I have been trying to reconcile some ideas for a few weeks. The issue revolves around the Tea Party and its Godmother, Ayn Rand, with the worldwide financial mess. I read Kurt Anderson's editorial in the New York Times and he ties it all together with the unlikely link of aging hippies. Hey, I am one, but I never saw this coming.
“Do your own thing” is not so different than “every man for himself.” If it feels good, do it, whether that means smoking weed and watching porn and never wearing a necktie, retiring at 50 with a six-figure public pension and refusing modest gun regulation, or moving your factories overseas and letting commercial banks become financial speculators.
However, if you wonder about the rise of meanness enough to read one book, read Ann Rand Nation by Gary Weiss. He ties it together with Alan Greenspan as her loyal disciple. When the heads of banks and other companies reward themselves at the expense of their customers and shareholders, it’s simply “enlightened self-interest” at work. Helping the less fortunate (the 99%) is not just weakness, it is evil. I think we have answered “Who is John Galt?” of the Tea Party placards and tee-shirts.