Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy May Day, Comrades

"Defending Capitalism Against Ayn Rand" by Steven Farron on Liberty Unbound, the website successor to R. William Bradford's print magazine, challenges mainstream Objectivism on what it means to be a capitalist.  Farron's thesis is that Ayn Rand was deeply influenced by the grand ideas of the Bolshevik Revolution while capitalism is really concerned with the seeming trivialities of life such as soap and lipstick. 

The essay resonated with me because from my first reading of The Fountainhead in 1966, it was obvious that Howard Roark was some kind of beatnik.  "He pulled his clothes on: old denim trousers, sandals, a shirt with short sleeves and most of its buttons missing."  At one of several crossroads in the story, we meet his antithesis, Hopton Stoddard, a mushy man, terrified by religion, and successful in several lines of business including real estate and contraceptives.  

The heroes of Atlas Shrugged could have continued living materially very well from page one if they just put up with some inconvenient government regulations.  But as The Internationale tells us: "You have nothing if you have no rights."

The Internationale
modern English lyrics

Stand up, all victims of oppression,
For the tyrants fear your might.
Don't cling so hard to your possessions
For you have nothing, if you have no rights.

Let racist ignorance be ended
For respect makes the empires fall.
Freedom is merely privilege extended
Unless enjoyed by one and all.

So come brothers and sisters
For the struggle carries on!
The Internationale
Unites the world in song.
So comrades come rally
For this is the time and place!
The international ideal
Unites the human race!

Let no one build walls to divide us,
Walls of hatred nor walls of stone.
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us;
We'll live together or we'll die alone.
In our world poisoned by exploitation,
Those who have taken, now they must give.
And end the vanity of nations;
We've but one Earth on which to live.

And so begins the final drama
In the streets and in the fields.
We stand unbowed before their armor.
We defy their guns and shields.
When we fight, provoked by their aggression,
Let us be inspired by like and love.
For though they offer us concessions,
Change will not come from above.

You can find many montages on YouTube.  
This is my favorite so far.

Also on NecessaryFacts

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