Ayn Rand and Goldman Sachs

While I can’t say I agree with everything in Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, but I watched a disturbing interview on MarketWatch.com, in which two individuals were speaking in a language that was disturbing, if not unintelligible. First, having worked at Goldman Sachs, I disagree that the culture is characterized by “selflessness.” Second, I disagree that “selflessness” is the road to making money. Thirdly, it was apparent to me that both Rand and Goldman were mischaracterized. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “Ayn Rand and Goldman Sachs

  1. I definitely agree with you about the unintelligible nature of that interview. They threw out a bunch of premises, like corporations are based on selflessness, but added nothing to actually back that up. Because people work in teams they are selfless? Teams are the correct combination of the right kind of individuals working toward a common goal. I know from past experience that corporations that think otherwise tend to fail because they diminish the worth of the competent by assuming everyone is equal instead of providing equal opportunity to become unequal to those who will put in the effort to become so. They put the incompetent, lazy, poor-attitude person who did not do the work to become inspiring unequal into the role of the unequal competent person and then scratch their heads like monkeys when the project fails. These companies have to learn the hard way – and they do.

    Their entire argument seems to be summed up like this: “I was a kid once and I believed in individualism. Now I know better, although I’m not sure why; I think I’ll just babble for a bit.” I think they are frustrated “kids” who are either looking for an excuse for their failure and/or feeling guilty about having that expensive apartment in New York and need to say this to atone in some twisted way – or, perhaps a little of both. Either way, they are sad people who I hope “grow up” again.

    They are right about one thing. This is a fascinating time in history. At a time where knowledge is everywhere and the resources to astounding things are abundant, people self-destruct with nonsense like this. Human nature can be very, very strange.

  2. I wanted the guy on the right to shut up and stop reaching out and touching the guy on the left(Nothing homophobic, just weird looking on the screen), and I would have loved to understand more deeply what the guy on the left was thinking and to have had a chance to explain more of what he had learned.

    Corporations should be more selfless and individuals should be more selfish!? Aren’t organizations made up of the sum of its parts. Just one of many confusing, incorrect an unexplored comments. It looks like the guy on the right just wanted to move on and wasn’t really listening.

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