September 19th, 2013
It’s like this guy is doing a performance art piece on what liberals think conservatives actually believe. He’s not content to beat up on the 47 percent, he’s taking a hatchet to the 99 percent–the parasites living off the sweat and genius of the rich:
“The community” never gave anyone anything. The “community,” the “society,” the “nation” is just a number of interacting individuals, not a mystical entity floating in a cloud above them. And when some individual person–a parent, a teacher, a customer–”gives” something to someone else, it is not an act of charity, but a trade for value received in return.
Yup. That’s why people go to war, tithe at church, have kids–those are all trades for individual value.
It’s not the Henry Fords and Steve Jobs who exploit people. . . .
Each particular individual in the community who contributed to a man’s rise to wealth was paid at the time–either materially or, as in the case of parents and friends, spiritually. There is no debt to discharge. There is nothing to give back, because there was nothing taken away.
Well, maybe there is–in the other direction. The shoe is on the other foot. It is “the community” that should give back to the wealth-creators. It turns out that the 99% get far more benefit from the 1% than vice-versa.
Goodness knows, the only thing wealthy businessmen ever want is an even playing field. They never, ever go rent seeking.
The cherry on top, though, is that this essay is in Forbes. Marxists couldn’t make this up.
The most important line in the story was at the very top, below his name: “I defend laissez-faire capitalism, using Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.”
In short – yes, he really meant what he said in that post. He’s a Randroid. In fact, he’s one of the very top Randroids – on the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute. (That is, the Nathaniel Branden Institute, were it not for the fact that Branden broken Rand’s icy, steely heart.)
If he’s trolling conservatives, then it’s only in the same sense that Ayn Rand was trolling when she wrote “The Virtue of Selfishness.” Or “Atlas Shrugged,” for that matter.
Clearly Last will not be gracing the panel for the Steve Ditko retrospective at Comic-Con™ SxSE (Hartsfield-Jackson Ramada Inn). However, I’d estimate the odds of him advance-reviewing Sir Neil Peart’s upcoming 319th live album/drum clinic with Rush remain better than even
P.S. If they ever do a new movie for “The Fountainhead,” then Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” absolutely has to be on the soundtrack, for the Howard Roark/Dominique Francon “love scene.”
Jon, you’re missing the point. No, you can’t explain all human behavior with objectivism, but the point is the CHOICE to tithe or have kids, etc., as opposed to the compulsion. And frankly, even tithing is a ‘trade for value’; spiritual value, so you don’t do it if you don’t see the value, neh? So you can get to explaining most economic behavior with it, which is the man’s philosophy to begin with.
There is no, and should not be any, compulsion for the successful to ‘give back’, though most I know do so in return for their own perceived value. What I do not see, or get, is much love back from employees or employees of vendors who owe in part their jobs & therefore lively hoods to my ability to navigate the disaster of the last 5 years and stay in business. And frankly, I don’t want it (much) – they do good work and I pay them well for it, so a “thank you” and the work done complete, correct, and on time is all I expect when I hand out paychecks, and the check and a “thank you” for a job well done is what they get in return. Choices, choices, choices.
Compromise is not about starting with “reasonableness”. If you start with reasonable, you do not end up meeting half way, you’ve already given away your half, and you end up getting precisely zero of what the other party is/was/should be prepared to give. You can argue an academic idea like “rent seeking” all day long, but out here in the make-build-do world, we all do better with CHOICE, and starting from free market principles. Don’t be so open minded your brains fall out, my friend.
Persuasion not compulsion. Choices, not mandates.
A week or so after 9-11 the capo of the Ayn Rand Institute, whose name IIRC was Leonard Nimoy, was telling Bill O’Reilly in a really classic gonzo interview that if the U.S.A. were serious about discouraging terrorism it’d immediately nuke Tehran (not to confuse with the Nat’l Review editor in chief who thought-experimented nuking Mecca). Several times in the past month I’ve thought back to that interview for some reason