Posts Tagged ‘objectivism’

On MarketWatch, an interesting recap of Alan Greenspan’s testimony regarding the financial crisis:

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — In one of the most dramatic moments in the global financial crisis, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified before Congress in October 2008, just weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers spread fear and panic around the world.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) bluntly asked him, “Were you wrong?”

“Partially,” replied the humbled Greenspan, who once sat at the commanding heights of the world’s economy.

Read the rest of the account here.

We were witness to this fateful testimony before and with interesting discussion as well. Just as the exercise of juxtaposing Greenspan’s execution against the tenets of Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy. Hubris is a virtue to Objectivists, arguably the same hubris that brings us ever closer to the brink with every new crisis.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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The Ayn Rand Institute is an organization which provides material on the author Ayn Rand’s works and philosophy: Objectivism. Dr. Yaron Brook is part of the Ayn Rand Institute and along with his Objectivitst colleagues, a vocal critic of the U.S. government’s actions to date in response to the economic crisis.

Dr. Yaron Brook explains that the only way government can help the economy is to liberate us from “environmentalist restrictions on oil drilling and energy production”, Sarbanes-Oxley, the “semi-socialization of the health-care market”, the Federal Reserve, and “other forms of government spending”, not “stimulus packages”.

More of Dr. Brown’s thoughts in this interesting article:  Stop Blaming Capitalism For Government Failures

This is just the latest example of a pattern that has been going on since the rise of capitalism: capitalism is blamed for the ills of government intervention–and then even more government intervention is proposed as the cure. The Great Depression? Despite massive evidence that the Federal Reserve’s and other government policies were responsible for the crash and the inability of the economy to recover, it was laissez-faire that was blamed. Consequently, in the aftermath, the government’s power over the economy was not curtailed but dramatically expanded. Or what about the energy crisis of the 1970s? Despite compelling evidence that it was brought on by monetary inflation exacerbated by the abandonment of the remnants of the gold standard, and made worse by prices controls, “greedy” oil companies were blamed. The prescribed “solution” was for the government to exert even more control.

Visit the Ayn Rand Institute here.

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In a rare interview with Tom Snyder, author-philosopher Ayn Rand describes epistemology: how to know things, and her particular philosophical system which she calls Objectivism. She shares how her ideas contrast with other philosophies and established systems of morals and ethics such as those proposed by religions. She is a particular critic of altruism in society, of religious faith without the benefit of evidence, and of Immanuel Kant’s ideas.

Although her ideas have been received both acclaim and wide criticism, Rand’s talk nevertheless remains very fascinating and relevant to this day.


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Ayn Rand, bestselling and controversial author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and founder of the Objectivist philosophy made a rare appearance on Phil Donahue’s show in the 1970s. Rand is in her 70s during this interview, which happens shortly after her husband Frank O’ Connor’s death.

The discourse between Donahue and Rand illustrates some of the controversial insights of Objectivism, among other things: why sacrifice and altruism are evil, and rational self-interest is the highest good. Donahue also poses interesting criticisms of Rand’s view and her replies are both insightful and entertaining at the same time.

Get a taste of Ayn Rand’s view of rational self-interest from a film adaptation of Rand’s bestseller: The Fountainhead: (more…)

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