Ayn Rand! Hilarious! Yet Sinister! Yet Hilarious!

Oh, The Baffler!

On Tuesday, November 27th at 7pm, Baffler editor JOHN SUMMERS will host a release party for issue 21 at Housing Works Bookstore (126 Crosby Street New York, NY 10012) featuring a round of “Ayn Rand: The Game Show.” The game takes place in a future where libertarians have conquered the world and the revivified corpse of Ayn Rand has rewritten all of literature to match her Objectivist vision. Contestants THOMAS FRANK (Baffler Founding Editor and bestselling author of What’s the Matter with Kansas) and JULIE KLAUSNER (host of the hit comedy podcast “How Was Your Week” and author of “I Don’t Care About Your Band”) will square off against Ayn herself in this contest of wits and self-interest.

I want to see a one-act play about this pack of geniuses cracking themselves up as they invent this super cute and clever (and also bitingly politically relevant!) idea and hash it out. Workshop it, as it were.

Reason on Baffler bigwig Thomas Frank, a man who seems to already think he lives in a world where Ayn Rand is running a libertarian dictatorship.

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  • ||

    The FEE.org link doesn't seem to work right now, their site seems to be down. Here's a Google cache of the review in the meantime.

  • Randian||

    Did you see the comment?

    Considering the condition of our coin operated Congress post Citizens United, Frank is right. The military-industrial-media complex has put the US on a fast track to bankruptcy…at the expense of taxpayers. That’s why, unlike other civilized countries, the US can no longer afford healthcare, retirement security, infrastructure, or decent welfare. Republican warmongers, intent on world-dominating empire, are now controlling the Congress. There will be misery.

    Obama won, the Dems control the Senate, and yet the Republicans "are now controlling Congress" and it is all Citizens United's fault.

    This is the world Obamatrons live in. One where they are perpetually outsiders fighting the "special interests".

  • Almanian.||

    Wow. That is extra-super retarded.

  • ||

    Yeah, I saw it. At least he got the military-industrial-media complex right, though he forgot "-political" in that list. Every other sentence was just plain wrong. Ok, maybe not the misery part.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, he also got the part half-right about not being able to afford the welfare state, but he veers back into Delusionville by blaming it on the warfare state.

  • Brutus||

    Just think, RC, if we got completely rid of the Pentagon and all of its funding, we'd only be about $400 billion in the hole every year.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Only because he thinks the media part of that complex is conservative Republican.

  • Loki||

    Wow, that's got to be the most retarded thing I've ever read.

  • PapayaSF||

    You must be young.

  • hotsy totsy||

    All those other EU nations who can SO afford healthcare, retirement security, infrastructure, and decent welfare...yeah, they can teach us a thing or two.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I try to be tolerant, but nothing gets me more disgusted than people who have likely never read any of Rand's works, certainly never made an effort to understand them, decide she's a good target.

    Does Rand have problems? Absolutely. Does that mean Rand is a fair target and Obama isn't? Ask any leftist.

  • tarran||

    I think a great deal of rage at Rand comes from the fact she is judging them.

    I think a large number of progressives are driven by envy towards people whom they feel got breaks they (the progressives) haven't gotten.

    Progressives seek to shield people from effects of misfortunes by creating a rough equality of outcomes. Since the effects are influenced not only by luck but also by actions, the result is that Progressives seek to shield people from the consequences of their actions to a great extent. And to resolve the contradiction between fairness and allowing people who willfully screw up, they emphasize the role that luck plays in success.

    And along comes this woman who is full of spite who essentially accuses them of being worthless because they aren't successful. She preys on every insecurity they have and repudiates their entire world view as evil. And since she has their number, they struggle to rebut her, and it fills them with rage.

    Ludwig von Mises also had their number, has had far more influence than Rand in setting up the intellectual framework that turned back the progressive tide from taking over the world, but he didn't judge them and so they don't even think about him.

    Rand judges them, and they can't stand that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Waiting. Watching. Judging.

  • ||

    Look at the baby. Look at the baby.

  • Rich||

    I think a large number of progressives are driven by envy towards people whom they feel got breaks they (the progressives) haven't gotten.

    You mean to tell me, like, Michael Moore envies Peggy Joseph?!

  • Generic Stranger||

    I'm half convinced that Michael Moore is the greatest Capitalist Troll ever, that his entire schtick is nothing but an act designed to separate lefties from their wallets. The alternative, that he actually believes what he says, is too damn depressing.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Pretty reasonable assessment, though Rand didn't judge people for not being successful. She assumed everyone would be moderately successful in a free nation. She judged those who made no effort to be successful, and no effort to figure out why they were failing.

    I found out recently Rand was an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs (same as me, surprise surprise), and I think that is part of why her philosophy is so immediately rejected by large chunks of the population. She was only writing for other INTJs. Sometime I want to write an Objectivism for Extroverts book.

  • ||

    Her work is accessible to INTPs also. Well, all her work but The Romantic Manifesto.

  • hotsy totsy||

    I really wonder, though, did she actually TAKE the Myers-Briggs test? Or are the professionals just drawing their own conclusions?

    I'm ENFP, same as Obama is supposedly, but I just can't buy into the whole cult of personality. Maybe because I'm just BARELY the Feeling rather than Thinking.
    At any rate, the Myers-Briggs ratings are a bit out of date. I find the OCEAN
    personality profile to be much clearer and accurate.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Crap. I'm an INTJ too. Does that make me a Russian woman with a raging ego?

  • ||

    I'm a NSFW, but it appeals to me pretty well.

  • ||

    Sounds like a contradiction to me. Check your premises. Meyers-Briggs is likely full of shit.

  • MJGreen||

    I think a large number of progressives are driven by envy towards people whom they feel got breaks they (the progressives) haven't gotten.

    If only I had been born in the Soviet Union!

  • ||

    And along comes this woman who is full of spite who essentially accuses them of being worthless because they aren't successful.

    Not quite. She considered them worthless because they are moochers and parasites. People who aren't successful, but don't mooch off others, don't provoke her ire. In fact, the architect who is the protagonist of "The Fountainhead" isn't particularly financially successful for most of the book.

  • Big 'Orra||

    If Roark paid for his own art (buildings,) he wouldn't be a moocher ... wanting someone else to foot the bill without any say?

    Moocher.

  • ||

    Right. An Roark also isn't primarily interested in financial sucess. He just wants to build buildings.

    One of the worst misunderstandings of Rand is that she defined "selfishness" as financial greed. In fact, the essential story in all her books is that her "selfish" cheracters generally sacrifice money in favor of a personal goal or principal.

    The people who provike her ire are arguably the more greedy characters since they're using coercion to get money for themselves at other people's expense.

  • Redmanfms||

    "I think a great deal of rage at Rand comes from the fact she is judging them."

    It comes from the still very active Christian Left misinterpreting Christ's call for the righteous among the people to be the first to cast stones at the adulteress. Liberals miss the point Christ was making because they believe they are the righteous (I actually heard this very interpretation of the verse in a Methodist church with regard to judging "rich" selfish people who hoard their wealth). John 8:7 and Matthew 7:1 are then correctly used (of course) to shield themselves from scrutiny and used to make disingenuous appeals of tolerance.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    I will use this as an opportunity, instead of crying into my pillow, to ask once again about whether any of y'all have read David Graeber (also featured in Baffler 21), especially his most recent book, Debt.

  • $park¥||

    So, are you saying that since you don't get enough depression out of life you actively go looking for it?

  • nicole just can't even!||

    No, I have read the beginning (and a previous work of his, which I had very mixed feelings about) and it's sort of terrible, but not completely terrible, and I am seriously wondering if anyone else has read it and has thoughts. As I was saying the other day, what troubles me is the idea that there is no moral obligation on the part of a debtor to pay debt, because the cost of default is priced into interest rates.

    But as far as questions like, are the people of Argentina responsible for Argentina's sovereign debt? Well, as an anarchist, I have to say no, they're not.

    He's the one who's started the Debt Jubilee, and while it's easy to make fun of the economic illiteracy of most participants, it's not like I don't believe in mutual aid.

    So, no, it was a real question.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Also, I have a review copy of Debt, but I haven't been able to make myself read much of it yet. And I'm not expert enough on finance to feel like I really should complain about it too much. But then, neither is Graeber...

  • ||

    Nicole --

    Plenty of wonderful books. Don't force yourself to read something you're not that into. It's like a relationship -- don't stick with someone if you're not that into them.

    If you haven't read the recent autobiography of Steve Jobs, it's well worth reading.

    re this: "As I was saying the other day, what troubles me is the idea that there is no moral obligation on the part of a debtor to pay debt, because the cost of default is priced into interest rates.

    But as far as questions like, are the people of Argentina responsible for Argentina's sovereign debt? Well, as an anarchist, I have to say no, they're not."

    Your moral obligation, unless you are a thief, is to honor your contracts when possible. Obviously, sometimes that's not possible due to unanticipated circumstances, and that's why any well-written contract will consider how to resolve default.

    Even the amoral utilitarian assumption for default breaks down, if you consider that no one will want to loan you money in the future if you consistently default on your obligations.

    But, as an anarchist myself, I consider all governments as criminal gangs and taxes to be literally theft, and so I don't feel that citizens should be obligated to bail out governments that are spending more than they can steal.

    Nor should they be obligated to repay those who loaned such thieves money as an advance against future proceeds from theft.

  • ||

    Whoops, that should be BIOGRAPHY of Steve Jobs.

  • R C Dean||

    what troubles me is the idea that there is no moral obligation on the part of a debtor to pay debt, because the cost of default is priced into interest rates.

    I see he doesn't understand the difference between the risk of default and the cost of default.

    Your interest payment isn't buying you a ticket to default whenever you want, you know. Its the rental on the principal, in a lot of ways. You might as well say that paying rent on a house gives you the right to burn it down.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    This, he's an economic illiterate.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Yes. And I would never say that default is per se immoral; there are legitimate reasons for default. But to assume debt knowing that you don't plan to pay because you don't consider it immoral to default...well, that's a whole other story.

  • Graphite||

    As I was saying the other day, what troubles me is the idea that there is no moral obligation on the part of a debtor to pay debt, because the cost of default is priced into interest rates.

    This really shouldn't trouble you so much. Writedowns and bankruptcies are essential to the smooth functioning of a free market. The problem with the entire "bailout nation" approach is that it attempts to avoid all forms of default at all costs, and hence winds up preserving bad debts in the system.

    Graeber types will say that's an inevitable outgrowth of the inherent contradictions of capitalism, or some nonsense like that, but we know better.

  • ||

    Not I. I found a comment of his on about the book, though:

    The IMF (International Monetary Fund) and what they did to countries in the Global South—which is, of course, exactly the same thing bankers are starting to do at home now—is just a modern version of this old story. That is, creditors and governments saying you’re having a financial crisis, you owe money, obviously you must pay your debts. There’s no question of forgiving debts. Therefore, people are going to have to stop eating so much. The money has to be extracted from the most vulnerable members of society. Lives are destroyed; millions of people die. People would never dream of supporting such a policy until you say, “Well, they have to pay their debts.”

    What a horrendously ignorant and propagandizing fellow.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Yeah, see my link above to my blog; he responds to my review. I'm not a fan, but he's not 100% wrong about some things.

  • ||

    I'm more interested in why exactly you were crying into a pillow...

  • ||

    JJ's curious because all women cry into a pillow after being with him. And those are tears of SHAME.

  • ||

    Actually I was going for an anal joke, but I guess it doesn't really invalidate anything you said.

  • ||

    I knew what you were going for, JJ, believe me. I always know.

  • ||

    If she (or he) is into you, doing anal won't make you cry.

    And Epi seems waaay to knowledgeable about women crying tears of shame after having sex with him.

  • ||

    Oh, and I looked at those books you linked in the PM links thread.

    I really don't care for espionage thrillers, even with supernatural elements. Just not my thing.

  • ||

    Stross is a very good writer, JJ, but if you don't want to give him a try that's your loss.

  • ||

    Well if I know for a fact that it's a subject that doesn't interest me, I feel fairly safe taking that loss.

    "What, you haven't read the latest KISS biography?"

    "No, really, I don't like KISS and am not going to read a book about them."

    "But the author is so good!"

  • ||

    Do you like Game of Thrones, JJ? If the answer is yes, do you normally like the fantasy genre?

    Calling Stross' Laundry series "espionage thrillers" is like calling A Song of Ice and Fire "fantasy". It's technically correct yet doesn't even remotely convey the actual tone of the books.

  • ||

    I get what you're trying to say, but I have no problem describing ASOIAF as fantasy. It's straight up the definition of fantasy. A fantastical anachronistic medieval setting with magic and dragons and shit where time never seems to move foward. Fantasy.

  • ||

    Don't get technical with me, JJ. When one says "fantasy", one is usually talking about Tolkien style high fantasy or the shit that gets pumped out at a high rate by people like Robert Jordan or Mercedes Lackey. Most people associate "fantasy" with those things, and I found it almost impossible to get people who don't like that kind of "fantasy" (which is a lot of people) to try Martin for that very reason. Which was their loss, until a TV show managed to convince them where I could not.

    Basically, this a long-winded version of me saying "I liked Martin before he was cool!"

  • SugarFree||

    Oh, leave him alone Epi. I doubt he'd even be able to understand them anyway.

  • ||

    Oh I agree with you, I just think it's ridiculous that people would have such a contrived and narrow version of fantasy.

    In my mind (and it's always been this way for me), fantasy is anything set in a non-existant medieval setting that involves unnatural elements of any sort (magic, dragons, the female orgasm, SugarFree's well-kept non-disease-ridden home, you know, a bunch of shit that doesn't exist).

    And I liked Martin before it was cool enough to get a fucking wolf tattooed on my right arm w/ "Winter is Coming" tattooed on a banner beneath it. I'm not joking. This would have been in 2004 or so, right before Feast came out.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Uhm, are we talking about Martin "Why you gotta be all up in heah, Ginah, in heah" Lawrence?

    Wolf tattoo sounds cool though.

  • ||

    The Laundry books were pretty good, but Stross has written better.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    I'm more interested in why exactly you were crying into a pillow...

    Very cute, JJ, very cute. Big girls don't cry.

  • ||

    I fail to see what that has to do with you. You look plenty svelt in the photos on your blog.

    You don't put adds on Craigslist posting as a "BBW" do you?!

  • Almanian.||

    Lives are destroyed; millions of people die.

    Jesus fucking CHRIST but that is stupid. FUCK!!

  • Fluffy||

    Here's why he's wrong:

    The IMF has no armored divisions.

    The only reason - and I mean the only reason - countries deal with the IMF is because they want more money.

    You know how to have power as a debtor?

    Don't need more loans.

    Greece would have all the power if they just didn't need more loans. They could walk on their debt and laugh and no one could stop them. The reason they can't do that is because even without their debt service, they can't balance their budget. They need new loans to finance their current obligations.

    I'm all for debtors adopting a position of moral equality in negotiations with creditors. Knock yourselves out.

    But you can't claim the right to self-adopt a personal or national Debt Jubilee while expecting new loans. Exercise your right to default, and creditors will exercise their right to not give you future loans. Don't bitch that you need more credit when you refuse to pay the credit you've already been extended.

  • ||

    Don't bitch that you need more credit when you refuse to pay the credit you've already been extended.

    I believe most of the voting population just declared that to be a valid lifestyle.

  • ||

    Thank you. This.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    The creditors might take your precious naval ship.
    Bwahahahahahah. [the evil laugh of "Vulture Capitalist" - also known as the people holding your funny paper]
    http://articles.chicagotribune.....wasi-kpodo

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Yes, also agree with all this.

    Part of the problem is that this is all wrapped in rhetoric of "we're little, the banksters are big, so why should we have to pay?"

  • GILMORE||

    "...The IMF (International Monetary Fund) and what they did to countries in the Global South..."

    "Global South?" Is that what the hepcats call Africa and Latin America these days?

    and, "What they did??"

    Did???

    Some people may *misunderstand* aspects of international finance.... some people may lack *information* to develop a complete picture...

    ...but this guy's view is a complete fucking fantasy where pretty much every aspect of economic relations are entirely misconstrued and distorted.

    I mean, fuck... even marxists *sorta* understand stuff... they just disagree. This fucktard just reinvents 'how the world works' to make his point.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Yeah...I mean, there is an aspect of this line of thinking that I almost, almost, almost sympathize with: namely, it is not the people of Argentina that really owe anyone money, it is the government. I mean, I am an anarchist.

    But I don't blame the IMF, or most of the other stuff that he says.

    Surprised you haven't encountered "global South" before. PS--I know I owe you an email!

  • GILMORE||

    nothing is ever "owed". also, waiting creates dramatic tension. see: horrible films by Tarkovsky

  • GILMORE||

    I now realize that saying, 'nothing is ever "owed"' is hilariously in contrast to my criticisms of joe-blow's re-casting the nature of international 'Debt'

    What i meant was - in card-carrying classical liberal fashion - that what is given in voluntary, un-contracted exchange...is simply a matter of willing, uncoerced participation. Like why people have pets. They shouldn't complain if the dog runs away or chews their face off one day. It was a relationship, not a 'deal'.

    Actually that was a pretty weird thought to have. But perhaps still germane.

  • ||

    I heard "global South" as a teenager in high school in Canada. It was a big lefty meme then, that the future conflict over resources was going to be between the "global south" - largely poor countries in Latin America, Africa, and SE Asia, versus the northern industrialized world of Europe and the United States.

    I suspect that China and India's growth has crimped the story line a bit, but I'm not surprised to see that the meme has survived.

  • Randian||

    I bet Thomas Frank used to enjoy The Utne Reader one-handed.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I want to see a one-act play about this pack of geniuses


    Called "No Skin off My Nose," right?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Will Elsworth Toohey be making a guest appearance?

  • Loki||

    Thomas Frank: just another punchable face, or most punchable face of all time?

  • Almanian.||

    So many punchable faces, so few good knuckle sammiches left after a lifetime smashing them...

  • Trespassers W||

    I'm sure that both the audience and the performers are going to have their most cherished preconceptions challenged. They'll be leaving that bookstore with a lot to think about.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Libertarians taking over the world?

    LOL

    And they say we're not realistic.

    You'd think Gary Johnson pulled 49% of the vote or something!

  • ||

    a future where libertarians have conquered the world and the revivified corpse of Ayn Rand has rewritten all of literature to match her Objectivist vision.

    Project much, Stalinists?

  • ||

    It would be tempting to mandate that every capitalist wear a top hat and monocle while every worker adopted a Cockney accent and referred to us as "Guv-na".

  • ||

    Exactly. This is absolutely what they would do.

  • ||

    It's exactly what the DID do. Stalin rewrote all the history and literature to eliminate his rivals (nevermind the historial revisionism of leftists in general), and they kept his embalmed corpse on display to remind the people of the great leader.

  • Killazontherun||

    Obama's people rewrote all of the essays concerning past presidents on the Whitehouse.gov site to give them a pro-Obama spin. They are obsessed with owning the narrative. The Tom Frank project described above is just another manifestation of that obsession. Don't pay attention to what our policies are doing to cripple the nation in the here and now, just imagine how bad it would get if libertarians ran things.

  • ||

    Owning the narrative is what leftists do. Remember "He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past."

  • PapayaSF||

    My favorite was that, when political winds shifted, people would get instructions to cut out and destroy certain sections of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. And when new printings were needed, they had to expand nearby entries to avoid repaginating the whole thing. So after the fall of Beria, the entry for the Bering Straits became extremely long and detailed.

  • ||

    Oh wait that was Lenin's corpose.
    Still, essentially the same idea.

    Anyone remember the SNL episode back in the early 90s when Russia was attempting to sell Lenin's embalmed corpse off?

    Those were good times.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    An Objectivist-run world would leave the old stuff just the way it is, as a warning.

  • Andrew S.||

    Exactly. If we took over the world we wouldn't revive the corpse of Ayn Rand to rule us. We'd just worship the jacket. Not the man in the jacket. But the jacket itself.

  • Shmurphy||

    Yeah, I was willing to chalk this up to my admitted lack of familiarity with Rand and Objectivism, so I'm glad you pointed it out, too. This is ABSOLUTELY a case of projection, I have no idea where they get this shit.

  • OldMexican||

    The game takes place in a future where libertarians have conquered the world and the revivified corpse of Ayn Rand has rewritten all of literature to match her Objectivist vision.

    You know you're already tilting the pinball a little bit when you think libertarians would "conquer" territory as if we were being led by Tamerlane or something.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You know, there are worse ideas...

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    We offered the world anarcy.

  • PapayaSF||

    A highly efficient, streamlined world in which the superfluous letter "h" has been banished from the word "anarchy."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    no moral obligation on the part of a debtor to pay debt, because the cost of default is priced into interest rates.

    WTF?

    He'd still be wrong, but somewhat less crazy, if he said, "Interest is immoral, and the debtor could repay the principal and then tell the creditors to eat it."

    Reneging on a contractual agreement to borrow money and repay it with interest is STEALING.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Yeah. As I said above, it is not always going to be the case that default is actually immoral. But intending to default is another story.

  • ||

    I think the key point is that the more likely you are to default, the higher your interest rates will be.

    Default all you want, then pay more in interest in the future. Keep defaulting, and eventually nobody will lend you money.

    You can do *whatever you want* so long as you are prepared to eat the consequences of your actions.

  • GILMORE||

    I had a guy who works at the New Yorker sitting next to me the other day, and we were having a polite chat about current affairs... and after a few minutes (having caught a theme to my remarks), goes, "Wait - you're not like, *libertarian*, are you??" I'm like, "Call it what you want. Economically conservative, socially liberal (or rather, 'open minded')..."

    He's aghast = "you're... too... old! and.... well educated to be a *libertarian*!!!"

    He clearly had some cartoon version in his mind of some young Ron Paul acolyte who was Against The Fed and probably a Truther AND a Birther or something...

    ...he later mentioned, "the magazine is running a piece that's sort of critical of Anti-Biotics... which I guess is a pretty libertarian theme..."

    Again - I was like, "What. the. fuck. are. you. talking. about? Why would I give a flying fuck about antibiotics again? is being for fiscal disclipline also mean i've signed on to all sorts of *other* crazy ideas??"

    It was, to say the least, incredibly patronizing and condescending. The guy couldn't respond to anything I said after that without being like, "Ooooh, you're one of *them*! ha ha ha" I guess it sort of sums up the Liberal intelligentsia's attitude towards their critics = said critics are both a) "not in the real world", "not to be taken seriously" and SIMULTANEOUSLY b) "a threat to modern civilization" and "taking over the country!"

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Libertarians will take over the world and *leave you alone*!

    That's all, folks!

  • Rich||

    I've had people tell me that libertarians are dangerous because "they just want to do anything they they want to".

  • Killazontherun||

    That's also what they want, but without consequence and someone else paying for it. That chick at the NGO clothing panda orphans? She bought her beatific social conscience heart of gold on the installment plan at 1.2 trillion over budget a year.

  • Big 'Orra||

    Libertarians will take over the world and *leave you alone*!

    YOU MONSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    These people project everything about themselves onto their "enemies", including their own vast ignorance. Every single thing. As soon as a leftist starts accusing someone of being something, rest assured you are now receiving a detailed description of that person's true character.

  • ||

    They can't debate libertarians on the merits so they resort to associating us with all sorts of ideas that are vaguely attached to "the right wing", and argue against those instead. Nevermind what libertarians actually think.

  • Belgian||

    See Tony, Shriek, Alice, etc...

  • Killazontherun||

    Obama told his followers that reading Rand was a youthful indiscretion. Your existence does not compute.

    Melt down leading to shut down . . . Use pigeon holing sarcasm routine to stave off existential threat . . . Once more One with The One . . . All better now.

  • ||

    ...he later mentioned, "the magazine is running a piece that's sort of critical of Anti-Biotics... which I guess is a pretty libertarian theme..."

    This is bizarre, the only people I know who are against anti-biotics are progressive organic foodies who are always freaking out about giving anti-biotics to cattle.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Of course libertarians believe in antibiotics; letting your juvenile coal miners die of easily cured infections is a criminal waste of productive assets.

  • Killazontherun||

    But what about my business of selling orphan slaves to coal miners? I depend on low life expectation rates for my steady sells.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'd say one pretty accurate generalization you can make about libertarians is that we're technophiles.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That's why half of your household appliances have restraining orders out against you.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Exactly.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Libertarians will take over the world and *leave you alone*!

    The ultimate depravity.

  • Killazontherun||

    But, but, whip me harder. I only know BE RULED!

  • Paul.||

    Thomas Frank is merely being honest. Liberals no longer have any beef with the GOP. Their only actual opposition lies with us. Biggest government, bigger government and these 22 guys over here that want to actually shrink government.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Seriously, who is the bigger threat? If the GOP takes over for a while, well, history has shown that the statist framework will remain completely intact, possibly even improved upon.

    If the libertarians took over, even for just a short while, the statist framework would be in jeopardy. A great deal of damage could be done even if libertarians only got hold of one branch.

    While the latter case remains quite unlikely, it's the far more dangerous situation. So we must be painted as insane, extreme, and Hitlers-in-waiting, even though that's more of Episiarch's projection at work than reality.

  • OldMexican||

    Besides, they're not hinting at anything new here. The premise behind the Bioshock game is pretty much the same claptrap.

  • ||

    I never really saw the Bioshock games as an actual dig against Rand, just sort of inspired by the rhetoric. But I'm not one of those people who thinks the Bioshock world is particularly Randian in the first place. It seemed more a paean to FAILING at Objectivism than anything else.

  • Killazontherun||

    There is some subtlety to the Bioshock design. The original draft for it which its creator, Levine, is using as a basis of the third one in the series, the player's character was a Pinkerton in a steam punk world of left anarchism gone nuts. Some how that was scrapped (likely because the scenario he imagined called for open environments that the original graphics engine could not handle given it was portal (interiors) based for a high level of detail), and it became a story about the Gulch going nuts instead.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If the GOP takes over for a while, well, history has shown that the statist framework will remain completely intact, possibly even improved upon.

    Without GWB, Obama would be nothing more than a dreamy fantasy of the hardest core lefties.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No way Obama even gets elected without the Bush Experience, let alone would anyone tolerate the flagrant acts of tyranny that are occurring over and over again.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    it is not always going to be the case that default is actually immoral.

    Morality aside, there are times when circumstances arise which make individual defaults unavoidable. THAT is what is priced in. Not whimsy.

  • Graphite||

    So, since we're now living in "Ayn Rand Nation" or some utter nonsense like that, that means Rand gets 100 percent of the credit when anything remotely libertarian occurs that is to the left's liking, right? So for instance, she gets all the credit for legalized marijuana and the move toward legalized gay marriage, and the electorate's rejection of pro-life candidates.

    Objectivists actually were instrumental in ending the Vietnam era draft: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceMizLGrJ80

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Progressives have been fantasizing about some type of mandatory national service ever since the draft was ended.

  • ||

    That was the concept behind Americorp. The only problem was they didn't have enoguh votes to make it mandatory.

  • ||

    Speaking of which, Americorps should be one of those things that's on the chopping block right now. There are a million different volunteer organizations that people can join, and we already have a dozen different government agencies that teach children and rebuild houses and clean up trash.
    The only reason Americorps even exists is because is for publicity stunts.

  • Graphite||

    BTW, Doherty, that linked review in The Freeman is excellent.

  • ||

    "...a libertarian dictatorship..."

    *Sigh*

    It is truly a shame that stupidity and lying arent excruciating. To the agent I mean. It is painful to me.

  • KalkiDas||

    Aren't these the same type of characters who brought us the "Galant Gallstone" and a play about a Muskrat?

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