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Monday, August 13, 2012

• • The Marketing of Paul Ryan 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | [T]he real cake, complete with quasi-“libertarian” frosting, is Paul Ryan, whose addition to the ticket opens up the prospect of having Ayn Rand, the late novelist and philosopher of “Objectivism,” become a campaign issue. I can’t wait for someone to accuse the Republicans of endorsing “terrorism” on the grounds that The Fountainhead, Rand’s best-selling 1943 novel, climaxes with the hero blowing up a home for mentally challenged orphans. Oh wait

Monday, May 28, 2012

 Catching Rachel’s Drift 
I am addicted to Rachel Maddow: although my politics are somewhere to the right of Ayn Rand, and I have little patience with the paeans to the Great Leader that characterize MSNBC’s election year coverage, I must confess to watching Rachel’s show nearly five times a week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

 Is America a Free Country? 
Capitalism  | My political views might be described as somewhat to the “right” of Ayn Rand, when it comes to domestic issues, and far to the “left” of Noam Chomsky when it comes to foreign policy. In short, I’m a libertarian, and so my jaundiced view of the President is not all that surprising. Yet even I am surprised by the deafening silence in the “liberal” community – and the lack of real anger on the left at Obama’s escalation of the war on our civil liberties.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

• • Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru 
Why does invoking the specter of imminent bankruptcy make an argument for retrenchment less potent? This seems weirdly counterintuitive, but makes sense if you’ve read your Ayn Rand: her description of the intellectual “witch doctor” who valorizes physical power – that is, the power to inflict death and destruction – over the power of the mind, fits [Robert] Kagan to a tee.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

• • The ‘Terrorist’ Who Couldn’t Think Straight 
As Ayn Rand once said: “Don’t bother to question a fallacy, ask yourself only what it accomplishes.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

 The Return of the Smear Brigade 
The most ridiculous charge coming from [Jeffrey] Lord [...] is perhaps his contention that the mere use of the word “neocon,” or neoconservative, is evidence of anti-Semitism. He “reasons” that since very many of the leading lights of neoconservatism are Jewish, that therefore “neocon” is a “code word” for “Jew.” On that basis, one could conclude that an attack on libertarianism is suggestive of an anti-Semitic pogrom, since virtually all the leading lights of the movement [...] – with the exception of Friedrich Hayek – were of the Jewish faith: Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard [...], Ayn Rand, and the list goes on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

• • The Return of the Neocons’ Prodigal Son 
The Fountainhead  | As the temporary madness imbued by the 9/11 terrorist attacks wore off, a systematic campaign of anti-Muslim provocations was launched, starting with the Muhammad cartoons and ending in the growth of anti-Muslim gangs like the English Defense League. One could attribute this to spontaneous forces acting without direction, but when it comes to the intrigues of nations, I can’t help but think of what Ayn Rand said in, I believe, The Fountainhead: Don’t bother to examine a folly, ask yourself only what it accomplishes. Who benefits from a wave of anti-Muslim hysteria and terrorism carried out by previously unknown groups such as Breivik’s “Knights Templar Europe”?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

• • Liberals march to war 
[Juan] Cole’s “argument” [in defense of intervention in Libya] boiled down to a catchphrase that surely has been uttered by every warmongering neocon who ever walked the earth: pressed by Scott [Horton] to justify his stance in support of the ‘no fly” zone, he declared “I’m not an isolationist!” The ‘i’-word is what every interventionist drags out when cornered: it is a meaningless, content-less coined word, what Ayn Rand would call an anti-concept – like “extremist” – which is meant to end the discussion rather than enable it.

Monday, December 06, 2010

• • Defend WikiLeaks — boycott Amazon 
Capitalism  | When it comes to libertarians, the valorization of the entrepreneur is often taken to ridiculous extremes, exemplified by the title of Ayn Rand’s essay on “ Big Business: America’s Persecuted Minority.” The reality is a bit more complicated, as was often the case with Rand’s historical analyses: as Murray Rothbard and others have shown, big business has consistently agitated for more government controls, all the better to cartelize the economy and divvy up the spoils among the big boys.

Friday, September 10, 2010

• • The ‘meaning’ of 9/11 
As Ayn Rand once said: I’m not brave enough to be a coward – I see the consequences too clearly.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

• • Anti-defamers defame Muslims 
Leonard Peikoff  | I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you! – that the Anti-Defamation League has joined the alliance of militant Christians, militantly atheistic “Objectivists,” and other assorted militant nut-jobs in calling for a ban on the so-called “Ground Zero mosque, “ otherwise known as Cordoba House.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

• • • Haters go after the ‘Ground Zero mosque’ 
Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |We The Living  |Capitalism  |Leonard Peikoff  |Inaccurate  | How does a mosque, or, more accurately, a Muslim community center, “objectively entail a threat to the rights of others”? According to Peikoff, all manifestations of Islam – the very idea of Islam – is “objectively” a threat to the United States. Therefore, by his “logic,” it’s okay to violate the property rights of Muslims – any and all Muslims. Indeed, killing them all would be a good thing, according to his sick perversion of Objectivism.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

• • Attack of the cyborg insects 
Atlas Shrugged  | As the “progressive” New America Foundation teams up with the conjurors of “lethal autonomous robots” and pushers of “cognitive enhancement drugs,” it is too much to expect the Glenn Beck crowd to wake up to the horrific implications of these sorts of weapons in the hands of our present rulers? In the end, I can’t help but think of the character of Dr. Robert Stadler, in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

Monday, April 19, 2010

• • Populism, left and right 
For a wonderful debunking of the entire " anti-concept" of "extremism," see Ayn Rand’s scintillating essay on the subject.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

• • The road to dictatorship 
Atlas Shrugged  | In Ayn Rand’s classic novel of American decline, Atlas Shrugged, a giant oak tree stands on the property of the heroine’s family estate: it had been there as long as she could remember, towering over the landscape like a living monument to stability and continuity. One night during a thunderstorm the tree – an oak – was struck by lightning. When she came out to the charred scene in the morning she saw that the tree had split open, revealing nothing but a hollow shell. I’m afraid this is precisely what will happen if – or, rather, when – economic lightning hits our brittle society: it is likely to shatter and reveal the vast emptiness that has taken over where the American character once resided.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

 The democrats’ war tax 
Atlas Shrugged  | David Obey, chairman of the influential Appropriations Committee, John Murtha, who chairs the Defense Subcommittee, and Barney Frank, the banksters’ catamite who heads up the House Financial Services Committee, have proposed the "Share the Sacrifice Act of 2010" – and isn’t that a title worthy of Atlas Shrugged’s mealy-mouthed villains?

Friday, October 30, 2009

• • • Ayn Rand lives 
Ayn Rand Archives  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Anthem  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Personal life  | Review of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, by Jennifer Burns.
Charismatic, infuriating, compelling, arrogant, the Russian-born novelist-philosopher was—and is—a heroine to the young and the young at heart and an ogre to the dime-store Leninists and socialist snobs who dominate academia and the media. Her books were panned by the critics, disdained by the intellectual elite, and sold like ice-water in the Mojave. The Fountainhead, a story about an architect who refused to compromise his artistic ideals, climbed to the top of the bestseller lists twice, years after it was published, and is today considered an American classic. Atlas Shrugged—the story of “a man who said he would stop the motor of the world, and did”—was viciously attacked by both the Left and the Right.

Friday, August 28, 2009

 Obama’s road to war 
Love, as Ayn Rand put it, is exception-making.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

• • Iran’s Green revolution 
Love, as Ayn Rand once remarked, "is exception-making," and so love-sick have we become that it is not even noticed that our secretary of state has met with the representative of a party that is openly and brazenly racist and fascist.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

 Leave China alone 
Capitalism  | China was moving toward leader Deng Xiaoping’s concept of "socialism with Chinese characteristics," i.e., mercantile "communism," in which the entrepreneurial instincts of the Chinese people were given such free rein that old Deng took it upon himself to coin a slogan that seems more Ayn Randian than Marxian: "To get rich is glorious!"