Ayn Rand: Smeared Again – My Defence

October 25, 2008 by  

The Toronto Star newspaper has today (October 25, 2008) published an editorial titled “Twilight of the Oracles”. It takes aim at Alan Greenspan. It focuses on a quotation from Greenspan’s testimony in which he allegedly (I didn’t watch or hear the testimony) said “free markets did break down”. And then it does the all too easy: it mentions that Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, “impressed” him with statements like “”The only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.” It then proceeds to call that a “counsel of neglect”, and condemn’s Rand’s views as “a cruel joke to millions losing jobs and homes”. Thusly, the Star gave us all a solid example of how dishonesty is inherent in socialism and its proponents. Accordingly, I wrote the following letter to the editor.

I publish it here, fully expecting the Star not to publish it. I nonetheless encourage you to write a letter to the editor of the Toronto Star ( ) in response to its smearing of Ayn Rand and laissez faire capitalism.

Dear Editor:

Re: Twilight of the oracles (October 25, 2008 – Editorial)

Alan Greenspan’s primary role, as head of the federal reserve, was to regulate the rate at which the supply of American dollars grew. With Greenspan at the helm, the government intervened in the economy. That government intervention facilitated and encouraged easy credit, bad loans, and bankruptcies.

Such government intervention, together with the added intervention of bailing-out banks with taxpayer earnings, is all contrary to the laissez-faire capitalism that Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged, impressed upon Greenspan in his youth.

Condemning Greenspan and government intervention for the hardship now being felt by many is fair game. Condemning Ayn Rand and anti-interventionist admonitions is not. Were she alive today, her words would be “I told you so“.

Paul McKeever
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario
Author and Host of the Defending Ayn Rand video series on

Ayn Rand, interviewed by Mike Wallace (Part 2 of 3)


6 Responses to “Ayn Rand: Smeared Again – My Defence”

  1. Paul McKeever on October 25th, 2008 4:30 pm

    I should add that the Toronto Star is not the only ‘news’ source trying to suggest that the massive monetary expansion and government intervention in which Greenspan was involved was somehow the laissez faire capitalism espoused by Ayn Rand. Here is a list of boosters and bashers (boosters first, because they are fewer in number):


    Yaron Brook (Ayn Rand Centre for Individual Rights)
    Greenspan Has No Free Market Philosophy (October 24, 2008)

    Josh Wingrove (Globe and Mail)
    Greenspan’s Final Break from Rand (October 24, 2008)

    Mark Finkelstein (NewsBusters – Media Research Centre)
    Another Liberal Columnist Criticizes Capitalism


    Gus Van Horn
    Alan Greenspan, Coward and Traitor (October 24, 2008)

    Diana Hsieh (Noodlefood)
    Mr. Greenspan = Dr. Stadler (October 24, 2008)

    Tibor R. Machan
    Column on Greenspan versus Rand on Self-Interest (October 24, 2008)!B2FD693F4B9A5746!474.entry

    David Elmore (The Sidereal Messenger)
    The invisible hand slaps Alan Greenspan (October 24, 2008)

    (Witch Doctor Repellent)
    Why Alan Greenspan is full of shit (October 24, 2008)

    mtnrunner2 (Fun With Gravity)
    Oh, Alan! (October 23, 2008)


    Dean Baker (Talking Points Memo)
    Greenspan Follies: The World Is as Ayn Rand Would Have Predicted (October 23, 2008)

    Jon Taplin (Talking Points Memo)
    Libertarianism RIP (October 23, 2008)

    The Dallas Morning News editorial
    When Greenspan’s bubble burst (October 23, 2008)

    Wall Street Journal Editorial
    Another Bubble Bursts (October 24, 2008)

    Brad Ginesin (Seeking Alpha)
    Financial Warning to the U.S. Government

    Deborah Jones Barrow (WowOWow)
    Greenspan Shrugged? Did Ayn Rand Cause Our Financial Crisis? (October 24, 2008)

    Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive)
    Alan Greenspan Falls on His Theory (October 24, 2008)

    David Corn (Mother Jones)
    Alan Shrugged (October 24, 2008)

    Michael Maiello (Forbes)
    Greenspan Testifies: Our Political Language Just Changed (October 24, 2008)

    Tim Rutten (L.A. Times)
    Greenspan’s blind spot (October 25, 2008),0,4777431.column

    Toronto Star Editorial (October 25, 2008)


    Roy Edroso (The Village Voice)
    Greenspan Disowned By Ayn Rand Cult (October 24, 2008)

    (My Two Cents)
    Desecrating Ayn Rand’s Grave (October 24, 2008)

    Chris Packham (The Pitch Blogs)
    Pointing the pointer-finger of blame (October 24, 2008)
    (Note: this one is a bit tongue-in-cheek)

    Bruce Garrett (The Story So Far…)
    Welcome To Planet Earth Mr. Greenspan. And How Was Your Stay On Planet Rand…?

    Crawford Harris (The Couth Hillbilly)
    Greenspan Shrugged (October 24, 2008)

    Jon Talton (Rogue Columnist)
    Who To Blame (October 24, 2008)

    Greg Nyquist (Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature)
    Objectivism & Economics, Part 4

    Good for Party
    Greenspan: “My Bad” (October 24, 2008)

    Marx and Coca-Cola
    We Won (October 24, 2008)

    Tracy Witham (Metaponderance)
    Greenspan’s Mistaken Faith in Self-Interest (October 24, 2008)

    Eric (
    Greenspan, Ayn Rand, and the End of the Free Market (October 24, 2008)

    (Rat Tracks)
    Shorter Alan Greenspan (October 24, 2008)

    (Boulder Dude)
    It’s so sad when former lovers squabble… (October 24, 2008)

    (Born Live Love Die)
    More of the same (October 24, 2008)

    (The Rambler)
    Greenspan: “John Galt let us down!” (October 24, 2008)

    Geggy (I’m a slut for the blues)
    Atlas Collapses and Dies (October 24, 2008)

    (The Tall Thin Guy)
    Crazy Al said what? (October 24, 2008)

    RFK Lives (DailyKOS)
    Greenspan admits that Bernie Sanders was right (October 24, 2008)

    Sheldon Richman (Free Association)
    What Hath Ayn Rand Wrought? (October 24, 2008)

    George Shollenberger (Teachings:The First Scientific Proof of God)
    Theological Science and the Thoughts of Alan Greenspan (October 24, 2008)

    Lee Stranahan (The Huffington Post)
    Greenspan (& The Economy) Haunted By Ayn Rand’s Ghost (October 23, 2008)

    The End of Lunacy? (October 23, 2008)

  2. Luc Lacerte on October 25th, 2008 5:34 pm

    Hey Paul,

    I’ve been following along with you for quite some time now, first took notice at SOLO of all places. And here you were, just a few hundred miles away. Keep up the good work. I definitely enjoy your video drives. Anyway, here’s my note to the editor on the Greenspan / Rand comparisons. I’ll keep checking in and try to contribute whenever I can. Hope it helps.

    Best Regards,
    Luc Lacerte

    Dear Editor,

    Certainly you jest. This is a classic “package deal”, exactly what Ayn Rand herself points to on so many occasions in that enlightening way of hers. Alan Greenspan, over the years and for whatever reasons, became as far removed from the ideal of laissez faire capitalism and its proponents (Rand in particular) as could be deemed humanly possible. This guy had a major meltdown along the way. Ayn Rand remained consistent in her convictions to her dying breath. Shame on you.

    Luc Lacerte
    Hudson, Québec

  3. Paul McKeever on October 25th, 2008 6:49 pm


    Thanks…and thank-you for writing to the Star. It’s nice to know about another ally in Canada.

    Cheers mate,


  4. Ralf Wilmes on October 26th, 2008 6:05 am

    Way to go Paul. On the positive side: these are times where capitalist convictions are reinforced I think. Once more ”capitalism takes the blame”. And the cocktail is really easy to make: a bit of worry, a bit of envy, a bit (loads) of ignorance-shake well-and consume.

    It’s amazing how also here in Europe mainstream media, gloriously succeeds to ‘forget’ informing people of the government’s role and cause in the recession.

    Instead the focus is on the ‘extravagant incentives’ of the greedy selfish CEO’s. And if that is not convincing enough it’s the ”speculators and short sellers” ruining ”otherwise sound companies” How? Well, ehm…somehow!!

    I’m playing with the idea of founding a ‘Freedom Party Italy’ here!!!

    greetings, Ralf, (Torino, Italy)

  5. Paul McKeever on October 26th, 2008 7:48 pm

    Update: I received a phone call from the Toronto Star, which informed me that my letter may indeed get published within the next day or three.

  6. philip meguire on April 7th, 2009 5:24 am

    Since 1980 or so, Greenspan steadily betrayed the principles he once learned as a disciple of Rand’s. Rand did not believe in central banking, but in the classical gold standard. She did not believe in government subsidised credit.

    The mess in the USA can be blamed entirely on the American state’s coddling of lending to buy a home. Everybody in the mortgage business came to expect that the taxpayer would bear most of the downside risk. Fannie and Freddie could not buy mortgages issued to poor families, but they held about 20-25% of the mortgage backed paper issued by Wall Street firms.

    Mortgage bankers did not care who they lent to, knowing that Wall Street would buy anything. Wall Street did not care what they bought, knowing that they could resell it as mortgage backed securities. Investors did not care what they bought,
    because S&P and Moody’s gave it an A rating. Also Fannie and Freddie were holding a lot of the securities that proved disastrous. Finally, investors thought that the US government would back any serious downside risk, because the whole edifice was promoting homeownership among the underclass, and everybody assumed that the Bush and Clinton admins wanted very much to advance that.

    This was not cowboy capitalism, but crony capitalism. The privatisation of gains, and the hoped-for socialisation of losses. The consciences of thousands of key players were anesthetised by huge yearend bonuses, with no mechanism for clawing them back should the firm go down the tube. So everybody milked the cow, and nobody worried about keeping it alive. The cow died suddenly, and there’s spilt milk everywhere. The corpse smells, and the dairy industry is idle. We’ll get over it eventually.

    Rand would say: get the US government out of the mortgage industry. In such a world, minimum downpayments of 20-30% will become the norm. Accept the fact that in a world of unsubsidized mortgages at least 40% of American families
    will have no choice but to rent.

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