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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

 Someday Soon, We’re Going to Need a Lot More Tax Revenue 
Atlas Shrugged  | If we're going to need more tax revenue in the future, let's deal with it in the future. Maybe political pressure will force Republicans to capitulate. Maybe Democrats will take over Congress. Maybe a latter-day John Galt will come along and invent a free energy machine and none of this will matter.

Friday, November 30, 2012

 Chris Christie Probably Really Doesn’t Give a Damn About Presidential Politics Right Now 
Atlas Shrugged  | Why has Chris Christie suddenly embraced President Obama as a long-lost brother in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy? This joins many other great questions of the universe. Who is John Galt? Who promoted Peress? Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

 Republicans Just Lost a Class War—and They'll Lose Again if the Tea Party Gets Its Way 
Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | [T]he failure of Bush's eight long years in office combined with the economic collapse that accompanied his departure have set the stage perfectly for men like Paul Ryan, men whose actual records on fiscal policy don't match their Randian ideology very well, but who nevertheless flourish with tough talk on deficits and debt.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

• • • Your Weekend Longreads List on Ayn Rand 
Alan Greenspan  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Going Galt  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | "I grew up on Ayn Rand," Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) recounted in a speech before the Atlas Society in 2005. The future vice presidential nominee went on to explain how the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead inspired him to enter public service, adding that her books were "required reading" for his Congressional staff and interns. "There is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand's writings and works," he concluded.  Though Ryan has since tried to distance himself from Rand, his youthful devotion to the founder of Objectivism is not uncommon. Celebrities, a former Federal Reserve chairman, tech entrepreneurs, and tea partiers have claimed her as an inspiration, citing her unapologetic advocacy of selfishness, the pursuit of wealth, and unfettered capitalism. Rand’s writings and ideas are arguably more influential now than ever. Here are some longreads about Rand’s personal history, her philosophy, her fans and foes, and her impact.

Monday, June 20, 2011

 You Can’t Go Camping in a Tax Credit 
Republicans have taken their Ayn Rand philosophy to the extreme, and many Democrats have fallen into line, so that any consideration of public works for the common good is simply off the table.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

• • Libertarian or rapper? take the quiz. 
Atlas Shrugged  |Image  | Which libertarian presidential candidate licked whipped cream off the chests of two buxom women at a public event? How similar are sayings by Ayn Rand and the Wu-Tang Clan? Below, test your political acumen with MoJo’s 10 questions. [....] Quote: "So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money?" [....] Favored article of bling: gold dollar-sign pin.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

• • • Cookie Puss Shrugged: Investing with Ayn Rand 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Going Galt  | A few months ago, Ayn Rand fans made a big stink about "going Galt"—threatening to bring down the federal government (i.e., Obama) by taking their productive genius and going home (i.e., working less and paying less taxes). In another sign that the screw-the-feds fad never really went anywhere, some objectivists with deep pockets have emerged from hiding to funnel more money to the moochers and looters. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that the Roark Capital Group, a $1.5-billion, Goldman Sachs-backed private-equity firm, is making record investments after a couple of slow years. Roark, which owns Carvel Ice Cream and Cinnabon, may be the nation's only investment firm that openly claims Ayn Rand as its inspiration.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

• • • I’m with the Rand 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  | "Celebrity fans of the cult of selfishness."
Christina Ricci: "My favorite book is The Fountainhead...I relate to it because of the idea that you're not a bad person if you don't love everyone."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

• • • And the Rand played on 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Personal life  |Inaccurate  | A Russian émigré who came to America hoping to work in Hollywood, Rand rejected communism but adopted its utopian, dominating aesthetic. (Her reverence for capitalism was so great that at her 1982 funeral, a 6-foot dollar sign was placed next to her coffin.) The heroes of her novels were the people who designed buildings and railroads, managed finance and industry—though Rand herself produced little more than words. Her books have often been met with dismissal, if not outright scorn, by many who write and read for a living: When I emailed a handful of fiction writers and book review editors for a piece I wrote on Rand a few years ago, 100 percent of them worked the word "asshole" into their responses.

Monday, July 20, 2009

 Apocalypse ciao: Let the end times roll 
Atlas Shrugged  |Going Galt  | We have to let collapse come, ["collapsitarian" Thor Muller] told me, and even nudge it along. "If you see Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall, go ahead and give him a good shove," he elaborated later. Once all the rotten and fragile stuff falls to pieces, hardier and healthier and more reasonable ways of organizing experience will emerge, he promised. [....] I wanted to know about this world that would appear when finance and other totems lay in ruins. Was it millennialism 2.0? Was it different than the off-grid hippies who frolic in Mendocino or the Randian Going Galt movement favored by Fox News pundits?

Monday, April 13, 2009

 What’s wrong with independent bookstores 
Atlas Shrugged  | The trend in most independent bookstores seems to be to steer the reader to the customer service kiosk. Which is great, to talk to a live human with knowledge, but not great if they are on the phone, or nowhere to be found, or just plain huffy that they need to tell the hundredth person where to find Atlas Shrugged.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

 What do men want (to read)? 
Surely "today's man" can stand to crack open a book by a few of Esquire's very own more, um, muscular writers like Orlean and Didion. Or maybe they'll at least read Ayn Rand, even if we won't.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

• • New York’s budget battle: A case study for Obama? 
Capitalism  | [NY governor David] Paterson, a former state senator from Harlem with a solidly liberal record, sounded like an old-school Republican on a recent trip to Washington, insisting that budget cuts and business development, not new taxes, were the only way to go. He even quoted libertarian icon Ayn Rand—whose other famous acolyte, of course, is Alan Greenspan.

Friday, October 24, 2008

• • Alan shrugged 
Capitalism  | With members of the House oversight and government reform committee blasting [Alan] Greenspan for his past decisions that helped pave the way for the current financial crisis, he acknowledged that his libertarian view of markets and the financial world had not worked out so well. "You know," he told the legislators, "that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well. [....] I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms." In other words, whoops—there goes decades of Ayn Rand down the drain.

Monday, February 11, 2008

• • Close encounters with the conservative kind 
Atlas Shrugged  | Report from the Conservative Political Action Conference.
While the crowd waited for Mitt Romney and John McCain to speak, a conservative book seminar began, and panelists extolled the virtues of Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. "The heroes of Atlas Shrugged were businessmen! Absolutely astonishing!" said Edward Hudgins, executive director of the Atlas Society, an organization that champions Rand's philosophy of "rational, principled individualism." Rand, Hudgins said, instructed her readers to protect their lives, their privacy, and their businesses as they protect their children. "How would you feel if the government decided to molest your children?" he asked.

Monday, December 17, 2007

• • A timeline of libertarian thought 
Atlas Shrugged  | 1957: Ayn Rand publishes her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, guaranteeing a solid market for "Who is John Galt?" T shirts among college objectivist societies for years to come. [....] 1995: Libertarian businessman Jeff Bezos founds Amazon.com, becoming the tech boom's John Galt.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Toking diplomacy 
Profile of marijuana activist Marc Emery.
Emery seemed to have walked out of the pages of the Ayn Rand books he discovered when he was 21 (around the time he discovered pot) or the superhero comics he sold in his first business, started when he was 13. Both Howard Roark and Spider-Man, he told me then, “had this total obsession with doing the right thing. I really related to these misunderstood people who had so much power.”