Fuel for Its Ego: Some Notes on the Self-Contradiction of Rand
Ayn Rand speaks of a world ruled by free choice between free men, but actually envisions a natural master class--which the Rand reader thinks of themselves as belonging to, otherwise they wouldn't have bought a Rand book.
Not everyone is a creator. Nor can be. If everyone is producing, who is consuming? Inevitably you have everyone else dependent upon this master class. And that's a situation of free choice? It is interesting how Rand ignores the entire issue of power in this respect.
Emphasized by her fantasy of this master class, in that beloved, bestselling sofa leg ATLAS SHRUGGED, leaving and effectively extorting the entire world by starving it. That's not force? Or Howard Roark in THE FOUNTAINHEAD blowing up a low income housing development he ghost-designed because the balcony redesigns piss him off. (by the way, it's concerning that where you find the only reference to children in Rand's works, and it's a repulsive depiction, wherein the impression is they are part of the despoiling of Roark's grand design) A place specifically for people who have no other place to live. Homeless because of Roark's need for appreciation.
Back to ATLAS: To know the world depends on your efforts & then to abandon it, letting it fall apart? That is force. If I starve you, I am forcing you. Nothing but self-contradiction.
Which Rand's infantile excuse for a philosophy that chooses to ignore every complexity in life anyone older than 25 knows, always is. it is a regressive burst of the one who chooses not to grow up or understand nuances or subtlety; willful stupidity of the absolutist. I was a Randian for about six months as an arrogant, angry, reclusive teen who knew absolutely nothing and mistook that for all there is, like any adolescent naturally does, thinking just because they're bigger they're not still children. Believe me when I say it's like crack then, as it is for anyone whose shortcomings it justifies.
This is what Rand says to her reader: You don't have to grow, you don't have to change, you don't have to get past your fear of other people or learn to work with them. You are right. They are wrong. Now think backwards from that premise to find reasons why. Rand's philosophy decides on its result at the outset and cherry-picks reality to "prove" it. Working backwards always, unphilosophically.
"A is A." Her basic principle, cribbed from the often-wrong Aristotle. Something cannot be other than itself. Catchy! But doesn't that beg the question of how you're sure what that thing is--especially if it's you? Or did the reader already make up its mind beforehand, and is simply looking for fuel for its ego? Isn't it really just a form of sophism?
And for Rand's business adherents, it's just a costume for the greedy intentions they always had.
"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson SUPPORT MY SINFUL WORK AT PATREON!