On Rand

I dunno. I worked very hard on Rand in the early 90’s and there exist only two known criticisms and I’m not sure that they stand in any meaningful sense. I mean, I can tear apart pretty much anyone, and that includes Rawls and certainly Nozick (and demonstrably marx, keynes, mises, rothbard, rand and hoppe), and she isn’t any weaker than the rest of them except when she tries to transform it from narrative to analytic statements. And I bet I can handle (although It’s been a while) any criticism of her arguments other than her (failed) attempts at analytic ones (“A=A” is Rand’s version of Mises “Man Acts” – they are meaningless);

The problem with Rand is Randians. She’s a doorway, from the novel as philosophy, to lite-philosophy, to her one piece of fantastic philosophy (Aesthetics). But, unlike most of us, Randians stop after they enter the doorway, like old people stop at the top of the escalator.

You very rarely find people other than marxists and randians who are that dedicated to a single narrative. (and we can learn a great deal from the construction of narratives that are that compelling). Abrahamism is very interesting subject of study for the purpose of deception by continuously overloading a false premise (or in the jewish case deep metaphysical falsehoods that are necessary for the preservation of their pastoralist group evolutionary strategy).

In the sense that she (a) popularized philosophy, (b) created a narrative path between marxism/socialism and classical liberalism, and (c), created an upper middle class set of narratives and values, I think she was successful.

On the other hand, she’s an entry level thinker, trying to translate jewish ethics (without duty – libertinism) into anglo form (with duty – liberty), in order to prevent the left’s transmission of negative duty (defense of all capital) into positive duty (transfer of wealth), the same they way that translated negative freedom (from imposition by others) to positive freedom (imposition upon others).

And I think she made that argument in the terms it needed to be made: *sentimentally*.

That she tried to formalize it the way jewish law was formalized, and that she called aristotelian instead, didn’t work without innumeracy. Marx could get away with innumeracy because of the primitive state of economics. Pseddorationalism (claims to logical completeness) are identical to innumeracy (numerology), and not very different from economic innumeracy (cherry picking).

Unfortunately, she failed to say it as clearly as I just did, and tried to state it as a universal….

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute

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