• Feminism:Ban the word bossy! Girls don't want to be leaders because they're afraid people won't like them!
  • Ayn Rand:"She was twelve years old when she told Eddie Willers that she would run the railroad when they grew up. She was fifteen when it occurred to her for the first time that women did not run railroads and that people might object. To hell with that, she thought—and never worried about it again. "
Now, I don’t care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you’re a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn’t know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not. Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights—they didn’t have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal “cultures” – they didn’t have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It’s wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you’re an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a “country” does not protect rights – if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief – why should you respect the “rights” that they don’t have or respect? The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too—that is, you can’t claim one should respect the “rights” of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights. But let’s suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages – which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their “right” to keep part of the earth untouched – to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it’s great that some of them did. The racist Indians today – those who condemn America – do not respect individual rights.
— 

Ayn Rand, when asked, “When you consider the cultural genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of blacks, and the relocation of Japanese Americans during World War Two, how can you have such a positive view of America?” at West Point Academy in 1974.

because there is some clueless white tool in my ask box trying to defend Rand to me and I am tired and not even remotely in the mood to deal with your nonsense. ayn rand is a revolting racist, end of story, and that’s 1 of a billion things that is wrong with her.

Ayn Rand underwent surgery for lung cancer in 1974 after decades of heavy smoking. In 1976, she retired from writing her newsletter and, despite her initial objections, was persuaded to allow Evva Pryor, a consultant from her attorney’s office, to sign her up for Social Security and Medicare.
[…]
Rand died of heart failure on March 6, 1982. Rand’s funeral was attended by some of her prominent followers, including Alan Greenspan. A six-foot floral arrangement in the shape of a dollar sign was placed near her casket.
—  Ayn Rand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
you cant make this shit up

… Ayn Rand’s arrogant, misinformed pseudo-intellectualism carries to the very title of her most famous work. The idea behind the title “Atlas Shrugged” is that Atlas unfairly carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, and if he just shrugged he could be free while condemning those who relied on him while giving back nothing. The problem? Atlas carrying the world was a latter-day revision when it became clear the original cosmology didn’t work. Atlas was supposed to be holding up the heavens, to maintain the gap between the heavens and the Earth that everything currently alive lived in. If he shrugged, he’d crush his damn fool self because, even if it was inconvenient or onerous, he needed the same support as everyone else. Which is a more accurate metaphor, but not the message Rand was trying to convey.

For their enormous contributions to our standard of living, the high-earners should be thanked and publicly honored. We are in their debt.

Here’s a modest proposal. Anyone who earns a million dollars or more should be exempt from all income taxes. Yes, it’s too little. And the real issue is not financial, but moral. So to augment the tax-exemption, in an annual public ceremony, the year’s top earner should be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

— 

A Forbes writer publicly pleasures himself over Ayn Rand and says the 99% owe the 1% a debt of gratitude

When you seem greedy and cruel compared to the rest of the writers at FORBES, you are probably due to evaluate a lot of your life choices. Other highlights from this delusional op-ed include saying there is no such thing as a community giving back, that people are paid “spiritually” by financially successful people, and that “all proper human interactions are win-win.”

This entire piece functions on a common straw man argument: That liberals believe entrepreneurs, inventors, and CEOs shouldn’t earn any more money than anyone else. Not true. No one (ok, probably someone, but no prominent progressive politician or thinker) is proposing that everyone who works at a company, from the top executive to the cashier at the outlet store, should be bringing home the exact same amount of money. If you invented the product or started the business, of course you deserve a higher share of the profits. But given that a business CANNOT function without cashiers and janitors and factory workers, and that a business CANNOT survive if nobody can afford their products, it makes long-term financial sense to pay everyone enough to get by and then buy more stuff.

Ironically, the author uses Henry Ford as an example of a champion of objectivist capitalist glory. In 1914, Henry Ford doubled the wages of his workers. Now, obviously, Forbes disagrees and says it had nothing to do with paying them decently, it was to prevent turnover. But Henry Ford himself, in his autobiography, says it was a form of profit-sharing with his workers and an act of “social justice” and goodwill. He went on to say, “A low-wage business is always insecure” and “paying good wages is not charity at all - it is the best kind of business.” And during the Depression, he said in an interview, “There should be no unemployment. There is large percentage of labor now which cannot make a living because wages are not high enough. That is industry’s 2nd job. 1st job is to make good product. 2nd pay a good wage.”

Oh, and Henry Ford would have paid about 47% in income tax. And I really doubt he thought he deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Hey, you know Steve Ditko, the guy who co-created Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Squirrel Girl, the Creeper, the Question, and the Ted Kord Blue Beetle? Well, at some point Ditko took a headfirst dive into the philosophy of Ayn Rand - and the Objectivism-spouting vigilante Mr. A is that particular passion of his given ultimate comic book form.

I’ve never expended much effort trying to track the stories down, but a friend of mine did, and… well, they’re about as subtle as a packet of Chick tracts, except they star a guy wearing a Destro mask and a matching pair of oversized steel mittens. Still, I can’t fault the sense of graphic design on display here; if ever there was an artist born to draw men in business suits punching the hell out of gangsters and/or abstract philosophical concepts, it was Steve Ditko.

(Amusingly, this exact page was later parodied in an issue of DC’s Ambush Bug, but “Corrupt” was replaced with “Pittsburgh.”)

(Also amusingly, spell-check thinks “Objectivism” is a typo.)

Original splash page art for the Mr. A story “Debaters,” first published in Comic Crusader #4 (1968). Scan taken from Heritage Auctions.

This quote reminds me of tumblr a lot:

You have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation—or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand Crosses Over to Britain

On Tuesday, I went to a talk held by the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) titled “Ayn Rand: More Relevant Now than Ever” in London’s luxurious Goldsmiths’ Hall, a grand old building near St Paul’s Cathedral. The crowd was mostly white, male, and wearing sharp suits, as you’d expect at an event devoted to Rand—the novelist-philosopher who came up with “the morality of rational self-interest,” a worldview that says you should pretty much do whatever benefits you and if that results in someone else getting screwed over, well, fuck them anyway. It was the second annual Ayn Rand lecture hosted by the Adam Smith Institute, a libertarian think tank. I was in a temple of the free market.

The speaker was the CEO of Saxo Bank, Lars Seier Christensen. As the head of an investment bank based in socialist Denmark, Christensen is particularly enraged by high taxation, social welfare, and banking regulations, which made him a perfect source of Randian rage. “The world is on the wrong track,” he told us. “A malady that has long beset Europe is currently spreading to the US.” Apparently we are experiencing a “socialist revival” to which “Ayn Rand is the only answer.”

If you’ve never had a college roommate who got way too into her, Rand was an amphetamine-addicted writer of trashy potboilers who, despite being laughed at by many conservatives of her day gradually became one of the most influential philosophers of the right. Her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged has been ranked the second most influential book after the Bible. The 1,000-page, dull-as-dishwater book describes a world crippled by a socialist government where a group of heroic tycoons and inventors abandon society, which promptly collapses without them. The plot is really besides the point though—mostly, Atlas Shrugged is a vehicle for Rand’s philosophy ofObjectivism, which advances “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life.” It also depicted rich people as superior beings and poor people as pathetic, hapless moochers. See why bank executives might be interested in something like that?

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
—  John Rogers
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