I plodded through Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead before I entered college. I detested her loathsome individualism and proselytizing of the laisezze faire myth. I haven’t read her Atlas Shrugged yet. Here’s a portion of Jeremiah Tucker’s updating of Rand’s long winded work (read the whole thing at McSweeney’s). Humorous unmasking of the essential greed behind all the self-righteous free market rhetoric:
“I heard the thugs in Washington were trying to take your Rearden metal at the point of a gun,” she said. “Don’t let them, Hank. With your advanced alloy and my high-tech railroad, we’ll revitalize our country’s failing infrastructure and make big, virtuous profits.”
“Oh, no, I got out of that suckers’ game. I now run my own hedge-fund firm, Rearden Capital Management.”
He stood and adjusted his suit jacket so that his body didn’t betray his shameful weakness. He walked toward her and sat informally on the edge of her desk. “Why make a product when you can make dollars? Right this second, I’m earning millions in interest off money I don’t even have.”
He gestured to his floor-to-ceiling windows, a symbol of his productive ability and goodness.
“There’s a whole world out there of byzantine financial products just waiting to be invented, Dagny. Let the leeches run my factories into the ground! I hope they do! I’ve taken out more insurance on a single Rearden Steel bond than the entire company is even worth! When my old company finally tanks, I’ll make a cool $877 million.” ■