Moochers of the 1%
Recently I read a book lambasting Ayn Rand, and it got me to thinking. Objectivism is so self-contradictory and hypocritical that its tropes can be used to support any position whatsoever. So I wonder, is it possible to argue for socialism using Randian rhetoric?
Rand constantly complained about moochers and looters and bums parasitizing off the foolish altruism of the world’s true wealth-creators. All right then, who are those moochers? And who are the true wealth-creators?
I nominate the 1% as the moochers, and the Workers of the World as the wealth-creators. I could count many ways our oligarchs are moochers and looters and parasites. For instance, early in the Obama administration, the Treasury Secretary knelt before Pelosi, begging for a terabuck for crooked bankers. She should have kicked him. Instead she gave him that terabuck. Thus conservative market ideology is revealed as a scam, and the liberal state as its accomplice.
And as for the source of wealth... recall Edison’s definition of genius; 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. So even if the 1% inspire (which our 1% do not) it must needs be us, the 99%, who perspire those empty visions into full reality. To think that brilliance alone creates wealth is to be a subjectivist indeed.
The Situationists spoke of “detournement”, meaning the ‘diversion’ of cultural tropes from conformism to resistance. I think Randian rhetoric is overdue for detournement. So I think it possible to deliver a typical Randian rant, but repurposed for socialism. Then you’d hear a whirring sound; Rand doing high RPMs in her grave.
I end this post with a wonderful Mother Goose rhyme. I first heard it after Hannah was born, so I got to hear it fresh with adult ears.
Hark! Hark! The dogs do bark.
The beggars are coming to town.
Some in rags, and some in tags
and some in velvet gown.