“Plugging the Gulf oil leak with the works of Ayn Rand” is the name of a new and popular group on Facebook. Ayn Rand, of course, is the late utopian capitalist writer; an atheist who made a de facto religion out of capitalism.
She was the Bitch-Goddess of unfettered free markets. Regulation of even the most modest type was regarded as the greatest evil ever to come down the pike. In her novels, capitalists have giant brains and bigger wangers. She remains a cult figure among teen-aged girls from well-to-do families.
Rand made a fetish out of the ‘invisible hand’ of Adam Smith’s imagination. She expired before John Nash proved Adam Smith at least partly wrong using mathematics and game theory. Nash, the real life hero of the Oscar-winning movie “A Beautiful Mind”, said Smith’s economic world was only partly self-correcting, at best. He won the Nobel Prize for his efforts.
This was amplified by the late Hyman Minsky who maintained that markets don’t trend towards equilibrium but excess. Ergo, some regulation is needed.
Alan Greenspan, a disciple and former lover of Ayn Rand,chaired the Federal Reserve when all the Randroid marbles turned to crap. Reversing the New Deal was the mantra beginning with Reagan. Eventually the economy crashed and we see the wreckage all around us.
Matt Taibbi in “Rolling Stone” said it best:
“(There’s) an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.”
This is the blind spot of Ayn Rand as well. John Galt is now Meyer Lansky. The latest fruit of her work lies in the BP oil spill.
Obama, a de facto employee of Goldman Sachs, bought into this line as well. This makes the accusations of ‘communist’ against him by his Retro Robot critics laughable.
Now, Obama, employed as a symbol and not a leader, is in danger of being swept away with Ayn Rand and the rest of the trash.