Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thanks for making my day Mr Dalmia

This may be even more important than Rhubarb Crumble.

I know I only said the other day that something was the best thing written about Ayn Rand and 'Atlas Shrugged', but... this is the best thing written about Ayn Rand and 'Atlas Shrugged'!

'With the notable exception of Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek, market theoreticians have to a large extent employed the equivalent of the Great Man theory of history to explain what makes markets tick. According to this theory, the course of history is shaped not by the convergence of multiple, unpredictable events but by the intervention of great men. Likewise, in the conventional thinking about markets, economic progress depends not on the labors of infinite economic actors but on the select few, the brainiacs, who rise to the top and generate innovations from which ordinary mortals benefit through a kind of trickle-down effect.'

Ok, I know it isn't directly about 'Atlas Shrugged' and Ayn Rand, but suddenly I was confronted by the fact that this piece articulates as accurately as I have ever seen my own view of markets. I always knew deep down that Ayn Rand and I didn't agree about the biggest things. Her characters are supermen, in the worst Nietzchian way. Rand worships them, idolizes them. If you don't naturally worship, and feel the need for supermen in the world, Rands books can leave you feeling pretty left out.

What is described in this article is vastly more preferable to me- the rough and ready democracy of free enterprise. Of adding your own small piece to the enormous jigsaw in whatever way you can. Vastly, vastly positive. And with something for everyone. I may well make Shikha Dalmia the object of great study in the next few months. Hayek as well.

After a dismal day of bad news, this is a wonderful tonic.

No comments: