Sunday, December 14, 2014

Just Because You ARE a Character Doesn't Mean You HAVE Character

Of course I am talking about Ayn Rand, a true-blue crackpot, and her adoring followers, who don't have the excuse of a developmental disorder to fall back on and some of whom have done a lot of damage to the country because they are in positions of power.

Rand almost certainly had Asperger or some other kind of developmental problem, and her "philosophy" was her way to try and make sense of a world where she never felt at home. She had some utopian idea that not only didn't make any sense but could create a whole lot of problems. There is no "virtue" in "rational selfishness," of which there is no such thing--that would justify being a sociopath.

I have all of her major "works," but I haven't gotten around to reading much of her work at all. I don't know if I ever will since I am pushing 60 and don't want to shorten my life expectancy. I, however, know enough about her work and have watched her interviews even when was alive to have an inkling what she was about.

Rand was smart, and when she gave interviews, she would think very carefully about what she said before she said it, but obviously something was missing when she was talking. It was about having any kind of regard for others, for empathy, but I think that is because it was part of her makeup, and she never got diagnosed with any kind of disorder, which she clearly had.

Was she evil? No, despite screwing other women's husbands and driving her husband to drink. What IS evil is the people who should know better who are pushing her ideas without any kind of understanding of what she truly was and attempting to make policy with it. Former Fed chair Alan Greenspan is perhaps the most notorious example. There are many others like Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, and they should know better.

THAT is a recipe for disaster.

However, we already have a version of Randism in the form of Milton Friedman, one of the most evil people in history, as far as I am concerned. Friedman's influence is far greater and far more damaging, and that's because we have people of different political parties subscribing to the same ruinous policies. It's because he cleverly wrapped his demented ideas in academia that made him have a lot more influence than Rand ever has.

The linked article goes into gruesome detail about Rand's torrid affair with Nathaniel Branden, who died a few days ago at the age of 84.

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