Obama Spurs Ayn Rand Revival: Sales of Atlas Shrugged Surge

Discussion in 'Politics' started by madanthonywayne, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

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    What're you talking about? Greenspan started as chairman in 1987 and he immediately began his MO of providing liquidity to financial institutions in distress with the crash of '87. When is this after things fell apart you're referring to?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
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  3. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

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    Watership Down, Richard Adams,
     
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  5. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    that's the book about the killer rabbits isn't?
     
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  7. desi Valued Senior Member

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    I think Rand's heroes had morals. Greenspan was manipulating the money supply to make bankers rich and run the American public into debt with cheap credit. Capitalism is not about swindling or corruption. Its about fair competition leading to innovations which benefit everyone.

    Just because a referee cheats doesn't mean the sport they ref for is no good.
     
  8. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    Asking people not to swindle and be corrupt is like asking a bear to not shit in the woods. Your asking them to go against their nature and its just not going to happen. and you have a very idealistic view of capitalism.
     
  9. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

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    I don't swindle people, and don't believe in promoting corruption. Do you?

    While desi might have a very idealistic view of capitalism, I don't know, you can't deny that Greenspan acted completely against the spirit of fair competition inherent to the idea of capitalism by using the Fed to favor the financial institutions over everyone else. Using him, and the consequences of his policies, to judge the entire concept of free market capitalism or objectivist economics is pretty much the height of dishonesty.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  10. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    We have all swindled people. we just might view it as such. any lie or bending of the truth no matter how small to get an advantage is swindling someone.
    doesn't matter if I do or don't support corruption people are still corrupt.

    My idealistic comment was more aimed at the fourth sentence rather than the second or third. and the idea of fair competition has never really been part of the pure capitalism idea.
     
  11. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

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    Fine, if we're dealing with absolutes then I guess your earlier statement is correct... but also useless. desi wasn't trying to say that capitalism completely removes swindling and corruption from people. What was being pointed out that Greenspan's corrupt practices aren't reflective on capitalism because that's not what capitalism is about.

    From wikipedia's article on competition:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_(economics)

    Now, you might argue that "fairness" is the idea being disputed, and not competition, but fairness is something that is inherent to the notion of competition. The second free and effective competition is hampered, it's deemed "unfair" or anti-competitive. Greenspan's policies were anti-competitive in that they unfairly supported certain market players over others and, thus, were completely antithetical to free market capitalism and objectivist economist's position.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    But look at things from the Randite's pov - Greenspan was just reducing the dead hand of artificial government restriction, and allowing "the market" to determine how much money was needed.

    He didn't force the money on anyone. Had the financial markets and banking industry been dominated by the competent, upright, rational, moral, heroic protaganists of Rand novels, nothing bad would have happened.

    Instead, modern bankers turned out to be the same kinds of human beings that have dominated moneylending since the first account payable was scratched into the first clay tablet. To Greenspan's - and I quote the man - "shock".
    According to the Randites capitalism doesn't need rules, even, let alone referees.
    There's always a context - a boundary to what the "idea of capitalism" in actual establishment takes as "the market" in which fair competition is to take place. Greenspan made the loose money available to everyone in "the market" as he defined it, without favor or bias.
     
  13. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

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    I'm sorry but your post is completely incorrect. The market determined that the financial institutions were not worth their value and their stocks responded accordingly. Greenspan's actions in reinforcing the institutions via monetary policy was an attempt to subvert market forces and increased the hand of government restriction by skewing the market in favor of those players over others. Whatever happened after the fact is a judgment call of an entirely different sort, the mere act of providing the money is something bad in and of itself, anti-market and anti-capitalist. From the Randite's POV Greenspan was no better than the villains in Rand's various works.

    This is true to an extent but not entirely correct. Government still plays a role in protecting individual rights and property rights but would have no interference or control in the market aside from upholding those two points.

    No, this is completely and utterly wrong. Greenspan didn't make loose money available to everyone, he provided it exclusively to certain players, subsidizing their mistakes, and then had the money trickle down to the rest of the economy slowly decreasing in purchasing power and causing a general rise in prices. The final recipients of the cash, primarily low and middle class Americans who weren't heavily involved in a housing or stocks related job, were left with the very bottom of the barrel, holding new dollars that had no real advantage.

    Also, if your thesis is correct, that Greenspan was acting accordingly with free market capitalist principles, someone like me wouldn't have been criticizing him at the time of his policy executions. But if you look back the record will show a consistent Austrian rejection of Greenspan from the moment he became Chairman to the second he stepped down. And I'm sure if you looked you could find objectivist objections in the same vein.

    No matter how you cut it, favoring certain players over others and bailing them out when they get into trouble is anti-objectivist. No ifs, ands or buts about it! And that's been Greenspan's MO since the very year he started as chairman.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    My thesis is that Greenspan thought he was acting according to capitalist free market principles as embodied in Rand's idea of the heroic risk-taker and rule-transcending capitalist.

    The question is not what the Randites are doing, but what they think they're doing - if the subject is the influence of Rand's "philosophy".
    You disagree with Greenspan about where to draw the boundaries of "the market" involved.
     
  15. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

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    You're stepping into dangerous territory when you try to assume the thoughts behind a man's actions. It's doubtful Greenspan even considered himself an objectivist. Do you have any evidence for your musings?

    This isn't, after all, a matter of fine tuning and deciding where to draw certain boundaries, but a matter of gross rejection of fundamentals. What Greenspan did can in no way, shape, or form be considered to be in accordance with objectivist principles.

    The best way to characterize Greenspan from an AS lens would be that Greenspan happily took the job Galt refused to take.
     
  16. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    I think we are having a disconnect what the connotations free market capitalism are. It brings to mind the mid 1800's of the robber barrons and sinclair's the jungle I'm guessing for you it brings to mind the 1920's and 30's after some measure of worker rights were implemented.
     
  17. desi Valued Senior Member

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    According to communists, communism is fair to everybody. Lets face it, unless efforts are taken to punish corruption it will be the undoing of any system created by man.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I'm just taking the man's words seriously, and not assuming they have been purely political spin for forty years. And I'm not inquiring after the man's self-image, but the justifications of his actions.

    There are only a certain number of reasons someone would be "shocked", apparently in all honesty, at the failure of the US financial market to regulate itself. And in light of Greenspan's background and many years of quotes, etc, the obvious is my first choice.

    Drawing the boundaries of what is to be considered "the market" is a fundamental act in the actual employment of "free market" ideology and related principles. That boundary is always - always - arbitrary.

    It was publicly justified in accordance with free market capitalist principles by someone long associated with Rand's school of thought.
    Punishment won't save your systems - it comes too late. Prevention is what you need.
     
  19. WoundedEgo Registered Member

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    What she describes as the epitome of her philosophy are the words she got from a serial child killer who said "What's good for me is right." This is her "morality of selfishness".

    My philosophy is that "What produces the highest good for the sentient is good."

    Her politics are as bad as her morals. I consider the end point of her philosophy to be a plutocracy - rule by the rich with contempt for the poor.

    They are an evil cult and they are successfully infecting this country with their evil dogmas just as the intelligensia of Germany became infected with Nazi ideals of "Uberman" in the years before Hitler. Hitler came to power by recognizing that he so fit the intellectual and thus popular ideology of the day. The stage was set. So Randians have been setting the stage for the Teabaggers and they are in a huge power grab. They do not want the US to be place of liberty, equality and brotherhood, they want to be rich and for the rich to rule.
     
  20. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    twilight's popular too doesn't change the fact both are poorly written trash
     
  21. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    yeah how and why they would fail.
     
  22. Lakon Valued Senior Member

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    We have to keep in mind Rand's Atlas Shrugged was written a long time ago, ergo, it's somewhat simplistic nature.

    Still, I enjoyed the book and I like her premise of free, naked capitalism. I can't think of one real, enduring, viable alternative.

    Let's see , socialism, communism, facism, religious state, islamic caliphate .. nope !

    Edit - Last line changed.
     
  23. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    Than clearly your not thinking hard enough. A proven better viable alternative has been shown to exist in social democrat ism.
     

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