Response to yet another “Atlas is Shrugging” Article

Oh no, not you too.  If I see one more of these “Ayn Rand’s messages are about to come true” articles I am going to…not sure exactly what.  Listen, Rand has a fundamental Flaw in her philosophy.  I ‘ve written about it earlier.  OK, so lets forget the her basic premise is flawed, cuz she still might be right despite that.

Government is our meeting house.  Not the economy.  In the economy, anything goes : murder, theft, slavery, arson, you name it.  The only thing that prevents that is using government as a place where we can come together and state, “these behaviors are not permitted”.  Fine you say, like Ayn Rand, let the government provide police and firemen…of course, then you have the question of “who watches the watchmen” and who pays for it if we have no income tax.

OK you state, but certainly government can do that job with out becoming so bloated…where do you want to draw the line…”Ah HA!” you cry “I have an answer to this one.  They can stop taking my money to bailout the banking system.” No, they can’t.  This broken banking system is the heart that keeps economic life flowing. Society would break down.  Preventing society from breaking down is what the Government is there to do in the first place.

I am not an advocate of socialism.  I am not an advocate of centralized control.  But I am an advocate of fixing a system that is about to bring everything down along with it.

What would the fiscally conservative amongst us have us do:  do nothing at the federal level?  Let the system sort itself out?  Let thousands of homes foreclose, and the cyclical collapse of all of the businesses that is going to come out from the slow down of the flow of money through the system?  Go to the next great depression, with the hopes that the “leaner and meaner” economy that will result will be some how a higher quality?  Just exactly how do you view quality if that is your plan?

But, but ,but you sputter, it isn’t that I want that, it is that this is going to happen anyway.  It is the fault of those people over the past years who have undermined good-old-American values by making the business of making risky bank loans acceptable…OK, I’ll accept that we are fucked?  Are you happy.  But if you think that sitting back and just letting the dust settle is the right approach, I’m sorry, I have a little more faith in the human brain and our ability to think our way out of a problem than this.  Oh, no, I just used the f-word…let me see if I can rephrase that:  I have a reasonable expectation of success based on using logic and prior experience, where as, I have an expectation of failure if we fail to use this things…probably closer to how I view the world than the word “faith.”

Or maybe, just maybe you think that everything will be fine.  If we just let the free market work like it is “supposed to” the invisible magic hand will pick us all back up.  How are these entrepreneurs supposed to start new business with no banking system.  How are the purveyors of quality supposed to create new quality with no currency?  Develop an alternative one?  Barter?  The gold standard?

This is where we see the fundamental flaw of Ayn Rand coming to a head.  Quality is not objective.  If it were, than everyone would value the same thing.  Currency, the medium of transfer of quality, means slightly different things to each individual.  The only way that we as a society can scale up the transfer of quality is through currency.  It is the closest thing to an objective measure of quality we have, and the system that makes it work is broken and needs fixing.  The only tools we have to fix it are currency and language.  In order to deploy that language, we need our forum, and I mean forum in the original sense of the word:  the house where the populace comes together to converse.    That is our government.  You really want to do away with that?  I think you are trying to commit societal suicide.

1 thought on “Response to yet another “Atlas is Shrugging” Article

  1. Adam, when did our country flourish? When we respected and lived by the Constitution. Check out the enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8. We don’t need to do an Ayn Rand/no government scenario. We just need to return to LIMITED federal government. Abolish or phase out: Department of Education, Commerce Department, Department of Energy, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and all other federal departments NOT authorized by Article I, Section 8. Repeal the Health Care. Return power to the states and to the people…gradually if need be to avoid a collapse. Otherwise, we will be Greece II….and I don’t mean that hideous sequel with Michelle Pfeiffer.

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