Giles Fraser earned some tasty brownie points yesterday.
After Mitt Romney announced his veep candidate as Paul Ryan, an uberneoliberal (my own term) famed for machete-wielding attacks on public services, the daggers on the Left came out.
The Democrats were all over Ryan and his record for self-aggrandisement and his hatred of the public sector, which should fit rather nicely with the morally-dubious handiwork of Romney during his time at Bain Capital.
The esteemed Glenn Greenwald chimed in rather nicely with a piece describing the hypocrisy of a Small Government-advocating Republican who then votes in favour of increased military spending and investment banking safety nets.
Above all, though, Giles Fraser takes the cake for critiquing Ryan’s proselytizing at the feet of idiotic and ignoble novelist Ayn Rand.
Rand, alongside Alan Greenspan (former Fed. Reserve chairman for donkey’s years), promoted the ideal of Selfishness and Objectivism. They hated altruism, or any attempt by one man to aid another. Their entire ‘philosophy’ is an affront to the basic mechanics of human evolution.
Further, their economic model, which almost came to pass under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Thatcher, and Blair, seeks to disenfranchise society’s underclass with reduced government spending and alike.
To the question of whether this model has succeeded, one only needs look at our current economic climate.
I had a fair go at reading Ayn Rand’s Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. It nearly caused me a damn embolism or hemorrhage of some description nearing the end, but there’s a small whisper of truthfulness and hope amongst its often-hateful pages. It’s the same whisper that emerges from the pages of Das Kapital, too.
It’s the whisper of idealism, rather than practicality.
Just as Marx failed to foresee the tyranny of government and the need for creative competition in society, Rand fails to understand human nature and its propensity towards love over rationality, but further, failed to see the vulnerability to abuses of power and monopoly that her ideas would foster.
It’s undoubtedly dangerous for any politician to profess love for the old bat, especially considering that by definition of Rand’s philosophy, the new VP nominee is only in the race for personal power, and to tread on the poor.