For a core sample of today's Randroid, Objectiblog's Neil Parille directs us to a review by libertarian economist Larry Sechrest of Objectivist Richard M. Salsman's essay on The Great Depression. Sadly this essay is not itself on line, for as well as venting some ancient animosty against potential allies, the Austrian economic school, Salsman's essay also offers us a jaw-dropping Randroidian fantasia, metastasized to levels not seen since James Valliant. Sechrest describes one such passage:
Woven throughout the fabric of Salsman’s essay is a rather striking vision of American businessmen. In this “subtext,” one can locate both praiseworthy virtues and condemnable flaws. At a deep emotional level it is, one surmises, that message that Salsman most dearly wished to convey. By his account, businessmen are the heroeswho call upon their initiative and intelligence in order to restructure the resources of Earth, thereby creating the wealth from which we all benefit. They struggle on, often burdened by outrageous laws and regulations, not because they are Christ-figures who choose to suffer for their fellow men, but because they profoundly, egoistically enjoy the act of creation. So far, so good. But Salsman goes further. He insists that these producers cannot be deceived. They “know when it’s worth producing and when it’s only worth shrugging” (2004a, 23). They also buy and sell stock shares, but such shares are never overpriced. They invest millions in capital projects but never at artificially low market interest rates, because they are never fooled by the interest rate shenanigans of the Federal Reserve. In addition, Salsman’s businessmen are innocent of any wrongdoing. They never seek government favors, never lobby for corporate welfare, never try to gain at the expense of their competitors. They never miscalculate. They are without error, either factual or moral. What can one say? These are not real businessmen that he portrays. They are cardboard cutouts.
The creation of "cardboard cutouts" seems to be Job Number One at the ARI.