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Rand Paul Uses Ayn Rand To Fight Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs

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"Admit it," says Dave Weigel, "you were waiting for this." What, pray tell, is he referring to? He's talking about Rand Paul, quoting Ayn Rand at length at a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. See, Rand Paul is hopping mad at the compact flourescent lightbulb for existing, because it represents the "boot heel" of the "collective." Let's go to the tape:

PAUL: Ayn Rand wrote a novel, Anthem...It's a dystopian novel where individual choice is banned and the collective basically runs society. There's a young man, and his name is Equality 72521. He is an intelligent young man but he is banned from achieving or reaching any sort of occupation that might challenge him. He is a street sweeper.

Over time he discovers a subway and he rediscovers the incandescent light bulb. And he thinks, naively, that electricity and the brilliance of light would be an advantage for society and that it would bring great new things as far as being able to see at night, to read, and the advancement of civilization.

He takes it before the collective of elders, and they take the light bulb, and basically it's crushed beneath the boot heel of the collective. The collective has no place basically for individual choice.

Now, I'm not suggesting that this collective body is against electricity per se, or for quashing individualism. But I am suggesting that we're against choice.

Here's Eric Kleefeld with the required literary analysis:

In that book, of course, the protagonist was attempting through his individual experimentation and achievements to advance his society past a more primitive technology, the candle. In this case, however, regulations are being used in order to move society forward to the next generation of technology, after the incandescent bulb, on the grounds that it would save energy.

I mean, you might as well be evangelizing against modernity. The Collective has forbidden trepanation, in favor of its neurosurgical witchcraft!

Look, here's a link you can use to purchase incandescent lightbulbs. Stock up for the wagon train to Galt's Gulch!

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