I have a soft spot for Arsenal, Anders Limpar, and gingers. The website Gingers For Limpar combines all three, usually to brilliant effect. Their piece on Jack Wilshere’s injury should be a lesson to all Blues champing at the bit for Moyes to throw Ross Barkley and Shane Duffy in at the deep end. On top of this they have given the world the glorious MILF Brownie. The writing below though (which was originally posted ages ago), is top drawer pseudery and gallops into Pseuds Corner Flag with ease as they riff on Ayn and Arsene.
August 15, 2011: Is Arsene Wenger a Randian hero?
Who is John Galt?
Who is Siggi Jonsson?
These are the kind of rhetorical questions deployed by Ayn Rand in her (in)famous novel Atlas Shrugged, of 1957. As a learned Gingers 4 Limpar reader, you will be well aware that Rand was a kind of anarcho-capitalist extremist; somewhat unique in her views, an explanation was offered through a philosophy that she invented and coined “objectivism”.
Objectivism, to grossly paraphrase (and cut out the difficult bits), argues that our core moral duty is to engage with the reality around us, and to deploy our intelligence and abilities to create and innovate, albeit through pure self-interest, hence progressing the lot of mankind.
The market, reflecting human needs through the price mechanism, indicates where best to focus these noble energies. The greater the worth, the greater the profit. Our duty is to exploit our talents, to seek achievements, for which we receive payment in the form of money.
Hard work of this kind is noble, whereas politics leads only to kleptocracy disguised by allegations of “social concerns”, the “social good”, “the national interest” and so on—which is the domain of the looters, the enemy of the good and productive.
Naturally, this is what sprung to my mind when I read Arsene Wenger’s comments after a foolish hack quizzed him on Theo Walcott’s chances of making it to the World Cup the other week. The boss fumed:
“Why should I not be frustrated? The guy asks me if it’s an important season because Theo is going to the World Cup. The World Cup is in June. Is he on holiday until June 9? You cannot be serious.
“You are paid by Arsenal FC, not by the World Cup. During the World Cup he will be paid by Arsenal FC. He’s not played this year. It’s not his fault. What I mean is it doesn’t have to be my worry what happens in the World Cup. You must be serious.
“The reality in life is, ‘Do your job my friend’. And make sure nobody can ever say you’re not committed, every day in your life, for what you’re paid for.”
Sound familiar? Oh yes, my well-read chums. Very much Atlas Shrugged, isn’t it? Especially the bits I’ve put in bold.
Admittedly, I very much doubt that Arsene Wenger would define himself as a Randian, or anarcho-capitalist. The few pronouncements I’ve heard him making on issues of politics or economics generally show him to be very centrist—with a respect for enterprise and globalisation, yet a level of distrust, and tinge of social democratic leanings.
Yet there’s something irresistibly Randian about my favourite Alsatian. He is, like Dagny and Hank Rearden, entirely absorbed by his work, and in a most direct and focused manner. Asked what he does in his spare time, he once responded “watch football”. The Arsenal is his railway line, his steel plant—his long term project, his all-encompassing obsession.