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Objectivism remains one of my pet peeves.  I meet and cross swords with many who are beguiled with this particularly noxious dogma.  From the blog Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature this post details yet another Randian disciple waking up and choosing reality instead of “rationality”.

Greenspan’s breaking away from Objectivism. In his autobiography, The Age of Turbulence, Greenspan explains why he stopped being an orthodox acolyte of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy:

Like any new convert, I tended to frame the concepts [of Rand’s philosophy] in their starkest, simplest terms. Most everyone sees the simple outline of an idea before complexity and qualification set in…. It was only as contradictions inherent in my new notions began to emerge that the fervor receded.

One such contradiction I found particularly enlightening. According to the objectivist precepts, taxation was immoral because it allowed for government appropriation of private property by force. Yet if taxation was wrong, how could you reliably finance the essential functions of government, including the protection of individuals’ rights through police power? The Randian answer, that those who rationally saw the need for government would contribute voluntarily, was inadequate. People have free will; suppose they refused?…

I still found the broader philosophy of unfettered market competition compelling, as I do to this day, but I reluctantly began to realize that if there were qualifications to my intellectual edifice, I couldn’t argue that others should readily accept it. By the time I joined Richard Nixon’s campaign for the presidency in 1968, I had long since decided to engage in efforts to advance free-market capitalism as an insider, rather than as a critical pamphleteer.


Greenspan here admits what has been suspected for some time: that he came to believe that Objectivism was flawed and so ceased being an orthodox advocate of Rand’s philosophy.

Not really surprising, but thanks Alan,  for fueling the latest bust in a run-away neoliberal capitalist dream we’ve all been participating in as of late.

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