EssaysHadding Scott

Ayn Rand and the “Californian Ideology” as Proximate Causes of U.S. Economic Decline

Ayn Rand, by Charles Krafft

by Hadding Scott

THIS IS ABOUT Adam Curtis’ documentary, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (2011).

Ayn Rand, a Jewess born in Russia, got into Hollywood screenwriting through Jewish connections. After being required to write a screenplay for a story in which she hated all the characters, she wrote her novel The Fountainhead, which was on a similar theme as the screenplay but espoused pursuit of self-interest. It became a bestseller.

In her next novel, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand attacked altruism. The talented and creative people go on strike and the USA collapses. After the collapse the creative people return to build a society based on “the virtue of selfishness.”

The extreme individualist ideology that she espoused directly conflicted with mainstream social thinking since the Great Depression, which was based on the (true) understanding that uninhibited pursuit of self-interest had been an underlying cause of the Depression. Rand was propagandizing for that piece of acquired wisdom to be discarded.

Ayn Rand’s circle considered themselves to be promoting a revolution toward “a totally free society.”

Enter the idolators of technology. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs of the 1980s were heavily influenced by Ayn Rand. The Californian Ideology said that computers would enable everyone to become a Randian hero. Computers would allow the world to become more free, ordered through individual choices, with less need of government to maintain order, including less need of economic regulation. Extreme individualism and antipathy toward government translate into globalism and free trade.

Alan Greenspan was a member of Ayn Rand’s circle. An economic boom started during the Clinton administration, after Alan Greenspan persuaded Clinton to cut taxes. It was believed that the boom could go on forever because of the controlling factor of computers, keeping everybody well informed and preventing anything from going too far as had occurred prior to the Great Depression. This was called “the new economy.”

Greenspan worried, however, because he noticed that profits were increasing while there was no increase in productivity. He warned in 1996 that the market was overvalued, but then changed his mind under pressure, deciding that computers were somehow contributing to productivity in ways that he could not detect.

The documentary points out Ayn Rand’s inability to live in a purely rational manner, while convincing herself that everything that she did was rational. Similarly, despite the pervasive implementation of new technology, human nature remained the same.

By 1997 the U.S. Government was dominated by global free-trade thinkers. Southeast Asian nations were pressured to open their economies to foreign investment. Joseph Stiglitz of the Council of Economic Advisors was worried about this. He says that it was only in the interest of a very small group of people to do this. Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin blocked the CEA’s attempt to warn the president. Stiglitz believed that Rubin was working for the finance markets.

Overly optimistic investment in Thailand and South Korea led to economic crisis in those countries. The IMF offered loans to stabilize their economies, under the condition that the governments eliminate economic barriers in those countries. Indonesia also was pressured to make this agreement in 1998. What happened was that the IMF bailout money was used to allow Western investors to withdraw their investments: then the economies collapsed. Then U.S. taxpayers had to bail out the IMF.

Robert Rubin was making these decisions while Bill Clinton was tied up with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Power over U.S. foreign policy had been transferred in effect from the elected President of the United States to financiers. (This could last so long as the president is merely an idiotic or corrupt frontman willing to acquiesce in plutocratic predations.)

The attack on the World Trade Center was an attack on a symbol of the Ayn Rand ideology. This economic shock exposed weaknesses in the economy: many companies like Enron had been falsifying profits and concealing debts, which had become easier as a result of deregulation.

Stability of the U.S. economy after the World Trade Center attacks was maintained by the Chinese Politburo. China sold cheap goods to the USA and used the profits to buy US Treasury Bonds, which in turn funded lending to bad credit risks. In 2008, when this orgy of bad lending came to a crashing end, the United States taxpayer was required to save the bankers from the consequences of their bad lending decisions just as had occurred in 1998.

U.S. society is now stuck in a way of looking at the world that is false and produces bad results. The rule of unregulated self-interest turns out to be the rule of a few super-wealthy financiers, without accountability.

* * *

Source: National-Socialist Worldview

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Sic Semper
Sic Semper
27 January, 2018 1:41 pm

Agree with everything except “In 2008, when this orgy of bad lending came to a crashing end” – It never ended, it only has gotten far worse. The amount of US currency in circulation has risen 800% since 1985. These are fiat dollars that dilute the spending power of dollars earned by mixing them with dollars minted and handed out to the cartel of bankers and spent on the cabal of leeches. The devaluation of a nation’s currency is the greatest destructive act waged upon its productive population – abjectly punishing them while rewarding both ends of the the spectrum of the parasitic population consisting of bankers at one end and the population of leeches that politician created and import. It is the equivalent of playing a monopoly game… Read more »

Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
29 January, 2018 12:46 pm

Best damn image of the Jewess swine
Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum I have
ever seen! Kudos!

Anthony Collins
Anthony Collins
Reply to  Walt Hampton
1 February, 2018 5:06 am

The depiction of Ayn Rand as a Judensau could be taken even further, judging by the Wikipedia entry on the subject.

29 January, 2018 5:44 pm

Ayn Rand had a tendency to lecture the reader. She could dish it out but couldn’t take it.

In the late 1960s, a member of the ol’ White Peoples Party sent her a letter asking why she believed in equality. She responded by returning his letter torn to pieces inside the envelope.

Anthony Collins
Anthony Collins
Reply to  cc
29 January, 2018 10:14 pm

“Ayn Rand had a tendency to lecture the reader.”

Indeed. Atlas Shrugged has John Galt deliver a sixty-page speech over the radio: “the man who stopped the motor of the world” proves himself to be a colossal motormouth.

Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
29 January, 2018 9:46 pm

All of these “Students Of Objectivism” are in serious
need of an attitude adjustment. They are dangerous
even getting on and off elevators. WLP once suggested
the vigorous application of a good sturdy oak table leg
about the head and shoulders. I concur.

Anthony Collins
Anthony Collins
29 January, 2018 10:25 pm

Mr. Hampton: Your reference to attitude adjustment and elevators suggests another cure for Objectivists — altitude adjustment!

James Clayton
James Clayton
Reply to  James Clayton
1 February, 2020 10:13 am

Huffington Post
Segment of Trump’s Border Wall Falls Over into Mexico Due to Wind
Ed Mazza
January 29, 2020, 7:51 PM PST

“No one was injured in the incident at Calexico, California, about 100 miles east of San Diego…

Carlos Pitones of Customs and Border Patrol told the Los Angeles Times… the panels were newly installed and the concrete anchoring it in place had not yet cured…

“CNN noted that winds of up to 37 mph were recorded in the area…

“A day earlier, Trump had boasted about the strength of his wall…

Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
Reply to  James Clayton
1 February, 2020 1:55 pm

An interesting documentation of an actual Rand
cult in SC – now no longer existent – but
nevertheless most fascinating – can be found