Binswanger on Greenspan

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rather swamped at the moment as I mentioned I might be last Monday....

In the meantime, I highly recommend Harry Binswanger's latest over at Capitalism Magazine, in which he takes a look at reactions to Alan Greenspan's recent testimony blaming Ayn Rand's ideas for the current economic crisis, and then sets the record straight in impressive fashion:

So the meaning, which certainly has been seized on by the commentators, is: Greenspan belatedly realized how foolish he has been to believe in Ayn Rand's philosophy. The ideology of freedom, as taught by Ayn Rand to Greenspan, is what caused the current financial catastrophe.

What makes this especially revolting, is that the real destroyer of the economy is Greenspan, through his inflation-generating last years at the Fed.
Notably, Greenspan's betrayal was not sudden. His testimony was neither a bolt from the blue nor was the betrayal different in substance from his actions over the past two decades. I'll give Binswanger the last word here: "[B]y 1970--almost 40 years ago--I and a couple of other Objectivists in that circle already realized that Greenspan was compromising on her philosophy. Little did we know how far his anti-Rand journey would take him."

-- CAV


Vigilis said...

Apparently, capitalism has "melted down" like Three Mile Island. The centrist government's solution would be to require permitting of further capitalist outbreaks subject to 25-year long bureaucratic reviews. Yep, that should cure the problem.

I am beginning to appreciate Ayn Rand's perspective.

Dismuke said...

Being an Objectivist can be very inconvenient if one wishes to have a successful career and social life in Washington D.C. You might be forgiven for having a pro-capitalist or Objectivist past and still get invited to all of the right cocktail parties IF you can demonstrate that you have "evolved" - i.e., you can demonstrate that you have compromised your views and moved to the Left. Being a consistent Objectivist certainly would not have allowed one to get to sit next to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at a State of the Union address. And you CERTAINLY would not get to go out on dates with info-babes who have climbed to top positions in the Walter Duranty media and who are years younger than one's self such as Barbara Walters and Andrea Mitchell (who is now Mrs. Alan Greenspan) if one has an Objectivist history and remains true to one's beliefs.

In short, if you are an Objectivist and rise to a prominent position, it is only a matter of time that you are going to come under the pressure of other people thinking that you might be one of those backward, boorish hicks from flyover country who drinks the sort of coffee served in truck stops and gas stations. There are some people in this world who are so afraid of being thought of as such a person that they will sell anything and everyone out just so that they can remain in the good graces of the "beautiful people" in the self-proclaimed "creative class."

Let's put it this way: if the world goes to hell and we end up in a dictatorship, you sure as heck ain't going to see Alan Greenspan and one-time Objectivists of a similar mindset flipping burgers in a diner or working as a day laborer on a railroad. They will pay whatever price is necessary to remain in the good graces of the "beautiful people" ruling classes crowd.

Gus Van Horn said...


"The centrist government's solution would be to require permitting of further capitalist outbreaks subject to 25-year long bureaucratic reviews. Yep, that should cure the problem."

Heh! A centrist government WOULD think, based on Greenspan's idea of capitalism that you could order "outbreaks" of capitalism! That's what China is trying to do now, after a fashion.


If the statists get their way, there will be no burgers to flip, and you and I will be in no danger of having to flip them. Soylent Green. will be all the rage.

Here's hoping that my gallows humor doesn't give the Lord of the Gadflies any ideas!


Mo said...

this is starting to become like Europe 2.0 and it is really sad to see this state from where it was since the founding fathers.

Dismuke said...

"If the statists get their way, there will be no burgers to flip, and you and I will be in no danger of having to flip them. Soylent Green. will be all the rage.

Perhaps. But my guess is that once they consolidate their power and have effectively neutralized their opposition from the Right, the next step for the gang in charge will be for them to purge themselves of any potential revivals on the Left along with the more embarrassing "useful idiots" on the Left who had been previously helpful but can also be liabilities. Think of a low-key version of Hitler's "Night of the Long Knives" or Stalin's purges.

Notice, for example, that the Walter Duranty media has already been ignoring Cindy Sheehan for quite a while now. You will start to increasingly see that happening to other formerly visible people on the Left.

Environmentalism might still be given lots and lots of press and lip service as a justification for power grabs and to keep us in line - but those who take it seriously and in a way that is inconvenient to the objectives of the gang in charge will need to watch their backs. Germany had an environmentalist movement back in the late '20s and early '30s and were helpful to the rise of Hitler - and most of their leaders ended up dead or in concentration camps. Same with the leaders of the street thugs that brought Hitler to power. Same with the earlier and highly ideologically driven leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia - all but a very small number ended up being liquidated once Stalin had crushed opposition from the Right.

In once sense, there will be a certain justice when a great many of those who pushed for Obama and the Democrats end up getting the jack boot stomped on their own faces - except that if things get to that point, we, too, are going to get similarly crushed and much sooner.

Dismuke said...

Also, along the lines of my last comment, once Obama takes power, look for select information regarding Clinton era corruption that has up to now been covered up and kept secret to conveniently leaked to chosen members of the Walter Duranty media or even an investigative journalist on the Right.

A cardinal rule any true Machivellian and any true thug is to always KILL one's opponents and to NEVER merely wound them. Wounded opponents can come back to fight another day more motivated than ever. Bill and Hillary Clinton are profoundly wounded right now - but they are lurking waiting to capitalize on any Obama mis-step. I promise you he will do anything he can in his power to make sure that they are knocked off for good politically. And I have no doubt that there is all sorts of ammunition that can easily be used for that purpose which, up to now, had to have been kept secret out of fear of damaging the Democrats politically. Such information will no longer be as damaging to the Party - but it sure as heck can be devastating to the Clintons.

Gus Van Horn said...

This reminds me of the following quote from a recent Charles Krauthammer column:

"With [Obama] we get a president with the political intelligence of a Bill Clinton harnessed to the steely self-discipline of a Vladimir Putin. (I say this admiringly.) With these qualities, Obama will now bestride the political stage as largely as did Reagan."

The boot-licking has already begun.

Dismuke said...

Re: My comment about Obama releasing Clinton era dirt in order to destroy Hillary. Talk now is he will make her Secretary Of State. That actually might be an even better way of neutralizing her - if she becomes a PART of his Administration, she would have a harder time running against him in 2012, I would think. Of course, she hasn't accepted as of yet and I don't know how official the offer is or if it is just buzz.

I will say this much for her: it is hard to see how she could be worse than Madeline Albright or Colin Powell. Hillary is enough of a power luster she might actually be able to relate to and hold her own against a Vladimir Putin better than some wishy washy Republican, especially the type who "looks into Putin's eyes" and decides to give him a nickname "Pootey-Poot" which is what Bush did.

Gus Van Horn said...

That move would fall under latter part of "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

And yes, it would be a smooth move on his part.