Saturday, November 12, 2005

Corporate Self-Flagellation

Tibor R. Machan

It wasn’t but a few minutes into this movie—The Invisible Circus, produced by FineLine Features, An AOL TIME Warner Company, one of America’s biggest media companies—that the main character makes the following voiceover comment:

My father dreamed of being an artist. Instead he worked for a giant corporation. He hated it. He hated himself for working there. Faith [her sister] said that’s what made him sick [from which he died]....

The movie is based on a novel by Jennifer Egan and I have no idea whether the original work contained these lines. What I found utterly despicable here is that this giant American media corporation was releasing a movie in which nearly the first substantive idea that comes out of the mouth of the protagonist is how a nice daddy hated working for a giant corporation.

Just think about it: this movie would not have been made without a giant corporation footing the bill for its production, the payment to the author of the original novel, the director’s and actors’ salaries, and so forth. AOL TIME Warner Co., is, of course, owned by millions of stockholders, many of them with shares of which on and off they make a few (or quite a few) bucks. It employs thousands of people who are paid a pretty decent income from their work at this “giant corporation.” Then, also, I don’t know how many thousands and thousands of people make good use of AOL TIME Warner services and product and how many more enjoy subcontractor status, deriving side benefits from this giant corporation’s hateful existence.

My son keeps telling me I should relax, enjoy these entertainment fares, avoid getting ulcers or some other malady from becoming aggravated about all these shows paradoxically and viciously indicting the very foundation of their own existence. Sadly or happily—it varies for me from one day to the next—I am unwilling to forgetaboutit. It is one of the most infuriating things I experience on a nearly daily basis: businesses that are sponsoring total disrespect toward businesses.

Ayn Rand used to call this “the sanction of the victim,” suggesting that here are good people who are accepting bad things said about them. But I think they are not such good people, although, of course, in important ways they are. It is they, after all, who create all those valuable things I listed above—the products, services, employment, subcontracting, etc. But in one serious—indeed possibly fatal—respect they are being vicious. They are undermining their own very valuable existence by fueling the fires of anti-business sentiment in not only for a world-wide audience but in their very own psyche.

I experience this now and then when I teach my business ethics courses at my university’s school of business and economics. Students who are required to take this course—in which we examine some of the special ethical issues that people in commerce and business run across—often report that their parents who are business executives have a very cynical view of their own profession. Not because they actually witness wrongdoing, although that happens now and then, but because they believe that businesses have only a kind of raw, practical value in the world and may indeed encourage greed, which they equate with the desire to run a profitable enterprise. Why? Because from virtually every corner of the culture in which they live, too many people who mount podiums and rosters or write novels, essays, plays, even columns, or, especially, give commencement exercises—and, of course, write scripts for TV programs, have nothing but criticism to offer of corporate commerce. (Just take a look at David E. Kelley’s hit ABC-TV show, Boston Legal, and you will immediately know what I am talking about.)

Of course, this started a couple of thousand of years ago, when Plato declared the merchant as innately incapable of living a noble life and positioned at the lowest rung of society. Christianity didn’t help things much by having Jesus turn violent only one time, when he chased away money lenders from the temple (as if no other sins were worthy of the Prince of Peace’s ire).

In fact, however, all this is bunk. As Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, “Money, which represents the prose of life, and which is hardly spoken of in parlors without an apology, is, in its effects and laws, as beautiful as roses.” So, yes, forgetaboutit, it being that derisive attitude and moral superiority toward people in the profession of wealth care.
When Government "Teaches"

Tibor R. Machan

At a recent seminar I was discussing whether liberty needs to be curtailed when disaster strikes and several of the participants were beginning to respond quite favorably to my own answer that, no, it does not. Of course, during a disaster often all hell breaks loose, whatever is the right thing to do. But there is no reason to think that institutions that secure our liberty need to be specially reoriented to circumstances involving any kind of natural disaster. As that wise old cliché has it, “Hard cases make bad law.”

Why, nonetheless, is it now nearly commonplace, albeit futile, to look to government during disasters? Simple, actually: because so many people look to government in any case, never mind disasters. When the sheriff becomes the barber, bar tender, dentist, dance instructor, teacher, and architect, all at once, none of these profession will long escape severe malpractice but all will seek the sheriff’s help for any purpose whatever. Seeking government aid will be the frustrating norm.

A startling piece of evidence showing the truth of this comes to us from Topeka, Kansas, where on November 8th the Board of Education for Kansas “approved new public-school science standards ... that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.” That schools that teach biology should not substitute a doctrine based on religious faith for a highly productive theory—nay, fact—that life emerged in the world over billions of years involving natural selection is right but not the issue here. (Intelligent Design, which is what the Kansas School Board considers a bona fide competitor, is not science since it assumes something that is impossible: that there is intelligence prior to a brain, with this pre-existing intelligence that also created the brain. That just cannot be, by any stretch of our biological evidence. Brains are an absolute prerequisite for intelligence, so they could not have been created by brainless intelligence.)

But never mind that—the issue is interesting and can be debated in the proper forums for such debates. What is really scary is that a political body is responsible for setting “science standards.” That’s not something politics may be involved in, never.

Imagine if politics set the standards for any, including religious, truth? Most people would clearly grasp that that is out of the question and the first amendment to the bill of rights partly recognizes this in mandating the separation of church and state. Why? Because religious truths, as any other purported or proposed truths, need the atmosphere of complete freedom of inquiry. Governments may guard that freedom but never demolish it with their inept political boards.

Sadly, however, in the eagerness to have children educated, Americans over the last two centuries haven’t recognized this elementary fact and allowed politicians to manage their children’s education. Not all of them, granted, but most. And this is completely out of line with the principles of a free society, even if some champions of such a society made the unpardonable mistake to cave in on the point. That is no different from governments elsewhere around the globe and throughout history having become promoters of religion, the arts, sciences, athletics and so forth, mainly because of the eagerness of many leaders to make sure that people are involved in all of this. All such objectives may be proper ones for some though not others, but they aren’t for politicians to pursue. Nor is education.

As the Declaration of Independence put it in its nifty, unambiguous phrasing, it is “to secure [our] rights” that “governments are instituted among [us].” That’s what cops are supposed to do, keep the peace, not become...well, please just look at the second paragraph above and you will get the point clear as a bell. Maybe it is time to reread that wonderful, earthshaking document and start taking it really seriously at last.

Please don’t get me wrong. As someone with a 40+ year career in education, I am fully supportive of schooling the young, not only because this gives me a fantastic job but because the young, including my own three children, require a solid education. But a solid education does not come from government and its school administrators. It comes from a free education system, free not of reality—which means costs, controversies and confusions, among other things—but free of government. Those experts, haven’t you heard, are supposedly to be good at using guns against criminals and foreign aggressors and thus must not be allowed near anything else lest they start invoking their deadly tools where they do not belong.

The Kansas School Board has shown us what happens when they do—imposing a one-size-fits-all theological-biological doctrine on all pupils. That’s what is wrong with what they did, never mind Intelligent Design, Darwin or whatever the exact content of what they impose.

But since they and every other government school board have been doing such imposing for decades on end, this new imposition should not be any great surprise. Still, it is wrong.
Rudy Giuliani vs. Civil Liberties

Tibor R. Machan

The November 2005 issue of Reason—a publication I helped launch but have no hand it at all now—did a stimulating write-up on former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, by way of a review of Fred Siegel’s The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York and the Genius of American Life (Encounter, 2005), by the magazine’s online editor and a widely published contributors to prominent newspapers across the country, Tim Cavanaugh. While not a fawning piece about either the book or Giuliani’s mayoral tenure, the reviewer is clearly impressed with how Rudy has managed to tame what before he ascended to mayor amounted to a severely unruly, misgoverned place.

Economically and, for many even more importantly, in the department of civil affairs, the city had been a mess. I recall when I visited there routinely and stayed with the late Ernest van den Haag, a formidable conservative intellectual adversary who had grave doubts about libertarianism, civil or otherwise—although he was a firm supporter of nearly unfettered capitalism—I got many lectures on how Rudy was God’s gift to the city.

Van den Haag sounded very much like one provocative paragraph in Cavanaugh’s review:

Guiliani’s success, particularly his broad definition of ‘quality of life’ issues and offenses, poses a serious utilitarian challenge to civil libertarians.

Why? Well, because the mayor wasn’t all that concerned with whether his policies pleased or displease ACLU types. His measures, often deemed to be harsh—“campaign against squeegee men and his later efforts against turnstile jumpers, public urinators, and other petty lawbreakers”—pretty much discounted these offenders’ civil liberties and many people’s idea of due process of law. That’s at least what Cavanaugh seems to be saying with his worry above.

The idea is that with the widely perceived, indeed by all accounts objective benefits of Guiliani’s policies and methods, libertarians may have to concede that it is better to forego beefing about the basic rights of citizens than to live in an unruly New York City.

Of course this takes us back to a debate that’s bogged down classical liberals or libertarians for decades, even centuries. It was John Locke who put the classical case for natural individual rights on record, insisting that every human being has these in a community by virtue of being part of humanity; the only justification for using force against anyone, then, is if he or she violates the rights of others. Government, especially, is bound by this principle, suggested Locke. And so, too, insist more recent Lockeans in the classical liberal, libertarian movement.

Against these folks stood the likes of Jeremy Bentham who considered Lockean rights a myth, not unlike many of the critics of contemporary libertarianism, such as legal and political theorists Cass Sunstein, Liam Murphy, and Thomas Nagel do today. As the famous passage from Bentham’s Anarchical Fallacies goes,

Rights is the child of law; from real law come real rights; but from imaginary laws, from ‘law of nature,' come imaginary rights.... Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense—nonsense upon stilts.

That is to say, government grants rights, they aren’t ours independently or by virtue of our human nature. And, more specifically, those political theorist who follow Bentham’s lead dispute that there is any good argument for ascribing or granting rights to people apart from when it is useful to do so for obtaining a greater acknowledged benefit than otherwise.

In the case of the former mayor, Cavanaugh intimates that no good reason exists to be concerned with some supposed basic rights that New Yorkers have—what counts is that the policies of Guiliani accomplished what to all who cared to consider it yielded important benefits to the city. This is what makes Guiliani a utilitarian and this is why he poses a challenge to at least those classical liberals and libertarians who insist on protecting individual rights no matter what, given that we have them whether governments accept them or not.

Most of those who defend the free society see nearly perfect congruence between a utilitarian and rights based support for free institutions, thinking no matter how you come at it, freedom ought to trump whatever would violate it. But while utilitarians see some exceptions, Lockeans rarely if every do (only, perhaps, in circumstances Locke himself recognized when “politics is impossible,” say in the midst of a devastating natural catastrophe).

Since, however, principles of community life—the foundations of constitutional laws—are to guide policy makers in the long run, not momentarily—that’s not how laws operate in a human community—the utilitarian challenge does not come to much. Even if one were to grant that Guiliani succeeded despite violating basic civil liberties, “one swallow does not make a spring,” as that ancient Greek sage, Aristotle, had observed.

What is even more telling is that nearly all of the measures Guiliani took pertain to how people must behave in public spheres. These are severely reduced in size and scope in a libertarian polity. And private owners and operators of subways, parks, buildings, and streets may, according to Lockean libertarians, establish whatever rules they deem are required to managing these realms. Just as I may require you to go barefoot in my house because, well, it is my house, a significantly privatized New York City would have no trouble establishing and maintaining the sort of measures Guiliani favored without violating anyone’s civil liberties at all.

The real problem is reconciling civil liberties with the effective management of public realms. This is no challenge to Lockean libertarianism.
Welcome to Freer Markets

Tibor R. Machan

"According to a confidential memorandum, I.B.M. is cutting 13,000 jobs in the United States and in Europe and creating 14,000 jobs in India. From 2000 to 2015, an estimated three million American jobs will have been outsourced; one in 10 technology jobs will leave these shores by the end...." This was the beginning of an Op Ed piece title "A Passage to India" by Suketu Mehta back on July 12, 2005. The author shows us how far India has come into the contemporary world and that it is moving more and more toward a society with relatively free institutions, including a free market.

Some lament this fact but I, for one, am mystified why anyone would consider it bad news. It is great news, for Indians looking for decent jobs; it's good news, also, for IBM and other firms that can benefit from the skills and education of Indians, where in previous times they couldn't and those in India had to go hungry or take jobs with very low pay, and it is wonderful news to customers of IBM who now can spend their saved money elsewhere and thereby create more jobs.

About outsourcing, as we discussed it recently in my business ethics class: We all do it routinely, in disparate pockets of the market place, everywhere around the world. For example, for twenty years after I was discharged from the US Air Force I cut my own hair. I feared someone else touching it, lest they ruin my fabulous flat top. In time, however, I was weaned from this stupid notion and started getting haircuts at barbershops. But now and then I leave one barbershop and start up with another—outsourcing, once again. And about a year ago I stopped the services of one house cleaner and hired another. I also switched grocery stores a couple of months ago and have starting taking my laundry to a new cleaner. Then I switched from one gym to another. And on and on it goes with nearly all of us. I also gave up my small American SUV and purchased one of those small but tall little cars from somewhere on the Pacific Rim. Outsourcing again, with all the other happy outsourcers.

In short, we are all outsourcers big time, whether we admit this or not.

As Prof. Joe Cobb, an economist, explained to my class in his recent guest lecture, people who protest this are suffering from a major confusion. They think of markets as if friends and family members populated them. To those of course we do often owe special obligations. Or they imagine we have such special obligations toward strangers who might be~Americans or live nearby. But people who work for us are almost always strangers, not friends and family and we interact with them for a limited but mutually beneficial, namely commercial, purpose. That's mostly it; although one can come to befriend one's butcher or hairdresser or even auto-mechanic and in time even start to date one of them. These categories are not rigid or fixed. But in the main, commerce is carried out with personally unknown individuals and they and we ought all to be fully aware that in such relationships loyalty is very secondary. What counts for most is whether a good deal can be struck.

Of course Karl Marx and his pals thought this to be alienating but that's bunk. It isn't alienating because most of those with whom we do business never were our bosom bodies in the first place. They were strangers all along and at one time this meant they couldn't do any good for each other at all. But with the thriving of commerce around the world, the increase of freedom of trade and of capital and labor movement, the source of mutual benefit, as well as with occasional volatility, strangers have become important sources of well-being for most of us.

So let's give at least two, if not three cheers to outsourcing. It isn't all that new a phenomenon in any case and has been supported by intelligent economists for years, one of them being, of course, Adam Smith himself. His The Wealth of Nations could use a bit of study by the likes of those whom Suketu Mehta was trying to educate about the elementary economics of the situation. It might make them happier about this global development.
Friedman, the "Laissez Faire economist"

Tibor R. Machan
In a business ethics reader I just received from McGraw Hill Publishers for possible course adoption, there are about 45 contributors. Among them is Dr. Milton Freidman, Nobel Laureate in economic science, who was for years with the University of Chicago economics department and is now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. ~

Here is what caught my attention: In the description of all of the contributors, nearly everyone other than the non-academic Frederick Engels, Karl Marx's co-author of The Communist Manifesto, is identified by reference to his or her discipline and home institution. Even Karl Marx himself is described as "a student of philosophy and economics," not as the founder of scientific socialism.

The editors, however, decided to put readers on notice right away about Milton Friedman's orientation in the field of political economy; they describe him as “US laissez-faire economist, emeritus professor the University of Chicago." His discipline, economics, isn't even mentioned.

I have no idea what came over these editors, one of whom I know slightly. But it reeks a bit of the perhaps latent desire to belittle Friedman, identifying him not by reference to his very impressive credentials but the rather didactic term used for his ideology.

And folks wonder why the charge of liberal bias is so often repeated about mainstream academicians. Here is one reason—even without perhaps intending to, those who favor a government with extensive scope and power (and for reasons they earnestly believe are sound) tend to marginalize their intellectual adversaries. In this book there is a relatively fair representation of free market supporters. Nevertheless the editors seem to think of them as but ideologues, people who are irrationally wedded to some viewpoint.

Those they tend to like, on the other hand, are treated as respected scholars in their discipline, so much so that even old hotheaded Marx is not identified with his socialist or communist ideology but with his having gotten a doctorate in philosophy as well as with his hardly respected work in economics. Students who read this identification are more likely to see Marx for the sincere, hardworking scholar or researcher the editors may think he was, while seeing Milton Friedman, one of the most technically renown and innovative neo-classical economists, as primarily a laissez-faire advocate—which is to say, someone who is ideologically predisposed.

Maybe I am making too much of this. Still, I suspect I am on to something, something perhaps even the editors may find surprising about themselves. When they went through the list of contributors and gave a biographical sentence or two about them, all but Friedman were thought of as mainly scholars or researchers. Friedman, however, didn’t receive that sort of respect from them. That’s probably because the do not have much respect for scholars and researchers who have the political-economic views of Friedman.

And that is too bad. In a proper university course when controversies are evidently rife, whatever the professor’s position, he or she is supposed to give a respectful presentation of all sides. This day and age, however, it seems that, with the focus being on cultural, racial, gender and other relatively innocuous diversity, the one pertinent diversity universities ought to keep in mind, namely, diversity of seriously argued and held viewpoints, often gets neglected.

Exactly how this squares with the idea of a proper liberal arts education I have my doubts. Seems to me the fervor behind championing favored viewpoints has taken over the commitment to proper teaching. I do realize that resisting such a temptation requires constant vigilance, as does non-partisanship in most situations where one isn’t supposed to take sides groundlessly—e.g., in judging athletes at the Olympics or considering the guilt or innocence of a defendant at a trial or, again, reaching conclusions with data from social scientific studies. But that is exactly what all these types of cases require, vigilant adherence to objectivity and, in the class room and textbooks, to the impartial presentation of the various live options being discussed about some topic.

Of course, some positions are beyond the pale—no self-respecting editor will give equal time to a Nazi, racist or even ascetic about, say, business ethics. But once one has decided to include someone’s position, one owes that person respect and not any kind of intimation that he or she isn’t quite cutting it in the respectability department.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Every day a New Study

Tibor R. Machan

Over the decades I have been following, in an unsystematic but quite reliable fashion, the innumerable studies produced by research universities and think tanks. One result of my informal survey is that I am completely unsure about whether coffee is good or bad for people in general; whether one should take naps or sleep a full night; whether salt, sugar, milk or...well, you get the point...are for or against me in various quantities and frequencies.

Most recently I read of a study that claims that people who retire earlier tend to die sooner than those who retire later. Friends whom I informed of this immediately pointed out that early retirees could well be in worse health than those who stay at work. In short, the study isn’t worth much without excruciating details about it and science journalists simply don’t bother to include those.

First of all, it is worth keeping in mind that universities thrive on studies. Professors, especially in the natural and social sciences, are forever writing proposals appealing for funding of this, that, and another research project. Governments not only fund many of these but, along with the universities themselves, often give training courses to the potential researchers instructing them on how to prepare the proposals.

But, then, just consider: universities and colleges routinely remain in business—they are kept in existence, in other words—almost entirely regardless of whether they are wanted in the general society. They are mostly tax funded, as is all this research. Unlike big and small businesses, very few educational institutions go fatally bankrupt. Most professors take out time to lobby for keeping these places on the government and private dole—“Such endeavors as our higher education and research should never be subjected to market forces,” they plead, as do many artists, scientists, medical professionals and all others who believe that world owes their kind of work job security (while the rest—say, makers of shoes, bakers of bread, producers of cars, etc.—have, of course, no such thing).

Now in this atmosphere where people can keep jobs the free marketplace may well not support, there will clearly be a lot of make-work. Not only is it an article of faith in most university disciplines that original scholarship and research are marks of excellence; not only do degrees and promotions depend a great deal not on teaching students but on doing this kind of work; but a good portion of the funds for it all can be gotten without having to persuade the funding agents, taxpayers, of the merits of these projects. The people to be persuaded are mostly colleagues sitting on evaluation boards who, if I may be a little cynical, are often interested in spending down their budgets so they can ask for more for the next fiscal year or quarter rather than in thrift and results. (Indeed, in some disciplines talk about practical results is deemed pedestrian!)

So do not be terribly surprised when study after study pours out of these institutions—and it makes little difference whether they are privately or government owned and managed, they are all going to government for much of the funding of their research. All these corrupting factors, which are now entrenched in the whole educational and research culture, contribute to the production of endless streams of nearly incoherent information, one week advising some practice, the next discouraging it.

When people who champion the free society, with its free market place by way of which funds are to be allocated to various projects, but all of it on a voluntary basis, they are told often just how the market place is unreliable. People do not know what is important to do; they engage in impulse buying; they engage in trivial pursuits; they are hooked by advertising—you know the drill!

OK, so some of this is probably true. But it is rarely noted by the lobbyists for government subsidies how severely their pet system corrupts the institution that is supposed to provide education and wisdom to young people, as well as dependable research.

It’s time they are reminded of this.
On Discussing Hollywood Boycotts

Tibor R. Machan

Joe McCarthy was probably a bully and what he wanted to do with those who held communists views, especially inside the federal government, may at times have gone over the top. But as any good Monday-morning-quarterbacker must admit—what with the opening of all the files on the Soviets back in the days of blacklisting—old Joe had a lot of things right, especially about Reds among the Feds.

One this is sure—communists, including many of those in Hollywood who got blacklisted (boycotted) because of this, were far worse than McCarthy. For anyone today to depict Soviet communist sympathizers as victims either of blacklisting or McCarthyism, when they either foolishly or deliberately aided and abetted Soviet efforts to export communism and help overthrow the American government, is a gross mistake.

A recent panel discussion—with Richard Schickel (TIME film critic, noted film historian and author of the new Elia Kazan: A Biography), James Hirsen (best-selling author, Hollywood Nation), Ron Radosh (Red Star over Hollywood), Patrick Goldstein (LA Times film critic, columnist), Ed Rampell (author, Progressive Hollywood) and Jeff Britting of the Ayn Rand Institute (producer of the Oscar-nominated Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life)—put on by the Liberty Film Festival, dealt with the history of Hollywood blacklisting. Very early in the discussion Jeff Britting presented Ayn Rand’s ideas on blacklisting. The gist of it went that if one seriously disapproves of someone's views, one has every right (and often ought) to boycott them. Otherwise one is aiding and abetting someone who is working against one’s ideals. Accordingly, if one is pro-capitalist and they are procommunist, one has the right and maybe even the responsibility to boycott and, if possible, blacklist them.

This really is a simple idea: Jews who didn't wish to purchase German cars even way after WWII were engaging in such a justified boycott—refusing to give jobs to and enrich Germans who were very likely complicit in the horrors of Nazism. If one refuses to hire someone to clean one’s home or type one’s manuscripts or whatever, someone who is an avowed or secret but well enough known communist, one is doing the right thing. If one, a pro-choice advocate, refuses to do business with pro-life advocates, this makes perfectly good moral sense.

Generally, Rand held that one has every right to make a determination who one will freely do business with. She was not advocating any government action against the Hollywood folks. She did, however, think they were morally depraved for giving aid and comfort to Soviets and their American spies. So Hollywood had every right, even responsibility, to boycott or blacklist them.

Upon airing these views as Rand’s, Britting was told his ideas are ridiculous—by Schickle and some others. Even Ron Radosh, who is an ex-Communist but has long since recanted, made a special point of dismissing and deriding Rand’s viewpoint on this issue.

This is actually quite amazing in this day and age. The Left, after all, and many sympathetic toward the blacklisted group endorse all kinds of measures taken against those who are politically incorrect—just recall how Harvard president Larry Summers was derided for suggesting women may not be as fit for science as men (NOW wanted him to resign or be fired). And here they ridicule the very straightforward moral point that one has a right to refuse to associate with those who hold what one understands to be morally repugnant views. What if I refused to hire someone who is a racist—would those on the Left denounce me on the grounds, aired at this conference by some defenders of the blacklisted people, that racism is after all my private point of view and my membership in the KKK has nothing to do with my job as a screenwriter or director of Hollywood movies? This is incredible.

But there I was, watching these people make utter fools of themselves probably because they were engaged in self-censorship, namely, refusing to show be seen agreeing on any issue with Ayn Rand. Why? Well, because Ayn Rand is viewed with vehement hatred by the Left. But not only by the Left. Radosh, who is now mostly in cahoots with all those who saw Reds under every bed back in the McCarthy era, seems also unable to bring himself to grant Rand a simple point, that each of us has a right to freedom of association, be this in our personal or professional relationships.

I think Jeff Britter, with his Randian ideas, was treated shabbily and hypocritically. Those on the Left clearly believe in boycotting people with whom they disagree—racists, male chauvinists, advocates of capitalism. But that is just it. (Anyone remember Caesar Chavez?) They are so virulently anti-capitalist that if someone like Ayn Rand, who is very visibly and prominently on record as being pro-capitalist, says something that is obviously true, they will deny it simply because she said it and they want to show the world that they are never, never on her side.