Rand writ large…

April 21, 2011
By

Back in January, I wrote a piece that was also published as an editorial in a regional daily. Called The Railroad Unification Plan, it detailed the parallels between Rand’s  Atlas Shrugged and current events. It contained this:

Taggart uses his political influence in Washington to convince a collectivist leaning government that this situation is unfair and it is really the “people” who are suffering and “something must be done” because it is a “crisis”. The result was the “Anti-Dog Eat Dog Act” preventing “destructive competition” and allowing the National Alliance of Railroads to ban competition in certain areas of the country. Taggart uses this Act to drive Phoenix-Durango out of Colorado and resume his poor service to the oilfields. As a result of the regional monopoly and poor service, the oil company can’t get its product to market and the oil industry in Colorado quickly collapses.

Critics have said that Rand is a conservative fantasy and that we are fools to think that it could happen.

Not so much.

Captain Ed (I’ve read his stuff since the old Captain’s Quarters days), has this at HotAir:

I’ve heard plenty of people dismiss Atlas Shrugged (the book as well as the movie) as overwrought, contrived paranoia about the regulatory state.  The government can’t run companies through its regulatory system, critics scoff, no matter what a Russian ex-patriate thought more than 50 years ago.  No one is marching into manufacturers in the US and telling the Hank Reardons of the world what they can build and where.

Of course not:

In 2009 Boeing announced plans to build a new plant to meet demand for its new 787 Dreamliner. Though its union contract didn’t require it, Boeing executives negotiated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to build the plane at its existing plant in Washington state. The talks broke down because the union wanted, among other things, a seat on Boeing’s board and a promise that Boeing would build all future airplanes in Puget Sound.

So Boeing management did what it judged to be best for its shareholders and customers and looked elsewhere. In October 2009, the company settled on South Carolina, which, like the 21 other right-to-work states, has friendlier labor laws than Washington. As Boeing chief Jim McNerney noted on a conference call at the time, the company couldn’t have “strikes happening every three to four years.” The union has shut down Boeing’s commercial aircraft production line four times since 1989, and a 58-day strike in 2008 cost the company $1.8 billion.

This reasonable business decision created more than 1,000 jobs and has brought around $2 billion of investment to South Carolina. The aerospace workers in Puget Sound remain among the best paid in America, but the union nonetheless asked the NLRB to stop Boeing’s plans before the company starts to assemble planes in North Charleston this July.

The NLRB obliged with its complaint yesterday asking an administrative law judge to stop Boeing’s South Carolina production because its executives had cited the risk of strikes as a reason for the move. Boeing acted out of “anti-union animus,” says the complaint by acting general counsel Lafe Solomon, and its decision to move had the effect of “discouraging membership in a labor organization” and thus violates federal law.

Ah, that must be the Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Law, or one of the Fairness Laws, or something, right?  The WSJ isn’t sure what law the NLRB is talking about, either.  Not only do businesses routinely relocate to find the most advantageous environment possible, states and cities compete for that business by calculating their business climate. If this has escaped the notice of the NLRB, perhaps they should get out more.

Randian fantasy? I think not. More of a collectivist nightmare.

31 Responses to Rand writ large…

  1. Fred on April 21, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Rand was an atheist. Atlas Shrugged is a Randian fantasy about atheistic individualism. This world view is a huge hit with ultra conservatives.

  2. utahprez on April 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Being an atheist has nothing to do with whether she was right or not. What she wrote about were the affairs of men, not God.

    I actually took a comforting message from Rand’s books. Christians believe that God is in each one of us and in Rand’s message of glorifying the individual rather than the collective provides for the possibility that we are glorifying God by extension of logic, and glorifying God over the godless and secular state.

    There are far more athiests on the left than the right. Wasn’t it Lenin who said that “religion is the opiate of the masses”? Why is the state placed ahead of God in every socialist/Marxist/communist society?

  3. Fred on April 21, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Being an atheist has nothing to do with whether she was right or not.

    Of course, but it illuminates her thought.

    What she wrote about were the affairs of men, not God.

    Of course, but those men were atheists.

    provides for the possibility that we are glorifying God

    That wasn’t her intent.

    Wasn’t it Lenin who said that “religion is the opiate of the masses”?

    Yes. But it does not imply that atheists believe in Lenin.

    Why is the state placed ahead of God in every socialist/Marxist/communist society?

    But this does not support the converse argument, that in order to not be socialist/Marxist/communist you have to place God ahead of state.

  4. utahprez on April 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Neither does your assertion that because she was an atheist prove that what she wrote has no relevance to current events.

    You just proved that hypothesis in the structure of your own argument.

    “Yes. But it does not imply that atheists believe in Lenin.”

    Nor does it presuppose that conservatives “believe in Rand”.

    So, basically, you have no argument and are just another anti-conservative provocateur.

  5. jan on April 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

    But this does not support the converse argument, that in order to not be socialist/Marxist/communist you have to place God ahead of state.

    There is no such converse argument. You don’t have to believe in a higher power in order to be a fiscal conservative. However, in a socialist/Marxist/communist society the government becomes the higher power, leaving no room for a religious higher power in their form of governance.

  6. Fred on April 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Neither does your assertion that because she was an atheist prove that what she wrote has no relevance to current events.

    I did not make that assertion.

    Nor does it presuppose that conservatives “believe in Rand”.

    They believe in John Galt, whose world view has roots in atheism.

    So, basically, you have no argument and are just another anti-conservative provocateur.

    Wrong of the first assertion, correct on the second.

  7. Fred on April 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Should be: “Wrong on the first assertion…”

  8. utahprez on April 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Right, your attempt at a point was made by implication, not by affirmative assertion.

    Your association by inference was to try to say that Rand was an atheist, conservatives pay attention to Rand, yet conservatives profess to be religious, so that makes conservative who read Rand intellectually inconsistent and by extension, liars.

    You state that Rand’s religiosity (or lack thereof) “illuminates her thought”. How, in the context of this post does it do that since there is no mention of religion in it?

    Since we can establish that Rand’s religious belief has nothing to do with whether or not the government is picking winners and losers, or even “illuminates” current history one way or the other, why else even bring up the fact that Rand was an atheist in a post with nothing to do with religion unless your aim was to somehow smear conservatives by inference?

    At best your posts are off topic, at worst, dishonest.

  9. phineas gage on April 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    The reason I treasure Pluto’s posts so much, and the reason I hope he keeps posting here indefinitely, is that while he believes he is subtle and opaque, he reveals himself clearly with every post. His inability to realize this makes it spectacularly funny, like a brilliant comedy routine.

    I grew up around people just like him. These people are all absolutely convinced of their own white-hot stellar brilliance, they are all terminally unhappy and complain incessantly, and each one makes the world a bit worse every day by their very existence. It’s who they are, the sad and furious modern leftist clowns, unable to comprehend the world they hate.

    Pluto is indeed clever, and so very proud of it, but it is irrelevant. Each poor uneducated villager that I worked with for seven years in the Philippines was a far better person than this miserable creature, far more substantial in terms of human value.

    There would be nothing worse than to go through life as Pluto, while pathologically obsessing over how special you are.

    It is beneficial, therefore, that he posts here–it gives him less time to poison his world. And we get a few laughs.

    So it’s all good, P-man! We await your series of fascinating one-sentence rejoinders.

  10. Fred on April 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    You state that Rand’s religiosity (or lack thereof) “illuminates her thought”.

    Her atheism underpins her characters.

    unless your aim was to somehow smear conservatives by inference

    Smear? No. I was pointing out the celebrants of Rand and John Galt have similarities with atheist and existential thought.

  11. L. on April 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Phineas, if you are going to obsess over me, at least you should be open-minded enough to attempt to get it right. There is no blurrier lens than sanctimony.

  12. utahprez on April 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Wow, and all this time I thought we were Rush’s mind numbed robots, just waiting for the next mind control broadcast from the RNC! We are capable of existentialist thought? Who knew?

    Again, none of your points have anything to do with the main points of the post. Although Rand was an atheist, she was also an enemy of collectivism and understanding that does more to “illuminate” her work that her atheism, yet you focus on an irrelevant point.

    Self reliance and self-determination are concepts enshrined in the Constitution and the Framers were not atheists. So does that mean that all individualists are religious? No, no more than Rand being an atheist proves that all adherents to her books or philosophies are.

    Existential thought does not preclude the existence of God or the individuals supremacy, it just seeks to rationally explain those conditions. Sartre was criticized for projecting anxiety and meaninglessness onto the nature of existence itself, so in a way, existentialism as a philosophy is ultimately self-defeating if there is no God.

    In general, conservatives read her books like a how-to manual to recognize and understand the collectivist mind.

    Like yours.

  13. Fred on April 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    the Framers were not atheists

    I don’t think that we know that. We do know that some framers did not believe that Christ was the son of God.

    the collectivist mind. Like yours.

    First time slur for me – and you are so sure in your slur.

    Self reliance and self-determination are concepts enshrined in the Constitution.

    The framers would have panned Ayn Rand.

  14. jan on April 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    The back and forths between ‘Fred’ and utahprez are a pictorial in contrasts.

    One elaborates on their points, brings in added information, analogies, and broadens the rhetorical engagement. The other just copies and pastes a comment, giving a flat assertion as their response, with no evidence or illumination to back it up.

    Can you guess which is which?

  15. ATTILA on April 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Fred is a GDLC.

  16. jan on April 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Attila —> rw’s favorite comment to the rescue!

  17. Fred on April 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    rw’s favorite comment to the rescue!

    One liners are OK as long as they are from a conservative.

  18. rightwingyahoo on April 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Funny how just last week, the trolls were terming us all Randian fetishists.

    Now, not one huge example of exactly what going Galt is all about, but actually 2.

    You trolls are amazing, no one can f*** up like you can.

    You goddamned lying communists.

  19. ATTILA on April 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Redistributionist Class envy is OK as long as it’s from a liberal.

  20. Utahprez on April 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Jefferson was a deist. But an atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in God, not someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus and that he was the son of God. Based on the roster of Framers, it is a pretty easy google exercise to find out the denomination of each.

    And as far as a slur, it isn’t. It is simply a conclusion based on your history of comments, comments that are consistent with a collectivist point of view. You are clearly anti-conservative and that would put you on the left side of the Rubicon. Not that there is anything wrong with that. You probably have been conditioned by your clique to think that you are mainstream.

    It’s OK, really. Just go ahead and own it.

  21. Utahprez on April 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    We actually do know that the Founders were not atheists.

  22. budahmon on April 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    It always amuses me that 99% of the Right’s so called wackos are public school educated (drop outs) white trash…while the Left’s numbnuts are 99% upper middle class and college educated. Example….Fred. So their best is equivalent to our worse.

    An nutus est an nictus ille idem ac ad vespertillio caecus.

  23. Utahprez on April 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Sorry about the crappy typing. I’m in a car and on my iPhone. I’ll fix it when I get to Jacksonville.

  24. Utahprez on April 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Hey! I resemble that remark! I don’t currently own a pickup but I did once. My current 4X4 is German made. I drink Stella Artois but there was a time that Budwieser was what’s for dinner. I was born and reared in the South but now live in Scotland. I was raised in a Democrat home but I am a conservative.

    Point being – some of us “white trash” evolve to a higher plane and overcome our ignorance and some don’t and become Liberals.

  25. ATTILA on April 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm
  26. utahprez on April 22, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Yep. Kloppy is a peach.

    This clip is painfully funny:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/21/comedy-gold-the-13-second-pause/

  27. Fred on April 22, 2011 at 6:14 am

    I resemble that remark!

    You mean, you aren’t college educated?

    Four of the six vehicles that I have owned in my life were pickup trucks. At present the only vehicle I own is a Harley springer. I blame my father for my PhD, he grew up in poverty in the Depression, but went to college on the GI bill and ended up getting a PhD.

    What I would like to know is why budahmon’s proclaimed rural white trash demographic will always vote for a silver spoon Yale grad whose handlers wash his Carhartt.

  28. Fred on April 22, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Sartre was criticized for projecting anxiety and meaninglessness onto the nature of existence itself, so in a way, existentialism as a philosophy is ultimately self-defeating if there is no God.

    Although Sartre isn’t the end all of existentialism, it can be said that he and Ayn Rand are two flavors of the same ice cream.

    ultimately self-defeating if there is no God.

    A “Nausea” version of it is, well, nauseous, true. But adding in God might only make it nauseous plus God.

  29. Fred on April 22, 2011 at 6:24 am

    We only know about the founders from their writings, and more than one wrote that they weren’t Christian. None wrote about atheism, and one might conclude that therefore none were atheists. However, atheism was uncommon then, pre-Darwin for example, and someone would had arrived at atheism might keep it private. My comment was minor, that there was enough spectrum of belief among the founders that I would not absolutely rule out that none were atheist. Again, minor point.

  30. utahprez on April 22, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Sorry to see that your daddy’s money was wasted on a Ph.D. Let me guess – it isn’t in a hard science, education or philosophy perhaps?

    Not being a Christian isn’t being an atheist. We aren’t arguing if they were Christian or Deist, you proposed that I couldn’t state that they weren’t atheists, yet there are very few that there is not evidence of a specific denomination but there is of their belief in God or at least the tradition of such in their biographical information.

    http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html
    http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/constitution/bioa.htm

    I have three degrees, economics and finance, mechanical engineering and a MBA.

  31. Fred on April 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Sorry to see that your daddy’s money was wasted on a Ph.D.

    You are sort of correct, he died a long, long time ago when I was 13, but some of the life insurance money and Soc Sec paid for my college education. Professionally I have achieved more than him, but then I grew up a university brat, rather than during the Depression.

    I have three degrees, economics and finance, mechanical engineering and a MBA.

    Then you don’t fit budahmon’s demographic.

    Let me guess – it isn’t in a hard science, education or philosophy perhaps?

    The rules of this website are that degrees and academics of the conservatives posters are praised, but similar level of professional attainment from “the trolls” are ridiculed. If I were to say that I am a tenured Ivy league professor, the posters would esteem me if I were conservative, berated in numerous ways if liberal. Them’s the rules, and they never change.