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I am wondering if Romney's candidacy may provide about as good an opportunity as may be had to expose the ugliness and wrongheadedness of the Randian worldview upon which that candidacy is based, centered as it is on worship of the presumed "job creator" class whether in particular cases its members create, destroy or outsource jobs.
A timely but possibly too mature and adult work that confronts this worldview head-on with one grounded in reality is The Self-Made Myth, and the Truth about How Government Helps Individuals and Businesses Succeed, by Brian Miller and Mike Lapham, published this year. It features mini-bios of many successful entrepreneurs who, unlike the Romneys and the Donald Trumps of the world, retain the awareness, character and honesty to acknowledge many essential factors beyond their own hard work, commitment, and talent--including specific forms of support made possible by, yes, their government--without which they would not have succeeded.
These folks don't whine about their taxes or the regulations they are obliged to comply with as businesspersons. To the contrary--they view them as necessary to create the foundations for opportunity and prosperity for others as well as themselves. And because of that, they feel an obligation to support their government so that others can have opportunities they know they are fortunate to have had.
I like the book in part because its authors recognize that these sorts of debates, such as they are, are not won on the basis of data and facts, which are inherently abstract and impersonal, but are rather won on the basis of competing narratives of what creates and can spread success. Is it the heroic efforts of the lone, "self-made" individual typically portrayed as defying his (Rand herself notwithstanding, it's usually a "he" in my experience) government, his fellow citizens, even his culture to emerge triumphant atop the mountain? Or does necessary hard work and talent almost always require a wide range of factors and support that were provided and built together, over time, by an individuals' fellow citizens?
The Randian worldview which appears to have substantial influence in our day--and which forms the core argument, such as it is, for a potential Romney Administration as solving our jobs and economic problems--is wildly wrongheaded. It is a fraud. It is also deeply ugly, appealing to self-glorifying, base instincts and fueled by narratives which seek to justify the suffering and misery of Others branded as undeserving. It appeals to the narcissistic, the vain, and the hopelessly misanthropic elements of society.
Heaven help us if majorities fall for the exorbitantly funded efforts to put lipstick on this pig and sell it as public policy. As much as our Randians really do need to just get over themselves, it's hard to see what might bring that about. What can cause a person with unimaginable wealth who can afford to surround himself with cyphers to acquire any lasting sense of humility, any broader awareness of life beyond the view from the bubble? A fall from grace, perhaps?