From Ayn Rand to Whittaker Chambers to 'Plan B'
By my count, we're at Plan H or I. There's been the August 2007 money pump, the winter Bear Stearns bailout, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac takeovers, the AIG nationalization, money-market insurance, the $700 billion asset purchases, debt guarantees, the latest capital-injection proposal etc. Assuming yours truly missed something and we're now at Plan I, Plan J comes this weekend.
Lot of talk these days about Alan Greenspan's respect for Ayn Rand, thanks to this NYT story
on Al's probable post-Wall Street-meltdown legacy. After reading the article, the Hub Blog mind immediately thought of one of the most famous pieces ever published by National Review, Whittaker Chambers's classic 1957 takedown of Ayn Rand.
Read it. Especially liberals. (Hey, I'm reading Paul Krugman
more often these days, so liberals might as well read something from the sane right during these crazy times.) The piece by Chambers -- yes, the Chambers of Alger Hiss and pumpkin fame -- is a devastating indictment of the utopian individualism and materialism advocated by Rand and so admired by Greenspan and many CEOs who consistently list Rand's Atlas Shrugged
as one of their favorite novels. Reading Chambers' piece again today (I last read it years ago), it's shocking how he almost predicted current right-wing dogmatism, nonsense and viciousness, as spouted these days by the likes of Sean Hannity and Jay Severin
, etc. Chambers even touches upon the intellectual 'convergence' of the hard Left and Right, something I've inadequately tried to convey via my own mirror-image metaphors.
It's not too far of a reach to say that what we're witnessing today -- politically and economically -- is the divided world that Rand advocated and that Chambers warned about 51 long years ago.