In Defense Of A Fellow Capitalist

*Note: This will be one of my shorter pieces, but it is important that this is said. Also note that while I am mentioning different ideologies, philosophies, and beliefs, that does not mean I endorse such beliefs. I am an Objectivist, also called a Rational-Egoist, and that is the main view this essay will come from, although it will apply to the other aforementioned groups.*

The Virtue Of The Tool Of Money
“Rights are not a matter of numbers — and there can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.” –Ayn Rand

In @KrautandTea’s recent video on why he hates the SJW community [1], one of the last points he mentioned in his video was the malicious hacking of a Twitter user’s email account named Justin Templer, @JustinTemplerSr on Twitter. [2] Back in early 2016, Justin’s email was used to then extort another Twitter user and YouTuber named Ausyarr. [3] This post deals specifically with Justin’s end of issue, specifically what the ramifications of this mean for other Capitalists, Individualists, Objectivists, Libertarians, or Anarcho-Capitalists who are open about their ideas and beliefs.

Capitalists have not been well received for a long time. One only has to look back to Ayn Rand to see this. When she published her novel The Fountainhead in 1943, despite being highly successful with the general public and not actually being about Capitalism, it only received mixed reviews at best. But, when she published her Magnum Opus novel Atlas Shrugged in 1957, it received what can only be described as brutal, salacious, demeaning, and caustic reviews from published reviewers at the time. Despite the horrendous reviews it received, it quickly became a bestseller. As of 2010, Atlas Shrugged had sold more than 7 million copies. [4] It is also easy to conceive that this number is quite higher today, since in 2012 alone it sold more than 350 thousand copies. [5] It also still regularly features at or near the top of most reader’s lists. It is number one on the Modern Library’s “100 Best Novels: Reader’s List”, with The Fountainhead being number 2, her short novel Anthem being number 7, and her first novel We The Living being number 8. [6] Despite this, her works, specifically Atlas Shrugged, are still regularly demeaned by most of the Left, and especially on the Regressive Left. Just recently, an article was published in The Guardian lambasting her, and those that associate with her, in a way only a Regressive Left media company could. [7] Even the conservatives on the Right, who champion themselves as being supposed “Defenders of Capitalism”, usually only at most cherry pick from her works, ideas, and philosophy. This is not a view just limited to Ayn Rand. One can also look to other authors in favor of Capitalism like F. A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman to see similar criticisms, although the criticism of Rand so far remains the worst I have personally seen. So in essence, Capitalism has few defenders in the modern age. Most on the Left, save for maybe a few Classical Liberals, completely disparage Capitalism and anything associated with it. Those on the Right tend to be more receptive to Capitalism, but only when it serves their wider goals, which means Capitalism is usually just a sub-concern of a Conservative.

If disparaging Capitalism seemed common, then things are even worse on the Individualism side. Criticism of Individualism goes all the way back to the 1800’s. The debate about which system was better, Individualism or Collectivism, was widespread in the 1800’s, making up a a large portion of the political, economic, and philosophical debate of the day. I will only call out a few key figures from the time period. Max Stirner, a German anarchist was one notable Individualist of the early 1800’s. His works were absolutely lambasted by Karl Marx in a publication that quite literally had more pages in it than all of Stirner’s writings combined. [8] Another notable Individualist from the 1800’s was Friedrich Nietzsche. While he is better received than Stirner, he too is often criticized for his brand of Individualist views. The debate between Individualism and Collectivism effectively ended, in the United States at least, at the beginning of the 1900’s with the rise of Progressivism. The debate tempered off until in the early 1930’s, with The Great Depression raging, Franklin Roosevelt was elected president, ending the reign of Individualism as a public ideal. Although a few writers still carried on an Individualist spirit, such as Ayn Rand, Individualism effectively fell out of favor with the general public. Though not as publicly chastised today as Capitalism, Individualism is still criticized by both those on the Right, for namely religious reasons, and those on the Left, for social and political reasons.

Now by this point, I am sure the question would be, “How does this connect with what happened to Justin Templer?” Well, one has to look at the general attitude held towards those that place Individualism and Capitalism as ideals. Most attacks by those on the Regressive Left, also commonly known as neo-Progressives or Social Justice Warriors (SJW’s), have been against the Rationalist-Skeptics, anti-Feminists, Men Rights Activists, The New Right, and Cultural Libertarians. However, some on the Regressive Left also target those that trend more towards the Libertarian or Objectivist philosophies. Though an argument could be made that this is because those Libertarians, Objectivists, or Anarcho-Capitalists were engaging in criticism of the Regressive Left, a fact that is true in some situations including Justin’s, it appears that recently attacks have been simply because of their philosophical beliefs. It is increasingly becoming a concern of mine that the attacks against Libertarians, Objectivist, and Anarcho-Capitalists will begin to happen more frequently because of a growing hatred by those on in the Regressive Left towards the beliefs held by the aforementioned group. It is quite possible that there have been other attacks against members in the groups and I just have not heard of them. These attacks will be more associated with the general beliefs held by these groups, and less about individual actions taken by their members, for example criticizing feminism or social justice.

To my fellow Capitalist and Individualist, I offer this warning and call to action. We are entering a time where we may no longer just be shunned to our own respective communities, but may be directly attacked, like Justin Templer was last year, for our philosophical beliefs. The Regressive Left will try to silence us, try to terrorize us, and try to stop us, as our beliefs are completely anathema to their dogmatic beliefs of Social Justice, Political Correctness, Enforced Egalitarianism, and Cultural Marxism. Do not let them silence you! You, each and everyone of you, hold the ability to stop the Regressive’s march through society. The culture war has been going on for decades, but it only really became brutal with the beginning of #GamerGate in 2014. In the three years time that has past since then, much ground has been gained in the fight against the Regressive Left, but much work is still to be achieved. With the help of each and everyone of one of you, we can defeat this Regressive menace!

To finish off this essay, I want to leave you with a quoation from the speach John Galt made at the end of Atlas Shrugged. It is often titled “The Sanction of the Victim”, because that is exactly what it is describing. If there is anything I want you to take away from this essay, this would be it.

Then I saw what was wrong with the world, I saw what destroyed men and nations, and where the battle for life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality — and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that evil was impotent — that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real — and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it. Just as the parasites around me were proclaiming their helpless dependence on my mind and were expecting me voluntarily to accept a slavery they had no power to enforce, just as they were counting on my self-immolation to provide them with the means of their plan — so throughout the world and throughout men’s history, in every version and form, from the extortions of loafing relatives to the atrocities of collectivized countries, it is the good, the able, the men of reason, who act as their own destroyers, who transfuse to evil the blood of their virtue and let evil transmit to them the poison of destruction, thus gaining for evil the power of survival, and for their own values — the impotence of death. I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win — and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was “No.”

To Justin Templer, the man who’s horrible experience inspired me to write this, I have but one thing to say to you. Give ’em hell!

Sources:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIhpzXZCWtA
  2. https://twitter.com/JustinTemplerSr
  3. https://twitter.com/ausyarr
  4. https://ari.aynrand.org/media-center/press-releases/2010/01/21/atlas-shrugged-sets-a-new-record
  5. https://ari.aynrand.org/media-center/press-releases/2013/05/14/ayn-rand-hits-a-million-again
  6. http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-nonfiction/
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/10/new-age-ayn-rand-conquered-trump-white-house-silicon-valley
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Stirner