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The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality,…

The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis

by Darryl Cunningham

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My what a depressing book. Very quick read though. Of course you have to identify the cause of an illness before you can cure it. This book is a good diagnosis and primer. ( )
  clmerle | Jul 22, 2017 |
It would be a mistake to read this as a book showing the influence of Ayn Rand on later economic events (as some earlier comments have suggested). Instead the author offers three set pieces on the rise of selfishness as a virtue with modern society. The first offers an excellent sketch of the life of Rand, and how she was led to construct her "philosophy" of objectivism, which makes selfishness its highest value. Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, as a disciple, and Paul Ryan, currently being considered to become Speaker of the House, has made her writings required reading for his office staff.

Part II looks at the financial crisis of 2008, and its roots in the unfettered greed of bankers and hedge fund managers, all putting into practice the priority of personal selfishness above the good of all others, including the national interest. Part III takes a broader philosophical overview of the problems, critiquing both conservatives and liberals but finding the greater harm done by the former. ( )
  dono421846 | Oct 20, 2015 |
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Using Rand's biography to illuminate the policies that led to the economic crash in the U.S. and in Europe and the global financial crisis of 2008, Cunningham shows how her philosophy continues to affect today's politics and policies, starting with her most noted disciple, economist Alan Greenspan (former chairman of the Federal Reserve). Cunningham also shows how right-wing conservatives, libertarians, and the Tea Party movement have co-opted Rand's teachings (and inherent contradictions) to promote personal gain and profit at the expense of the middle class.… (more)

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