American Shorts

The Homicidal, Genocidal, Suicidal Ayn Rand: The New Right’s Hero | September 16, 2009

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Leave it up to the right wingers to find the hip, new trend in novel writing: AYN RAND!

That’s right, the most boring, narcissistic novelist of all time has been making a comeback amongst the retirees and unemployed losers who hate the guy who’s trying to get them a job.

Tim Wise breaks it down in a must-read Daily Kos diary.

Service, according to the gospel of Limbaugh, is for suckers, for society’s “losers,” for people who have committed crimes. In other words, it should be viewed as punishment rather than as something to be applauded and encouraged. To do for community is a fool’s errand.

Yet as bizarre as his words may seem at first blush, they actually illustrate with bold clarity the fundamental (and increasingly common) core of the conservative belief system. They speak to the sociopathy that is at the heart of the far-right worldview. It is a worldview that holds, quite simply, that doing for others is contemptible; that doing for self is the purpose of human life; that altruism and service are somehow pathologies pushed by collectivists and should be subordinated to selfishness and greed.

Sound too extreme? Well if so, consider this. Among the most interesting phenomena of the past year–and especially since the inauguration of Barack Obama–has been the explosion of interest in (and sales of) books by the late author, Ayn Rand: most prominently her classic novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Indeed, the latter had an all-time record year in 2008, and 2009 sales are on a pace to shatter even last year’s numbers.

According to the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, sales of the monstrosity “Atlas Shrugged” reached an all time high of 200,000 copies sold in 2008. Keep in mind most conservatives don’t read because they’re very busy not working and watching Glenn Beck at 5pm.

“Americans are flocking to buy and read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ because there are uncanny similarities between the plot-line of the book and the events of our day” said Yaron Brook, Executive Director at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. “Americans are rightfully concerned about the economic crisis and government’s increasing intervention and attempts to control the economy. Ayn Rand understood and identified the deeper causes of the crisis we’re facing, and she offered, in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ a principled and practical solution consistent with American values.”

Wise runs down the values of Rand:

Rand’s disdain for the bulk of humanity was, indeed, so extreme that in the aforemetioned Atlas Shrugged–whose main character and “hero” John Galt has been referenced on numerous tea party signs–she indulges a pseudo-genocidal fantasy, in which virtually everyone except Galt and his few “perfect” producers is vanquished. This happy occurrence results from a “strike of the mind,” in which Galt and his superior colleagues of industry withdraw their talents from the nation and hole up in a mountain retreat, rather than submit to things like government regulations. Those whom Galt condemns in the book, and thus, whom Rand is herself condemning, are referred to as “parasites” who are unworthy of life. Indeed, Galt’s contempt for the weak of the world prompts he and his colleagues to banish the word “give” from their small utopian “gulch.” Giving, after all, much like calls for community service, is for suckers.

He goes on to describe Ayn Rand’s literary love affair with a psychopathic real-life murderer, William Edward Hickman. Her reason:

She indeed critiqued those who would condemn Hickman’s actions for having committed “worse sins and crimes,” such as those she ascribed to his jury. Among those “greater” crimes–greater than mutilating a child–she included being, “Average, everyday, rather stupid looking citizens. Shabbily dressed, dried, worn looking little men. Fat, overdressed, very average, ‘dignified’ housewives.” Their ordinariness, in other words, placed them below Hickman, in Rand’s mind. “How can they decide the fate of that boy? Or anyone’s fate?” she implored in her Journals.

That, and his complete disregard for everyone else. That’s really good, according to Randian values.

So, here’s the thing: When rightists say they’re against Obama’s “Day Of Service” on 9/11, it’s not because he’s desicrating 9/11 (because they don’t care about 9/11; snotty New Yorkers died, remember?), it’s because they think service is socialism. Any time you do anything for anyone at any time, it’s bad because you’re not getting paid for it. And in a capitalist country, you get paid for things you do, with paper money backed by nothing besides consumer confidence, as long as that lasts.

Rush Limbaugh recently ranted against the Day of Service, saying only prisoners should have to perform service (keep in mind, no one is being required to perform anything), because it is generally a bad thing. Punishment.

Ayn Rand’s idea of serving humanity by hating humanity and her homicidal fantasies about incinerating the poor and lazy, that’s not considered weird to the Tea Patriots. That’s why, when they try to mock liberals on their internet comment boards, they don’t say “I disagree with you on said policy for said reasons,” they say, “WEN UR DONE COLLECTING WELFARE AND DRAINING THIS COUNTRY OF ITS MONEY BC YOUR LAZY COME TALK TO ME LIBTARDO!!!1”

WATCH:

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