Thursday, 21 May 2009

Quote of the Day: How to destroy capitalism, part 17

As if she were writing yesterday (instead of thirty-four years ago), for those now trying to make sense of the world’s economic collapse and the political reactions to it:

"One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary." – Ayn Rand

If you’ve been sleeping for the past few months, or you’re not sure what controls led to today’s problems, then read (or re-read) George Reisman’s still timely summary: The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Present Crisis.

And check out, if you haven’t already, The Ayn Rand Center’s webpage on the financial crisis, which has that Rand quote above as its masthead.


  1. thanks for the link again Peter, I have several people looking for it.

  2. thanks for the link again Peter, I have several people looking for it.

    The Mises institute one, that is.

  3. What economics education did Ayn Rand have?

  4. What farming experience does radar have?

  5. "What economics education did Ayn Rand have?"

    Same as most people...she worked,earned, shopped and spent...but unlike most people she thought about the matter and came up with non contradictory conclusions....and she read Von Mises.

  6. the drunken watchman21 May 2009, 21:33:00

    But the thing is, are we going to end up like Zimbabwe or not?

    PC, I think your words at Xmas were, after invoking Zimbabwean analogues, "Oh yeah, well let's talk again this time next year".

    .... well it's May, and I havent noticed any outbreaks of cholera.

    I dont like the statism either, but does that mean we are all going to stop dead in our tracks?

    Could it be that we will carry on regardless, under an illusional promise of wealth and savings, ever-dependent on the state, working harder with an ever-increasing retirement age etc?

    But staying alive nonetheless, forevermore fed, clothed , reasonably healthy ....?

  7. Sean Fitzpatrick22 May 2009, 08:20:00


    Will the world cave in? Probably not - dosen't alter the fact that things could be a lot better.

    Remember, having what is good is often the biggest barrier to getting what is best.

    But then if one is just content to stay alive, be fed, clothed etc then so be it. Fitter, happier, more productive - a pig in a cage on antibiotics.

  8. Good answer, James.

    She was also born in Russia, Radar - and lived under both Tsarist and communist regimes.

    Nothing like some practical education, eh. ;)

  9. But the thing is, are we going to end up like Zimbabwe or not?
    No - probalby Argentina in the 1980s via Iceland now.

    Iceland had the EU to rescue them. Whose going to pay of our debts? Aussie? Yeah right.

    working harder with an ever-increasing retirement age etc?
    For all of NZ, there is absolutely no alternative to working harder, no retirement, and much reduced state support. The only question is - as Rodney asks: do we get there in a controlled way, by making correct choices now, or in a huge collapse.

  10. the drunken watchman22 May 2009, 19:27:00

    Anonymous -

    You been to Argentina recently?
    I have, it's a pretty cool place.
    If that is our fate then I almost look forward to it(said almost, and we are probably starting with a handicap)

    Sean - of course the Argies would rather be better off, who wouldn't. Not sure why you make the point. There was nothing in my discussions with Peter and hi sprdictions about contentment. It was about whether the statist system is WORKABLE. Hey, who knows, it may even be deterministically inevitable a la game theory.

    (regardless of whether I like it or not, which I don't.)


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