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Sunday, December 31, 2023

Techno-fascist Marc Andreessen's woman problem

I was struck by how much techno-fascist Marc Andreessen's manifesto sounds like it was taken from a speech from one of Ayn Rand's characters. Or, as Vice said: "like the ramblings of a college student who just finished his first reading of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. "

For example, from the "Enemies" section of Andreessen's rant:
Our enemy is the Precautionary Principle, which would have prevented virtually all progress since man first harnessed fire. The Precautionary Principle was invented to prevent the large-scale deployment of civilian nuclear power, perhaps the most catastrophic mistake in Western society in my lifetime. The Precautionary Principle continues to inflict enormous unnecessary suffering on our world today. It is deeply immoral, and we must jettison it with extreme prejudice.
Curiously, Andreessen never uses "human" or "people," he always uses "man" to indicate human beings. For someone who is so devoted to the future, that is an odd choice - an antiquated usage, a preference from before the last quarter of the 20th century. But maybe that tells you something about Andreessen's plans for women in his techno-fascist utopia.

Like so many "futurists," who are almost all white men, Andreessen ignores the impact that technological innovation - reliable birth control, jobs that don't depend on muscular strength - has had on women's lives, especially choices concerning child-bearing.

I think the reason for that is because these men carry an unexamined belief that childbearing decisions are a "woman's issue" and therefore not interesting and certainly not worth the consideration of the Important Thinkers they believe themselves to be. Women and their lives are the painted, dimly-lit background flats before which these Important Thinkers strut about in the spotlight, expounding their Deep Thoughts.

It's obvious in this passage from the Andreessen manifesto:
We believe our planet is dramatically underpopulated, compared to the population we could have with abundant intelligence, energy, and material goods.

We believe the global population can quite easily expand to 50 billion people or more, and then far beyond that as we ultimately settle other planets.
The fact that investment in women's well-being results in women having fewer children has completely escaped Andreessen's notice. 

But once Andreessen does notice it, what will be his response?

It seems likely to be enforced child-bearing. Crackpot Jordan Peterson advocated "enforced monogamy." Enforced child-bearing would seem to be the next step in putting women back into their pre-last quarter of the twentieth century place.

Marc Andreessen is apparently impressed by Jordan Peterson.

UPDATE - I just had to add this to demonstrate how stupid you have to be to be impressed by gullible dumbass Jordan Peterson. Good old Cody. Full-length video about the wackiness of Jordan Peterson.

But I shouldn't deny Andreessen credit for his own crackpottery - he believes that women having fewer children is caused by TikTok.

Women being steered wrong by technology is a problem for techno-fascists - unless you exclude women from the "progress of man."

It should be noted that Mr. and Mrs. Andreessen only have one offspring. His wife, in her early 50s, is unlikely to have more without a surrogate

Peter Thiel, another libertarian, said that giving women the vote was a problem for libertarianism, and as a recent Atlantic article noted, "He elaborated, after some backlash, that he did not literally oppose women’s suffrage, but neither did he affirm his support for it."

And speaking of crackpots, back to Ayn Rand. In Andreessen's infamous list of techno-fascist saints he includes the co-author of the Fascist Manifesto, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, but doesn't mention Ayn Rand.

Instead he includes Ayn Rand's hero, the horribly long-winded John Galt

Rand would not have had a problem with misogyny being the solution to the techno-fascist ideologues' woman problem - Rand was a misogynist herself.

And her creation, John Galt, was a terrorist - as Rational Wiki notes in its entry on "Going Galt" -

...the "hero" John Galt of Ayn Rand's Objectivist doorstopper, Atlas Shrugged, who destroys civilization to avoid paying taxes.[3] (Going Galters) apparently think this is a good idea, and hope to follow in his footsteps.

In the novel, John Galt declared his opposition to collectivism by starting a community called Galt's Gulch.[note 1][note 2] He expressed his opposition to organized labor by organizing (what else?) a strike; the original working title of the book, incredibly enough, was The Strike.

For those who somehow missed it when growing up, “Atlas Shrugged” is a fantasy in which the world’s productive people — the “job creators,” if you like — withdraw their services from an ungrateful society. The novel’s centerpiece is a 64-page speech by John Galt, the angry elite’s ringleader; even Friedrich Hayek admitted that he never made it through that part. Yet the book is a perennial favorite among adolescent boys. Most boys eventually outgrow it. Some, however, remain devotees for life.
Naturally Randroids and libertarians hate Krugman and compare him to Rand's villains. Andreessen also appears to hate Krugman.

John Galt's origin story is absurd - after Galt invents a magical perpetual motion machine, he becomes a terrorist when his bosses at the Twentieth Century Motor Company collectivize their own business. 

You know, because that's such a plausible scenario in the real world.

One of the self-collectivizing owners, Ivy Starns is a psycho-sadist, a typical two-dimensional Rand villain. Rand uses Starns to explain the motivation of Communism:
...if you ever want to see pure evil you should see the way her eyes glinted when she watched some man who'd talked back to her once... And when you saw it, you saw the real motive of any person who's ever preached 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
This is what passes for political insight among libertarians: Communism is caused by sadism.

More importantly, Andresseen likely believes that such a goofy cartoon villain is real:

Although it's an odd thing for Andreessen to quote with approval, that Rand's heroes are fake, since Rand's heroes are real enough to Andreessen for him to include one of them - and not its actual human (albeit woman) creator - as one of his "saints" of techno-fascism.

Here's how Ayn Rand treated her preposterous villains: she blows them up, along with their wives and children. 

Trains were more than just a magnificent obsession for Rand. They also served as a sort of avenging angel. By Atlas Shrugged’s seventh chapter, “The Moratorium on Brains” (no stickler for subtlety, was our Ms. Rand), so many of the great men have opted out of society that a working diesel engine cannot be found to run a revolutionary express train, the Comet, through an eight-mile tunnel in the Rockies. Nevertheless, one of the “looter” politicians ruining the world insists that the Comet — clearly modeled on the 20th Century, and probably one of the gorgeous new Zephyr trains of the time — make the trip anyway, so that he can make a campaign appearance in California. The spineless, government-appointed bureaucrats now running the railroad attach a coal-burning engine instead, even though they know it might asphyxiate everyone on board.

“It is said that catastrophes are a matter of pure chance, and there were those who would have said that the passengers of the Comet were not guilty or responsible for the thing that happened to them,” writes Rand, who then begs to differ, spending the next two pages ranting about sixteen unnamed individuals who will die aboard the Comet — and a good thing, too, as they embody all the sorts she most despises.

The doomed include everyone from a lawyer who feels he can “get along under any political system,” to “an elderly schoolteacher who had spent her life turning class after class of helpless children into miserable cowards” because they believed in the will of the majority; to “a sniveling little neurotic who wrote cheap little plays” that insulted businessmen, and finally a doting mother of two who would not denounce her husband because of his weaselly government job.

“These passengers were awake; there was not a man aboard the train who did not share one or more of their ideas,” she concludes with relish, presumably including in her condemnation the young tots the doting mother had just tucked into their bunks with visions of collectivism inculcated deep in their heads. To them, Rand adds a group of soldiers aboard a munitions train that runs into the Comet after it stalls in the tunnel, killing everyone in a spectacular explosion.

Rand later writes a scene in which, as the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling during what she terms a “strike” by the prime movers, a rail bridge falls apart and a Taggart Transcontinental train tumbles into the Mississippi River — one more vehicle crowded with thinkers of philosophically impure thoughts. And in yet another scene, Eddie Willers, the loyal aide to the book’s heroine, is aboard a train when it breaks down out in the Arizona desert. The other passengers and crew manage to be rescued by a passing wagon train(!), but Eddie refuses and pleads, “Don’t let it go!” while looking up helplessly at the locomotive. The others abandon the train and Eddie, almost certainly to his death.

It was such passages that led Whittaker Chambers, in his 1957 National Review takedown of Rand and her just-released book, to famously write, “From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding, ‘To the gas chambers — go!’ ” By then Rand had lingered so long on her screed that trains, the cutting edge of American technology and design when she began, were about to be all but eliminated by the prime movers.

But reading of her love for trains’ capacity to kill at least allows one to understand her appeal to the modern Republican right. Her extended descriptions of those who will die and why they deserve to die resemble nothing so much as the climactic passages of Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’s Left Behind series, in which, after another set of righteous people have been raptured out of harm’s way, the authors dwell in loving detail on the torments to be inflicted by the returning deity of the Apocalypse — in this case, not Jesus Christ, but John Galt. Different god, same gas chamber.
Marc Andreessen making saints of a Fascist Manifesto co-author and one of Ayn Rand's characters tells you everything you need to know about Marc Andreessen. 

That and the fact that he's funding Nazi-promoting Substack.

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