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Monday, April 30, 2012

 Prosperity is trickling down to precious few 
,
Capitalism  | [T]he main sell to an electorate that by and large is not very rich isn’t devil-take-the-hindmost capitalism. It is the idea that prosperity trickles down. We’re all in this together, they say, and you don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer. Here is where they run into a problem: manifestly, the rich getting richer is doing nothing to prevent the poor getting poorer. To those simple souls without a PhD in Hayekian economics and a well-thumbed library of Ayn Rand novels, that not only looks unequal: it looks unfair.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

• • No man is an island, however rich and vain 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  | Just like a hero from Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of PayPal, has announced plans to “start up” his own country as if it were a company. Where? In the sea, of course! How’s that for blue-sky thinking? [....] [I]t will have none of the irritants associated with land-based countries: no minimum wage, no gun controls, no building restrictions, no annoying rules. It will be built on the principles of economic Darwinism and naked selfishness that define the Ayn Randian worldview.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

• • The Sloaney way is Chelsea 
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The Posherati are lifting the lid on what goes on in London’s elite social circuit for new reality TV show, Made in Chelsea. [....] [Francis Maximilien Yvan Boulle] describes himself as a “charming, objectivist, polymath - I’m more erudite than other people in the show”. His dream dinner party guests are JD Rockefeller, Alexander the Great, Anshel Rothschild, Albert Camus and Ayn Rand. We said dinner party, Francis ...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

• • Oxford must teach black students the ‘rules of the game’ 
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If you really do see the world through the eyes of Right-wing philosopher Ayn Rand as a bleakly atomised landscape in which individuals, families, companies and institutions keep themselves strictly to themselves and interact only for market transactions, then such dilemmas of “social justice” are not going to trouble you. But the vast majority of people do not think like that. They do have a social sensibility - a notion of solidarity.

Monday, November 02, 2009

 Moscow muse 
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The Fountainhead  | Maria [Baibakova] is an only child and a leader - eight people work for her and she gets action from them fast. She studies Kabbalah, avoids nightclubs in favour of dinner with her Russian boyfriend of three years at Cafe Pushkin, the theatre, movies and difficult books - War and Peace and Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead at the moment. She strikes me as likely to terrify the faint-hearted.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

 Guided tour of financial crash in The Power of Yes 
,
Capitalism  | Theater review.
Over the course of just under two hours we are treated to a procession of opinions. These come from sources as disparate as economist Myron Scholes, journalists, traders, pioneers of private equity, Labour MP Jon Cruddas, George Soros and FSA chairmen Howard Davies and Adair Turner. All the while [David] Hare [played by Anthony Calf] asks questions — some naïve, others probing. The explanations are contradictory and complex, littered with references to arcane practices and their proponents. Alan Greenspan is quoted as saying “the whole intellectual edifice has collapsed”, but structural corruption would be a less evasive diagnosis, and Greenspan’s own influential views are intriguingly linked to his affection for the “objectivist” philosophies of Ayn Rand. [....] Hare leaves us wondering if governments and regulators shouldn’t become better at resisting the power of “yes” and learning to say an emphatic, custodial “no”.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

• • The male Kate Moss: Jamie Dornan 
,
The Fountainhead  | [Model Jamie Dornan is] currently ploughing through modern American classics such as John Fante's Ask the Dust, and has just finished Ayn Rand's capitalist masterpiece The Fountainhead, which was incredible, although Ayn Rand wouldn't be my favourite person to be around, politically.

Friday, April 10, 2009

• • True believers still won’t shrug off Ayn Rand 
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Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Personal life  |Yaron Brook  | Rand's books are rattling up the bestseller charts as a new generation of regulation-hating nutjobs worry the government is interfering with their right to do whatever they like. In her most famous work, Atlas Shrugged, Rand imagines a world where business leaders and bankers withdraw their brilliant labour and retreat to a mountain hideaway to escape the tyranny of the mediocre. [....] Alan Greenspan, perhaps her most famous fan, has admitted he's now less sure about her philosophy, earning scorn from true believers. “Greenspan has sold his soul to the devil,” says Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

 New Labour is dead – but who will lead the fightback? 
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Capitalism  | It's not so long ago that complaining about all that “red tape” under Labour was as a cliché of Tory conversation. This lot were more likely to take Ayn Rand with them to a desert island than The Road to Wigan Pier. Now they are repositioning themselves at some speed as the pro-business party which will re-invent better regulation for that hazy place, the post-recession world.