Sunday, March 10, 2013

John Galt Can Kiss My Liberal Ass

“Where some people are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, or despotism will come from either of those excesses.”

Late Friday morning I was sitting on the living room floor folding the third load of family laundry I had done when I spied the movie “Atlas Shrugged” on Netflix. Being that I have a visceral distaste bordering on blind hatred of anything or person associated with Ayn Rand I can only say it was a sudden and overwhelming sadomasochistic  urge that caused me to hit the play button and watch that abomination. What were my reasons for watching a movie based on the fantastical ravings of a narcissistic old bitty who I consider at least semi-psychotic and not far removed from the teachings of the granddaddy of all modern dictatorial lunatics Adolph Hitler?

The first being that several prominent American politicians like the Wisconsin boy wonder Paul Ryan, the nutty Ron Paul, his equally nutty and blatantly obnoxious son Rand Paul,  the sphinx-like Clarence Thomas, and even the Appalachian Trail walking former governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford have at one time or another thought Ayn Rand was the best thing since the invention of sliced bread. This only matters because each of these individuals claim some pious regard for the duties and responsibilities associated with being an elected leader. Well, the one exception being old Clarence who hardly ever speaks and even then it is only when his buddy Scalia is standing next him playing ventriloquist. This begs several questions to be asked, like where does Scalia insert his hand to control his buddy's mouth, but I will not touch any one of them here.

So enamored was the Wisconsin wonder boy with Ayn Rand that he made the mistake of being recorded once saying everyone who worked in his office had to read her writings. Of course, once hoisted onto the national stage by Romney he had to withdraw that statement and play stupid.  The Paul boys have both proudly proclaim how much they admire her novels and beliefs. So much that both have questioned the constitutionality of such things as civil rights legislation that cleared the way for minorities to vote and FEMA, which provides vital disaster relief. As for the former governor of South Carolina now seeking a political resurrection, his admiration had cooled somewhat but it’s clear she was once not far behind his now Argentinean fiancé.

The problem with these fellows and their admiration for the lady who formalized and quantified on how to be a douchebag is that they also have wrapped themselves in Christianity claiming to believe in the teachings of Jesus. I know quite a few republicans are morons but even a cursorily examination of the two philosophies should show the two are not compatible. Rand believing in something called “rational self-interest” and condemned ethical altruism where as Christ wanted us to love and watch out for each other.

From Matthew 25:35-40:

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I know I’m just a South Carolina country boy but this kind of shoots the crap out of the “I’ve got mine, screw everyone else” crowd.

If that was not enough here is one that should send every free market, conservative Bible thumper who is cozy with Rand into a permanent catatonic state:

The second reason I wasted nearly two hours of my life watching Atlas Shrugged was to try to get a handle of that fictional asshole John Galt. In the movie, the chief storyline involves a very bad actress, And I mean terrible, playing a railroad owner battling her incompetent brother along union thugs, commie environmentalists, and bloated bureaucrats to save her company. All the while, a shadowy figure wearing a trench coat and fedora is going around recruiting rich folks to some secret hideout where all good “producers” can live in freedom and happiness.

Now I can go along with the concept of someone making a buck off his or her idea or invention or neat idea. And since I am feeling slightly generous, a character flaw as far as Ayn Rand is concerned, I can basically understand the idea that government and other organized entities can get in the way. The planet-sized problem comes when we start making distinctions into what is actually a hindrance and what is just fair and prudent.

As far as the terrible union thugs republicans and the mighty leaders of industry have nervous fits about, I see this is just an attempt by the rich to go really retro and establish a semi-official privileged class. Greed is a terrible human flaw encoded into our basic DNA and it screws with my mental balance when I hear some multimillionaire or billionaire whine about how they are abused as they buy their fourth home in the tropics or second private jet. Please! Unions over the decades have immeasurably improved the conditions of the common people whether they were members or not. While there are legitimate examples of union corruption, I would rather have a far more expanded organized labor movement in this country making sure we do not return to 19th century labor conditions.  

Contrary to what a certain CNBC blowhard might say, I have a huge issue when some factory is pumping pollution into my water supply. Yeah, the capitalistic answer would be to buy bottle water but hey, I am an extreme socialist bordering on outright commie when it comes to this very basic human requirement. Call it a further example of how deeply flawed an individual I am but I do not see this planet as some huge dumping ground for these semi-mythical but very skittish job creators.

As far as bloated bureaucrats are concerned, what can I say? These suited bean counters are a burden civilization has to bear. The nasty little secret "producers" and other free market capitalists’ types do not want getting out that while bureaucrats in government are a pain they never receive multimillion dollar golden parachutes like those in business do after screwing something up like the American economy.

It is sad balancing the economy and preserving the environment along with the basic dignity of workers seems impossible. The way I see it, and I admit my view is skewed; the fault is squarely on the shoulders of business types. While the John Galt types of the world believe they have built their empires all alone it takes a government provided infrastructure of roads, bridges, and schools producing an educated work force to make that possible. 


lime said...

i can't comment on ayn rand since i've never read any of her works. i can say the uber conservative tea partyists who wrap themselves in alleged christian values absolutely sickens me and mt understanding of christ and the bible certainly do not match their utter lack of compassion and concern for those who struggle. they seem like the pharisees for whom christ had some of his harshest words.

Ranch Chimp said...

Good Morning Bum ... I of course cover alot of this. The bottom line is ... we lack strong leadership in our representation, we have a few heroes that I alwayz highlight such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders to name a couple of my fav's ... these individual's are true rep's of the people, show strength and most importantley integrity, many are good, but frail and scared, because of the money and how it control's our government, a government let me remind you, that they want to dissolve (the phoney elitist's) so that they can put every sector up for auction to the highest bidder in their final quest to privatizing the entire nation and globe.

Greed is "natural" to a degree, even with other's in the ape species ... what we are seeing though now, is desperation and "extreme greed" to where it has become a psychological handicap of sort. They are actually the same as a crack addict in their action's and can only self destruct within ... in time. Like the drug addict, instead of trying to rehabilitate the problem, we legislate politically to feed the problem by letting them continue off our back's and interest's and our relentless forgiving of them. The same as you dont put a pound of dope in a room for a week with a couple junkies and tell them to regulate their usage and you will check back in a week ... they will self destruct and O.D.

As far as the wealth and unequal distribution that we see ... it is OUR'S and made by us, it was stolen basically FROM US ... it iS IN ORDER to take BACK what was taken from us by whatever mean's necessary ... and then eliminating/ termination of the threat, they ARE OUR enemy.

Thanx for the read Bum, hope ya'll are well ....

Pixel Peeper said...

I remember the story with Paul Ryan in the news having to backtrack on his opinion of Ayn Rand because she was - as it turned out - one of those icky atheists.

Funny how all those concepts like providing healthcare for the sick, feeding the hungry, forgiving your enemies, visiting prisoners, etc. are not socialist but rather Christian ideas.

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks for commenting on my post today at Susan's blog. Good to meet you.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Is it not ironic that many conservatives claim to be good Christians while extolling the virtues of greed and selfishness as many liberals become physically ill at the mere mention of God while championing His desires for as many as will to want to truly take care of the poor and needy? Be assured that these two things are actually a great tragedy to Him, however.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Well, jeez, Bum, you really need to learn how to take a stand on something...

Seriously, I bet you can't get away with saying too much of this around your way, huh? I only read one of Rand's books, and at the moment I can't even remember the title. It's the one about Howard Rourke, the architect. (Funny, I can remember a character's name, but not the darned book title.) Anyhow, best as I can remember, I enjoyed the book, but I was pretty young, and didn't pick up on the author's philosophical leanings.

I have a feeling you'll like this quote from Bill Maher: "We have this fantasy that our interests and the interests of the super rich are the same. Like somehow the rich will eventually get so full they will explode. And the candy will rain down on the rest of us. Like there's some kind of pinata of benevolence. But here's the thing about a pinata: it doesn't open up on its own. You have to beat it with a stick."

In other words, "trickle down" doesn't get any of the parched folks terribly wet.

R W Rawles said...

Yep! The rich have won the undeclared class war. It's over. Isn't it?

Mike Williams said...

Hi Bum, Susan I think that book you refer to is the fountainhead but I get them confused. They are the same story and never take into account that the people who actually get the work done are the heroes of the books. I've read them and in my youth even admired them until I realized she was selling the working class, which I never aspired to be more than,out. Perhaps between depressions business leaders are something to aspire to but plain out greed has never interested me as a political or moral platform.

Randal Graves said...

A shame none of us will be around when this short-term (geologically speaking) energy boom finally busts and the most valuable people turn out to be blue collar shlubs.

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Life As I Know It Now said...

I do not see the planet as some huge supply dump for these semi-mythical but very skittish job creators.

They of course are not job creators at all but job destroyers, but I'm sure you already know that. Orwellian speak for damn sure!