This year's nominations for Supertroll of the Year (Meta Magazine®) offer up some splendid choices, including Ron Brynaert and Neal Rauhauser. While we await that decision, I thought we'd take a quick looksie back at who won the award in 1957.
There are two types of people in this world. We have folks who care deeply for humanity. We have folks who only care about themselves, their immediate family, and those they consider close friends. Ayn Rand was a member of the latter.
Unlike what many on the right believe, Ayn Rand was anything but a scholar. Her academic background is sketchy. It appears she only made it through an undergraduate degree before heading off to Hollywood to become a screenwriter.
One can watch this idiot in action during a 1959 interview with Mike Wallace. Check out how awkward she was. She wasn't exactly a people person. That makes sense considering her writings exposed herself as a sociopath. We'll get to those in a bit.
Now contrast that Wallace interview with one of a real scholar, Erich Fromm. I believe there is a fundamental difference between right and left. Conservatives simply do not much care for anyone but themselves. Ayn Rand actually considered it immoral to be our brother's keeper, that altruism is a sin. Those on the left tend to have big hearts and are basically true sweeties.
Ayn Rand as Sociopath
Yes, it's true. Here's the proof.
Romancing the Stone-Cold Killer: Ayn Rand and William Hickman by Michael Prescott
A bit of narcissism can be healthy. It's called self-confidence. But the problem with reactionary thinkers is they take it too far. They become in essence Calvinists with hard-ons for Friedrich Nietzsche.
They confuse luck for skill. They believe those who achieve so-called success always merit it, and that those who don't are fundamentally flawed. Such people miss the point of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment; In the recesses of their deranged minds, the point isn't that Raskolnikov was an anti-social creep, but that indeed some people are truly better than others and are supermen. Those on the right are incapable of realising there's a minority of self-serving fatfockfaces destroying the planet.
One of Ayn Rand's "crowning achievements" was Atlas Shrugged written in 1957. But before then in 1943, she found success with The Fountainhead. Hmmm. Her hero Howard Roark was a criminal, but it was society's fault, not his. Now go back to the Prescott article. Soak in how Ayn Rand was an admirer of the sociopath William Edward Hickman. The truth of Ayn Rand starts to add up. One can then have a better grasp of the nature of conservatism as a form of mental illness.
Great Minds Think Alike
I've had a draft of this entry on the back burner for a month or two. Today I stumbled across a pleasant surprise. George Monbiot of The Guardian recently penned, A Manifesto for Psychopaths. Yay! For an unpaid blogger who likes to mail them in, this is manna from heaven.
(fair use excerpt) Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, depicts a United States crippled by government intervention, in which heroic millionaires struggle against a nation of spongers. The millionaires, whom she portrays as Atlas holding the world aloft, withdraw their labour, with the result that the nation collapses. It is rescued, through unregulated greed and selfishness, by one of the heroic plutocrats, John Galt.Ayn Rand basically created a cult. If she were still alive, Ayn Rand would probably be pimping for Mitt Rmoney. Which makes sense. Mitt is also cult member whose wife purchases $1,000 shirts.
The poor die like flies as a result of government programmes and their own sloth and fecklessness. Those who try to help them are gassed. In a notorious passage, she argues that all the passengers in a train filled with poisoned fumes deserved their fate(2,3). One, for example, was a teacher who taught children to be team players; one was a mother married to a civil servant, who cared for her children; one was a housewife “who believed that she had the right to elect politicians, of whom she knew nothing”.
Rand’s is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of cruelty, revenge and greed. Yet, as Gary Weiss shows in his new book Ayn Rand Nation, she has become to the new right what Karl Marx once was to the left: a demi-god at the head of a chiliastic cult(4). Almost one-third of Americans, according to a recent poll, have read Atlas Shrugged(5), and it now sells hundreds of thousands of copies every year.
Conservatives have been and always will be the party of the rich. They are able to win office because they effectively prey on weak-minded useful idiots. Of course Obama is a lousy president. Mitt would take us to an even uglier place. Hopefully the vast majority of voters haven't forgotten what the corrupt GW Bush administration did. We can expect more of that, if somehow the sociopathic, greedy Republicans return to the Oval Office.
Mitt Romney’s Mormonism