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On When Alan Met Ayn: "Atlas Shrugged" And Our Tanked Economy

Let me get this straight: A "laissez-faire" system, to you, involves an unaccountable institution that sets interest rates? A free market, by your description, involves government price fixing (the price of borrowing money) that affects innumerable other prices? Perhaps Greenspan doesn't understand Objectivism. (Or, as writers other than you regularly state, he broke from it, despite latent admiration for it; you seem to think a line in his autobiography praising Rand means her philosophy dictated every action he took in his adult life before writing that line.)
Or perhaps you don't understand Objectivism. If you're really as well-read as you keep reminding us you are, you should know better than to conflate libertarianism with Objectivism, and rattle off numerous other mischaracterizations that would immediately be recognized as such by most of your readers if they cared more about the merit of Rand's ideas than how much of a bitch she may or may not have been. (On this note, I love how everybody's writing "I read her in high school - silly me! - but I'm over that now," not realizing that, by the definition of Rand's admirers this echo chamber has agreed upon, this amounts to "I used to be full of myself, but now I'm better.")
I'm no Objectivist, but to be fair to it, where did Rand say a person should "make all his own paper" or otherwise be 100 percent self-sufficient? Of course she understood the necessary interconnectedness of society and indeed reality. She just said society would function best if people fended for themselves, thus having the greatest chance to meet their full potential. By the ridiculous logic you foist onto Rand, she would hold that people must manufacture their own oxygen.
Arguments are most persuasive (and interesting) when they start by making the best possible case for the opposition. I understand the instinct to skip this step, as it is very difficult if you lean strongly in one direction, but at least stave off intellectual laziness long enough to represent your opposition fairly.

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm 0