KRTHULU = KRUGMAN
Greetings seekers of wisdom. You may have come to this web site because you saw Duncan Black mention "krgthulu" on his web site Eschaton and you Googled the word. When Black uses that word, he's talking about Paul Krugman.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Is Evan Marc Katz a Sexist Who Tells Women to Settle...?

Obviously.

Every time I Google questions about online dating, I invariably get links to Evan Marc Katz's business of telling not-very-intelligent, conformist women that men are never going to change and women better suck it up and cater to men or they'll die alone.

Evan Marc Katz himself is completely conventional in his outlook - he's mildly liberal but at the same time he believes that sexism and racism are no longer real problems anymore.
This echoes my own perception as well. It’s not that sexists are dead. But sexism as an institution is embarrassing, on the wane, and illegal in the workplace. Same with racism. It may linger in subconscious attitudes and latent behavior, but full-out racism will pretty much disqualify you from holding down any job..
You see, in spite of the fact that for millennia men have completely beaten women down - literally as well as figuratively - things have been better for women for the last 40 years (at least in the West where it isn't as common to force your daughter to marry an older man as it is in other parts of the world) so SHUT UP BITCHES! 

I was surprised to hear about the vitriol from Rosin’s latest Slate piece about “The End of Men”. In it, she asserts that “the patriarchy” – the nameless, faceless, male conspiracy designed to keep women down – is all but dead. And that really rankles some feminists whose entire livelihood depends on fighting against the patriarchy.
Katz doesn't offer any evidence of feminists "whose entire livelihood depends on fighting against the patriarchy" (although I am ready to sign up for that job!) but then his audience is composed of the gullible who don't ask for evidence from their guru.

Katz himself doesn't see male entitlement - the conviction that men deserve to have younger, better-looking mates - as sexism. "There's not much we can do about that."
That said, men ARE impossibly shallow. I struggle with it in my coaching every day. Clients who tell me, as they show me their lists of hot, underaged favorites, “I can’t help what I’m attracted to”. Yeah. There’s not much we can do about that. It’s why the 50+ set is interested in you. Just know that there ARE men out there who are looking for peers. My 60-year-old Mom married a 60-year-old guy. I’ve had single parent clients find the love of their lives on Match.com, JDate and Nerve. It happens all the time.
Well women can't help what they're attracted to, but Evan Marc Katz certainly does think there's something they can do about that. But then, Evan Marc Katz's livelihood depends on telling middle-aged women what they can do to change themselves  to meet the standards of men who are soaking in the entitlement granted them by a patriarchy that is still very much alive - but not because of feminists. 

So it is imperative for Evan Marc Katz to try to gaslight women - men feeling entitled to better-looking and younger mates isn't sexism!  It's just part of nature! There's not much we can do about that. And we all know sexism is just about dead!

What Katz fails to mention - and this is never acknowledged in this kind of discussion - but the unspoken reality is that if these middle-aged men can't pick a woman from a list of hot underaged favorites to date, they will go out and get an underaged prostitute. Men don't have to settle because they can always buy a woman. Either for the night, or for marriage with some young woman from a desperately poor country. 

As with so many other things, when it comes to sexism and the patriarchy, it's the economy, stupid. Women in the US no longer have to settle for any man just because he has a job - but men are failing to adjust to this reality, in part because they can still buy women. But as long as we live in a world where there are millions of women being bought and sold to men, we are not living in a post-patriarchy. 

Let’s be honest here – not everyone is equal at all things. I am argumentative. I am short-tempered. I have a low sex drive. I like to talk about myself a lot. So if my wife were to say to me that she’s dated men who were less argumentative, more easygoing, had a higher sex drive, and were better listeners, is that an insult to me?
Evan Marc Katz sounds like quite the catch. I think maybe he's the one who better worry about dying alone.

I'm just sorry that the blog Cupid is Burning is no longer being update. Miranda had Katz's number in 2013: EMK: Want a man? Then shut up and slap a smile on it, cupcake!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

More "racial realists" bemoan Razib Khan's firing

If you have any doubt of the true opinions of Razib Khan's comrades in race, you need look no further than the American Renaissance commenters' response to his firing by the NYTimes:
Walter Lew Publius Pompilius Quietus
Being a (White) racial supremacist is a badie like being a Nazi-Hitler-KKK, and there is no profit in not going along with the public conception.
However, once one becomes a race realist he is forced logically become a (White) race supremacist.
Unless the race realist holds the opinion that dunking a basketball and performing heart surgery are of equal value.
Razib Khan sure has a swell bunch of buddies.

In more Razib news, I could hardly believe my eyes - Khan referenced Marvin Harris!


  1. Razib Khan
    says:
         
    marvin harris in *cannibals and kings* refers to many warlike societies which go through this stage. i think one key here is that often inheritance is passed from maternal uncle to maternal nephew. these are societies with less than perfect certainty in paternity, so this is how men in groups pass their power down. eventually this just does not scale (in any case, the certainty has to be pretty low for expected relatedness of nephews to exceed sons!, i.e. e(r) = .25 vs. 0.50, even with a fudge factor on the latter). societies seem to go from matrilineal->patrilineal (e.g., parts of south india), but to my knowledge not the reverse, though one tension that emerges is that maternal grandparents are still often closer than paternal. this is true in bangladesh, where there is a disjunction between the cultural ideal of total loyalty to your father’s family, but the reality that often you are closer to your mother’s family.

Of course Harris completely disagreed with the conclusion that Khan makes at the end of his blog post, that humans are innately violent. But I don't think Khan actually gets Harris.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Brilliance from Katie Goodman

I think I might have posted this brilliant video by Katie Goodman from 5 years ago on this blog before. But it bears repeating.



And she's still at it - her latest video got a shout-out on Facebook from Gloria Steinem (my FB friend!) today. It's awesome.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In which I am impressed by Louis Armstrong

My first awareness of Louis Armstrong was the day he died. Even my father, whom I never knew to have any musical interests whatsoever, remarked when the news came on the radio - nothing memorable. Just something along the lines of "how about that?"

Not having ever been much for jazz myself, I paid scant attention to Armstrong, and my general impression of him was that he was the Bill Cosby (from the pre-rape Cliff Huxtable era) of jazz: affable and non-threatening enough that lots of even conservative white people liked him. And he sang "What a Wonderful World."

And then I caught the Ken Burns Jazz series and saw a video clip of a performance of Armstrong at the end of the second episode. And wow. Now I got it.

I had no idea how important Armstrong was to the development of jazz, much as it took me years to learn how important Beethoven was to the development of the classical orchestra.

I have been very aware of how African Americans invented American culture though. I know this intellectually, through books and series like "Jazz" but it was only when I was outside of the United States that I really got it. I travelled to Ireland at the end of the last millennium because the company I worked for was based in Dublin. And while I was there, it hit me. Something was missing. And after some reflection I realized what it was - it was just too white in Ireland. Celtic culture certainly has its charm but it is missing that fundamental element of, for lack of a better word, "coolness." And that coolness derives from African American culture, so well encapsulated by jazz and by some forms of rock music too. It was a real revelation to me.

Speaking as I have been about the socio-biologists, I remembered Al Franken got off a good one against them at his 1996 appearance at the annual White House Correspondent dinner:
...also here tonight is Charles Murray, who I understand has been hard at work on a sequel to the Bell Curve entitled "Jazz, the Music Created by Morons."



Monday, March 23, 2015

Razib Khan, race, and "human biodiversity"

I don't use the word "racist" lightly. Having been smeared in my Google results as a racist by a pack of Social Justice Warriors with Tumblr accounts - because I disagreed with one of them in 2011 on whether John Lennon and Yoko Ono were/are racists - I'm sensitive to the term being flagrantly misused.

I'm not racist because I think the concept of race itself is scientifically invalid. And you can tell it is because one of the leading proponents of race as a scientifically valid concept, Razib Khan, can't actually explain "race" in any but the most idiosyncratic and slippery of ways.

Although I am certainly aware of the ways that the variety of certain group differences have been used to justify horrific violence and exploitation and other forms of idiocy. "Race" exists as a social concept and that cannot be denied. What Razib Khan, Charles Murray and other proponents of sociobiology do is try to find scientific justifications for the use of the social, colloquial, non-scientific uses for "race" and the scientific justification of human social hierarchies based on "race."

A hallmark of the online opinings of Razib Khan is lack of clarity. Although I believe that this has worked in his favor, career-wise, at least until the NYTimes got a clue.

There is a web site devoted to human biodiversity and they include several links to Razib Khan's work in their Bibliography, including The race question: are bonobos human? in which Khan writes:
By this, I do not mean to imply that I support racism, or am personally against battling racism. When it comes to racists, broadly defined, I am not personally a great fan (as can be attested by my pattern of bans and rebukes). And when I say racism, I don’t just mean white people behaving badly. I mean people who express racial nationalist sentiments in a crude and crass manner, and are often inappropriately assertive about the righteousness of their views (e.g., a few commenters have complained that I, an Indian [yes, I’m not technically Indian], should not talk so much about Westerners. Of course I view myself a Westerner, but to a racialist this is simply not even wrong. Naturally this is a chasm in world-views which is not reconcilable.
And he even questions the concept of race, for a hot second, before the weasling begins:
So let’s move to the science. Do races exist in human biology? Is it a useful concept? That depends on criteria in both cases. The reality is that I’m not sure I know what a species is in an axiomatic sense, let alone race (many biologists don’t, that’s why there’s a whole area devoted to studying the issue of the definition). Rather, for me species are evaluated instrumentally. Is the classification of a set of individuals as a species useful in illuminating a specific biological question? Species are human constructions, categories which are mapped upon reality. That doesn’t make them without utility. Many of the same “where do you draw the line?” questions asked of race can be asked of species. In a deep ontological sense I don’t believe in species. But in a deep ontological sense I don’t accept the solidity of a brick (most of the volume is space of any object of course!).
He briefly touches on race, then shifts to species, then to philosophy. In one paragraph. And this guy apparently makes his living as a science writer.

He then goes on to discuss whether ethnic diversity is a gradient - he uses the term "clinal" - and seems to be arguing that it is necessary to force ethnically diverse populations into the buckets of "races", just as teachers must divide gradient test scores into distinct scores of A, B, C and F. Then he  demonstrates his fondness for referring to diverse ethnic populations producing children together as "hybridization." 
This is why I told some of Antrosio’s commenters to be careful about hitching their wagon to isolation-by-distance and clinal variation; there is some evidence that many of the world’s populations extant today are the product of relatively recent hybridizations between previous rather distinct groups.
And then he says:
The question ensues: are Sub-Saharan Africans several distinct races? Using evolutionary history as a measure I would say yes! This is definitely one area where social expectations have led us astray. It turns out that it may be that the Bushmen/non-Bushmen separation is only 1/3 as long ago in the past as the Neanderthal/modern human separation. In fact, the Bushmen may predate, and not be part of, the “Out of Africa” event. Along with the Pygmies and Hadza there seems to be a very ancient differentiation between the agriculturalist and hunter-gatherers in the African continent.
What is happening here is that Razib Khan has taken a term which he admits has no clear scientific meaning - race - but which has a very clear colloquial meaning, and decided to apply it to ethnic differences based on some vague "evolutionary history" and claim that as a scientific term.

In the case of people with dark skin who have ancestors most recently based in Africa, it is commonly understood that they are  one "race" and nobody outside of Razib Khan, that I am aware, consider Sub-Saharan Africans to be "several distinct races." 

So Razib Khan uses the term race in his own unique way. And it is such idiosyncratic obfuscation that has allowed him to almost end up a regular contributor of the New York Times - people writing for the Times are impressed by his charts and his use of STEM terms, and they don't actually concern themselves too much with what he is saying, or the miserably incoherent way he is saying it. 

And then he expresses his concern for racism against the Bushmen, as if racial prejudice is unique only to that group:
For me these details of history are fascinating. But going back to normative concerns: is there a worry that Bushmen will be dehumanized if it is understood that they are not part of the modern human expansion event circa ~80,000 years before the present? Unfortunately, I don’t think that science matters much in this case. The Bushmen have been dehumanized for hundreds of years. The Pygmy of Central Africa have also been dehumanized. All without science. An understanding of our evolutionary history is informative, but I doubt it is the prime motor for the great injustices of history. The 19th century race science which modern biologists and anthropologists revile (to a great extent, rightly) did not give rise to the race system of the West. Look at the history, and you see that its genesis predates Darwin by decades. Science may have been a supporting argument, but this was thesis looking for talking points.
So racism pre-dates science. Thanks for that newsflash, Razib. 

But now that Razib Khan has informed us that "race" means anything he says it means, he switches the subject back to species:
The Bushmen are human. The Bonobos are not. Why? I don’t think it has been definitively proven that modern humans and Bonobos are not inter-fertile. Granted, the separation between the Bonobos and humans are about two orders of magnitude greater than Bushmen and other humans, but there is some evidence that Bushmen have admixture from archaic lineages diverged nearly 1 million years into the past, pushing elements below a magnitude! Where do you draw the line? Species are a typological concept, but usually as a pure categorical typology the class is useless. Rather, it’s a tool, a framework. What you do with a tool, well, that’s a different thing altogether…. 

His argument seems to be that it's OK to use the word "race" in inexact ways because, he claims, speciation is also inexact.

In another essay of his Why race as a biological construct matters, in which he fails utterly to prove that race as a biological construct exists, let alone matters, he also mentions a "framework":
There is no Platonic sense where there are perfect categories with ideal uses. Rather, we muddle on, making usage of heuristics and frameworks which are serviceable for the moment. We lose our way when we ignore the multi-textured nature of the issues.
His use of "Platonic" is curious. He uses it again in American Racial Boundaries Are Quite Distinct (For Now):
It is entirely reasonable to argue that racial categories in the United States are blurred if one holds to a Platonic and essentialist view which resembles that which underpinned white racial supremacy and the law of hypdoescent. But as it is these views have no necessary scientific basis, and a percent or two of African ancestry in someone who is ~98 percent of European ancestry does not make them non-white in any rational sense. The 12 year old paper, Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease, has aged well in my opinion. A conclusion that 10 percent of whites in South Carolina are actually black because they have detectable African ancestry strikes me as crazy. But then, hypodescent also strikes me as somewhat crazy, though the rationale which drove it is also eminently understandable (i.e., the exclusion of illegitimate children and maintenance of a racial order). I hold that the racial lines are “blurred” only if you hold to the criteria which arose in the 17th and 18th centuries in the culture of the American South.
Khan seems to be saying (his prose is so lacking in clarity I can't say definitely) is that the NYTimes is the real racist, by saying that racial categories are blurred (in the article that he references earlier  White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier

Because they hold  to "to a Platonic and essentialist view which resembles that which underpinned white racial supremacy and the law of hypodescent."

In other words, by accepting the usual social understanding of "race" and then pointing out that the social understanding of race is not based on a clear biological distinction, the NYTimes is being "Platonic and essentialist" just like white supremacists!

This is what it says in that Times article:
In the United States, there is a long tradition of trying to draw sharp lines between ethnic groups, but our ancestry is a fluid and complex matter. In recent years geneticists have been uncovering new evidence about our shared heritage, and last week a team of scientists published the biggest genetic profile of the United States to date, based on a study of 160,000 people
But Khan is the king of slippery writing, either due to incompetence or on purpose, so you have to really tease out the meaning - or the lack of meaning - in everything he writes.

So Razib Khan doesn't consider "race" a tidy biological entity, but he considers racial classification a "tool" and a "framework." So how exactly does he propose to use that tool?

I will get to that soon.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Accidentally...

Damn it's sobering when the songs of your youth have become technologically obsolete.
The phone don't ring...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Razib Khan's Struggle

All my thoughts on Razib Khan here.

Well it looks like the brass ring has been snatched away from Razib Khan.

Politico: New York Times drops Razib Khan
The New York Times has terminated its contract with one of its new online opinion writers after a Gawker article highlighted the writer's previous association with racist publications, according to that writer's Twitter account. 
Razib Khan, a science blogger and a doctoral candidate in genomics and genetics at the University of California, Davis, was one of 20 writers who signed contracts with the Times to write for the paper's online opinion section. 
The Times announced its new stable of contributors on Wednesday. Hours later, Gawker's J.K. Trotter reported that Khan had a "history with racist, far-right online publications." Khan wrote 68 posts for Taki's Magazine, a publication founded by a "flamboyantly racist Greek journalist," Trotter wrote. Khan also wrote a letter to VDARE, "a white nationalist website named after the first white child born in America, in which he discussed [an essay] concerning the threat of the United States becoming “more genetically and culturally Mexican.”
The Washington Post also reported this news, rather more chattily, and included a link to my blog.
Here’s the upside of signing 20 new opinion writers in a single strategic move: You make a big splash. 
Here’s the downside of signing 20 new opinion writers in a single strategic move: That’s a lot of people to vet. 
In a statement released by spokeswoman Eileen Murphy this morning, the New York Times has signaled that it is severing its recently inked relationship with Razib Khan:
After reviewing the full body of Razib Khan’s work, we are no longer comfortable using him as a regular, periodic contributor. We remain open to consideration of submissions from him to our op-Ed pages, both in print and online.
You have to wonder why the writers weren't vetted before the announcement of their selection went out. You'd think the New York Times would have its shit together better than that.

I should say that I suspected something was up on Thursday when I started to get hits on this blog from National Geographic, NPR and yes, several visits from the NYTimes.

Khan himself, writing from his perch at the far-right Unz Review, wants you to know he isn't bothered by it:
After the events of today I’m going to curl up with Xunzi: The Complete Text. That’s just how I roll. Most of my friends are more outraged than I am. I don’t know why. It just is that way. It is heartening that people care about me, and I appreciate it. But there’s not much more to say than has been said, and perhaps even less. Things happen. If today I was a dying man and I would tell you that I was the child with a book in hand, not the proud one demanding that my views be heard because of the stridency of my voice. My views aren’t important, the truth as best as I can understand it is important. My friends know who I am, and that is all that matters to me. I regret the day that I am the story. That’s besides the point, and uninteresting to boot. Being at the center of a mini-media mini-controversy is rather tiring.
The passage above includes this sentence, which demonstrates that not only is Khan a sociobiology racist, he's a bad writer too: If today I was a dying man and I would tell you that I was the child with a book in hand, not the proud one demanding that my views be heard because of the stridency of my voice.

It's incorrect as a sentence, lacking a predicate:  If today you were a dying man and you would tell me that you were the child with a book in hand not the proud one demanding that your views be heard because of the stridency of your voice what?

Now don't forget - he gets paid by Ron Unz to post this stuff.

At first I thought he must have been quoting a song or something but an online search turned up nothing. I think that's the pure literary stylings of Razib Khan.

Khan mentioned his friends are outraged - but who are his friends? Let's see...

There's John Derbyshire, who as the New Yorker reports here, was fired from the National Review in 2012...
Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review,announced over the weekend that he was ending the magazine’s association with John Derbyshire because of a post he published in Taki’s Magazine (an online publication that promises “Cocktails, Countesses & Mental Caviar”). Lowry said that the column, “The Talk: Non-Black Version,” was “nasty and indefensible.” Given its conceit—Derbyshire explaining to his children that black people are generally dumber than they are and dangerous and should, on the whole, be avoided—it might also be described as racist. (Josh Barro, at Forbes.com, called it “kind of unbelievably racist.”) In firing “Derb,” Lowry directed readers to his “delightful first novel” but said, in effect, that “Derb” had become bad for theNR brand:
We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation.
Wasn’t Lowry at the party where Derbyshire “danced around the line”—hosting it, in fact? Lowry called the column “outlandish,” as if the ideas, as opposed to their expression, were foreign to the National Review. Derbyshire years ago called himself a “mild and tolerant” racist; “tolerated” seems like the right modifier.


Derbyshire, in the racist publication VDare writes:
So, having known Razib all these years and admired his erudition; and having met him a few times and found him articulate, witty, and charming; I was glad to see him elevated to the status of New York Times contributor. 
Glad, but also surprised. Razib is of course a race realist, as anyone who knows as much genetics as he does is bound to be. True, theTimes also publishes Nicholas Wade, another race realist, to write in their Science section: but Wade is a skillful diplomat, who softens his articles on population genetics with many qualifications and cautions about the provisional nature of results and the fallacy of inferring “ought” from “is.” Razib can’t be bothered with diplomacy, he just talks science … and sometimes also history, and religion, and philosophy, always from a deep background of reading, quoting half a dozen scholarly books and papers to you as he goes. 
Well, so I was looking forward to Razib’s contributions to the New York Times blog, and to seeing him pitilessly demolish some of the innumerate idiots he’d be sharing that blog with. 
Alas, it was too good to be true. I was browsing the blogs that same evening, Thursday evening, and I saw a post on geneticist Greg Cochran’s blog with the title The Once and Future Khan. From which:

Razib Khan managed to get himself hired and fired by theNew York Times over the course of a single day, an enviable record. Having the Times look upon you with favor is a dubious honor in the first place, something like having a leper ask you out on a date — so a quick hire-and-fire is optimal. Something for the CV, but you never had to actually hang out with the slimebags. Not as cool as “refused the Fields Medal.” but pretty cool.
What seems to have happened is that Gawker.com, a Cultural Marxist website, did a hit piece on Razib exposing his associations with such racist white-supremacist racist far-right racist bigots as racist Taki Theodoracopulos, racist Steve Sailer, and oh my God! racist John Derbyshire.
Although Derbyshire refers to Khan as a "racial realist", Khan himself is careful enough to avoid using the term to describe himself. Another term Khan and the other sociobiology-based racists like to use is "human biodiversity." Another writer at VDare gripes about Khan's disassociation from the Times:
The latest example: the treatment of Razib Khan, a noted commentator on human biodiversity and genetics who blogs at the Unz Review and has been featured at Slate, among other publications. He was recently announced as a new monthly columnist at The New York Times, yet within a day, he was dismissed [New York Times drops Razib Khan, by Dylan Byers,Politico, March 19, 2015].
Another euphemism favored by the SB racists is "human population differences." The commenters at Stormfront are mostly supporters of Khan, although being unrepentant White Supremacists some have a problem with Khan being insufficiently Aryan. But they have to agree with his views on race:
If you couldn't tell be his name, Razib Khan is of Bangladeshi descent. So of course Razib isn't a "white nationalist", though he is a bright scientifically literate geneticist, so like anyone else well-read in the subject, he has acknowledges the reality of aggregate human population differences. His blog GNXP published the best defense of Nobel Prize winning geneticist James D. Watson after he was denounced as a racist. Considering the current quality of NYT writers, I would consider him a vast improvement.
Stormfront links to a 2003 blog post and comments from Khan's old blog Gene Expression in which Khan and others discuss whether being racial realists who comment on human biodiversity and human population differences really make him a racist. Khan wrote:
Razib adds: Racist? God-that-I-don't-believe-in I'm tired of this crap. I've addressed these issues before. I believe in equality before the law. But, I believe different groups probably have different aptitudes (not moral inferiority or superiority)-and the axiom of equality-that all groups have the exact same tendencies as our common evolutionary heritage, could cause serious problems when applied to public policy.
What he mostly means when he talks about aptitudes and "tendencies" is intelligence. He is of course a huge fan of The Bell Curve, in which Charles Murray argues - out of what I believe is a Libertarian aversion to government spending - that it is useless to aid poor minorities because they are innately, intellectually inferior. That's what Khan means by "serious problems when applied to public policy." He doesn't want tax money to be wasted trying to improve the lot of poor black people's lives when they cannot be improved that way.

But he isn't a "racist" he merely believes in "human biodiversity."

Friday, March 20, 2015

Vernal equinox 2015

Day after day spring’s glory vies with the glorious sun.
Sloping roads to the hill city smell of flowering almond.
How long before the heart’s threads, all cares gone,
Float free for a hundred feet with the gossamer?

Li Shangyin

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The triumph of racist Razib Khan

All my thoughts on Razib Khan here.

My web analytics were blowing up on Wednesday, with a bunch of people visiting my blog post written two years ago, Razib Khan and his continuing successful quest for respectability.

I finally discovered that the traffic was due almost entirely to the Twitter account of Slate writer Jamelle Bouie linking to that post:

Jamelle Bouie ‏@jbouie 7h7 hours ago

Wow, nice to know the New York Times is bringing on a “maybe blacks are born dumb” guy.Re this: https://twitter.com/jbouie/status/578236138659385344 … Not a joke: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/05/why-race-as-a-biological-construct-matters/#.VQnMExDF9WU … http://mcclernan.blogspot.com/2013/01/razib-khan-and-his-favorite-euphemism.html … http://www.vdare.com/letters/vdare-khan-letter-and-sailer-reply-americas-imported-caste-system …

In the post Bouie links to, I referenced something Khan wrote in 2003 - but his attitudes about race haven't change as of December 2014. I got into it in the comments attached to a post in 3Quarks Daily which referenced Khan's post on the far-right web site, The Unz Review, entitled American Racial Boundaries Are Quite Distinct (For Now).

I knew that Khan was a socio-biology-based racist, but I had never considered how bad he was at writing about scientific topics. Although I suspect his lack of clarity is a feature used to mask just how extreme a racist he is. How else to explain this passage?
So I have to take issue when The New York Times posts articles with headlines such as White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier. What genetics is showing is that in fact white Americans are shockingly European to an incredibly high degree for a population with roots on this continent for 400 years. If we removed all the history that we take for granted we’d be amazed that the indigenous peoples had so little demographic impact, and, that the larger numbers of people of partial African ancestry did not move into the general “white” population. This is in fact the case across much of Latin America, where many self-identified whites, blanco, have African and indigenous ancestry. But we do know the reasons for why North America was unique, a combination of a smaller indigenous population which underwent a mass die off, and folk migrations on a huge scale previously unimaginable in human history. Whole villages in Poland and Norway, not just working age males, decamped for the New World. 
He literally says "if we removed all the history... we'd be amazed...." that both Native Americans and people with African features did not "move into the general 'white' population."

Yes, if we removed all the history, the very thing that explains exactly why we shouldn't be "amazed" at the whiteness of the European population. The indigenous people were wiped out first by European diseases for which they had no resistance, and then European land expansion. And of course people of "partial African ancestry" were not considered partially black, they were considered fully black according to the one-drop rule and there were laws against miscegenation right up until 1967 and the case of Loving vs. Virginia. But not only that - since there were social taboos and outright laws against black/white marriage, a goodly portion of those who were "partially black" were the result of slave rape - and of course the children of raped slaves were invariably slaves themselves, and thus not likely to be having much sex with the general white populace.

History explains everything - so yeah, of course if you removed it you would be "amazed" by the state of whiteness. But why would you do that?

When I first read Khan's passage, I thought maybe I was missing something. But none of Khan's fanboys with whom I discussed this passage in 3QuarksDaily seemed to find anything I had missed. Khan doesn't offer an alternative explanation for why "white Americans are shockingly European" after he had removed all the history. So his argument is entirely non-sensical. 

And this is a blogger who has been included in the New York Times new online opinion writers.

Well but maybe the NYTimes feels that it needs to be much more inclusive than in the past. After all there is a certain segment of the population who believes we are all divided into "races" and that these races determine our intelligence and other personality factors. The NYTimes wants to include a writer who reflects their beliefs, not just writers who reflect the views of non-racists.

Gawker posted an article  New Times Op-Ed Writer Has a Colorful Past with Racist Publications but clearly it isn't in "the past."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

And now for something completely Irish

I've never been hardcore into the whole Irish thing. It seems to me that ethnic identity has lead to more harm than good, although there is much that is charming about Celtic culture. But some people are just sooo into ethnic identity. A cousin of mine got married on St. Patrick's day and had a whole Kelly Green Irish-themed wedding. Waaaay too much Irishness for me.

I worked for a company based in Ireland 15 years ago, and they've long since gone out of business. My New York City coworkers and I, when some of our Irish colleagues got on our nerves, used to contemplate what we liked to call a "leprechaun smack-down." I was the one who coined the term.

The actor I used for my play JULIA & BUDDY last summer, Matt DeCapua, turns out to have additional talents besides being an excellent actor with an admirably professional attitude and an awesome work ethic - he was almost completely off-book by the first rehearsal of J&B. I was amazed. It turns out he also makes videos. He currently has two series running - The Collapse of Western Civilization: Already in Progress, which is a somewhat random humorous socio-political commentary slash absurdist series. The other is a 10-part Star Trek parody called Spacedogs.

Matt is 100% Italian as far as I know, but he made an hysterical installment of TCOWCAIP about St. Patrick's Day - I thought his comment about Lucky Charms: "they're magically disgusting" was hysterical. Watch it here.



His Spacedogs series, although it has some moments, isn't quite my cup of tea. He agreed with me when I suggested to him that his target demographic for that series is "14-year-old boys."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patricks/Atlas

My mother was up from Merchantville New Jersey visiting for the weekend. We have very different priorities and her idea of sight-seeing is going to St. Patrick's Church of 5th Avenue. It was the first time I had been there, and it was definitely impressive. Although I couldn't help laughing at the shrine to the "Prayer to the Holy Face of Jesus" - that phrase just makes me laugh. I am definitely going to hell.

 But on our way out I was struck by what was across the street - I'm no doubt one of the few people who would find this significant - but across 5th Avenue is the statue of Atlas holding up the world - this was a favorite work of art by the devoutly atheist Ayn Rand, and it appears on at least one edition of "Atlas Shrugged."

I might have been spending too much time thinking about Ayn Rand lately.

Dedicated to the St. Patrick's Day tourists

Monday, March 16, 2015

Moanin

Oohhhh. So this is why everybody thinks this guy is so great.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Things I hate

This is quite possibly the best bathroom graffitti I have ever seen. Found in the 5th Avenue Le Pain Quotidien.

Another shout-out

I just discovered another shout-out - that's twice in one year somebody said something nice about me on the internets!

January 26: Nancy McClernan and NYCPlaywrights, an amazing source of submission opportunities, all without fees, and not just for NYC playwrights. Nancy runs this uber-efficiently by herself, and even repeats opps as the deadlines approach in case you missed them the first time around. Thank you, Nancy!
nancymcclernan



No, thank you Donna.

Friday, March 13, 2015

All of the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner

I've heard pretty good live versions of this song, but there's something about Mick Jagger's backing vocals that really makes this recorded version the best.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We all live in a Nazi submarine

I mostly posted this just so I could use that title, but I am in fact referring to the latest play by actor/playwright Nat Cassidy called "The Temple" which is set in a Nazi submarine. Also I know Mr. Cassidy likes to check out this blog once in a while to see if I'm talking about him, and I like to make it worth his while every now and then.

I haven't seen the play so I don't have much to say about it other than it seems to support my theory that there is a solid segment of the off-off Broadway world who want to do manly-man plays, perhaps in an effort to save theater from being too girly-girl - after all, the theater audience is 61% female and of the male audience members, probably a solid 25% are gay, so nothing says popular hit like a war play with an all-male cast (that are not naked and singing.) But producers often don't seem to care, considering women and gays just so much low-hanging fruit to be ignored while they produce musicals based on Rocky, in a desperate effort to get the audience that really provides ones work with high status - straight men. So what do I know? It just might be a winning strategy.

And now I must go and work on my play about Marilyn Monroe.

Where is my mind?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why "Social Justice Warrior" is a bad term

Somebody responding to the complimentary things that RegularJoe90 said about me noted that I use the term "Social Justice Warrior" negatively. This is for good reason - because they don't actually care about social justice. They care about attacking fellow liberals.

My first experience with SJWs was being attacked by one. I discovered 4 years ago that when you Googled my name their lies about me were showing up in my search results: because I had the nerve to disagree with a SJW who claimed that John Lennon and Yoko Ono were racists, they declared me to be a racist.

And SJWs target liberals - Stephen Colbert and Katha Pollitt in 2014 - so much more than conservatives you have to wonder if they are getting money from some Koch brothers-funded foundation.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Hey DU friends!

My web analytics were blowing up today! I just discovered at Democratic Underground this really nice shout-out from AverageJoe90, who is obviously an individual of exquisite taste and perception.

I swear I do not know this person or why the sudden unsolicited testimonial but it sure is nice to find people saying good things about you, for a change, on the internets. Thanks Joe! This must be what my friend Phoebe Summersquash felt like when she heard about this song.

Well DU people, some other good things to check out:

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Who loves "Atlas Shrugged"?

Atlas Shrugged is such obvious crap - both as literature and as a political manifesto - that it staggers the imagination to think that there are people out there who think it's great and on both counts. Here are some examples from The Snark Who Hunts Back: Favorite Passages from Atlas Shrugged. "The Snark" writes:
While reading any truly great book there will be scenes that send shivers down your spine, make you cry, make you laugh out loud on the train, make you re-read the passage over and over a dozen times, or make you read the words out loud while sitting on a bench in the park outside your bank.
Usually a single book will get, at most, two of those reactions out me.
Atlas Shrugged has gotten all of them out of me…more than once.

He then lists these three below. Amazing.

Francisco D’Anconia “Money Speech” – Atlas Shrugged – Part II:

In the latest draft of my DARK MARKET I inserted references to this speech. Krugman likes to mock those politicians like Paul Ryan who get their views on economics policies from that D'Anconia speech. And as Krugman points out, D'Anconia isn't merely praising the gold standard, he wants to go back to using gold coins:
This had me wondering: when was the last time the economy actually ran on specie, rather than notes?
Bear in mind that paper money has been in widespread use for a long, long time. Originally these were often notes from private banks, like the $10 (“dix”) note from the Citizen’s Bank of Louisiana that may have given rise to the term “Dixie” for the south. There’s an extensive, mostly positive discussion of bank notes in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. But when did the notes become dominant over coin? 
Well, the Millennial Edition of Historical Statistics of the United States (subscription required) has some data. As I read it, as of 1813 there was only $7 million worth of coins in the hands of the U.S. public, versus $52 million in bank notes. So even two centuries ago, we were already a paper-money economy. 
And this means that Ryan wants to turn the clock back two centuries, not one.
Hank Rearden's Trial - Atlas Shrugged - Part II

Reading this reminds you how little Ayn Rand bothered to learn about the US judicial system - or how little she cared that her representation of a judicial system was utterly absurd and divorced from reality . In her American dystopia all Hank Rearden has to do is give a really swell speech and he was let go. His crime was selling metal to someone he wasn't supposed to if memory serves - one of those insane rulings that Rand's US democracy decrees whenever one of Rand's heroes needs a challenge. Rand never reveals the details of how these rulings become law - they just suddenly appear throughout the book. 

The Story of The Twentieth Century Motor Company – Atlas Shrugged – Part II

This is one of my favorite parts of the book because it reveals what Ayn Rand thought was the true cause of Communism - sadism. Literally, sadism.
She had pale eyes that looked fishy, cold and dead. And if you ever want to see pure evil, you should have seen the way her eyes glinted when she watched some man who’d talked back to her once and who’d just heard his name on the list of those getting nothing above basic pittance. And when you saw it, you saw the real motive of any person who’s ever preached the slogan: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’
And no Rand chapter would be complete without someone being assaulted - in this chapter it's a little girl - but she's ugly, so it's OK, in Rand's world-view:
“Then there was an old guy, a widower with no family, who had one hobby: phonograph records. I guess that was all he ever got out of life. In the old days, he used to skip lunch just to buy himself some new recording of classical music. Well, they didn’t give him any ‘allowance’ for records – ‘personal luxury’ they called it. But at the same meeting, Millie Bush, somebody’s daughter, a mean, ugly little eight year old, was voted a pair of gold braces for her buck teeth – this was ‘medical need’ because the staff psychologist had said that the poor girl would get an inferiority complex if her teeth weren’t straightened out. The old guy who loved music, turned to drink, instead. He got so you never saw him fully conscious any more. But it seems like there was one thing he couldn’t forget. One night, he came staggering down the street, saw Millie Bush, swung his fist and knocked all her teeth out. Every one of them.
Since Rand didn't allow her book to be edited by Random House, nobody questioned what an eight-year-old girl was doing out by herself after closing time at the bar. And of course right-wing worshippers of what they think is a well-reasoned tale of the superiority of Capitalism never think twice about such details.

It's bad enough that there are people with no taste in literature nor ability to comprehend the utter failure of Atlas Shrugged as a political work, but you have writers for the Wall Street Journal who consider it a prophetic book - and Rand herself believed it too - I put that in my play.
Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years
Some years ago when I worked at the libertarian Cato Institute, we used to label any new hire who had not yet read "Atlas Shrugged" a "virgin." Being conversant in Ayn Rand's classic novel about the economic carnage caused by big government run amok was practically a job requirement. If only "Atlas" were required reading for every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. I'm confident that we'd get out of the current financial mess a lot faster.Many of us who know Rand's work have noticed that with each passing week, and with each successive bailout plan and economic-stimulus scheme out of Washington, our current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that "Atlas Shrugged" parodied in 1957, when this 1,000-page novel was first published and became an instant hit.
Please note - this is not some random blogger saying this. It's Stephen Moore, senior economic writer for the Wall Street Journal, an allegedly mainstream media outlet that pays its writers. It goes on:
Abolishing the income tax. Now that really would be a genuine economic stimulus. But Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Washington want to do the opposite: to raise the income tax "for purposes of fairness" as Barack Obama puts it. 
David Kelley, the president of the Atlas Society, which is dedicated to promoting Rand's ideas, explains that "the older the book gets, the more timely its message." He tells me that there are plans to make "Atlas Shrugged" into a major motion picture -- it is the only classic novel of recent decades that was never made into a movie. "We don't need to make a movie out of the book," Mr. Kelley jokes. "We are living it right now."
They did make a lousy 3-part movie out of the book. There's never any accounting for libertarian taste, ever.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Paying colleges to teach Ayn Rand

As Krugman mentioned, it was reported in Bloomberg in April 2008, (just as the financial meltdown was getting underway), businesses were paying colleges to teach the work of their hero, Ayn Rand:
``These gifts are really about the study of capitalism from a moral perspective and all we want is to make Rand part of the dialogue,'' said Bob Denham, a spokesman for BB&T, the parent of Branch Banking & Trust Co.
The idea that Ayn Rand taught a "moral perspective" of capitalism is an especially funny one, considering that her hero John Galt is a messianic weirdo who vows to destroy a society because he doesn't like the way The Twentieth Century Motor Company is running things. And the company is running things the way it does out of sadism. The company goes out of business, which I suppose could be seen as a cautionary tale against sadism as a business model.

Once again I have to wonder if fans of "Atlas Shrugged" have read it carefully - or at all. Businessmen seem to believe that it's all about businessmen being heroes, and that's good enough for them. 

The schools that were bribed accepted grants to teach the work of Rand that are named in the article are:
  • University of North Carolina Charlotte 
  • Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia
  • Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • University of Texas at Austin.
However, the article mentions that 27 other schools have accepted a total of 30 million from BB&T Corp, but doesn't name them.

In 2014 Salon ran an article about other "dark money" - and it should be noted that after BB&T promoted the philosophy of Ayn Rand, with its anti-government, anti-regulation sentiments...
Back in 2008 during America’s financial collapse, BB&T Bank was one of the many big banks that crashed. In order to stay afloat, that bank took a $3.1 billion bailout from the Bush administration. 
At the helm of the bank at that time was John Allison, an Ayn Rand-loving CEO.
According to The Street, during his time as CEO of BB&T, Allison regularly used the BB&T Charitable Foundation, “to provide grants to schools that agree to create courses on capitalism that feature the study of ‘Atlas Shrugged.’”
Meanwhile, according to New York Magazine, Allison gave $500,000 to Randolph-Macon College to hire Dave Brat, so that he too could teach the Ayn Rand libertarian philosophy as an economics professor.
 
Shortly after BB&T accepted $3.1 billion government bailout from the Bush Administration, Allison resigned as CEO, and was picked up by Charles Koch, to become the new president of the Cato Institute, formerly known as the Charles Koch Foundation, and to keep spreading the work of Rand.
The Koch brothers are behind 90% of all evil-doing in this country.

That 2008 grant isn't all that Rand worshippers gave to the University of Texas. It also has an on-going project:
On the 50th anniversary of the publication of "Atlas Shrugged," the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship renewed a $300,000 fellowship for research on Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. 
Since its inception in 2001, the fellowship has been renewed twice, bringing the Anthem Foundation's total contribution to the university to $900,000 through 2010.
The fellowship funds an array of research, conferences, guest lectures and objectivism-related scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts. Tara Smith, professor of philosophy, has published several articles on Rand's philosophy and the 2006 book, "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist" with Cambridge University Press
  • 4 p.m.: "Ayn Rand: Evidence of a Life" by Jeff Britting, associate producer of the Academy Award nominated-documentary film, "Ayn Rand: Evidence of a Life;"
  • 4:15 p.m.: "The Benevolent Universe Premise in Atlas Shrugged" by Allan Gotthelf, visiting professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh;
  • 5 p.m.: "John Galt as the Hero of Atlas Shrugged: Leader and Lover" by Shoshana Milgram, associate professor of English at Virginia Tech;
  • 5:45 p.m.: "The Appeal of Atlas Shrugged to Young People" by Onkar Ghate, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.
The symposium is sponsored by the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism and Anthem Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism, both held by Tara Smith, professor of philosophy. Smith is the author of "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist."

You have to wonder who are these people? How can they seriously allow their names to be associated with such preposterous concepts as John Galt, Leader and Lover. What is wrong with you Shoshona Milgram?

And Tara Smith's entire career seems to ride on Ayn Rand. It would be a shame for her if people who are not in the Ayn Rand cult suddenly began to seriously examine the work of Ayn Rand and it became widely known that Rand was a crackpot and a crank as well as a bad novelist, and her "philosophy" is nothing more than the personal preferences of Ayn Rand, systematized  and promoted by oligarchs and their courtiers. But I'm hoping it will happen anyway. Sorry Tara Smith.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

MRAs get media attention

The face of the MRA movement
Ever since Elliot Rodgers went on a homocidal rampage because the world wouldn't give him a hot girlfriend, the media has begun paying attention to the deranged freaks of the Men's Rights Activists (MRA) - run by a deadbeat dad named Paul Elam. The GQ article this month paints these people as pathetic creeps, which means it's pretty accurate.

Predictably, Dave Futrelle, a brave, stalwart and funny opponent of the MRAs (and whom they hate with a fiery passion) had a great time talking about the article:

If you’ve read Jeff Sharlet’s magnificent GQ account of his lost weekend amongst the “Men’s Human Rights Activists” at A Voice for Men’s conference last summer (or my take on it here), you know that some of the creepiest moments his account involved his friend Blair, a twentysomething writer who came along for the ride and ended up, by her account, being groped and propositioned by AVFM’s “director of collegiate activism” Sage Gerard. 
Sharlet never mentions Blair’s last name, but Elam outs her in a AVFM post with the lovely title “GQ’s Jeff Sharlet pimps out Blair Braverman for clickbait.”

Braverman, like her friend Sharlet, is a writer. As in, a real writer, someone who’s won awards, whose work has been included in a number of anthologies, and who has a book coming out soon from Ecco/HarperCollins.
 
Elam must be aware of this – he links to her website, where all of this information is easily found – but for some reason doesn’t mention it. Perhaps because Braverman, less than half his age, is being published by, you know, an actual big-name publishing house, while Elam will never be published by anything more prestigious than Paul Elam Press? (Sorry, Zeta Press. Because Paul is a Zeta male, a term he made up to describe the best kind of male.) 
Whatever the reason, Elam is content to portray “pretty young Blair,” whom he refers to repeatedly as a “girl,” as little more than a sort of journalistic honey trap brought to the conference in order to lure the men there into, I guess, acting like the predatory creeps they are? 
He also writes that Blair, who trains and races sled dogs, “is into dogs, but I want to make it perfectly clear that I don’t mean that in a sexual way.”
Brilliant, Paul. You’re attempting to rebut a GQ piece that reveals you and your male followers to be a bunch of misogynistic assholes who are constantly saying inappropriately sexual things about (and to) every woman they find attractive … by being a misogynistic asshole saying inappropriately sexual things about a woman you find attractive.
 
Unexpectedly, Elam’s comrades at AVFM, in their comments on his article, eschew crude sexual comments and focus on substantive points.
Just kidding! They’re worse. Including the women.
 
Tara Palmatier, a clinical psychologist who has affixed herself firmly to AVFM and who co-hosts a regular Youtube show with Elam, writes of Braverman in something other than clinical terms, describing her as“a disingenuous doe-eyed (one eye slightly smaller than the other and just a smidge crossed) wannabe double agent,” adding:
Yo, MSM, next time you want to employ a “honey trap” to infiltrate the MHRM conference, spring a few more bucks for a more tempting and believable honey trap. Think Julian Assange grade.

A few weeks ago I un-friended on Facebook an old friend of mine, Matt, whom I've know since high school because although he isn't officially an MRA he was parroting their talking points and we argued about it for a week online. Paul Elam's hatred for feminists is expressed by the phrase "fuck their shit up" and so mission accomplished. You hurt one feminist when you turned a feminist's friend into a men's rights activist zombie. Congratulations, hideous freak.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

"...the real motive of any person who's ever preached 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.' "

I stopped contributing to Adam Lee's ongoing discussion of Atlas Shrugged due to censorship - because Lee's friend, who goes by the name of Azkyroth had a meltdown and began shrieking insults at me and insisted I was out to hurt the autistic because I speculated that Ayn Rand was on the autism spectrum.

To my knowledge, Lee has never objected to Azkyroth's habit of insulting anybody he disagrees with.

This censorship of disagreeable ideas -  thoughtcrimes to Social Justice Warriors like Lee and Azkyroth -  is a disgrace to rational discourse, and Lee has no sense of shame about it.

But I do check in to see how the Atlas Shrugged discussion is going, since some of Lee's commenters are quite astute and I'm always interested in learning what others think of Atlas Shrugged in-depth - I'm always afraid I might have missed something. And Lee does catch things I missed. He makes a good point (highlighted):
But after all that, Dagny objects, the tramp hasn’t told her who John Galt is or what he has to do with any of this. He says that it was something that happened at the first all-hands meeting after the company had agreed to go communist:
“‘This is a crucial moment in the history of mankind!’ Gerald Starnes yelled through the noise. ‘Remember that none of us may now leave this place, for each of us belongs to all the others by the moral law which we all accept!’‘I don’t,’ said one man and stood up. He was one of the young engineers… He stood like a man who knew that he was right. ‘I will put an end to this, once and for all,’ he said… ‘I will stop the motor of the world.’ Then he walked out.…We never heard what became of him. But years later, when we saw the lights going out, one after another, in the great factories that had stood solid like mountains for generations, when we saw the gates closing and the conveyor belts turning still, when we saw the roads growing empty and the stream of cars draining off… then we began to wonder and to ask questions about him. We began to ask it of one another, those of us who had heard him say it… You see, his name was John Galt.”
If you missed that, John Galt vowed to destroy an entire civilization because one business went communist. Disproportionate retribution seems to be the only kind of retribution that Objectivists know. 
This leads back to the question, again, of how the looters came to take over the world. If the Twentieth Century Motor Company’s plan was such a failure, its competitors should have thrived, and once it went bankrupt, the whole idea should have been discarded as an object lesson in what not to do. Instead, for some reason, everyone copied this manifestly disastrous idea, and it spread to all of society despite bringing ruin to everyone who adopted it. Atlas has no real explanation for how this happened,
However, Lee completely misses the boat with the last sentence above. Atlas does have a real explanation for the ultimate root 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."
Although it is understandable that Lee missed it. It's so absurd it's easy to disregard the true significance of that passage. But I think there can be no doubt: Ayn Rand believes the root cause of "communism" and the views of anybody who disagrees with anything she believes, is sadism. Or to put a finer point on it - evil.

I think it's likely that Rand had undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome and she conflated the "neurotypical" view of the world with Communism. And since she could not understand the perspective of neurotypicals - and many on the autism spectrum express the same bafflement - she came to believe it must be due to willful malice.

This passage from Atlas Shrugged best expresses the almost mystical feelings that Rand's protagonists have about their enemies:
"Dagny, they're doing something we've never understood. They know something we don't, but should discover. I can't see it fully yet, but I'm beginning to see parts of it. That looter from the State Science Institute was scared when I refused to help him pretend that he was just an honest buyer of my Metal. He was scared way deep. Of what? Public opinion was just his name for it, but it's not the full name. Why should he have been scared? He has the guns, the jails, the laws - he could have seized the whole of my mills, if he wished, and nobody would have risen to defend me, and he knew it - so why should he have cared what I thought? But he did. It was I who had to tell him he wasn't a looter but a customer and friend. That's what he needed from me. And that's what Dr. Stadler needed from you - it was you who had to act as if he were a great man who had never tried to destroy your rail or my Metal. I don't know what it is that they think they accomplish - but they want us to pretend we see the world as they pretend they see it. They need some sort of sanction from us. I don't know the nature of that sanction, but, Dagny - I know that if we value our lives, we must not give it to them. If they put you on a torture rack, don't give it to them. Let them destroy your railroad and my mills, but don't give it to them. Because I know this much: that's our only chance...
...Yes," she said. "yes, I know what you've seen in them... I've felt it too - but it's only like something brushing past that's gone before I know I've seen it, like a touch of cold air, and what's left is always the feeling that I should have stopped it... I know that you're right. I can't understand their game but this much is right: We must not see the world as they want us to see it. It's some sort of fraud, very ancient and vast - and the key to break it is: to check every premise they teach us, to question every precept, to - "
This is no political or economic system they are talking about: the Soviet Communists were not known for caring what anybody thought - they did not hesitate to use force whenever they wanted, unlike Rand's "looters." And Communism doesn't express itself as "a touch of cold air."

This is about perceptual differences, not political differences. 

So the reason "communism" rules the world of Atlas Shrugged, in spite of the fact that it is presented as an objectively inferior socio-political system in the novel; and the reason that John Galt wants to destroy an entire civilization because of one bad business model is because these don't represent political or economic systems - they represent Ayn Rand's rage at living in a world dominated by neurotypicals, which "communism" embodies for her. 

Which makes sense since the major trauma of her early life (second only to the mechanical chicken incident) was the Communist revolution and the confiscation of her father's business. (Although ironically by ending prohibitions against Jews and women attending university, the Bolsheviks made it possible for Ayn Rand to get a higher education, a debt which she never acknowledged - but then she was notorious for claiming that nobody ever helped her.)

People perceiving the world in ways that Ayn Rand found incomprehensible were "evil" to her. And that's how she portrays those who are not the angular-faced producer heroes in Atlas Shrugged - as vermin that need to be exterminated, and that's why she put them on a train, listed their sins against Objectivism, and then put the train in a tunnel full of carbon monoxide. And then blew up the train. That's how Ayn Rand felt about a world controlled by neurotypicals.

And yes, there are those with Asperger's who are conscious of their hatred for neurotypicals, although of course not all people with Asperger's hate all neurotypicals.
But on the other hand, at least one person with Asperger's describes neurotypicals as having "superpowers" for "mind-reading" abilities, and even compares this to the powers of a character on Star Trek:
A Betazoid is someone who has the power to sense others and read minds. Deanna is known for her contributions to the show as being able to sense when someone is angry, upset, anticipating battle, or even if the person is being deceitful. 
There was a particular Star Trek episode when Deanna Troi loses her Betazoid powers and she compares it to losing a sense.. such as losing sight, losing hearing, or losing a limb. It drove her CRAZY because she was unable to read people anymore. The rest of the crew was human, so they told her that losing her Betazoid powers was like stepping down to a human's level of understanding now she knew what it was like to not have that awareness. 
Even though Deanna Troi is not neurotypical NOR Autistic. The difference between her and the rest of the crew is how much awareness she had of other people. Deanna vs. a normal human is like a neurotypical vs. an Aspie. She even questioned Riker "How do you people live? Without being able to read others."
And the typical Asperger inability to read people is a problem for Rand's protagonist Hank Rearden, which she makes explicit in this passage:
Rearden had to decide how much he could risk to invest upon the sole evidence of a man's face, manner and tone of voice... 
"I guess I'm not smart enough to make the sort of deals needed nowadays," he said in answer to the unspoken thoughts the hung across his desk. 
The purchasing manager shook his head. "No Mr. Rearden, it's one or the other. The same kind of brain can't do both. Either you're good at running the mills or you're good at running Washington." 
"Maybe I ought to learn their methods." 
"You couldn't learn it and it wouldn't do you any good. You wouldn't win in any of those deals. Don't you understand? You're the one who's got something to be looted."
We'll never know for sure if Ayn Rand had Asperger's (unless we can somehow get hold of viable DNA from her I suppose) but I think that it's extremely likely, given all the evidence. Which does not explain her predilection for laissez-faire Capitalism - I think that is more explicable by her early life experiences - but it does help explain her extremely idiosyncratic presentation of the concepts of Communism and Capitalism. And speculating that she might have had Asperger's doesn't hurt anybody with the condition. Although of course such speculations would not be permitted in a world run by Social Justice Warriors like Adam Lee and friends. Which would be almost as ugly a dystopia as the world of Atlas Shrugged itself.

Bonus Rand artifact: An Actual Letter Ayn Rand Wrote To An Actual Teenage Girl