Thursday, November 13, 2008

Alan Greenspan = John Galt?

As Ben is quite fond of conspiracy theories, I thought I'd throw this one out there. It is really quite interesting. I saw it first on Gary North's site, then went looking on google for more info. The basic premise is that Alan Greenspan saw/sees himself as a John Galt, a la Atlas Shrugged. For those who haven't read the novel (you should!), the story is about how global socialism and human socialistic tendencies lead unproductive people to attempt to live on the backs of the productive. John Galt leads a revolt among the productive folks, urging them to quit what they are doing and join in the parasitic behavior. By destroy their own successful businesses, there is nobody left to support the unproductive, and they are left to survive on their own pathetic means. John Galt is known as the "man who stopped the engine of the world." Alan Greenspan appears to have very nearly done the same thing: he may very well have destroyed the US dollar through his inflationary policies. The US dollar is now the world's reserve currency, and serves as the glue holding together the world economy as we know it today. Actually, Austrian critics of Alan Greenspan have been saying that he has destroyed the dollar and the American economy for some time, creating a number of bubbles including the Tech and Housing bubbles, and now the commodity bubble. But nobody, to my knowledge, ever accused him of doing it deliberately! They all seem to agree he was only incompetent! What makes it look like a conspiracy is that Alan Greenspan was actually a very, very close friend of Ayn Rand. Like the Austrians, the Objectivists (Ayn Rand followers) despise the Federal Reserve and believe the country should use gold as currency. Yet Ayn apparently did not object to one of her star pupils becoming chairman of the Federal Reserve. Very strange... Further, his behavior very closely mimics exactly what characters like d'Anconia did in the book: suddenly do a complete 180 and pretend to go along with the system and adopt its views, and use his position and skill to totally destroy the institution he is in charge of, all the while acting like he doesn't know what's going on. Recently, Greenspan made news by "admitting" that maybe free markets didn't really work. Very out of character for a Rand follower, but exactly what one might expect of a faker along the lines of a John Galt trying to destroy the present financial arrangement so that it must be recreated from scratch. Preferrably, better scratch. Am I buying it? No, not really. I'm not big on conspiracy theories. I tend to think that culture determines history more than anything else. But who could ever say... only Greenspan himself! And he'd never tell...

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