Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Unregulated Capitalism Gone Wild Revisited

Many of our country's most prominent bi-line Americans are noticing-with-alarm the dead hand of Ayn Rand steering the Republican Killdozer.

Here is Jonathan Chait at the New Yorker today.
How Ayn Rand’s Theories Destroyed ‘Never Trump’ Conservatism
Here is the redoubtable Digby at Salon today.
Fountainhead of bad ideas: Ayn Rand’s fanboys take the reins of power

No, Donald Trump hasn't really read "Atlas Shrugged." Sad! But he's surrounding himself with Ayn Rand superfans
Here is The Washington Post yesterday:
The Daily 202: Ayn Rand-acolyte Donald Trump stacks his cabinet with fellow objectivists

So I thought, just for goofs, I'd hop in the wayback machine for a jaunt back to the Year of Our Lord 2011 to revisit the stridently not-ready-for-the-grownup-table comments one of the Midwest's least prominent, non-bi-line Americans:
Unregulated Capitalism Gone Wild 

Destroyed the work economy and eviscerated public service union pensions.

Period. Full-stop.

The Republican Capitalism-Gone-Wild Solution?

Double-down and keep kicking working people in the gut until they spit up blood, agree to throw away their children's future and beg to work for sub-minimum wage.

For anyone who cares to look, moldering away in the yellowing pages of Ayn Rand's lesser works the entire ideological infrastructure of the Modern Right is laid bare.

Of course, unlike Heaven's Gate or Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple (which disappeared once the madness of their founders was fully unfurled), by appealing to rich sociopaths and rich-sociopath-wannabees, the Randite Cult is specifically engineered to be a for-profit enterprise and so it goes on and on (Believe me, if the Branch Davidians had had the foresight to make their insanity capitalist-friendly, today, instead of being vaguely remembered as "that nut who set himself and his followers on fire", David Koresh would have his own show on Fox.)
Wow.  Very shrill.  Very rude.

And this mysterious-yet-strangely-charming bastard also had the fucking nerve to underscore his sorehead bitching with actual quotes from the actual dead Ayn Rand and her actual acolytes:
And how long has this Kult of the Kochsuckers been lighting votive candles at the altar of Unregulated Capitalism-Gone-Wild?

A long...
"Regulation -- which is based on force and fear -- undermines the moral base of business."
-- Alan Greenspan, "The Objectivist Newsletter", 1963
"In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen."
-- Ayn Rand, 1961 Ford Hall Forum lecture
"One of the most widespread delusions of our age is the belief that the American worker owes his high standard of living to unions and to "humanitarian" labor legislation."
-- Nathanial Branden, "Common Fallacies About Capitalism", 1962*
* ("..former student and one-time romantic partner of novelist Ayn Rand, Branden had a prominent role in promoting Rand's philosophy, Objectivism.)
"If you want to gauge collectivist's theory's distance from reality, ask yourself: by what inconceivable standard can it be claimed that the broadcast airwaves are the property of some illiterate sharecropper who will never be able to grasp the concept of electronics, or some hillbilly whose engineering capacity is not quite sufficient to cope with a corn liquor still -- and that broadcasting, the product of an incalculable amount of scientific genius, is to be ruled by such owners?

"There is only one solution to this problem and it has to start at its base: nothing less will do. The airways should be turned over to private ownership. The only way to do it now is to sell radio and television frequencies over to the highest bidders...-- and thus put an end to the gruesome fiction of 'public property'."
Ayn Rand, "The Objectivist Newsletter", April 1964
"In a mixed economy, every government action is a direct threat to some men and an indirect threat to all. Every government interference in the economy consists of giving unearned benefits, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others. By what criterion of justice is a consensus-government guided? By the size of its gang."
-- Ayn Rand, 1961 Ford Hall Forum lecture

"Should citizens have their wealth expropriated to support an educational system which they may or may not sanction, and to pay for the education of children who are not their own? To anyone who understands and is consistently committed to the principles of individual rights, the answer is clearly: No."
-- Nathanial Branden, 1963
Then this unnamed poopyhead had the sheer brass to insult one of the greatest half-term American quitters who ever quit everything like a boss:
Then dumb the whole mess down about 70% and stick it into a pair of fuck-me pumps and you have Sarah Palin.
Sadly we only had enough pocket change for one quick trip in the wayback machine, so we must now return now to the bitter dregs of 2016 where exactly the same, unholy mess been dumbed down an additional 12.5%.  Where -- thanks to the Kremlin, the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism and the head of the FBI really putting their collective backs into it -- we now have President-elect Trump.

Oops!  I had another dime in my pocket!  Just enough for one more short wayback moment from the same snippy crier-of-wolf, this time from the Year of our Lords 2008.  It seemed somehow appropriate to the occasion:

As we stare the latest Conservative catastrophe in the face, it is helpful to remember that, in practical, WYSIWYG terms, the key difference between Liberals and Conservatives is actually very simple:
The further Liberals stray from their core values – inclusive/democratic, social justice, fair trade, decent wages, excellent public education, religious tolerance, national health care, respectful diplomacy-first foreign policy, clean, sustainable energy, free and aggressive press, and caring for the environment -- the worse things get.

The closer Conservatives adhere to their core values – hierarchical/authoritarian, corporate feudalism, welfare for plutocrats, religious intolerance, drill-baby-drill, propaganda-as-news, imperial foreign policy, and fuck the future -- the worse things get.
Based on any objective calculus, the GOP should have been being flogged into the political wilderness for the next generation years ago.

The reason they haven't -- that "solid ring of diamond-hard stupid" that firewalls them against the getting what they deserve good and hard -- is their Base, which they understand to down to their constituent atoms. They know them street-by-street, district-by-district, and know exactly which buttons to push and nightmares to invoke to make them sit up and bark like trained seals. And they know we know. And we know they know we know. (h/t “Lion in Winter”)...

OK the ride is over and the park in closing, so if you're looking for me I'll be out on the porch, whittling, sipping corn liquor and trying my damnedest to look like a Rust Belt Working Class American Male so maybe David Brooks will drive by and ask me why I'm so pissed off.   


Green Eagle said...

"by what inconceivable standard can it be claimed that the broadcast airwaves are the property of some illiterate sharecropper who will never be able to grasp the concept of electronics, or some hillbilly whose engineering capacity is not quite sufficient to cope with a corn liquor still"

Apparently, however, the White House is their property.

bowtiejack said...

If only those St. Petersburg Bolshies hadn’t taken daddy’s pharmacy and put an end to Alisha Rosenbaum’s super-privileged life as an indulged teenager, she would never have ended up in Hollywood (via Chicago where relatives took her in and loaned her money she never repaid because - FREEDOM!). And we would all have been spared her new Hollywood name and her indulgent fantasies about how if you just take the governor off the steam engine you can really let that bad boy rip!

Schuyler said...

How long until the Trumpkins merge with the Kochtopus? How long can the Kochs' principals hold out against the promise of lower taxes and deregulation? If they supported the neocons, surely they can come around to this.

duquesnepdx said...

"by what inconceivable standard can it be claimed that the broadcast airwaves are the property of some illiterate sharecropper who will never be able to grasp the concept of electronics, or some hillbilly whose engineering capacity is not quite sufficient to cope with a corn liquor still"
By what ability do those assholes with cash, but not necessarily any understanding of the science behind, well, anything, have the right to purchase blocks of broadcast airwaves?
It's this kind of utter bullshit "philosophy", that money makes right (exactly equivalent to "might makes right") that makes objectivism so incredibly reprehensible.
I worked with this kid (and I mean kid: 22 years old, green as grass and thought he could teach people who had been doing the job for 30 years how to do their jobs. He didn't last long). This kid went on about how if you could monopolize the water supply, then it was your right to do it and charge all the freight will bear. Or if you developed a cure for cancer, then you should be able to charge millions/cure because you deserved it. I asked him, well what if your mother needed the cure, and she couldn't afford it? He hemmed and hawed, but eventually said (paraphrasing because in my incredulity, it slipped from my mind), I guess she'd die, and I'd be sad, but that's the way it goes.
It's a good thing for him that my mother was still alive at the time. If someone said anything like that to me now, I might have some harsh words for them. And a baseball bat for their knees.
Objectivism is the attempt to morally justify utter selfishness. Its arguments are puerile filth, with only a modicum of an attempt to dress it up beyond, "I got mine. Fuck you." It's the perfect drug for the NPD types that infest the GOP.
Unfortunately, they've got the trifecta, so Ayn Rand gets to be the spiritual leader of the land for the next few spins around the sun.
We deserve the meteor.

Unknown said...

I wish all these folks would proceed to just Go Galt already.

trgahan said...

The funny thing is, not even the most ardent Randite objectivists want their own bullshit to come to pass. Because they are smart enough to know A) how much the U.S. Government is responsible for their wealth and security and B) their claimed "ideal" is a double edged sword wildly swinging in the dark.

Taken to its logical end would force all the Greenspans, Kochs, Pauls, etc. to invest vast sums of their fortunes just to hold their own social-economic positions in a world where one misstep would send a former giant naked and unarmed down among the unwashed masses with long memories. Think of it like the fortunes of families in Renaissance Italy.

What any Randite really wants is just a socialist government for and by rich (preferably white) people. Like, Czarist Russia...funny that...

Sandman said...

Rand was the antichrist. Ryan is her false prophet. Trump is the beast.

Fuck it--if we can't beat the Christopaths, let's appropriate their bullshit eschatology.

Robt said...

It doesn't take a dose of corn field liqueur to realize,
Republicans have come to rule from the throne of, "do what I say, not as I do".

I understand that Ayn Rand (her superior self) succumbed to socialism by willingly and conscientiously seeking out social security. When age caught up with the only money maker most women were allowed to utilize in her day. Sure there were speaking gigs. A shallow well indeed.
But her written works roe in value after her fantasies of a royal life for her at the expense of everyone else took a path of the masses of whom she despised.

With her death brought the interest of the wealthy to inflict some form of insulation
from the pitchfork band of Gypsy masses. Who met their level of tolerance for indignant rule by those who felt their position in life meant the end to black slavery brought in slavery of all chatel.
Does anyone really think Ayn Paul Rand Ryan treats his family by his good book. No not the Bible, Atlas Shrugged. You think his kids will pay for their own college education, tutors, health care? If they aren't good kids, Daddy Ayn Ryan won't gift them with a socialist Christmas present?

Did you notice the largest Anti-Randian act in our time around 2007 when the rugged individualist Capitalist Wall Street Masters of the Universe put on ayn Rand's old dress she wore when she embraced Social Security. Did Ayn Ryan put up the conservative fight and holler from the urinals of FOX News against that act of Socialism to the Wall Street Banks? Oh, the banks went to the front teller window of the Fed while many businesses as "harley Davidson" went around to the back of the Fed 9at night ) where the drive thru is.

There are many cures for Ayn Rand. Some antidotes come in doses.
One such dose. Simple, harmless, no harmful side effects and inexpensive. No prescription required.

"How to Work for an Idiot Boss" (survive and thrive without killing your boss)
Author--ohn Hoover.