History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Ayn Rand fixation shows a sluggish monster stuck in dumb logic

December 18th, 2014 · No Comments

You would think that in a period of crisis some sector of the capitalist elite would learn the obvious lesson that some kind of FDR New Deal reborn could save the system from self-destruction and revolution from the left. The point was obvious in the era of the New Deal, and the result was the real high tide of the American system and its moment of real success: a genuine victory of democratic capitalism. But the deeper logic of communist critique has proven truer in the spectacle of the neo-liberal counterattack/comeback. It is a strange sign of the inherent irrationality (and vulnerability) of this newly decadent phase that it should make a capitalist prophet of Ayn Rand. This is reminder that basically capitalists, who preach social darwinist superiority are not very intelligent and are basically sluggish monsters open to straightforward challenges.

From the Introduction to Last and First Men

The idea of communism, discredited by its totalitarian legacy, suddenly shifts gear in our minds as the ominous spectacle of totalitarianism creeping up on liberal systems suggests a second coming for a classic idea, as a question mark about the salvation of democracy, and a Bill of Rights finally done right, as Lockean property rights create a new peasantry for a burnt-out planet. That requires a kind of reboot of the communist idea to its start in the lead-up to 1848. A recursion as ‘communism 2.0’ as a superset both informed by but sublated from its classic marxist wrapper can show how the potential of the idea has barely been explored. The world-historical classic, Capital, was significantly an unfinished ‘work in progress’. But the analysis must shift to the realm of marginalist illusion, and the strange hypnosis of the economist breed before the clever swindles of mathematical economics.
We are also assuming that the standard compromises, such as those of FDR and the New Deal, and a robust alliance with labor by business, to ‘save the regime of capitalism’, are no longer available, speaking parochially about the USA. These elites are free to prove this wrong at any time. The elite capitalist class shows instead every intention of dismantling all such fixes with an extreme kind of Ayn Randian class warfare, a disguised Nietzchean project of the destruction of the ‘last men’, ordinary citizens of democratic cultures.
It seems they will never again allow a ‘New Deal’ style accommodation. The hidden fascist coup staged by covert agencies since World War II is rapidly undermining democratic polity, in the US. Instead, we should fear the blend of economic ideology and the myths of (Social) Darwinism are being stoked once again for forms of class warfare graduating to outright genocide, although they do not quite have the nerve for this, yet. But elites have been fed a moral indifference based on ideological evolutionism leading to assumptions of class superiority demanding survival of the fittest up to final solutions. We know from twentieth century history that warnings of fascist evolutionist extermination are not alarmist.

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