Archive for the ‘Randians And Aristocrats’ Category

Why Only Plutocratic Reforms Are Now Possible

Just before I was born, the Attlee Government created the British welfare state within a mere five years. This was not a matter on which a consensus prevailed; for example, the doctors were vehemently against the creation of the National Health Service. The Government, on the other hand, had a parliamentary majority and the will […]

A Small Error Concerning Taxation

Americans imagine that the evil commie socialist pinko liberals of Europe are groaning under a heavier tax burden than the Land of the Free. In fact it is the other way round. The true picture is disguised by the three levels of taxation administered by the county, the state and the federal government. While the […]

Production As A Side-Effect Of Fraud

According to Ayn Rand, there were three basic economic transactions: trading, looting and mooching. Unless she thought of it as a subset of looting, I don’t see scamming in the list. Lacking her sentiment that the working stiff temporarily out of a job is an Untermensch who deserves to eat shit and die, I myself […]

Making And Taking

Ayn Rand’s division of everybody into “traders”, “looters” and “moochers” was probably driven by the human fetish for the number three. For although I would buy a divide between traders (or better, producers) and everybody else, as I have mentioned elsewhere I miss an adequate treatment of scam artists. Furthermore, Rand did not do justice […]

Those Commie Babylonians

American conservatives like to think of themselves as defending the values of something called “civilisation”. Some of them even know that this phenomenon began in ancient Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians invented mathematics, astronomy, irrigation, standard weights and measures, banking and law. Oddly enough we hear a good deal less about this first and archetypal civilisation’s […]

Three Incoherences

A central assumption of Objectivism is that all misfortune is a person’s own fault; unless it be the misfortune of an Objectivist, when it becomes the fault of Big Government. The Objectivist understands that it is wrong for someone else to poison the Objectivist’s coffee, but does not understand why it might be wrong for […]

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much?

The followers of Ayn Rand seem hostile to Christianity and any other religion that commends altruism; and yet the emotional tenor of their polemics suggests something other than a pure intellectual disagreement. It may be suggested that, just as you have to be a Catholic to enjoy a Black Mass, you must have been brought […]

The Real Meaning Of Anti-Compassion

Objectivists assert that “compassion” means loving people not for their achievements but for their failures. It is no use suggesting that compassion is actually more about regarding all human beings as being in the same boat, because an Objectivist cannot think otherwise than dualistically, Me Superior, Others Inferior. For him, therefore, there is no same […]

Randians, Kant And Socialisation

Objectivism teaches that Man’s only reciprocal social obligation is a negative one – not to violate the rights of others. So far so good, but the only right of others thus recognised is the freedom from unprovoked violence. The doctrine explicitly glosses non-violation as meaning solely the non-initiation of physical force. Objectivists do not, therefore, […]

The Populists

There is a kind of wannabe-Libertarian populism, very common in Europe, that is far less consistent than its American cousin as regards governmental intervention but suffers from the same failure to universalise. For example, such populists want to pay no taxes but nevertheless to enjoy the benefits of government programmes, subsidies and freebies. Logically, the […]