[ExI] Rand and Friedman/was Re: Attacking Rand

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 15 13:46:55 UTC 2009

--- On Mon, 6/15/09, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 2:50 PM, <dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Same here.  I also enjoyed her other two novels --
>> _We the Living_ and _The Fountainhead_ -- much more than
>> _Atlas Shrugged_
> Interesting. This is applicable also to myself.

Did you read and like _Anthem_?  I did, but I have a penchant for dystopian fiction.
> BTW, it has come to my mind in the meantime an acute and
> vivid
> judgment by Giulio Prisco on Rand's works and discourse in
> general:
> "As far as libertarianism is concerned, Ayn Rand is to
> Milton Friedman
> what in music Richard Wagner is to cool jazz". :-)
> I quote by heart, Giulio is welcome to correct my memory if
> he reads that.

Ummm.  Well, as far as libertarianism is concerned, I'm not sure Milton Friedman was a libertarian.  I think him more libertarian leaning, but he seriously slips up in the realm of monetary policy and externalities.  That said, I believe he changed his mind of some of this late in life.  (Of course, some might say I'm being too harsh.  I take a simple view of libertarianism -- non-aggression principle in the context of property rights -- but individual libertarians might misapply this principle.  Perhaps this is what Friedman did.  Certainly, Rand did the same with some of her applications of her seemingly sound core principles.)

I'm also not sure that there's much insight in the quote.  Rand did fiction and focused on philosophy; Friedman was more an economist who published a lot on politics and public policy.  Yes, there was some overlap, but I wouldn't necessarily look at one as a watered down version of the other.

And certainly in terms of their methodology and deeper philosophy, there's some radical differences between the two.  I'm not sure I'd say here, too, that one is a the "cool jazz" evolution of the other.  They're just different.  (I must admit, too, my inclination is to disagrre with Friedman's methodology and deeper philosophy -- even if I might agree with _some_ of his views on political economy and public policy.)




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