Tag Archives: Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand hated Libertarians

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter, who’s famous for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.

Rand is almost idolized by Americans who call themselves libertarians and even by some conservatives for her championing of unfettered capitalism, although Rand’s brand of philosophy is decidedly amoral and the conduct of her personal life was correspondingly amoral and immoral. While married, Rand carried on an adulterous affair with a much-younger acolyte, Nathaniel Branden. Rand also favored abortion “rights.” A lifelong smoker, in 1976, after she underwent surgery for lung cancer and despite her lifelong opposition to statism and her insistence on radical individualism, she “reluctantly allowed” her attorney to sign her up for Social Security and Medicare. Rand was also an atheist who opposed anything she regarded as mysticism or supernaturalism, including all forms of religion.

Given Rand’s near-idol status among libertarians, the revelation that not only did Rand not consider herself a libertarian, she actually loathed libertarians, is downright fascinating.

Ayn Rand

George Washington writes for ZeroHedge, Nov. 29, 2012, that although many assume that Ayn Rand was a champion of libertarian thought, “Rand herself pilloried libertarians, condemning libertarianism as being a greater threat to freedom and capitalism than both modern liberalism and conservativism.”

Washington quotes Rand:

All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies, except that they’re anarchists instead of collectivists. But of course, anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism, because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. The anarchist is the scum of the intellectual world of the left, which has given them up. So the right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the Libertarian movement.

Rand so loathed libertarians that she vowed, “I’d rather vote for Bob Hope, the Marx Brothers, or Jerry Lewis” than a candidate from the Libertarian Party.

Rand’s loathing is returned by some contemporary libertarians. As examples, Sandeep Jaitly of Fekete Research says that real libertarians do not follow Rand’s philosophy. Murray Rothbard – founder of modern libertarianism, chief academic officer of leading libertarian think tank the Mises Institute, and one of the most important thinkers in the Austrian School of Economics – argued in 1972 that Rand was a champion for her own aggrandizement, not for liberty or reason. In fact, in a long but must-read essay, Rothbard accused Rand of being a cult leader. Here are some choice quotes by Rothbard:

The Ayn Rand cult … flourished for just ten years in the 1960s…. It also promoted slavish dependence on the guru in the name of independence; adoration and obedience to the leader in the name of every person’s individuality; and blind emotion and faith in the guru in the name of Reason.

***

Since every cult is grounded on a faith in the infallibility of the guru, it becomes necessary to keep its disciples in ignorance of contradictory infidel writings which may wean cult members away from the fold.

***

Just as Communists are often instructed not to read anti-Communist literature, the Rand cult went further to disseminate what was virtually an Index of Permitted Books.

***

In a development eerily reminiscent of the organized hatred directed against the arch-heretic Emanuel Goldstein in Orwell’s 1984, Rand cultists were required to sign a loyalty oath to Rand; essential to the loyalty oath was a declaration that the signer would henceforth never read any future works of the apostate and arch-heretic Branden [Rand's number 2]. After the split, any Rand cultist seen carrying a book or writing by Branden was promptly excommunicated.

Read the rest of Washington’s instructive and sobering article here.

~Eowyn

A Real Life John Galt

‘Right Out of Atlas Shrugged’:

Hear an Exasperated Alabama Businessman Tell the Feds – ‘I’m Just Quitting’

Ronnie Bryant was vastly outnumbered.

Leaning against a wall during a recent Birmingham, Alabama, public hearing, Bryant listened to an overflow crowd pepper federal officials with concerns about businesses polluting the drinking water and causing cases of cancer.

After two hours, Bryant—a coal mine owner from Jasper—had heard enough and, in a moment being described as “right out of Atlas Shrugged,” took his turn at the microphone:

“Nearly every day without fail…men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance. And as I stand here today, I just…you know…what’s the use? I got a permit to open up an underground coal mine that would employ probably 125 people. They’d be paid wages from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. We would consume probably $50 million to $60 million in consumables a year, putting more men to work. And my only idea today is to go home. What’s the use? I see these guys—I see them with tears in their eyes—looking for work. And if there’s so much opposition to these guys making a living, I feel like there’s no need in me putting out the effort to provide work for them. So…basically what I’ve decided is not to open the mine. I’m just quitting. Thank you.”

The Blaze contacted Bryant, and he remains as resolute as he was at last week’s public hearing. To him, it’s just not worth the time, money, and regulatory hassle to open up a new mine—even one located in a remote area with less environmental impact.

“If they want to create jobs, provide health insurance, and increase revenue,” Bryant said in reference to the federal government, “they need to back down on the regulatory burden. It’s like pulling an iron ball with a chain. I’m not saying to make it go away—just the stuff that’s not pertinent or useful.”

Terry Douglas, who owns two mines in Jasper with Bryant, said it costs them about $250,000 per mine in permit fees alone and that paperwork and regulatory inspections are a constant presence (as well as an additional revenue strain). When asked about typical concerns surrounding coal mining—including companies skirting health and safety regulations—Douglas said it “doesn’t make sense” to let safety lapse and risk losing miners to illness or injury when it would only cost more to train new personnel.

“We take care of our equipment and take care of our people,” Douglas said. “The regulations make coal miners out to be criminals; but we’re not outlaws. Coal mining is an art. I have a civil engineering degree; Ronnie has a mining engineering degree. It’s not wildcat whiskey we’re making; this is drinking whiskey we got.”

Bryant pointed to less stringent environmental regulations in countries such as China, saying that the U.S. is falling behind even though it has abundant resources. “But you can’t get to them,” he said, adding that while there are concerns over dwindling wildlife populations, “people are becoming the endangered species.”

Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, regional administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region, attended the Birmingham public hearing but could not be reached for comment.

Radical environmentalism, liberalism and over regulation is killing entrepreneurship in this country. Why should a businessman have to feel like he is going through the equivalent of a public lynching just to bring jobs to people.

The EPA should be immediately defunded and abolished, it is the biggest job killer in this country(outside of Obama).

Tom in NC

H/T The Blaze

 

The 20th Century Motor Company

Want to know how socialism transforms warps human beings?

Listen to this allegory of dystopic socialism, “The 20th Century Motor Company,” excerpted from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

Find the text here:
http://tinyurl.com/20thcentmotor

H/t beloved fellow Will.

~Eowyn

Atlas Shrugged Movie Opens Today

I’m very excited for this movie. Are you planning to see it? I have one friend that already saw it today and said it was amazing.

It will be interesting to see how well the movie can do at the box office, considering its lack of promotion on tv. I’ll be seeing it tonight and will share my thoughts tomorrow.

DCG

Atlas Shrugged Coming Soon!

The movie Atlas Shrugged arrives at theaters on tax day, April 15. The above is a clip from the movie entitled, “Dagny Confronts the Union”.

From the movie’s web site: “Dagny Taggart is one of the finest female heroines in modern literature: intelligent, courageous, and as beautiful as she is strong. She is a rare screen example of life lived on one’s own terms, for one’s own values.”

The clip looks good. As I stated before, this will be one movie I will go see!

h/t benhowe

DCG