America at the Crossroads and the War on Gold

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
By Paul Martin

by Darryl Schoon
May 4, 2010

Every so often a philosophical dilemma becomes real. So it is today. For two thousand years, the message of Christ Jesus influenced and informed the West, if not in deed, then in word. Today, that is no longer so. Today, godless capitalism is threatening to supplant the two millennia reign of Christ’s message of brotherly love—if not in word, then, certainly, in deed.

In times of great change, art reflects social and philosophical undercurrents. The movie, Avatar, is an example of this phenomenon as was the movie, Wall Street, in 1987. Gordon Gekko, Oliver Stone’s protagonist in Wall Street probably didn’t read much; but, if he did, a book such as A Utopia of Greed: Ayn Rand’s Moral Defense of Capitalism could have been on his reading list.

One of Gordon Gekko’s more memorable lines is Greed, for want of a better word, is good. Greed is good is also one of Ayn Rand’s fundamental beliefs; and, if Karl Marx is the father of godless communism, Ayn Rand, America’s premier doyenne of selfishness, is the patron saint of its antagonist, godless capitalism.

Alisa Rosenbaum was born in Russia in 1905 where she would later change her name to Ayn Rand. In her youth, she would become an atheist, a belief she would hold for the rest of her life. No other self-proclaimed atheist would achieve such a large following—except perhaps Karl Marx; additionally, no other writer would be as responsible for giving philosophical cover to the selfishness and greed that would later characterize American-style “laissez-faire” capitalism.

Ayn Rand saw selfishness and greed as virtues; and, to their later disgrace, so, too, did many others.

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