What I’m Reading, May 8, 2014

By Ralph Chaplin [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsRepublicans are Trying to Mix the Ideologies of Jesus Christ with an Atheist and That Doesn’t Make Any Sense, Allen Clifton, Forward Progressives, April 14, 2014

It’s amazing to me how few conservatives know who Ayn Rand is. Especially considering that she’s quite possibly the most influential person behind most of the Republican party’s economic ideologies.

She was a person who spoke out against social programs, believed that people should only worry about themselves, opposed big government and worshiped at the “glory” that is unregulated capitalism. In other words, she’s the epitome of what most Republicans support economically.

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There’s just one problem – Ayn Rand was an atheist. Not that there’s any problem at all with being an atheist (more power to you) but there is a big problem with a political party that builds its social platform on “Christian” values while basing its economic ideology on that of someone who didn’t believe in God.

How Piketty’s Bombshell Book Blows Up Libertarian Fantasies, Lynn Parramore, Moyers & Company, April 30, 2014

Libertarians have always been flummoxed by inequality, tending either to deny that it’s a problem or pretend that the invisible hand of the market will wave a magic wand to cure it. Then everybody gets properly rewarded for what he or she does with brains and effort, and things are peachy keen.

Reading Vox Day, Stephanie Zvan, Almost Diamonds, April 29, 2014

I was reading some excerpts from Vox Day’s political writing elsewhere and marveling over the (lack of) quality of the prose. I thought that if his fiction were as awful, it might cross the line into unintentionally entertaining to read. And as I personally relate to him mostly as that sad, whiny pest who will be arrested like his father if he ever tries to return to Minnesota, reading his work in which his racism, sexism, and delusions of religious persecution weren’t the main focus wasn’t much of a chore for me.

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As it turns out, the story was not entertainingly bad. Don’t let that lead you to think it was good, however. It was dully, prosaically bad, with rookie problems that most critique groups would point out if he gave them the opportunity. Of course, in order for that to be useful, Day would have to be able to respond to criticism with something other than atavistic hostility.

This means I can’t recommend reading his story for the same lulz you’d get from a Steven Seagal movie. I can, however, give you a taste of that experience and spare you any misguided curiosity.

Photo credit: By Ralph Chaplin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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