TRY THE VEAL  10:09 am August 21, 2012

Guardian Rolls Out Comedy Section With Paean to Ayn Rand

by Kris E. Benson

coming soon to a comedy venue near you for ayn rand open mic night!What the hell is going on over at the Guardian, you might be wondering, given that they recently let former Bush speechwriter Josh Treviño post an 18-paragraph column explaining why he wrote a 23-word tweet, over a year ago, that expressed nonchalance at the idea of the IDF killing novelist Alice Walker? (Hint: it has to do with Rick Perry and “adhering to our enemies.”) Has the Guardian been purchased by Rupert Murdoch? Is it killing itself softly? No, it has not, and no, it is not! It turns out — and we don’t know how we didn’t realize this earlier — the “Comment is Free” section is really a “Comedy is Free” section and has simply been mislabeled. We know this is the case because the “Comedy is Free” section currently includes a column bit called Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: a paean to American liberty: Rand’s ideas appeal to millions of Americans besides Paul Ryan because they promise freedom from welfare enslavement by someone named Don Watkins, who is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the American spirit…. [Atlas] shows that capitalism is a win-win system where all individuals are free to pursue their happiness. It shows that it is right for individuals to be concerned with their own happiness. And it shows that those who seek to “tread on you” – to control your life, redistribute your wealth, and mortgage your future – are morally wrong. 
It’s no accident, then, that Ayn Rand’s immense popularity in America has not crossed over to Europe. It’s for the same reason that Europeans largely embraced the government’s post-financial crisis interventionist policies – from bailouts to stimulus spending sprees to vast new regulatory powers – while Americans rebelled. Whatever motto best captures the European attitude toward life, “Don’t tread on me” is not it….

Yes — have you been to Iceland, for example, where they welcomed governmental and IMF post-financial crisis intervention? Well, ok, fine. We haven’t either. But we are sure that the Icelandic people are suffering mightily under the heavy weight of socialized medicine and nine months’ paid parental leave at 80% salary. Don’t they realize how much Freedom they are missing out on?? Also, we did not know this, but helping other people and helping yourself are totally mutually exclusive and diametrically opposed courses of action.

To succeed in this task, Rand argued, Americans would need to question and reject the alien idea of altruism. Altruism is the Old World doctrine that it’s your duty to live for others and renounce your own self-interest. In one form or another, this moral doctrine has been the justification for every welfare program. Other people need money for their retirement or healthcare, it’s claimed, and therefore they’re entitled to that money from you. The individual’s pursuit of his own happiness versus altruism – this is the choice facing America.

We are VERY excited about this new “Comedy is Free” section at the Guardian, and can’t wait to keep you posted when other comedians start posting their columns bits therein! But for now, we will leave you with the following words of wisdom, courtesy of Paul Krugman: 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.

[The Guardian]

 
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{ 169 comments }

BZ1 August 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

You would think that the "Ayn Rand Institute" would actually be more than a sandwich board.

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

Atlas Schleppt.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:28 am

If it was the Sally Rand Institute, he'd be carrying giant fans.

GlowneyHouse August 21, 2012 at 10:35 am

Sally Rand understood the bubble economy before anyone else.

TootsStansbury August 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

It's much more! It comes complete with a twit attached!

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

Twit samwich.

Now I haz hungry.

HobbesEvilTwin August 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

no, a sandwich board is about right — You can fit everything intelligent that Ayn Rand ever wrote on a sandwich board *

* if you use a really large font

Exhausted66 August 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm

It's more of a Get Your Own Sandwich board.

redarmyzombie August 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I dunno, that might be all they could afford with their Welfare payments…

Naked_Bunny August 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Ayn used up all the words in Atlas Shrugged.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the American spirit

Sir, I believe you misspelled "hrmh"…

elviouslyqueer August 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

HENNNGH?

Monsieur_Grumpe August 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

I always thought it was Haaaaaaaaaarumphhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!11!
My mistake.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

I meant it more like "hmmmmmmmmmmm" but in a disdainful, judgemental way.

sewollef August 21, 2012 at 11:55 am

I'd rather go with the more common or garden — and decidedly working class: "shut up prick face you're talking shite", variety.

sullivanst August 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I'm personally a fan of "fuck off you wanker".

DaSandman August 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

So when do we start to work on freedom from enslavement by our billionaire overlords?

mrblifil August 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

Sorry you can't, those billionaires have the right to pursue their happiness, and if you don't think their happiness means your happiness then you can go suck on a bag of altruistic rat dicks.

SorosBot August 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

Please; this is Libertarian "freedom", which includes the "freedom" of billionaire overlords to enslave the rest of us; you see, for Randroids "freedom" really is slavery; it's the "freedom" of the superior Übermenschen to do whatever they want, and control all their inferiors who do not have "freedom" except to serve the Masters.

Boojum August 21, 2012 at 11:34 am

See, my happiness involves me and my friends forming a "government" that sets "rules" that we agree to live by. One of those rules is that we get to take the money away from obscenely rich scroatbags. So, since it makes us happy, it is morally right!

Estproph August 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

"[Atlas] shows that capitalism is a win-win system where all individuals are free to pursue their happiness."

It makes me happy to sell melamine-tainted food that causes cancer, and I bet it makes you happy to get cancer from the exposure! See? Win-win!

deanbooth August 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

"melamine-tainted food" — what is that, food handled by a Negroidal person?

kittensdontlie August 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

Just anyone who isn't as white as Calista Gingrinch. In her defense, her hairdo is a perfect shield from the sun's damaging rays.

mavenmaven August 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

I'll bet if someone looked at those companies, I'll bet they were probably Bain supported pharma companies (the ones with the melamine tainted toothpaste and heparin).

An_Outhouse August 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

Hey, that food tasted 'good', had an infinite shelf life, and was cheap. What the hell more do you want?

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

And it shows that those who seek to “tread on you” – to control your life, redistribute your wealth, and mortgage your future – are morally wrong.

So we're talking multinational corporations, aided by megamarketers and investment banks. Right?

noodlesalad August 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

If you're not a multi-millionaire straight white man, you're also talking about the GOP.

jodyleek August 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

Robber barons are people too, my friend.

ChernobylSoup August 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

We're going to open our arguments by positing that a certain novel "shows that" something or other? Well, hell, let's get started. What say you, commenters?

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

Yea, that's like fourth grade book report level writing, to be sure.

"The Phantom Toolbooth" shows us that you can travel through space and time if you have a humungous dog and some spare change…

Aw, crap! I have to write another 477 words!

noodlesalad August 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

"Where the Wild Things Are" shows that, in a totally free-market system without any regulations, a meritocracy will naturally arise whereby the most talented individual (Max) becomes recognized for his talent and promoted to managerial level, only to realize that the proletariat will inevitably eat him.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

I'll have the Traffic Manager under glass, and a side order of the Chief Stenographer, please.

eggsacklywright August 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

"Ulysees" shows us it's been a long day.

SorosBot August 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

Well a certain video game rather easily proved that Libertarian ideology doesn't work in the real world and would quickly turn to shit, but then it was well-written unlike any of Rand's books.

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

Worked great in the frontier in the 1800s. Of course, the 40 acres were a gift from the government. Mmmm, and so was the mule.

SigDeFlyinMonky August 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

"A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" shows that organized religion stffles progress, hereditary privilege empowers dolts and no country ever progressed without a patent office.

BoatOfVelociraptors August 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

Damned splicers.

GunToting[Redacted] August 21, 2012 at 11:10 am

I learned more about quantum physics by reading "Cosmic Banditos" than I did in any physics class I ever took. Sadly, the previously reclusive author has resurfaced and has shown himself to be a raving Birther-Truther end-times nutball.

Sometimes people should just stay gone.

SoBeach August 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

Ah, someone else who's on his mailing list. Sometimes months and months go by without one of his "Perspectives" emails, but they're always worth the wait.

I'll say this about the guy — he will admit it when he's proven factually wrong. After one of his mid-2000s truther rants I emailed him to point out that one of his "smoking gun" bits of evidence — something about jets being scrambled before the first plane hit the tower — wasn't so much proof of a massive government conspiracy as it was proof that we have multiple time zones in this country. He retracted that particular claim right away.

Angry_Marmot August 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm

The Jungle Books show us that gold is more poisonous than a cobra, that it takes a pack to rear a child, socialism is the way to go in a time of drought and monkeys are asshats who would do well on a reality show.

Lascauxcaveman August 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Go Dog, Go shows that the secret lives of dogs involves driving around in little red cars, playing baseball and having big parties in trees. Also, when they are tired, they can sleep 17-across in a really huge superwide bed.

Tommy1733 August 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

"Atlas Shrugged" shows us through its continuously ironic tone, that to fail to care about your fellow man in the name of selfishness is wrong, and that the role of any modern government must include the care of its less fortunate citizens.

arihaya August 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

Don't be too harsh. Let's think positively, maybe Grauniad employing Josh Treviño is just like Colbert inviting Orly Taitz, you know, juts for the lulz.

SorosBot August 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

"Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: a paean to American liberty: Rand’s ideas appeal to millions of Americans besides Paul Ryan because they promise freedom from welfare enslavement"

JESUS LEARN WHAT FUCKING WORDS MEAN YOU IDIOTS. Ayn Rand's and Paul Ryan's ideas do not promise liberty and freedom, but the opposite. Welfare enhances freedom, you tools; and free market ideology has nothing to do with liberty, it does not promote it, in fact allowing the corporations to run amok and severely damages liberty for the rest us.

Property "rights" are not true liberty, morons, and the ironically-named Libertarianism is an ideology that is completely opposed to actual liberty and freedom! Oh and guess what, Rand's idea that government should not help its citizens but in fact just let the poor starve in the streets is fucking hugely morally wrong; it is in fact a completely immoral ideology, and for someone who promotes this evil view to claim the moral high ground is just sickening.

Motherfucking shitheads.

ChillBill August 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

Nice rant. You had me at "JESUS LEARN WHAT FUCKING WORDS MEAN YOU IDIOTS." The rest is gravy.

sullivanst August 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

Randians' notions of political philosophy got frozen at the age when they first read her drivel, and never developed to the point of realizing that where individual rights are in conflict, there is a legitimate role for collective intervention to ensure the minimum net reduction of global rights in the resolution of that conflict. This is the major reason that "objectivism" and humanism reach such starkly different conclusions despite beginning from similar principles. Well, that and the mindless promotion of the right to exclusive private property up to the level of equality with the right to life.

But then, what do you expect from those who worship at the altar of a woman who idealized a particularly brutal murderer?

PsycWench August 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

If a very intellectually advanced toddler wrote a book justifying his snatching the best toy horse away from the other kid, these people would buy it.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

It’s no accident, then, that Ayn Rand’s immense popularity in America has not crossed over to Europe.

Possibly because they've had their fill of fascist dictatorial rape-mongers over the past few millenia, but hey, I could be wrong.

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

Or that most of them finish school.

sewollef August 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Most of us did finish school.

My high school English teacher [a strong socialist], gave me a reading list of books that she "demanded" I read before I reached age 18.

The list was over 75 books long and, from memory, included most of the Steinbeck books, Upton Sinclair, John Reed, most of Orwell's books, Garcia Marquez, Trollope, Chekov, Dostoyevsky, Hugo, Voltaire, Hemingway, Somerset Maugham, and many others.

Amongst that list, was The Fountainhead…. and to this day, it's the only book I've refused to read in full. She was a heartless bastard, that nevertheless took advantage of the Bolsheviks opening up Russian universities to women, and despite her atheism, had not a shred of humanity in her bones.

That, and damn, she was ugly.

thatsitfortheother1 August 22, 2012 at 3:36 am

That's a pretty good list. Even if you did not like Steinbeck's story line here or there, it is pretty hard to ignore the beautiful way he put words together.

sullivanst August 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

That's a big part of it, but also having emerged from numerous different iterations of systems based on slavery or its close analogs, they've also realized that money is not happiness, it is a tool which can sometimes be used to increase happiness, and as such they have decided to prioritize increasing quality of life over increasing nominal monetary wealth.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

I think this above anything else explains the disparity in thinking in Western cultures: we pretended to be free, and even that was limited to white men with jobs but no property, while our counterparts in Europe *knew* they were never free and actually did something about it.

It would explain why Americans fear their government but European governments fear their citizens.

fuflans August 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

i also think rand's twisted extremism could only be the result of experience with fascist dictatorial rape mongers.

and could only appeal to the immature, testosterone laden american chicken hawks who've never had such experiences. it's their porn fantasy: defending their freedom in a way they've never had to – and never actually could or would if it was under real threat.

(well not unless they figure out how to get off their hooverounds)

An_Outhouse August 21, 2012 at 11:40 am

There's a reason that bitch didn't stay over there.

Bezoar August 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

Also in Europe they know that incredibly good bread, cheese, and wine can be amazingly affordable. Supply your own friend to share them with and boom, happiness.

Millennial Malaise August 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Whatever they're reading in their cushy European safety net, it's not Ayn Rand.

NorthStarSpanx August 21, 2012 at 10:18 am

Americans would need to question and reject the alien idea of altruism. Altruism is the Old World doctrine that it’s your duty to live for others and renounce your own self-interest.

Well, this does not jibe with Sarah Palin's "Servant's Heart" meme.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

Altruism is an entitlement.

So Jesus was a welfare-statist?

SigDeFlyinMonky August 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

Looking for coherent rational thought in the thicket of shopworn, hackneyed shibboleths propounded by the loyal party cadres of the Publicans is a fool's errand.

davidcmoisan August 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

"Servant's Heart"

(You have that wrong: _You_ are supposed to be the "servant". FTFY.
Be a good little drone and don't question, and Sarah will let you have…your starbursts?)

doloras August 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm

The fact that Christianity (even the most backwards-assed Pat Robertson brand) is a religion of sacrifice for the greater good and therefore diametrically opposed to Objectivism is the unspoken cancer at the heart of the Republican project.

BoatOfVelociraptors August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

I thought Germany was known for doing the treading, and in the case of the Gadsden flag, it was European countries like England doing the treading with their Hessian squads.

Not so much "Don't tread on me", as it is "We tread on you".

arihaya August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the American spirit

more like funeral hymn to the recently deceased spirit of America

SorosBot August 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

Since when is "the American spirit" "being a giant selfish prick who the world would be much better without"?

LetUsBray August 21, 2012 at 11:36 am

The 1980 election?

MacRaith August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

OK, Randites, repeat after me:

Capitalism is an economic system, not a religion.
Capitalism is an economic system, not a religion.
Capitalism is an economic system, not a religion.

mbobier August 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

But — but — what do we do with the temples with the giant money clips hanging over the altar, then? Not to mention the tiny golden dollar signs around the Randians' necks, and the choir rockin' out to Material Girl and Money Honey….

SorosBot August 21, 2012 at 10:52 am

Ah, but the Libertarian view of it, with the One True Free Market and Its Great Prophet, Ayn (along with lesser prophets adopted by certain sects recently, like Ron, Rand and Paul), and the rejection of all facts that contradict the dogma, is a religion.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

Lemme know when we get around to getting us some "capitalism", will ya?

Cuz right now, we got none. We got an oligarchy.

mrblifil August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

The individual’s pursuit of his own happiness versus altruism – this is the choice facing America.

In other words Kill the Oldz, but if someone mentions socialized medicine scream DEATH PANELLZZZZ!!!1!1

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

"expressed nonchalance at the idea of the IDF killing novelist Alice Walker?"

Well, Angel Moroni has been busy lately.

MinAgain August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

"Altruism is the Old World doctrine that it’s your duty to live for others and renounce your own self-interest."

So Old World essentially means the Gospel? Huh. I sometimes wonder how these people keep their heads from exploding.

Terry August 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

Remember, the fundies think they found a loophole that excuses them from all that feed-the-hungry, clothe-the-nekkid, heal-the-sick, comfort-the-prisoners stuff.

jodyleek August 21, 2012 at 10:30 am

Okay, so he hates the Old World doctrine. Does that mean he loves the New World order? I haz a confused.

slithytoves August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

It's long been my experience that when somebody is in a win-win situation, someone else is in a lose-lose.

DemmeFatale August 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

His other sign says: "Get a Brain Morans."

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

Looks like the guy's dad, alright. Needs to work on his zpelling, though.

noodlesalad August 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

Geez, I wish I had gotten a columnist job when I was a no-nothing college student who never had to work a day in his life or worry about preschool for my kids or what to do with a sick parent who was 63 years-old and suffering from a heart condition. God, I hate these self-righteous fuckers. They're the type of people who say "there, but for the grace of god, go I" and then pile on the misery.

SorosBot August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

It's got to be an easy life, getting on the wingnut welfare train; and never facing true unemployment or shit jobs, they never have to face the facts of life that prove how intellectually bankrupt and vile their pseudo-philosophy is.

One of my old college roommates and best friends was a Libertarian for a time – until he was unemployed for a few months. That set him straight, and he's been a liberal ever since.

noodlesalad August 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Reality has a liberal bias – fact.

Fred_Wertham_Jr August 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

John Rogers is the author of the Atlas Orc quote, not Paul Krugman. He is also the discoverer of the Crazification Factor (27%) and the creator of the TV show Leverage.

doloras August 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I base my life on Parker's example.

Terry August 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

"Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the American spirit"

No, it isn't. It's a piss poor novel that attempts to make grand excuses for a person wanting to be a selfish bastard with no involvement or investment in the community around him or her.

PsycWench August 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

Plus it's a 250 page story that somehow fills about a thousand pages. Or maybe it just seemed that way the one time I tried to read it.

elgin_pelican August 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm

No, John Ashcroft wrote that hymn to the American spirit. "Let the eagle sooooar…cover up those nips, me hearties……."

Jus_Wonderin August 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

On "The Diane Rehm Show" yesterday I listened to a discussion of her "philosophy". As an atheist she abhored Reagan's coupling of Religon and Politics. She may very well have accepted SSA and Medicare in her later life.

And, Paul Ryan has taken a small step back from tauting how her works and thoughts have influenced him.

BTW: There are violent rapes in Atlas Shrugged and another of her works?????

noodlesalad August 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

Violent, sure, but are they legitimate?

GregComlish August 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

In Ayn Rand's fantasy, powerful men cannot be denied. They earn consent through pure willpower and concentrated egoism. The strong seize control of the weak because they are superior beings. They are powerful because they are selfish and other people don't exist for them.

Ayn was so into this fantasy that she literally wrote fan girl letters to William Edward Hickman, a famous serial child killer who shocked the nation with his sadistic murder/dismemberment of an innocent 12-year-old girl:
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/mark-ames-paul-ry...

I don't begrudge anybody their sexual fantasies, but they are no basis for a system of government.

Stevola August 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

The Fountainhead. But they weren't legitimate rapes.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:30 am

Fountainhead is the most well-known

As Sparks Notes put it: Roark then rapes her like “a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession” of a slave.

Barbara Cartland would gag.

widestanceromance August 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

SSA and Medicare were OK–for her, just not for anyone else, since they'd be robbing her of her liberty if they got it, too.

MinAgain August 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

Well, that is the Republican way. I was listening to NPR this morning, and the reporter was speaking with a cattle farmer who said he was voting for Romney, because the government had gotten too big. The reporter then asked him if he was receiving farm subsidies. His answer? "Yes, but they're not that big a part of my operation."

widestanceromance August 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

I heard that, too! I loved when he dismissed "ObamaCare" by saying he 'made' loving children who know he's there for them until the day he dies, and they'll take care of him if he needed nursing home care. . .missing a logic screw there, eh, Buddy?

jodyleek August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

Well, as long as the rapist was doing what made him happy, we shouldn't tread on him with goobermint regulation. Besides, if you feel empathy for the victim, it's just Old World doctrine mucking up your thinking.

PsycWench August 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

Don't tread on a man's ability to engage in surprise sex.

davidcmoisan August 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

That's what Akins really meant "legitmate rape" to be: One who does it on another is "legitimate". Right?

Joshua Norton August 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

Atlas Shrugged

Most christianist wingnutz like Lyin' Paul Ryan think the title should be "Jesus Shrugged".

eggsacklywright August 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

Rand's believers are intellectually and emotionally 14-year-olds.

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:43 am

My favorites are the ones waiting for a seat at the Republican table, even though their circumstances mean they will never earn more than ten dollars an hour.

I guess it's no worse than jeebus.

azeyote August 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

all praises and worship to the wonkers for finding humor in the rand beast – besides her looks of course

Goonemeritus August 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

I’m getting a little tired of people in GB always pointing out how fat and stupid Americans are. It’s especially hurtful because we are so fat and stupid.

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

Back hand them a dentistry joke. (I lived there for 6 years.) Or how they can be such bad cooks when France is only 17 miles away.

sewollef August 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Hey! I have great teeth thank you… and France is 22 miles away. That five miles makes a BIG difference…

thatsitfortheother1 August 22, 2012 at 3:47 am

Ehem, my bad, 34km. No offense, I love the Brits. But when the game is cultural relativism, I am armed and snarky.

HistoriCat August 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm
viennawoods13 August 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

England… if you like the weather you'll LOVE the food!

Terry August 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

"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."

Great quote, but I don't think Krugman said it. I think it was someone named John Rogers.

MinAgain August 21, 2012 at 10:43 am

Is that the same John Rogers who created "Leverage"? 'Cause it sounds just like him.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:59 am
deanbooth August 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." — John Kenneth Galbraith

larrykat August 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

Oh, is that good.

Jus_Wonderin August 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

NPR:
http://www.npr.org/2012/08/21/159370491/in-wis-sw

Read the text about the guy who does take "handouts" but wants to cut other folks "handouts". Geez, the hypocrisy.

ChillBill August 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

I listened to this on my way to work today…I think my stereo will need a new faceplate.

widestanceromance August 21, 2012 at 10:52 am

Me, too and I hope all of us heard that.

Who could not have thought, 'hmm, there's some Wonkette bait right there' upon hearing it?

PubOption August 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

The reporter should have asked if they listened to Rush Limbaugh.

Jus_Wonderin August 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

Greene did ask if this person saw a “contradiction” in what he was saying. Contradiction? What about Fn hypocrisy???

EatsBabyDingos August 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

And which bitch did Jesus slap?

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

All of them, Katie?

Terry August 21, 2012 at 10:33 am

The comments section over at the Guardian is fabulous. Well worth a read.

mavenmaven August 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

Keeping in mind that Ayn Rand was herself, in every way, of the Old World…
And that the next book on that limited GOP bookshelf is the "austrian economics"

SorosBot August 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

By the way, was the rape than Ayn Rand loved to celebrate in her books legitimate rape?

no_gravity August 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

Was any babby produced? If so, then no, not legitimate.

sullivanst August 21, 2012 at 11:36 am

No because that slut enjoyed it. Duh!

larrykat August 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

I am halfway through the tedious, cartoonish Atlas Shrugged… I am forcing myself to continue. That anyone with half a brain would take Rand's straw-men and simple, fallacious dichotomies serious just astounds me. If this book, as he says, is the main reason Paul Ryan "got into politics", he should be put in an asylum because the cheese fell off his cracker long ago.

GunToting[Redacted] August 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

I can't remember what blog I read it on, but they made the point about paying attention to someone who bases their entire political outlook on a NOVEL. They made the thought experiment something like "Could you imagine what would happen if a liberal quoted Frodo's speech on the dangers of power when talking about military action?"

MosesInvests August 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

You want a quote from a novel to influence political thinking? How about this one?
"…He deserves death." "Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement." The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien.

viennawoods13 August 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

That's my favorite!

viennawoods13 August 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Try Anthem. It's much shorter and sums up her repellent philiosphy very well. Oh, and my favorite part (as in it made me throw the book at the wall when I read it in Gr 11): when the man and his "Golden One" escape the nasty socialist hive-mind city and find a house in the country, they enter and he goes nuts over the library with books! ideas! whilst the chick goes nuts over the clothes.
I'd call Rand a cunt but that's an insult to cunts.

larrykat August 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I particularly liked the parts where Dagney wants Reardon to "take her" and how she "wants him to see her waiting on him." Rand was one crazy, self-loathing twat. (There, I didn't denigrate the c-word again.)

doloras August 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Or just listen to Rush's _2112_, which is Anthem with a prog-metal soundtrack.

MilwaukeeKent August 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

Judging by world events, I think Atlas has been helpless in some sort of chronic Giggle fit the last dozen years or so. Nonetheless, Sociopaths everywhere rejoice, individually, at Don Watkins glad tidings. Sociopaths, Unite!

no_gravity August 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

Does anyone really care who John Galt is? I've never made it past page 10 or so, so I have no idea.

thatsitfortheother1 August 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

Ernest Hemingway she wasn't.

actor212 August 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

I skipped to the end, where I was surprised that the last line was "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

no_gravity August 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

Did anyone get slapped saying Mother/Daughter, Mother/Daughter? Cause if so, I may read that last page.

larrykat August 21, 2012 at 11:34 am

I am 45% of the way through on my Kindle, and we still only have little clues who the fuck he is. He's really kind of a prick-tease I guess.

Guppy August 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: a paean to American liberty: Rand’s ideas appeal to millions of Americans besides Paul Ryan because they promise freedom from welfare enslavement

Ah, the usual right-wing obsession with colons…

James Michael Curley August 21, 2012 at 11:12 am

And what fills colons?

PsycWench August 21, 2012 at 10:49 am

Do these people realize that there is a phrase in the Constitution about providing for the common welfare? Would they then realize that their holy trinity of the Constitution, Ayn Rand's works and the Bible just DO NOT WORK TOGETHER?

SorosBot August 21, 2012 at 11:01 am

No, they just pretend the Constitution enshrines their ideology into law even though it clearly doesn't; along with the common welfare clause they think that "The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes" actually means that Congress is not allowed to regulate commerce.

James Michael Curley August 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

Some recent Ayn (as in swine) Rand advocates I have met are sentient enough to also philosophize Adam Smith as part of their pantheon of heroes of freedom. I love quashing their enthusiasm with the statement that our founding fathers were well aware of Adam Smith and eschewed his "Wealth of Nations" theories in writing the Constitution. After they are down I like to kick them with the fact that Adam Smith was then charged with establishing the Bank of England and instituted the first 'income tax' on corporations.

MosesInvests August 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Adam Smith also wrote the right to own slaves into the charter for the Carolina colony.

James Michael Curley August 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Didn’t know that, thanks.

ThundercatHo August 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

You know how about 450 years ago a bunch of fundamentalist Christians piled into a leaky boat and went out into the wilderness? Why can't that happen here and now?

Tundra Grifter August 21, 2012 at 10:51 am

Is the Ayn Rand Institute the place to work for people who can't cut it at R. Bent Bozo the Turd's "Media Research Center"/Newsbusters website?

DahBoner August 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

That guy with the sign looks like he's pursueing his own happiness.

That's why he needs the track shoes and doo rag.

//rimshot

fuflans August 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

ORC LIBEL!

Tundra Grifter August 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

According to its website, the Ayn Rand Institution is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The ten "selfish" reasons to donate money to it include:

"I want to defend free markets and the moral virtue of making a profit. I want to liberate businessmen from the shackles of government regulation so that I can benefit from the innovation and prosperity of a free economy."

I know I'm old enough to know better, but the utter, complete lack of self-awareness on the part of so-many "conservatives" (reactionaries) continues to astonish me.

Why isn't the Ayn Rand Institution a healthy, for-profit enterprise? Didn't she collect royalties from her books? Or has her philosophy been dope-slapped by the invisible hand?

SigDeFlyinMonky August 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

If the human race lived by Rand's precepts from the beginning the leopards and hyenas would have left our bones bleaching in the sun on the plains of Africa.

not that Dewey August 21, 2012 at 11:13 am

Ana Marie Cox is a libertarian now? Who knew.

mocasdad August 21, 2012 at 11:16 am

Two colons in the same article title? They may need to tighten up the hiring guidelines over there at the trailer housing ARI.

Chow Yun Flat August 21, 2012 at 11:17 am

I am sure that Don Watkins is a fine fellow indeed.

pinkocommi August 21, 2012 at 11:24 am

New Republitard slogan that encapsulates all of its major policy points – No altruism.

It is frightening that there are people out there who think this sounds good. But perhaps I will reconsider my position when my baby needs a diaper change or wants to breast feed. Take care of yourself, you parasite!

An_Outhouse August 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

Shorter Don "tiny penis" Watkins: 'Maybe its something in the water.'

Incitefully_Joe August 21, 2012 at 11:35 am

[Atlas] shows that capitalism is a win-win system where all individuals are free to pursue their happiness. It shows that it is right for individuals to be concerned with their own happiness. And it shows that those who seek to “tread on you” – to control your life, redistribute your wealth, and mortgage your future – are morally wrong.

Here's a pro tip: if you are talking about a work of fiction, "shows" is not the word to use. "Shows" implies a factual framework that is necessarily not met by fictional characters acting in a fictional setting in accordance to an author's whims. The most a work of fiction can do is argue, claim, or suggest. When you say a science fiction story shows, demonstrates, or proves something, you're essentially imputing to that science fiction story all the inerrance and factuality that people normally grant to religious texts: you are, in effect, Scientology.

Also too, Atlas Shrugs doesn't even do a terribly great job at making any of those arguments, dumbass.

An_Outhouse August 21, 2012 at 11:35 am

My neighbor liked to target practice at all hours of the day and was really treading on my peace and quiet. So I blew him away. Now its much less noisy. Thanks, Ms. Rand!

Boojum August 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

Y'all are missing the hidden point. If "do as thou wilt is the whole of the law," there is nothing that prevents us from getting together and acting in our own interest in confiscating the munnies of the billionaires and distributing it to ourselves. So, who's with me!

HistoriCat August 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Logical conclusions have a liberal bias.

Toomush_Infer August 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I hope this is the reap what you sow part of Ryan/Rands' career…..

MosesInvests August 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

The Lord of the Rings shows that elves are immortal and that hobbits are more resistant than humans to the influence of magic rings created by Dark Lords.

blitzgal August 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm

"[Atlas] shows that capitalism is a win-win system where all individuals are free to pursue their happiness."

Unless you're a chick. Then you're just there to be sexed, possibly without your consent.

maczieg August 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm

The only thing that Atlas actually "shows" is that Ayn Rand couldn't critically think her way out of a paper bag. For those seeking the longer version: http://sites.google.com/site/atlassucked/

BTW, I wonder if Don Watkins graduated high school this year or if he still has a couple of years to go.

ttommyunger August 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Some folk are just a little too desperate for heroes. I'm talking to you, chain-smoking, hypocritical atheist cunt with bad teeth and worse breath.

barto August 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Kudos for correct spelling, Mr. Too-Dumb-to-Know-When-I've-Been-Had man!

Willardbot9000_V2.5 August 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

For all the "brilliance" Ayn Rand for real Americans it's not exactly like she came upon some Earth shattering truth or anything. All the bitch did was take what Marx wrote, hold it up to a fun house mirror and write the opposite. Instead of a dictatorship of the proletariat (because they're morally and ethically superior) she wrote about a "free" dictatorship of the industrialists (because they're morally and ethically superior). Communist emphasize utilitarianism, Rand emphasized individualism. Communists believed that women should dress humbly, Rand believed women enjoyed rape and sex should be a business transaction. Communists emphasized public life in communities, Rand emphasized privacy and selfish disregard for neighbors. The list goes on and on…just opposite land. At least when Aristotle wrote his differing philosophy from Socrates, etc. it wasn't based upon opposite land but required actual deep thought. In the end, Rand was just pissed her father's pharmacy was made a state asset and never got over it…not exactly grounds for some great philosopher. Plus, she was authoritarian as hell with her followers and a massive hypocrit to boot…

Willardbot9000_V2.5 August 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm

The popularity of Ayn Rand amongst 'real Americans' to the exclusion of everyone else just proves a couple of things: 1) real philosophy is HARD…it's why most fourteen year olds (right about the Rand age…) can't handle Kant, or Aristotle or even Satre but they can handle Rand, 2) real Americans are really stupid with how they distill Marx. I'm not saying Marx was the greatest thing ever and his philosophy was doable for organizing a nation but most of these idiots process Marx by reading Rand and since Rand herself was infantile they have an ultra-simplistic narrative. In fact, I'd say objectivism which is supposed to be the opposite of Marxism (in a simplistic way) shows that Rand herself didn't have a handle on Marx or utilitarianism and she damn sure didn't understand altruism…but that's aside from the point. Randroids are idiots who live in bubbles…

KeepFnThatChicken August 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Atlas Shrugged is a testimony to how awesome it is to fuck everyone, including Francisco D'anconia and a married Hank Rearden. It spells out the obvious harmfulness of being a mooch, though it doesn't address why Dagny's impotent brother still maintains any authority with the railroad, because he's a simpering, whiny trust-fund babby. It outlines the beauty of being Rush Limbaugh, because Rush (portrayed by John Galt for an entire goddamn chapter) also never shuts up. It holds inviolate the right to do with one's personal property, even at great risk to other people, when Wyatt impersonates a terrorist and bombs the fuck out of — get this — an oil field.

Also God is only mentioned in the entire three-volume book when Dagny is getting freaky on, oh, everyone, because QED, she's a slut.

Finally, it is excellent for science fiction, because the whole narrative relies on a person who invented a perpetual motion machine. If you thought the idea of a godless capitalist society was excellent, wait until you get to the part where they break the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Baba_NinjaCat12 August 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

In a nation where capitalism is a win-win system, has billionaires and is likely to surpass the USA as a global economic power exist. It's the People's Republic of China.

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