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Monday, April 30, 2012

 In Lead-Up to May Day, Picket Lines Fill New York—And AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Stops By 
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Atlas Shrugged  | Back in January of last year, I reported on victories in union elections at two companies that produce popular nonfiction TV shows. Freelance producers at ITV Studios and Atlas Media voted to join the Writers Guild of America, East, proving that it was in fact possible to organize workers who aren’t classified as full-time employees. But over a year later, Atlas Media--yes, named after Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged--has refused to work out a contract with the union.

• • The Self-Made Myth: Debunking Conservatives' Favorite—And Most Dangerous—Fiction 
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The self-made myth is one of the most cherished foundation stones of the conservative theology. Nurtured by Horatio Alger and generations of beloved boys' stories, It sits at the deep black heart of the entire right-wing worldview, where it provides the essential justification for a great many other common right-wing beliefs. [....] It's the foundational belief on which all of Ayn Rand's novels stand.

Friday, March 30, 2012

• • • The Horrors of an Ayn Rand World: Why We Must Fight for America’s Soul 
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Alan Greenspan  |Altruism  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |The Fountainhead  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Leonard Peikoff  |Yaron Brook  |Image  | Excerpt from Ayn Rand Nation: the Hidden Struggle for America's Soul, by Gary Weiss.
There is no real doubt what an Objectivist America would mean. We may not be around to see it, but it’s likely we’ll be here for its earliest manifestations. They may have already arrived. The shape of a future Objectivist world has been a matter of public record for the past half century, since Ayn Rand, the Brandens, Alan Greenspan, and other Objectivist theoreticians began to set down their views in Objectivist newsletters. When he casually defended repeal of child labor laws in the debate with Miles Rapoport, Yaron Brook [President of the Ayn Rand Institute] was merely repeating long- established Objectivist doctrine, summarized by Leonard Peikoff as “Government is inherently negative.” It is a worldview that has been static through the decades, its tenets reiterated endlessly by Rand and her apostles: No government except the police, courts of law, and the armed services. No regulation of anything by any government. No Medicare or Medicaid. No Social Security. No public schools. No public hospitals. No public anything, in fact. Just individuals, each looking out for himself, not asking for help or giving help to anyone. An Objectivist America would be a dark age of unhindered free enterprise, far more primitive and Darwinian than anything seen before.

Friday, March 09, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand About Marilyn Monroe 
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You may love Ayn Rand or you may hate her, or you may be more or less indifferent, like me, but for anyone who doesn’t have his or her head up his or her butt, this is obviously one of the very best essays ever written about Marilyn Monroe.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand Worshippers Should Face Facts: Blue States Are the Providers, Red States Are the Parasites 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Going Galt  | If you’re a conservative who thinks Ayn Rand called it true with this producers/parasites thing, then by all means: let’s go there. All the way there — and then some. But fair warning is in order: you may not like where we end up. By way of a modest proposal, I hereby declare the birth of a new Progressive Objectivism — a frankly producerist personal-responsibility crusade aimed at getting these whiny red leeches off our collective blue hide. If they think they can get by without us, let’s not stand in their way. What these people need from us, at minimum, is some tough talk — the kind of stern, grown-up verbal whoop-ass the conservatives wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to unload on us if the roles were reversed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

• • The New Southern Strategy: Quote Ayn Rand to Blame the Middle Class 
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Capitalism  | get upset when they expect to have a worse economic future than their parents or grandparents, and it doesn’t matter what color their skin is or what church they go to. Economic oppression universally leads to social malaise, including among working class whites. And this is why we’re starting to see a more universal embrace of Objectivism on the right not simply relegated to race-based attacks. It’s why we’re seeing books like Charles Murray’s, insulting working class whites for not being happy to take $28,000/year jobs with no benefits, when their parents and grandparents made twice as much. It’s why we’re seeing the renaissance of Ayn Rand, who let her scorn for the less wealthy among us fall upon the white and black alike.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

 Why We Got Ayn Rand Instead of FDR: Thomas Frank on How Tea Party ‘Populism’ Derailed a New New Deal 

Capitalism  | Many observers expected the pendulum to swing back from the rightward lurch authored during the “Reagan Revolution” – perhaps a new New Deal would emerge as America elected its first black president in a dramatic rejection of George W. Bush’s business-friendly ideology. But something happened on the way to this much-anticipated swing back to the left. Instead of FDR, we got Ayn Rand. Rather than calling for programs that might alleviate some of working America’s suffering, we saw the emergence of the Tea Parties, which demanded that ordinary Americans feel every bit of pain they had coming to them – and also that we leave the Wall Street hustlers who had precipitated the crash alone.

Monday, January 30, 2012

 The 10 Most Brazen Lies Offered By the Remaining GOP Presidential Hopefuls 
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Gingrich lies shamelessly about food stamps – it makes him look hip with the Ayn Rand crowd.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

• • • 8 Awful Pop Culture Offerings to Dread in the New Year 
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Atlas Shrugged movie  |Capitalism  | Certainly 2011 was one of the worst years for pop culture in recent memory. If you need proof, look at the resurgence of the Ayn Rand oeuvre, the spate of reality shows on virtually every channel on television, or, perhaps most chillingly, “Hey Soul Sister” by the band Train.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

 Us Versus Them: The Politics of Grievance Are on Brilliant Display at the Iowa Caucuses 
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In recent years, as a more Randian vision of the social contract has pervaded the American right, expressed concern for the morally corrosive effects of welfare for the recipients themselves has been replaced by a sentiment that not everyone deserves to be taken care of.

Monday, January 02, 2012

 Why Do Conservatives Hate Americans? 
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Given the Right’s recent lurch toward Ayn Rand-style Objectivism, it seems that an intelligent journalist would put the following facts together: 80% of Americans own only 7% of America’s wealth. The new mainstream in conservatism maintains that the poor are only poor because of laziness and lack of initiative. It’s not exactly a leap in logic to point out that mainstream conservatism now maintains that 80% of Americans are simply ungrateful, lazy bastards who need tough love to do better.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

• • 10 Pop Monstrosities That Almost Destroyed Our Culture in 2011 
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Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | 1. Movie: Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. Even if this movie wasn’t predicated on dismal Rand-worship and probably the most tedious/annoying book of her career, it’s bad based on sheer artistry. Set in the dystopian near-future of 2016, it bumps up against every dramatic action film cliche imaginable, a Tea Party fingerpainting of corporate greed. That said, this movie is AMAZING in its hilarity, possibly the best unintentionally humorous American film since National Treasure, with all the requisite deep melodrama and overacting that is somehow also stiff. It’s terrible but a pleasure to watch, particularly when you consider that with all the rich libertarians in the world, no one could pool their money for better talent! Haha.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

• • • How Ayn Rand Seduced Generations of Young Men and Helped Make the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation 
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Alan Greenspan  |Altruism  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Personal life  |Image  |Inaccurate  | Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans. A century later, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) helped make the United States into one of the most uncaring nations in the industrialized world, a neo-Dickensian society where healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and where young people are coerced into huge student-loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

 Activists Gather to Protest Koch Brothers Gathering 
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Atlas Shrugged movie  | Americans for Prosperity, a GOP front group funded in part by billionaires Charles and David Koch, held a gala at DC’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center. [....] As the GOP’s A-list sat down for an evening of dinner and a movie (a screening of Atlas Shrugged), a group of protesters gathered outside the convention center for a counter-event sponsored by Health Care For America Now! and The Other 98% called the “Koch Brothers Guerrilla Drive-In.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

• • Don’t Diss The Drum Circles: Why Hippie Culture Is Still Important to Our Protests 
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Alan Greenspan  |Egoism  | The hippie idea was an uprising against the secular religion of America in the 1950s, morbid “Mad Men” materialism, and Ayn Rand’s social Darwinism.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

 Rick Perry’s Newest Problem: His Fond Memories of “Niggerhead” and Growing Up in a Sundo 
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Rick Perry’s family retreat was/is named “Niggerhead.” The Washington Post’s cover story is a distraction of course from more important issues such as a failing economy, Perry’s questionable record on jobs and the environment in Texas, and a far-Right leaning Republican presidential field that would combine Ayn Rand with the Christian Taliban. But a distraction can still be instructive and productive.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

• • Tom Friedman Scapegoats Baby Boomers—He Should Remember That We Helped Forge American Prosperity 
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Capitalism  |Egoism  | Surely, Tom Friedman must read his colleagues Paul Krugman and Robert Reich and know that those who created the housing bubble and the madness of the subprime mortgages, who outsourced jobs, crushed unions, have tried to dismantle government, destroy public education, erode health care for the poor, do not represent the views of a particular generation. They represent the ideological insanity of right-wing Republicans, market fundamentalists, who are holding our country hostage to their belief in markets, as opposed to the health and welfare of the common good. Indeed, as ardent fans of Ayn Rand, they don’t believe in a common good. Greed is good. Self interest is what makes the country great.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

• • 6 Ways the Rich Are Waging a Class War Against the American People 
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The belief that there exists a large pool of “undeserving poor” who suck the lifeblood out of the rest of society lies at the heart of the Right’s demonstrably false “culture of poverty” narrative. It’s a narrative that runs through Ayn Rand’s works. It comes to us in bizarre spin that holds up the rich as “wealth producers” and “job creators.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

 Editorial/Appeal: It’s Time to Really Support Our Team 
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The richest leader of Team Tea Party, Charles Koch, told his conservative millionaire guests recently that the 2012 elections are a battle “for the life or death of this country.” He said, “You, the people in this room, are the modern day patriots who will save this country or let it go by the wayside. It’s up to us.” They are the patriots? What a propaganda joke! They want an America for the wealthy. They want our country dominated by conservative religion and the extremist Ayn Rand fanatics. For the Tea Partiers, everyone is on his or her own, except for themselves. They want to take away what millions of Americans have worked for their whole lives.

• • Has American-Style Conservatism Become a Religion? 
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As the American right lurches from traditional conservatism – a go-slow approach to governing that stresses the importance of continuity and social stability – to a far more reactionary brand typified by acolytes of Ayn Rand and Tea Party extremists waving misspelled signs decrying Democrats’ “socialism,” the time has come to ask whether modern “backlash” conservatism has become a religious faith rather than a pedestrian political ideology.