Ideology

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As this is about politics let’s start by dealing with ideology. In 2017 the two most dangerous, destructive ideologies on Earth are Islam and what I can only call Ayn Randian capitalism. I’m not sure which is a bigger threat.

Note I qualified this with “in 2017”. If I were writing in 1917 I’d probably be writing about the dangers of Bolshevism. In 2117 it may be different again. But in 2017 it’s Islam and Ayn Rand capitalism.

I shall be writing a lot about Islam so let me write briefly about Ayn Rand.

I first read Atlas Shrugged back in the early 1960s. I thought I was a good sci fi story. And if you don’t think it’s sci fi what would you say about a story that features a perpetual motion machine getting energy from static electricity in the atmosphere? I was a young physics student at the time and I knew it was as impossible as the faster than light space ships I was reading about in the pulp sci fi I loved.

At the same time I was also devouring all the James Bond stories. I thought they were rattling good yarns but I never thought they bore much relationship to the actual business of spying. And I was right on that one. The CIA and Britain’s MI6 are not staffed by James Bond type characters.

It also never occurred to me that anyone would take the ideology expressed in Atlas Shrugged seriously. But there I was wrong. Ayn Rand has her true believers. House Speaker Paul Ryan once claimed to be one though he has since recanted.

Ayn Rand style capitalism was the de facto economic ideology of the contemporary Republican Party until the advent of Donald Trump. Trump notwithstanding, it probably still is.

So what is Ayn Rand capitalism?

We can have a long discussion but here it is in a nutshell:

Ayn Rand capitalism is government of the people, by the people and for the people who own or control large corporate entities.

Saying this does not make me a Marxist. Marxism, socialism, communism, call it what you like, has a well-documented track record of failure and catastrophe. I am not advocating socialism.

Nor am I anti-capitalist. In fact I’d argue that what we have today is not really capitalism. It’s more like a form of crony capitalism except that the crony capitalists have captured the government.

As you may have gathered I dislike the Republicans. So what about the Democrats?

I feel no affinity to any political party but if someone held a gun to my head and made me choose between the two I’d go for the Democrats even though they’re ineffectual schlubs. But for various reasons I think they’re pretty awful. To name but two, affirmative action and bussing are unconscionable. Fortunately the latter is in decline. This sort of social engineering never works. It is always worse than the ills it purports to cure.

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