I used to think Ayn Rand was the bomb but I outgrew it. You know, when I turned 12.

We all know that liberalism is for the (naive, inexperienced, foolish) young while conservatism is a natural byproduct of aging, maturing, and gaining experience with the world, right? Conventional wisdom gets it wrong yet again. The surge in popularity of objectivism and libertarianism on campus underscores how right wing ideology, not pie-in-sky liberalism, is the real fantasyland for kids who have absolutely no experience in the real world.

Yes, Ayn Rand is making a comeback among the college-aged. Objectivism is even getting some mainstream press in light of Commissar Obama frog-marching the nation toward hardcore Communism. Heroic individualists are threatening to "go galt" now that Obama has completely eliminated all incentive for anyone to work ever again, re-enacting their own version of the "producers' strike" in Atlas Shrugged.

I've gotten a little more mellow in recent years, believe it or not, less keen to argue and more able to see middle ground.

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But there is no middle ground here, no way for us to meet halfway in intellectual compromise: If you are an Objectivist, you are retarded. This is a judgment call, and I just made it. Grow up or fuck off. Those are your two options.

First of all, let us never overlook the fact that Rand's novels are atrocious as literature.
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Boring, repetitive, unconscionably long-winded, and written at approximately a 10th Grade level. Her wooden characters, the dialogue that makes you feel like you're being lectured by your uncle, and the idiotic plot all read as if written by a 17 year-old shut-in who spends a lot of time touching himself under a life-sized poster of Hayek. Atlas Shrugged is to literature what Battlefield: Earth is to film – it's five times too long and leaves readers wondering if Rand ever met another human being let alone successfully interacted with one.

Second, whatever respect we could have for Rand in light of her awful writing skills is obliterated by her unbelievably sophomoric "philosophy." It's exactly the kind of anti-intellectual, preachy, self-aggrandizing shit that plays well with immature people who think the world revolves around them – in other words, college kids. Yet Objectivists themselves have contempt for academia, which refuses to dignify their little cult with serious study. But who could be expected to take this sort of thing seriously?

"Just this weekend," said Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) on Wednesday in an interview with TWI, "I had a guy come up to me in my district and tell me that he was losing his interest in the business he'd run for years because the president wanted to punish him for his success."

John, your constituent is a friggin' idiot. He is exactly the kind of ex-fratboy MBA who thinks of himself as a linchpin of society, an "Atlas" upon whom the nation rests, but in reality could be replaced by any literate college grad or, in many cases, an unusually motivated ape. Think about this logic (or "logic") for a second: this guy no longer wants to run his business because his taxes went up a few percent. The government wants to reduce his income by 10%, so his response is to reduce it by 100%. Sheer brilliance. Go ahead, Mr. Irreplaceable. Close your business. Go broke to "teach us a lesson" about how important you are. We'll just have to struggle on without you. I am trying to be tactful here, but if this logic makes sense to you, I have to be emphatic: you are retarded. You're far more likely to be in the bottom rung of society than among the "producers."

Conventional wisdom is wrong. It's not "Liberal at 20 or no heart, conservative at 30 or no brain." Only the young can indulge (on mom and dad's tuition dollar, by the way) this kind of solipsistic ME ME ME horseshit. People who mature beyond adolescence start realizing that, hey, there are other people in the world and that sitting on one's ass lecturing them about what they shouldn't have done is of limited use. Politics is about solving problems, not moralizing. Life is about living in society, not in one's own head. Objectivists are right to target college kids, though, a demographic highly susceptible to new "-isms" in their first foray away from Ham Bone, Iowa or wherever. They're also the kind of people most likely to find dichotomous, black-and-white morality appealing. Accordingly I should go easy on this new generation of Objectivists with their natural abundance of naivete, youth, and selfishness.

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Happily, those who mature emotionally beyond the age of 18 will soon outgrow it. But there's a fine line between deserving sympathy and inviting a vicious intellectual beatdown, and the line is starting to blur.
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In conclusion, if any of this was insufficiently clear: Man, fuck Ayn Rand.

149 thoughts on “SERIOUSLY, FUCK AYN RAND”

  • i like to imagine someone looming over a cowering student, spittle flying and eyes crazed, while delivering this rant…

  • I read a book when I was 12. I am an expert on it. Listen to me try to sound clever. Fuck is the biggest word I know.

    Aren't I a special snowflake.

  • Ah, this is an awesome post!! Seriously, there is no middle ground here, no point at which you can begin rationalizing with these people. I'm still amazed at the mainstream coverage (and adulation) this woman receives and it is a testament to the lack of intellectual integrity. But that's the thing about Objectivists, they're all talk but they'll never actually "go galt." They lack the integrity to do so.

    Re: Greenspan, he did a write a famous letter to the editor defending a negative NYT review of Atlas Shrugged. Indeed, for the past 15 years or so, he was considered the primary spokesperson of objectivism and no one seemed to object. But after his failures as Fed Chairman and his admission that regulation was necessary, objectivists are trying their best to distance themselves from him. Again, goes back to the lack of integrity.

  • Foo, just in case your frustration at finding this instead of the Ayn Rand / Rush Limbaugh / Ann Coulter three-way slash fiction you were hoping for when you Googled "Fuck+Ayn+Rand" is what has lead to your breakdown in reading skills, I would suggest this:

    Scroll Down.

  • Don't forget that a third of this book takes place in some sci-fi mountain hide out, complete with cloaking device that uses electricity generated by machines that suck that static charge out of the air. That definitely sounded like a good idea when I was 12. But now, I'd take that story any more seriously than any Star Trek episode. How's that for rational.

  • Oh and I don't think you can 'go galt' without and actual John Galt to pick and choose which people can be considered the 'productive ones' and be invited to the mountain retreat. Otherwise anyone can consider themselves as productive. It's just another form of Collectivisim, which like pouring watery thoughts into an Objectivists oily brain.

    Who in this world would you put up as the next John Galt, or a woman with the tenaciousness of Dagny Taggart? John McCain and Sarah Palin? *Ba-ha-ha-ha!*

  • I feel like I have to read Atlas Shrugged the way I watched Battlefield:Earth…with a bottle of wine and a pillow over my face.

  • I have a conservative acquaintance who, ever since the Obama-is-socialist thing started, has begged me to read Atlas Shrugged. It will, she says, explain everything. So I asked her to read The Jungle and/or The Grapes of Wrath. I thought they might balance each other out.

    I have never understood the belief that she (and others) feel that people willingly choose not to work because, hey, welfare is just so much easier. Like somebody is giving up a 100K job in corporate America to live on 15K a year so they can sit at home and eat bon-bons.

    @Foo – I couldn't tell if he was being snarky or not. Damn these interwebs and their lack of visual cues!

  • Funny how right wing movements rely on novels ( and bad novels at that). Rand's novel is on par with its intellectual ( ?) cousin, The Turner Diaries.

  • The fact is, you liberals have it all backwards as usual about what is freedom and fascism and American. Ayn Rand is very relevent today, since we are being taxed by the unproductive, and we will throw teabag parties and go galt here in the heartland.

  • Teabag parties?
    Sounds like something republicans can get into.
    Ask Larry Craig.
    Go Galt all you want. Like Ed wrote, there are millions ready to take your place.
    Welcome to real world, kid. In capitalism, everybody is expendable…

  • Jeffrey Kramer says:

    When I see the phrase "go galt," I get this irrepressible memory of the immortal opening sequence, "Go, Go, Go, Astro Boy!" Maybe it's the Glenn Reynolds connection.

  • Go ahead, Gary. Get ready to find out just how important and irreplaceable you really are. It's cute that you think this world can't get by without the assistant manager at the Lidz kiosk in the mall or whatever the hell you are.

  • Willem van Oranje says:

    Ooooh Noooooos. Gary Ruppert is Going Galt tooo and having teaparties in the Heartland? How WILL we survive disasters like that.

    Seriously. These kind of threats are exactly the same as those kids who think they are misunderstood and contemplate suicide to show the world how Special they actually were and nobody recognized it.

    These people need help.

  • Comrade x, you are correct and the "Go Galt" crowd seem to overlook a fundamental law of capitalism for the sake of ideological masturbation. Go Galt, indeed! I'm a business owner myself and I would be happy to help pick up the slack.

    On the other hand, there is very little evidence that any of the "Go Galt" crowd owns a business, creates anything, or are in fact productive at all. So, never mind.

  • Aldo, when your competitors "go galt" and your business takes off, you can put in a new in-ground pool and think, "Wow, Objectivists paid for that pool."

    You will finally understand how they claim to create wealth.

  • Willem van Oranje says:

    Another funny thing: all these Galts are feverishly against workers forming unions and demanding better pay, improving working conditions, benefits, and recognition of the work they perform.

    Yet now these Galts are forming a union for themselves. And for what? Better pay, improving working conditions, benefits, and recognition of the work they perform.


  • A+

    My favorite are the people who are going to upend their lives in order to be able to claim $249,999 instead of more, clearing not understanding what the tax code does or how it works.

    I do like the imagery of mid-level managers, or IT small firms owners, day-dreaming that them not showing up to work would be the equivalent of Atlas dropping the world. It's a better daydream than realizing how utterly replaceable their jobs are.

  • This reminds me of my Ayn Rand narrow escape. At the age of 12 or 13, precociously bright, avid reader, low on social skills, I happened to pick up a paperback of "Fountainhead" at the library. (From the cover, I thought it might have been science fiction). Started reading it, and by page four or so, I'd come to several realizations:
    This book is all about Howard Roark. Howard Roark is an a$$hole.
    I do not wish to read a book about such a person.

    I'm not saying I was an entirely pleasant guy as a teenager, but if I'd
    read Fountainhead at that age, I would have gone on to Atlas Shrugged,
    and would have become an utter and complete pillock for several
    years. Whew, narrow escape. Instead, I read "Exterminator!" by
    William S. Burroughs and became . . very strange.

    Objectivism has always struck me as steroisoMarxism – it has the same
    flaw of starting with some poorly-examined premises, and then applying
    those premises ruthlessly to situations where they don't actually
    work, then insisting that reality is flawed because it doesn't match
    the theory. That, and the bizarre fetishizing of heavy industry (foundries!
    trains! oil wells!) by someone who wrote fiction and philosophy for a
    Bonus cartoon link:

  • A couple of definitions…A Libertarian is someone who read "Atlas Shrugged" and didn't get the joke. A conservative is someone who read the first 50 pages of "Atlas Shrugged," but had to quit reading because the plot was too complex, the characters too deep, and it wasn't available in the Classic Comics edition yet.

  • Comrade Rutherford says:

    I call it 'Objectificationism', where every human being is merely an object for you to exploit. Randian Objectificationism means millions of starving Americans so that one rich Conservative can increase their profits by a couple dollars.

    The Peanut Butter murders are a perfect example of Randian Objectificationism:
    The company knew they were shipping a deadly product, but it would cost them their profits to correct it. This reduction of profits is exactly why conservatives hate regulations. The peanut butter manufacturer deserves a medal for intentionally killing Americans because they resisted those Communist inspired, evil regulations.

    Up with Objectificationism, down with people!

  • Damn, you Robert! I was going to post that Bob the Angry Flower comic. I love it.

    "We're all gonna have to TILL the SOIL!" is one of my favorite lines.

  • The objectivists I know fall into two categories. One went to college, realized other people mattered to them, and dropped it. The other type still to this day runs around insisting they're the world's Atlases.

    My biggest problem with Ayn Rand's literature is that many I know who read it and stayed with it came to insist on their own genius, regardless of any actual merit. They feel they are visionaries who are just not yet appreciated, and all those who point out their work leaves room for improvement are merely jealous moochers. It empowers adolescent self-aggrandizement into a far later stage of life than people should hold such feelings.

  • Rand tried to pursue a relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright, but he rapidly figured out that she was full of shit. And Wright was not a guy to shoo women away, trust me.

  • Have to confess: I read Atlas Shrugged cover to cover (including every page of the goes-on-foever 'Your minds! Your stupid, stupid minds!' speech) a few years back. Even as a settled adult, fairly wise to the world, it . . . did things to my mind. Like a great black hole of suck, it distorted everything else I saw or read. It was a good couple weeks before the world sprang back to normal. Please note, I'm not saying it was _good_, but it did what she had wanted it to do. If I'd been hit by that brain-bomb at 17 or 18 – whoosh, I'd have been gone.

    Atlas Shrugged is the Necronomicon of political fiction.

  • Reading all this post and the following comments, I've yet to see any real arguments for WHY Ayn Rand should be rejected. There are plenty of snide comments about Ayn Rand and Objectivists in general, but no commentary on the ideas, other then arbitrary insults with no explanations behind them.

    And guess what? Ayn Rand already wrote about that tactic, calling it the argument from intimidation:

    "There is a certain type of argument which, in fact, is not an argument, but a means of forestalling debate and extorting an opponent’s agreement with one’s undiscussed notions. It is a method of bypassing logic by means of psychological pressure . . . [It] consists of threatening to impeach an opponent’s character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: “Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X’s argument is false.” . . . The falsehood of his argument is asserted arbitrarily and offered as proof of his immorality.

    In today’s epistemological jungle, that second method is used more frequently than any other type of irrational argument. It should be classified as a logical fallacy and may be designated as “The Argument from Intimidation.”

    The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: “Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea."

  • First of all, it's not terribly Objectivist to play the victim card. No one's "intimidating" you. You're completely free to hold your childish, self-aggrandizing set of beliefs.

    Second, I did not make this post a point-by-point refutation of the specifics of Objectivist ideology (and remember, it IS an ideology, not a philosophy) for the same reason that I don't feel the need to do a point-by-point refutation of intellectual positions like Holocaust denial, Intelligent Design, and the existence of the Easter Bunny.

  • Example: “Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X’s argument is false.” . . . The falsehood of his argument is asserted arbitrarily and offered as proof of his immorality.

    This bit just makes me laugh, because objectivists and conservatives play this game all the time: Only collectivist dupes can fail to see the beauty of Objectivism. People who don't see Ayn Rand's genius are fools who envy Producers and want to punish them. Only terrorist sympathizers could disagree with GOP policies.

    Ideologue, heal thyself.

  • Anybody played Bioshock the videogame? Super fun: it imagines life in Galt's mountain retreat, and how society would completely and viciously break down with no rules except the idolization of industrial progress. A hearty recommendation to any anti-objectivists and gamers out there.

  • Agreed, perhaps the best G&T I've ever read. "You know, when I turned 12" was nominee for best line, all the way until "in reality could be replaced by any literate college grad or, in many cases, an unusually motivated ape" came along.

    I was passed this morning by a new Cadillac with a "CONSERVATIVE IN EXILE" bumper sticker. I couldn't help but notice that the driver appeared to be in his homeland. I know I shouldn't judge by appearance, but he certainly looked more like a puffy old white man from Ohio than a foreign national.

    Love it, Ed.

  • yawn, wake me up when the garbage men decide to go Galt. That shit would be terrible, you know people who actually contribute to the betterment of society. I think we'll survive the loss of some hat boutiques and cigar bars, but have you ever seen a garbage strike? That's some third world nightmare fuel. So thank you garbage men for making our lives that much better!

  • If the leeches who make up the financial elite of the country want to go Galt, I will pay for their tickets personally and send them to whatever island resort of their choice. Then turn it into a zoo and display to future generations the last remnants of the highest form of parasite known to exist.

  • The obvious problem with this post is that you never once justify your position (well maybe a little in the sixth paragraph, but even then, hardly).

    Your post is a seemingly endless sling of empty insults. Ignoring your critique of her writing skills (which is accurate but irrelevant), you call Rand's philosophy "sophomoric," but do not provide any evidence for why that is. Your example of John's constituent is incomplete at best (you ignore what the constituent will be doing instead of running the business, which is an essential part of the logic behind his decision).

    I'm no objectivist, and there's plenty wrong with the philosophy (which, again, is why I'm not an objectivist), but you illuminate none of it. Anyone could've written this critique of Rand's philosophy (again, leaving aside the critique of her writing). All that differentiates it is the eloquence with which you wrote it.

    On another note, I take issue with this:

    "Politics is about solving problems, not moralizing."

    Politics is about solving problems, yes, but it must always do so within the realm of morality (though what morality that is will likely always remain in contention). To deny that is to deny the existence of morality itself.

    "Life is about living in society, not in one’s own head."

    Life is about living long enough to reproduce, we just happen to do it within the framework of society (which is why we have morals in the first place).

  • It's pretty easy to beat up dead women, sin't it? Especially when neither you nor your pals like what she had to say.

    What you miss about real-life "going Galt" is that it is neither a protest nor a strike (working title for Atlas Shrugged was The Strike). It is simply a response to financial disincentive: the relationship between gross and net income flattens out — and does so in a somewhat stepwise fashion. The rational response is to earn less, live more simply and concentrate on essentials. To cut back — which means using fewer goods and services, meaning the folks who supply them will make less money, too. Progressive income taxes trickle down.

    But hey, keep dreamin'. And keep pickin' on dead writers. You're soooo brave!

  • And keep pickin’ on dead writers. You’re soooo brave!

    Does this mean rightwingers should lay off Karl Marx?

  • The modern day conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest moral exercises, that is, the superior moral justification for selfishness. – John Kenneth Galbraith

    Great post, Ed. And fuck Ayn Rand and the "galtards" while we're on the subject.

    Don't any of you Randian fetishists let the door hit you on the ass when you check out of society in protest and make God damn fucking sure you don't use ANY income or usage tax funded services from this point forward such as: Roads, sidewalks, highways, bridges, street and highway lighting, the NOAA weather services, police, fire, and paramedical services, the US military, the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA disaster relief, public buildings, the local, state and federal court systems, Civil Engineering projects such as flood control, dams, clean water supplies, EPA regulated clean air and water, FDA regulated and inspected medicine and food supplies, Centers for Disease Control monitoring of diseases and pandemics, goods, products or services that were developed as a result of NASA, US Military, or taxpayer funded research conducted at Universities, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Diplomatic Corps, The Justice Department or any other Cabinet level federal agency, the school systems, public transit, the quasi-public railroads, the laws which keep me from killing you egotistical, selfish pricks in your sleep or anything else.

    Nope, you morons are "producers" so that's just what you'll be doing every time you step off your property. Producing cash in hand to pay for every one of the things I just mentioned as you use them. And we don't take credit cards or checks.

    From one of the "producers". A small business owner that doesn't mind paying a few bucks more in taxes to see the US middle class survive and prosper after being hosed by the greedy US business elites and politicians. Because the USA is better than anywhere else I care to live. Fucking douche nozzles.

    Again, Ed, good post.

    /rant over

  • "Don’t any of you Randian fetishists let the door hit you on the ass when you check out of society in protest and make God damn fucking sure you don’t use ANY income or usage tax funded services from this point forward such as: *snip*"

    Straw man. A Randian would, obviously, prefer to see those privately funded, but so long as the government is doing them, the private sector won't, and the idea that they should insanely reduce their quality of life because the gov't is (in their view) immoral is ridiculous.

    "the laws which keep me from killing you egotistical, selfish pricks in your sleep"

    Do you even understand Rand's philosophy? At all? "The laws which keep me from killing you" are one of the few reasons gov't exists at all under Rand.

  • Also, for those who hate selfishness for its own sake, please tell me why you haven't killed yourself so that other people can use your organs. If you don't value yourself over others, you would do this. And, if you do value yourself over others (as you should), you are selfish.

  • A moral justification for selfishness is one of the oldest philosophical exercises in human history.

  • While I agree almost entirely, I can tell you as a former small business owner, taxes and even seemingly small changes can have an impact. We have to be careful, but I absolutely believe that the balance of resources between the private and public sectors has been way out of whack for at least the last 8 years. It's time to restore balance, and YES, GOVERNMENT HAS A ROLE!

  • Zamboni Sam says:

    The older I get the more I realize the only sane path is this: Socialism for what we need, Capitalism for what we want. Democracy to decide which is which.

  • It's always great to associate people with philosophies and then say that person sucks, therefore the philosophy does. How's that for some intellectual honesty.

  • Oh my goodness yes. This was lovely. All the stuff I've been saying for years, and which needs to be said now more than ever, now that Ms. Rand is zooming up the bestseller lists again. An acquaintance—not even a right-winger, just an idiot–posted some admiring crap about Atlas Shrugged, that book for people who don't read books, on Facebook today, so I went straight to Teh Google searching for "Ayn Rand Takedown." This was near the top, you'll be happy to know. And I'm damned well gonna send some traffic this way. Cheers, mate!

  • Herself: It is simply a response to financial disincentive: the relationship between gross and net income flattens out — and does so in a somewhat stepwise fashion.

    It's been a while since this post, but if I'm here reading it, someone else might as well. So, I'll point out that this is entirely fucking wrong.

    The relationship between gross and net income, under a graduated progressive income tax–like the income tax here in the States, ignoring all other taxes, as is popular in these situations–is monotonically increasing. The slope of the line changes at the boundaries between tax brackets; at zero dollars, the slope is 1; at the highest tax bracket (35% this year), it's 0.65. It is never flat, or even close to flat, and it certainly doesn't have the perverse incentives you actually see with the earned income tax credit, where individuals actually do face the problem you describe.

    Of course, tax refunds and credits are bad when they're applied to poor people.

  • Oops. Just saw my compliment to the author of the rant posted under a criticism, making it appear as if I was agreeing with the critical idiot who doesn't understand that the only sane answer to "objectivism" (sometimes known as the Cult of the Selfish or the Church of the Greedy) is exactly what the writer of the rant so eloquently phrased for us all:

    Fuck Ayn Rand.

  • Margaret Thatcher famously said, "The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." The obvious retort to that is, "The problem with capitalism is sooner or later you run out of other people's labor." That's what's happening nowadays as even the countries we offshore work to are starting to look for places to offshore _their_ work to. Just thought I'd mention that.

    Oh, and yeah – FUCK Ayn Rand.

  • Just watched the PBS Frontline presentation on how Greenspan, Rubin and Larry Summers did a beat down on Brooksley Born, the CFTC Director who predicted the economic crisis starting with the unregulated derivatives market. Last year, Greenspan finally he admitted that his Ayn Rand influenced economic policies were wrong. Psalm 146:3, 4 applies to Ayn Rand and Greenspan and every single one of those who fall in love with their own ideas.

  • Thank you for the post, and thanks to Fulcanelli for a succinct description of why Rand, can indeed, go fuck herself.

    What I find bizarre are the multitude of Christian conservatives subscribing to Rand's ideologies. Not only was Rand an advocate for Atheism, "rational egoism" seems to be what LaVey used as the basis for his brand of Satanism…just throw in some theatrics and references to dark lords. She's all about the Me, damn everyone else…definitely not the teachings of Jesus.

  • One of my biggest beefs with this novel concerns its method of argumentation. She wants to illustrate her idea that anything other than unfettered, egoistic capitalism will inevitably collapse into self-destructive totalitarianism. And how does she show this in her story? By _stipulating_ that the Randians are all rational, honest, brave, strong and creative, and that everyone else is stupid, corrupt, vacillating, weak and parasitic! (And they all scream stupid things like, "It's not my fault!" or "I haven't said that!" or "You can't blame me!") But as a much greater philosopher, John Stuart Mill, pointed out,

  • middle of the road guy says:

    I don't know much about political philosophy or Ayn Rand (except that her views are bad).

    But I do know that you're attacking capitalist ideals via Randian 'objectivism'. And that is not only uncharitable but also pretty stupid, since Rand does a terrible job of stating capitalist notions in their ideal form. You should have gone more middle-of-the-road with this one, or at least have titled the piece 'Fuck Robert Nozick' or something.

  • "Grow up or fuck off. Those are your two options"????

    Your piece does not make any serious points and is calculated to offend anyone who doesn't already agree with you. I guess you are just trying to rally people to join you in a hate – in. I get the feeling you would like to kill the objectivists or have them jailed or censored. Are those supposed to be Nazis in the graphic? They are a good symbol of your own approach to disagreement. Maybe you are just crying out for attention, empathy, or a diaper change.

  • Thank you for finally putting that bitch in her place. This will be printed and framed as well as kept on hand in a digital form just to throw in the face of Ayn Rand lovers.

  • @Herself:

    "And keep pickin’ on dead writers. You’re soooo brave!"

    So… we shouldn't pick on dead authors? Like when Ayn Rand said, and I quote "Kant is the most evil man in mankind’s history." (The Objectivist) Kinda like that? Hm… So… that's a bad thing…?

    Oh, no. Definitely no gaping logical hole in THAT argument.

  • The amount if ignorance you show for Ayn Rand and her philosophy is astounding, most of your arguments against her philosophy resort to ad hominems, and the fact she writes longer pieces of literature.

    The fact that you never directly quote Rand is quite telling, because you don't know what she states or writes.

    I'd argue in fact that you're ignorant ranting is the equievalent of what Rand wrote on Kant, nothing but sensational, hyperbolic, auto-fellatio.

  • A Newer Intellectual says:

    I was real into Objectivism, then I turned 18 and got a job. Now I'm 24 and I probably won't recover until I'm in my 40s, if ever. Thanks to Objectivism, I cannot get a girlfriend or even talk to a girl. I don't even know how to talk to ANYBODY now, that's how bad I was infected by Queen Ayn's tripe. I SERIOUSLY hate Ayn Rand and would seriously consider her far more evil than Adolf Hitler. Her "work" created entire generations of people who are in turn directly responsible for the deaths of millions EACH YEAR. Adolf could only dream of racking up such a death count. Now the first question I ask to someone when I meet them is "In one word, describe your opinion of Ayn Rand." If their response is negative or "who/what's that?" then I might be able to be friends with them. But if they respond in any positive way, I RUN (not walk) as far away from that person as I can.

  • Not that any of you lying-ass progressives are interested in the truth, but first of all, Greenspan was about as much of an objectivist as Hitler was a libertarian. But since you solipsists like to baste in your own infantile pablum, regurgitating all the vomit that passes for knowledge in the hot-house consortiums of marxist tripe we now jokingly refer to as "universities," why don't you explain to me how subjectivism works in practice? Do men simply dream up this reality called life that we are supposedly both engaging in right now, in the extremely loose sense, or are some stimuli external to your mind required in order for us men, again loosely speaking, to have thoughts?

    This is a crucial question to get right, that is, the ontological question, because if you side with Marx we are all puppets of our material environments. This begs the question, what the hell makes you so smart? If you think that reality is quite subjective and made up, again, the point is moot, because I can say dragons and unicorns rule the universe and it is impossible for you to argue with me. That leaves us with another option, which is that there is an objective reality, and our minds are capable of receiving it and more or less interpreting it (some people obviously better than others; usually varying by how long one has been removed from the real world and multiplied by how long one has been indoctrinated in the academic panopticon).

    If you can't mentally pack your bags and get this fundamental question right, then why should we listen to you opine on anything at all, let alone if you think Rand's literature is swell or horrid? If there are no objective standards for ethics, well, then let's all have at it, burning civilization in an orgy of nihilistic delusions while praying to our statist masters in the vain hope that the marxist phoenix to rise form the ashes.

  • Not that any of you lying-ass progressives are interested in the truth, but first of all, Greenspan was about as much of an objectivist as Hitler was a libertarian. But since you solipsists like to baste in your own infantile pablum, regurgitating all the vomit that passes for knowledge in the hot-house consortiums of marxist tripe we now jokingly refer to as "universities," why don't you explain to me how subjectivism works in practice? Do men simply dream up this reality called life that we are supposedly both engaging in right now, in the extremely loose sense, or are some stimuli external to your mind required in order for us men, again loosely speaking, to have thoughts?

    This is a crucial question to get right, that is, the ontological question, because if you side with Marx we are all puppets of our material environments. This begs the question, what the hell makes you so smart? If you think that reality is quite subjective and made up, again, the point is moot, because I can say dragons and unicorns rule the universe and it is impossible for you to argue with me. That leaves us with another option, which is that there is an objective reality, and our minds are capable of receiving it and more or less interpreting it (some people obviously better than others; usually varying by how long one has been removed from the real world and multiplied by how long one has been indoctrinated in the academic panopticon).

    If you can't mentally pack your bags and get this fundamental question right, then why should we listen to you opine on anything at all, let alone if you think Rand's literature is swell or horrid? If there are no objective standards for ethics, well, then let's all have at it, burning civilization in an orgy of nihilistic delusions while praying to our statist masters in the vain hope that the marxist phoenix will rise from the ashes.

    [edited for typos]

  • Reasonsjester, first, I can tell your political affiliation because you immediately start your post with vitriol and slander. Attack the person, not the idea. Also – a total rejection of Rand is not necessarily a total rejection of the concept of 'objectivity', or even 'collectivism' just the way she defines it. I believe that our world turns mostly on the basis of self interest, but that's not close to the whole story, and our world would not turn were it the only story. So the basis of your position i.e. 'to deny Ayn Ran is to deny objectivity and liberals are therefore retarded and I am angry and need to get laid' is debunked.

  • Oh – and by the way – you can't be Christian and support Ayn Rand. No way. She is the philosophical anti-Christ.

  • i found this by searching for fuck ayn rand as well, and i am so glad.

    dear detractors:
    1: as a philosophical system, objectivism is a joke. There are plenty of good critiques of it online, and this is not meant to be one of them. it's an ideology that cannot even stand up under the weight of it's own poor arguments. but this article was not a philosophical critique, nor should it have been.

    2. look at the consequences of ayn rand's philosophy….do you know how many murders and horrors have been committed by such practicers of rational egoism? what about ayn rand's own life? she was miserable person with contempt for everyone, fucked over everyone close to her, and died a wretched shit of a person as she lived. she's like the female modern marquis de sade mine minus literary talent

    3. and sammy d: the person sucked, she created a philosophy, which was poor and also sucked, and now most anyone who can think hates her. connection made.

    4. reasonjester: benefits of subjectivism: all of art. you don't understand subjectivity. in the slightest. read foucalt, kierkegaard, and nietzsche, then go fuck yourself. those who highlight the godliness of mans reason are sad and desperately trying to make men gods in a world where theyre animals, but subjectivity attempts to make men fully what they should be.

    5. fuck ayn rand.

    thank you for this article

  • Funny how France was all collusive to the Turrorists; yet, having lived there, she is now a somehow required reading stalwart of the morons that now cling to the crap she spewed. deGaulle of it all…

  • Williard P Prufrock says:

    I distrust anybody who says that their political party (ideology) is smarter than another. If liberals are so intelligent why do we/they keep getting bitch slapped politically? Despite how unpopular Bush/republicans became, the Dems are just handing power back to them.

    oh, and fuck this rant. (see what I did there. I used the word "fuck" so people wouldn't realize I haven't made any valid points.)


    You idea that being an libertarian is due to peoples lack of care for others and is bred of out pure selfishness is fabricated and unwarranted. If anything the liberals who are so self indulgent they think the government should take care of people because they know they will never go out of their way to, is much closer to reality. Or the republicans who try to take away personal freedoms just because it fits on their moral schedule, that seems a bit more selfish than a person who believes in individual responsibility both financially and socially.

    Libertarianism is not saying fuck everybody else I just want to take care of myself. Look how much money Americans have donated to Haiti over the past month. People do have care for each other and are willing to lend a hand especially in times of need. The problem with government is that it is extremely inefficient, it takes away incentives for people to act in their own best interest, and they limit personal freedoms.

  • This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  • The main protagonist of the fountain head rapes a stranger and the protagonist of atlas shrugged kills a stranger. I think Ayn Rand wrote some interesting literature but her philosophy is flawed as fuck, where are the ethics! plus her philosophy was nothing original and she was a cold hearted idiot bitch.

  • The weird thing about objectivism, at least as Rand put it, it requires either magic or such an extreme degree of mechanization that they can do without large chunks of the population. If memory serves they even had to sabotage the world around them in terms of damaging transport and infrastructure to ensure the downfall of the civilization they opposed.

    That and it's the 'masses' that could really doom us if they 'Go Galt' if the people who grow and produce food, collect garbage, and maintain machines all did civilization would start having trouble damn quick.

  • great post. it's ridiculous to hear people in the comments defend the book's relevancy by saying that they're being unfairly taxed by the unproductive. sadly the truth is that we're all unproductive in america, we don't do shit, we make our money off of services and derivatives, we don't produce we don't export we don't do a damn thing, so to say you're being taxed by the unproductive is horse shit, yes all of that shit needs to be fixed, but guess what? that isn't going to be fixed by individuals or the free market, it's got to be done by the government.

  • I can haz objectivizm? says:

    I feel like Ayn Rand just wanted to justify the fact that she understood her role in the world as inherently unproductive; yet, she wanted to continue down this unproductive path, and thus wrote shitty books as a means to that end. Hypocritical at best, douchebaggy at its worst. It's funny when people criticize academia for being neo-Marxist institutions churning out brainless workers- Ayn Rand got a degree, no? Or was she just special enough to get past all their mental gymnastics? Btw, I like Daniel Quinn's philideology more, as my subjective auto-fellatio. We'll never get out of this life alive, anyways. Let's just play nice.

  • YoucanCallmeTim says:

    Your biggest mistake was thinking that true objectivist values are the same at all to modern neo-conservatives, and while some ideals are said to be shared the truth is that no political party in the mainstream even comes close to holding the values that rand outlines. Now seriously if you had written and actual structured argument with researched points id be inclined to at least respect you but what you have done is exactly what you condemn: buy in to immature "college" ideals. You think that you have to buy into one of the major parties and do everything that they ask but seriously its like choosing between the Nazis and the Soviets, no option is good. Both parties seek control over the people, one just wants your mind a little more and the other wants your money a little more. Now im not going to pretend that rand doesnt want control over my mind at least in part, but the purpose is that she has seen what has happen to political parties when they decide to compromise: they get diluted ideals and strat trying to ACTUALLY control people, rand wants no more then your full commitment or none of it, if you dont like her philosophy fine, but get the fuck out of the way. In closing, re-look and try to be honest rather then a left wing fanboy. btw im willing to respond to other arguments if an educated debate is in order.

  • You guys are bunch of knuckleheads. Last I checked this book is sold under fiction or classics along with Crime and Punishment, Don Quixote, Brave New World, 1984, and even John Grisham books, etc.
    There are so many farfetched actions and thoughts in this book and Rands thinking, but at the same time there is a certain amount of genius that speaks to many generations. People who are going to take this philosophy and book 100% literally (or any book in print for that matter) and allow this to be their religion are as warped as people who take the Bible 100% literally and follow it as such.
    People need to learn to take kernels of truth from different things and form their own beliefs and values and ideas.
    Lighten the fuck up.

  • The funniest thing about "Going Galt" is that you need Producers for this world to survive. But in Reality you need the workers..
    That is why I do not follow her ideology.

  • Inverted Moon says:

    The problem is always regulation. Economy doing bad? Pull regulations. Economy doing bad because those regulations proved to be the only thing keeping people from doing something stupid? It's because you still had too many regulations. But what are basing this on? A system we've never had will be perfect, even though attempts to reach it just cause trouble? That the same can be said for Communism just makes it funnier.

    Objectivism has no basis in reality. Without regulation, companies screw their workers over:

    Triangle shirtwaist company. Their factory doors were kept locked during operating hours to make sure workers didn't sneak off and hurt productivity. When a fire in the factory broke out, 146 workers died. People cried out- and the government responded- to make sure it didn't happen again.

    The early Twentieth Century was full of scandals and reforms. We've seen how unregulated capitalism works; to put it simply, it sucked. New Zealand tried to adopt Libertarian economic ideals; it was a disaster.

    Some said we're all selfish because we aren't killing ourselves to donate our organs. That's stupid; just because we value others doesn't mean we don't value ourselves. It's also not hard to make the argument you can do a lot more good for others by staying alive with a combination of charity, volunteer work, or a job aiding with any of the myriad problems people face. You can donate your organs when you're dead; I probably will.

  • Soon we will see the day when all Americans will be equal. Equal pay=equal work
    the government will tell us what to think and will make sure that our money is used for something worthwhile. I am tired of these conservatives wanting to make more than others that may not have the same opportunity. The main theme of Atlas Shrugged is that we can not trust the government. That is ridiculous. The government has never let us down and would never take advantage of the people.

  • Arguing with objectivists is alot like arguing with someone who doesn't speak your language. Their concept of freedom, equality, capitalism and selfishness are so radically different from what the words mean to anyone else that you might as well be talking to a babbling child. The entire theory of objectivism seems based in bad circular logic. "If I am not free to be freer than everyone else how am I free?"

  • Thank you for this. It's like reading the thoughts that go through my head when I meet one of these Rand people.

  • Whoever posted the comment as Arthur Dent: You are my hero. Clearly the answer to this, as all life's issues, is 42.

    By and large, Ayn Rand is a god damned retard. It baffles me that such horrible writing exists in widely published and read forms, but it is difficult to become published. The only things I can think of to use her god awful attempts at literature for are:

    spider crushing
    lining a cat pan
    chew toy for the dog
    bludgeoning Ayn Rand fans
    identifying complete assholes.

  • And yet, here we are discussing her. She's accomplished much more than you and in 50 years, no one will even give a shit about you. Because, like it or not, you are ranting about a woman that wrote one of the most influential books in American literature. What have you done? Nothing because you are a typical liberal armchair philosopher.

  • Rand's philosophy is not perfect, I'll give you that. But, her books are a lot more intelligent that your baseless ranting.
    Rand's philosophy does not work for quite a few reasons. I think the major reason is that the producers in the US are dirt bags. They are very different than the angel-like characters with exaggerated intelligence that Rand uses to get her philosophy across. There are billions of people in the world, anybody is replaceable.
    Overall, I think blind Rand haters get the wrong message from her novels. It isn't that you are the most important person ever and should go on strike to show that. It is that you should live a lifestyle doing what you want. Life is about you. If your into being selfish then be selfish. If your into giving away everything you own, have at it. Above all, think for yourself. Don't be a brainless idiot who hasn't figured out what they want or know (i.e. the author of the article). Read information, gather evidence, and understand.

  • Kandy Blevins says:

    I love to steal. I stole from my family and ruined them. I am so happy to be a thief and liar and betrayer. Fuck Ayn Rand whoever the hell it is.

  • I think you should have a little more faith in college students – not all of them have Mommy and Daddy to pay for everything, and not all of them believe every crock of shit placed in their hands.

  • I like your blog, it's clever and I can see myself agreeing with your point that Atlas Shrugged was a dog shit novel devoid of anything entertaining and is generally the bible for faux libertarian college students. Rand ignores the importance of the consumer in the false dichotomy of consumer/producer (if you have a job, you're both), and as you said, the book reads like a lecture from your grandmother. Good calls on both accounts.

    The big HOWEVER is that while yes it is important to recognize the hardships of others, big daddy government's attempts to "level the playing field" have pretty much universally failed either by bankrupting treasuries or allowing for the creation of autocratic government. I could also make an efficiency argument concerning private vs. public charity, but I don't need to, since the Red Cross did it for me after Katrina.

    You're right, most people aren't lazy and would rather work than accept a handout. Not everyone on unemployment is a deadbeat at conservatives would have us believe, some just got shafted by a company that was run poorly. The issue isn't the moral fiber of those receiving state benefits, but the long term sustainability of a society based on such benefits (How's Greece doing?).

    Rand was an idiot true enough, but don't lump everybody with libertarian inclinations into the same steaming shit pile as people like Rand, Rothbard, and Russo (alliteration not intentional, crazies just have similar names). From a practical, real-world perspective, you can only care so much about others. You'll find most of us to be pretty reasonable, and if you'll look back to the 1990's, you'll see our ideas worked.

  • It seems odd that you would condemn a man who circumstances you are completely unaware of and is only tenuously connected to the "Rand is bullshit" subject at hand. I am referring, of course, to the "friggin' idiot" who would close his business down because of a 10% increase in taxes. You relate this 10% loss to the 100% loss he faces if he shuts down. The problem in your thinking here is that you suppose that being able to keep 90% is a fine deal (at it's face value, this position ignores the other taxes and regulatory expenses he must pay).

    More fundamentally, how do you know he isn't just scraping by? Suppose his business would have survived without the increased taxes but this man would have a low income to take home for himself. Even single percentage point changes threaten his ability to continue in his current position of being a productive member of society. Saying that he is does not produce enough output to be a "producer" plainly ignores the function and reality of producers in society. I direct you to Carl Menger and Eugene Bom-Bawerk who discuss at length the structure of production and the role of entrepreneurs and businessmen in society.

    As I briefly skim back over the article, I fail to see any substantial rebuttal of Rand, her philosophy, or her work (full-disclosure: I am neither an Objectivist, nor do I support Rand as a literary figure as I've read zero of her novels). Insulting a person's followers (or people who may be her followers – the jury is out on the "retard") does nothing to illustrate the flaws in the thinking of the person being followed. I understand that you goal here is not to refute Rand, but to say "Fuck you, Rand." You are doing nothing but leading people further astray from rational argument.

  • @Brent: If he's "barely scraping by" in his business, his taxes won't go up.

    Neither pure capitalism, nor pure socialism, are workable systems. The systems that do work are invariably some blend of both. The question is not whether to blend them, but rather, in what sort of mix.

  • It's funny that you so accurate characterize the modern "objectivist" because that's pretty much Rand's life in a nutshell. She immigrated to the United States all butthurt that no one in the USSR liked her shitty screenplays and made a career for herself with her shitty philosophy.

    This philosophy is based on the delusion that it was socialism's effort to hinder the great minds of society that held her back, rather than the fact that she just sucked. That's it in summary, the whole kit and kaboodle, and I think you did a pretty good of actually making a rational argument because the whole basis of the ideology is "I am a special little snowflake and no one appreciates me, boo hoo hoo".

  • @The people who say that we should not take the book so seriously

    She pushes her ideology in your face throughout the book and promoted it as a philosophy throughout her life; if she has presented her ideas as a philosophy then they should be critiqued as such.

    I'm almost done the reading book, rather struggling through it, and got so sick of her writing that I googled "fuck ayn rand" just to hear some viewpoints and let off steam.

    @Paul Pott who said that "you are just trying to rally people to join you in a hate

  • Here is what I hate about her writing:

    The book is way too repetitive. She repeats her goddamn philosophy so many times in her explanation of people's feelings or thoughts.

    The dialog between characters isn't really dialog; granted they say hello and goodbye and acknowledging that the other is speaking, but each person always ends up just making a speech. They don't really respond to each other. This whole fucking book is a speech.

    The characters are so stupid and unrealistic sometimes it's like a horror movie. Specifically, I'm talking about all the 'socialists' like James Taggart; when an argument is presented to them and they are asked a direct question they never answer it. Granted, they're politicians, but it continues throughout the book and just ends up drawing out the already repetitive story so that the protagonists CAN MAKE MORE FUCKING SPEECHES.

    I haven't thought deeply about her ideology but my biggest problem with it is that it's not very….objective. She completely ignores the existence of GREED. Ok Ayn, you seem to hate being guided by morality and yet you assume that these producers all have perfect morals? She's like the goddamn politicians who don't respond to logical arguments laid out to them….don't you see this flaw in your goddamn objectivism?

    To sum it up: the writing is repetitive and long-winded….the characters stubbornly resist development and her philosophy is full of holes.

    I think this book is a product of it's time. It was written and released in 1957; a time of a huge boom in America where the future looked bright and glorious. All sorts of shit was being manufactured with a new technology called "plastic" and companies were prospering from all the consumerism. IMO, she and everyone else got caught up in this fervor.

    I truly believe she truly believed this crap. She was a poor young Russian girl who was stunted by communism then came to America and had a prosperous life in Hollywood. Of course she buys this bullshit. This book is her ode to the America of that time: it's her love-note describing how she rode the capitalist cock all the way to the bank.

    Fuck Ayn Rand.

  • try looking at the true definition of communism next time u feel like complaining to ur hs teacher abt ayn rand. when your ready to stand down from your soapbox and grow a vocabulary then you may complain. otherwise, keep your uneducated, groundless, comments in your tiny insignificant brain.

  • Don't hate life says:

    Most of you just don't understand what Rand was saying. To heap vitriol on Rand like this just looks plain weird to be frank with you. What exactly do you hate about her? Your foaming at the mouth seems to get in the way of an intelligent, articulate critique. Rand's main political principle was peaceful coexistence. She argued that no-one, including the government, has the right to initiate physical force against others. Do you disagree with her metaphysics – reality exists independent of man?. Or her epistemology – reason is our means of knowledge? Or her ethics – each person is an end in themselves and the purpose of life is to live the best life possible and be happy (this is what she means by her provocative use of the word selfish)? Or her politics – live and let live, the non initiation of force principle so that each person may live the life they choose so long as they don't interfere with the right of others to do the same?

    Now what in all of this do you hate? Consider the opposite views : reality does not exist, mystical revelation or intuition is our means of knowledge, each person has no right to their own life but are the means to the ends of others (monarch, state, race, class, tribe, etc), might makes right in politics with different groups vying to dominate others by force.

    Seriously guys, be honest with yourselves…your collectivism has had reign for most of man's history and it was a disaster. The 20th century is stained with the collectivism of communism, fascism, ethnic cleansing and racism.

    Civilisation is the eliimination of physical force from human relationships…creating a peaceful coexistence is the optimal politics. Each person can flourish to the best of their ability and desire. No one should have the right to initiate force against another person.

    The left have given up articulating their views because no-one would support them if they fully understood what they rest upon. In the late 19th century and into the 20th century the leftists were armed with the theories of Plato, Hegel and Marx and they truly believed in them. No-one can surely believe these things now…dialectic materialism? You would be laughed at if you tried to argue for Hegel's Absolute oneness, or that economic class determines thinking, or the labour theory of value – when we so obviously live in a high tech world where reason is clearly the source of all value. Leftists are rather like the religionists, still clinging to a false theory of the world and doing eveything they can to avoid explaining the finer details in case people discover what nonsense they are selling.

    Which explains why the only weapons leftists use these days are sarcasm, ridicule, ad hominem. Do you really think that you can propogate your views with such pitiful approaches?

    Accept that you are on the anti-life, anti-man side of the argument (which perhaps some of you do) and either change sides or crawl under a rock. There is no need for you to try and destroy everyone else with your nihilistic hatred.

    Deep down, you hate Rand because she shined a light on your true nature and pulled away all the camouflage you had erected to hide the self loathing in side. She named and shamed you and that is why you hate her.

    And by the way, you laugh at her characterisations of leftists but your comments read straight out of the novels.

  • Atlas Speaks:

    “I’ve a message to give to Ayn Rand:
    See, the view is quite clear where I stand,
    And the worthy elite
    That you find so complete
    Have not once come to give me a hand.

    “As I carried this world on my shoulder,
    Growing woefully weary, and older,
    I have shrugged when I could
    But it did me no good
    For the thieves at the top just got bolder.

    “No, the burden I’ve borne through the ages
    Has paid me but miserable wages,
    While the egoists take
    So much more than they make,
    Yet you give them my name in your pages.

    “If you look with clear eyes at my tale,
    And for once let your own ego pale,
    From my feet to my hands
    Here a laborer stands,
    And without me, this great world would fail.”


  • Someone's got a stick up his butt… Though before you go on a rant about small business owners you should google the term 'opportunity cost'. For simplicity (you're welcome), let's say that guy can make $100,000 a year. Assume taxes are 10% for his tax bracket leaving him with $90,000 annually. Let's say his opportunity cost (i.e. next best option) is to work for some other company for a salary of $85,000. If money is his only aim (and for simplicity let's assume it is) he'll run his own business.

    Now imagine his costs of owning his own business rise due to new government policies (taxes on businesses, sales, commercial property, etc.). His $90,000 gets cut to $85,000. Now he could go either way. Assume his profits are cut even further to $80,000. It's then rational to get rid of the business and settle for his $85,000 a year job elsewhere. Sure someone could come and take his place, but if their profits keep getting eroded by the heavy hand of government they'll be less inclined to do so. So no, his options are not 90% or 0%; he would stop running his business when the costs of doing so exceed his next best option.

    Laymen focus on extremes like Donald Trump and Bill Gates (or 90% vs 0%). Economists focus on the tipping point. You've illustrated perfectly why laymen aren't to be trusted with explicit control of the economy.

  • Thank you for articulating what I've thought about for years. I hope you write a similar critique of objectivism's even stupider cousin libertarianism.

  • can somebody explain to me briefly, what the hell this person tries to push? ive never read her work and from what ive looked up about her, i dont want to. she seems like shes just pissed off because the communist gov. made her family's life hell. her parents must have constantly pushed these ideas and spoken about these things at home, so she developed a righteous "love" for capitalism. she moved to america and probably felt free and thought that her freedom and her economic freedom had only to do with that – economics. in my opinion she sounds like shes kind of got her ideas pretty messed up. anyway if someone could tell me a little bit about her beliefs, you dont have to go in detail. ill use hitler as an example. so something like, "hitler was a guy who, through scapegoating during the hard times for his country, managed to push his own sick agenda. he wanted to rid the world of everyone but the one master race" ok something like that more or less….yaknow, simple and quick i dont want you guys to take hours out of your lives or anything.
    ps im not in the states, i feel like i should mention that, she seems to really come up in american literature and etc

  • "Don't Hate Life" made my day. God almighty, what a sanctimonious cunt.

    Just as Communists, Objectivists are, whether they'll admit it or not, Utopians.

    ALL Utopians are a threat to humanity.

    In an Objectivist world, those already in power would be completely unchecked, believing they wouldn't use that power for their own benefit (Regardless of consequences for others) is willful ignorance at its willfully ignorant best. The real appeal is- Objectivists delusionally believe they will one day sit atop the food chain safely out of harm's way.

    Rand was the best argument against her philosophy- She lived and died a miserable narcissist.

  • CollegeSophomore says:

    Hopefully one day you, my dear, you will open your eyes and understand something as well… your obvious prejudice and lack of self-control when it comes to emotions are causing YOUR ignorance. Clearly, you feel left-out by those who went to college and actually learned something since obviously you either A – did not attend college or B – was too lazy to actually do the work. Either way, as an 18 year old college sophomore, I personally feel that objectivism is by-far the most common sense and exact philosophical explanation I have ever heard (after taking numerous philosophy and sociology classes). Education and intelligence is the most important thing a person can obtain since it is the basis of human functioning. The more intelligent a person is, the more likely they are to succeed. I'd agree that everyone needs a little help every now and again but like anyone else, each person must take responsibility for themselves as well.
    Since you clearly are unaware of how to present an argument, let me give you a few pointers… 1. If you're going to make the opinionated claim that an entire group of people are "retarded" then you should probably have actual facts that back the the statement up because no one (not even Obama) would take you seriously after that overly emotional and fact-less rant. 2. The fact that you very offensively used the word "retarded" to describe objectivists shows that your intelligence level is not nearly as high as the average college student (your arch enemy) who would never use that word when trying to make a legitimate point. 3. The ONE example you've used to make your point is absolutely illegitimate. A vague quote by a mystery man about his misunderstandings of the government and its policies does not in any way, shape, or form prove that he is an objectivist )or even well educated for that matter). You feel the need to accuse him of earning a high-level college degree in-order to say he is "retarded". 4. Your encouragement of this man to shut down his business because he is replaceable, obviously shows how little you've been listening to the news… HI. IT'S CALLED A RECESSION EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. SERIOUSLY.

    So, why don't you get control of your emotions, get off your high horse, and come live on earth where it's okay to have an opinion as long as you have a reason for it. If you're going to express that opinion you also must express your version of logic behind it because at the end of the day, you can't make anyone see the way you do without explaining to them WHY it is you see it that way.

    I hope this curbs your appetite for hate.

  • We're all on this god forsaken planet for… you do the math…

    Sweet… salty… sour… spicy…

    Some say they're taste sensations, while others compare them to emotions…

    Love… selfishness… jealousy… anger…

    Who knows, but we've all experienced the highs and lows, some more than others. So express yourself while you can… before it's too late!

  • Seriously haven't heard discussion like this since I was at University over 20 years ago. Took a little to understand your theories but when I did I thought some were extremely controversial.
    Not sure if you are looking for followers or just a passionate writer, nevertheless it looks like you have won some people.
    As for me, still undecided.


  • Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum aka Ayn Rand created a philosophy that is not a recognized discipline in any philosophical department or college in any university on Planet Earth. That is simply a fact. Like L. Ron Hubbard and Anton LaVey, most academic institutions regard her as a niche pop culture icon rather than a person who fundamentally impacted or changed the world of either their time or later.

    She was a series of contradictions. She was a Jew in a city rank with anti-Semitism (St. Petersberg) and her father owned a drugstore; one of the few middle class families in Czarist Russia but because of the Russian pogroms and restrictions, he could never be one of the Boyars. Her family supported Kerensky but his provisional government fell in large part because he did not withdraw Russia from WWI, which Lenin promised to do if the Bolsheviks came to power.

    For all of Rand's rabid anti-communism, inspired significantly by the communists nationalizing all commerce and seizing her father's business, it was those same Bolsheviks that opened up the universities to women and Jews. For all of her hatred of government, the New Deal Works Progress Administration helped subsidize her plays in the 1930s; taking her first play on road and paying her $10 a performance. New York Public Library workers helped her research for THE FOUNTAINHEAD.

    Her ideas have been implemented as economic policy in one form or other in Latin America; both the Central American banana republics such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua and the more industrial states of South America such as Chile and Argentina. The end verdict on those nations are that in the former, small landowning oligarchs and foreign corporations such as United Fruit owned all the resources and the masses lived in squalor. There was no upward mobility. In the latter, more industrial states such as Chile, growth was measured by credit availability rather than actual industrial output and wages. All of those states utilized state monoplized violence against peasants, students, workers and anyone deemed a threat to the order of the day.

    In the U.S., starting in 1980, the government began a deregulation bent: Savings & Loans, OSHA, the rights of workers and regulating the financial and real estate sectors. In return, the U.S. got:

    -A $160 billion Savings & Loan failure and a direct public cost of $124 billion in late 1980s

    -A series of mergers and equity buyouts that created quasi monoplies and
    economic shock; insider trading scandals such as Michael Milken and
    Ivan Boesky; forefathers of men like Bernard Madoff and Richard Fuld. The government prosecuted Milken and Boesky but did little to address the
    loopholes that allowed them to run their games. In the 1990s, the GOP
    Congress and Democratic White House insured the 2008 crisis with Gramm-Leach Billey, allowing the merging of deposit banking and investment banking. Contrary to right wing tripe, the mortgage crisis was NOT caused by pressuring banks to lend to minorities. Over 80% of subprime lenders were UNREGULATED mortgage lenders with NO Community Reinvestment Act obligations and over 70% of consumers were white, middle class borrowers.

    Sheila Blair, a Republican and FDIC chair also disputes these claims

    There was pressure but in form of Bush Administration pressuring Fannie and Freddie to keep pace with private secondary market and pump money into bubble by buying mortgages that did not initially meet Fannie/Freddie
    standards, hence they were issued by non-regulated entities that sold to Wall Street and private investors.

    The idea of a John Galt is just asinine. First of all, if he did not own the means of production free and clear, his creditors would be more than happy to seize and sell his stuff. It never is as cut and dry as Going Galt. If he bought his equipment on credit and destroyed it to make his point and had not yet repaid the loans, I could say he would not be going to his mountain retreat but to the house of many doors.

    As the author pointed out, people who make these types of threats are the typical "I'll show you" juvenile delinquents who never grew up; enthralled with their own importance and not an ounce of actual brainpower. The law of supply and demand would nullify a Galt because, like street economics, someone else will fill the void. Just watch THE WIRE. The cops spent so much money and time to take down the Avon Barksdale/Stringer Bell drug gang and when they did, the new Marlo Stanfield gang stepped right into their place. Same with a John Galt. Someone else will step into his place and make that product if the demand is there.

    The businessman who threatened to "go Galt" (phrase made popular by
    the anorexic anchor baby Michelle Malkin; a cipher if there ever was one) likely is ignorant of taxation in general. Only C corporations, which generally (note the word GENERALLY) are large, publicly held companies are subject to income taxes at the business level. Partnerships, LLCs, sole proprietorships and S corporations are all Pass Through Entities; income is simply passed through business to owners who pay standard Federal Individual Income Tax Rates. Federal unemployment taxes are usually reduced to 0.8% of wages based on state unemployment tax payments and states have varying rates and structures but it usually is 3% on up to $7,000 of each worker's wages. Plus, there are many ways to avoid paying unemployment: temp workers, independent contractors, etc.

    And, nearly 2/3 of C corporations pay no taxes anyway. General Electric made nearly $14 billion last year and paid zero income taxes, using clever loopholes pertaining to capital investments and losses of subsidiary

    Yet, not a peep from the Tea Party about corporate tax dodgers but rather parroting corporate scripted propaganda about "losers" and parasites.

    Her whole premise of the producer being the alpha and omega is flawed because the producer also must have consumers and at a certain point, must have labor or sub-producers. John Galt can be the greatest widget maker but if people don't have a big desire for them, who cares? Again, her understanding of economics was pretty much a cartoonish bumper sticker slogan.

    Plus, as shown in Latin America and many Middle East nations, pure, unregulated capitalism never rises and falls on merit but often relies on local military and police repression and in the case of multi-national corporations, the support and manipulations of the government of the corporation's home nation i.e. the CIA, Pentagon, White House. Read about the coup against Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala; the collusion of United Fruit, the CIA, elements within the Guatemalan military and local elites to remove a popularly elected President because he intended to BUY land from United Fruit at THEIR stated values to give to HIS nation's landless campesinos. He was removed and replaced by a military dictatorship that killed over 200,000 Guatemalans over 36 years. We can argue that Stalin, Castro and Mao killed more in a shorter period but that is not the issue and is often the deflection used by right wingers to dodge or absolve the United States government and various corporations of their responsibility for taxpayer subsidized repression in the Third World to protect corporate profits.

    Rand's philosophy is as flawed as the communism she railed against. Both are based on ideals that cannot be reached or attained because of human nature and both result in a feudalistic or narrow power/prestige order. Under pure capitalism, justice is who gets to the judge first with the most and results in monopolies or oligarchies and communism has resulted in a parallel state elite that controls everything.

    She had one halfway decent book, ANTHEM, which was short and had many of the elements later featured in BRAVE NEW WORLD and 1984 and utilized Greek mythology very competently.

    As the author said, she appeals to people needing simple dichotomy in place of actual thinking and critical analysis.

  • In real life, the Going Galt concept has really simply been companies leaving the United States in search of cheap labor costs and low environmental standards, leaving a nation with a loss of 1/3 of base industrial jobs since the beginning of the decade and a barely in the top 10 ranking of Most Prosperous Nations; surpassed by those evil socialist countries Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Canada.

    The Randian claims by the far right's bloviating blowhard class that unions and regulations drove companies outside of the United States is one of the false claims to get the low information rural social conservative working class to hate their urban, unionized brethren. However, costs never went down and the proof is in the retail price pudding. Example: A pair of Johnston & Murphy shoes, made in Mexico, a NAFTA trading partner and therefore no import taxes or tariffs yet the end sales price was $300. Yet, the labor cost was likely less than $10 per day and the environmental and compliance regulations nil. My consumer costs NEVER WENT DOWN yet profits and executive salaries increased.

    So, if costs never decrease for the end user or consumer, the idea that companies HAVE to leave for lower labor costs in order to slice prices for domestic customers is a lie. They leave in search of higher profits, which in turn means higher compensation to management.

    In real life, a John Galt would be Phil Knight (Nike) or Roger Smith (GM); people for whom patriotism and American Exceptionalism simply amount to soundbites to appeal to low educated, low information segments to support policies beneficial to them.

    Again, the whole idea amounts to cartoon slogans appealing to people with a comic book IQ. Nothing more.

  • Bill Says:
    August 30th, 2009 at 3:46 am
    Margaret Thatcher famously said, "The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." The obvious retort to that is, "The problem with capitalism is sooner or later you run out of other people's labor." That's what's happening nowadays as even the countries we offshore work to are starting to look for places to offshore _their_ work to. Just thought I'd mention that.

    Oh, and yeah – FUCK Ayn Rand.

    Also, as many Latin American nations are going left nationalist/populist and
    as income stagnate both at home and abroad (cheap labor naturally begats cheap wages and Chinese and Indonesian workers may end up cutting
    back on buying the very goods they produce in order to meet basic needs) and credit, which has supplanted real income, tightens, the "producers" will soon be out of places to run and hide in search of cheap labor and be out of consumers.

    For all the Ayn Rand fans, where did she get her Economics or Business Degree? Oh, yeah, she didn't. She studied social pedagogy and studied for a year Screen Arts in Leningrad. In America, she simply sidled up to power.

    Sorry but Objectivist capitalism of the Galtian stripe DO NOT EXIST! There is no Count Dracula who can turn into any animal he wants and seduce any woman with his accent or eyes; no Edward Cullen who is a celibate vampire in love with a teenager; no scientists who can make the numerous parts of corpses into an animate being through electrical charge and no John Galt.

  • Response to above posters that stated: "Oh yeah, picking on dead writers, VERY BRAVE!" You're right — all those bad things I said about "Mein Kampf" by Adoph Hiltler: I take 'em all back! After all, where does anyone get the nerve to CRITICIZE the words of of a misunderstood author that's not around to defend himself?!?

    That was SARCASM, folks, aimed at the people that think we should cut some slack to Ayn R and Ayn's Kids…and by the way, if you Randians are so sure of AR's "I got mine" philosophy, why do you-all GO AND START YOUR OWN NATION somewhere? Buy an island – one of the Caymans, say – and establish your utopia?

  • Gotta love the post by CollegeSophomore up above. Sounds like the perfect budding Randroid, assuring us all of his intellectual superiority as a 18-year-old college sophomore (No way! Really?!) who has "numerous philosophy and sociology classes" under his or her belt, so you just know s/he's got the whole world figured out. And from his or her lofty position and extensive experience, we are told that "objectivism is by-far [sic] the most common sense and exact philosophical explanation" s/he has ever heard.

    Can't argue with that, can you? Just try, moocher!

    I pity that student's professors.

  • "Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae." – Kurt Vonnegut. This is exactly the thought that comes to mind when reading your article. You are attacking others for the very thing you yourself are doing in this article. If I had an inkling of common sense…it would be far too simple to understand that something so liberal and open-minded could make you feel quite defensive and uncomfortable with the knowledge of knowing that you are close-minded at heart. But even though I disagree with everything you have to say….you still have every right to say it. Simply because what you took from Rand's novels made you see red, doesn't mean that they should do so for everyone else in this world. Personally I find her brilliant. For those who do understand that there are more than themselves in this world, it gives them inspiration to remember to live for themselves as well. Her novels target those such as yourself to make people think. People all-too-often become angriest when hearing what is wrong with them, perhaps that was simply too much for you to handle?

  • Philosophy, just another business. Quoting and referencing bombastic assholes with purposely bad hair cuts. Bernard Henri-Levy and Ayn Rosenbaum tools, real tools. Hammers and Sickles (the key being sick)

  • Disclosure: I am not an objectivist. Bear with me here as I'm quite annoyed at the amateur method in which you attempt to pick apart objectivists.

    Your argument against the 'ex-MBA fratboy' can be used against any labor or union strike in the history of mankind. If the union workers went on strike because of their $1/day wages, then they are the idiots right? Since they are the ones losing 100% of their wages!

    Further, I feel like all of your remaining arguments play right into exactly what Rand was originally fighting against. You lead more or less an irrational tirade.
    I don't know what it is in the 'real world' that pushes one to abandon his morals (as you insinuate in the final paragraph of your rant). You imply that 'moralizing' is something one cannot do when faced with events in the real world. This is simply not true. One is absolutely able to moralize in college (and I encourage them to do so), however it is not the morals of Objectivism to which they should cling. Here are the important points one should gain from Rand:

    1. Find morals somewhere and stick to them! There is nothing worse than some moraless asshole proclaiming industrialists, actors, any rich person who doesn't feel like giving to charity sucks. And then going around and saying that a strike when you lose 10% of your income is plain stupid. That my friends, is a contradiction in terms.
    2. Use rationalism in your everyday life! There is no other explanation for the technological advancement of mankind. And if you think this advancement is a superfluous notion (as the reasoning of this article will ultimately point to) then try living for a few days with no phone, house, car or clothing. I'm sorry to break it to you, but your most comforting objects in everyday life were brought to you buy some greedy, industrialist asshole!

    Worth mentioning again: I am not an objectivist. However, I am a realist. And realistically, industrialists and the people Rand empowers with Atlas Shrugged have only changed this world for the better in the long term.
    Although I deplore anti-social tendencies and negative view of the average Objectivist on the rest of society, I have to be honest and admit that if it was not for genius, cut throat entrepreneurs, society would be an even bigger shit pile than it already is. And for that Objectivists, I am thankful!

  • An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  • All I have to say about objectivism is the following name:

    William Edward Hickman, the inspiration for Roarke. That is Ayn Rand's superhero. Go ahead Randians. That is who you're "supposed" to be.

    Seriously fuck Ayn Rand.

  • Who is John Galt? says:

    John Galt is that kid from high school who always talked about killing himself and had fantasies about how "sorry" everyone would be when his suicide was announced the next day in school.

    Remember that kid? We all knew one of those kids. That is John Galt.

  • Glad to see someone willing to call "Smugfuckerism" exactly what it is. Good thing we don't put the philosophically retarded in positions of extreme economic or political power…

  • Besides, Nathan Holn from the movie "The Postman" is a far more dangerous and compelling character than this mystery pussy known as John Galt.

    John Galt is Nathan Holn's little water boy.

  • When I was about 14 "Atlas Shrugged" wow'd me away too.

    But like this article's author, then I grew up, got into the real world, and saw how utterly wrong that woman was about pretty much everything…most especially the flawed theory that unfettered capitalism inevitably leads to a meritcratioc society.

    But ya know if you're wealthy and always have been, you probably don't have do do as much REALITY TESTING as the rest of us so you might truly imagine that he POV makes sense.

    I am quite certain MITT feels that way and every right wing scion I know definitely does.

  • I don't understand how you people can attack a person so vehemently when all they are trying to do is make their idea known. I am not a conservative but this kind of behavior makes me sick. It is horrific. This is why she has a multi-million dollar estate while you run your blog from home.

  • This should be said over a podium with thousands of people beneath you not even listening but cheering at everything that you say. Just imagine it: crowds of ordinary people marching to your words as they salute the giant red banners that drape over the city. Desperate people will believe anything. The Germans found that out the hard way. But we don't have to. Question everyone; especially the people who call for hatred.

  • @Prometheus: Ayn Rand was a sociopath who tried to justify sociopathic behavior. This blog never claimed to set out to describe the logical flaws in the ideology espoused by Rand (plenty of websites that cover this, but just as an example, the fallacy that any government beyond police/military/courts is coercion "at the point of a gun" when government is a human construct that humans could readily agree could do more than this), or the empirical failures of this ideology, which I, and anyone actual serious about examining optimal governing structures, care more about. E.g., deregulation/privatization/tax cuts/spending cuts that have gone on since the 80s in the U.S.A., which certainly enriched the already rich, but has not improved society as a whole despite the assertions by Rand followers such as yourself (your prevarications about your views don't fool anyone) that this system is the most optimal one available.

    This blog was a rant. The title should have tipped you off to that fact. It's unusual that you are concerned about hatred, when your idol despised most of humanity ("unworthy of love" would be how she phrased it), and only cared for captains of industry and the occasional child rapist/murder.

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  • andrew davidson says:

    As a true objectovist and comfortably well off as a result, what is wrong with being a sociopath? Hasn't hindered me one bit in gaining wealth and I have done most of my friends women as well. Go Ayn.

  • Greenspan has a raging mega-boner for Rand, I read his autobiography (don't ask why) and he absolutely fawns over what a logical being she is. The world may be defined by 'isms' but no 'ism' has ever enriched anyone's lives. Also, I love tacos.

  • Just a starting research point for all those 'Objectivists' who believe that attacks on Rand's "philosophy" are unfounded and/or not explained. Here is scratching-the-surface reason of why she cannot be taken very seriously:

    Her pseudo-Aristotelian axiom of "A is A" is an oversimplified misconception of the original. In her attempt to classify what is "real" she completely misused this concept by unknowingly (I sure hope so, otherwise it can be seen as malicious intent) skipping over the classification distinctions between essences, accidents and universals (acknowledgement of an independent existence of accidents, essences, universals and their !independently! descriptive properties)…

    In other words she built her house on sand and its been sinking ever since.

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