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He is not saying that technology necessitates forcible domination of some people at the expense of others, nor is he saying that technology is always and essentially corrupting. You are quoting it out of context.

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He is making a statement. Then he says that what people think about the meaning of that statement could be categorically modified by x, y, and z. Then he goes on to say x, y, and z are not necessarily intended by the statement because conditions a, b, and c are not present. Elsewhere Lewis has criticized x, y, and z, as well as a, b, and c.

Therefore, in his own view, the statement should be taken more at face value, and not as meaning x, y, and z or a, b, and c, which were only mentioned as disclaimers and qualifiers. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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    Scott Stanfield. But J. Salinger and Margaret Mitchell did not become political icons, and my second proposition is that Rand has become one, even though our political culture is just not that susceptible to literary influence. Our political culture responds powerfully to sounds and images but only rarely to the written word. Still, even though the academic literary establishment never took her seriously, her influence elsewhere has been wide, deep and enduring.

    To be conservative, strictly speaking, means wanting to keep things the same, to put the brakes on innovation.


    Once upon a time, political conservatives were mainly about conserving things: religion, morality, the family, existing social arrangements and so on. They valued stability. We still have a lot of this kind of conservative around, but these are not the people Rand inspires. She disliked bourgeois morality and scorned religion, which is the main reason why, so long as William F.

    Conservatives normally honor the past, but Rand thought most thinkers who preceded her, except Aristotle, were just plain wrong.

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    She was not about conserving anything; her take on existing institutions was radical. Rand has contributed most crucially to that radical right vision, I would argue, in two closely related but still distinguishable ways: first, her idea of free enterprise, and second, her idea of individualism. Businessmen have not come off well in American novels and films. They tend to be either sinister and grasping like Mr. Potter and Babbitt at a time when the business community was especially keen to refurbish its image.

    Hacker and Pierson see this memo as inaugurating a corporate siege of Washington and, more broadly, a campaign to move the culture. The National Association of Manufacturers moved its headquarters from New York City to Washington in ; between and the number of corporations with registered lobbyists rose from to almost 2, Policy recommendations for reducing taxes, rolling back regulation and privatizing government services began to issue forth from the Heritage Foundation, founded , and the Cato Institute, founded Who would have imagined, after the dramatic increase in the disparity of incomes between the very wealthiest and everyone else that occurred during the second Bush administration, and after our economy was nearly totaled by the high-stakes gambling of financiers in , that the big political story of would be the anti-government Tea Party movement or that the elections would bring in a new Congress dedicated to lowering taxes on the wealthy and the further dismantling of business regulation?

    At Tea Party rallies there is usually a sprinkling of Rand-referencing signs. Let me note again that there are at least half a dozen such folks now in the House of Representatives.

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    The outpouring of genuine grief at the death last fall of Steve Jobs goes to show that we, like Rand, cherish the idea of the lonely, visionary entrepreneur. Steve Jobs changed our world. He could be seen as a real-life Howard Roark or John Galt, someone whose talents entitled him to his astonishing wealth, someone who ought not to be hamstrung by minimum-wage laws or worker-safety regulations or the anti-trust code or unions.

    But we need to recall, too, that Jobs did not actually invent the personal computer, or the tablet computer, or computer animation, or the smart phone, or the MP3 player Halpern.


    He grasped the commercial possibilities of these things with an uncanny acuity, yes. But had he gone on strike, like John Galt, these inventions would still exist, and other people would no doubt have figured out ways to market them. We Americans love stories about individuals, and we like seeing ourselves as individuals. An astute Frenchman noticed this about us way back in In a democratic society like ours, according to Tocqueville, the idea that we depend on each other tended to evaporate.

    He put it this way:. As conditions equalize, one finds more and more individuals […] who have […] acquired or retained enough enlightenment and wealth to take care of themselves. These people owe nothing to anyone, and in a sense they expect nothing from anyone. They become accustomed to thinking of themselves always in isolation and are pleased to think that their fate lies entirely in their own hands. Thus, not only does democracy cause each man to forget his forebears, but it makes it difficult for him to see his offspring and cuts him off from his contemporaries.

    Again and again it leads him back to himself and threatens ultimately to imprison him altogether in the loneliness of his own heart.