Alan Greenspan and those parasites

This caught my eye, from the This Modern World weblog (which apparently became a group blog since I stopped regularly reading it a few years’ ago.)

Well then.  This should be easy to find.  Here is Alan Greenspan’s letter to the New York Times, in its entirety, regarding Atlas Shrugged:

To The Editor:

“Atlas Shrugged” is a celebration of life and happiness.  Justice is unrelenting.  Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment.  Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.  Mr. Hicks suspiciously wonders “about a person who sustains such a mood through the writing of 1,100 pages and some fourteen years of work.”  This reader wonders about a person who finds unrelenting justice personally disturbing.

— Alan Greenspan

A case study in the quotation I’ve settled into regarding Ayn Rand — “(Ayn Rand) requires the fervent elitism of late adolescence to truly be taken in. One either needs to acquire a taste for Ayn Rand then, or not at all.”

But you can also draw a direct line between that letter, and its parasites, and his Fed Chairman era quotation about how “maintain a level of worker anxiety” was his main purpose in tending to the economy.   Libertarianism, and “Objectivism”, ceases to make sense — as a practical service, Greenspan was never drawing down the government, but pulling levers in the government, and its relations with business.  But I hear that Ayn Rand devotees of a certain stripe compare Greenspan to some character or other in one of those books (Atlas Shrugged?  That other one whose name escapes me at this moment?) — a sell-out, you cannot function into the government system like that.  And thus, a cult apparatus springs up: get away from that evil, please.

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