Friday, October 23, 2009

The Danger of Rand-ianism

Every now and then there is a "Rand Revival" pushed by the Libertarian types who, frankly, don't know better.

But at the core of Ayn Rand's philosophy lies atheism:

Rand was a programmatic atheist, who sneered at any and all religious believers as self-deluding "mystics."

....which leads ineluctably to worship of self:

...Rand's ideal of selfhood amounts to self-deification, fed by the pretense that the individual is wholly self-created, owing nothing to history, ancestors, neighbors, or the future. Think I'm being unfair here? I'll cite Ms. Rand again: "And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: 'I.'"

Umnnnhhh....yah, well.

So happens that self-deification is precisely the core of "multi-culturalism" and for that matter, it also leads to 'liberal narcissism' (Rousseau)--which leads to socialism or its atheist variant, communism.

Bet Rand never thought of that!

HT: Inside


Adrienne said...

Yep - Rand was actually a rather dismal human being and not a very good writer. It would be easy for someone to led astray without really understanding what she really believed.

jimspice said...

"... atheism ... leads ineluctably to worship of self"

Seriously?! I've elucted it pretty well myself, thank you.

Actually, the absolute certainty deists espouse seems much closer to egocentricity to me.

J. Strupp said...

Thanks for pointing this out. It bares repeating especially since Rand's work is in fashion once again.

Display Name said...

Considering her lifetime effort against socialism and communism in all forms, it's hard to imagine how anyone could make this claim against Rand. She had no affection for anarchists or Libertarianism (even though there's a book "It Usually Starts With Ayn Rand"). Yes, the beginning of faith is surrendering your disbelief in what you can't see, and yes, it's often pounded into you as a kid. Get 'em while they're young. Rand would've had fun with the literal death-worshipping conducted by those Capuchins. And you think the New Testament is a blueprint for USA-style capitalism and not a socialist, communitarian state?

The commenters are interesting. I agree with what most of Negri said there. Latinus is correct, she didn't oppose private charity. Aaron has an accurate description of the boundary of an act could be viewed as selfish by one but altruistic by the other, and he correctly notes she donated to causes she valued. However, he's also as high as a kite in suggesting that Obama must be a secret Randite. But then you have silly ones like Seeber proclaiming that "the happy beggar in Nigeria is better off than the richest American". Seeber also wins second place for humor in this thread, saying that his biggest sin is being proud of being a Catholic and a Knight.

It would've done Rand some good to have several children. At least then her legacy wouldn't have been turned over to a leaker like Peikoff.

I dunno, Dad29. Those Catholics seem well-behaved and don't use words like "boyzzz" and "Obamamamama" or call each other "twits". How come you do?