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I had a discussion with a friend today where we touched on the subject of the free market and the necessity to regulate the economy in order to achieve stability. Then I stumbled over

on yuotube of Ayn Rand being interviewed by Mike Wallace in 1959, in which she says:

 

 

"If you separate economics and state. If you dont regulate production and trade, you will have peaceful cooperation, and harmony and justice among men."

 

 

To me, that seems like an increadibly naive statement from a person who has no experience of real world economics. What was she thinking there?

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Ayn Rand is obviously the poster girl for Libertarians, many of whom haven't actually read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead (for the record I've read the first, struggled with the second). Many libertarians also wouldn't have a clue about Objectivism or how it might (or might not) fit into mainstream libertarianism.

 

I'm a 'small l' libertarian (i.e. small state = groovy, not so sure about legalizing crack and heavy automatic weapons). Many libertarians would naturally riposte that I was therefore not really a libertarian, just an unwitting pupper of the state living a facsimile of freedom.... :)

 

Rand's importance is symbolic - her work is a paen to self-reliance and the soul-sapping nature of statism. The message is harsh, but I don't know if anyone's noticed but life often is. So don't take her literally, like a lot of visionaries much of what she says is confusing waffle, but in there is a kernel of truth, albeit uncomfortable for some. Especially the feckless, the authoritarian and the idle.

 

Cheers

MC

sonsofgygax.JPG

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I believe 10% of men are good, 80% will be good if watched closely by the first ten percent, and the remainder are total bastards who must be prevented from gaining control over the 80. While this may be untrue, Rand seems to assume 100% of men are good, unless subjected to a perverse arrangement of state. Given teh choice between living my life by that dictum and believing the earth is flat I'd chooose flat earth. At least that won't get me killed.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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MC's take is pretty reasonable to me. A moron? Certainly not. Overly focused on social structures to the point of naievity about some core aspects of human nature? Yeah. (Whenever one of the few rabid objectivists I've known got onto the whole bit about how expensive public goods could be entirely supported by voluntary contributions, I started to wonder whether he had actually met more than 3 human beings in his life.)

 

Free markets are powerful and useful things, both from an economic and a political point of view. But I do get puzzled at the Randies' jump from "X is good" to "If everything is X, everywhere, all the time, the world will be perfect!" That type of reasoning seems to appeal to a particular type of mind, and I don't think that type of mind is particularly good at understanding how other people often think and behave differently from the way they do.

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To me, that seems like an increadibly naive statement from a person who has no experience of real world economics. What was she thinking there?

i'm curious how you come to the conclusion that she had "no experience of real world economics"? ayn was a philosopher and at its heart, economic theory is really just the philosophy of the free market. she may have been off the mark a bit with that statement, but it is not far from the truth.

 

people do not need to be "good" to practice good trade, walsh. even if 100% are bad, they will still conduct trade in good faith if only to continue to be trusted enough for future trade. you're making an assumption based on the way things are now, in which the government attempts to level the field, and those that are "bad" attempt to take advantage of that. separate economics from the state and this cannot happen, i.e., there is no way for those that are "bad" to control those that are "good."

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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At the time Ayn Rand was all the rage in the 50's, it seems like it was alot more important for a lot of 'philosophers' to create an -ism of their own rather than to come up with something that made sense. I get the feeling that Rand said alot of provocative/stupid things, like in my quote, just to stir some sh*t up.

 

To me, saying that everything will work itself out if we stop regulating the economy, is like saying world peace can be attained if everyone wore yellow hats. It just has no foundation in reality.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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But I do get puzzled at the Randies' jump from "X is good" to "If everything is X, everywhere, all the time, the world will be perfect!"

either you do not understand objectivism yourself, are you are overgeneralizing it to the point of intellectual dishonesty. in either case, this is a strawman and not at all what is believed by either objectivists or capitalists (essentially the same thing for purposes of this discussion). no rational person actually thinks there can be a "perfect" world - that would be a utopian position, in fact, objectivism, as well as capitalism, counts on the fact that people are imperfect, perferring to make choices based on their own needs and desires.

 

tsk, tsk.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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To me, saying that everything will work itself out if we stop regulating the economy, is like saying world peace can be attained if everyone wore yellow hats. It just has no foundation in reality.

austrian economic theory should be required learning for all you euro-weenies. quite the contrary, this statement has no foundation in reality and this has been proved repeatedly. attempting to control a hugely non-linear, dynamic, if not chaotic feedback system is not possible.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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But I do get puzzled at the Randies' jump from "X is good" to "If everything is X, everywhere, all the time, the world will be perfect!"

either you do not understand objectivism yourself, are you are overgeneralizing it to the point of intellectual dishonesty. in either case, this is a strawman and not at all what is believed by either objectivists or capitalists (essentially the same thing for purposes of this discussion). no rational person actually thinks there can be a "perfect" world - that would be a utopian position, in fact, objectivism, as well as capitalism, counts on the fact that people are imperfect, perferring to make choices based on their own needs and desires.

It was more of an exaggeration for attempted humorous impact.

 

 

The distillation of all major societal problems down into one variable (the interplay between personal freedom and interference with such by governmental forces) with one policy recommendation to address all these problems (decrease or eliminate such interference) just doesn't jibe with my sense of the complexity of the world and of human nature. It may be good advice 60% of the time, but that doesn't make the analysis any less sophomoric.

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To me, saying that everything will work itself out if we stop regulating the economy, is like saying world peace can be attained if everyone wore yellow hats. It just has no foundation in reality.

austrian economic theory should be required learning for all you euro-weenies. quite the contrary, this statement has no foundation in reality and this has been proved repeatedly. attempting to control a hugely non-linear, dynamic, if not chaotic feedback system is not possible.

 

 

But we're not talking about controlling it, we're talking about regulating the economy. Something thats done in all countries on a daily basis, because it has to be done to keep it in check. Tossing all the laws and regulations and control away like Rand suggests, would probably just lead to complete chaos.

 

Humans are not universally benign by nature, and to think we would all fall in line out of common sense if the laws were to be removed is wrong.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Cut the power to a major metropolis for a few hours and it's every man for himself, I'd say the conceit that allows us all to pretend we are altruistic creatues is deceptively weak.

 

Thats not particularly directed at economics, but it does reflect it somewhat.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I had a discussion with a friend today where we touched on the subject of the free market and the necessity to regulate the economy in order to achieve stability. Then I stumbled over
on yuotube of Ayn Rand being interviewed by Mike Wallace in 1959, in which she says:

 

 

"If you separate economics and state. If you dont regulate production and trade, you will have peaceful cooperation, and harmony and justice among men."

 

 

To me, that seems like an increadibly naive statement from a person who has no experience of real world economics. What was she thinking there?

 

I'm too tried too muster up any anger over the naivety of her economics.

 

Suffice to say, be thankful that in the modern day most people recognise life is actually a fine balance between the public and private and tipping that balance strongly either way usually ends badly. :)

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Ayn Rand was a moron, or at least enough of one that I have no problems labeling her as one. :)

"A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
-H. H. Munro

 

"Geez. It's like we lost some sort of bet and ended up saddled with a bunch of terrible new posters on this forum."

-Hurlshot

 

 

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Rand wasn't a moron; she was wrong, however.

 

The sane man knows that he has a touch of the beast, a touch of the devil, a touch of the saint, a touch of the citizen. Nay, the really sane man knows that he has a touch of the madman. But the materialist's world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane.

This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.

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I believe 10% of men are good, 80% will be good if watched closely by the first ten percent, and the remainder are total bastards who must be prevented from gaining control over the 80. While this may be untrue, Rand seems to assume 100% of men are good, unless subjected to a perverse arrangement of state. Given teh choice between living my life by that dictum and believing the earth is flat I'd chooose flat earth. At least that won't get me killed.

 

I believe 1% of humanity is good, 10% wll be good if watched closely, and 89% are total bastards. Give a person a chance he or she will more than likely screw you over.

"Your Job is not to die for your country, but set a man on fire, and take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

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I believe 10% of men are good, 80% will be good if watched closely by the first ten percent, and the remainder are total bastards who must be prevented from gaining control over the 80. While this may be untrue, Rand seems to assume 100% of men are good, unless subjected to a perverse arrangement of state. Given teh choice between living my life by that dictum and believing the earth is flat I'd chooose flat earth. At least that won't get me killed.

 

I believe 1% of humanity is good, 10% wll be good if watched closely, and 89% are total bastards. Give a person a chance he or she will more than likely screw you over.

 

I think your world view is jaded by the fact that you yourself are a bastard, though.

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I believe know 100% of humanity is neither good nor evil.

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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I believe know 100% of humanity is neither good nor evil.

 

There is no good or evil.

 

Before we are entering Nietzschian territory, i would like to add that Rand is useful when arguing against "people for statism" and their loony friends. I disagree on Rand on many things though: Social Security, welfare, healthcare insurance and so on, in which she claims that these matters could be handled by the kind hearths of free and good men. Sorry lady, we tried that, and it didn't really work. I think that Walsh is on the right track (maybe we need to change the numbers though) but i think that we maybe need to call the evil guys "buggers" or something, since they more or less spend their time annoying everyone else.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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I believe 10% of men are good, 80% will be good if watched closely by the first ten percent, and the remainder are total bastards who must be prevented from gaining control over the 80. While this may be untrue, Rand seems to assume 100% of men are good, unless subjected to a perverse arrangement of state. Given teh choice between living my life by that dictum and believing the earth is flat I'd chooose flat earth. At least that won't get me killed.

 

I believe 1% of humanity is good, 10% wll be good if watched closely, and 89% are total bastards. Give a person a chance he or she will more than likely screw you over.

 

I think your world view is jaded by the fact that you yourself are a bastard, though.

 

My mother's marital status at my birth is none of your business. ;)

"Your Job is not to die for your country, but set a man on fire, and take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

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I don't know if I'd call Ayn Rand a "moron", per se. I think a good distillation of her as a historical figure would be "a pretty amazing grudge bearer". Her entire life's work is basically sour grapes complaints about the USSR (which was fairly terrible to be honest) taken to ridiculous extremes. Another pretty solid defining label for Rand is "awful writer". I don't think there's any better evidence of her lack of writing prowess than her novels being taken as straight philosophical texts. They're pretty dire reads, containing monologues that run for dozens upon dozens of pages.

 

But she's fairly popular, primarily because she provides a safe place for all those bitter white men who feel their privilege threatened and belittled by the ethnics and the women and the cripples. Objectivism and libertarianism in general provide a space where people of great privilege can feel as though they deserve what they have regardless of how they got it, a space free of responsibility and worry and disempowering "context", a place of self-love and confidence. Deep at the heart of conservatism is the is / ought worldview, that is, a belief that what is, is the way that it ought to be. I have money and power and thus I am a "haver", an honest man entitled to what's mine, and those below me are "wanters" who are barely more than animals. That I inherited my money, my education, my social network, and all of my opportunities from other people is immaterial. What matters is that I was the one taking advantage of those opportunities, not some sap who didn't have the good sense to bring his or herself into my circumstances through considerably more struggle than I will ever exert. My status is its own justification. A remarkable capacity for the delusion that white men of power are an oppressed minority is commonly demonstrated by objectivists (pretty sure Taks expressed that sentiment around here sometime last year) as well as conservatives in general (Rush Limbaugh, among others) Libertarians tend to speak of free markets in utopian tones, talking about true merit being rewarded in ways that aren't seen now because of gov't interference, but it seems fairly obvious to me that the "radical change" that they espouse is really just a change of degrees. Economics and social dynamics are connected in ways that go unacknowledged by free-marketeers, more because the relationship is dismissed as unimportant than because of ignorance. An objectivist either finds himself making a whole lot of excuses fairly quickly when he accepts as a given the idea that a person is not solely responsible for his circumstances or he turns the rhetoric up to 11.

 

I look at the unstoppable advance of neoliberalism and the World Trade Organization, which is a free-market organ that actually has the kind of power to promote liberal trade policy over states that makes libertarians' innards tingle with excitement. Various actions that a government can take - protectionist efforts to shore up industry in a developing country, do-gooder embargoes on goods openly produced through the violation of human rights or environmental degradation - are sharply and swiftly dealt with by the international economic community. The international free market has a tool that it can wield over law established by states in this way. Most would say that this violates basic democratic principles, but if you're of the mind that the only freedom that matters is the freedom of goods to be traded across borders, if that doesn't get your objectivist **** hard I'm not sure what will. One of the results of this is that the average wage of people living in developing countries has gone up from completely dismal to slightly less completely dismal. Another result is the exacerbation and cementing of the colonization-era global dynamic between powerful consumer/producer states in the northern hemisphere and vassal producer/resource provider states in the southern hemisphere. Left to sink or swim there's no reason to believe that relative situations of your average person in the US and your average Laotian would change all that much in a fully free world market. The benefits of colonialism have been reaped, the colonial powers are fat and strong and powerful, and unless you're talking about the span of hundreds of years it seems unlikely that lots would be changed all that much. It seems clear that the horrors of the colonial era that still reverberate today are in fact a consequence of pure market forces at work in those times. At this point I'll actually quote the Pope -

The global market has stimulated first and foremost, on the part of rich countries, a search for areas in which to outsource production at low cost with a view to reducing the prices of many goods, increasing purchasing power and thus accelerating the rate of development in terms of greater availability of consumer goods for the domestic market. Consequently, the market has prompted new forms of competition between States as they seek to attract foreign businesses to set up production centers, by means of a variety of instruments, including favorable fiscal regimes and deregulation of the lab our market. These processes have led to a downsizing of social security systems as the price to be paid for seeking greater competitive advantage in the global market, with consequent grave danger for the rights of workers, for fundamental human rights and for the solidarity associated with the traditional forms of the social State.

There is no reason to suspect that this dynamic would change were governments to suddenly atrophy. Laotians would still be starving and Americans would still be itching for things to buy, and the same deals would be struck - Laos denigrates itself for the US' table scraps. Having come from a free market, the conditions that the feeble third world and the lumbering first world would be in would in fact be natural, harmonious states. Such a notion that poverty (rare among white men comparitive to other groups, oddly enough) is a natural and desirable thing and that every man is out for himself can be generously described as social darwinism, another rather common conservative idea.

 

Anyway, back to Ayn Rand. She's been a disaster for pop culture, I'll say that much. Not only has she led directly to the sad and rapid decline of comics whiz Steve Ditko (now best known as the inspiration for Watchmen's Rorschach) but she inspired the music of Rush. Also her followers tend to write some hilarious dear John letters. Witness!

—-—-—— Forwarded message —-—-——

From: Christoper Davis <—-@gmail.com>

Date: Oct 21, 2006

Subject: Re: Congratulations!

To: Cynthia O'Brien <—@gmail.com>

 

I'm sorry I won't be at the theatre to meet you. There are too many hands

on my time. I am, right now, involved in something more important.

 

Even though the exact reason is temporary, its root cause is permanent; I

am, by choice of habit, incapable of any kind of novel social liaison for

the duration.

 

If by some miracle you do not find this insult of mine,

of standing you up on an important day, unforgivable, please respect

anyway that I do not wish to see you again, and leave me alone. I do not

imagine that you will find this difficult.

 

-Wm.

Pro-tip, my people - it is better for you, and better for America, if you refrain from mixing your genetic material or otherwise fraternizing with people who own leatherbound copies of all Rand works. If you see these items in the vicinity of a love interest's workplace or place of residence, plan an exit and execute it as quickly as possible.

Edited by Pop
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I don't know if I'd call Ayn Rand a "moron", per se. I think a good distillation of her as a historical figure would be "a pretty amazing grudge bearer". Her entire life's work is basically sour grapes complaints about the USSR (which was fairly terrible to be honest) taken to ridiculous extremes. Another pretty solid defining label for Rand is "awful writer". I don't think there's any better evidence of her lack of writing prowess than her novels being taken as straight philosophical texts. They're pretty dire reads, containing monologues that run for dozens upon dozens of pages.

 

But she's fairly popular, primarily because she provides a safe place for all those bitter white men who feel their privilege threatened and belittled by the ethnics and the women and the cripples. Objectivism and libertarianism in general provide a space where people of great privilege can feel as though they deserve what they have regardless of how they got it, a space free of responsibility and worry and disempowering "context", a place of self-love and confidence. Deep at the heart of conservatism is the is / ought worldview, that is, a belief that what is, is the way that it ought to be. I have money and power and thus I am a "haver", an honest man entitled to what's mine, and those below me are "wanters" who are barely more than animals. That I inherited my money, my education, my social network, and all of my opportunities from other people is immaterial. What matters is that I was the one taking advantage of those opportunities, not some sap who didn't have the good sense to bring his or herself into my circumstances through considerably more struggle than I will ever exert. My status is its own justification. A remarkable capacity for the delusion that white men of power are an oppressed minority is commonly demonstrated by objectivists (pretty sure Taks expressed that sentiment around here sometime last year) as well as conservatives in general (Rush Limbaugh, among others) Libertarians tend to speak of free markets in utopian tones, talking about true merit being rewarded in ways that aren't seen now because of gov't interference, but it seems fairly obvious to me that the "radical change" that they espouse is really just a change of degrees. Economics and social dynamics are connected in ways that go unacknowledged by free-marketeers, more because the relationship is dismissed as unimportant than because of ignorance. An objectivist either finds himself making a whole lot of excuses fairly quickly when he accepts as a given the idea that a person is not solely responsible for his circumstances or he turns the rhetoric up to 11.

 

I look at the unstoppable advance of neoliberalism and the World Trade Organization, which is a free-market organ that actually has the kind of power to promote liberal trade policy over states that makes libertarians' innards tingle with excitement. Various actions that a government can take - protectionist efforts to shore up industry in a developing country, do-gooder embargoes on goods openly produced through the violation of human rights or environmental degradation - are sharply and swiftly dealt with by the international economic community. The international free market has a tool that it can wield over law established by states in this way. Most would say that this violates basic democratic principles, but if you're of the mind that the only freedom that matters is the freedom of goods to be traded across borders, if that doesn't get your objectivist **** hard I'm not sure what will. One of the results of this is that the average wage of people living in developing countries has gone up from completely dismal to slightly less completely dismal. Another result is the exacerbation and cementing of the colonization-era global dynamic between powerful consumer/producer states in the northern hemisphere and vassal producer/resource provider states in the southern hemisphere. Left to sink or swim there's no reason to believe that relative situations of your average person in the US and your average Laotian would change all that much in a fully free world market. The benefits of colonialism have been reaped, the colonial powers are fat and strong and powerful, and unless you're talking about the span of hundreds of years it seems unlikely that lots would be changed all that much. It seems clear that the horrors of the colonial era that still reverberate today are in fact a consequence of pure market forces at work in those times. At this point I'll actually quote the Pope -

The global market has stimulated first and foremost, on the part of rich countries, a search for areas in which to outsource production at low cost with a view to reducing the prices of many goods, increasing purchasing power and thus accelerating the rate of development in terms of greater availability of consumer goods for the domestic market. Consequently, the market has prompted new forms of competition between States as they seek to attract foreign businesses to set up production centers, by means of a variety of instruments, including favorable fiscal regimes and deregulation of the lab our market. These processes have led to a downsizing of social security systems as the price to be paid for seeking greater competitive advantage in the global market, with consequent grave danger for the rights of workers, for fundamental human rights and for the solidarity associated with the traditional forms of the social State.

There is no reason to suspect that this dynamic would change were governments to suddenly atrophy. Laotians would still be starving and Americans would still be itching for things to buy, and the same deals would be struck - Laos denigrates itself for the US' table scraps. Having come from a free market, the conditions that the feeble third world and the lumbering first world would be in would in fact be natural, harmonious states. Such a notion that poverty (rare among white men comparitive to other groups, oddly enough) is a natural and desirable thing and that every man is out for himself can be generously described as social darwinism, another rather common conservative idea.

 

Anyway, back to Ayn Rand. She's been a disaster for pop culture, I'll say that much. Not only has she led directly to the sad and rapid decline of comics whiz Steve Ditko (now best known as the inspiration for Watchmen's Rorschach) but she inspired the music of Rush. Also her followers tend to write some hilarious dear John letters. Witness!

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