An outspoken advocate of free-market economics and fan of the novelist Ayn Rand, he created the model because he expected the invisible hand of the market to drive better results. If the company’s leaders were told to act selfishly, he argued, they would run their divisions in a rational manner, boosting overall performance.
Instead, the divisions turned against each other—and Sears and Kmart, the overarching brands, suffered. Interviews with more than 40 former executives, many of whom sat at the highest levels of the company, paint a picture of a business that’s ravaged by infighting as its divisions battle over fewer resources. (Many declined to go on the record for a variety of reasons, including fear of angering Lampert.)
David Atkins at Digby's Hullabaloo remarks:
Need I mention that Lampert is a big fan of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged? Read the whole article. It's amazing.
I think a lot of progressives don't understand that we're not just dealing with a bunch of big money boys who want to destroy government and social safety nets to benefit business interests. We're dealing with a full-fledged cult that is just as willing to destroy business as it is to destroy government.
It would actually be more comforting to believe that economic self-interest is driving all this foolishness. Self-interest can be negotiated with, intimidated or shamed. Destructive religious cults are much, much scarier. There is no pleading, bargaining or reasoning with them.