Ayn Rand wrote in America and for Americans but I avoid, as a general principle, commenting on American issues. They are none of my business. What I am concerned about is the effect that her disciples in my own country, both overt and covert, may have if they are left unchecked. Even foreigners, however, are entitled to comment on today’s release of a flood of emails about the 737 Max between Boeing employees, because so many of us fly in Boeing aircraft.
But, as a foreigner, I will keep my comments very brief.
According to Roger Wicker, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the emails “suggest a troubling disregard for safety among some at Boeing and raise questions about the efficacy of FAA’s oversight of the certification process”.
This may, indeed, be something of an understatement, but what has it to do with Ayn Rand?
On the penultimate page of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ we are treated to the rather touching picture of Judge Narragansett sitting at his desk and, having deleted or amended various clauses in the existing US Constitution, adding a new Amendment.
“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade”.
The very existence of the FAA of course represents an abridgment of production and trade. In this particular case they may not have done that effectively enough, but is it possible, in the light of the emails just released, to believe that large corporations can be trusted to police themselves, if left to their own devices?