Atlas Summer: Part III: Chapter IV: Anti-life


Reflections:

Yep, that about sums it up.

The personification of American Objectivism.

Reflections: Double standards, anyone?  Let’s break it down with some bullet points.

Adultery

  • Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden: When our Objectivist Heroes cheat on their spouses, it is a guilt-free, life-affirming act of awesomeness.
  • James Taggart and Lillian Rearden: When looters commit adultery against their respective spouses, it is a hideous act of obscene nihilism.

Domestic Violence

  • Hank Rearden: Threatening to beat down his wife, Lillian Rearden, like a hoodlum for insulting the moral character of his mistress, Dagny Taggart, is not only justified, but morally correct within the Objectivist philosophy.
  • James Taggart: Actually smacking his wife Cherryl in the face is a horrible, horrible thing that drives Cherryl to suicide.

Murder/Suicide

  • Looters stuck in a tunnel: Asphyxiated due to the inadequacies of their relativist nihilist egalitarian philosophies.  The novel tacitly approves of their deaths when one examines the hateful terms given to the men, women, and children in the train stuck in the Winston Tunnel.  Because they espoused the wrong philosophies, they deserved to die.
  • Cherryl committing suicide: Because Cherryl had the innate yearnings to be like Dagny and achieve the status of an Objectivist Hero, her death was tragic and horrible.

[No funny caption.]

It becomes apparent that the act itself is not what counts, but the intention.  Could this be extrapolated to political assassination?  According to Objectivism, murder is bad for all sorts of reasons.  But … but, if the target was a vocal opponent of a dishwater weak health care reform bill that allegedly takes away their economic freedom, then would a political assassination be justified?  The fact that Ayn Rand praised murderers, sociopaths, and the genocide against the Native Americans does not help those who seek to distance themselves from the latest acts of political violence.

Now let us praise great men: Objectivist Edition.

Here is a passage from Rand’s journals gushing over murderer William Edward Hickman:

[Hickman] is born with a wonderful, free, light consciousness — [resulting from] the absolute lack of social instinct or herd feeling. He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people … Other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should.

It does seem strange, in light of recent events, that the same group that supports Rand’s deregulatory dogmas is the same group of people that claim to be Christians.  Again, does this sound familiar?  The political violence, the murderous rhetoric, the conservative religiosity.  Add beards and add jumbo jets aimed for major New York City landmarks.  Am I making too broad an inference or is this simply a case of pointing out that the Objectivist Emperor does indeed have no clothes?

 

Update #1: The Arizona assassin’s favorite books included those of Ayn Rand.  Now before you get on your “hip hop music causes violence” high horse, let’s make one thing clear: Banning books / music / video games, etc. because of an alleged link between their content and real violence will do nothing.  I take the opposite approach.  I would encourage everyone to read Ayn Rand, especially to understand how Objectivism cultivates a sociopathic mindset.  (Generalizations are a bad thing … usually … most of the time.  I’m not implying all Objectivists are cold-blooded snipers … in the same way Objectivists don’t generalize that those for moderate health care reform are dedicated Communist cadres.)

 

“This ___ just got real.”

 

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