I don’t normally have common ground with Zizek, but a quote of his regarding Ayn Rand struck a chord with me. I am struggling to locate where I saw it, but the gist of it is found in this abstract:
“Rand fits into the line of overconformist’ authors who undermine the ruling ideological edifice by their very excessive identification with it. Her over-orthodoxy was directed at capitalism itself; for Rand, the truly heretic thing today is to embrace the basic premise of capitalism without its sugar-coating”
This strikes me as, utterly correct. There are many ways to “rebel” and one of the key ones for liberalism is to rebel for liberalism. This is a parallel rebellion to that noted by Moldbug regarding anti- Americanism . The complaint is America is not being America enough, just as Rand is protesting that America is not being America enough, or rather, capitalists are not being capitalist enough.
Zizek on the subject of Rand has clearly got her number amusingly enough, and this only get worse when a survey of reality is made, which again Zizek does:
“One of the weird consequences of the 2008 financial meltdown and the measures taken to counteract it (enormous sums of money to help banks) was the revival of the work of Ayn Rand, the fullest ideological expression of radical “greed is good” capitalism: the sales of her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged exploded. According to some, there are already signs that the scenario described in Atlas Shrugged—the “creative capitalists” themselves going on strike—is now being enacted. Yet this reaction almost totally misreads the situation: most of the gigantic sums of bail-out money went precisely to those deregulated Randian “titans” who failed in their “creative” schemes and in doing so brought about the meltdown. It is not the great creative geniuses who are now helping lazy ordinary people; rather, it is the ordinary taxpayers who are helping the failed “creative geniuses.””
Credit where credit is due, Zizek nailed it. His further observations (from a democratic angle) of the actions of the elite are worth recording:
“These elites, the main culprits for the 2008 financial meltdown, now impose themselves as experts, the only ones who can lead us on the painful path of financial recovery, and whose advice should therefore trump parliamentary politics, or, as Mario Monti put it: “Those who govern must not allow themselves to be completely bound by parliamentarians.” What, then, is this higher force whose authority can suspend the decisions of the democratically elected representatives of the people? The answer was provided back in 1998 by Hans Tietmeyer, then governor of the Deutsches Bundesbank, who praised national governments for preferring “the permanent plebiscite of global markets” to the “plebiscite of the ballot box.” Note the democratic rhetoric of this obscene statement: global markets are more democratic than parliamentary elections since the process of voting goes on in them permanently (and is permanently reflected in market fluctuations) and at a global level—not only every four years, and within the confines of a nation-state. The underlying idea is that, freed from this higher control of markets (and experts), parliamentary-democratic decisions are “irresponsible.”
Of course, we can go further than Zizek here, because unlike zizek, we don’t care about democracy on this blog. In fact we dismiss it wholesale. As such, our vision of what is going on is not shrouded by bullshit.
Zizek’s (Marxist derived) complaint is based on a false assumption of greed and corruption to con everyone out of democracy. This is categorically not what is, or has, been going on. The Round Table movement and the actions of foundations and the liberal elite have been based not on greed, but on a genuine sense of desire to do good. This whole “markets are everything” is a genuine belief from these Randian titans. They genuinely believe their own bullshit that liberalism and the market is a mystical good taking us to a Civita Dei. That’s the punchline.
The very architects of the Cathedral have been “Randian” heroes. The idea that capital will flee the Cathedral is absurd, as is the idea that the elite will shut up shop and walk – they made this mess and they think it is great.
Look at all the great fortunes that have been made by capitalist ubermensch – it all went to promoting leftism for fuck sake, which it will by default, as leftism is chaos. Even the counter example of Henry Ford is dubious – he did run for senate as a democrat. Just look at the current examples we have as well. Do you think Bill Gates and Zuckerberg are being forced to promote liberalism? really?
The screeching leftist feminists and intersexionalist are not attacking the Randian superheroes, and they will not force them on strike – they are in their pay.