Skip to main content

Will Millennials escape Randianism?

by system failure

The Russian-born American novelist, Ayn Rand, together with people like the economists F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman, mathematician John Forbes Nash and psychiatrist Ronald David Laing, promoted the idea that man is an egoistic being which works only for its own personal interest. Extreme individualism became increasingly one of the basic characteristics of the Western man and concepts such as altruism, collectivity and solidarity were gradually dismissed from the central core of his thought. The Western man accepted rationally that these concepts are clearly utopian and that could never be applied massively in societies.

Especially Rand played a crucial role on inspiring a whole generation of IT entrepreneurs during the 90s.

As Adam Curtis describes in his documentary All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, Rand had died in 1981, but by the start of the 1990s her novels had become a phenomenon in America. A Library of Congress survey showed that one of them, Atlas Shrugged, was now the second most influential book in the country. The first was the Bible. And the group most inspired by her, were the new entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley, including some of the most powerful, like Larry Ellison of Oracle. Many of them named their companies and even their children after Rand and her novels. They set up reading groups to spread her ideas. But above all, they saw themselves as Randian heroes.

Interestingly enough, many of these - now grown up - children belong to the Millennial Generation. Probably the biggest tragic reality for this generation, is that it inherited a deep, systemic crisis of global scale, yet it was born inside this financial bubble capitalism, without ever experienced even a slightly different system.

The Millennials have grown inside this Randian way of thinking, from which the establishment exploited some key elements to build this culture of economic cynicism and extreme individualism.

Even today, after all this failure of economic collapse, rapid growth of unemployment, dissolution of labor rights and welfare state, dramatic cuts in wages, Randianism is being used to manipulate a whole generation, promoting the worship of the "free market", which of course in the end will be rigged in favor of the big banks and corporations.

A characteristic example in the economically devastated Greece (because of the neoliberal policies), is the promotion of this culture of individual entrepreneurship by the mainstream media. The oligarchs' media present stories of young individuals who built their own successful startups. Ironically enough, “The term [startup] became internationally widespread during the dot-com bubble when a great number of dot-com companies were founded.” [Wikipedia] The aim of these stories is not only to maintain Randianism inside this huge crisis, but also to make the youngest blame themselves for doing nothing against their unemployment, as if it's a problem that they created by themselves.

The Randian type of thinking wants strong, independent minds who will fight to build their own business, instead of, for example, protesting for the slavery wages, or, demanding social spending. However, the media won't reveal the absurdity of this type of thinking. They will never tell that it's impossible for all the millions of unemployed to become bosses of their own successful business. The "Randian rationalism" has no realistic application in the real world, yet it still affects deeply the way of thinking of whole generations.

Yet, the devastating consequences in the lives of millions of young people from this deeply unstable, financialized capitalism, have become so profound that the Millennials start to sense that something has to be done to overthrow it.

Probably the most characteristic proof for this fact, came out from the support of Bernie Sanders by millions of young Americans who suffer under the heavy debt of student loans. Sanders spoke about Democratic Socialism and managed to set the foundations of a mass movement that may start changing things radically in the United States during the coming years.

It is difficult for the Millennials to abandon a certain type of Randian logic, especially when this logic gives them the illusion that they are thinking independently. True independence will come once they will liberate themselves from this logic, suggesting a different way of life which will be totally incompatible with the neoliberal tyranny.

Comments

  1. Anonymous14/8/16 22:23

    The millenials here in the USA are very different. They take in friends, help each other, and place a high priority on forming family units out of friendships. If their parents are like minded (as I am) so much the better. Most of that generation values compassion above predation. They resemble the best of the 60s without the self righteousness that made my boomers so insufferable. I only pray these qualities can come to full flower in a better America. Many of them have had real trouble with their parents who want them to chuck their friends and become selfish go-getters after only themselves. We can always encourage those qualities and pray. Randian societies are the old Nazi experiment...like the German soldiers who pushed the elderly downstairs and laughed at them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others."
    Too bad the author and its poster Jesse are not creative, but simply want to beat some one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15/8/16 02:00

      You're saying that Jesse is a crank with no positive answers...a sort of Catholic Holden Caulfield? Yes, I'm waiting for the "Seymour" to appear as well...the truly wise and creative fellow with his own unique ideas. He should risk it...

      Delete
  3. Sorry to say so as I like your blog in general, but this article is very stupid towards Ayn Rand.
    Please point us to where "concepts such as altruism, collectivity and solidarity" are generally discarded by Atlas Shrugged.
    It seems to me that the key persons were showing humongous amounts of altruism etc. but finally gave up against the overwhleming majority of looters and parasites. What's despicable about that?
    If she was "promoting the worship of the 'free market', which of course in the end will be rigged" is your only possible solution to abandon all attempts on free markets? And is it then entirely her fault to not have demanded that??

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks like someone hit a nerve...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Individual sovereignty, being the power of one, is the easiest to abuse. Brute force, gangs and ideologies' favorite whipping girl, Ayn Rand.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If individuals are not sovereign something else will be. The State. The collective. The gulag.

    The whole idea of America was limited government so individuals would be free to find their own way.

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. — Thomas Jefferson

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Manufacturing uncritical thinking

by system failure
I was thinking about writing something related to a certain behavioural pattern that we often meet in the mainstream media journalist army. I was inspired by the impressively loud example of The New York Times' Bari Weiss, and how it was presented by Jimmy Dore in his show.


During this particular discussion with Joe Rogan, Weiss rushed to paint US presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, as an "Assad toady", without even knowing what the characterization means. As Dore aptly pointed out: "That's what's called a 'received opinion'. So, it's not her own opinion. She has heard other people in her neoliberal bubble say that stuff, so she just repeats it. She doesn't even know what the insult means."
Ben Norton wrote on Twitter: "Neocon NY Times columnist Bari Weiss smeared Tulsi Gabbard (who bravely opposed regime change and US support for Salafi-jihadist contras) as an "Assad toady," then couldn't spell/de…

Greece is about to become the blueprint for modern feudalism

globinfo freexchange
After almost ten years of an unprecedented crisis, Greece has been trapped into an ongoing, slow motion recession. The economy still struggling hard to recover, with unemployment and national debt being permanently in a red alarm mode.
As has been already pointed out, the result of the recent Greek national elections could be characterized "paradoxical" mainly for two reasons: 
First, the voters gave a clear governmental order to one of the traditional powers of the old political system, which are highly responsible for the Greek crisis that erupted in 2010. Several top names of the new government, and even New Democracy leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have been accused of being involved in various corruption scandals, in the not so distant past.

Second, the fact that the voters elected perhaps the most fanatically neoliberal government ever. This means that Mitsotakis administration is expected to implement the brutal neoliberal policies imposed by Greece&…

How Joe Biden’s privatization plans helped doom Latin America and fuel the migration crisis

On the campaign trail, Joe Biden has boasted of his role in transforming Colombia and Central America through ambitious economic and security programs. Colombians and Hondurans tell The Grayzone about the damage his plans did to their societies.
by Max Blumenthal
Part 8 - Gutting public healthcare, driving more migration
The Alliance for Prosperity also commissioned the privatization of health services through a deceptively named program called the Social Protection Framework Law, or la Ley Marco de Protección Social.

Promoted by Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández as a needed reform, the scheme was advanced through a classic shock doctrine-style episode: In 2015, close associates of Hernández siphoned some $300 million from the Honduran Institute for Social Services (IHSS) into private businesses, starving hospitals of supplies and causing several thousand excess deaths, mostly among the poor.
With the medical sector in shambles, Hondurans were then forced to seek healthcare from …

As Boris Johnson unleashes ultimate threat against Bremain capitalist faction, the British working class is suddenly in front of a unique opportunity

globinfo freexchange

In the merciless endo-capitalist war around Brexit, Boris Johnson decided to unleash the ultimate threat against Bremain capitalist faction. That is, a snap election with the 'danger' of a Labour victory under Jeremy Corbyn, which would be neoliberal capitalists' worst nightmare.
As already pointed out, despite the capitalist civil war, both major factions of the British capital remain deeply neoliberal in their ideological core. And therefore, both factions see a potential Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn, as a major threat.
Indeed, as ZeroHedgereported
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces the prospect of his rule being cut short, wealthy Britons have a message for Johnson's most likely successor: A 'no deal' Brexit makes no difference to them. But if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM, they will flee in droves, taking their money with them

[...]

The chairman of one Swiss asset manager who helps wealthy Britons shield th…

Tucker Carlson accidentally promotes one of the most anti-capitalist, real-Left positions!

globinfo freexchange 
We wouldn't believe it if we wouldn't have seen it and hear it with our own eyes and ears, but the following phrase came out from Tucker Carlson's mouth:

                    Every minute you are angry about race, is a minute you are not thinking about class, which, of course, is the real divide in this country. Working class people of all colors have a lot more in common - infinitely more in common with each other, than they do with some overpaid MSNBC anchor. And if you are allowed to think about that for long enough, you might start get unauthorized ideas about economics. And that would be disruptive to a very lucrative status quo. So, they whip you into a frenzy of racial fear so that it never enters your mind. It's a diversion. Everyone hates each other, they get to keep their money.
Here's why they're pushing racial division: so you won't notice the real divide, which is economic. pic.twitter.com/ZVLvQn2u9O — Tucker Carlson (@Tuck…

Τα κρατικοδίαιτα τραπεζοπαράσιτα ετοιμάζονται για άλλο ένα μεγάλο πάρτι με κυβέρνηση Μητσοτάκη

globinfo freexchange
Οι γαλάζιοι υπηρέτες του κεφαλαίου ετοιμάζονται να ρίξουν άλλο ένα πακέτο δισεκατομμυρίων στις τραπεζικές μαύρες τρύπες. Αυτή τη φορά, θέλουν να τις απαλλάξουν από τα κόκκινα δάνεια και φυσικά ο λογαριασμός θα πάει, ως συνήθως, στα γνωστά υποζύγια.  
Όπως αποκάλυψε ρεπορτάζ του The Press Project:
Την έγκριση των ευρωπαϊκών θεσμών φέρεται να αναμένει η κυβέρνηση, ώστε να προχωρήσει σε σχέδιο «κρατικής υποβοήθησης» των τραπεζών, εφαρμόζοντας ουσιαστικά το σχέδιο του Ταμείου Χρηματοπιστωτικής Σταθερότητας (ΤΧΣ) για κρατική ενίσχυση προς κάλυψη των κόκκινων δανείων που αναμένεται να φτάσει τα 20 δισ. ευρώ. Την ίδια ώρα, οι τράπεζες προχωρούν σε τιτλοποιήσεις κόκκινων δανείων ύψους 6,5 δισ. ευρώ, με πρώτη και καλύτερη τη Eurobank και τις υπόλοιπες να ακολουθούν. 
[...]
Υπενθυμίζεται πως λίγες ημέρες πριν τις εκλογές, αλλά και μετά από αυτές, στο επίκεντρο της αντιπαράθεσης βρέθηκε το «μαξιλάρι» των 37 δισ. ευρώ της προηγούμενης κυβέρνησης και τα σχέδια της…

Bernie finally declares war on neoliberal fascists who destroy the planet

globinfo freexchange
Bernie Sanders proved again why he should be the next president of the United States. This time, he declared war on the neoliberal fascists who are destroying the planet on behalf of the corporate beasts.
Bernie tweeted:
                    Climate change is a global emergency. Bolsonaro and his corporate cronies are burning the Amazon rainforest for personal profit and jeopardizing our planet's survival. My Green New Deal will impose climate sanctions against corporations that threaten our global climate goals.
Climate change is a global emergency. Bolsonaro and his corporate cronies are burning the Amazon rainforest for personal profit and jeopardizing our planet's survival.

My #GreenNewDeal will impose climate sanctions against corporations that threaten our global climate goals. https://t.co/erZzHozviQ — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 22, 2019
Recall that the previous right-wing corporate puppet in Brazil, Michel Temer, opened the door to t…

Roger Waters for Julian Assange

globinfo freexchange
On Monday, 3 Sept, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd will perform his classic 'Wish You Here' for Julian Assange outside the Home Office (interior ministry) in Marsham Street in the heart of London. John Pilger will be speaking. Join us at 6pm in solidarity with Britain's political prisoner.

On Monday, 3 Sept, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd will perform his classic 'Wish You Here' for Julian #Assange outside the Home Office (interior ministry) in Marsham Street in the heart of London. I will be speaking. Join us at 6pm in solidarity with Britain's political prisoner. pic.twitter.com/Lytg2GCZVQ — John Pilger (@johnpilger) August 30, 2019


Καταιγίδα επιχειρήσεων αποπροσανατολισμού από το Μητσοτακικό καθεστώς με τη βοήθεια της τραπεζομιντιακής χούντας

globinfo freexchange

Ο μηχανισμός του εγχώριου νεοφιλελεύθερου καθεστώτος επιδόθηκε τις τελευταίες μέρες σε έναν καταιγισμό επιχειρήσεων αποπροσανατολισμού προς τέρψιν του πόπολου, το οποίο έδωσε αυτοδυναμία στην πολιτική του συνιστώσα. Δηλαδή, στη χειρότερη δεξιά της μεταπολίτευσης.
Μετά το ταξίδι Μητσοτάκη στη Γαλλία, όπου είδαμε ένα χιλιοπαιγμένο έργο, το σόου του αποπροσανατολισμού ξεκίνησε από το Μάτι. Εκεί είχαμε ένα διπλό χτύπημα. Από τη μια τον Μητσοτάκη να ποζάρει στα καμμένα, διατυμπανίζοντας τη δήθεν αποτελεσματική του κυβέρνηση. Από την άλλη, την διαφήμιση των "καλών ιδιωτών", οι οποίοι ως καλοί Σαμαρείτες, ανέλαβαν δήθεν αφιλοκερδώς (Αφιλοκερδώς ΑΕ, όπως έλεγε και ο αξέχαστος Τζιμάκος), να καθαρίσουν την περιοχή από την επικίνδυνη καύσιμη ύλη.
Αμέσως μετά, απολαύσαμε άλλη μια κωμωδία από τις δυνάμεις καταστολής που έκαναν έφοδο στα Εξάρχεια για να τα "καθαρίσουν" από τους μετανάστες. Οι νεοφιλέλεδες της δεξιάς και τα ακροδεξιά δεκανίκια τους είναι μανο…

Citibank blocks funds for insulin: more than 450,000 Venezuelans affected

The US bank Citibank blocked, in August this year, part of the funds destined to import 300 thousand doses of insulin, a criminal act that affects more than 450 thousand patients, the Venezuelan Ministry of Economy and Finance reported.

On the other hand, the BSN Medical laboratory, based in Colombia, after receiving payment for the purchase of 2 million units of antimalarial treatment, denied the clearance of the drugs.
The ministry indicated that this fact caused the Swiss bank UBS AG to block the transactions made by the country with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), destined for the purchase of vaccines for the immunization program.
Given this circumstance, Venezuela and PAHO sought alternatives with banks from other countries, although this situation led to a 4 month delay in the immunization program.

The national government also revealed that other pharmaceutical transnationals such as Pfizer and Novartis refuse to sell medicines, reagents and supplies to Venezuela.
F…