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Oh, all right, it's OK to help tsunami victims, we guess... - Riffs and Licks
Oh, all right, it's OK to help tsunami victims, we guess...
While still decrying "the ugly hand of altruism," the lunatics at the Ayn Rand Institute have grudgingly retracted the essay it released last week, "U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims."

Now mind you, these purveyors of institutionalized selfishness do not think that we should be sending aid:
It would be preferable to use the aid money for a legitimate function of government, such as to purchase needed military equipment and armor for our soldiers in Iraq, who are being asked to risk their lives to defend our freedom. It is likely, moreover, that the increase in aid offered by our government in the days after the disaster stemmed not from benevolence but from surrender to the altruists' corrupt demand that the U.S. had not sacrificed enough.
However, they concede that of all the "government abuses" (you know, things like public education, health programs, and so on) that we should be fighting, altruism is not as evil as "government programs and agencies whose very purpose is to violate individual rights, such as into the antitrust division of the Justice Department, which persecutes successful businesses for out-competing other companies on a free market."

The only justifiable punishment for these vicious cretins would be to force them to live in a world governed by their own policies.

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rednoodlealien From: rednoodlealien Date: January 11th, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's what they want. I think you're wrong to think that if they were forced to live with their own policies, it would be punishment. Even if it were unpleasant they would never admit it; it's all about principle with them.

There is no justifiable punishment; just continue according them the attention they deserve, which is zero. Even when I was a libertarian I found it laughable how seriously they all took themselves. Nobody could care less what the libertarians or the Ayn Rand Institute thinks.
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: January 12th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nobody could care less what the libertarians or the Ayn Rand Institute thinks.

I wish this were true, but this is not that much more extreme than what passes for thinking in the Shrub administration.

Besides, who could not pay attention to people this wildly amusing? So far I have managed to resist posting an anonymous troll to this post, but it's a real gem:
The reality of foreign aid is that it is a subsidy. Whenever you subsidize something, you create more of it. Want to have more poverty? There is no program better at creating more poverty than welfare. If you want to have more victims of natural disasters, the best way to do it is to subsidize the victims of natural disasters, or the regions. It discourages entrepreneurial incentives to deal with these issues.
So if we just cut back our foreign aid, we'd stop encouraging tsunamis. Left to fend for themselves in the free market, no doubt, tectonic plates would stop banging into each other and start doing useful work. It's comedic if nothing else.
rednoodlealien From: rednoodlealien Date: January 12th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Shrubs are not Randians or libertarians. They're Machiavellians neocons.

What the Randroids really want to believe is that anything bad that happens to you is your own fault. It's hard to think of anything you could bring less upon yourself, though, than an earthquake that triggers a giant tidal wave that wipes away your house, wife, and children. So they've got to cleverly change the subject to the afflicted nation's inability to recover without aid - I presume that's the 'subsidy' to which your quote refers. Anything to avoid seeing the fact that sometimes, shit happens and it's nobody's fault. Facts have nothing to do with philosophy; "I've got a philosophical argument to make against subsidies here gosh darnit."

I think even Ayn Rand acknowledged that there were extreme situations where self-interest could be abdicated - so-called 'lifeboat' situations. But she would immediately clarify that we do not live life day to day on a lifeboat. Maybe not usually. But maybe we do more often than she'd have liked to think.
From: couscous1021 Date: January 14th, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

A little late for this..

..but your post was mushed between some baby animal pics.

Thanks for the article, Ken. And, as much as I dislike reading ranting LJ posts, that one certainly was a gem. Tsunami Aid "discourages entrepreneurial incentives to deal with these issues"- that's hysterical. Not to get too hung up on the language, but I can't imagine where the entrepreneurial spirit would have a chance to flourish at this time.

steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: January 14th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: A little late for this..

You see, I don't think there's any true philosophical thinking behind the Bush administration or that post by the libertarian. I think Shrub's "philosophy" is pretty simple: Give as much freedom as possible to big corporations to do whatever they please with no fear of consequences. "Free markets" and "ownership society" and "values" are the camouflage under which they pursue their agenda, just as "states rights" was (and still is) the white hood over the real agenda of segregationists and racists.

I think the ludicrous illogic of the libertarian's post illustrates the point; the "philosophy" is so obviously bankrupt that no one could take it seriously. It's just camouflage for "Mine! Mine! Mine!"; a half-assed attempt at justifying the selfish impulse to ignore those in need.
rednoodlealien From: rednoodlealien Date: January 16th, 2005 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: A little late for this..

Again, the Bush administration has nothing to do with libertarians or the Ayn Rand Institute. Although you're right that "ownership society" and "free market" are camouflage for what the administration is really after - power and money - and libertarians also like the "free market," your conflating Bush with libertarianism is like conflating Al Quaeda with Saddam Hussein's Iraq because members of both have dark skin and live in Asia. You're just mixing up people who have nothing in common except that you don't like either one of them and they have some ostensible similarirties. Stop.
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: January 16th, 2005 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: A little late for this..

Relax! I was comparing them mainly in that they both use big philosophical statements to disguise selfishness and greed. I didn't say they had similar political views.
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