Who’s next? Gordon Gekko?
As the economy crumbles, the usual cultural indicators of panic are on the rise–gun sales, survivalist talk and, of course, interest in the last century’s loony goddess of selfishness.
“Ayn Rand,” the Wall Street Journal reports, “died more than a quarter of a century ago, yet her name appears regularly in discussions of our current economic turmoil. Pundits including Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli urge listeners to read her books, and her magnum opus, ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ is selling at a faster rate today than at any time during its 51-year history.”
The message of that turgid 1200-page opus, that money is the root of all good, has inspired those who need justification for extreme selfishness and for looking down at the rest of humanity as “looters” and “moochers.”
When it was first published, “Atlas Shrugged” was derided by both the right and left, but over the years, a few acolytes like Alan Greenspan and Ron Paul (who named his son Rand) have risen to prominence.
Now that Greenspan has helped devastate the economy, the president of the Rand Institute is proposing that only more of the same will save it: