I’ve been a bit sparse in my blogging of late due to the temporary death of our high speed internet connection for almost two weeks. (A second story on a house was added in the very line of sight required for the neighborhood wireless. Understandably, it took a bit of time to identify and then fix the problem. Thankfully, it is now solved.) It’s been hard enough just to publish the short posts in my queue — and impossible to write anything new or check on suggestions from others.
So in the interests of efficiency, I’m just going to directly quote this interesting tidbit from Jim May:
You might remember Ivy Starnes from Atlas. Ayn Rand drew her as an ascetic, disdaining material wealth, to illustrate the sort of greed that really IS the root of all evil: the lust for power.
I wonder if she knew that Stalin, too, fit that pattern.
“You know who we’re talking about: the meanest, most dangerous criminal that lived on the face of the Earth. The one who built a kingdom around himself and possessed almost unlimited power.
“In his private life, however, he rarely used this power to get himself nicer things. His lifestyle was more of a soldier, of a man possessed… Except for a very few ‘special’ things, which he cherished almost to the point of a fetish.”
Such ascetic power-lusters make the hedonistic power-lusters seem downright healthy! (Jim also said that the site has “a ton of interesting stuff.”)