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Allan Greenspan

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Three essays by Greenspan figured in the original "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal".

Greenspan makes no public statements supporting Objectivism and has not done so for many years.

Some objectivists think Greenspan simply wants to keep his position of "power" at whatever cost. Others conjecture that he wants to make some impact on the world, and that he thinks this is the only way to do so (a Faustian deal?).

Once he ceases to head the fed he will probably write a book. Perhaps he will reveal something then. As long as he is fed chief, his modus operandi is to speak as obscurely as possible. His speeches read as if each sentence should be followed by a clause ("true with probability x%").

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As long as he is fed chief, his modus operandi is to speak as obscurely as possible. His speeches read as if each sentence should be followed by a clause ("true with probability x%").

He needs to read Ayn Rand's The Art of Non-Fiction, in which she repeatedly stresses the importance of clarity. :P

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i always assumed that he was a francisco kind of character. The kind that appears to "go to the dark side" (to use a jedi term), yet he is secretly working to undermine the system. If he wanted, he could easily cause an economic global disaster such as those portrayed in Atlas Shrugged.

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Three essays by Greenspan figured in the original "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal".

Greenspan makes no public statements supporting Objectivism and has not done so for many years.

Some objectivists think Greenspan simply wants to keep his position of "power" at whatever cost. Others conjecture that he wants to make some impact on the world, and that he thinks this is the only way to do so (a Faustian deal?).

Once he ceases to head the fed he will probably write a book. Perhaps he will reveal something then. As long as he is fed chief, his modus operandi is to speak as obscurely as possible. His speeches read as if each sentence should be followed by a clause ("true with probability x%").

Greenspan makes no public statements supporting Objectivism and has not done so for many years.

Not true. I reffer you to the following link:

http://www.usagold.com/gildedopinion/Greenspan.html

excerpts:

"Greenspan (once) recommended to a Senate committee that all economic regulations should have fixed lifespans. Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) accused him of 'playing with fire, or indeed throwing gasoline on the fire,' and asked him whether he favored a similar provision in the Fed's authorization. Greenspan coolly answered that he did. Do you actually mean, demanded the senator, that the Fed 'should cease to function unless affirmatively continued?' 'That is correct, sir,' Greenspan responded."

"The Senator could scarcely believe his ears. 'Now my next question is, is it your intention that the report of this hearing should be that Greenspan recommends a return to the gold standard?' Greenspan responded, 'I've been recommending that for years, there's nothing new about that. It would probably mean there is only one vote in the Federal Open Market Committee for that, but it is mine.'"

Written by R.W. Bradford at 'Liberty Magazine' as quoted by the editor of 'The Gilded Opinion'

Is he a Francisco? only times will tell...

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Not true. I reffer you to the following link:

http://www.usagold.com/gildedopinion/Greenspan.html

There is no statement there by Greenspan which is "supporting Objectivism." He supports an idea -- return to the gold standard -- which is consistent with Objectivist thought, but that can hardly be construed as a public statement supporting Objectivsm. If agreement with some particular idea of Objectivist philosophy were the standard employed, then the Pope can be said to be "supporting Objectivism."

Is he a Francisco? only times will tell...

That time came and went, a long time ago.

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I have to agree with Stephens rant, this was a statement on his opinion not on objectivism.

Personally I don't care if he calls himself one or not. Objectivism is a philosophy not a religion and as Rand herself said unless one is going to accept all the tenets of her definition do not use the term Objectivist to describe yourself. I do. I have yet to find any part of the philosophy that is not consistent.

What amuses me most about Obectivist infighting and Libertarian quackery is that those who practice this type of behaviour are no better than the religious factions who argue and divide over biblical interpetations or what color robe jesus wiped his nose with at the last supper. If Mr. Greenspan is an Objectivist only he knows for sure. Once we start evaluating and chastising for a percieved lack of adherence the you can kiss the idea of any unified thought on the subject. Of course being individuals thats not suprising, but it does show a considered lack of rational.

Besides didn't this thread start out asking if he was an athiest?

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I have to agree with Stephens rant ...

Rant? Where exactly do you see a rant?

If Mr. Greenspan is an Objectivist only he knows for sure.  Once we start evaluating and chastising for a percieved lack of adherence the you can kiss the idea of any unified thought on the subject.

I do not get this at all. Are you suggesting that we should not judge other people by their words and their actions?

And, what exactly is this "unified thought" which you think we can kiss goodbye?

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I have yet to find any part of the philosophy that is not consistent.

Ohh really? Well I assume you have'nt read Rand's "About A Woman President",

I'm an objectivist, but her arguments in it are so weak that it doesn't take a genius to indetify all the cracks... just read it.

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Ohh really? Well I assume you have'nt read Rand's "About A Woman President"

That's PSYCHOLOGY, not part of Ayn Rand's PHILOSOPHY, and many Objectivists disagree with it -- including Leonard Peikoff.

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Ohh really? Well I assume you have'nt read Rand's "About A Woman President",

I'm an objectivist, but her arguments in it are so weak that it doesn't take a genius to indetify all the cracks... just read it.

An Objectivist spells the term with a capital "O," since Objectivism is a proper name denoting the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Objectivists also usually offer evidence for arguments, not simply unsupported assertions.

Whatever it is that you are, I doubt that you are an Objectivist.

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An Objectivist spells the term with a capital "O," since Objectivism is a proper name denoting the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
Indeed, an error on my part. It was not ment as disrespect, I love Ayn Rand and I agree with her in every issue but that (and also the way she dismisses homosexuality as "abnormal").

Objectivists also usually offer evidence for arguments, not simply unsupported assertions.

I would be happy to present my arguments, but first ----

Whatever it is that you are, I doubt that you are an Objectivist.

Stephen, I see no reason at all for such a rude manner. If you want to discuss the issue I welcome you to it but keep it civilized.

Betsy, how can psychology not be part of philosophy?

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Betsy, how can psychology not be part of philosophy?

Once, EVERYTHING was part of philosophy but, one by one, individual sciences, like physics, chemistry, astronomy, etc., broke away and became specialized fields of study. Philosophy still sets the metaphysical and epistemological ground rules for all the specialized sciences, but they are no longer part of philosophy any more.

A good example is the subject of sex. As Dr. Peikoff writes in OPAR:

"The subject of sex is complex and belongs largely to the science of psychology. I asked Ayn Rand once what philosophy specifically has to say on the subject. She answered: 'It says that sex is good.'"

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Indeed, an error on my part. It was not ment as disrespect, I love Ayn Rand and I agree with her in every issue but that (and also the way she dismisses homosexuality as "abnormal").

If your words were not meant as being disrespectful towards Ayn Rand, then I am, of course, delighted to hear that. But, it wasn't the small "o" on Objectivist alone to which I responded, but mostly the rest of your words:

"I'm an objectivist, but her arguments in it are so weak that it doesn't take a genius to indetify all the cracks... just read it."

When the claim is made that Miss Rand's "arguments ... are so weak," without any explanation or justification as to why, I do not think it unreasonable to assume that a slur on Ayn Rand is being made. I have the greatest admiration and respect for Ayn Rand, and would never even think of calling her arguments "weak" without massive support for such a claim. It is one thing to say something like "I disagee with the conclusion," and not want to present your arguments for some reason. It is another thing entirely to accuse Ayn Rand as having "weak" arguments, and not back that up.

Also, the remark "it doesn't take a genius to indetify all the cracks" is demeaning to Ayn Rand herself, since she was a genius and she made those arguments. It is also demeaning to the many intelligent Objectivists who agree with those arguments made by Ayn Rand.

As to now presenting your arguments against "About A Woman President," please do not do so now if your arguments are meant solely for me. Over the years, this issue has been discussed so many times, in so many ways, that I personally have no interest in discussing it anymore. If you want to present your arguments for others to discuss, then feel free to do what you want. Incidentally, you are certainly not the only person to ever disagree with Ayn Rand about either of the two issues which you mention.

Those are the reasons for which I questioned that you really were an Objectivist. If in fact, as you seem to indicate, you meant no slur or ill will by your comment, then I am sorry that I questioned your overall acceptance of the philosophy. But, I hope, at least, that you see what was wrong with what you said and how you said it, and that you will word your comments more carefully in the future.

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The Man Behind the Money by Justin Martin is a decent bio, and might help you to formulate some idea about Greenspan's approach to life, and even if it doesn't help you... he is a very interesting man; worth reading about in my opinion.

At a speech given by Ben Bernanke (one of the Fed governors) about a week ago and he mentioned that Greenspan would often have a runner bring him the market numbers as he spoke in order to ensure he wasn't creating a crisis - and used this as an example of how the perception of what the Fed might do is often a bigger player than what the Fed actually does (as far as market volitility is concerned).

I think that is one of the biggest reasons that he has not made and frankly Objectivist statements, if he is an Objectivist. If he wasn't the Fed leader then things might be different, but I guess we will all have to wait and see.

I have heard quite a few people compare him to Rand's Francisco, as someone else mentioned earlier in the thread, and I was wondering if someone could explain that to me a little more in depth.

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greenspan crossed over. He mentions atlas shrugged as one of his favorite books. He also was one of Rand's "followers" if you will. How can anyone who likes atlas shrugged, and knows Thompson's faustian offer to Galt, still work in the position he does? So, it is feasible to say the least that he may have "other plans." Like francisco, he may choose to abandon his principles to the public, but he may be really working toward a goal of destroying the semi-socialist state. In his position, it wouldnt take long to ruin the global economy. That is the theory, whether thats what he is up to is entirely debatable.

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I have heard quite a few people compare him to Rand's Francisco, as someone else mentioned earlier in the thread, and I was wondering if someone could explain that to me a little more in depth.

Here is one of the best things I have ever read about Alan Greenspan. The writer is Don Luskin. Many readers who keep abreast of economic news will be familiar with Luskin. I think he is an Objectivist, but he publicly calls himself a libertarian (small L). He is a consistent advocate for economic freedom and strong national defense. He also is hilariously funny in his merciless expose of The New York Times' financial columnist Paul Krugman. (He crucifies Krugman and justly so.) Read the entry to his blog below.

http://www.poorandstupid.com/2003_02_16_ch...ve.asp#90329423

His comparison of Greenspan with Dr. Robert Stadler from AS is brilliant. Greenspan is not a hero. Peikoff himself has said that Greenspan thought he could change things from within a corrupt system only to find out that once in bed with the devil you lose your own soul (I'm paraphrasing from one of his radio shows). Greenspan loved political power and prestrige more than he loved freedom or the pursuit of justice. In the end, he will be remembered as nothing more than a beauracrat if at all.

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i always assumed that he was a francisco kind of character. The kind that appears to "go to the dark side" (to use a jedi term), yet he is secretly working to undermine the system. If he wanted, he could easily cause an economic global disaster such as those portrayed in Atlas Shrugged.

Francisco D'Anconia had abandoned his copper induatry because the state seized it, he fled, and took his wealth with him. Unlike Greenspan, he did not endeavor in a government operation for any reason. Quite a difference there.

The government's control of currency, as in the Federal Reserve, is a socialist manifesto. Prior to the Federal Reserve, currencies were on a precious metal standard. It's been said that such standard was meant to be a stabilizer in the value of currency.

By chairing the Federal Reserve, Greenspan is engaging in activity that I would think is in conflict with the aims of capitalism.

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well i never stated this as absolute truth, but obviously he could impose serious damage on the US economy, with one raise of interest rates. Creating an Atlas Shrugged-like catastrophy, which would display the problems with an economic government organization such as the Federal Reserve.

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Stephen,

I saw how offensive it was for you when someone wrote he thinks AR made a weak argument, without explaining his conclusion. What wonders me is your reaction. You critisize him for that, you write that he is not a proper Objectivist. I would think that the best way to address the issue (assuming one wishes to address it, as you did) in that stage is to simply ask why- Why do you think her arguments are weak? Why do you disagree?

Not only that you don't ask, but you write that you are not interested in reading anything he'd write about it(you say- "as to now presenting your arguments..." are you punishing him?).

What I don't understand is, why take such an aggressive approach, it seems a bit too sensitive. I don't tend to discuss matters with people that make no interest in hearing my words, especially if it is not the place (and this discussion is origoinaly about Alan Greenspan). I can only assume that this was his thinking (and that, as he said, he was happy to explain if you showed any interest) and that he was somewhat amazed reading your harsh response.

About the capital "O" thing- the members in this site are from all over the world. To some, the English language is not their native language. Don't you think it's a bit petty to accuse him for ussing a small "o"? Does this mean he is not an Objectivist (since Objectivists use a captial letter, you wrote...)?

I do not wish to offend you, but you regard yorself as a serious Objectivist. As one, I thought you'd want to hear my comments. You could gain a lot more from people if you try being a little more refined, he really did not give you such a reason to be so rude.

Sincerely,

Dolev

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well i never stated this as absolute truth, but obviously he could impose serious damage on the US economy, with one raise of interest rates. Creating an Atlas Shrugged-like catastrophy, which would display the problems with an economic government organization such as the Federal Reserve.

The vast majority of the country would not draw that conclusion. They would scream for more government control over the economy if anything.

The only way to prove to people what is wrong with the Reserve and with fiat money is to demonstrate the pillars of capitalism and the philosophy that it depends upon.

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he could impose serious damage on the US economy, with one raise of interest rates

This is such generic interpretation of what the Fed does and potentially what Greenspan could do. You are headed in the right direction, in that he has an enormous impact on what happens to the economy (hence his lack of public commentary beyond the responsibilities of Fed Chairman); however, there are a lot of factors that would have to come into play for an Atlas Shrugged-esque catastrope to ensue that go far beyond setting one interest rate.

That's not to say it isn't possible, or that it won't happen... only that the Fed (while strong) is not the only player in a situation like that. I would say Greenspan is the individual who has the most influence, but I don't think he could make or break the economy with one hike in the interest rate, although a few words would probably be significantly more effective.

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