Tuesday, April 5, 2011


RAND AND CRONY CAPITALISM:  Yes, Rand illustrated the problem of crony capitalism. She wanted workers and producers alike to compete to sell what they had to offer. She did not want government getting involved in warping the marketplace. She illustrated the dire effects when so called elitists are humored to act as if they know best how to redistribute wealth through government in order to do good for society. Many of Rand's characters meant well, but, when it came to the best way to allocate resources and rewards, they could not be more competent than the marketplace. Indeed, something of hubris in rendered many of them pitifully incompetent. The main point I took was: Citizens --- don't vote to allow government to be used merely as some kind of forcing charity for the redistribution of wealth.

However, there is another side to that coin:  Find something more effective than the ballot box to cure crony elites from insinuating themselves in order to exploit government, as some kind of slush bank for crony capitalists to hold up (not for pretending to do good, but simply to steal more than their produce would be worth in any fair market).

So, I get Rand's point to the electorate:  That we ought not vote to force government to function as a redistributer of charity. What I don't get is how Rand is thought to have prescribed any effective means to stop robber cronies. Mere voting does not much impress legislators to forgo earmarks, or executives and czars to forgo rewarding the institutions and industries they pretend to regulate. That requires something more than mere general voting. It necessitates a Combined Attack, from (1) aroused and inspired citizens, (2) regulatory watchdogs, and (3) punitive taxes or fines.

Thus far, I have not been enough of a Rand devotee to have seen such a combined attack in her philosophy (no doubt, there are many devotees who should know).  Regardless, if her philosophy were effective, Ought We Not By Now To Have Seen Results Against Crony Capitalism?  Instead, I see international crony capitalism growing stronger every day, growing the gap in political influence and allowing cronies ever more to weaken the general economy and the middle class.  In short:  The middle class is not being churched, assimilated, or inspired to cherish or defend its freedom; cronies are given little reason to fear; and the wealth they apply to politics, i.e., the political marketplace, is rewarded rather than reduced.

HAS RAND'S INFLUENCE DONE ANYTHING TO SLOW CRONY CAPITALISM:  So, have you seen any evidence that crony capitalism is being reduced --- either by lawmakers or by Objectivists?  If not, what have Objectivists taken from Rand, to empower us to be any more effective against crony capitalists than Eddie Willers? To my lights, George Soros is a crony capitalist par excellence. Do Objectivists worry at all about his ilk, or do they see Soros as some new kind of John Galt, paving our road to serfdom under the NWO?

ENDING CORRUPTION BY REPLACING RELIGION WITH LAW:  Yes, Rand saw that organized religion, when it confused public welfare with charity, tends to abet corruption and decline. But did she ever credit how religion has often furthered respect for the value of each life and for individual dignity, to include individual freedom of expression and enterprise? Did she apprehend that no mountain of legalism can preserve the glue of family and social decency as well as an assimilated respect for a common religious tradition? Did she apprehend that the kind of freedom that burgeoned in America may never have occurred, but for an assimilating, religious heritage? Given America's beginning, who believes we can preserve industry against crony capitalists, merely with cold, bloodless law? Can mere law and regulation tame crony capitalism, to turn it into Randian ideal capitalism? Well, what sort of regulation does crony capitalism support? Hint: The kind that its staff of lawyers and accountants can survive, but that its small competitors cannot. Crony capitalists tend to own the law!  They eat it for breakfast.

OBVIOUS RANDIAN FALLACIES:  To say, in the light of experience, that man is primarily a rational creature is silly.  To say that man should be primarily a rational creature is ridiculous.  (How much of wine, dance, sex, or fun is rational?  Should man aspire to the existence of a programmed computer?)  To say that the morality of free markets is interchangeable with rational self interest is wrong.  As everyone sees, we do not get free markets when the wealthy engage their self-interest; rather, we get crony capitalism.  To say that one ought not apply different rules to others than to oneself may have a short and nice ring, but it is adverse to reality.  Who does not apply different rules to others, depending not only on abilities, but also depending on whether it can be gotten away with, and whether there abides a fleeting advantage of the moment?  To implicate that one's present ego is one's supreme guide contradicts Rand's own life.  Did not Rand work hard to ensure that her philosophy would continue to be taught, long after the demise of her mortal ego?  Was it consistent with ego and reason when Ellis Wyatt blew up his oilfield, rather than surrender to government control ---  or was it an emotional release?

FALLACY OF EITHER/OR, WHOLE OR PART:  Socialist societies try to fashion moral precepts primarily in respect of the collective; individualist societies primarily in respect of individuals.  Somewhat analogously, science often tries to explicate phenomena either in respect of fields or in respect of particles, while morality often relates to a melding of the qualitative with the quantitative.  Likewise, a society, to cohere, must attend both to the self interests of its members and to the collective interests of their group.  The balance will unfold with feedback ---  not very closely following any preplanned decree by elites who claim to know best.  The competitive interaction of individual members and their associations will play back and forth, and the society will survive only if it can keep its balance.

 CAPSTONE:  Mere secular law --- as by regulation and penalties --- will not save a decent civilization that respects competing expressions of freedom within a marketplace.  People who would be free must assimilate a spirit of intolerance and shared sacrifice, at a religious level, inculcated in civic clubs and churches across the land, to forgo the sort of corrupting earmarks and crony capitalism that are sickening to decent society.

HIGHER VALUES OF EGOISTS:  Ironically, atheist Rand's quest for an objectivist society is itself in the vein of a religious quest. Certainly, it is a quest that extends well beyond her ego. What Randian would deny that Rand intended for her ideas to continue to contribute to our society long after her death?  The missing half in Rand's philosophy consists in her failure to recognize that there do abide values worthy of religious inculcation, and that religion in itself is not necessarily good or bad, but depends on the qualities and thoughts that are brought to it.  Until then, crony oligarchs will continue to burn down the house of freedom, while we remain distracted by dirty water in the fishbowl.

RELIGION:  Religion advances by inspiring new believers.  Subjugation minded control freaks and fear mongers, such as Crony Capitalists and Islamists, advance by making people fear for their fortunes or their lives.  To allow one's beliefs to be dictated out of fear, not belief, is not in respect of religion.  To allow mind control freaks to infest and overrun a country is not to tolerate freedom of religion, but its opposite.

CONSCIOUSNESS:  Strictly speaking, one does not find that which one never lost.  Yes, consciousness does identify from time to time with variously fluxing, transitory, and recurrent forms of expression of bodies, which do pass on.  The general field of consciousness, however, neither lives nor dies, but simply abides.  It has no need of any permanent El Dorado in the Sky.

TAXING WEALTH:  When we begin to explore why so many billionaires prefer progressive taxes on income to taxes on wealth, then we may begin to apprehend how a transition to a progressive consumption tax could help, by deterring the grossly disproportionate buying and selling of political influence, and by helping to preserve "genuine" capitalism --- so that the middle class is not wiped out and so we are not returned to the feudal control of corporate oligarchs, in lieu of land titled aristocrats.  The billionaires advocating for higher income taxes tend to be crony capitalists, par excellence, fortifying their undemocratic control behind what they hope to establish as their unreachable wealth.


Anonymous said...

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a minister, in many ways too far ahead of contemporaries to have been adequately appreciated. Henry Ware, Jr. said, Emerson was in danger of taking away "the Father of the Universe" and leaving "but a company of children in an orphan asylum". Buell, Lawrence (2003). Emerson. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Waldo_Emerson#Lifestyle_and_beliefs

To my lights, Emerson was right, to lead us away from codependency and more towards Randian like self reliance, albeit, with trust in God. It will be progress of a sort if organized religion can ever appreciate his point. After all, the concept (or Word) of Jesus, as exemplar, should hardly be interpreted to have meant for all of us to become codependent, talentless bums. As our context changes, so also do our interpretations of our historical exemplars change. What does not change is that the field of consciousness abides, even though its interests change. We are only the fluxing and particular perspectives of that field of consciousness. Thus, how should we experience and communicate meaningfulness? Suggested answer: By a synthesis of Individual perspectives and ego with a worthy, Collective ideal. What is that collective ideal? To enervate a decent society that is comprised of individuals who are availed a meaningful range of freedom of expression and enterprise, so that all conscious perspectives of the holism have reasonable opportunity to feed meaningfulness back to the unfolding, eternally recording, field of synchronizing consciousness.

It seems neither we, nor the field, ever catch happiness, to tuck it safely away into a vault. We have only vision and strategy (eternal vigilance) by which to pursue it. I can think of no more consistent and coherent notion of spirituality than that the field and the perspectives of consciousness dance together in the availing of freedom and dignity for pursuing happiness. I expect there abides considerable advantage in the organizing of perspectives of consciousness in such respect. In that way, organized religion could be turned to the good. In any event, it is impossible to ban organized religion. Rather than leave the ministry, people like Emerson can work within it. One need only reform the sacred parables to appropriate use in current context.

The field of consciousness is obvious. It needs no mind control freaks. Voltaire observed, "It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason." There is no reason the better aspects of Rand's philosophy could not be joined to religious interpretations. Without such joinder, her adherents will continue with much quacking, with little to show for any reduction in crony capitalism. Voltaire was right, that our material world is not the best of all possible material worlds. Rather, the material world is only our garden --- often pleasing, sometimes foul, always calling for attention. It is only in one's relative freedom of attitude and quality of conscious attention that one can reasonably seek meaningful fulfillment. Freedom is essential to enhance a religious appreciation of consciousness, by joining a Randian like quest against economic dictators and mind control freaks --- such as crony capitalists and mohammedan subjugators. Had Ayn Rand thought more about the field of consciousness, there was hardly need for her to take the unnecessarily debilitating stance of an atheist.

Anonymous said...

As the campaign winds down, the call regarding who will be the Dem's nominee will be made by a NWO consortium, with Soros delivering the message. Meantime, never underestimate the resourcefulness of a sociopath who believes her country must be fundamentally changed, even if it means strutting her stuff to sell out to, and appease, the highest bidding hedge fund artist. Our electorate is primed to be spun whichever way a hedge fund cannibal deems most opportune. The upheavals we are experiencing may arouse Tea Partiers, but they bring absolute drool to lip smacking opportunists. In this age of spiritual cynicism, it's a Big Mistake to assume most people are right thinkers who will seek and follow truth. All the thinkers on the Left deem the NWO unavoidable, so they are only about making their best deal. They are not at all about preserving the Republic. There is no coasting to recover the country. The enemy believe they have multiple times the resources of all enemies past. We will need all the inspiration, courage, and will of the 101st, at the Battle of the Bulge: "They have us surrounded --- the poor bastards."

Anonymous said...

Howard Beale would make witness: No one should be judge in his own behalf. Neither should anyone be legislator in his own behalf. Yet, that is precisely what occurs when special interests and crony capitalists are allowed to own or run legislators, even to draft the legislation that supposedly regulates such cronies, even as such legislation tends rather to erect barriers to competition against them. Indeed, we are at the point where we are told, by people practiced in reading Totus and affecting the nose pose of a noble, who have no shame, that this is good for us. After all, we are told, our elites are looking out for us, and who should know better than they how their industry for mining government pull needs best to be regulated? Corruptocrats are now shown the front door, while traditional friends of America as a Republic are shown the back. In effect, the worthless want a king, to help them rob and redistribute from the working middle class — for the worthless are without spirit or initiative to look out for themselves. It’s fitting that their king making idea man, Alinsky, was named Saul.

So, the middle class of America is made out to be a racist, bigoted scape goat, while the godless shiftless and their cynical, cannibal kings claim entitlement to devour America’s carcass. Something changed, the day humble regard for God and earned self respect died: America lost her virtue and began teaching her children that they are good and entitled, regardless of work or talent. Now, we will have to pay a stiff price if ever we are to redeem America and restore faith and trust in the Republic. Ayn Rand would say that looting and cannibalization, like eating seed corn, will only take us so far. P.C. be damned, the message needs to be set ablaze: Charity is not forced; government is not charity; government, except in regional emergencies, ought not be trusted to act like a charity; and no one is good or permanently entitled merely because he exists, was born, watches CNN, has connections, or professes some false religion of entitlement to subjugate.

Anonymous said...

Why does Islam so often seem like the logical, religious side of the coin of fascism (false liberalism)? Don't islamists and liberal fascists both: recruit for followers from the lowest common base of degenerates; rationalize unearned self esteem for the most shiftless, ignorant, and corrupt; continuously recalibrate in order to meet each new crisis by recruiting a new round of bottom dwellers; for chieftains, promote hating, conniving narcissists and sociopaths; pretend to value the earth or umma, while actually working to behead decency and empathy; by their policies, necessarily promote an ever increasing population of replacement drones, losers, and environmental despoilers; promote entitlement to unearned equality over individual responsibility and liberty.

Bottom line: A modern liberal is just an Islamist in waiting, who hasn't yet adopted a consistent religion for justifying a worldwide cult for losers. This kind of stupidity cannot be fixed. It is a 100 ton anchor, and it will always pull a society to the bottom. Once it organizes, even to the point of fanatical or civic religion, it becomes metastasized evil, and cannot intelligently be confronted except as such.

Anonymous said...

From A.T. --- Re: "Obama, who earlier offered up his solution to that as keep your tires filled with air, gave an arrogant answer: He suggested the voter trade in his car for a hybrid."

This, from the guy whose carbon footprint burns hundreds of thousands of petrodollars running around like a politically clueless Miss America, from event to event, with no time given to think (his controllers would never want that!) --- only time to strut to read the next teleprompter. Obama: the metro-bimbo for the NWO consortium of Ainos. Obama is a political genius like Miss America is a political genius. We're being had, but it's not by Obama. We've got to start ripping the curtain from the Wizard and sending him (Soros, Immelt, Ahmadinejad) to bust big rocks into little rocks.

Identify the enemy. The enemy to America consists of those who want to eliminate liberty in order to rule everyone else as serfs. Their creed goes by different names (crony capitalism, nomenklatura communism, and sharia islam [don't capitalize the I in islam because the point needs to be reinforced that islam is only a political system for mind control freaks, not a system based on religious belief by a free thinking mind]. Despite the different names, the goal is of a common, sociopathic creed: a new world to be carved up and ruled by entitled aristocratic oligarchs and theoinquisitors.

The redistribution has never been to reduce oligarchs or to enrich peons. It has always been about vandalizing and reducing the middle class of people who actually invent, produce, and work. The shiftless don't like having success rubbed in, and the pampered elites don't want anyone interfering with their control. The shiftless and the elites simply don't like our kind.

Anonymous said...

True, crony capitalism is not conservative capitalism. Problem is, cronies have the gold, gold cannibalizes the rules, and conservatives have not been well represented. At least, not until recently. We shall see. Nothing is accomplished merely by observing that crony capitalism is not conservative capitalism. The problem is: how can crony capitalism be stopped? Alternatively stated, how can conservative capitalism gain effective representation? Answers: Not by discounting America, to merge our values into those of Europe. Not by rewarding noncompetitive monopolists by propping them up so they can shift our industries to overseas cheap labor. Not by being tolerant of trade policies that allow other nations to dump their excess production to the destruction of American labor. Not by voting for redistributers who take from the middle class to give a dollar to the poor and then print a hundred to the cronies. Not by being tolerant of everything that disassimilates middle class American values.

Anonymous said...

Our economy is worse off than simply being owned by government. It's owned by those who own government. Not just owned by those who own government, but owned by people of no national loyalty. I noticed the article about how abundant America's resources are. America's? How about those who own America? Most of the world gives a low priority to the freedom of expression and enterprise of its middle classes. America is losing her freedom, borders, industry, even her resources, to a sell out that makes the Louisiana Purchase look fresh. America's resources are being held in a lock box, until people like Soros can figure out how to acquire more control, even as more Americans become indentured.

Anonymous said...

So, as I watch leading elites leaving our borders open, choking our energy production, I'm supposed to believe their free trade policy is actually calculated to HELP America? I'm supposed to believe there is no sinister effort to profit while America sinks? For that level of credulity, I'm tapped out. Given what elite economists have done to America, I suspect the time is right for serious questioning of typical ideas about free trade (especially as we enrich cultures unfriendly to human freedom and dignity). Indeed, one would be quite the trusting babe to believe those best positioned to benefit from "free trade" would ever pay an economist to quarrel with it. Surely, however, there's more to intelligent factoring of our situation than simply trotting out the all purpose talisman of free trade. Example: Is there actual evidence that the Regime has any actual concern for any American industry (apart from hobbling it with regulations as prelude to nationalization, that is)? It's getting hard to tell which side folks are on.

You don't have to be a weatherman to know that economists are not scientists. Just once, it would be nice to see an economist riddle me this: When would you not advocate for "free trade?" Would you not advocate for it when your competitor is using slave labor? When your competitor is infiltrating, to terrorize and unionize your local labor force into go-along get-along mode? When your competitor is seeking to overturn your political system? Would you not advocate for it when you have healthy competitive businesses at home going against nationally financed competitors abroad? When? Just saying "free trade, free trade" cuts no ice.

Hello, economists! Is Trump right about this: We need to decide --- do we want to have a country or not? If we do, guess what? We need to (1) enforce borders, (2) preserve energy independence, and (3) not allow despots to undermine our industry. Is this hard? Maybe this was already explained and I just missed it.