10 thoughts on “The Great Chain of Ayn Rand”

  1. “richly embroidered but intellectually vulgar”
    A surprisingly accurate general summary of David Brook’s writing.

  2. It’s a shame that Republicans deny their social nature, which obviously is a need that can only be filled by government telling people how to relate to one another. Instead, Republicans are all hermits, rarely marrying or seeking to gather in groups according to how they individually see fit — er, since one can’t individually see fit to gather in groups. Obviously.

  3. On the other hand, at least I agree with Sen. McCain that Buy American provisions by the US government are “shameful.” Sen. Obama is willing to make the charge that being again protectionism is unpatriotic:

    “Just ask the machinists in Pennsylvania who build Harley-Davidsons,” Obama said of McCain’s record. “Because John McCain didn’t just oppose the requirement that the government buy American-made motorcycles, he called Buy American provisions ‘disgraceful.’ Just ask the workers across this country who have seen their jobs outsourced. The very companies that shipped their jobs overseas have been rewarded with billions of dollars in tax breaks that John McCain supports and plans to continue.
    “So, when American workers hear John McCain talking about putting ‘Country First,'” Obama said, “it’s fair to ask –- which country?”

    Ugh. That service forum didn’t make me happy about either candidate, certainly.

  4. There is no individual without the social. All individuals are the product of individuals combined with a broad and deep social temporal (historical) and spatial network of ideas, techniques, morals, myths, and manners.

  5. Let me quibble one little bit. The “line” of liberty, “Paine, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Garrison, Spooner, Tucker, Twain, Mencken, Hayek, Friedman, Rand,” neglects the one libertarian thinker who addressed sociality straight on, and as a foundation for his ethics of freedom: Herbert Spencer.
    Rand and many of the others under-emphasized sociality. Indeed, it is Rand’s goofy take on “selfishness” that has allows so many loopy collectivists to pretend that individualism is all about atomism and conflict.
    Spencer was much better on the subject. He did, indeed, go on about sociality and sympathy. And what he said made sense.

  6. Mark Twain was a determinist and advocated egalitarianism (see: What is Man?) so I don’t see how he fits in any ideological line with Rand.

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