Atlas Shrugged, I Vomited

So, according to CNN – not the most reliable of sources, but hey – the works of Ayn Rand are starting to sell again. And that, my friends, is a sure sign of the beginning of the end. Because the kind of crazy selfish thinking that Ayn Rand encouraged and glorified, and the entirely absurd belief in the religion of capitalism, is exactly what has led us to this point. And the sheer insanity of pretending that Obama’s actions are somehow anti-capitalist or even socialist is… well, insane. Of course, to Ayn Rand cultists even the slightest intervention of the state – even when it does nothing but throw money to the rich – is a crime.

Then again, what Obama is doing is not state intervention. It is, for the most part, the state acting out the orders of the rich, which is the perfectly predictable result of a system based on profit. And pretending that he is some kind of socialist is the best way of pushing for even more capitalist tactics. And of confusing those individuals, perfect victims for Rand, who are unhappy with what’s going but cannot pinpoint the source of the problem.

I’m not sure what to say. How can you argue with what is clearly a mixture of a very peculiar religion and a profound fear of society? This isn’t about analyzing how capitalism does or doesn’t work. It’s about the profound belief in the idea that thinking of nothing but yourself is somehow good, and that having to take any part in something social – such as helping others out – is a crime against your personal freedom. And from there it proceeds to glorify the one system that allows people to be truly antisocial, not having the slightest sense of morality or of being a part of something: total capitalism.

The irony, of course, is that ultimately even those values of Rand’s that one might consider positive – such as individual rights – will always be subverted by the capitalist system, which by its nature always leads to the tyranny of the rich. And her hatred of the environmental movement, well… even the most heroic of male egocentric protagonists isn’t going to survive when there’s no more air to breathe.

Something more sensible to read: Why Socialism?, by Albert Einstein. Yes, that guy.

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