Ayn Rand And The Republican’s Deal With The Devil!

The Republican Party has made a wrong turn in recent years and is headed for a cliff that wasn’t on the map a few years ago. The wrong turn happened when they fully embraced the ideas of Ayn Rand and let her fictionalized world invade reality. I’m posting a couple of clips of Ayn Rand herself, telling us those ideas that the modern Republican Party has embraced so fully. As we Democrats bring these ideas to light over the next year and a half of the election, it should be fun watching as some Republicans try to turn the steering wheel away from the cliff, while the die-hard’s, like Paul Ryan, fight them to the death. ThinkProgress put together this great mashup of Rand’s ideas intermixed with those Republicans embracing her very radical ideas.

That clip just touches on some of her madness. The inspiration for this post is from a piece by David Johnson and I found it at SetYouFree News.  I’ve admitted that up until recently, I didn’t know a hell of a lot about Ayn Rand and her writings. What I have learned is pretty scary, considering the Republicans have embraced her work so much. And my god, the hypocrisy they are exhibiting is just off the hook.

One very revealing thing about the mind of Ayn Rand that David Johnson wrote in his piece is Ms. Rand’s admiration of William Hickman, an American criminal responsible for the kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of Marion Parker, a 12-year-old girl in the 1920’s. From David Johnson’s piece…(emphasis his)

Rand’s work is very popular among conservatives now. It forms a core justification for their “on your own” philosophy praising the wealthy and discarding the rest. So it is useful to explore the formation and core of this philosophy. Early in her writings Rand became fascinated with a serial killer named William Hickman.Rand wrote that the serial killer was an “ideal man,” a superior form of human because he didn’t let society impose their morals on him. He didn’t worry about what others thought and just did as he pleased.”Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” Rand wrote. Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.'” She considered these to be good qualities! And so does her cult.

This is the foundation of the modern “tea party” conservative thinking. So when you look at the modern capitalism that has grown up around Rand’s philosophy and the big corporations that are chewing up the planet to enrich a very few at the expense of the rest of us, and think it seems sort of psychopathic, maybe that’s because it literally is.
As her ideas become better known, with little help from the major media outlets, the backlash is beginning for the Republican Party. Paul Ryan’s budget plan pushed the issues and ideas that these Republican’s embrace into the spotlight. It was a monumentally stupid idea for the GOP, and I’m so happy they did it. At the core of Ayn Rand’s philosophy (a generous word for it) is “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” (from Wikipedia) That is a polite way of saying selfishness. Or every “man” for himself, I’ve got mine, fuck you. And her rigidity in that belief reminds me very much of the rigidity in the Republican Party on many things, including the concept of taxes. It seems the ultimate goal of the Republican Party is to return to frontier justice, eliminate the government, or at least all of it’s power, and let everyone fend for themselves.
We will see how this full embrace of Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand works out for them. It could very well cause a split between the Religious community and the Republican Party, which I’ve thought all along was not a good fit. Selfishness wasn’t one of Christ’s teachings from what I remember. Here is a clip of Ayn Rand talking about religion on the Phil Donahue show…
Something makes me think that the full embrace of Ayn Rand by so many leaders in the Republican Party is going to come back to haunt them. I certainly hope so.

22 thoughts on “Ayn Rand And The Republican’s Deal With The Devil!

  1. I doubt I have to tell you that I’m a dedicated advocate of Objectivism and the Rand view of the world. My pseudonym and blog are an homage to one of her most enduring characters. With that being said, one has to remember that Rand espoused a philosophy–and the interpretation and application of that philosophy are up to the individual. There are a lot of things about Rand as a person that I didn’t like. She was anti-woman, anti-homosexual, and rather unpleasant at times. That doesn’t mean she was wrong about the underpinnings–the epistemology of her philosophy. I have also found that most critics of her writing have never taken the time to understand it, and most passing fans have chosen to pick and choose from her philosophy as if it were the produce section at a grocery store. So, allow me to address a couple of points you made.

    The philosophy of objectivism has no problem with charity or a desire to help one’s fellow man. I give a significant portion of my income to charities which I feel passionate about. The key is that charity must be voluntary. Government programs which are meant to “help” others or “lift people up” are evil on many levels. First, they hardly ever work since the government is terrible at executing just about everything–look at our public schools vs our private university system to see the difference in sharp contrast. Second, government entitlement programs are nothing more than theft. They may be theft of the Robin Hood variety, but theft is still theft. If I want to give money to help the poor, I’m fully capable–and willing–to do so. For the government to TAKE from me and GIVE to another without my consent, however, is nothing more than forced charity at the point of a gun. So, while “selfishness” as you put it is certainly a part of objectivist philosophy, (insomuch as the pursuit of one’s own happiness is a good thing rather than a bad thing), there is no reason why one can’t be generous, charitable, and kind to others within the confines of that philosophy.

    Next, the Republican Party does NOT represent a Randian philosophy. Not even close. They have chosen the parts of her philsophy which suit their political needs–small government, low taxes, admiration of business production–and ignored all the rest–dedication to reason, abdication of mysticism, devotion to personal liberty, etc. The problem with this approach is that Objectivism is an axiomatic philosophy. Every piece is the natural and necessary consequence of the piece which preceeds it–all the way down to Aristotle’s A is A law of identity. To enlist one piece and ignore others is to remove stones from an arch–the whole structure crumbles. Republicans have bastardized Rand’s philosophy–and by doing so, they have created a political platform full of hypocrisy and double talk as well as damaged the credibility of one of modern time’s most farseeing philosophers by invoking her name to defend their ignorance.

  2. and one has to remember that she utilized Social Security and Medicaid funds when all that Galtian crap didnt’ pay the bills. Your lengthy — albeit strange — defense of so-called liberterianism and attempt to suddenly distance yourself from it’s inventor / apostle is… FAIL.

  3. Hmmm…I had you pegged as the “let’s have a respectful discourse” kind of guy. Apparently I was wrong. You obviously didn’t read what I wrote–or you lack the capacity to understand it–so I’ll try and keep this from becoming too “lengthy” and overloading your circuits.

    Rand, as a person, fell short of a valid philosophy. It happens all the time. How many so-called Christians believe in the bible but live a less-than-holy life? Just because Rand couldn’t live up to the standards of the doctrine she set out didn’t make the doctrine any less valid.

    The problem with your Liberal alternative is that it is the most hypocritical of all. You’d rather feel good for “having done something” about the problems of poverty and inequality than actually see results. Entitlement programs make life worse for the people they are supposed to help. Minimum wages cause unemployment. Foreign aid, social security, medicare, medicaid…They all accomplish exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to–but you feel good for “having done something”. Talk about FAIL, your ideas have FAILED in every single historical setting in which they’ve ever been tried–at least on any scale beyond that of an Oregon hippie commune. Liberalism is selfish and immoral–all the more so for masquerading as altruistic and enlightened.

  4. Well look at that…You’re right. My apologies to EL. It would seem that Regina is the one that doesn’t know what she’s talking about. My bad.

  5. I, Extreme Liberal, (Jim), will now very briefly respond to you since I am at work at one of those public, state sponsored universities you speak so highly about in your comments. I appreciate you writing your comment, I think it is brilliant at revealing a lot of the motivation behind the way you Randian’s think. I love it when people help prove my points by writing comments for all of us to see. Thanks.

    I do appreciate your comments about how people pick and choose what they want from her ideas and probably don’t understand them. The Republicans are just one example of that.

    I’ll just say for now, on one of my union negotiated 15 minute breaks, that you can write all day long, but you aren’t going to convince me that “selfishness” or “the pursuit of one’s own happiness” as you called it, is better for society as a whole. As a matter of fact, I would argue that Bush’s massive tax cuts to “the producers”, coupled with the deregulation of financial services Wall Street, and about everything else that Bush and his people could deregulate was one massive experiment with your philosophy and it was a monumental failure. If cutting taxes for the “producers” is the way, where are all the jobs that were produced from it. Where is all the great benefit to society from that massive gift to the wealthy? Give me some examples of how your philosophy has been tried and succeeded. I’m happy to read them.

    I have to get back to work, I hope some of my readers challenge some of your thinking.

  6. EL, thank you for writing this article about the GOP and their fascination with Ayn Rand. I find it very interesting that some Evangelicals, like the Family, and Libertarians like Ron Paul and TGOP Paul Ryan seem to worship the teachings of those individuals that have done terrible things to our society for for the benefit of the few for money and power. This is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught. He said we are each others brothers and sisters.

  7. At the heart of Ayn Rand message can be translate like this: I got mine and the hell with you if you don’t have yours. But when if I lose mine will kick and scream until someone replaces the thing I’ve lost.

  8. The Republican Party allowed, for pure political gains, (the “ends justify the means”) to be hijacked over the last half century by the racists (Southern Strategy), the neocons, and the fundie christians. The once proud Party of Lincoln has become a small-tent mishmash now with the Randian hijacking. Do the many right-wing “christians” within the party know how Ayn Rand felt about their Jesus? She has written:

    There is a great, basic contradiction in the teachings of Jesus. Jesus was one of the first great teachers to proclaim the basic principle of individualism — the inviolate sanctity of man’s soul, and the salvation of one’s soul as one’s first concern and highest goal; this means — one’s ego and the integrity of one’s ego.

    But when it came to Jesus’ methods for attaining individual fulfillment, Rand was ultimately disappointed:

    But when it came to the next question, a code of ethics to observe for the salvation of one’s soul — (this means: what must one do in actual practice in order to save one’s soul?) — Jesus (or perhaps His interpreters) gave men a code of altruism, that is, a code which told them that in order to save one’s soul, one must love or help or live for others. This means, the subordination of one’s soul (or ego) to the wishes, desires or needs of others, which means the subordination of one’s soul to the souls of others..


    When I was in college in the early 60s, it seemed everyone had a copy of The Fountainhead, Anthem, or Atlas Shrugged on their desktops (the latter most probably never completely read but used as a paperweight). Seemed my generation either became Randian “me first” Republicans or in my case, changed parties to become liberal, peace-loving “hippies”. This was an era of extreme anti-communism in our nation following on the heels of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and government witch-hunts/blacklisting. The John Birchers and YAF became strong on our campuses at the same time, also.

  9. Yeah, it makes sense that Rand would’ve thought of Jesus as a wimp.

    The problem with the Randian philosophy is that, sure, it allows for charity. It also allows for the choice to exploit or kick someone when they’re down, and that’s fine too. To have the attitude that “people don’t exist for you.” The truly despicable thing about this philosophy is that its followers will only espouse it when they’re the ones doing the kicking. Once they become the “people that don’t exist”, things turn very different all of a sudden, and they apply for Social Security benefits the way Ayn Rand did. It’s all fine and dandy when you’re the one on top, not so much when you’re on the bottom.

  10. Hey there– I have to say, as a person who read both The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged and The Virtue of Selfishness, I have always found myself quite puzzled by today’s Objectivists.

    In Atlas Shrugged, you have examples of people who see a need and exploit it; Wyatt figures out how to get oil from shale, Reardon creates Miracle Metal, and throughout the book there are other examples— The thing is, these people actually make the world better! They are honorable. They give value for value. I don’t have a problem with that; if T. Boone Pickens wants to create the largest Wind Farm in the world, more power to him.

    So, here’s my question; why is it that instead of seeing that Global Climate Change is a problem –indeed an opportunity for entrepreneurial innovation,–why is it that Objectivists, Republicans, Libertarians–would rather (a) ignore the problem, (b) follow Yaron Brooks’s philosophy that we should just use all the resources up because they are there, and to hell with the consequences, refuse to “face reality” and see that there is even a problem to be solved? Rand’s characters were always saying, “Check your premises.” There was the admonition to “deal with reality. To be productive, efficient, to solve problems. I don’t see this from Objectivists. What I see is a blind adherence to *some* of Rand’s tenets, and a skewing of others to fit a Republican Conservative agenda.

    It seems to me that Objectivists should have been up in arms over the Enron scandal, over Exxon, BP, Wall Street– because there corporations betrayed Rand’s vision of the Noble Businessman– they were corrupt; they engaged in theft. They had become the “looters” and “moochers.” The reason all those regulations exist that so gall Objectivists is because of Mulit-National companies that engage in theft and banditry. We can’t trust them to have the integrity that Rand’s characters did.

    I also don’t understand why Objectivists would allow themselves to be tied to the Tea Party folks who have this huge Evangelistic streak running through their “party.”

  11. Rand’s mother should have aborted her, thus all the problems we have today wouldn’t exist. Okay maybe I’m exagerating some but thats pretty much how I feel about the bitch.

  12. Yea, Johnny C, that’s what I gather from her message. I can’t fucking stand people like that.

  13. Rand also wrote that William Hickman, a serial killer, was an “ideal man”! This man killed children… and she said “he had the true and innate psychology of a Superman”?!!! What the fuck was Ayn Rand thinking? You would think that these facts would make her readers and the Randian objectivists as well as the Republican party reconsider the ideas they are adopting whether whole or in part. It is damn obvious that Ayn Rand was crazy.

  14. I went to do some research concerning Ayn Rand and I’m very surprised by all the information and the passion that info is handed out.

    What I see in Ayn Rand and the Republican Party is an awakening by Republicans to finally accept themselves for who and what they are. All along, Ayn Rand is the very pitamy of the Republican Party and what they have become, which is its own monster that will take itself to hell in the end.

    The Republican Party has always taken things like the Bible and picked and chose what they cared to follow and then ignored the rest, so then they can call themselves Christians and protectors of the faith. Same thing with the Constitution – they pick and choose what they like and then call themselves true constitutionist and protectors of that Constitution, yet ignore some of the basic principles of that document. Now it’s Ayn Rand – choose what they like about the woman’s philosophy and then ignore the rest.

    What’s happening here is that they’re digging themselves a hole that’s getting so deep that they may not be able to dig themselves out. True Christian principles cannot reconcile with Ayn’s philosophy in any shape or form. Rand said there is no God because He cannot be proven to exist. In that way, I look at those in the human race who believe themselves superior over all and I think of a microscopic germ which is also a living being and think that if that small undetectable germ has a brain and can think, it probably believes it’s all alone in its own universe and nothing else exist outside of its little bubble of life. Why? Because it can’t prove otherwise. For us to think we are so large that nothing can be that much larger than we, that there can’t be anything like God because we can’t see him no more than that microscopic germ can see us, shows the narrowness of the athiest mind and the lack of vision.

    So let’s call out atheist like Ayn Rand for who they really are; those with such a narrow vision of life that they can’t see past their own existence.

    The collectiveness of socialistic principles which I adhere too, along with a good balance of capitalism, is about realizing that we’re all in this together and that no man is an island unto him or her self. We need each other at times for one thing or the other, even if it’s just for companionship and the need for love.

  15. And now Rep. Paul Ryan, painting himself as such a strong Catholic, is trying to back track from his many decades love for Ayn Rand, even requiring his office staff read her books.


    BTW, I am an atheist and a student still learning in my 73rd year. I don’t have a “narrow vision”. My undergraduate and grad school education was in physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. I believe in the ongoing revelations in science, but not most man-made religious “revelations” written in our recent history by mortal men. Not that we haven’t had many wise philosophers over the centuries including Jesus of Nazareth. Their insights into the human condition have given us guiding principles on how to conduct ourselves and our societies. My concept of an ultimate god is an engine of energy that rules the universe, not an anthropomorphic “HIM” sitting on a celestial cloud who looks like homo sapiens (according to Genesis it is us who looks like “him”). Really man has only existed for a very short time in the history of life forms on earth).

  16. Grant,
    I don’t take Genesis in a literal sense. I believe God inspired Moses to write Genesis with simplicity in mind, mainly because man hadn’t fully developed their knowledge of the world around them yet and couldn’t comprehend billions of years in the making of the world and evolution. God to me is timeless and I don’t picture him sitting on a cloud, looking down on us but actually a real part of us.

    Surely as an intelligent man, you can accept that there are at least much more evolved and superior beings than what we are. This isn’t accepting there is a god, just that there are mysteries we cannot know at this point.

  17. I can not stand this racist, doublespeaking monster. Just one example here: “the best way to climb the ladder of success is to step on the rungs of opportunity”. I believe this jackboot licking pondscum is really covertly saying to squash the opportunity for the layman.(create monopolies). fascist ,racist pig in my view. Look at that mug anyway…the epitome of evil. Can you not see it?

  18. To sjterrid, i do not think that you should lump ron paul in with the ilk of others you mentioned in your post. One must remember that the original group known as the tea party was infilterated(it had to be in their minds to protect themselves) and replaced by the others you have mentioned. The original group was an anti war, anti tax movement that wanted to end the federal reserve as we believe that this is the root of amerikas problem. As soon as gingretch and palin put their name on it , the original movement was squashed. That was when the majority of us moved on. I am rather liberal in my views (union member since 1980) and have voted democrat up until this guy actually had a chance. I have supported him since 2005. He is not what the mainstream claims, his policies make sense. The war machine could never allow his policies to be put into place. Please look closely at ron paul and you will see the truth and why this country is where it is. This was our last chance to save ourselves and it was stolen from us right in front of our faces. We need to coin our own currency as the constitution states. Many presidents that believed this and actually did it are people whom i am sure you admire and respect. Look what happened to them . This is who controls our government, not us as it should be. We are fucked now.

  19. Most modern scholars do not believe Moses to have been the author of any books and generally accept that they were written by a number of anonymous authors around five centuries before the Christian Era.

    There is no historical evidence there was a Moses or even a King David. Solomon seems to the earliest leader who left some historical evidence (coins). The Psalms are attributed to David but biblical scholars believe they were written during the Babylon captivity in the 5th-6th century BCE. David would have lived in 1040–970 BCE. So until only a few hundred years BCE, Much of the Old Testament was not written but oral legend. That is not much different from other cultures with great legendary figures like King Arthur, even in modern Minnesota with Paul Bunyan.

    As a scientist I do accept that we are probably not the only “life” as we define it in the vast universe. Our technology is far from traveling to other planets to find out.

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