CIV(Releituras)- Capitalism: the unknown ideal, by Ayn Rand, comments by André Bandeira
This is a selection of texts, signed by the escaped-from-USSR Ayn Rand, with names such as Alan Greenspan, Nathaniel Branden, and othet objectivists. It dates back to the mid-sixties, during the demonstrations against the Vietnam War, during Lyndon Johnson's term. When someone navigates in the world of books, one steps in a special universe, which anticipates, in a reversible spacetime, new techniques of communication. But the verbal language has its own devices, because -- at least in its contemporay layout -- it is both sufficiently old and hopelessly young, as not to surface depurated of survivalism. Rand is schocking when she says that altruism is morally wrong, and she is not kidding. She says that it would be better live in a desert island, than in the USSR or nazi Germany -- she had never lived in a desert island, of course, and, in this archipel of desert islands she is still string-attached to the utopias and abstractions such as Daniel Defoe's. That's why she stops in the first generation «Rights of Man» and, at a certain point -- in her very political/ideological way -- she is one of the best templates for the minimal state enthusiasts. Her experience as a soviet citizen, justifies the mood she has chosen for life. But it doesn't justify her attacks in evreything which stands for western History. She attacks the «Popolorum Progression», of Paul the VI, considering it a kind of fascist encyclic, or at least, a statist one, where communism, fascism and statism are blended. She argues superbly, using contrasting pieces of the political discourse and reaching to very obvious maxims, which have their wake-up value in the general stream of words. But her capitalism, the perfect one, probably worked once in a while in perfect conditions, which rapidly tend to vanish. It is a libertarian utopia, probably better to figure out, even to keep us alive and dignified, than other baroque, nightmarish, neurotic utopias. But, in what boils down to reality, it is a vast, mixed, consensus society, where consensus, often gets duped by intrinsic and never-ending power games. Besides, her evidence (where, episodically, Alan Greenspan and Nathaniel Branden officiate), especially about the Middle-Age in Europe, is dubious and very partial -- as a matter of fact it focus on some History philosophers and not on Historians. In this universe of superb language, Ayn Rand -- so prone and keen, as she is, in keeping us awake against totalitarian hypnotizers, who make tricks look like magic -- she has a sudden crush for a type of non-verbal language: it is what she calls, the light-bulb look that sometimes rushes even to a child's face. That is the sign of Reason. I think Ayn Rand was too naif, to count on accolytes such as Alan Greenspan, she was overstretched in her insistence in Morality, instead of Morals, and she cannot hide a strange hint of Pride, which makes out of its apparently lucid Objectivism, a very wide room for satanism. This said, all her criticism of the blend fascism/comunism/statism is very valid, as well as her caricature of Analytic Philosophy, Pragmatism, and Marxism. Notwithstanding, it seems that she manages to wipe away that dust, only to uncover some old stubborness, where «freedom» leaves us with the bitter question of «freedom for what?».