Blast From the Past: Isabel Paterson on Blaming the Financiers


The Notorious I.M.P.

Reason has been celebrating (or at least chronicling) the life and times of journalist, literary critic, curmudgeon, and all-around interesting proto-libertarian gal Isabel Paterson with a cartoon series in the print edition drawn by our own Peter Bagge. (The exciting conclusion will appear in the next issue of the print edition, subscribe today!) If you haven't come across her before, think Ayn Rand, but with Dorothy Parker's sense of humor and sharp tongue, plus a pinch of deism.

Purely coincidentally, I happen to find myself at a conference on Paterson's most famous book, about which Ayn Rand said: The God of the Machine "does for capitalism what DasKapital does for the Reds and what the Bible did for Christianity." I.M.P. isn't much read these days, but there are some real gems in the book. Originally published in 1943, there's one passage that's astonishingly relevant today:

At any time when finance is under attack through the political authority, it is an infallible sign that the political authority is already exercising too much power over the economic life of the nation through manipulation of finance, whether by exorbitant taxation, uncontrolled expenditure, unlimited borrowing, or currency depreciation.

How's that for a Friday Fun Link?