Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Objectivist America would be a dark age of unhindered free enterprise, far more primitive and Darwinian than anything seen before

(h/t to blog reader, John.)

"An Objectivist America would be a dark age of unhindered free enterprise, far more primitive and Darwinian than anything seen before."

Chilling summary of what life would look like under Ayn Rand's doctrine of Objectivism. Realize that this is not just some scary fiction: her ideas are being pushed by people like Paul Ryan the entire Conserative movement.

Excerpts below and read full article from Alternet here.

"In an Objectivist world, the reset button would be pushed on government services that we take for granted. They would not be cut back, not reduced -- they would vanish. In an Objectivist world, roads would go unplowed in the snows of winter, and bridges would fall as the government withdrew from the business of maintaining them -- unless some private citizen would find it in his rational self-interest to voluntarily take up the slack by scraping off the rust and replacing frayed cables. Public parks and land, from the tiniest vest-pocket patch of green to vast expanses of the West, would be sold off to the newly liberated megacorporations. Airplane traffic would be grounded unless a profit-making capitalist found it in his own selfish interests to fund the air traffic control system. If it could be made profitable, fine. If not, tough luck. The market had spoken. The Coast Guard would stay in port while storm- tossed mariners drown lustily as they did in days of yore. Fires would rage in the remnants of silent forests, vegetation and wildlife no longer protected by rangers and coercive environmental laws, swept clean of timber, their streams polluted in a rational, self-interested manner by bold, imaginative entrepreneurs."

"The poor and elderly, freed from dependence on character-destroying, government-subsidized medical care, would die as bravely and in as generous quantities as in the romantic novels of a bygone era."

"Minimum wage laws would come to an end, providing factory owners and high- tech startups alike with a pool of cheap labor competitive with any fourth-world kleptocracy. All laws protecting consumers would be erased from the statute books."

"Mass transit would grind to a halt in the big cities as municipal subsidies come to an end."

"Corporations would no longer be enslaved by antitrust laws, so monopolies and globe-spanning, price-fixing cartels would flourish. The number of publicly held corporations would be reduced to a manageable, noncompetitive few. Big Pharma would manufacture drugs without adequate testing for safety and efficacy—deterred only by concern for their reputation, as described by Greenspan in 1963. Except that with competition reduced by mergers and legal price-fixing, the market would be a feeble substitute for even the FDA."

The author goes on to say...

"Those of us who oppose Rand’s vision of radical capitalism need to read Rand and understand the flaws in her assumptions and illogic of her vision, just as people during the Cold War studied Communism so as to more effectively oppose it. Having read and understood her books and essays, one is in a better position to identify and then to respond to the right’s extremist agenda, and to recognize her ideology when it becomes manifest in society."

Truer words have never been spoken.

Alternet article.


Unforgiven said...

First Rule of Acquisition:

Once you have their money, NEVER give it back.

Now, without all those nasty regulations, the Company Town can enjoy God-given freedom. It's wonderful, isn't it?

Take care, the wrong answer will dock your paycheck by 50 Walmart-bucks.

Styles "Rad" Warriner said...

Maybe instead of quoting the interpretation of someone who has the exact opposite philosophy to Objectivism, you could quote Ayn Rand herself. Or even an established Objectivist. Or...take a look at the historical facts from when America most resembled a laizzez-faire country.

All of that would be more credible than a self-indulgent ad-hom with no supporting facts whatsoever.

For example:

You quoted, "Corporations would no longer be enslaved by antitrust laws, so monopolies and globe-spanning, price-fixing cartels would flourish."

Ayn Rand had this to say about monopolies:

"The alleged purpose of the Antitrust laws was to protect competition; that purpose was based on the socialistic fallacy that a free, unregulated market will inevitably lead to the establishment of coercive monopolies. But, in fact, no coercive monopoly has ever been or ever can be established by means of free trade on a free market. Every coercive monopoly was created by government intervention into the economy: by special privileges, such as franchises or subsidies, which closed the entry of competitors into a given field, by legislative action. (For a full demonstration of this fact, I refer you to the works of the best economists.)".

Tom Hickey said...

Stiles, the US is no longer a frontier country. The notion that there will ever be relatively free exchange and open markets with near perfect competition and transparent knowledge is a pipe dream. There is no way to go backwards, and there was no "there" there anyway. Read some history.

There are good reasons we got where we are an it was not because of the unfortunate ending of the use of barter and sound money under ideal conditions of exchange. These reasons are based in evolutionary theory, biology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and philosophy, as well as economics.

While nowhere near ideal, we are not where we are either by accident of history or conscious design. Many powerful natural forces have been and are at work, shaping collective consciousness, which manifests as the prevailing worldview that characterizes the time.