Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Ayn Rand, Capitalism, Gold, and False Prophets
"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, 'Account overdrawn.'
- Ayn Rand, from Atlas Shrugged (emphasis mine)
I first started reading Ayn Rand when I was in high school in the late 1980s. Being young and impressionable, her writings had a tremendous effect on me. But as I got older, and maybe wiser, I began to understand that there are shades of grey in life. That no one can apply one philosophy 100% to their lives. Society does need its altruists and greed isn't everything.
But the quote above (emphasis mine) has a lot of truth to it. It is part of a speech called "The Money Speech" given by a character named Fransisco d'Anconia in the novel Atlas Shrugged. The speech's purpose is to address and challenge the saying "money is the root of all evil." But I want to focus on this one paragraph. It tells us a lot about many of those that "follow" Ayn Rand's philosophy.
I have said before that many economists, businesspeople, and politicians pick and choose the parts of economic philososphies that best serve their needs. Or oftentimes, they purposefully misrepresent those philosophies for their own gain or just because 100% adherence to that philosophy, as I said, is impractical.
But what really annoys me is when Financial Oligarchs claim to be adherents to Capitalism, or Ayn Rand's philosophy. One thing they conveniently neglect, is that to Ayn Rand, GOLD is money, not easily inflatable paper. These financial lords also love to keep their profits, yet socialize their losses. Now that's hypocrisy. I have no problem with someone keeping their profits, if they are vulnerable to the risk of their actions.
Anyway, I saw this article recently:
Bankers Trying to Pay Colleges to Teach About Ayn Rand
Did any of these Bankers really read Atlas Shrugged? I know that Ayn Rand considered government to be the threat to liberty. And that's understandable; she was Russian and witnessed the birth of the Soviet Union. But take a look at my post below with the Damon Vrabel videos, particularly the second one. Who is the US governemnt? It's the financial oligarchs. One only needs to see how the US government responded to the financial crisis of 2008 to understand this. And these Banksters had record bonuses at a time when their very existence was perilous!
Now back to gold, and Ayn Rand's view of it. She rightly saw the replacement of gold with paper as a threat to liberty. And she was right, government has become more invasive with giant budgets easily financed with fiat paper. But you know who else grew enormous with the steroids of paper money?
The Banking Sector. I wonder what Ayn Rand, were she alive today, say about these False Prophets, these Bankers and their "love of paper money and bailouts?"