Frustrating Brooks, again
As usual, David Brooks comes up with a deep and valid insight mixed with a pile of false crap. Last night in an NPR discussion about what the Repoofs need to do, Brooks said the obligatory crap about demographics (which is not even typical of his long-standing emphasis on the white working class!) then came up with the important insight.
Approximate quote: "Republicans need to get rid of the outdated vision of the solitary entrepreneur as the foundation of the American economy. Every ethnic group understands the value of hard work, but most of them understand that you also need help from government and social structures."
Basically right. The Randian vision leads to destruction. But the Randian vision is not outdated,
it's more like undated
. It's not a vision that worked in the past, it's a vision that never works.
(1) The solitary entrepreneur without support rarely succeeds. Most successful startups latch onto government contracts at some point, and wouldn't make it otherwise.
(2) Very few people have the qualities to start a company. Persuading everyone to follow that path diverts most folks from paths that would lead to success.
(3) Favoring the high-roller distorts society. Bourgeois civilization requires a foundation of stable non-gamblers. High-rollers occasionally start something productive, but mostly they leave a shambles behind.
(4) A family-based civilization can't function when most people are trying to start businesses. It needs large smoothly running
The last point is most important. In an industrial world, raising a family requires a full-time mother and a father who isn't completely exhausted. America achieved that condition in the era of big industries, thanks to Henry Ford's insight.
We've lost it since 1980, as the Randians collaborated
with the feminists to move all industry to China.
Brooks gets the timeline backwards, calling the Randian ideal a pre-1980 concept. Nope, that's when it started, not when it ended.