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Fri Aug 29, 2014, 07:45 PM

Ayn Rand's Capitalist Paradise Is Now a Greedy Land-Grabbing Shitstorm

Source: Gawker



Atlas Shrugged readers remember Galt's Gulch as the rural refuge where Ayn Rand's Real Men of Genius spurned American socialism for their own anti-leftist paradise. Some inspired libertarians have set up a real-life Galt's Gulch in Chile. Unregulated capitalism, though, is presenting some problems!

In Rand's weighty tome, America's bravest, wisest industrialists and inventors—the kind of job creators we lowly leeches suck dry of lifeblood—quietly leave an increasingly collectivist and crumbling American society and follow their capitalist working-class hero, John Galt, to form a completely transaction-based community in the Western wilds.

Plenty of Rand-y acolytes have dreamed of fleeing Obama's (and Clinton's and Carter's and Johnson's and Kennedy's) America and entering the warm, dopamine confines of their own Galt's Gulch. Last year, one group appeared to have succeeded with a settlement in Chile—"a fully self-sustaining community" that would enable individualistic immigrants (with sufficient funds) to fully renounce "the oppression of the over-regulated, over-taxed, war-riddled and welfare-riddled society consuming the world." They take Bitcoin and everything.

But all is not so sweet. Wendy McElroy, a "Canadian individualist anarchist" of some note, bought a 1.25-acre plot in Galt's Gulch Chile last year, or so she thought. She wrote a blistering post Monday suggesting that the Real Men of Genius behind the settlement are grifters, or incompetents, or both:

Read more: http://gawker.com/ayn-rands-capitalist-paradise-is-now-a-greedy-land-grab-1627574870?x

47 replies, 2294 views

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Reply Ayn Rand's Capitalist Paradise Is Now a Greedy Land-Grabbing Shitstorm (Original post)
demmiblue Aug 2014 OP
ThoughtCriminal Aug 2014 #1
Rassah Aug 2014 #23
JaneyVee Aug 2014 #2
Initech Sep 2014 #32
Cleita Aug 2014 #3
Blue_Tires Aug 2014 #14
Thinkingabout Aug 2014 #4
aggiesal Aug 2014 #17
Thinkingabout Aug 2014 #19
hunter Aug 2014 #5
politicat Aug 2014 #6
FSogol Aug 2014 #7
freshwest Aug 2014 #21
Wella Aug 2014 #8
alcibiades_mystery Aug 2014 #9
Brickbat Aug 2014 #10
sakabatou Aug 2014 #11
mobeau69 Aug 2014 #12
freshwest Aug 2014 #22
father founding Aug 2014 #13
Rassah Aug 2014 #24
MH1 Sep 2014 #30
Rassah Sep 2014 #33
NBachers Aug 2014 #15
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2014 #16
Rassah Aug 2014 #25
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2014 #26
Rassah Sep 2014 #27
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2014 #29
Rassah Sep 2014 #34
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2014 #36
Rassah Sep 2014 #40
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2014 #44
Rassah Sep 2014 #45
octoberlib Aug 2014 #18
Thinkingabout Aug 2014 #20
Pholus Sep 2014 #28
DirkGently Sep 2014 #31
Rassah Sep 2014 #35
DirkGently Sep 2014 #37
Rassah Sep 2014 #39
DirkGently Sep 2014 #43
Rassah Sep 2014 #46
Rassah Sep 2014 #47
Dawson Leery Sep 2014 #38
Rassah Sep 2014 #42
chrisa Sep 2014 #41

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 08:09 PM

1. Ask yourself

If I were a swindler, who would be the perfect mark?

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 11:03 PM

23. Trusting people who believe that

if someone claims to be a Randian, that means they will be fair and trustworthy, instead of "people."

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 08:15 PM

2. No way! You mean greed and grifters are taking over Galt's Gulch?

SHOCKED!

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 01:01 PM

32. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!!!!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 08:46 PM

3. Poor Chile. As if the people who live there don't have enough problems. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:02 PM

14. +1

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 08:48 PM

4. Very interesting, he indicated they control enviromental issues of not allowing

Area water in their valley, what we refer to as EPA, control food products from GMO's, we call our food inspectors USDA, sounds good, huh. I think I will stick to the good old USA. Leave that bunch there and they can enjoy each others company. Oh, the fraud, probably have an agency which can handle those issues and will create a prison system in the future.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:32 PM

17. Kind of destroys their concept of ...

no government, no regulations meme.

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Response to aggiesal (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:48 PM

19. Maybe they meant only if they control everything then it is okay.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 08:55 PM

5. Bob the Angry Flower: Atlas Shrugged 2

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:01 PM

6. I am shocked, shocked that there is grift going on in this establishment. N/T

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:06 PM

7. "Grifters, or incompetents, or both" perfect definition of both Republican and Libertarians.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 09:30 AM

21. +1

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:24 PM

8. Capitalism is not a system of ethics. Rand's mistake was to think it was.

What a mess.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:27 PM

9. Don't worry, everyone! The Wonderful Wizard of Market will solve all problems

In the long run, everything is a paradise, I think the saying went.

Something like that, anyway.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:28 PM

10. "Is now"?

Always was.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:37 PM

11. Not surprised

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:52 PM

12. You don't have enough posts to start new threads. Please reply to some threads first.

Okay, I can play by the rules. In case this hasn't already been posted: Check out this address to the AFT in LA. I'm not religious but this guy ought to get together with Pope Francis. The two of them together could raise some real hell!

"America's Moral Crisis"

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Response to mobeau69 (Reply #12)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 09:34 AM

22. Now, now! I'll post it for you. It's an important video. And Happy Birthday Reverend Barber!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:00 PM

13. Good for them, God bless them all.

Wonder if the cokes and shelly bought their plots yet ?

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Response to father founding (Reply #13)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 11:06 PM

24. They are not part of that group. At all.

I don't think they are even liked among the group involved in that project.

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Response to father founding (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 10:53 AM

30. They wouldn't be interested - it is environmentally protected land under Chilean law.

Until they buy the Chilean government, that is, which I'm sure is somewhere on their list (along with all other governments).

I note that because I find it one of the high ironies of the situation. A group that is for minimal government, setting up their Utopia in a place that is already highly restricted BY THE GOVERNMENT??

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Response to MH1 (Reply #30)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 01:44 PM

33. They picked that place because that government has some of the lowest restrictions in the world.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:24 PM

15. Could there be a Heaven's Gate climax in their future?

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:28 PM

16. Of COURSE they're grifters. That's what ALL Right Wingers are....

They have gotten to the point where they have stopped trying to convince the world or even a majority in the United States. Their total focus is in convincing each other. They actually now believe there are two completely separate but equally valid realities which can be achieved by VOTING.

Don't like global warming? Vote for the people who say it's a hoax and it will BECOME a hoax. They really believe EVERYTHING can be controlled by their special powers. Their mind over matter wills. They believe they can create reality through their worship of themselves. To top it off, they are SUCKERS for their own rhetoric.

Conservatives are best described as being like a private club of people who put shit in their hair. Amongst themselves they compliment each other on how they part it and the fine art of achieving the proper color and texture but when they go out in public all everyone sees is a bunch of shit heads.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 11:09 PM

25. Don't mistake the people involved in this group with conservatives.

Most of them are atheists, pro-gay marriage, pro-choice, and have no problems with drugs. They also don't vote, and don't believe it makes a difference, since they dislike both democrats and republicans. So, while your rant applies to conservatives, it doesn't really apply here.

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Response to Rassah (Reply #25)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 12:29 AM

26. Atlas Shrugged fans are Reaganites. Not fans of Gandhi.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #26)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 01:42 AM

27. Most of the guys behind this one are anarchists, not randians.

They're not fans of any government, so wouldn't likely support Reagan beyond the reducing regulations thing. Likewise, although they're not the type to support everything Ghandi was for, like him they are also anti-imperialism and anti-discrimination. I know, this is a bit disorienting when most of what you hear about the "not progressive" is "homophobic, womanizing, racist, poor-hating, christian nutcases." These guys are choice #3.

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Response to Rassah (Reply #27)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 09:38 AM

29. No, these guys claim to be self made individuals but all sound the same...

When you point out their sameness they claim it's because they found the truth.

And most of them DO treat Reagan as a Patron Saint but MONEY is their true God.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #29)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 01:46 PM

34. Maybe most do, but I know these guys personally...

They hate Republicans as much as they hate Democrats, presidents and all. Libertarians/Anarchists are not republicans at all.

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Response to Rassah (Reply #34)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 03:26 PM

36. Hate the country, love it's money.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #36)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 09:20 PM

40. Not even that. Note these are all bitcoiners, so they don't love its money either.

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Response to Rassah (Reply #40)

Tue Sep 2, 2014, 12:07 AM

44. I've known people like that. They also dressed as Klingons at Trek conventions.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #44)

Tue Sep 2, 2014, 12:57 PM

45. Some of them even go to furry conventions! :D

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:45 PM

18. Another good article on this

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/libertarian-expat-communities-chile


If Galt's Gulch isn't your scene, Freedom Orchard is right next door. Its founder is John Cobin, a genial expat who cranks out an endless stream of articles, op-eds, and episodes of his Red Hot Chile podcast in which he extols the country's low taxes, rigid anti-abortion laws, and traditional gender roles. Cobin ran for Congress in South Carolina in 2006 but was arrested for domestic violence days before the vote. (The charges were dropped.) His vice president of international sales, an organic farmer named Frank Szabo, lost a race for sheriff in New Hampshire in 2012 after saying he wouldn't rule out use of deadly force against abortion doctors. He later apologized and said he abhors violence.

Sitting in his impeccable contemporary apartment in Santiago, Cobin says that while the proposed 400-unit Freedom Orchard doesn't have an ideological litmus test for residents, liberals are not welcome: "You've already messed up your country. We don't need you."

Should any of these schemes become reality, residents adapting to life in Chile may be in for a big surprise. When I remind Cobin that his adopted country features some of his least favorite things, such as strict gun laws (not to mention national ID cards, mandatory medical insurance, and a reelected socialist president promising free college for all), he's unfazed. "The seeds of Chile's destruction have already been sown," he replies. "That's true. But we're 50 years behind the US."

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Response to octoberlib (Reply #18)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:54 PM

20. oh, wait just a damn minute, you mean they can not force our Second Amendment on them?

Why, their rights might be violated, poor babies. Guess the grass isn't greener on the other side.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 05:39 AM

28. Ahhhh, I love that story...thank you!


Kinda like the Arizona "militiamen" who promised a $55 million "Gaza Fence" but took the 1.8 million the suckers donated and gave them two miles of barbed wire (estimated value about $16000) in return.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 11:36 AM

31. Caveat emptor: Awesome for sellers. Not


so much for buyers, eh, "capitalist anarchists?"

One problem with anarchy, capitalist or otherwise is that you would need to strictly enforce it. It's not like humanity hasn't been able to "achieve" anarchy before -- it's just that it's always immediately rejected for some kind of societal order.

So to have "no rules," you'd have to have a giant, ferociously enforced ... rule. About the no rules.



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Response to DirkGently (Reply #31)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 01:52 PM

35. Anarchy doesn't mean "no rules"

It just means there are no rulers. There are still generally accepted rules (don't kill, don't steal, don't lie, respect others' property) and private contracts, and it is everyone's responsibility to enforce those rules (either directly, or by paying someone else to).

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Response to Rassah (Reply #35)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 05:59 PM

37. Aaaand you'd still need a "rule" against "rulers."

It's just an inanely childish concept. "Private enforcement" gets you to "coercion" just as quickly as a government or a leader, except without any assurances of fair or equitable treatment. You'd get warlords or corporate city-states, or another power structure immediately -- just as has always occurred from the beginning. Instead of the state or the country being The Man, it would be a copper mine or a criminal syndicate or something else. People in groups over a dozen or so do not share power in a fair and equitable manner outside of a governing structure of some kind.

Granted, the anarchists I've run into, who claim to have studied the more formal thinking about it -- "affinity groups!" probably have not, but they inevitably tend to be some pediatrician's kid who looks around and thinks all of the benefits of formal organized power structures are intrinsic to human nature and would remain in the absence of government, because they cannot fathom for an instant what an actual lack of such structure would look like or the "coercion" that would take place regardless.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #37)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 09:19 PM

39. Why do you need a rule against rulers if there are no rulers?

You claim is at most tantamount to "there is no difference." If there are no assurances that voluntarily paid for enforcement will not turn into a coercive enforcement that forces you to pay for it, then what assurances does one have when you start with a coercive enforcement that forces you to pay for it to begin with? And if people in groups over a dozen do not share power in a fair manner, instead taking power and control for themselves, then why would those exact same people not do the exact same thing if given "official" power? (as is plainly happening in governments all over the world). So, a worst case scenario would be the same outcome?

Note that we actually had anarchy systems, such as Lex Mecatoria, and the newly developing trans-national corporate law, which is not enforceable by any one nation due to the businesses following them not being based in any one specific country.

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Response to Rassah (Reply #39)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 10:15 PM

43. So civilization could be run by commercial arbitration?

... interesting concept? I've never heard anyone suggest that. Most of the anarchists at Occupy just wanted drug laws repealed, and seemed to imagine cities and schools and highways and the environment could run themselves because everyone is inherently fair and reasonable, and would form little "affinity groups" that would somehow agree how things should be done, even though no two of them could agree on anything more contentious than the time of day, if that.

Has a successful modern civilization ever been run on a private system of courts and arbitrators?

We have all kinds of private arbitration now, and there is no way in the world it could handle the full panoply of disputes and conflicts inherent in an entire city, never mind a country or the world.

Seems to me you'd have two ways to go there: 1) If everything is private, pay-as-you-go, and contract based, someone (or a number of someones) is simply going to amass more commercial power than everyone else and run the table, or 2) You re-introduce centrally enforced ideas of universal rights and recourse, in which case you have a government system you are just trying to call something else.

Edit:

Example: Exxon wants to drill for oil on the adjacent property to your (universal "you / your") house. There's no troublesome zoning regulation or anything, of course, but you see a problem there. So you and Exxon go to arbitration, they with their limitless buckets of cash for lawyers, no time constraints, and huge influence on the community, and you, with your normal working person's salary and family obligations and zero powerful friends.

How does that oil well not go in the second Exxon wants it to? How are you not "coerced?"

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #43)

Tue Sep 2, 2014, 01:37 PM

46. Ah, yes, those anarchists :)

There are two types of anarchists:

Anarcho-communists, which is closer to the Occupy types, where nothing is owned, everything is shared, everyone takes care of everyone else, and things are bartered and traded instead of bought and sold for money.
Anarcho-capitalists, who are kind of like randians, but unlike Rand don't think there should be any legalized coercion or violence, and who want to build their world based on the non-aggression principle (no one has the right to initiate force, and everyone has the right to defend themselves), and on the idea of completely voluntary and uninhibited trade.

The general idea behind anarcho-capitalists is that we can manage small scale things just like we manage relationships with our neighbors (we are generally not assholes to each other), and we can manage large scale things the way large businesses handle relationships between and within each other, through contracts, arbitration, "assurance," and most importantly reputation (Assurance is like insurance, except instead of insurance protecting you for others, assurance protects others from you. You would need to have assurance coverage for others to deal with you, and the worse asshole you are, the more expensive your policy). Whether you support it or not, I have found their hypothetical thought experiments on how society could be structured, and what possible consequences could arise, rather fascinating.

The closest thing that was attempted, though not modern, was the Icelandic Commonwealth that lasted from 930 to 1262. There was no government, per se, but representatives you bought in their version of "congress." You paid a subscription to them, and they negotiated general things on your behalf. If they did a bad job, you fired them and hired someone else. This only applied to large, overall, general country-wide stuff, not specific interactions between your neighbors or traders, and thus the amount of work involved was very little, and fee to hire such a rep was very low.

Regarding the two ways, 1) could very well happen, and it does already, but it doesn't last long. Commercial power comes from selling products, and as companies get large, they get comfortable and settled in what they do, shunning innovation for it being "too risky." And new start-ups invariably come in and kick their ass (like digital photo killing Kodak, internet killing AT&T, and even cars killing horse and carriage). As for 2) there will already be centrally accepted ideas of universal rights (respect life and property), but the recourse will likely be whatever the company you hire to protect your rights decides is best for you and cheapest for them. That could be anywhere from going after the perp directly, to negotiating with the perp's own security or assurance company on both of your behalf, to just paying you for whatever damage the perp did, if it's cheaper. So, just having generally accepted rules and guidelines doesn't automatically make it a government. You would need a central body enforcing those rules regardless of what people want for it to be government.

In the Exxon example, you won't be going to Exxon's arbitrators, but to one both you and they agree on. Most likely you won't even be the one going, and instead your security agency will go on your behalf. That agency has many more resources, since it will be a large company with many subscribers, comparable to a home insurance company you have now. Another big difference is that without government, there would not be a government-created concept of "limited liability corporation." Exxon would not be a nebulous entity whose actors are exempt from any harm the corporation does, but will be a group of people who are directly liable for their actions. This applies to everyone, from the careless drill operator who spilled oil onto your back yard, to the company owner who decided to stick that oil well on your neighboring plot against everyone's wishes. In the worst case, there also aren't any police that are forcing you to pay their salaries so they can keep Exxon safe from you. Exxon will have to have their own security, and the more harm they do, the more expensive their security costs will be, due to pissed off people taking things into their own hands.

At least that's the general hypothesis of how things MIGHT work.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #31)

Wed Sep 3, 2014, 12:07 AM

47. Sorry, I wanted to post this earlier, but...

their domain name expired, and I was waiting for them to notice and pay the bill to get it back. This is a pretty good writeup of how laws and rules could be enforced in a society without rulers: http://www.christophercantwell.com/2014/05/01/crime-anarcho-capitalist-society/

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 06:02 PM

38. Ayn Rand and John Calvin are two of the most under-rated people

when it comes to the level of destruction their ideologies have unleashed onto the world.

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #38)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 09:38 PM

42. I'm actually genuinely curious...

how many people have died from Ayn Rand's ideology?

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 09:22 PM

41. A man chooses, a slave obeys. Would you kindly be a sucker.

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