Saturday, January 29, 2011

Something about Ayn Rand

This information seems to be making the rounds on the internet:

Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them

Here's how the article gets started:

Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well.

Her books provided wide-ranging parables of "parasites," "looters" and "moochers" using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes' labor. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O'Connor (her husband was Frank O'Connor).

As Michael Ford of Xavier University's Center for the Study of the American Dream
wrote, “In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest.”

Her ideas about government intervention in some idealized pristine marketplace serve as the basis for so much of the conservative rhetoric we see today. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” said Paul Ryan, the GOP's young budget star at a D.C. event honoring the author. On another occasion, he proclaimed, “Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.”

Look, I don't begrudge her that benefit at all. It's just ironic (and really sad) that she begrudged it for other people.


  1. I read some book of hers in high school and found it very distasteful. All about how the weak and/or mediocre deserve to fail (and die, I guess). It appeals a lot to people who think they are neither weak nor mediocre.

  2. Ditto, Alice. I also read one of her books in high school. That philosophy is pretty horrible, isn't it?


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