Here’s a story I thought was a hoax.
It came in by e-mail on Dec. 30 from the Ayn Rand Institute, and it had an Onion-type headline that read: “U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims.”
So unsure of its kosherness was I that I called up the author, one David Holcberg at the Ayn Rand Institute.
He vouched for it, though.
The piece began by focusing on the “private organizations and individuals” that are helping the victims. “Such help may be entirely proper, especially considering that most of the affected by this tragedy are suffering through no fault of their own,” the piece said.
“May” be entirely proper? Is there a doubt?
And of the more than 133,000 who have died, did any die through fault of their own?
The thrust of the rightwing libertarian group’s piece was that the U.S. government “should not give any money to help the tsunami victims” because “every dollar the government hands out as foreign aid has to be extorted from an American taxpayer first.”
The folks at Ayn Rand don’t believe in taxation.
And beyond that, they don’t even believe in altruism. All they believe in is the market.
Check this out: “It is America’s acceptance of altruism that renders them morally impotent to protest against the confiscation and distribution of their wealth,” the piece said.
It calls this altruism “a vicious morality.”
What’s vicious is letting millions of people go hungry and homeless and without clean water or medical care.
This self-parody would be easy to laugh off if it did not represent the apotheosis of free market idolatry, idolatry that is worshipped at the highest levels of our government.
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