Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, August 08, 2018

American culture suffers from an overwhelming preponderance of stupidity. Big business has a virtual monopoly over government and the media, the information, entertainment, commentary, ideologies, and educational policies are not conducive to rational thought. What you get is an electorate 25% of whom are inclined to libertarianism. Huge numbers of people are persuaded by the propaganda of the Cato Institute, the magazine Reason, Ayn Rand's novels, and Milton Friedman's ideological hackery to express their rebellious and anti-authoritarian impulses. They believe that power belongs in the hands of private, unaccountable tyrannies, namely corporations. They think that if you just get government out of the picture and let capitalism operate freely, unencumbered by regulations or oversight or labor unionism, all will be for the best in this best of all possible worlds. The spectacle of millions adhering to such a stupid ideology would be comical if it weren't so tragic.

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The economist Rob Larson has a new book Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom, which briefly and lucidly demolishes the glib nostrums of Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek.

To be a libertarian is to be deplorably ignorant of modern history, economics,commonsense sociology, human psychology, and morality itself. The idea that capitalism promotes freedom is so widespread that even many left leaning liberals buy this absurd view. The fact is that socialism, which is to say workers' democratic control of the economy, not only means greater equality and justice than capitalism but also greater freedom, at least for the 99%. The Golden Rule is an essential ethical maxim, and "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need," is a derivative of the Golden Rule and fundamental to any humane social organization.

Negative freedom is the absence of external constraint, such as a power that can force your behavior. Positive freedom is the opportunity to realize your own purposes and wishes, to control your destiny. Classical liberals like John Stuart Mill and modern conservatives like Friedman and Hayek are more concerned with negative freedom, which explains their desire for a minimal state; socialists are concerned also with positive freedom. Capitalism withholds opportunities to enjoy positive freedom and encourages the growth of economic power.

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Capitalism and Freedom Are Incompatible

That is the biggest pile of crasp I have ever heard.

#1 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-08-09 11:44 AM | Reply

#1 you must think zero sum/survival of the fittest is "freedom."

#2 | Posted by ichiro at 2018-08-09 04:10 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Marxist rubbish from CounterPunch.

#3 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-09 04:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Marxist rubbish from CounterPunch.

#3 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2018-08-09 04:18 PM | FLAG:

So, no critique from our resident conservative (or is it "Classical liberal?) "intellectual"? What a shock.

#4 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-09 04:22 PM | Reply

Any of you libs chime in.... What is the freest form of government.

#5 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-08-09 04:31 PM | Reply

Absolute monarchy is the freest form of government. But then those bastages made me sign the Magna Carta.

Signed,
King John

#6 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-09 04:37 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

The only argument presented in this limited space is defining the difference between positive and negative freedom. We can probably all agree we don't like to be coerced. Its certainly no way to grain a dog effectively. Our Capitalist system only resorts to such measures when less expensive measures fail and we don't feel the brunt of our own military force. Most of us are manipulated through a process called the manufacture of consent.

Neo-liberals teach us that Government is bad (except for military defense), but fail to mention that if Government of, for and by the people doesn't make policy somebody else will. That somebody is the Corporation which has managed to create policy of, by and for the Corporation. What a surprise. This is the conservative movement in a nutshell, forget the declaration of independence, forget the original wording of the constitution, the only legitimate social value is profits. All policy must maximize profits. But they know they can't say that. So Milton Friedman created the illusion of freedom by claiming only Government coerces us. But all Government policy for the last forty years has been written for the exclusive benefit of Corporations, which limits the ability of human beings to control their own destiny. This last point is not a theory, it is a fact proven by a Princeton Study which demonstrated that all of 2000 pieces of legislation were only written, by and for Corporations. The only rare exceptions are when the interests of human beings happen to coincide with what the Corporate Oligarchy wants to do anyway.

That is the state of our union and economy.

That is not to say there is no freedom, but the degree of freedom you experience depends entirely on how much money you have. The type of freedom most of us enjoy is negative freedom. Capitalism withholds opportunities to enjoy positive freedom and encourages the growth of economic power. Positive freedom is the time to do whatever you would like to do with your life, that is the pursuit of happiness. Almost all of us have experienced this is our childhood when we had little responsibility and ran into a teacher that we enjoyed learning from which motivated us. This kind of teacher is now targeted for extermination by conservatives like DeVos and Trump.

So the headline isn't exactly true. But it is true in certain sense, with respect to the kind of Government and economy we live under. That in no way suggests its the worst of all possible worlds. We know that is not true, or a study as conducted by Princeton would never see the light of day, like in Saudi Arabia.

#7 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-08-09 06:01 PM | Reply

i'll take that as a yes to #2.

#8 | Posted by ichiro at 2018-08-10 06:15 AM | Reply

Libertarian Socialism, #5.

#9 | Posted by ichiro at 2018-08-10 06:18 AM | Reply

WTF is libertarian socialism? They are opposed to each other.

#10 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-08-10 10:41 AM | Reply

#7 | Posted by bayviking

Who ever said NO government?

#11 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-08-10 10:42 AM | Reply

Marxist rubbish from CounterPunch.

#3 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

For a supposedly learned man, Dulli is rather buzz wordy and bumper sticker-esque in his opinions.

#12 | Posted by jpw at 2018-08-10 10:42 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

For a supposedly learned man, Dulli is rather buzz wordy and bumper sticker-esque in his opinions.

#12 | Posted by jpw

Don't you have some laboratory rats to dissect? Classical political theory is obviously not your area of expertise.

#13 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 11:39 AM | Reply

Don't you have some laboratory rats to dissect? Classical political theory is obviously not your area of expertise.

#13 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2018-08-10 11:39 AM | REPLY

Apparently it isn't yours either.

#14 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 12:08 PM | Reply

What is the freest form of government.

Anarchy.

#15 | Posted by ClownShack at 2018-08-10 12:11 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Don't you have some laboratory rats to dissect?

He'll play with you when he's ready.

You're such a greedy bottom.

#16 | Posted by ClownShack at 2018-08-10 12:12 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"The economist Rob Larson has performed an important service, therefore, in publishing his new book Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom, the more so because the book's lucidity and brevity should win for it a wide readership. In five chapters, Larson systematically demolishes the glib nostrums of Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek (in the process also dispatching those other patron saints of the right wing, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, and Murray Rothbard)."

I will be looking for a copy of this book this weekend. I want to help put it on the best seller list.

#17 | Posted by danni at 2018-08-10 12:12 PM | Reply

--I will be looking for a copy of this book this weekend. I want to help put it on the best seller list.

Maybe you ought to attempt reading John Stuart Mill, Friedman and Hayek first.

#18 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 12:15 PM | Reply

18

The pompous of that ass is greater than it's width. Which is quite the accomplishment.

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 12:22 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"Ayn Rand's novels,"

I live deep in GOPland. I can't hardly find anybody who knows anything about Ayn Rand much less read any of it.

#20 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 12:24 PM | Reply

I live deep in GOPland. I can't hardly find anybody who knows anything about Ayn Rand much less read any of it.

#20 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2018-08-10 12:24 PM | FLAG:

She gets trotted out by the ones with delusions of intellectual adequacy.

#21 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 12:27 PM | Reply

Maybe you ought to attempt reading John Stuart Mill, Friedman and Hayek first.

#18 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2018-08-10 12:15 PM | FLAG:

Are those names you googled just now? Be honest, Dulli.

#22 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 12:28 PM | Reply

21

I've never read her.

have you?

#23 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 12:29 PM | Reply

21
I've never read her.
have you?

#23 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2018-08-10 12:29 PM | FLAG:

Atlas Shrugged is worth a read. Her philosophy is poorly repackaged stuff found else (hybridized neo-Aristotelian thought and the usual capitalist suspects), but she had an insight or two. I particularly like the discussion, in the aforementioned novel, of how easily a society (even an avowedly free one) can come up with a network of laws so complex and all encompassing that, at any given time, everyone is guilty of some infraction (perhaps without even knowing it). Need to shut that person down? You can do so at your convenience.

I, of course, read that observation through a Foucaultian lens (power is everywhere) of which she would disapprove.

#24 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 12:36 PM | Reply

^elsewhere

#25 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 12:37 PM | Reply

--I can't hardly find anybody who knows anything about Ayn Rand much less read any of it.

She's the boogyman of the left. The number of folllowers of her extreme views can be counted on one hand.

#26 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 12:37 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

She's the boogyman of the left. The number of folllowers of her extreme views can be counted on one hand.

#26 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2018-08-10 12:37 PM | FLAG:

Citation needed.

#27 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 12:43 PM | Reply

24

I should read Atlas Shrugged. It's the foundation for a lot of political arguments today. I should make my daughter read it as well.

Thanks

#28 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 12:45 PM | Reply

--I should read Atlas Shrugged.

I would recommend The Fountainhead first. It's not as shrill and self-righteous as Atlas Shrugged, which is like reading a thousand pages of Comrade Dirk.

#29 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 12:55 PM | Reply

#29

It does get a bit preachy here and there, but that produces some of the more memorable passages.

#30 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 12:57 PM | Reply

"--I can't hardly find anybody who knows anything about Ayn Rand much less read any of it."

I've read some of her work, found "We the Living" very informative but also the style of writing was juvenile and simplistic.
Her philosophy was garbage, she retired on SS for crying out loud.

#31 | Posted by danni at 2018-08-10 01:11 PM | Reply

She idolized a serial killer.

#32 | Posted by danni at 2018-08-10 01:11 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"Atlas Shrugged. It's the foundation for a lot of political arguments today."

Sad that people root their political arguments in economic pulp fiction.

But it's worth reading just to see how baseless those "arguments" are.

#33 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 01:16 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"The number of folllowers of her extreme views can be counted on one hand."

Vs.

"It's the foundation for a lot of political arguments today."

LOL

#34 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 01:30 PM | Reply

- The number of folllowers of her extreme views can be counted on one hand.

Um, there are more than that just controlling the gov in Congress. I guess you don't get out much. Slim doors, one supposes.

- I would recommend The Fountainhead first.

Of course you would. The main Super Man character based upon a serial killer/child dismemberer whom Rand adored because he could never feel "the other" person... which why self-absorbed rwingers worship her work.

And why her philosophy, shared by so many leading rwingers is a so popular among people who have never read her.

rationalwiki.org

#35 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 02:42 PM | Reply

--It does get a bit preachy here and there, but that produces some of the more memorable passages.

Thanks, Dirk. I may give it another read, based on your recommendation.

#36 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 03:00 PM | Reply

Dulli downplaying the role of Randian Objectivism in modern rwing politics makes one wonder if he is lying or stupid... or both. It is however, par for his devolution on these pages.

#37 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 03:05 PM | Reply

35

you believe the folks controlling congress admire "The Fox" ?

#38 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 03:23 PM | Reply

-which why self-absorbed rwingers worship her work.

I realize I'm being anecdotal and perhaps naïve but I really doubt the vast majority of "self-absorbed rwingers" worship Rand in any way nor read any of her stuff.

They don't need it. Limbaugh and other radio hosts, national review, buckley, fox news.....that's enough fodder for almost all of them.

novel written by Rand? On this place, I'll bet the vast majority of folks who have read Rand are left leaning.

Since when did rwingers give 2 ----- about literature much less read any of it?

#39 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 03:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

--Since when did rwingers give 2 ----- about literature much less read any of it?

Don't confuse low-brow rightwingers with literate conservatives. Many of the world's great works of literature have been written by people on the right side of the spectrum.

#40 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 03:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

40

I understand but that violates the narrative of so many here who think there are virtually zero folks on the right side who aren't knuckle dragging, illiterate morons.

#41 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 03:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Many of the world's great works of literature have been written by people on the right side of the spectrum.

#40 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2018-08-10 03:43 PM | FLAG:

And their works, in the US at least, were historically less likely to be suppressed in some red scare or other. How much exposure do Americans have to socialist or anarchist literature? Postmodern stuff has failed better, but not by much, at least outside Academe.

#42 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 03:54 PM | Reply

- I really doubt the vast majority of "self-absorbed rwingers" worship Rand in any way nor read any of her stuff.

They don't need to. It's required reading for their leadership, and by this point Objectivism has become part and parcel of rwing politics. It's not about the literature, if you can even call it that, it's about the political philosophy.

newrepublic.com

qz.com

www.indyweek.com

theweek.com

- Many of the world's great works of literature have been written by people on the right side of the spectrum.

Ayn Rand and "world's great works of literature" in the same sentence? rofl!!

"Ayn Rand is the author of Atlas Shrugged, one of the most embarrassing novels to be caught reading. She also gave us The Fountainhead, the most elaborate apology for fascism ever written. While I am indifferent to Atlas Shrugged (it is Objectively Bad), I have a fondness for The Fountainhead because it's so sweetly unaware of what it represents. That's my disclaimer. I'm not a fan of Ayn Rand's novels, and her politics equate to pissing in public because I goddamn built this street in the first place, plebs."

litreactor.com

How Bad Writing Destroyed the World

www.bloomsbury.com

#43 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 03:56 PM | Reply

#41

The question is, who listens to intelligent right wingers these days? They seem more and more marginalized within their own party.

#44 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 03:58 PM | Reply

"Ayn Rand's novels,"

I live deep in GOPland. I can't hardly find anybody who knows anything about Ayn Rand much less read any of it.

#20 | Posted by eberly

Are you kidding? You do live in lib land.

#45 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-08-10 04:01 PM | Reply

Postmodern stuff has FARED better (but some of you will like the autocorrect better).

#46 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 04:03 PM | Reply

I should read Atlas Shrugged. It's the foundation for a lot of political arguments today. I should make my daughter read it as well.

Thanks

#28 | Posted by eberly

Read the Fountainhead first.

#47 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-08-10 04:04 PM | Reply

"her politics equate to pissing in public because I goddamn built this street in the first place, plebs."

^
That describes right-wing values perfectly.

(Financial) might makes right.

#48 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 04:06 PM | Reply

--#43 | Posted by Corky

Only 6 links. TFF.

That's what I appreciate about Dirk. He doesn't need a google crutch to make a point.

#49 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 04:09 PM | Reply

Trump Administration Embraces Ayn Rand's Disdain for the Masses

www.newsweek.com

THE FIGUREHEAD US Republican leaders love Ayn Rand

qz.com

www.google.com

But according to Trumpifidian, Objectivism in rwing politics is all just lwing paranoia.

#50 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 04:10 PM | Reply

(but some of you will like the autocorrect better)

Especially when it is correct.

#51 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-08-10 04:11 PM | Reply

"Many of the world's great works of literature have been written by people on the right side of the spectrum."

Sadly, not any of the world's great political treatises.

But that's because conservatism is so straightforward, anyone can understand it. It's not like you need a treatise to oppose change to the status quo.

You just need to benefit from the status quo... or fear a loss of benefit and privilege from a change in the status quo. That's conservatism in a nutshell.

#52 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 04:14 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#49 |

Not an argument, as per usual. I make arguments, and post some links for people like Eb who haven't the first clue about the discussion.

What I appreciate about Dirk is that he HAS an argument. You, otoh, do not, never do, never will have.

You posted "She's the boogyman of the left. The number of folllowers of her extreme views can be counted on one hand."

Both of which claims are bogus, and you know it, and the links prove it. Now even Eb knows it.

#53 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 04:15 PM | Reply

Especially when it is correct.

#51 | POSTED BY RIGHTOCENTER AT 2018-08-10 04:11 PM | FLAG:

Oh please. Read Borges, ANYTHING by Borges, and tell me postmodern literature is a failure.

#54 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 04:19 PM | Reply

--to socialist or anarchist literature?

Libertarian Robert Heinlein could be considered an anarchist. Jack London's The Iron Heel --socialist. Charles Dickens, Upton Sinclair, Emile Zola might be considered socialist realism

#55 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 04:19 PM | Reply

"Libertarian Robert Heinlein could be considered an anarchist."

Maybe he personally could be, but his most famous novel Starship Troopers is openly fascist (about the only thing they got right in the movie).

Plenty of right wingers love the idea of military service as a pre-requisite for full citizenship and voting rights.

#56 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 04:24 PM | Reply

Heinlein plays with ideology. His viewpoint will vary from one work to the next. That's part of his appeal.

You've got me on Jack London, but Dickens and Sinclair? Social critique of that sort might be left leaning but I am not sure it gets us to any explicit ideology... but that might be the limits of my own reading.

Anyway, when I think of socialist realism, I think of the Soviet (eg Gorky) and Chinese stuff: the heroic imagery of proletarian struggle, rather than mere meditation on differing and inequality. There is often suffering in socialist realism but it is something to be overcome for some higher purpose or endured for some greater good (which, in Stalinism, of course takes on a self-sacrificial character)

#57 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 04:29 PM | Reply

-Both of which claims are bogus, and you know it, and the links prove it. Now even Eb knows it.

well, let's remember....I "don't have the first clue."

I'll admit that after reviewing the links you posted, I see your point but those are very highly biased writers who HATE Rand. Naturally, they will attach her teachings to the leadership of the GOP. And why? to scare the hell out of progressives. There's no other reason.

and one of the links claims Trump mentioned Rand. My question is this....when? When did Trump (a public figure for many many years) mention Rand?

"It's required reading for their leadership, and by this point Objectivism has become part and parcel of rwing politics. It's not about the literature, if you can even call it that, it's about the political philosophy."

Maybe it's required to claim you have read it.....without actually reading it.

Have you read any of it, Corky?

#58 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 04:32 PM | Reply

Heinlein was the Dennis Miller of sci-fi; the Cold War scared him from socialism, he once wrote about how happy he was that the state had supported him for so long, into rwing libertarianism. Which is too bad because he was great writer.

-Maybe it's required

www.google.com

I read most of it in high school... Atlas came out when I was 5. It was fascist apologetic drivel then and it still is... and our current authoritarian white nationalists adore the philosophy whether they've read it or not.

What's funny is that the material is SO bad that no matter how hard they try, movies of the books are huge losers.

#59 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 04:43 PM | Reply

And, as anyone might notice, Null Argument still has none to support his spurious claims.

#60 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 04:46 PM | Reply

"It was fascist apologetic drivel then and it still is... and our current authoritarian white nationalists adore the philosophy whether they've read it or not."

An interesting observation. She had that whole fascist worship of power and essentialist (and toxic) notion of masculinity in common with fascism, but none of the focus on the state or Volk. It is too selfish to be truly fascist.

#61 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 04:53 PM | Reply

God I love it when someone like Nulli just airdrops in and just plain tears everything all apart. Now I have to go back through this entire thread and at least read some of the book suggestion summaries....

I'd order some but I maxed my credit card out on porn.

#62 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-08-10 04:57 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

--I'll admit that after reviewing the links you posted

All nine of them? You're a glutton for punishment. I didn't think anyone clicked on that link lizard's drivel.

#63 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 05:00 PM | Reply

All nine of them? You're a glutton for punishment. I didn't think anyone clicked on that link lizard's drivel.

#63 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2018-08-10 05:00 PM | FLAG:

Oh come now. Who ever heard of an academic so allergic to citations? It is not as if we can write essays on these forums. I do the best I can from memory but a lot of times I need to link to a summary or to someone else's perspective that I think might benefit the thread. Even you link to visual aids from time to time.

My objection is when people cut and paste with no commentary of their own.

#64 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 05:06 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I didn't see much in those links except references to a very small group of people over and over. That list of prominent GOP politicians arevPaul Ryan and Donald Trump. And this is just been in the last few years only where they've been quoted is having some sort of influence on them by rand.

And for all anybody knows, those two dimwits have never read any of those works.

My point is that none of this adds up to Rand being this huge influence on the leadership in the GOP.

Nulli narrowed it to a list you can count on one hand and Corky has expanded it to hundreds of people, one supposes.

#65 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 05:10 PM | Reply

One thing with Rand I feel most conservatives and liberals miss is that the crony capitalist is the villain.

I think a lot of people read into Rand what they want to see. Then again that is true with most authors.

As far as Heinlein goes read "For Us The Living" if you really want to see his philosophy. It's terribly written, supposedly his first attempt at a novel, and was unpublished during his life. It does contain elements which later appear throughout his writing.

To be a libertarian is to be deplorably ignorant of modern history, economics,commonsense sociology, human psychology, and morality itself.

Not true, as a libertarian I have no issue with many regulations. One statement you will see from many libertarians is your right to punch ends at the tip of my nose. That holds true for many things that are regulated. Your right to pollute ends at my lungs my glass of water etc. If a business was enclosed in a bubble then sure they could dump whatever they wanted in the environment, since the rest of us have to deal with what they dump then they don't get a pass just because "libertarianisim".

#66 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2018-08-10 05:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Capitalism isn't the problem libertarianism and it's inevitable spawn are.

#67 | Posted by Tor at 2018-08-10 05:22 PM | Reply

If we can demonstrate that Rand influences a handful of top people in one of two major political parties in the US and if we can demonstrate that she influences people in positions of power in that country and if we can demonstrate that her works have sold many copies relative to other works of the same type, what more is needed to say that she is influential with the right wing of US politics?

#68 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-10 05:25 PM | Reply

"My point is that none of this adds up to Rand being this huge influence on the leadership in the GOP."

You are wrong.

"Naturally, they will attach her teachings to the leadership of the GOP. And why? to scare the hell out of progressives. There's no other reason."

You're just making stuff up. The leadership of the GOP means people like Paul Ryan and Donald Trump. Both have praised Rand effusively. Then there's libertarian Ron Paul, who named his baby Rand.

About the only thing you could be right about is that they haven't actually read her books. They're hard to get through because they are long and boring and juvenile.

From
www.bbc.com

"As she explained in a 1959 television interview: "I am primarily the creator of a new code of morality which has so far been believed impossible - namely, a morality not based on faith, not on emotion, not on arbitrary edicts, mystical or social, but on reason."

^
This is code for "money."

"She believed, she added, that man's "highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness, and that he must not force other people, nor accept their right to force him, that each man must live as an end in himself and follow his own rational self-interest."

^
This is code for market outcomes in a capitalist system are by definition moral.

"Her voice and ideas are clearly present in the noble characters of Galt, railway heiress Dagny Taggart, copper magnate Francisco d'Anconia and steel tycoon Hank Rearden.

This quartet are idealised figures, capitalist high-fliers who must defeat Rand's "looter" enemies - unions, lobbyists, government officials and any supporters of altruism and welfare."

^
That's the contemporary GOP in a nutshell.

#69 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 05:28 PM | Reply

"One statement you will see from many libertarians is your right to punch ends at the tip of my nose. That holds true for many things that are regulated. Your right to pollute ends at my lungs my glass of water etc"

Just because libertarians say 2+2=4 doesn't mean it's a libertarian idea.

#70 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 05:31 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Not saying it's a libertarian idea Snoof just that despite the rhetoric of many libertarians and liberals about libertarians there is room in the ideology for regulation.

I can't speak for any libertarian but myself and I do support regulations.

#71 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2018-08-10 05:34 PM | Reply

Ayn Rand is consistently rated as the #1 most influential author by Americans.

www.loc.gov

A new exhibition at the Library of Congress, "America Reads," will celebrate the public's choice of 65 books by American authors that had a profound effect on American life.

"America Reads" -- The Public's Top 25 Choices from the Original 2012 List
Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged"
Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Mark Twain, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
Thomas Paine, "Common Sense"
Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly"

"America Reads" -- The 40 New Titles Chosen by the Public
Ayn Rand, "The Fountainhead"
Kurt Vonnegut, "Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death"
Laura Ingalls Wilder, "Little House in the Big Woods"
Joseph Smith, "The Book of Mormon"
Willa Cather, "My Ántonia"

#72 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 05:41 PM | Reply

Then there's libertarian Ron Paul, who named his baby Rand.

I've seen this disinformation told countless times. It's still a lie.

Despite his father's libertarian views and strong support for individual rights,[4][5] the novelist Ayn Rand was not the inspiration for his first name. Growing up, he went by "Randy",[6] but his wife shortened it to "Rand."

en.wikipedia.org

#73 | Posted by Daniel at 2018-08-10 06:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Thanks Daniel. I had no idea that was just a happy accident!

#74 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 06:13 PM | Reply

Ayn Rand was a horrible excuse for a human being.

"From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: "To a gas chamber -- go!"

#75 | Posted by Tor at 2018-08-10 06:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

--"From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: "To a gas chamber -- go!"

You wouldn't know it based on specious posts that claim that Rand is some kind of conservative icon, but that comes from the conservative writer Whittaker Chambers in the National Review, which I've posted numerous times on the Retort.

Tbe full paragraph:

"Something of this implication is fixed in the book's dictatorial tone, which is much its most striking feature. Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal. In addition, the mind which finds this tone natural to it shares other characteristics of its type. 1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation. Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent, or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked. There are ways of dealing with such wickedness, and, in fact, right reason itself enjoins them. From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: "To a gas chamber–go!" "

www.nationalreview.com

#76 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 06:59 PM | Reply

"1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation"

^
Core Trumper beliefs.

#77 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 07:04 PM | Reply

My original comment in this thread was a retort to the assertion in the linked article that said "huge numbers of people are influenced by Ayn Rand novels"

I see almost none of that and I'm around a ton of right wingers.

And the only evidence presented is a few asshats claiming to have been influenced by her. I'm not sure either Of them have read her in the first place.

Even so, that's still not evidence that that huge numbers of folks are influenced by her.

Couple that with my anecdotal evidence.......it doesn't add up.

What seems more plausible is that it works to scare progressives by invoking her name and attaching it to the GOP.

It fits a narrative. And this thread is proof of that.

#78 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 07:05 PM | Reply

"huge numbers of people are influenced by Ayn Rand novels"

They are.
See #72

#79 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 07:06 PM | Reply

"What seems more plausible is that it works to scare progressives by invoking her name and attaching it to the GOP."

What seems plausible is you're ignoring the evidence in #72 because it doesn't fit your narrative.

#80 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 07:09 PM | Reply

"I see almost none of that and I'm around a ton of right wingers."

How do you know what to look for when you haven't even read her books?

#81 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 07:12 PM | Reply

Of course, you could just look at actual sales data:

From Wikipedia,

Sales of Atlas Shrugged increased following the 2007 financial crisis. The Economist reported that the 52-year-old novel ranked #33 among Amazon.com's top-selling books on January 13, 2009, and that its 30-day sales average showed the novel selling three times faster than during the same period of the previous year. With an attached sales chart, The Economist reported that sales "spikes" of the book seemed to coincide with the release of economic data. Subsequently, on April 2, 2009, Atlas Shrugged ranked #1 in the "Fiction and Literature" category at Amazon and #15 in overall sales.[42][43] Total sales of the novel in 2009 exceeded 500,000 copies.[44] The book sold 445,000 copies in 2011, the second-strongest sales year in the novel's history.[45]

#82 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 07:15 PM | Reply

From the same article: "The negative reviews produced responses from some of Rand's admirers. Alan Greenspan wrote a letter to The New York Times Book Review"

Alan Greenspan, I wonder if he was influential?

#83 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 07:17 PM | Reply

Notable figures who have expressed admiration for Atlas Shrugged include (clockwise from upper left) economist Ludwig von Mises, commentator Glenn Beck, politician Paul Ryan, and Justice Clarence Thomas.

Who?

#84 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 07:18 PM | Reply

Ludwig von Mises: "You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you."

^
That's the genesis of the Democrat Plantation meme.

#85 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 07:23 PM | Reply

---- Ayn Rand and the Social Security checks she cashed while they were pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain.

#86 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-08-10 07:53 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#86 meh I don't mind the sun sometimes.

#82 I have to wonder how many of those who bought atlas shrugged actually read it. I see a lot of people saying they read it but not too many who seem to know much about it. 🤷‍♂️

One of the big problems with devotees of atlas is they all seem to see themselves as the Dagny, the Hank or god forbid the John Gault.

I've read it a couple times and I always associated myself more with Eddie. Try reading it from that perspective and it becomes a wholly different book.

#87 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2018-08-10 08:25 PM | Reply

#79 | Posted by snoofy

That was gold. I know a hell of a lot of people, but other than Ron Paul, who I only know from the media, I don't know anyone that was influenced by "Atlas Shrugged". I'm going with maybe one in a few thousand?

#88 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-08-10 08:26 PM | Reply

- Who ever heard of an academic so allergic to citations?

Obviously citations are OK if he uses them... including text, as above, rofl!

But he continues to make trollish claims and then whine about citations and arguments that prove him wrong.

-I'm going with maybe one in a few thousand?

That's absurd in the face of all the article posted on the influence of Rand via Republican spending, policy, and memes.

What Happens When You Take Ayn Rand Seriously?
Ayn Rand's popularity continues to grow despite the failure of her philosophy.

www.psychologytoday.com

#89 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 08:42 PM | Reply

- specious posts that claim that Rand is some kind of conservative icon

What a maroon. He's become Trump.... we shouldn't buh-lieve our lying eyes, but whatever he says.

"The author of a new biography of the conservative icon says Rand would have seen Obama's stimulus plan, bank bailout program and health care initiative as "a gigantic power grab."

Heller calls Rand "perhaps the most important communicator of conservative ideas to the America people." excerpts

www.npr.org

Rand and Objectivism have, over the most of the last 7 decades, represented the pseudo-intellectual excuse for Republican conservatives to focus on their "bootstrap" you are on your own economics... which puts the individual on the same playing field with the corporation; just where they want you.

Here's Rand on Native Americans... which sounds a lot like Nulli on Mexicans....

newsmaven.io

#90 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-10 08:55 PM | Reply

Capitalism and Free Trade are certainly incompatible.

Exhibit A: Look at what Trump is doing. Putting up tariffs. Freedom my ass.

#91 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 09:09 PM | Reply

The conservative response to the spate of articles trying to tie Trump support to Ayn Rand has been interesting to watch. In particular, I was eager to read Kevin D. Williamson's take, since I typically find his writing insightful, even if I don't always agree.

Unfortunately, this was not one of his better pieces. And not just because he takes a bunch of gratuitous swipes at Rand and Objectivists. That's par for the course at National Review.

No, the real problem was that, in trying to make a valid point -- that the left has wrongly portrayed Rand as the central intellectual influence on conservatives -- he went a bridge too far, and tried to pretend that fondness for Rand's work is the exception among conservatives rather than the rule.

ari.aynrand.org

#92 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 09:22 PM | Reply

This is the Kevin Williamson piece referred to, in which he basically makes the same argument Eberly makes: Since he doesn't personally know any Randians, Rand must not be influential. www.nationalreview.com

#93 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 09:26 PM | Reply

If some of you insist on believing Rand is a significant influence in the GOP then giddy up.

I can't prove you wrong. I just think you are framing what you need to in order to follow your narrative.

#94 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 09:36 PM | Reply

She's a significant contributor to mainstream conservative thought.

If you, you know, actually read her stuff, you'd be able to draw the parallels yourself.

Part of the reason for her popularity is she gets street cred for escaping Communism. That translates to some kind of argument from authority for the ideas she puts forth in her books.

#95 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 10:03 PM | Reply

"[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand."

"I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are ... It's inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff."

"I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged' as Christmas presents" Ryan told the Weekly Standard...

Paul Ryan - Speaker of the House

#96 | Posted by YAV at 2018-08-10 10:44 PM | Reply

I just ordered Atlas Shrugged

#97 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 10:59 PM | Reply

--I just ordered Atlas Shrugged

So all that was accomplished by the whining on this thread was chalk up another book sale. Hilarious.

#98 | Posted by nullifidian at 2018-08-10 11:14 PM | Reply

I just ordered Atlas Shrugged
#97 | POSTED BY EBERLY

You have my condolences.

#99 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-10 11:30 PM | Reply

98

$9 on Amazon. Nobody is getting rich.

#100 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-10 11:38 PM | Reply

I just ordered Atlas Shrugged

#97 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2018-08-10 10:59 PM | REPLY

Happy reading. You'll let us know what you think, I hope.

#101 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-11 12:03 AM | Reply

Part of the reason for her popularity is she gets street cred for escaping Communism. That translates to some kind of argument from authority for the ideas she puts forth in her books.

#95 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2018-08-10 10:03 PM | FLAG:

I always felt like I detected the faintest hint of that old, Soviet spirit in her writings... it is like she wants to be a revolutionary, to prompt a radical change in the human person...

#102 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2018-08-11 12:08 AM | Reply

I just ordered Atlas Shrugged

You could just get the DVD... the film bombed so would be cheaper?

#103 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-08-11 12:22 AM | Reply

I just ordered Atlas Shrugged

Good luck making it through the wretched, mind numbing, never-ending Galt monologue.
If you can't figure out the entire premise of Rand by the time you reach that horrid screed or ranting idiocy, then do read it.
You deserve to suffer :)

#104 | Posted by YAV at 2018-08-11 09:40 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

- the whining on this thread

Nothing compared to your coddling of Ayn Rand rwingers and their transparent fascist apologetics.

#105 | Posted by Corky at 2018-08-11 10:21 AM | Reply

-Happy reading. You'll let us know what you think, I hope.

I will.

#106 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-11 11:32 AM | Reply

WOW, this post was dead for 2-3 days. Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan and the GOP are joined at the hip, even though Libertarianism is probably accepted by 10% of the electorate. Friedman and Hayek are die hard Libertarian advocates and Gods in mainstream American economics. But they are wrong. Man's success is derived from his co-operative nature, a quality a few in unregulated Capitalism are able to take extreme advantaged of, contributing to massive premature deaths. We don't need a society organized for the benefit of a few, especially the likes of Trump or Rockefeller. We need a balanced mix of regulated Capitalism and enough Socialism that permits what Aynn Rand thought only a few deserve, what psychology calls self realization. That requires a minimum level of economic independence common in countries like Germany and Sweden, but rare in the USA, where most people are one paycheck or health crisis away from disaster.

I'm glad Danni is psyched to read an important book which promises to logically demolish Friedman and Hayek. That is really the point of the post. The book is on my wish list, only because I just bought "A People's History of the United States" the last time I was in San Francisco and still have 600 pages to go with little time to read right now.

#107 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-08-11 08:40 PM | Reply

Atlas Shrugged has been recommended so many times that I bought it but never got past the first chapter. The writing just fails to grab me.

#108 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-08-11 08:48 PM | Reply

"Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan and the GOP are joined at the hip"

Except there is no proof of that.

Instead, it's a narrative that cool to believe. Unless someone wants to really substantiate it.

#109 | Posted by eberly at 2018-08-11 09:07 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Here you go Eberly.

www.youtube.com

(link taken from nymag.com )

#110 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-11 09:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

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