Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ayn Rand

- Russian-born writer -- and inventor of Objectivism, a simplistic philosophy beloved by 15-year-old social outcasts everywhere!

- Believed self-interest to be all good -- and altruism to be evil!

- Found the idea of volunteering to help the less fortunate to be offensive!

- Elevated a rapist to hero status in her novel The Fountainhead!

- Provided a pseudo-intellectual justification for narcissism and selfishness!

- Never really addressed what would happen to those who don't "make it" in her ideal, selfish society; presumably, they would be sent somewhere where they could starve in private!

- Favorite of CEOs, bankers, and others with excessively favorable opinions of themselves!

- Current acolytes include deep thinkers like TV "journalist" John Stossel -- and Rush drummer Neil Peart!

- Mentor to former Federal Reserve chairman (and fellow idiot) Alan Greenspan!

- Admired by anti-tax, anti-regulation free marketeers like Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan, Tom DeLay, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh!

- Rather than "going Galt" and refusing to participate in society, her followers tend to whine about government -- while continuing to drive on government-built and -maintained highways, use government-run postal services, and enjoy government-run police and fire protection!

- Some Randians even consider Somalia to be an ideal small-government nation!

- Idiot!


  1. Rock and roll! Good to see Rand and Randians on an idiot list.

  2. Neil Peart is not an Ayn Rand admirer. Her lawyers forced Polygram to put in a disclaimer, because 2112 was "similar" to Anthem.

    That is all.

    1. really, explain "The Trees" then. It's about as Randian as you can get.

    2. Peart said himself that he isn't a Rand disciple. Just because he favors some ideas from Rand's work doesn't mean his beliefs mirror hers.

  3. Nice job. I found your blog when I googled "ayn rand is an idiot".

  4. She's a total idiot that made a name for herself by giving self centered narcissists printed permission to be the aholes they truly are.

  5. Ii googled the same thing!! Wow, what an idiot! "The greatest salesman of philosophy ever" according to her idiot followers!! Yeah, as long as you don't call her an actual philosopher, I can condone the "Salesman" comment!

  6. Found this by accident.
    I will ask this: since when is doing anything for the sake of your happiness evil? Is it wrong to love someone because it brings you mutual happiness? Is it wrong to want to be successful in life my doing your own thing, by being persistent? Is it wrong to want to control your own life?

    Right. I don't think so.

    Read the book,
    Or at least have a basic understanding of what her philosophy is about before you pass judgment.
    And if you have done those things, well, you have just proved that you live for others.

    And, by the way, her ideal government was one that still built and maintained roads and law enforcement, but would, by definition, stay out of the way of businesses. That means no corporations, and true competition to companies, oh, and the fact that my taxes wouldn't be going to some loser that refuses to get a job.

    But man, that idea really does suck, doesnt it. I mean you can see how well communism, which is altruism, is doing.

    1. Easier said than done, the fact is we need government to keep Aholes from grabbing up all the wealth for themselves and enslaving the rest of us, it's been done before it was called feudalism.

  7. To Firepainter:
    Collaboration is not altruism
    'True' competition as you describe leads to monopolies.
    A 'loser' who has no job may not have a job because the 'winners' have screwed up the job market.
    Who is supposed to control the Corporations in your schema? The Government? Not in Rand's model.
    Interesting that, 20 years after the fall of.
    Communism (I am not a Communist incidentally), Capitalism finds itself with no ideological enemies and has managed the most supreme economic cock up in history.
    I agree that Rand is a pretentious pseudo-intellectual (or if you prefer 'idiot'). She is also a fairly dangerous one considering the company she keeps.

  8. Her writings were only possible because she lived off of charity, handouts from her relatives, and government social programs. She fetishized logic but couldn't write a formal logical defense of her beliefs to save her life. She simultaneously believed that the universe was mechanistic and predictable but that human beings had strong free will. You people were only able to read Ayn Rand in the first place because of taxpayer-funded public education. It's just a study in contradictions.

  9. It seems that Randian thinking is being seen currently as a way to whitewash the recent failings of the current politico-economic system (free market). According to Rand the control of interest rates by the Federal Reserve would be seen as having precipitated the recent Banking crisis since these measures were 'interventionist'. It seems like a form of Ultra-Right doublespeak (the realworld Right Wing model is flawed because of the interventionist 'socialist' component, our model would not have caused this). It is a way of adhering to Right Wing (elitist) values when the actual Right Wing model (Post Thatcherian-Reaganite) has fallen on its face. Instead of seeking an interventionist solution (regulation of markets and behaviour of financial institutions), the Randian solution would be to remove constraints (a real Ship of Fools). The proposed model to me appears to justify a form of plutocracy, a form of far right hierarchy, without certain elements needed to define it as actually Fascist. Rand was evidently vain enough to assume that she would find herslf in a higher position in this hierarchy, probably not even with a concept of what life would be like at the bottom level. Fascism under another name?

  10. The successful praise her, whilst the unsuccessful resent her.

    If you were to consider your 'self', in the most 'self'-ish Foucauldian sense, then you would care less about those around you, and would care only if they were of consequence to your self .

    Babysitting gets nowhere.

    I imagine that most of you here fall into the more resentful of the previous category. I'd rather Rand any day...

    A proud and obstinate "idiot"

  11. Typical of the 'self'ish to justify themselves by discounting any critique as simply resentful. Many justify Berlusconi in the same way: "your just jealous!" In actual fact I am nauseated.
    The self interested minority also often stand ideologically in the way of collaborative tendency of the majority.
    They need to justify their own greed (generally to themselves).
    Rand's narcisistic philosophy gives no credit to the collaborative part of human nature and it is in my opinion the most significant part.

  12. Hey like Dalucks says, he's an idiot! Obviously he'd rather read absolutely childish and pathetic works by Rand, then something profound like Nietzsche. Or does he think the two are compatible, in which case even a bigger idiot!

  13. Conservatism has always been a lame attempt at justifying childish selfishness...

  14. "The successful praise her", he says in a whiny high voice!! "The unsuccessful resent her!" Yeah, the "successful" like Peter Pocklington! Those who care about money above everything praise her!! Those who don't think she's an idiot!

  15. Like many advocates of Rand, firepainter has set up a polarised argument between two opposing position, creating an artificial dichotomy: an idealised libertarian society, which is sketched briefly, and a straw man which is the only opposing position allowed to critics of Rand’s philosophy: communism. This is prefaced by the ad hominem assumption that critics of Rand posting here have not read and/or not understood Rand’s writings, a position exclusive to firepainter.
    I can only speak for myself here. I have read ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ several times for my own reasons, and have found that:
    (a) They are poor works of fiction – which does not prevent them from being popular. This is, however, my own subjective opinion. There is no law, yet, governing what within decent bounds people should like.
    (b) They are an advocacy of a philosophy which, in my long experience, nobody I have dealt with really believes. Perhaps firepainter is an exception here (I mean that as a genuine comment, not a jibe). Superficially, the philosophy has its own particular logic (which I think falls apart under sustained analysis, but that is not my point here). I have dealt with people in positions of affluence and influence who have expressed to me views either analogous to Rand’s, or directly drawn from her writings, often attributing their success to such philosophy, and when circumstances beyond their control reverse their fortunes, lo and behold, their philosophy is also reversed; sometimes superficially out of their own self interest, sometimes genuinely. They become proponents of socialised intervention in society.
    I find the same true institutionally – in the US, Newt Gingrich is an advocate of strong libertarian views, yet the county he lives in, Cobb County Ga., has at times been the third largest recipient of Federal monies in the entire Union after the counties the Pentagon and Quantico are in - Cobb pulled down almost $3.4 billion from Washington in one fiscal year. I am not implying that firepainter is a supporter or not of Gingrich – I do not know his/her views on this.
    I think arguments about Rand need to be a little more nuanced. I oppose her views very strongly. I also think that Leninist/Stalinist Communism was a horrific disaster . Even that could be more nuanced – there are many different types of socialism and capitalism. I like some of Rush’s albums, admire Neil Peart’s drumming and saw them live once – they were great, and I doubt very much that Peart is a strong Randian at this time. I still think ‘Anthem’ is a crap song.

  16. firepainter, I've read almost of her non-fiction works as well as Piekoff's Objectivism. I was intrigued by her as someone who developed similar opinions in high school. It all seemed so obviously true and wrapped up in a neat naturalistic package back then. I used to challenge anyone to give me a scenario that the free market couldn't do what the coercive govt did. I had a whole society set up before someone explained that Rand already did it. It took some real deep thinking, as well as some education in game theory, econ, and complex adaptive systems to see just how tragically flawed Rand was. Libertarians suffer from the same issues. Now I can't read a page of her writings w/o writing 10 pages on the logical mistakes. I have to lock them away to get anything done, but it drives me crazy to see the current libertarian resurgence...just waiting for the logical steps to play out but unsure what damage may be done while waiting. Unfortunately, I've seen few attempts online to finish the discussion once and for all. Maybe someone who is retired and in the know will dedicate themselves to this task. There are legit libertarian/objectivist concerns but only the ones already held by non-ideological economists.

  17. We had just washed ashore a day ago, and had no idea where we were. All we knew is that we were in the Pacific somewhere, and we didn't have any food or water. We immediately began to scour the island. Much to our surprise we came upon another man sleeping on what appeared to be a thatched hammock he had apparently made with the materials he had found. Startled, he jumped up and asked us what the hell we were doing there. We informed him that our boat had gone off course during the typhoon, and ultimately sank just off shore from this island. He said his name was Andy Randy, and then immediately informed us that he now owned the island, and that he owned himself, as if this were some deep insight that he had discovered. They rest of us all looked at each other and burst out into laughter. This seemed to make Andy seriously angry. He then made the pronouncement that he was free, and that we were free as long as we didn't infringe upon his property. "Property?" I asked. "What property?" "This island.", he answered. "This is my island, and you must ask me before doing anything on it, or to it, or you will have infringed upon my freedom. Now, if you'd like some of the bananas from that tree over there, perhaps we could make some arrangement, say, you work for me harvesting several other items I have produced, and then you can have some." He emphasized that we didn't have to, and he wasn't going to try and make us, and that if we did choose to work for him it would strictly be because we had freely chosen to, and we weren't in any way, shape, or form, being compelled. It was obvious that Andy had read Ayn Rand, and had actually internalized what most folks now considered little more than philosophy for the shallow and depraved. We decided, collectively, that night that Andy was not good for this island and the society we freely decided to create. In fact, his notions were antithetical to what any sane, social, human being would, or even should, expect for or from another, and that it would be better that he not interfere with the adults. So, after Emma,Voltairine, and Federica had Andy firmly held down with his face in the sand, I took the big, thick, hard copy of Atlas Shrugged I found in his hut, crammed the entire thing up his butt, and we set him out to sea on a hollow tree stump we had found for him. He was now free again, and could be as selfish as he wanted. He owned himself, and no one could take that from him. True, there was a brief moment where I felt an altruistic desire to go out and save him, but I felt that I would take the higher road, respect his Randian philosophy that altruism was evil, and let him go. And that stump, well, that was his property now. We lived happily ever after on that island, working together, owning nothing more than perhaps a nice shell for ourselves. We had plenty to eat. Oh, and we "owned ourselves", too, together.
    The End

    1. That was beautiful!

      Well worth reading, even 3 1/2 years after the posting.

  18. Don't forget her Husband and lover lived under the same roof- speak of self indulgence. Gang bang Betty should be her nickname and you know how many people still don't know about Greenspan that idiot!

  19. It's enough she oversimplified things. Let's not repeat the mistake. Self-interest is good, but that's redundant. We necessarily operate towards our own good (at least intentionally, although we can mistake an apparent good for a real good, and here in lies the crux of the matter). Rand was overreacting to the communist regime she saw come into power in her own native Russia. She was oversensitive to the way guilt was used to manipulate people towards self-destruction for the good of others (it's funny how the selfish are often the ones most adamant about selflessness; presumably they want everyone else to be selfless towards them, while they themselves remain selfish and reap the benefits).

    The stereotypical Joe Six-Pack, on the other hand, is the classic example of the couch potato, cog-in-the-machine, barely human, entitled turd who lives in his media-created fantasy realm while his life is reduced to vapid-yet-glorified busy work and the television. The Bernays-minded elites have bred him as they wanted. A juvenile idiot best exemplified by morons like Peter Griffin and his creator Seth McFarlane. Socialism is a dead end, it reduced human beings to disgusting pieces of economically useful bags-of-meat (funny how socialism and capitalism converge). A moderate libertarianism is desirable because it does away with the hideous and psychologicially depraved collectivism so many are trained to believe in. Most good acts towards *others* are a matter of supervenience, and it is only selfish brats or those with emotional problems that demands others to be selfless or feel the compulsion to be so themselves (for selfish reasons of course).

    That being said, Ayn Rand was herself off her rocker and childish. Of course, the opposite of one moron is usually another kind of moron, and that's you.

  20. Hi, Bob! Congratulations on having an opinion! And on your admirable grasp of the ad hominem attack! Really, bravo! But until you can come up with something more informed, and begin to develop even a rudimentary sense of compassion and community responsibility, my advice is that you stick it where the sun don't shine. Thanks, friend!

  21. Two types of intellectuals: constructive and destructive.
    One dynamic that makes resolution impossible: the inheritance of wealth.
    If we are to talk about the concept of "entitlement", we really ought to start with those who have the most disproportionate ratio of wealth to work: heirs.
    If we are going to talk about accountability, lets start with those who have abused the system the most, in terms of dollars: hoarding CEO's.
    I have yet to encounter a supporter of Rand who can reconcile their philosophy with these facts, as they perpetuate the pretense that all people are born with the same opportunities.
    Even Adam Smith wouldn't support Rand's ideology, so let's not stoop to argue with idiots.

  22. Bob, you nailed it...the writer of this blog is a blithering idiot.

  23. Look at her eyes.... It is the kind of eyes that have no soul and are just the eyes of the Devil.
    She is what society must not become.
    She is not an idiot, she is just an evil person that will rationalize her greedy with poor logical reasoning.
    Why? Because she is evil and should just disappear from the fact of this Earth.

  24. Let's not overlook the idiotic hat... And haircut... And cigarette holder. All purchased on the free market.

  25. Her ideas are rather simplistic (like a child?) and her writing skills is rather mediocre. I am actually baffled how someone like her ended up famous.