Friday, March 30, 2012
My two books pictured here would be good alternative reading to Ayn Rand and her selfish virtures.
The Virtue of Selfishness
By Richard E. Noble
Ayn Rand, I interpret to be a political propagandist for the extreme right. She was interested in philosophy and included the ideas of some philosophers in her fiction –but she was not a philosopher in my view.
I have read certain of Nietzsche’s works and summaries of his ideas. I find that there are obvious similarities in style, temperament, presentation and overall superiorist attitudes between him and Rand.
Nietzsche had his superman and Rand had her super-capitalist. Both writers are belligerent and hateful of organized religion and the common man. Rand refers to religious thinkers as “witch doctors.”
Nietzsche eventually went mad and was institutionalized. I think he was mad long before he was actually declared mad and locked away. Rand was never declared officially mad and was not institutionalized. She was clearly suffering from delusions of grandeur and was not able to distinguish between success and intelligence. There is often very little connection between the two.
I have read Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. His belief and confidence in the superiority and righteousness of the individual and the capitalist rings through Rand’s written works.
He has his Arians and Krupps; once again, she has her glorified wealthy capitalists.
His flamboyant braggadocio with regards to the superior few and their right to rule is also a theme running constantly through the ranting of Rand. And the same disrespect for the “common herd” and the principles of democracy are prevalent in Rand and Mein Kampf.
Her family’s wealth was wiped out by the Russian Revolution. It is quite obvious that this event affected her psychological development. She actively joined on the bandwagon of the disgruntled exiles and pursued an anti-Russia philosophy. She found much support among Russia haters and the rabid ranks of the Cold Warriors. Although I sympathize with her position, I must take her political writing and opinions with a grain of salt and a lot of dubiousness.
She wrote political and economic fantasies that appealed to the selfish and the egotistical. Her goal was clearly to make the better-off feel comfortable with their wealth and their prejudices.
She was another of the many champions of the comfortable and powerful who ran off gallantly to defend the rights and privileges of the rich and famous. There has never been a shortage in this group of comfortable “revolutionaries.” Her biggest mistake was the same made by the communist in her mother Russia – she attacked God and religion. This was the most daring of her positions.