Dear internets,

Why does anyone read Megan McArdle? The debunking of her silliness is clogging my RSS reader, and I’d like you all to just stop reading her already.

I tuned her out way back when she went by the name “Jane Galt.” I consider it entirely fair to treat Ayn Rand fandom as an automatic disqualifier from rational discourse, and McArdle’s use of a Randian pseudonym told me all I needed to know about what I’d get by reading her. So whenever someone links to her, I ignore it.
If everyone else did the same thing, my blog-reading would be much nicer.

And honestly, what would you be missing? Is there some deep insight she gives you into the way things work?

It isn’t like she’s a peek into the conservative id even. Objectivists are annoying in part because they are so doctrinaire, while run-of-the-mill wingnuts are fun to watch in part because they must vacillate between their small-government tendencies and their design to use power to impose their fundamentalist/misogynist/racist/whatever agenda on the atheists/gays/women/blacks/immigrants/Mexicans/Catholics/Jews/children, all the while trying to dress up their fundamentalist/misogynist/racist/whatever agenda as something that sensible people might actually support (something, that is, not racist, misogynist, fundamentalist, or whatever). Objectivists aren’t as much fun to mock.


  1. #1 Ian
    September 3, 2009

    Ian Shrugged….

  2. #2 arvind
    September 3, 2009

    You are a fountainhead of good sense Josh.

  3. #3 John Monfries
    September 3, 2009

    All right, I’ll play.

    Who is Jane Galt?

    It’s all just an argument between a ghost and a corpse, anyway.

    I don’t know how I did it, but I read both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in my younger days. What struck me was the basic dishonesty of the whole thing. All the heroes were the kind of resolute, tough innovators that made America great, imbued with competitive free-enterprise spirit and justly contemptuous of anyone who took government money.

    But there was little acknowledgment of complexity, or of the weaker parts of society, the ill or the poor. It was implied that the latter were supposed to somehow live from the trickle-down wealth created by the heroic entrepreneurs. I thought one revealing point (in AR, I think) was the cheerful reference by one of the heroes to the possibility that competition from a newcomer in his field might drive him out of business – but there was no follow-up showing how he might behave if the threat became reality.

    I wonder what Rand would think of the GFC, and all those giant companies being baled out by the wicked government.

  4. #4 Comrade PhysioProf
    September 4, 2009

    I enjoy reading McArdle more than your typical raving wackaloon blithering right-wing “Get a Brain, Morans!” shitwad, because it is very entertaining to see an educated articulate individual contort herself trying to make greedy, selfish, hateful, morally and pragmatically bankrupt ideology sound like common sense.

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