Sons of Anarchy

Ayn Rand and Anarchy

It is interesting to note that the present coterie of powerful bankers, political advisors, share brokers and analysts that congregate in Wall Street and Washington espouse a form of right wing Republicanism that they claim is partly inspired by the writings of Ayn Rand. She was a Russian born novelist and philosopher whose major work was Atlas Shrugged.

In this giant book she described a movement of nationalization in America where all the major industries are taken over by a ’people’s’ bureaucracy that states that all things should be shared for the benefit of all. The novel is a powerful expose of the hypocisy of this communist point of view that claims to bring universal prosperity but instead brings industry, the trains etc. to a stand still. She states strongly that those excpetional people who can set up a business, invent a better type of steel, make a train faster should benefit from their inventions, drive and resourcefulness. People are ruined by handouts. This is all doubt partly true and the novel was very much influenced by the disastrous autocracy of Stalinism and Maoism.

We need people to pioneer new forms of enginnering such as EDM electrodes for precision cutting, internet engineers, innovative scientists etc. Those who invent and pioneer should be rewarded. There are, however, plenty of businesses that owe their success to little more than outsourcing to poor countries, bought government contracts, old school boy connections, mafia links etc. These businesses would not receive the Ayn Rand endorsement. Moreover, how can she argue with the success of many cooperative and syndalist companies around the world where the workers own the company, vote on wages, choose their managers and equally share the profits? And on the other side of the coin, why would Ayn Rand choose to fete Goldman Sachs who lied to their investors about the quality of their financial products and then bet on those CDOs etc. failing?

There is a moral dimension to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of business that the far right fail entirely to understand.