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On Level 3 of her analysis, Rand focused on the relations of power as mediated through statist structures and processes. She emphasized the role of the predatory state in perpetuating social dualism and fragmentation. She recognized that power relations at this level simultaneously incorporate and depend on the interpersonal and cultural conditions she explored on Levels 1 and 2. the mixed economy It must be remembered that Rand’s political theory was an attempt to enunciate and defend the underlying social principles of capitalism. The capitalist system, ideally understood, was based on the volitional exchange of values. Within such a system, “economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value” for their labors.1 In a pure capitalist system, Rand saw no inherent dualism between the state and the market. She rejected the anarchist resolution because it reified a dualism between state and market that was historically specific to statism. Individualist anarchists typically sought resolution by proposing the market’s absorption of all political functions. The anarchists were responding, no doubt, to the brutality of statism. Statism had created a violent antagonism between state and market. It sought to reconcile their opposition by the complete political absorption of the economic sphere. The organizing social principle of statism was the predatory state 307 308 ayn rand “political power,” which “is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction.” The trader deals in a market of values, but the statist deals in fear, authority, and obedience (48). In Rand’s view, statism concentrates extensive economic, political, and social controls in the state at the expense of individual rights. It is the negation of every rational and moral principle of social organization. It is a structural formation of legalized looting, “a system of institutionalized violence and perpetual civil war, that leaves men no choice but to fight to seize power over one another.”2 As a twentieth-century social critic, Rand witnessed some of the most flagrant state brutality in human history. In keeping with her revolt against formal dualism, Rand opposed both fascism and communism as “two variants of the same political system.” Despite their apparent ideological and sociological differences, both systems were fundamentally statist. They­ enslaved the poor and expropriated the rich “in favor of a ruling clique.” The struggle between fascists and communists and each of their political derivatives obscured the central issue of contemporary politics, the clash not between rich and poor, but between the individual and the state,­ between capitalism and statism. While Rand did not live to see the death of communism, she was­ convinced that the danger to the West lay within. For Rand, Soviet communism was morally, culturally, and economically bankrupt. The West’s social, economic, and political crises were not an outgrowth of external clashes with the Eastern bloc, but of its own internal contradictions, its attempt to combine elements of freedom and slavery under the rubric of the so-called, “mixed” economy. Rand argued: “A mixed economy is an explosive, untenable mixture of two opposite elements, which cannot remain stable, but must ultimately go one way or the other.”3 Rand recognized that throughout history, all societies were “a kind of mixture,” since neither the principles of freedom nor those of slavery were “observed consistently.”4 Twentieth-century social formations differed only in their relative mixtures. Western economies were typically skewed toward capitalist principles of organization, while Eastern-bloc economies were predominantly statist in their orientation. In merging the fundamental principles of two opposing systems, the mixed economy leads to a complex interpenetration of social practices, making it extremely difficult to distinguish the “real producers of wealth” from the “pseudo-producers.” Rand argues that the genuine producers are “money-makers,” in the exalted sense her political theory champions. The money-makers constitute a very small minority of businessmen. They are innovative entrepreneurs and creators who translate their discoveries the predatory state  309 into material goods. By contrast, government officials and the vast majority of businessmen are pseudo-producers or “money-appropriators.” The money-appropriator is a looter. He is a parasite on the wealth created by others . He becomes rich not through a process of symmetrical trade, but “by means of legalized force,” through government favors, privileges, ­ subsidies, and franchises.5 While the authentic producer earns money as a means to his distinctive ends, the pseudo-producer seeks social-metaphysical prestige by flaunting “his money in...


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MARC Record
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