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Ayn Rand was stupid …

…….. which really wouldn’t matter, except that we now have a Home Secretary (widely tipped as the next Chancellor of the Exchequer) who is said to read a chapter of one her books, the Fountainhead, at least twice a year for inspiration!

Rand on racism and slavery

In 1974 Ayn Rand was invited to address the graduating class at West Point, and in the discussion that followed defined her position on three different topics, one of which was slavery. She was against it, but her justification of that position forced her into some very contorted reasoning, and also revealed her astonishing ignorance of historical fact.

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Dagny Taggart – risk taker

Ayn Rand was obsessed with railways, which she saw as symbols of progress. It is therefore not surprising that so much of the action in Atlas Shruggedl centres around a railway, or that some of its most famous passages focus on a rail disaster – the death in the Winston Tunnel of everybody on board the Taggart Comet.

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Rand and royalty

Inevitably, the coronation of Charles III has focused many minds in the UK on issues surrounding the inheritance of wealth, power and privilege. Notably, it prompted the Guardian newspaper to undertake a detailed analysis of just how much the new king is worth, in strictly monetary terms and how much he costs his subjects. The results have been surprising, and shocking, but equally surprising, and shocking is the extent to which such information has been, and still is, concealed from those who, ultimately are paying the bills. That secrecy has been very necessary, because what it has hidden is almost impossible to justify.

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The Comprehensive & Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership

So the UK is now a member of the Comprehensive & Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, whose nearest member (Canada) is thousands of kilometres away across the Atlantic. In promoting the deal, the best our Prime Minister could find to say was that “British car producers would previously have paid tariffs of 30% to export their cars to Malaysia. From today, that goes down to 0%”.

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Rand as a prophet

Ayn Rand is often credited with having made predictions that later came true, but all she ever did was follow generations of better and wiser people in deploring corruption. When it came to suggesting realistic measures to counter corruption, she failed completely.

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Rand and the earthquake

During her 77 year lifetime Ayn Rand experienced disaster in many forms. She knew earthquakes happened. Did she have anything to say about them?

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The utility of gold

Is the gold industry getting a wee bit nervous? It seems unlikely, with the world so invested in it, but in the last few months my LinkedIn feed has been in frequent receipt of messages pleading with me to “explore all gold’s potential benefits” and then invest in the stuff

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Essential Services

In the UK, Christmas 2022 is going to be mainly notable for strikes, many of them by ‘essential workers’. Which does rather beg the question – If the services being provided are so essential, how is it that the people who provide them are not decently paid?

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Car No 8 and the right to travel

Among the people whom Ayn Rand consigned to their fate in the Winston Tunnel disaster was ‘the woman in Roomette 6, Car no. 8, …. a lecturer who believed that, as a consumer, she had “a right” to transportation, whether the railroad people wished to provide it or not’. But railway workers in the UK are to be denied the right to withhold their labour, should they not wish to provide it. Would Rand have approved?

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Britannia trussed

Liz Truss wants to be seen as the queen deregulator, and a tool is ready to hand. Unhampered by a written constitution, she wields the power of the King-in-Parliament and also has the Brexit-delivered opportunity of fulfilling her ambitions by the simple act of removing all EU-derived legislation. And she can cut taxes at the same time.

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