greece (Reason/Rationality = God). When all is said and done: Reason/Rationality as God really means I (man) is god I am sure many, many reading this will disagree. When the onion peeled this is what today’s thinking boils down to. Revealed Knowledge / Knowledge of Reality passed down by one’s ancestors is given up once the above equation is accepted. My opinion based on history I know and what major religions say, this Man = God equation always leads to a dark age. But the dark ages have their cleansing purpose too (the above equation is broken)… and the cycle starts again! mansoor h. khan SidFinster December 12, 2011 at 4:24 am Also in Georgia, of all places. Saakashvili is an infamous randroid. In fact the National Bank of Georgia (there is such a thing) called its securities trading arm “Galt & Taggart Securities”. patrick December 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm One problem is that her book “Atlas Shrugged” is on the required reading list of some high schools. Now that’s the way to do propaganda. Leeskyblue December 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm Are you afraid of variant ideas? We have more PhD’s and beyond than we have ever had, yet how many of us are educated enough to explain our Constitution, how many of us understand the ancient and relevant questions that our 18th century thinkers worked to resolve, and how many understand what the unique “American” philosophy is? Miss Rand is attractive to people who have never been properly educated — how many of us are? LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm patrick — AND in *universities* stacked with 1% shills. Anonymous Jones December 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm I don’t really mind that her books are on required reading lists. I have no problem with exposing people to her ideas. In fact, she provides a great litmus test. If you don’t realize how poor her prose is, then I don’t have to waste time discussing the techniques of style and writing with you. If you don’t find most of her ideas simplistic, unworkable and frankly vile, then I don’t have to waste time discussing life with you. I generally think that “influence” is overrated. People (in my experience) seem to grow up to be the people they were going to be anyway (my sisters and I certainly ended up a lot different even though we grew up in the same house with generally the same “influences”). People who are attracted to Rand’s ideas would be attracted to the same kind of ideas even if Rand never existed or never wrote her books. These are the people who are scared of groups and live an insular life trying to control a universe they cannot with a deep insecurity that masquerades as a compensatory facade of false self-confidence. These people have, and will continue to, exist even if all trace of Rand were expunged from the universe. They’d find some other false God to worship. LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm AJ, you would be amazed at the influence her *philosophy* has had on people, and on what people. This has been a *putsch* far worse than you imagine. It is insane, to say the least. Who has time to say the most? In a nutshell, the putsch for Ayn Rand worship by key 1% Agents and their addled masses compares quite well with the *putsch* for the *philosophy* of Alfred Rosenberg and Houston Stewart Chamberlain (Wagner’s son-in-law) before and during the *Third Reich* (Holy Roman Reich III in fact). The result THEN is covered in the books: “HITLER’S BENEFICIARIES” and “HITLER’S WILLING EXECUTIONERS.” Obviously, you have no idea of the danger of this. Lafayette December 11, 2011 at 9:45 am If you don’t find most of her ideas simplistic, unworkable and frankly vile, then I don’t have to waste time discussing life with you. How nice to see you open-mindedness. I happen to agree with you, but agreement is not the point-of-the-game on a forum. We can always have opinions/beliefs/notions/ideas. They can always be debated. We can always learn from adversarial debate because it forces us to justify logically (not emotionally) our notions. No one nor any idea has a patent on truth. Which is why debate was such a precious value in Greek and Roman times. It seems, in America, we have no more time for debate – except at elections. Then all we want to need see/hear is the sound-bite Media Messaging so we can put a ticket on that person. We love etiquettes – they are compass bearings on our own little world of thought. Put the ticket of “Progressive pinko” or “Creeping Socialist” on a candidate and it shuts that person off from any argument that s/he may have to contribute. Some use the branding Looney Left or Rabid Right when I find an argument to extreme or out of touch with reality, but that does not mean we cannot try to understand the argument. Accepting or refusing it is altogether another matter. And branding often substitutes for open-mindedness. Vote your convictions – it’s a free country (sic!) – but don’t tie them down by closing the window to debate. propertius December 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm The continued US fascination with fringe movements based on the writings of half educated and semi literate maniacs amazes European observers. In any other country Rand would have sunk without trace. You’re right, of course. Sophisticated Europeans would never fall for the ravings of, for example, poorly educated, unemployed, Austrian housepainters. F. Beard December 10, 2011 at 7:10 am Hey Al G, What is “libertarian” about a government enforced/backed counterfeiting cartel? Nothing? Exactly. So what were you doing at the Fed? Sabotage? Treason? Lafayette December 10, 2011 at 8:20 am JUST ROAD-KILL Ayn Rand was an escapee of communist Russia. It is almost axiomatic that, out of revenge, she wrote her work as she did. Besides, she was in the US at a time propitious for such malarkey to take prominence in America’s Cold War climate. Greenspan rode the wave and luckily got out just before it broke. Or, like so many others of that ilk, he’d be just so much jetsam washed up on the beach – along with Ronald Reagan. I will nonetheless recognize this simple fact: She was a philosopher in a land of non-philosophers. Philosophy, which is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence is not as powerful a force in American culture as it is in Europe. Which is why, in fact, her philosophy of unbridled capitalism being the utmost expression of individual freedom has so much ascendancy in America. It is a bunk philosophy, or should be, rendered so by recent history. Which has shown that those who believe such philosophical nonsense cannot evidently tell the difference between individual freedom and human greed at all cost. For them, the human cost is just so much road-kill on the Highway of Life. Self-regulate that, Mr. Greenspan … LRT December 10, 2011 at 9:37 am Lafayette, say rather that she passed herself off as a philosopher in a culture where no-one knew what philosophy was. The whole thing about Rand is she was not a thinker of any kind. She obviously did have a certain personal and sexual magnetism, but that’s as far as it went. Psychoanalystus December 10, 2011 at 9:46 am Ayn Rand was actually a man. Like Mona Lisa… Susan the other December 10, 2011 at 10:45 am She did start looking like Cap Weinberger as she got older. PaulArt December 10, 2011 at 11:12 am LOL! Brilliant Susan! Doug Terpstra December 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm So glad I didn’t have a mouthful when I read that. Skippy December 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm ZING! Skippy…Bravo! scraping_by December 10, 2011 at 10:11 am Interesting you should mention sex. The Ayn Rand character in Shea and Wilson’s Iluminatus! triolgy ended the book on a blanket within a circle of men. I suppose the challenge/conquest thing goes along with dynamism and the phrase “heroic enterprise”. The fact that reality economics is more family chores than storming battlements is kept out of sight. The one “business talent” that seems universal is the ability to dramatize budget items. Using battlefield metaphors to describe economics is inaccurate but commonplace. Rand uses the echos of Bronze Age hand to hand combat for further inaccuracy. This makes her beloved of the technocrats, yes-men, crumbcatchers, storekeepers, jumped-up clerks and mouthy bullies who like to self-dramatize their way through the work day. Paperchaser December 10, 2011 at 10:59 am LRT, it is interesting you should mention sex. I find it interesting that you do so in the same comment you suggest that she’s a charlatan as a philosopher. I mean, I would consider Ayn Rand a crap philosopher, an inconsistent philosopher, a philosopher whose philosophies are self-evidently wrong and have been proven wrong by lived experience, a philosopher whose prose expression was atrocious – but not demonstrably an insincere philosopher. No more than, say, Rousseau, whose philosophy is also pretty easy to discredit, and whose sexual life was rather more remarkable than Ayn Rand’s. However, I don’t think most people would ascribe Rousseau’s appeal to his sexual magnetism. I question why you think that’s a remarkable feature of Ayn Rand’s appeal, which seems to be what you’re suggesting (I’m not sure why else you’d be bringing it up). And I suggest to you that you may be doing so because you feel at some level that being an older lady who liked bonking and manipulating younger men may make someone less of an official philosopher, as far as that goes. There are a lot of reasons to be dismissive of Ayn Rand but latent sexism isn’t one of them. scraping_by December 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm It’s actually pretty explicit in Rand’s fiction that Dominique and her hellcat sisters are going to come throw themselves at the heroic male who’s fighting for the virtue of selfishness. Long Rationalist expositions are apparently aphrodisiac. This is not to say Randist males are a bunch of geeky, low testosterone, wanking, pussyphobic little boys who have trouble forming and maintaining adult relationships. They’re not just the sort of deltas useful to the criminals running the financial industry. I’m sure it’s pure philosophy. LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm Ayn Rand (a *White Russian* 1% Reich apparatchik *against Communism* and probably OSS-connected therefor) did exert a “sexual magnetism” on the egotistic fools at her feet and lap: a sexual magnetism eons old: she made these idiots feel like they were the most intelligent males in the world. She thus *charmed* them, had them *enthralled*. There is no more powerful seduction than to exalt VAIN, weak men to a position of *pre-eminence* in their own eyes, as they regard themselves in the LYING MIRROR of the bewitching *Intellectual Goddess*. Rand was a predator, playing a vicious game for the satisfaction of her sexual appetites by adoring fools. She was rewarded by her *antiCommie* handlers by having her mediocre scripts and books published and marketed as if they were works of genius. So exalted as an *Intellectual Goddess*, she was able to consume her foolish prey. This is the gospel truth, innocents. JTFaraday December 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm Who can afford to be innocent? People can’t discuss this woman’s work without mentioning her apparent Cougar status. Now, imagine if no one could manage to interview Professor Roubini without mentioning his apartment: http://gawker.com/5730855/now-you-can-live-in-nouriel-roubinis-former-vulva-palace (Other than Gawker). Paperchaser December 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm Sexuality is explicit in a lot of “proper” philosophers’ philosophies. Painfully so. In fact if there’s a more oviously inappropriate place to look for sexual health and maturity within a group of individuals than the philosophy department of leading universities, it’d be among the authors of their reading lists. There seems to be a misconception on this board that being a crappy philosopher with a crappy philosophy who uses human sexuality as some sort of promotional tool makes a philosopher unable to practice “pure philosophy”. By that logic most of the gymmed-and-spray-tanned merchant banking community aren’t bankers, most of Congress aren’t politicians. And most canon philosophers wouldn’t be philosophers. I’m glad nobody’s letting you people at the academic discipline of philosophy, or else a huge population of dangerously maladjusted grad students would start roaming the streets when their departments suddenly ceased to exist, subjecting unsuspecting passersby to Hegelian ramblings at best and Nietzscian vituperations at worst. (Yes, worst. That includes Randians. You think objectivists are awful, try the sort of fascists who consider themselves academics). Or I could be wrong, and some of you might – as I previously suspected – have some sort of problem in principle with an opportunistic cougar being taken seriously as a philosopher. Which is wrong. It’s sexist, and self-defeating. Ayn Rand is easy to dismiss on the basis of her crappy philosophy. Dismissing her on any other basis is a bit like kicking Silvio Berlsuconi out of office because of global financial markets instead of massive corruption and the statutory rape of prostitutes – it leaves her supporters and crappy ideas largely unchallenged. Norman December 10, 2011 at 8:22 am Who was it, who said it was all about ethnicity? Can there be any doubt? Psychoanalystus December 10, 2011 at 9:45 am Brilliant! Thank your! :) Boo December 10, 2011 at 11:01 am I’m sorry, but I thought it was kind of lame. “How could you take advice from a fiction writer” or some such? – this is just crap. Reading comments I see: 1. People who have not read AR and yet who feel compelled to comment. 2. Greenspan haters who blame him for everything that happened [he was too lax, no regulation, he was in bed with corporations, etc]. Please. Don’t you get it yet: Europe is in just the same (and perhaps even worse) situation as the US with all their regulation. Look at the real problem: me, you, you, and YOU. You took too much debt, you bought a macMansion you cannot afford, you didn’t save any money, you spend your last dollars for the latest and greatest version of ipad/iphone. Did you really expect Greeney to hold your hand when you headed for the shopping spree. Stop fucking wining like babies and blaming everyone else but yourself! PaulArt December 10, 2011 at 11:15 am Ahem, you stumbled in through the wrong door. Boo December 10, 2011 at 11:44 am Pardon me, which way is germophobes? psychohistorian December 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm TROLL ALERT!!! I keep waiting for the decrepit bridges that these folks live under to collapse and take them all down with them….alas, more hopium on my part. Leeskyblue December 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm Bo — If you don’t like “whiners,” stop braying back at them. You sound like Miss Rand. In fact the biggest bunch of “frightened zombies” (that’s one of her favorite terms — she did have a facility for purple prose,)are the folks who have prospered off of trillions in borrowed public money, contributed little to “producing wealth” and now crybaby about “their wealth” being taxed to pay some of it back and to save their sorry pampered hides as well as ours, from fiscal disaster. If you want “justice” the new breed of wealthy looters and high-end welfare queens will not like the justice they deserve. scraping_by December 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm Boo — 1. Yes, lots of us have read Rand and come away unconvinced. Many read a school assignment, others out of curiosity, and still others for less admirable motives. It’s amazing what a 20 year old will do to get laid. Her fictional universe was a potboiler presentation of the ubermench among the “the bungled and the botched”. Unlike the squalid, realistic ubermensch of _Crime and Punishment_ it was the cartoon ubermensch of L Ron Hubbard’s science fiction. In any case, I agree with GK Chesterton who said “I can guide you to the thrones of the Supermen. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.” He understood our interdependence (not bad for 20th century Christian writer, eh?) and was merciless with those who imagined themselves outside its obligations. 2. Europe is a non sequiter. The correct comparison is not to other nations, but to our nation’s past. The law enforcement infrastructure swept away in that giddy passion for theories was designed to keep finance within bounds of honesty, utility, and transparency. Now that it’s gone, most transactions are based on deception and theft, there’s no real economy purpose for them, and no one dares trust a single financial business with a single dollar of their earnings. I don’t think that relabeling embezzlement as efficiency has anything to do with credit card debt. Nor is it moral failure to object to using tax dollars to make good speculative losses by well-connected operators. And there are very few people who believe that this, and worse, was the result of too much regulation and other acts of law enforcement. Up until the late 1980’s, most writers made an explicit statement they knew the difference between “economics” and “business”. Much of the havoc of the last thirty years has come when the distinction was swept away by ideologues waving the Rand banner. LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm Bravissimo! scrapin_by. Read them the Riot Act. I’ll say it plainly, moreover. Ayn Rand’s works are crap. If you think she was a genius, you are among the *legions* of DUPES and TOOLS of the mercilessly shrewd 1% Reich who: “don’t give a F!!! about you!…don’t care about you at ALL! at all! at all. (George Carlin) It’s really tough to discover you’ve *been had*. So, grow up and amend your foolish ways, or die yet more. Boo December 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm I love your prose, scraping_by, I mean it. I do not wish to defend AR, nor am I a big fan of objectivism. She lived in a much more idealistic age and she was an idealist. Attacking her, and to some extent AG, as some did here, IMHO, is fairly hypocritical. Nobody complained when the times were good. People came to AG in the street and thanked him for their 401Ks. Sure, he was the maestro, he ruled the economy. Now it’s quite different, isn’t it? AG and AR are all of a sudden bad guys. The rhetoric is getting pretty disturbing too: “predatory lending” (my favourite), “fat cats”, we are the “99%”, we “deserve”, and “Where is MY bailout!” I’m not despise those who profit from government handouts. But this IS a consequence of regulation (gone awry as it has). Are you angry about bailing out banks? — That was regulation too. If you’re hoping that some *good* regulators will step in one day and will make everything whole, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a long time. And instead of looking for an external enemy who screwed up the economy, most people should really contemplate their own actions. Like I said we took too much debt and that’s the problem. And, btw, I completely disagree with your #2. Europe _is_ a good example. Demanding “economic purpose” in transactions is ridiculous: imagine a regulator demanding to see a “proof of economic purpose” in any business deal. YOU brought up taxes. But as long as you did: didn’t the boom times benefit the “masses”? Are you saying the rich benefited more? How do you measure that? The government (first Bush, now Obama) are throwing money away left and right. They will blow away any amount of dollars they can lay their hands on. When the money runs out, the rich are asked to do their “fair share”. I call BS. Define fair. They are already paying disproportionally more. When does unfair end and fair begin? And when does the 1 percent become 2, 5 or 10? James December 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm “The government (first Bush, now Obama) are throwing money away left and right. They will blow away any amount of dollars they can lay their hands on. When the money runs out, the rich are asked to do their “fair share”.” What else would the Government DO with tax revenues? “Save” them; i.e., retire some debt (an idea that probably WOULD have been a good idea at the height of recent bubbles)? To do so only shrinks the economy in a time of austerity and possible deflation. And given that salaries and bonuses for the .1% have never been higher, why is it assumed that government spending is universally inefficient and wasteful, while the private sector’s is always eminently wise? How about a 30 year propaganda campaign by the GOP to discredit all things civic and government in favor of private corporate interests (so successful that even the dems – shameless imitators that they are – followed suit), which is finally bearing real fruit. Talk about a wise investment! Ransome December 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm Rand was a foreigner from a different social and economic system, she came here as an adult. She wanted to be a Hollywood screen writer (does this strike anyone as odd? She knew nothing of America other than from magazines). She wanted to write about capitalism during the Red Decade and most likely got her education from the serialized and idealized business-love stories that the editor of the Saturday Evening Post promoted. I just read Calumet K last night, the story of a rugged individual, a problem solver that works for days without sleep to get the job done. He overcomes all manner of obstacles and corruption, building a grain “house”, allowing his employers to make a fortune, and he gets the girl he wants. As a screen writer this was her element. She may even have been asked to convert some of these stories for Hollywood. Her worldview of capitalism was based on idealized fiction where generally, the “system” was corrupting unless you had unshakable ideals. With ideals and confidence, nothing was impossible. This theme resonated with her, although she lacked confidence. It is very possible that Greenspan lived in a NY bubble and Rand was his window on capitalism and the world (idealized fruit). Libertarianism has a lot of idealism baked into it’s worldview. When Rothbard went subversive, he divided the clan into a hard core inner circle (idealists that must never yield an inch, regardless of how illogical) and a soft core outer circle that allowed those with shared values but with different missions, such as the Randian-Libertarian-Neoliberal-Neocon-Conservative alliance (RLNNC) attempting to disassemble democracy. The main thrust of the Republican RLNNC is that democracy doesn’t work and must be replaced with a more corporatist-aristocratic structure where voting is a relic. First to go will be most of Congress, off to indeterminate detention, that they voted to put in place. As for us: DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior! ARTHUR: Well, I AM king… DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An’ how’d you get that, eh? By exploitin’ the workers — by ‘angin’ on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic an’ social differences in our society! If there’s ever going to be any progress– WOMAN: Dennis, there’s some lovely filth down here. Oh — how d’you do? ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons. Who’s castle is that? WOMAN: King of the who? ARTHUR: The Britons. WOMAN: Who are the Britons? ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we’re all Britons and I am your king. WOMAN: I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective. DENNIS: You’re fooling yourself. We’re living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes– WOMAN: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again. DENNIS: That’s what it’s all about if only people would– ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives in that castle? WOMAN: No one live there. ARTHUR: Then who is your lord? WOMAN: We don’t have a lord. ARTHUR: What? DENNIS: I told you. We’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. ARTHUR: Yes. DENNIS: But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting. ARTHUR: Yes, I see. DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,– ARTHUR: Be quiet! DENNIS: –but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more– ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet! WOMAN: Order, eh — who does he think he is? ARTHUR: I am your king! WOMAN: Well, I didn’t vote for you. ARTHUR: You don’t vote for kings. WOMAN: Well, ‘ow did you become king then? ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,[angels sing] her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [singing stops] That is why I am your king! DENNIS: Listen — strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. ARTHUR: Be quiet! DENNIS: Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you! ARTHUR: Shut up! DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an empereror just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d put me away! ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up! DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system. ARTHUR: Shut up! DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed! ARTHUR: Bloody peasant! DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you here that, eh? That’s what I’m on about — did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn’t you? F. Beard December 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm What? No link? Here’s one: The Annoying Peasant LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm Ayn Rand is not about idealism, but about idolatry and revenge. She wrote *potboilers* appealing to the most primitive dramatic emotions. This is why she is the *Intellectual Goddess* of the “immature,” shall we say? Idolators of Ayn Rand have done, and continue to do, monstrous damage to this nation, in their smug ignorance, their shallow *idealism*, their unmitigated hatred for “the poor” and contempt for *the other*, their unbridled ambition for material wealth and social status, their insatiable greed for *money*, their impious “piety” shamelessly claimed for themselves as cover. Ransome December 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm Actually, my theory is that she took the American Dream stories in the Saturday Evening Post with the middle class audience (remember Rockwell did the covers), and kicked it up a notch so that tycoons were the heroes and the common man was a pink mist, collateral damage. She wanted to patronize the top tier and we know from the record, they ridiculed her so she retreated into her “cult” of admirers and was reluctant to engage unless it was under her terms. She was a screen writer, not a prophet. Life is funny that way. LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm Quite likely, Ransome. Glen December 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm Greenspan and Ayn Rand, heh. Life would have been simpler if he had just fucked her instead of everybody else. SidFinster December 12, 2011 at 4:33 am The trauma from the experience would have either cured him of randism or would have made him more loathsome than he is. Tom Crowl December 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm She (and he) never understood the “altruism problem”… She always denied its value or existence… and didn’t see its connection to crony capitalism and authoritarianism in general. But you can’t escape biology! Biological altruism is actually a fundamental human characteristic. An inescapable illustration (for all you who are convince our intellect can overcome our biology): You will be more emotionally impacted by the death of your family dog than news of the death of a million on the other side of the world! And it has to be that way. If that wasn’t the case… large societies couldn’t exist because we’d always be in grief or emotionally wrought up over someone somewhere and couldn’t get anything done! Interestingly, while it is genetically based the root of the problem is in cognitive limits and how those connect to what’s sometimes called natural human community size… Dunbar’s Number… rather than any necessary genetic connection between members of the ‘in-group’). Because the essence of biological altruism is the demarcation between in-group and out-group… its NOT about being nice. In fact biological altruism can stimulate great brutality… just try walking into a bear’s den and playing with her cub! Our human boundaries are a little fuzzier… but democratic political institutions are actually technologies (and financial regulations) about addressing this problem (whether they know it or not). Ayn Rand & Alan Greenspan: The Altruism Fly in the Objectivist Ointment http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2009/10/ayn-rand-alan-greenspan-altruism-fly-in.html I’d suggest these economists give me a call. They really don’t understand how societies work. LeonovaBalletRusse December 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm Tom Crowl, tell it to the troops. Your link reveals plainly that Ayn Rand wrote potboiler crap. No person of depth and comprehensive intelligence can take her or her acolytes seriously, except as Weapons of Mass Destruction. Ayn Rand played to the primitive vanity of stupid, ambitious Americans, to make them more stupid yet, and more dangerous. She sang her tune for the 1%Reich uber alles. Why should economists call you? JTFaraday December 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm “Because the essence of biological altruism is the demarcation between in-group and out-group… its NOT about being nice. In fact biological altruism can stimulate great brutality… just try walking into a bear’s den and playing with her cub!” So…this so-called “biological ‘altruism'” to which you refer is actually tribalistic and/or selfish thereby making Ayn Rand… right? F. Beard December 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm Whoever heard of a tribe with only ONE member? Jeff December 10, 2011 at 6:44 pm Has it ever occurred to anyone that Ayn Rand was a Communist agent sent to us by Moscow to subvert the West with her line of horseshit that has done as much damage to our country as an ICBM would? What better way to destroy your enemy than to discredit anyone who would destroy you? Lafayette December 11, 2011 at 9:55 am From a blog on Jewish Racism: These agents, many of them crypto-Jews, came to the West in search of anti-Communists and infiltrated anti-Communist organizations and Western intelligence agencies. Their objective was to forward the interests of Communism by creating a controlled opposition to Communism which would serve the interests of the Communists while pretending to fight them. They also subverted all authentic anti-Communist movements. Yep – and they were so successful that Communism did indeed take root in America to such a point that a second revolution was necessary to get rid of it and replace them with no-nonsense, Christian banksters who saved America from a peril worse than death! ;^) Ayn Rand, if she saw the above citation, would have a great laugh from her grave. Jack Parsons December 12, 2011 at 12:27 am She had the hots for a serial killer. Comments are closed. Tip Jar Please Donate or Subscribe!