Tuesday, February 19, 2013
• How Capitalism Creates The Welfare State
[I]n my bleaker moments, I wonder whether humankind will come to see this great capitalist leap forward as a huge error in human history – the moment we undid ourselves and our very environment, reaching untold material wealth as well as building societies in which loneliness, dislocation, displacement and radical insecurity cannot but increase. It seems to me this is not the moment for Randian purism. Do we not as conservatives have a duty to tend to the world we helped make?
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
• The Tory vs The Randian
Listening to Mitt Romney's Randianism I couldn't help but be reminded of Benjamin Disraeli, that miraculously talented Victorian prime minister who saw conservatism as a philosophy that should never be indifferent to poverty or social inequality, who, in his novel, Sybil, spoke of two nations in one.
Friday, August 31, 2012
• Can Conservatives Be Funny?
The current GOP, in its search for a Randian utopia, in its anger and fundamentalist mindset, has no time to laugh - at itself or anyone else. Laughing requires an ability not to care so much all the time, to acknowledge the limits of humanity rather than be obsessed with the inherent superiority of one country - and one party in one country - within it.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
• Obama's Good News
The key in the debates will be for Obama to focus on shared sacrifice to cut the debt and on Romney's plan to exempt the super-rich from any sacrifice at all, and balance the budget entirely on the backs of the poor and old and sick. The truth is: the Ayn Rand position on the debt is way out of the mainstream and yet Romney is stuck with it.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
• • The Novel As Soap Box
Using Ayn Rand as a jumping-off point, Ari Kohen casts a critical eye on the practice of philosophizing through fiction.
Friday, February 10, 2012
• • Controlling Birth Control, Controlling Liberty
The only institutions covered by the birth control mandate have chosen to participate in the broader market, a zone of private life governed by political rules. It’s incumbent on critics to explain why this particular rule is a dangerous expansion of state power over market actors as compared to, say, forcing a Randian executive to follow minimum wage laws.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
• Why Obama Still Matters
No amount of this insistence that “conservatives” are the only truly American participants in democracy will help when you have no idea how to cope with the uninsured, with fiscal balance outside a Randian fantasy, with soaring healthcare costs, or debt-crippled demand.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
• When Theocons Attack! Vatican Edition.
You knew the Church’s effective endorsement of Occupy Wall Street would prompt a sudden outbreak of heterodoxy on the theocon right, didn’t you? I mean any Catholic challenge to Randian orthodoxy in the GOP must be smacked down quickly, right? And, sure enough, the theocon blogosphere rises as one in dissent.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
• • Growing Up Objectivist
Obviously, objectivism is not a cultish scam like scientology. It has the appeal of all totalist systems in which the inevitable conflicts of being a socialized human are simply wished away. As a bracing antidote to leftist collectivism, it has its points. As a worldview, it has always struck me as making the most sense to someone who is 13 years’ old. To remain an unalloyed objectivist for one’s entire life is really, it seems to me, a form of arrested development.
• Rationing One Way Or Another, Ctd
A core difference between conservatives and liberals is the way in which conservatives like their world as apolitical as possible (I use the term conservative here to describe classical conservatism, not the strange blend of Randianism and religious fundamentalism that is now gripping the GOP).
• The Single Most Damning Thing About Ryan
How exactly does a Randian vote for Medicare-D - a fiscally open-ended entitlement, combining the fastest growing demographic with a product with one of the fastest growing price-tags?
• • • Ayn Rand vs Jesus Christ
It is possible to read the Gospels as entirely a personal and not political message, and certainly not view Christianity as a short route to socialism. But it is impossible even in one’s personal life to be a Christian and to be a Randian. The whole point of the Gospels is that Rand’s value system leads to profound misery and spiritual loss. And the whole point of Rand is that Nietzsche was onto something.