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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

• • Obama is chiselling himself a space on Mount Rushmore 
,
[H]aving stood fast on pushing through tax increases on the rich — which marks off his progressive credentials — and leading on a deal on cuts, which commits to a 10-year program of deficit reduction and debt paydown, [Obama] will have stolen the Republicans’ position. Leadership, co-operation and a commitment to fiscal discipline, shorn of the moralising Ayn Rand babble about debt, government, etc, Obama will be the complete leader.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

 Rundle12: no one understands how utterly unconservative Newt Gingrich is 
,
[Newt Gingrich’s] Americanism is not that of Jefferson or Hamilton still less of Calhoun or Rothbard, and not even of Ayn Rand – it is the America of Buckminster Fuller, of Norbert Weiner, of a more aggressive Bill Gates, and a smarter Jack Welch. Gingrich sees the US as the manifest destiny of humanity, but he sees that destiny as unrealised. He doesn’t want to balance the budget and get on the gold standard. He wants the private sector to go to Mars.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

 Rundle: Occupy could lead to the Church turning on its own 
,
Capitalism  | The bankers et al of the city have any number of thin rationales to sustain their self-belief — from simple individualism, to inherited and barely examined notions of what is “proper”, to various Ayn Rand-Hayek-Gekko mashups. But as Hayek himself noted, the social system he proposed can never ground itself.

Friday, July 15, 2011

 On your Marx, set, here we go again 
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Capitalism  | Book review: Why Marx was Right, by Terry Eagleton.
The global financial crisis of 2008 was remarkable for many things, not least the process by which it converted many people to Marxism. Even more remarkably many of them were bankers, one-time Ayn Randian masters of the universe now bleating that finance was a social product, capitalism a historically bound system, and the first would need public funds if the second were to survive.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

• • Mamet joins the freakoid sideshow for all the Right reasons 
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[David] Mamet, by his own account, began reading conservatives such as Thomas Sowell, and the scales fell from his eyes.”I truly do not believe the state has ever done anything productive,” he noted, taking on the Ayn Randian anti-statism now de rigeur on the American Right. [....] In part, Mamet is doing what any good dramatist should — getting inside the dilemma to such a degree that one way of telling it becomes clear, a story that is surprising, yet credible. But the indifference is also part of the Ayn Randian harshness he’s taken on, such as suggesting that the poor do not deserve health care, for their moral failings. Thus, his conservatism is that rarely found thing, an act that’s real. Not something hanging in between the two, but both — in other words a form of hysteria.

Monday, November 30, 2009

• • Why the left failed to make a drama out of the crisis 
,
Capitalism  | Book review: First As Tragedy, Then As Farce, by Slavoj Žižek.
One response to Obama’s highly conservative and restorative bailout plan was a revival of interest in Ayn Rand, and her pure insistence on the anti-humanist virtue of capitalism: that we would be either ruled by ‘blood, whips and guns or money – make your choice, there is no other’. This brutal assessment was of a piece with the Republican right’s rejection of the bailout, or the kamikaze Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff. For Žižek, these disclose more effectively the character of capitalism, its escheresque totality, than those who try to find the human and inhuman parts of the system.

Monday, January 19, 2009

 A nation tenses in anticipation 
,
Behind the screen of Spanish, Mexico seemed an ancient and stately land, death-obsessed and serious in which the matters of the universe are discoursed upon in a manner equal parts Catholic scholastic and Mayan cosmic consciousness, but let's face it, once you work out what they're saying, they're probably just being d-cks like everywhere else. The last translated op-ed piece in the English-language Mexican daily I read drew on Ayn Rand to admonish the southern indigenous communities from dwelling in romantic notions of culture etc etc. Doesn't fill you with confidence.