Democracy Has Prevailed.

April 26, 2011

More On Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand's getting a lot of press these days. What I find intriguing is the many many ways in which Rand's a hero (heroin?) to the right. And yet there were so many many ways in which she's not of the right. For instance in the past few days there was this by Michael Gerson of the Washington Post:
The appeal of Ayn Rand to conservatives is both considerable and inexplicable. Modern conservatism was largely defined by Ronald Reagan’s faith in the people instead of elites. Rand regarded the people as “looters” and “parasites.” She was a strenuous advocate for class warfare, except that she took the side of a mythical class of capitalist supermen. Rand, in fact, pronounced herself “profoundly opposed” to Reagan’s presidential candidacy, since he did not meet her exacting ideological standards.

Rand cherished a particular disdain for Christianity. The cross, she said, is “the symbol of the sacrifice of the ideal to the nonideal. . . . It is in the name of that symbol that men are asked to sacrifice themselves for their inferiors. That is precisely how the symbolism is used. That is torture.” Yet some conservatives marked Holy Week by attending and embracing “Atlas Shrugged.”
But that's just some writer writing about Rand. They may be some liberal whack job taking her ideas out of context. Maybe the writer's a jealous Lyndon Larouche follower. Who knows?

What do we find if we dive head-first into the crystal clear waters of Objectivism?

Among other things, we find this:
Roe v. Wade is right in its result, but dangerously wrong in its reasoning. Roe v. Wade is correct in its conclusion that a fetus has no rights and that a woman has the right to determine whether or not to abort her pregnancy. But Roe v. Wade is wrong insofar as it holds that "state interests" justify interference with the woman's right and that, when the state so desires, it may commandeer her body either for her supposed benefit or the benefit of a fetus.
The problem, the writer goes on to say, is found in "balancing" rights against "state interests" as in:
Abortion is a right, and all rights are absolute and cannot be "balanced" away. Ayn Rand has explained: "A right is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context." The moral standard to be applied, Ayn Rand has shown, is that of man's life and what is "required by man's nature for his proper survival." The fundamental condition for man's survival--the freedom to use his rational faculty to maintain and enjoy his life. Thus, a pregnant woman, like every other individual, has the right to determine her own destiny and the destiny of her body, to choose what constitutes her own best interest and private happiness and to work for its achievement, so long as she respects the same rights in others.
And what of the rights of the fetus? Pro-life Objectivists must be surprised to read:
The concept of rights is based on man's nature and presupposes the existence of an actual, fully formed and separate human being. Fetuses and embryos are not actual human beings; they are potential human beings. They have no rights until they exist apart from the mother, i.e., at birth.
To Ayn Rand abortion is an absolute right that can not be balanced away to any state interest. A woman has absolute right to determine the destiny of her own body and any fetus she may be carrying has no rights at all until it is born.

Imagine if the Secretary of State or the First Lady said exactly the same thing. Fox "News" would never tire of pointing out the radical anti-family philosophy of either.

So tell me again why Rand's such a darling of the right? No really, I am serious.


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Two can play this game.
Think Progress Wants to Point Out the Rand in Ryan’s Eye While Ignoring the Sanger in Their Own
So much for the talking point during the 2008 Obama campaign to defend against Bill Ayers that progressives do not use Guilt by association.

Ol' Froth said...

Heir, your link doesn't work, but if you are trying to compare Margaret Sanger's influence on today's liberals with Rand's influence on modern conservatives, you're way off the mark.

Unknown said...

I consider myself a libertarian, but I find Rand's objectivism to be a cold, heartless, and utterly repulsive philosophy.