Tuesday, April 26, 2011
According to the likes of Sean Hannity, Ayn Rand was monumentally visionary in forecasting this scenario fifty years ago. Was she ever. After all, she helped caused it.
The year 2016 may well be the new 1984, but if it eventuates it will be for entirely different reasons than imagined by either Ayn Rand or Fox News. To refresh your memories, the economic-financial meltdown of 2008 was caused by rat bag capitalists operating unfettered in an unregulated economy. Civilization was saved by big government and hero do-gooders. Hero capitalists were in short supply. We are still not out of the woods. Economic recovery is still bogged down and things may yet disintegrate to the bleak and harsh 1984 of 2016.
I have a depressive temperament and an active imagination. The collapse of western civilization - sudden or gradual - is not an alien thought to me.
Now rewind back more than a half a century, when Ayn Rand was working on “Atlas Shrugged.” During the time, she ran a salon frequented by her acolytes spouting her creed. Get ready for this: Prominent among her acolytes was a young Alan Greenspan.
That’s right, Alan Greenspan, legendary Chairman of the Fed, the economic czar virtually answerable to no one, who had only recently stepped down from his position when the shit hit the fan. As he later testified to a Congressional committee:
“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief.”
Translation: Ayn Rand’s fantasy view of hero capitalists acting in their own rational self-interest for the common good is totally unsustainable.
So was Ayn Rand partly responsible for 2008 and by extension the new 1984 she envisioned? Hate the sorry mess we’re in, love the irony.