The Objective Standard
The artful Bergdorf Goodman windows celebrate commerce, wealth, and high-end goods. They also illustrate the benevolence of capitalism; as Irish Bell (formerly a graphic designer for Ayn Rand) who gives annual tours of decorative Manhattan department stores on Exuberant Friday, said of Bergdorf Goodman’s windows: “I love these windows as a symbol of the wealthy country we live in. They are always lovely. I love the fact that people are treated to this beauty by just walking down the street. People don’t have to ever go into this store or spend a penny there, yet can enjoy all this luxury.”
You knew that Cuba has the most doctors per capita on earth, and that they are constantly do-gooding all over the world — all despite the fact that there’s no money incentive for them. Every time some Ayn Rand blowhard says nobody will work unless we abolish the capital gains tax, I think of Cuban doctors, doing it for the challenge or the status or the urge to heal—whatever reason, but definitely not the paycheck.
Death and Taxes
Thanks to Maggie Serota, who will be taking over for me here full-time (YAY!), for being a bad-ass lady, fellow hater of Ayn Rand and for balancing out the gender ratio in the chatcave.
Lawrence Journal-World (KS)
“The creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” — Ayn Rand
Gawker sneered that Uber is “Ayn Rand’s favorite car service.”
She studied John Locke, the 17th-century English philosopher who espoused the sanctity of individual liberty with government in a limited role. She read Ayn Rand, the Russian emigre author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead,” who argued that rational self-interest and a laissez-faire economy should light the way.
Property rights, Smith said, are sacrosanct because they are liberty’s floorboards. ”If you can’t own property, own your business, own your printing press, own your mosque or place of worship, can you really have any other freedoms?”
Los Angeles Times
Uber’s automatic “surge pricing” model gouged the panic-stricken to the tune of more than $100 ride, a quadrupling of the regular rate. Uber later apologized and offered refunds but its immediate reaction was that the gouging was intentional. There was a sudden need for vehicles and drivers to move people to safety, and by offering drivers an obscene amount of money for a few minutes of driving, Uber cars would flood the zone.
Ayn Rand would be so proud.
That’s the illusion that Fox News sustains and reinforces: Beautiful blond ladies, white alpha male executives, racist, warmongering, support for unfettered Randian capitalism, in Yoda’s words “the force is strong with this one.”
That’s the strong but subtle force that comes with a neurotic need to deny reality.
[In Snowpiercer] Chris Evans, best known for apple pie roles such as Captain America, leads a revolt with the aim of reaching the front of the train and dislodging the Randian man who built and rules it.
Metro Times (Detroit)
2014 releases deserving of scorn and derision: Horrible Bosses 2, Dumb and Dumber To, Blended, Dracula Untold, I, Frankenstein, Drive Hard, Tusk, Hector and the Search for Happiness, Atlas Shrugged Part III…
[Q:] What’s your favorite classic piece of literature and why?
[A:] “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand; it’s a classic piece that illustrates the beauty and dangers of pure capitalism. As an entrepreneur, there are a lot of analogies that can be made between being a “creator” and fighting/disregarding “regulators.”
In 1964, Ayn Rand wrote that American society was quickly heading toward what she called “the stage of ultimate inversion,” in which “the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.” Rand, who came to America to escape the tyranny of the Soviet Union, saw in mid-20th Century America a country following a similar course as the one she escaped; in which government ruled by “brute force” and increased its power as it eroded individual rights.
Now, more than three decades after her death, and with the age of the Internet in full swing, Rand’s fears of government “inversion” have become truer than ever.