Atlas Mugged

As part of the ongoing celebrations of Prophecy Month at Outside in, we present a (short) three part series by Lars Seier Christensen of Saxo Bank on the historical prescience of Ayn Rand (one, two, three). While some distance from high theory, even the most Rand-averse should be able to take something interesting away from this series, whether by considering it as a significant ethnographic — and even religious — phenomenon, or by appraising it as a structured forecast. The foundations (laid in part one) certainly seem realistic enough: “… free capitalism has not really been experienced by many people alive today. […] The strange hybrid of western societies … allows only limited capitalism to create enough wealth to support a wider range of political and social ambitions, largely controlled by anti-capitalists.”

Christensen asks: does the world look increasingly like the politically saturated, anti-capitalist stagnatopia she envisaged? If the evaluation of Rand is restricted to these terms, her claim to attention seems assured.  The conclusion:

If we don’t succeed in changing the values and direction of at least the next generation, I fear the full prediction of Atlas Shrugged will become reality and while that may hold some promise for the distant future, it is not something that I think people of my age feel like going through if we can avoid it.

Given the Cathedral — which is to say, pedagogical (and propagandistic) anti-capitalism in power — Christensen’s hope for a generational shift in “values and direction” sounds like a prayer to a dead God. That leaves only Cassandra, and tragic truths.


January 8, 2014admin 6 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce , Political economy

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6 Responses to this entry

  • pseudo-chrysostom Says:

    to understand the future, one must understand value.


    Posted on January 8th, 2014 at 9:02 am Reply | Quote
  • Igitur Says:


    To understand value in an intensive industrial society, one must understand capital.

    And the one thing Austrian economics is completely wrong, dead in the water, is capital. (And thus the cycle, but nevermind the cycle; it’s not an important question, and issues of cycle have dominated over issues of economics proper, the allocation of scarce resources). Capital reswitching is such a huge problem; it’s a real crying shame that the people who noticed that proceeded to get bogged in English Keynesian controversy.


    Posted on January 8th, 2014 at 5:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • pseudo-chrysostom Says:

    thats not a point of contention for me, really thats the sort of implication im going for. it was infact through the study of economics that led me to appreciate the transcendence of value, and hence the virtue of a more explicit/authentic onto-theology (compared to the crypto-religous cognitive dissonance that ostensible ‘secularists’ often operate under).

    not to make a big wall of text about it though, since ive been meaning to get around to a comment on rokos bassilisk that relates to this. ill just say that ‘debt: the first 5.000 years’ is one of the closest works out there contemporarily to this sort of thinking in relation to economics. which is curious in many ways since it was written by a guy who might otherwise be highly suspect and contemptible (a left anarchist, of course [inb4 what other kind is there]). much like mises, he often stops short of carrying his insights to their natural conclusions when they might possibly conflict with his normative preconceptions, making it a dangerous book to read uncritically, but useful for a discerning reactionary.


    Posted on January 8th, 2014 at 11:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nyk Says:

    I’m afraid any understanding of economics is hopeless without HBD and evo-psych inputs. I would not trust any solution ignoring them, especially when making controversial statements like “greed is good” without delving into the darwinian explanations of emotions such as greed.

    Speaking of which, did anyone else become more of a leftist after reading about neoreactionary topics? My libertarian past self would be shocked by my present beliefs about economics.


    VXXC Reply:


    We’re so right we’re moving Left.

    I am less of a “democracy” guy than I might let on. Let’s say I believe in the Traditional March of Liberty as a new foundation for it. The march of Liberty is: Knight, Archer, Pikeman, Musketeer, Rifleman. And the franchise or control of it should be founded on those solid foundations.

    Magna Carta for instance was not for everyone.

    I really recommend Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples Vol 1 if we want firm foundations.


    Igitur Reply:

    Re: Understanding of HBD and economics

    That’s a spin on a common Left critique of economics: that it under-models behavior.

    I say, frakk behavior. Behavior is imponderable; catallaxy is the null hypothesis.

    To some extent — as far as controversies among non-professional goes, frakk the cycle as well. Laymen should be arguing about their long-term fates, about the redistributive effects of policy. But, as it’s often argued, democracy empties out the core, which makes the whole discussion moot — cycle, behavior, policy — for the purposes of NR.

    Just as the fight about AGW doesn’t go to the epistemic depths of climatology, the fight about the spiraling out of budgetary populism shouldn’t focus on praxeological religion. A pragmatic doctor from a specialty that has little in the way of deep knowledge once told me — focus on symptoms and prognosis, not on diagnosis and causality; diagnosis is a formality and a starting point for the treatment-finding algorithm; causality will drive you insane.


    Posted on January 9th, 2014 at 12:48 am Reply | Quote

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