Sandeep Jaitly, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand and the Gold Standard Institute

 

Darryl Robert Schoon

 

The Gold Standard Institute intends to bring truth into the open… and allow..people to make up their own minds…Far from us to try to impose our ideas on anyone!

      Rudy Fritsch, Gold Standard Institute

 

As a result of an August 16th interview on the Max Keiser Show, Sandeep Jaitly was forced to resign from the Gold Standard Institute for comments he made about novelist Ayn Rand and economist Ludwig von Mises (Jaitly appears 12 minute, 15 seconds into Keiser’s interview).

 

Ludwig von Mises is the greatest economist of 20th century

                        Sandeep Jaitly 8/16/2012 on The Max Keiser Show

 

The above comment by Jaitly about von Mises is not the comment objected to by ‘objectivists’ at the Gold Standard Institute. It does, however, show the admiration Jaitly has for von Mises despite Jaitly’s belief that von Mises departed from the earlier path set by Carl Menger, the ‘father’ of Austrian economics, in the 19th century.

 

Since his forced resignation, the Jaitly matter has spiraled into something greater than an intra-organizational spat. On August 26th, Forbes Magazine posted an article by John Matonis, “Economist Appearing on Max Keiser Show Forced to Resign”; and, on August 27th, two of the most widely read and respected economic bloggers on the web, Jesse’s Café Americain and Tyler Durden’s ZeroHedge, linked to the Matonis article about Jaitly’s departure.

 

Watching this grow into a media event was unexpected. Especially since I know Sandeep Jaitly personally. I consider Sandeep a friend and I admire his intellect. I also know Rudy Fritsch of the Gold Standard Institute and Philip Barton, the president of GSI who announced Sandeep’s departure to the public. (Here is an interview I conducted with Philip Barton prior to the formation of the Gold Standard Institute in 2009).

 

Because of my proximity to the characters in this apparently ideological drama, I have some insight into the underlying motives for Sandeep’s expulsion; motives touched upon in Stacy Herbert’s post on August 26th (Stacy Herbert is the co-host of the Max Keiser Show).

 

The controversy stems from a belief among Ayn Rand’s followers that Ayn Rand’s views about economics are the same as those of Ludwig von Mises. Rand made a point of associating her views with von Mises, one of the great thinkers of the 20th century. Von Mises, however, did not return the favor and is known to have made disparaging remarks about the popular novelist.

 

Ayn Rand was best known for her novels, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957). Based on the widespread popularity of her books, Rand created a philosophy based on selfishness as a virtue called ‘objectivism’. For those with such inclinations, Rand’s outspoken defense of selfishness was as liberating as National Socialism was for anti-Semites.

 

Ayn Rand grew up in totalitarian Russia which explains her deserved distaste for the many sins of this now-discredited ideology. In the place of godless communism, however, Rand preached’ objectivism’, her own form of godless capitalism (Ayn Rand, like Karl Marx, was an avowed atheist).

 

Stacy Herbert’s post exposes the differences between the so-called Libertarians who espouse Ayn Rand’s ‘objectivism’ and the Libertarianism put forth by the father of the Libertarian movement, Dr. Murray Rothbard.

 

In 1972, Rothbard warned Ayn Rand’s philosophy was antithetical to the Libertarian movement. In theory, Ayn Rand espoused personal freedom; but, in practice, she practiced the very opposite.

 

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

       Yogi Berra

 

In The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult, Rothbard puts to bed, once and for all, the pubescent wet-dreams of Ayn Rand acolytes who believe there is a connection between Ayn Rand’s ‘objectivism’ and the Libertarian ideals of personal freedom.

 

Stacy Herbert was right about who was responsible for Jaitly’s forced departure from the Gold Standard Institute. In her post, Herbert writes, To my mind, this firing has a lot to do with Keith Weiner, the president of the Gold Standard Institute in America who claims in his own bio that he is both a follower of Ayn Rand and of Austrian economics. Please note that at the heart of our discussion with Sandeep Jaitly was this very question – is it possible to be both a follower of Objectivism and an Austrian economist? Weiner clearly did not like this question to be asked and if you re-read the letter from GSI, Rand seems to be at the heart of their decision to fire Jaitly.

 

I believe there is a more personal reason for Keith Weiner wanting the GSI to expel Sandeep Jaitly other than differences in economic ideology. Like Stacy Herbert, however, I do believe the real instigator of Sandeep’s forced exit was Keith Weiner.

 

Last spring, I noticed that Zerohedge was posting articles by Keith Weiner on the basis, a method of predicting movements in the price of gold and silver popularized by Professor Antal Fekete.

 

Sandeep Jaitly, a mathematician by training (Imperial College, London) added immeasurably to the understanding of the basis by introducing the concept of the co-basis. Sandeep subsequently started a subscription newsletter on the basis which later found a home at wwwfeketeresearch.com.

 

I, for one, read Sandeep’s monthly reports on the basis with interest; and, then, in the spring of 2012, I noticed articles on the basis being posted by Keith Weiner on Tyler Durden’s Zerohedge website. It appeared that Weiner was garnering a public reputation on the basis, a reputation due solely to his proximity to Sandeep Jaitly and Professor Fekete.

 

Weiner, a wealthy and highly successful businessman, was an avid follower of Ayn Rand and during the spring 2009 session of Fekete’s Gold Standard University, Weiner had began staking out a future position in Fekete’s Gold Standard University.

 

Weiner later extended his influence to the Gold Standard Institute and in April 2012 was appointed ‘president’ of the Gold Standard Institute in the US; and what I noticed in the spring of 2012 was that Keith Weiner was now setting himself up as an expert on the basis on the internet.

 

When I spoke at the New School of Austrian Economics in Munich in March, Sandeep Jaitly and Keith Weiner were principal speakers at the event. There was, however, an undercurrent of antagonism as Jaitly had apparently confronted Weiner about Weiner’s taking credit for Sandeep’s work and Weiner’s response was not satisfactory.

 

When I heard that Philip Barton had asked for Sandeep Jaitly’s resignation, my response was the same as Stacy Herbert…this firing has a lot to do with Keith Weiner, the president of the Gold Standard Institute in America who claims in his own bio that he is both a follower of Ayn Rand and of Austrian economics.

 

I believe that ideological differences while meaningful are but a smokescreen for Weiner’s payback for Jaitly confronting Weiner over his co-opting Jaitly’s work to enhance his own reputation.

 

My experience with some of the avid followers of Ayn Rand were not pleasant. After the spring 2010 session of the Gold Standard University, Martha and I were confronted by a Rand follower who began interrogating us with the unexpected (and inappropriate) question, ‘Do you believe in God?”

 

Like many followers of Ayn Rand, he was unaware Rand was an atheist whereas Martha and I are not (In 2011, we both became ordained ministers, see my spiritual page on my economic news site).

 

The first appearance of Keith Weiner at that 2010 session of Gold Standard University and Weiner’s aggressive defense of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness left a bitter taste in our mouth and we assumed Weiner’s presence would grow.

 

In response I wrote a scathing attack on Ayn Rand and the effect of selfishness on America in my article, America at the Crossroads and the War on Gold. The war for America’s soul has as much to do with selfishness as it has to do with the bankers’ paper money.

 

For those unable to make that connection, the rendering that is about to take place will take them with it, no matter how much bullion they have put away.

 

Buy gold, buy silver, have faith.

 

Darryl Robert Schoon

www.drschoon.com

www.survivethecrisis.com

 

 

 

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