Mark Ames: Paul Ryan’s Guru Ayn Rand Worshipped a Serial Killer Who Kidnapped and Dismembered Little Girls

Yves here. There is one way that Mark Ames’ underlying post needs a smidge of updating. Sadly, the technocratic elites in Europe are now firmly trying to inflict bone-crushing austerity on ordinary workers, despite visible evidence of its failure (debt to GDP ratios keep rising as the economies contract) and widespread public opposition. There the rationale is a bizarre combination of “punish the borrowers” when countries like Ireland and Spain were held up as poster children of economic success until the bust, and a need to hide the fact that what looks like rescues of the PIIGS is in fact bailouts of French and German banks.

By Mark Ames, the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine. Cross posted from The eXiled

To celebrate today’s announcement that Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan will in a few months’ time be a heartbeat from the presidency—and to honor this special moment, marking the final syphilitic pus-spasms of America’s decline and fall–we are reposting for your edification Mark Ames’ 2010 article about the man behind the Rand: Ayn Rand’s unrequited adoration of a notorious serial killer, William Edward Hickman. Yes, Vice President-to-be Paul Ryan owes his entire “moral” worldview to a lowly groupie of serial killers, a 1920’s prototype of today’s “Joker” wannabees. Yes folks, in a few months’ time Americans will finally be able to stand up and declare: “We are all serial-killer groupies now.”

There’s something deeply unsettling about living in a country where millions of people go frothing batshit angry at the suggestion that maybe health care coverage should be extended to the tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it; or when they froth at the mouth in ecstasy at the thought of privatizing and slashing bedrock social programs like Social Security or Medicare. It might not be as hard to stomach if other Western countries also had a large, vocal chunk of their population who thought like this, but the US is seemingly the only place where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor. Where do they find their philosophical justification for this kind of attitude?

It turns out, you can trace much of this thinking back to Ayn Rand, a popular cult-philosopher who plays Charlie to the American right-wing’s Manson Family. Read on and you’ll see why.

One reason why most countries don’t find the time to embrace her thinking is that Ayn Rand is a textbook sociopath. Literally a sociopath: Ayn Rand, in her notebooks, worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” that Rand promoted in her more famous books — ideas which were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe — former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Paul Ryan, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

The loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate “entitlement programs” increasingly hold up Ayn Rand as their guru. Sales of her books have soared in the past couple of years; one poll ranked “Atlas Shrugged” as the second most influential book of the 20th century, after The Bible.

His time has finally come

So what, and who, was Ayn Rand for and against? The best way to get to the bottom of it is to take a look at how she developed the superhero of her novel, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt. Back in the late 1920s, as Ayn Rand was working out her philosophy, she became enthralled by a real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation. Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman. According to biographer Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market, Rand was so smitten by Hickman that she modeled her first literary creation — Danny Renahan, the protagonist of her unfinished first novel, The Little Street — on him.

What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: “Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” she wrote, gushing that Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’”

This echoes almost word for word Rand’s later description of her character Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead: “He was born without the ability to consider others.”

(The Fountainhead is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s favorite book — he even makes his clerks learn it, much as Vice President-to-be Paul Ryan tried making his interns read Rand.)

I’ll get to where Rand picked up her silly Superman blather from later — but first, let’s meet William Edward Hickman, the “genuinely beautiful soul” and inspiration to Ayn Rand. What you will read below — the real story, details included, of what made Hickman a “Superman” in Ayn Rand’s eyes — is rather gory reading, even if you’re a longtime fan of true crime “Death Porn” — so prepare yourself. Because you should read this to give Rand’s ideas their proper context, and to repeat this over and over until all of America understands what made this fucked-up Russian nerd’s mind tick, because Rand’s influence over the very people leading the fight to kill social programs, and her ideological influence on so many powerful bankers, regulators and businessmen who brought the financial markets crashing down, means that it’s suicide to ignore her, no matter how dumb, silly or beneath you her books and ideas are.

Rand fell for William Edward Hickman in the late 1920s, as the shocking story of Hickman’s crime started to grip the nation. His crime, trial and case was a non-stop headline grabber for months; the OJ Simpson of his day. Ayn Rand joined the herd of Hickman groupies, and there were lots of them at the time—much like metalhead serial killer groupies today, the types who write letters to imprisoned serial killers. That’s Ayn Rand. Here, for example, is an old newspaper clipping showing how common it was for the growing legions of reactionary waffendweebs of the late 1920’s to sign up for the William Edward Hickman Fan Club:

Is serial killer William Edward Hickman (left) opening one of Ayn Rand’s fangirl letters?

Hickman, who was only 19 when he was arrested for murder, was the son of a paranoid-schizophrenic mother and grandmother. His schoolmates said that as a kid Hickman liked to strangle cats and snap the necks of chickens for fun — most of the kids thought he was a budding maniac, though the adults gave him good marks for behavior, a typical sign of sociopathic cunning. He enrolled in college but quickly dropped out, and quickly turned to violent crime largely driven by the thrill and arrogance typical of sociopaths: in a brief and wild crime spree that grew increasingly violent, Hickman knocked over dozens of gas stations and drug stores across the Midwest and west to California. Along the way it’s believed he strangled a girl in Milwaukee, and killed his crime partner’s grandfather in Pasadena, tossing his body over a bridge after taking his money. Hickman’s partner later told police that Hickman told him how much he’d like to kill and dismember a victim someday — and that day did come for Hickman.

One afternoon, Hickman drove up to Mount Vernon Junior High school in Los Angeles, and told administrators that he’d come to pick up “the Parker girl” — her father, Perry Parker, was a prominent banker. Hickman didn’t know the girl’s first name, so when he was asked which of the two Parker twins — Hickman answered, “the younger daughter.” And then he corrected himself: “The smaller one.” The school administrator fetched young Marion, and brought her out to Hickman. No one suspected his motive; Marion obediently followed Hickman to his car as she was told, where he promptly kidnapped her. He wrote a ransom note to Marion’s father, demanding $1,500 for her return, promising that the girl would be left unharmed. Marion was terrified into passivity — she even waited in the car for Hickman when he went to mail his letter to her father. Hickman’s extreme narcissism comes through in his ransom letters, as he refers to himself as a “master mind [sic]” and “not a common crook.” Hickman signed his letters “The Fox” because he admired his own cunning: “Fox is my name, very sly you know.” And then he threatened: “Get this straight. Your daughter’s life hangs by a thread.”

Marian Parker (1915-1927) by peril61

Photo of Marion (also spelled “Marian”) Parker

Hickman and the girl’s father exchanged letters over the next few days as they arranged the terms of the ransom, while Marion obediently followed her captor’s demands. She never tried to escape the hotel where he kept her; Hickman even took her to a movie, and she never screamed for help. She remained quiet and still as told when Hickman tied her to the chair — he didn’t even bother gagging her because there was no need to, right up to the gruesome end.

Suitcase containing some of Marion Parker’s remains and blood-soaked towels

Hickman’s last ransom note to Marion’s father is where this story reaches its disturbing apex: Hickman fills the letter with hurt anger over her father’s suggestion that Hickman might deceive him, and “ask you for your $1500 for a lifeless mass of flesh I am base and low but won’t stoop to that depth.” What Hickman didn’t say was that as he wrote the letter, Marion was already several chopped-up lifeless masses of flesh. Why taunt the father? Why feign outrage? This sort of bizarre taunting was all part of the serial killer’s thrill, maximizing the sadistic pleasure he got from knowing that he was deceiving the father before the father even knew what happened to his daughter. But this was nothing compared to the thrill Hickman got from murdering the helpless 12-year-old Marion Parker. Here is an old newspaper description of the murder, taken from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on December 27, 1927:

“It was while I was fixing the blindfold that the urge to murder came upon me,” he continued, “and I just couldn’t help myself. I got a towel and stepped up behind Marian. Then before she could move, I put it around her neck and twisted it tightly. I held on and she made no outcry except to gurgle. I held on for about two minutes, I guess, and then I let go. When I cut loose the fastenings, she fell to the floor. I knew she was dead. Well, after she was dead I carried her body into the bathroom and undressed her, all but the underwear, and cut a hole in her throat with a pocket knife to let the blood out.”

Another newspaper account dryly explained what Hickman did next:

Then he took a pocket knife and cut a hole in her throat. Then he cut off each arm to the elbow. Then he cut her legs off at the knees. He put the limbs in a cabinet. He cut up the body in his room at the Bellevue Arms Apartments. Then he removed the clothing and cut the body through at the waist. He put it on a shelf in the dressing room. He placed a towel in the body to drain the blood. He wrapped up the exposed ends of the arms and waist with paper. He combed back her hair, powdered her face and then with a needle fixed her eyelids. He did this because he realized that he would lose the reward if he did not have the body to produce to her father.

Hickman packed her body, limbs and entrails into a car, and drove to the drop-off point to pick up his ransom; along his way he tossed out wrapped-up limbs and innards scattering them around Los Angeles. When he arrived at the meeting point, Hickman pulled Marion’s head and torso out of a suitcase and propped her up, her torso wrapped tightly, to look like she was alive–he sewed wires into her eyelids to keep them open, so that she’d appear to be awake and alive. When Marion’s father arrived, Hickman pointed a sawed-off shotgun at him, showed Marion’s head with the eyes sewn open (it would have been hard to see for certain that she was dead), and then took the ransom money and sped away. As he sped away, he threw Marion’s head and torso out of the car, and that’s when the father ran up and saw his daughter–and screamed.

marian body1

Marion Parker’s discarded limbs

This is the “amazing picture” Ayn Rand — guru to the Republican/Tea Party right-wing — admired when she wrote in her notebook that Hickman represented “the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatsoever for all that a society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul. Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should.”

Other people don’t exist for Ayn, either. Part of her ideas are nothing more than a ditzy dilettante’s bastardized Nietzsche — but even this was plagiarized from the same pulp newspaper accounts of the time. According to an LA Times article in late December 1927, headlined “Behavioralism Gets The Blame,” a pastor and others close to the Hickman case denounce the cheap trendy Nietzschean ideas that Hickman and others latch onto as a defense:

“Behavioristic philosophic teachings of eminent philosophers such as Nietzsche and Schopenhauer have built the foundation for William Edward Hickman’s original rebellion against society…” the article begins.

hickman hanged

Rand denounced the hanging as, “The mob’s murderous desire to revenge its hurt vanity against the man who dared to be alone.”

The fear that some felt at the time was that these philosophers’ dangerous, yet nuanced ideas would fall into the hands of lesser minds, who would bastardize Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and poison the rest of us. Which aptly fits the description of Ayn Rand, whose philosophy developed out of her admiration for “Supermen” like Hickman. Rand’s philosophy can be summed up by the title of one of her best-known books:The Virtue of Selfishness. She argues that all selfishness is a moral good, and all altruism is a moral evil, even “moral cannibalism” to use her words. To her, those who aren’t like-minded sociopaths are “parasites” and “lice” and “looters.”

But with Rand, there’s something more pathological at work. She’s out to make the world more sociopath-friendly so that people like Ayn and her hero William Hickman can reach their full potential, not held back by the morality of the “weak,” whom Rand despised.

Atlas Shrugging: Paul Ryan’s guru never forgave “the parasites” for hanging her first John Galt hero

That’s what makes it so creepy how Rand and her followers clearly get off on hating and bashing those they perceived as weak–Rand and her followers have a kind of fetish for classifying weaker, poorer people as “parasites” and “lice” who need to swept away. This is exactly the sort of sadism, bashing the helpless for kicks, that Rand’s hero Hickman would have appreciated. What’s really unsettling is that even former Central Bank chief Alan Greenspan, whose relationship with Rand dated back to the 1950s, did some parasite-bashing of his own. In response to a 1957New York Times book review slamming Atlas Shrugged, Greenspan, defending his mentor, published a letter to the editor that ends:

Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.

Alan Greenspan

As much as Ayn Rand detested human “parasites,” there is one thing she strongly believed in: creating conditions that increase the productivity of her Supermen – the William Hickmans who rule her idealized America: “If [people] place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man’s life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite.”

ayn rand2

The Russian Bag Lady Who Blew Paul Ryan’s Mind

And yet Republican faithful like GOP Congressman Paul Ryan read Ayn Rand and declare, with pride, “Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.” Indeed. Except that Ayn Rand also despised democracy, as she declared: “Democracy, in short, is a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights: the majority can do whatever it wants with no restrictions. In principle, the democratic government is all-powerful. Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom.”

“Collectivism” is another one of those Randian epithets popular among her followers. Here for example is another Republican member of Congress, the one with the freaky thousand-yard-stare, Michelle Bachman, parroting the Ayn Rand ideological line, to explain her reasoning for wanting to kill social programs:

“As much as the collectivist says to each according to his ability to each according to his need, that’s not how mankind is wired. They want to make the best possible deal for themselves.”

Whenever you hear politicians or Tea Baggers dividing up the world between “producers” and “collectivism,” just know that those ideas and words more likely than not are derived from the deranged mind of a serial-killer groupie. When you hear them threaten to “Go John Galt,” hide your daughters and tell them not to talk to any strangers — or Tea Party Republicans. And when you see them taking their razor blades to the last remaining programs protecting the middle class from total abject destitution — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and brag about their plans to slash them for “moral” reasons, just remember Ayn’s morality and who inspired her.

rand family kids

William Edward Hickman’s wet dream come true

Too many critics of Ayn Rand would rather dismiss her books and ideas as laughable, childish, hackneyed, lame, embarrassing–”Nietzsche for sorority girls” was how I used to dismiss her. I did that with the Christian Right, like a lot of people who didn’t want to take on something as big, bland and impervious as them. Too many of us focused elsewhere–until it was too late and the Christian fundamentalist crazies took over America. So this time I’m paying more attention–late as usual, but maybe there’s still time to head off the worst that’s yet to come–because Rand’s name keeps foaming out of the mouths of the Teabagger crowd and the elite conservative circuit in Washington. Ayn Rand is the guru, and they are the “Rand Family” followers carrying out her vision. The only way to protect ourselves from this thinking is the way you protect yourself from serial killers: smoke the Rand followers out, make them answer for following the crazed ideology of a serial-killer-groupie, and run them the hell out of town and out of our hemisphere.

This article first appeared in Alternet.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. FrankB

    It isn’t that big a step from Romney causes cancer in steelworker’s wife to Ryan dismembers little girls.

    Demonization of political opponents is a Chicago value.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Ames said no such thing and your comment is intellectually dishonest. Ames and his partner Yasha have been harder on Dem hacks than just about anyone.

    2. bulfinch

      Not that big a step?? In fact, it’s a gigantic, logic-defying step from one to the other; IF any reasonably sane person attempted to make that mental leap, it would tear both their legs off.

    3. Karl Rove's Brain

      Whining when your batshit plutocrat-suckup politician is called out for preaching the crypto-fascist works of Ayn Rand, rather than engaging the arguments, is typical paid-troll behavior. Engage the article.

    4. Percy

      I agree. Who would have imagined finding this sort of stuff on this blog? I assume it is because Mr. Ryan is perceived as a serious political threat to the liberal order, one Yves prefers. “Anne Rand fanboy,” indeed. Who on earth cares about Anne Rand? More than I would have thought, it apears. Now that surprises me.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, I have stated my views clearly, repeatedly:

        1. The differences between Obama and Romney are greatly exaggerated by the Ds and Rs. It is what the Japanese calle “a height competition among peanuts;

        2. I consider libertarianism to be an internally incoherent and socially destructive ideology. So I will avail myself of news hooks to go after it.

        1. Peripheral Visionary

          I will join with the others who state that this is below the usual standards of this blog. This is straight out of the “I saw him at a party with a Commie once” guilt-by-association playbook that caused no end of trouble barely a generation ago.

          Paul Ryan should be engaged on his political policy; not on his alleged connections (I am being generous – Ames does virtually nothing to make the connection) to Ayn Rand, who in turn has alleged connections to a criminal. Surely this is not the only politician who has alleged links to an intermediary who has alleged links to a serious criminal; why exactly is this particular case of such special concern?

          Again, Ryan should be engaged on his policy, and failure to do so suggests a fear of such an engagement.

          But to engage you on your points:

          1. If the differences between the Democrats and Republicans are not much, then that would mean that neither are particularly libertarian in ideological bent (and any self-declared libertarian would likely tell you as much).

          You can criticize Republicans for being too sympathetic to libertarians, or you can criticize Democrats and Republicans for not being that far removed in political philosophy, but you cannot do both at once without generating a fundamental contradiction, because if you consider the Democratic leadership to be libertarian in any way, then we have different definitions of the word “libertarian”.

          2. This sounds suspiciously like the-ends-justifies-the-means thinking. Also, the argument that a philosophy is so dangerous that it should be engaged on fronts other than the philosophical front sounds suspiciously like someone is having a difficult time bringing an argument on the philosophical front.

          To be clear, I am not a libertarian, and think libertarianism has serious weaknesses, and can be effectively engaged on the philosophical front (e.g., by highlighting that externalities are so broad and endemic that they require some level of government involvement in society). But this isn’t it. And these sorts of reactions are only going to increase the mystique of libertarianism and increase its anti-establishment credentials, which may only draw more people to it, just as the anti-Communist hysterias of the early 20th Century frequently had the opposite of the intended effect.

          1. Anthony

            So-called Intellectuals get on my nerves, saying Yves posting Mark’s story was below the belt because the man should be engaged on his political ideology?

            Are you f*cking serious????

            The entirety of the Republican Party if you call yourself a member of it you have a screw loose. A party that openly demonizes “others” (People of Color and those that don’t share their blood lusting Sharia Christian ideology) are the party of the Klan and murderous Abortion Clinic protesters, don’t pretend that is not the case.

            They are the worst of the worst of citizens to call themselves Americans. To worship Ayn like Raygun is not surprising. The fact that the MSM never bothers to make the connection to this blood lust is more than troubling.

            Both parties are the same heads on a coin, it at least the Democrats pretend to give a f**k.

            Its perfectly okay to make this connection, its important.

          2. enouf

            Anthony says:
            August 13, 2012 at 4:36 am

            ” … The entirety of the Republican Duopoly Legacy Nightmare-On-Elm-Street Party, if you call yourself a member of it you have a screw loose. …”

            There, fixed it for ya.. ..which only goes to bolster Peripheral Visionary’s eloquent and reasoned statements. Maybe now you can sort out your cognitive dissonance a little more easily.


          3. enouf

            bah.. heh, ..messed up the html tagging; should’ve been;

            Anthony says:
            August 13, 2012 at 4:36 am

            ” … The entirety of the Republican Duopoly Legacy Nightmare-On-Elm-Street Party, if you call yourself a member of it you have a screw loose. …”

            There, fixed it for ya.. ..which only goes to bolster Peripheral Visionary’s eloquent and reasoned statements. Maybe now you can sort out your cognitive dissonance a little more easily.


          4. ScreenName47

            As someone who IS a self-declared libertarian, I’d like to applaud you on your excellent points. This is very clearly an ad-hominem attack, nothing more, nothing less. It’s so sad to see the author of this blog so turned around on this one. And to think that anyone with the exception of Ron Paul comes anywhere near representing libertarian philosophy, well… it’s just sadly naive.

            To address the points in this article, where to even start… digging up the personal flaws of a dead libertarian author, with the terrible accusation being that she admired people who committed terrible crimes against a handful of people, that’s the issue here?

            The government steals from the productivity of the people and gives it to murderers (“soldiers”) who slaughter innocents not by the tens or hundreds or thousands, or even tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, but but the MILLIONS! How many human souls were snuffed out by men (and women) carrying the implements of destruction and the ridiculous costume of the State in the past century? I’ll give you a hint: the number has nine digits in it.

            And you dare to stand there with moral superiority and condemn our thinkers for not committing ACTUAL violence, but for admiring those that did, when we live in a world that positively WORSHIPS violence?

            You are lost. You cannot be helped. I pity you.

          5. Chris Stahnke

            Whether Ayn Rand is a sociopath or not, the ultimate aim of right-wing Republican thought is to demonize the weak and exalt the powerful. There is no other possible reading of the agenda. When they speak of “liberty” they mean the liberty of the individual to acquire as much wealth and power as possible and, to echo, Crowley, “do what thou wilt.” Rand was just another version of Crowley as were many in that era, including Hitler, Stalin and their followers.

          6. Duerksen

            Ryan has stated many times in recent years that Rand’s “philosophy” is central to his worldview. He stated that she was reason he entered politics. Reportedly , he has always made his staff read “Atlas Shrugged”. There. Connected.

            …of course, the minute a batch of Catholic Bishops challenged him on the inhumanity of Rand’s spew a few months back, Ryan threw her right under the bus. This fundamental weaseliness would seem to be firm evidence that Ryan is an Objectivist.

    5. Salamander

      I have to agree. This post is unworthy of a link in this most excellent blog.

      Regardless of the merits or lack thereof of libertarianism… it’s an attempt to equate Paul Ryan with a mudering sociopath… how again? Oh geeze, it was so long-winded, full of tentative connections, add hominems, and hyperbole I’ve forgotten already.

      You’re not one to be overly influenced by others’opinions Yves, I know; it’s a quality that I admire.

      But really: posts like this merely discredit the lucent and vital central message of this blog.

      1. Karl Rove's Brain

        Salamander–Concern troll alert! Normally, I bla bla bla like this blog bla bla. However, in this case I am concerned that bla bla bla your credibility bla bla bla. Paid for by the Concern Troll Public Relations Firm, Arlington, VA LLC

        1. Salamander

          Now that’s interesting… I’m curious KRB – why would you want to telegraph to me that you access to my IP address and you know where I am geographically? Is there some kind of cryptic message there, or did you just think that it would be clever?

    6. vtek

      i don’t find this article to be in good taste. when neocons played on obama’s ties to bill ayers, democrats screamed guilt by association. this article is that same guilt by association only a degree removed.

      as a side note, i read atlas shrugged and enjoyed it because it challenged my views. i ended up rejecting its tenets but was better able to justify my own views as a results. the book must certainly not be used as a bible, but it’s not something to be feared.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Well, there really are ties between Obama and Bill Ayers. Most likely, Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s first book for him.

        That is significant.

        And how did Ayers avoid prison? How likely do you think it is that the government would (oops) mess up its case against the Weather Underground? Surely the people that didn’t end up in jail should be suspected of being agents provocateurs or spies. And then Obama pals around with this guy in Chicago and has him help develop Obama’s cover story?

        Obama was created by intelligence to be the ultimate “progressive” pied piper.

    7. Stan Musical

      People! Your earnest replies to these worthless trolls are endearing but a waste of time! When idiots like “FrankB” spew their content-free talking points, the best thing to do is ignore them–don’t feed the trolls!

      Ayn Rand and anyone who likes, espouses, champions, or otherwise agrees with her ideas, are hateful people! Call them sociopaths, whatever, they’re–and I say this as an animal lover–just beasts. They deserve no empathy, needless to say, but otherwise should be regarded with extreme prejudice–stay away from them, defend yourself from them, disempower them if you can, and maybe some day we can wipe the earth free of them—-as Randian as that last proposal sounds…..

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Uh, Stan, as you seem to be aware . . . you yourself are “espousing” a “Randian” idea:

        “Ayn Rand and anyone who likes, espouses, champions, or otherwise agrees with her ideas, are hateful people! Call them sociopaths, whatever, they’re–and I say this as an animal lover–just beasts. They deserve no empathy, needless to say, but otherwise should be regarded with extreme prejudice–stay away from them, defend yourself from them, disempower them if you can, and maybe some day we can wipe the earth free of them. . . .”

      2. sthrmn

        “Genius is a superstition. There’s no such thing as the intellect. A man’s brain is a social product; a sum of influences he’s picked up from those around him. Nobody invents anything, he merely reflects what’s floating in the social atmosphere. A genius is an intellectual scavenger, a greedy hoarder of ideas which rightfully belong to society, from which he stole them. All thought is theft. If we do away with private fortunes, we’ll have a fairer distribution of wealth. If we do away with genius, we’ll have a fairer distribution of ideas.”

        – Floyd Ferris, one of the top bureaucrats in Atlas Shrugged

        Sound like anyone you know?

  2. bulfinch

    Yeah, and I really get a sense that you’re the kind of soulful, sensitive guy who can’t sleep at night for thinking about that mountain of skulls.

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Nuanced ideas…

    Forget nuanced ideas. These ideas are all too yang.

    Water, being weak, conquers all. Here is one translated quote:

    “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”

    Here is another:

    “In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.”

    There you go – the weak attacking the strong; not a problem.

    The meek will have it all at the end.

    1. Uncle Bob

      I concur..Based on the 1960’s Mike Wallace interview..laced with Cold War propaganda..Ayn’s reactionary response to growing up in a communist society..joined with the John Birch Society’s philosophy of the 50’s and 60’s legitimated the Cold War hyperbole

  4. albrt

    The Republicans are going this far right for exactly one reason – because the Democrats are hot on their heels chasing them to the right.

    The Republicans are just filling the time honored role of the conservative party – promoting the interests of entrenched elites using fear and prejudice.

    The Democrats are the ones who have abandoned their base and their purpose, and who will likely disappear from the national scene after Obama privatizes the last vestiges of the safety net in 2013-14.

    1. Suzan

      I’ve been saying the same thing about the Dems being the ones to disappear as a party after Obama colludes in the final destruction of the safety net.

      Yay CIA!

  5. sd

    “…with Rand, there’s something more pathological at work. She’s out to make the world more sociopath-friendly so that people like Ayn and her hero William Hickman can reach their full potential, not held back by the morality of the “weak,” whom Rand despised.”

    That’s probably the best succinct description of Washington DC today.

    1. Clara

      Yes, but we will find out where these pod-people have stashed their pods and wipe them out just like in the movie.

      Next we will hear that sociopaths are a suppressed people.

  6. Robin Hood

    The Sherrif of Nottingham frequently had people half hung, then drawn and quartered. But they were all male and over 18 years of age.

    Was this Marion maid a witch perhaps? That may explain Ms. Rand’s admiration for Mssrs. Hickman?

    If Alan Greenspan worshiped Ms. Rand, does that mean he also beleived this Marion maid is a witch?

    I would pose the same query to Paul of Rand.

    Oh, never mind.

  7. Nicholas

    Thanks Mark Ames. Great Article.

    Sociopathy/selfishness seems to have a certain mass appeal…

    I still believe in helping people… but it’s not easy for me to keep believing this. Optimally I’d like only the people who deserve help to be helped, but I know that there is no character screener/laziness screener for individuals, so the morally good option is to not attack/possibly help all the disadvantaged.

    The morally good option is NOT to disregard/worsen conditions for many people just because some are not worth it (lazy, cruel, drug-addicted, so on.)

    That’s just the cold hearted and selfish option.

    And selfish cold heartedness seems to be at the core of being a true right wing republican… although rarely if ever explicitly stated.

    Things would be great if right wing people actually believed in and properly applied the teachings of Jesus, not Ayn Rand.

    1. deffe

      If you’re an american, you’ve been bombarded with stupid individualist ideological stuff since you were a tiny child. And your culture has been torn apart, leaving everyone alienated from everyone. It sucks.

      They’ve also heavily promoted the totally fallacious notion of negative liberty. Negative liberty is such a fucking fiction, but it sounds true if you don’t think about it.

      We’re all people, and we should help each other even if we think others are gross or stupid or whatever. the only reasons not to are incredibly selfish and disgusting. And most people who it seems unappealing to help didn’t become unappealing on their own. A big fucked up chain of causality left them unappealing to society at large.

      We’re all human beings, social darwinism was supposedly refuted and thrown aside 100 years ago, but the republicans have brought it back with a vengeance.

      Thanks for posting this article, Yves

  8. Conscience of a Conservative

    It will never cease to amaze me tht Ayn Rand’s name often generates the most toxic responses by the left. Read Atlas Shrugged during jury duty a while back and the stares the cover got…well

    1. bulfinch

      Those knowing looks may have been ones of sympathy, given the turgid, bloodless chunk of a book.

      1. Stan Musical

        My “sediments” exactly, it’s toxic sludge.

        But CofaC’s statement is interesting, because it makes apparent the very phenomenon at issue here–the blinders-on individualism that in fact is worship of an ideal individual and thus disregard and disgust at real individuals, i.e. people.

        They’re supposedly all for the (wo)man in the face of faceless bureaucracies/gub’mint, but in fact there’s a callow disregard amongst such people for what makes us human in the first place.

        Not to say plenty of lefties aren’t marching in lock-step to some fantasy, but since I deal regularly with hippies to extreme righties, I see that the latter are mostly tied up in such a web of contradictions (another I love is the full-of-fear aggressiveness) that any kind of serious debate is likely to do no more than make one crazy.

    2. F. Beard

      Hey Coc,

      What did you think of the rape scene in Atlas Shrugged?

      Did that agree with your so-called “conscience”?

    3. citalopram

      I got half way through it before hurling it across the room because it was just well, that bad. I then skipped to the end to read to long, wooden speech by Galt and laughed after it was done. It’s not even good fiction.

  9. brian t

    Without wishing to support Rand or Hickman, I would point out that several decades passed between the 1920s and the 1950s. If you have a silly youthful infaturation in your early 20s, is it sensible to assume it’s carried forward as-is in to your 50s? I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things since I was in my 20s. I don’t think it makes sense to keep attacking Rand over something she said half a lifetime before she wrote any books.

    1. LucyLulu

      True. Thirty years is a long time and people can change.

      Rand didn’t. She may have given up obsessing over axe murderers but her lack of a conscience, lack of human compassion and her perverse sense of morality was still evident when she wrote The Virtue of Selfishness in the 1960’s.

    2. accidentalfission

      She certainly did change over the years. From rugged, lone, do-it-yourself, individualism to accepting medicare when she became ill with cancer later in her life.

      That would be “collectivism” wouldn’t it? Some of just call it “insurance.”

    3. G Sanders

      Aha! But could a regular, genuine hard-core sociopath be mellowed by life’s experiences? Is it not true generally, that one the traits that make them sociopathic is a closemindedness about meaning and understanding of world’s affairs?

  10. Kiste

    “There the rationale is a bizarre combination of “punish the borrowers” when countries like Ireland and Spain were held up as poster children of economic success until the bust”

    Why does this idiotic non-sequitur keep popping up here on NC? Seriously, what’s the argument here?

    1. jsn

      Spain and Ireland, of European nations, most deeply internalized the Neo-Liberal financial modes before the bust. Both governments ran surpluses, depleting the private wealth of their citizens while their deregulated banks went on an epic debt binge.

      When the bust occurred, indoctrinated to Neo Liberalism, both governments took on the insane private debts of their private banks rather than liquidating them as capitalism supposedly does to failed banks.

      The governments of Ireland and Spain did not run up their debts, private bankers in those nations did and before any homeowner ever takes on a bad mortgage there has been a prior failure to underwrite at a bank, a bank who is by charter responsible to do underwriting and by resources much better placed to predict the performance of a loan.

        1. jsn

          But Yves response below is so much better! I should have pointed out that a large portion of the bad debts in Ireland and Spain originated in Core area banks, Germany, Holland and France and that the so called “bail outs” discussed for these countries are really just transfers from the ECB through them back to Core banks who are the only institutions in Europe really getting “bailed out”.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I must note you have no rebuttal and can merely call names.

      Spain and Ireland were regularly cited as great successes pre crisis and had also followed neoliberal prescriptions. And now they are being put on the rack for having followed the advice of economists and folks at places like the IMF. And they get hectored by people like you who deny the history because it conflicts with your pet morality narrative.

      Go read Josh Rosner’s post. Germany’s leadership bears a huge amount of blame here, but you have been conned into blaming furriners since that’s convenient. Specifically:

      Past Eurozone growth, particularly in Germany, did not come from meaningful improvements in productivity, but rather on the back of household wage reductions and industry-friendly reforms to the labor market – the Hartz reforms – which transferred wealth from the people to the banking and export-driven sectors of the economy.

      While German and French taxpayers are justifiably angry, their anger is largely misdirected. Rather than embracing the false narrative blaming only peripheral nations for requiring bailouts, the anger should more rightfully be directed at:

      • Designers of the European Monetary Union who, at the creation of the EMU, ignored regular and repeated warnings, from noted academics, analysts and policy advisors, that structural weaknesses would lead us to the crisis we now face;

      • Banks, in the core, with weak internal controls and excessive leverage, which were profligate lenders in search of yield, to weak private, corporate and sovereign creditors in the peripheral countries;

      • Those officials and technocrats who failed to properly regulate the domestic banking industry and allowed bankers to treat all sovereign debt as equal regardless of the differing debt capacity of the issuer;

      • Rating agencies that failed to offer meaningful analysis of sovereign credit capacities and also assumed that too-big-to-fail financial institutions ratings should reflect an implied or explicit guarantee by their home country;

      • Political leaders who, since the beginning of the crisis, downplayed its ultimate costs and, thus, delayed its resolution and increased the ultimate costs to taxpayers

  11. skippy

    In my book, had GB put as many Ayn Rand’s, as it took to fill the Olympic cauldron… and set alight… I would have warm fuzzy feelings about witch burnings hence forth.

    Skippy… a more historically correct opening too… IMO.

  12. polistra

    One important confusion in the piece. “Christian fundamentalists” in the proper sense are just as thoroughly opposed to Rand as the author is.

    He’s conflating fundamentalists with Prosperity Doctrine followers, who are Randian in their focus on wealth as the single goal of life.

    Prosperity Doctrine types have recently used evangelical language (eg the Bakkers) but they have also overlapped with New-Agey “spiritualism” and with mainstream denominations. They’re not Christian in any sense of the word.

    1. Lambert Strether

      There is no “confusion” in the post on Christian[ist] fundamentalism, which Ames uses as an example of a missed opportunity to engage politically with an ideology in a timely manner. This has nothing to do with the prosperity gospel.

    2. patricia

      Polistra, I agree that Prosperity Gospel is a path that most Evangelical Christians don’t take. However, they (the general bunch, not all among them) have instinctively adopted parts of the Rand philosophy for these reasons:

      1. They view themselves as separate and favored. Biblical principles of the loving sort generally apply to themselves first, and leftovers go to others. They believe that the rest of the world is under the Judgment of God and need to be left to the consequences of dog-eat-dog.

      2. They believe that they have the full and complete truth, which should be instituted throughout the world. This includes reforming the government into a Christian view. But since their idea of government would also be governing those who do not believe, judgment and dog-eat-dog should be applied.

      3. They put a high value on personal responsibility, money, and hard work. They see this as capitalism and have elevated its current form next to the ten commandments. And since many of the sociopathic precepts of Rand have come to govern the economic field, they accept them because they hear this: she promotes reward for hard work, the virtue of money, “taking care of your own”, and the sense of superiority that arises from being separate and “in the know”.

      4. We can know that Evangelicals have raised the current economic system to the level of blind faith because the obvious harm has only caused them to double and triple their devotion to it.

      1. F. Beard

        There’s a lot of truth in what you say.

        However stealing, even from non-believers, is forbidden. Thus Christians should be (and many are) opposed to the current money system which is based on usury for stolen purchasing power, especially from the poor.

        Can the Left say as much?

      2. patricia

        Yah, I’m offering a generalization, a community zeitgeist. I’m not talking about you, Beard.

        Few people think that stealing is ok. (Not even the banksters which is why they avoid “fraud” like the plague.) Disagreement comes in what is meant by the term. And for the general Evangelical community, stealing is often declared anytime money is spread across the broader community, because they do not include “those others” as part of the group.

        Yet even when they do include the others, such as in their proposal that the medically uninsured should be cared for by church charities, they show their group-centricity. There is no way that they could take care of all those who would fall into need. They don’t even take care of all the needy now. What is their thinking is behind the proposal?

        We’re discussing a specific religious group with a pernicious set of biases/blinders that is causing harm to larger society. That most of them declare themselves on the Right is an interesting but separate issue. Seems to me our problems have grown far beyond the limited boundaries of left/right.

        Are you saying that there are no Christians in the Left?

        1. F. Beard

          Are you saying that there are no Christians in the Left? patricia

          No, I am sure there are. But many there seem to think that theft via banking is adequately treated with government social programs as if the victims have some kind of problem that must be treated. Whatever problems the victims may have is irrelevant to the fact that they are victims of theft.

  13. ambrit

    Mr. Schaeffer;
    Unfortunately, you have inadvertantly stumbled across Mr. Obamas’ horrible secret; he secretly, no, not secretly anymore, wants to be a .01%er, which does indeed include lots of the things you, supposedly in sarcastic delight, have enumerated.
    I have heard Arfican American people I work with refer to the President as Uncle Tom in Chief. They know, because they have to live with the results of the poor young mans’ decisions. Just as only ‘Nixon could go to China,’ so too, only Obama can cut the social safety nets.

  14. jsmith

    I am delighted that the Hickman case has finally been picked up by others who want to expose the Rand for the sociopath she was.

      1. F. Beard

        You go too far. Ayn Rand was a fascist, not a libertarian. She was in favor of government for the rich. Her gold standard advocacy is the proof.

      1. jsmith


        Beyond seeing how inherently super-kewel murderers of little girls are we get lovely stories concerning other Raggedy Randys – e.g., Alan Greenspan – who was a firm believer in both Rand’s horsesh!t and that fraud just wasn’t possible in the financial world.

        Ok, let’s see:

        Serial killers good.

        Fraud non-existent.

        Markets self-regulating.

        Unicorns can be housebroken.

        Everyman for himself.

        Greed is good.

        Yup, those sound like the kind of things the most powerful people in our society should believe in.

      2. Aquifer

        Precisely – which is why that, and not Rand’s fascination with Hinkman, is what should be the topic in eviscerating Ryan … but then we would have to get into how uncomfortably close Dem/Obama policy is to the same thing – a stinkweed by any other name and that is not where this post is taking us …

        1. pdx


          And +1 to the poster above who said Obama just got reelected. Ryan is just about the worst choice he could have made, and not because of some horseshit ad hom, either.

  15. Up the Ante

    Greenspan idolizing Rand lends credence to Greenspan modeling his entire life on Tolkien’s Gollum.

    My first impression from the likeness of her is she’s schizophrenic.

    Ayn Rand, abducted by the Nuclear Family .. as a child ?

    Ayn Rand Institute, Center for Sabotage and Reverse Engineering of America, Lost Script Division.

    The following is I believe the essence of their ‘problems’, lol,
    The Rand Institutians have “.. some questions.
    I’m sure Bloomber’s editorial desk does [too] …. (like whether they should kneel on the left knee or the right one before unzipping the banksters’ pants.) ”


    1. just me

      Heh, Tolkien.

      The best line I’ve ever heard about Ayn Rand’s influence:

      There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

      ~ Paul Krugman

      (Is it possible to imagine Greenspan as a 14-year-old?)

      1. Up the Ante

        “Is it possible to [not] imagine Greenspan as a 14-year-old? ”

        His consciousness burgeoning, the little glimmer of awareness that had begun was Whacked by social forces beyond his control [his family]. His consciousness thus became the ever-receding sense of existential Loss, his relation to each & every a Pleading for assistance with no real expectation of redemption. That was the Gollum-life, the Greenspan. His fondling of ‘data’ and ‘numbers’ was seen by himself as a means to exact Revenge upon those who refused to lend assistance. His valuation systems turned on their head, only Ayn Rand could be the helper, a helper he secretly knew was every the fraud that he, the Gollum-figure, was.

        His identity fused with ‘the helper’.


  16. Tom Crowl

    Ayn Rand’s positions will ultimately discredited because they are founded on bogus, unscientific assumptions.

    She never understood… and apparently neither do her followers… the implications of altruism’s biological roots.

    These roots are NOT rooted in ‘being nice or sacrificing your own interests’.

    These roots are in distinguishing between in-group and out-group and can be anything but ‘nice’ if you happen to be in the out-group.

    Further, ‘intellectual altruism’… a very good thing… doesn’t fully address the problem. In scaled groups its insufficient without technologies to counteract the subtle ‘cronyism’ which is connected to something called natural human community size (Dunbar’s Number).

    THIS is what the Randian’s won’t confront… the effect of scale on biological altruism and how that inevitably leads to unsustainable imbalances.

    Never let a Randian tell you he’s being ‘scientific’…

    (I’m a little disappointed I never hear this argument presented… but sooner-or-later I’ll have the chance. The situation I was put in by the big banks has slowed down my little project but I believe that’s being overcome. Frankly I don’t believe this argument can be seriously rebutted and it needs to be offered.)

    Issues in Scaling Civilization: The Altruism Dilemma

    Ayn Rand & Alan Greenspan: The Altruism Fly in the Objectivist Ointment

    Compensation and the Social Network

    1. JEHR

      Tom, you have some very interesting observations on the social body and body politic. Thank you.

    2. Chris Stahnke

      Rand and other thinkers of the era based their ideologies on the science of the time that tended towards fragmentation of knowledge and nature. The general opinion was that we were in one big war of all against all and we needed to be strong. You can see this in many areas of Euro-thought and even art movements. We now know that those notions are even sillier than the flat-earth society. But the findings of neuro-science may take decades to filter down to the general public and most right-wingers and libertarians do not like to engage in intellectual discussions that involve give and take since they already know the truth. The answer to the ambiguity of modernism is to seek refuge in false certainties in order to keep some kind of stable mythological framework in place. My view is that human beings need a solid sense of what is so if they lack the intellectual tools to cope with discordant information.

  17. alimentary my dear Watsoned

    Hacktivism like cable news is the cleanest, greenest
    industry around, it runs on dirt. In the silly season they carry water according to identity/affinity, making mud.

  18. Working Class Nero

    In idealizing Hickman, Rand was just articulating what most women in their hindbrains feel: an intense and irrational attraction to psychopathic men. Often socialization trains their more logical forebrains to resist this inborn desire for dangerous, selfish, violent men — but not always. Popular media is often used as an outlet for this desire for psychopathic alpha males. Rand was just rebelling from her socialization and exposing her true female self.

    There are innumerable examples of serial killers who are flooded with female attention once they are in prison. Ted Bundy even managed to impregnate one of his female admirers. One startling example was when Rosalie Martinez left her prominent lawyer husband and married her client, mass murderer Jesse Bolin, a death row inmate. She left behind her four daughters with her former husband.

    Only people unfamiliar with human nature and female preference for psychopaths are surprised by the success of “Fifty Shades of Grey” or the Twilight series. Hervey Cleckley who wrote the classic study on psychopaths, “The Mask of Sanity” said that one recurring characteristic of the psychopaths he studied was that women found them absolutely irresistible. He was concerned for the future since he saw that psychopaths had a huge potential demographic advantage in their ability to easily obtain female reproductive opportunities at a higher rate than non-psychopathic men were able to get.

    There are various theories as to why women have this desire for violent, non-conformist men. Human societies have been historically much more violent than our current situation. Back in the day when slave raiders could arrive at any moment to sweep a family away it probably made good evolutionary sense to have a very violent father and his resulting violent sons to fight off these raids. The key from the woman’s point of view was to direct her psychopath’s violence outwardly towards others.

    So there is nothing the least bit surprising that Ayn Rand would be profoundly impacted by a psychopathic murderer. The only surprising thing would be if any women found a steady Freddy, good family provider but socially inept beta male to be ideal. In fact the whole unspoken aim of feminism is to free women from the oppression of beta males.

    Typical non-Western societies have an inherently unstable “big-man” social structure. A few alpha big men dominate access to both resources and females. In such a society a women is better off with 1/10th of a big man (in other words to share him with nine other women) that to have all of a desperately poor “little man”. Historically, only 40% of men reproduced compared to 80% of women. This creates a “Bare Sticks” problem where disposed men with no chance of ever raising a family and therefore contributing to society, decide to rebel and become bandits and parasites on society.

    Western society developed a much more egalitarian social structure through such ideas as democracy, though the ideas (but often not the deeds) of Christianity, but also by systemically limiting female economic opportunities. With Christianity limiting the big man effect; women were forced to go lower and lower down the male status structure to find mates. This sucked for women but society gained as more and more men were drawn into becoming productive, child-rearing, members of society. A women stuck with a low status beta male would have to fall back on fantasy and later romance literature to fill her craving for alpha males.

    With the rise of feminism and the ability of women to achieve their own economic success; combined with the very un-Randian phenomenon of government taking over the role of provider male to single poor mothers; women have pretty much freed themselves from beta males and they are now all free to pursue those elusive few psychopathic alpha males. Certainly in the bottom quintile women fight for the thugiest thugs to father their children in the brief time these thugs are out of prison. Since the government pays all the resulting bills, there is absolutely no reason for poor women to settle for a hard working beta male. In the working classes, there is a systemic culling of beta males though the process of globalization off-shoring jobs and in-shoring cheap third world immigrants to undercut working class wages. This is combined with a boom over the past twenty years in female health care and public sector work mean there is very little a women needs from a working class man anymore. These same processes are also starting to impact the middle class as well. Beta males still have a place in upper middle class society for the time being. The rich have been transforming themselves from beta male “bon père de famille” (examples of which would be Rockefeller Republican types who built California’s public university system) to psychopathic Wall Street vampires.

    So while it makes sense for the rich to push Rand, we are also seeing with the rising popularity of Rand among the lower social classes (middle and working class). To me this is part of the “Bare Sticks” process where disgruntled working and middle class men are baling on being socially productive members of society and are instead turning selfish. There has been a thirty year war on the good solid beta male provider and they are now seeing there is no future in that role. The way they see it is that society rejected them and now they will stop trying to build and concentrate instead on destroying, as Bare Sticks have always done.

    Women need a stable, safe and relatively egalitarian society to thrive economically. But does the deep-seeded female fascination of psychopathic alpha males combined with their overt loathing of beta males represent the seeds of a stable society’s destruction? Feminism needs to develop some sort of Bare Stick /Beta Male theory and find ways a feminist society can engage beta males into being productive and useful citizens and to avoid them becoming Bare Sticks.

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      “…Rand was just articulating what most women … feel…”

      In this statement, like all such statements:

      what most African Americans feel
      what most gays feel
      what most Muslims feel
      what most Hispanics feel

      lies the bedrock of Bigotry, and destroys any credibility of any further statements, no matter how informative.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Bill S: I understand your argument. On the other hand, if I accept it, there seems to be no way to discussion “the class of people who _____,” which would seem to make politics impossible. Economics too. Can you resolve?

        1. Bill the Psychologist

          I’m not sure who Bill S. is, are you referring to my post ?

          If so, see Yves’ rebuttal (below) of the original post I was responding to. It says it clearer than I did.

      2. Leeskyblue

        Bill, you might have more credibility if you just state your opinion without wearing a “I’m a psychologist” button on your lapel.
        That said, your comment was lacking and uninsightful, but without the professional label, you’d at least sound less pompous.

        1. Bill the Psychologist

          I attached “the Psychologist” to my name to distinguish myself from another Bill who posted here. I’m a retired Psychologist, but I don’t need psychologist training to understand that a statement like “what most xxx feel” without another statement referring to a study, is typically going to make a generalization which is not accurate, and is usually used IMHE, to form bigoted opinions.

          I won’t apologize for being a psychologist, or noting my profession, sorry. If it makes me seem pompous to you, you are the one who is attaching too much importance to it.

          1. Leeskyblue

            Bill, why do you ignore the 1000 pound gorilla in the bathtub? The excerpt cited from Rand’s notebooks is absolutely stunning.
            Whether it is a thing to gawk at as some monstrous apparition or something less egregious, how can one ignore it? Yet that is what you have done — and you are a psychologist. You have nothing better to offer?
            You claim stature, then you claim obedience to a much higher standard to which you must hold yourself and expect to be held.
            There is a simple explanation for the notebooks. I’m surprised that a few people haven’t seen it. The greater issues implied here are not so simple.
            You defined yourself as a guardian of the sacred trust which is our culture. I attempted comment elsewhere on this site which I deem inadequate — the question is huge. Sooner or later I will try again, and again. There’s plenty for you to do with your retirement Bill. Show some leadership please.

    2. ohmyheck

      “In fact the whole unspoken aim of feminism is to free women from the oppression of beta males.” Wait, what? Beta men are oppressive? I thought that Alpha men were oppressive? Are Beta men as well? I would consider Beta men to be our latter-day “metrosexuals”, who have embraced both their feminine and masculine sides, though that is just my belief, no scientific basis for it.

      Frankly, I am looking for a hard-working Beta man myself, assuming that your description of “oppressive” is incorrect. You’d be surprised how many momen would happily share their lives with a non-oppressive Beta male. Plenty of women like to have careers (masculine), and would appreciate a Beta male (feminine) as balance, so that they can express themselves in the world as they are, while allowing Beta males to express themselves in the world, as they are. Think Stay-at-Home Dads.
      Oh, and here is a link to a website, dedicated to marking and outing Psychopaths. Armed with information, Psychopaths’ days are numbered. People are being educated as to what it is to be targeted, and how to deal with them.

      There are a number of people at this website who decry ever coming in contact with a Psychopath/Sociopath. But, this also brings it back to your general comment-that women are attracted to Psychopath/Sociopath males. How about we say SOME women are?

      1. Working Class Nero

        You’re right Betas (usually) don’t directly oppress women; what I meant to say was that the system oppressed women in favour of beta males. Call it “Beta-privilege”. Back in the days before feminism, contraceptives were hard to come by; abortion was a no-go; economic opportunities were not enough to enable a woman to raise a child on her own; the government was not cutting checks to support single women; etc. So once a woman hit her twenties she had very few options. What her instincts were telling her to do was troll for a prize alpha while she was at her peak value on the sexual marketplace. But she had no certainty she wouldn’t end up pregnant while trying to capture her man. So what society forced her to do to avoid this was quickly settle by running to the comforting arms of a steady but often emotionally unfulfilling beta provider. Make no mistake about it, once women hit their mid to late thirties or hit a certain level of obesity they are ready to settle for a beta in any case.

        You are correct that this propensity for women to choose psychopaths should be discussed, if not for any other reason but the give women a heads up. There are books out now warning women about psychopaths.

        I agree that in the end, once the forebrain is engaged, only SOME women are attracted to psychopaths.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      I find your pet assumption to be bonkers.

      And your assumption that the tendency to want to be dominated is some deep seated BIOLOGICAL need is even nuttier. If you want to go for pop efforts at generalization, go look at what happens to women who engaged in casual sex pre the Pill. Scarlet A, Fontine having to turn to prostitution, etc. And they engaged in romantic sex.

      And tell me why dommes are exclusively female, that there is no corresponding male type in the BDSM culture that has leaked into the popular imagination? That suggests that the SUBSET of the population that has domination fantasies isn’t gender specific.

      Oh, and I’ve heard of dommes who have a huge business on Wall Street, which is not an environment known to be heavy on beta males. I heard about one ten years ago who got $500 and hour and spanked her client and made them clean her apartment. Made me wonder if I should reconsider my business model.

      1. Working Class Nero

        Female preference for psychopaths has absolutely nothing to do with S&M. You say that women expect to be dominated / abused in these relationships. Far from it, women expect to “tame” the psychopath with their love and to be protected by him from outside threats as, for example, in the Twilight series.

        At least two scientists have published on this subject, David Schmitt, of Bradley University who claims female preference for psychopaths is universal across cultures and Peter Karl Jonason of New Mexico State University who claims that women tend to prefer a “dark triad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I’m not impressed. There is a ton of shit social science out there. And I’ve done a ton of survey research. Administer biased questions. you get biased answers. Is his research double blind, placebo controlled? Or did he validate his survey instrument, which pretty much no one takes the time and money to do? I guarantee not.

          I hate to be a snob, but New Mexico State? “Bradley University”? Are you kidding me? This sound like guys from a clearly fourth tier school trying to build a name despite that by pumping an aggressive formulation of a theory that hews to cultural stereotypes. Queue Stanley Kowalski.

          How about “women have to put up with shit because childbearing puts them in a vulnerable position and some women make bad choices” maybe due to timing, available male/female ratios where they live, looks, flirtation/negotiating skills? Maybe these “dark triad” women felt they had to be married or in a relationship (women are under huge pressure to be coupled up) and all their choices sucked? So better an ambitious sociopath than a nice beta loser.

          And did they test any of these propensities with MEN? That was my point, which you completely ignored.

          1. Working Class Nero

            Agree that there is lots of shit social science and who knows these studies may be among them. It pretty hard to prove or falsify this stuff anyway.

            Aren’t you throwing your MMT buddies over at that august institution known as the University of Missouri — Kansas City under the bus with your dissing of fourth-tier universities?

            There are tons of examples of women in very comfortable situations choosing to throw it all away for psychopaths. That death row attorney is but one. The studies try to explain female preferences, of course we agree these types of studies can often be bullshit (which doesn’t prove anything one way or another).

            As far as studies of men, most of these revolve around the male propensity for violence. I’m not sure what you are after here.

          2. just me

            @Working Class Nero:

            Have you seen Inside Job?: The “top” universities’ econ departments are captured, corrupted creatures of Wall Street. e.g., Glenn Hubbard, Dean, Columbia University; John Campbell, Chairman, Harvard University — here’s a clip:

            Hubbard’s on Romney’s team now, which I think means that Obama will embrace him once the election’s over. Love how that works. Meanwhile, Bill Black was, is and will be kept outside. (Guess who I find more trustworthy?)

      2. patricia

        Nero: Having been raised by a penny-ante sociopath, I can say with absolute certainty that there is nothing attractive about this way of approaching the world.

        Stories like the one you tell, as also such as “Twilight” and that recent fiasco about shades of grey, become popular when there is economic distress combined with increased militarization (violence) combined with rampant injustice. They are tales that powerless people tell/read to soothe themselves, to escape into a place where all those monsters can be brought under control and made ok. It is psychological release (not a very good one) and everyone going into/coming out of the tale, knows that it is sheer fantasy.

        In fabricating your tale to soothe whatever distress you’re suffering, don’t make the mistake of generalizing it to reality.

        1. F. Beard

          I agree. My own failures wrt women I admired (at least I have good taste?) can be traced to a lack of kindness on my part toward OTHERS.

    4. juneau

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is a difference between sadism and socipathy.
      Hicks had both, really really enjoyed watching and making others suffer and die. Like the “Iceman”. And did it at will without a shred of conscience. Gleefully, as awful and evil as that is.

      He is of a rare breed thankfully. I observe that men and women can be attracted to strength and ruthlessness (think of the popularity of Tony Soprano). Thankfully, people that defend the torture, murder and dismemberment of children and subsequent psychological torture of their families are rare. To me, Rand’s fascination with this guy is disturbing.

    5. SixPackSam

      Nero, your comment makes instinctive sense to me. Do you have links/reading suggestions for me so I can entrench my confirmation bias in this regard?

      1. Working Class Nero

        A good entertaining (but with often very long posts) is a blog called The Rawness. Two series, “The Myth of the Middle Class Alpha”, and “Why Black American Chicks Like Thugs” are good places to start.

    6. Clara

      For every victim-there is an abuser.To generalize as you do about more than half of the population, is just more psycho-babble perpetuated by male “experts.”

      This is taking a small percentage of sick women and throwing all of the rest of us into the pot of co-dependent soup.

      In America, we lust after the celebrity, both male and female. This is the true sickness of our society.

    7. Walter Wit Man

      In reply to Working Class Nero’s post on the rise of undue rise of the beta male human the last 50 years . . . I like your attempt.

      Here’s a relevant theory I just saw, “Feminism Was Created To Destabilize Society, Tax Women and set up the NWO – Aaron Russo”

      I don’t buy your argument though. Hasn’t industrialization been a much more difficult transition than officially bringing women into the paid workforce? Hasn’t family structure been about resources and in an industrial capitalist culture we need to have a bunch of losers. In other cultures the wealth is spread and therefore more families, right?

      Also, here’s an interesting look at the bachelor over the last 150 years or so:

      That article argues there was a relationship with young families being formed in the 1950 because of more egalitarian sharing of the wealth.

      1. Working Class Nero

        Thanks WWM.

        I watched the video but was not impressed with his “taxes and schools” theory of feminism. He was spot however on about the impact on the black community. And indeed the CIA and other PTB’s certainly backed feminism from its inception. I would argue it was for economic reasons, the US economy was starting to reach some upper limits and industrialists and Cold Warriors wanted to tap into the relatively cheap and docile workforce that was there all around them: women. After all the larger the economy the larger the military industrial complex. Plus the Soviet Union was doing a better job in utilizing women and there were probably worries of a “gender gap”.

        Over time as women started contributing to working and middle class families, it gave industrialists an opening to start off-shoring jobs and under cutting men by in-shoring cheap, docile third world labor. As women scored better and better jobs this attenuated the pain for families of the impacts of globalization on men. And now we find in turn these men bitter and angry about this state of affairs and are starting to support efforts to hit back at the public sector (as in Wisconsin).

    8. Chris Stahnke

      Wonderful post and it really elevates the discussion. I think you are generalizing a bit but your examination basically accurate except your view of European exceptionalism. I think all civilizations integrate beta-males to some extent in order to achieve social stability. While Islamic cultures kept the “strong-man” idea alive they did it by giving the beta male roles and places in society that were satisfying. This is also true of all the civilizations in the east. The big difference was modernism. Whatever arrangements were made in Europe they failed drastically and people were dissatisfied. European society had a mythological framework (Christianity) that was destroying itself (Thirty-Years War) so modernism was founded by appealing to reason rather than myth and what followed is what made the West dominant. Modernism also presented the possibility that most men could be virtual alpha males by commanding resources and power–thus the popularity of big-cars, trucks, guns and so on.

  19. Samuel Conner

    So … Alisa Rosenbaum/Ayn Rand was a sociopath, biologically incapable of experiencing conscience or empathy. She turned her neuroanatomical deficiencies into a “philosophy” which is today the inspiration of the political Right in America.

    We are well and truly … somethinged.

  20. Craig Rachel

    Did you channel Michael Prescott here? There isn’t a single new idea presented, and nobody but a few hardcore objectivists cared when he wrote this 7 years ago. Just a new politician we’re trying to smear (captioning Ryan’s name under a hanging body was a nice touch).

    So everything here is true. Ryan loves Rand and Rand loves sociopaths. What could Ryan possibly do from his VP office that would be worse than, say, dropping bombs on children with drones?

    1. Lambert Strether

      Rather like the CIA, in which the ubiquitous “lie detector” allows, nay encourages, those who can beat the detector to filter upward, so in our political system sociopaths filter upward. Surely Ames’s post doesn’t preclude the existence of other sociopaths?

      Adding… “There isn’t a single new idea presented…” Yes, the post was clearly marked as a repost from 2010. In any case, the post is new to me, and I am sure to others, because I do try to keep track.

    2. Yearning to Learn

      What could Ryan possibly do from his VP office that would be worse than, say, dropping bombs on children with drones?

      How about this
      1) remove EPA regulations allowing millions of Americans to be poisoned by their local air/water/food supply

      2) increase military spending on those same drones that are being used to kill innocents overseas

      3) increase the police state in America allowing those same drones to come here and kill us.

      4) slash medicare/medicaid funding allowing our old and infirm to die without medical care

      5) slash all public spending on emergency programs and welfare allowing our children to starve

      6) slash all education spending keeping our children ignorant so that they don’t have the skills needed to find adequate employment

      7) continue to support AND EXPAND the war state sending our youth overseas to be killed, and to kill others.

      8) remove financial regulations allowing the financial parasaites to strip our citizens of their wealth.

      The list goes on.
      This is what an Ayn Randian world looks like.
      this is what Paul Ryan proposes, with a boyish smile.

      Much of this will be no different under Obama, who is also a right leaning politician. But some of it will differ.

      Ayn Randian utopias quickly devolve into Somalia.

      1. neo-realist

        The Obomney Administration is proceeding on doing 1 through 8 by using a death by a thousands cuts method rather than the immediate guillotine approach of a Robomney/Ryand Administration.

          1. Up the Ante

            Reading Ayn Rand is a windfall zombie producing requirement.

            The ‘abducted’ nuclear family child identifying with her captors turned into a leveraged tool used against any who could interfere with the power seekers.

            Child dismemberers as supermen ? One too many parties at the Ivy League ? Broke some rules recruiting that Russian ?

        1. just me

          If you gave him a beard and a stovepipe hat, you think he’d look like… that Republican?

          I’m kind of fascinated.

  21. Norman

    Was Rynd an Russian Ashkenazi? It seems to explain the mind set that has gripped the followers of her writtings/rants.

      1. enouf

        I neither defend Ayn Rand, nor any “isms” ..perhaps we all should have a look at something like;

        for starters; follow some of the ‘References’ listed, listen, learn and stop harping on insane dead peoples’ thoughts — only the youth will ever change anything, and we all know it.

        I posit that most OWS activists/empathizers/sympathizers are much much more closer to promoting (and living by the philosophy of) the Non-Aggression Principle than most even care/dare to contemplate.


        p.s. I think a HUGE issue to be resolved, in order to attempt to come together as a collective of individuals is the entire idea of “Property Rights” — of which i already have a plethora of ‘pros-n-cons’ already in my head, but to which i am extremely open to rational arguments from any philosophy.

        p.s.s. seems the natire of mathbabe’s ‘proof’ definition using empiricism, reality and pragmaticism is going to be a biggy on the Property Rights args, which is all good — and Peripheral Visionary touched upon that when he/she said;

        ” … libertarianism has serious weaknesses, and can be effectively engaged on the philosophical front (e.g., by highlighting that externalities are so broad and endemic that they require some level of government involvement in society). …”

        However, i would like him/her to quantify those “externalities” in great detail to begin with. ..

        and AGAIN, i abhor the use of “isms” so please stop (though i realize I am guilty of the same) — thank you — humans are too complex to be boxed into some ideology, let alone the MSM definition of such.

        Love (agape)

        1. just me

          I looked at your voluntaryism link. Second paragraph:

          A number of voluntaryists visited Occupy Wall Street early on. While they share much in common with the anarchist who helped found the movement they are more geared towards free market econonomics than libertarian socialism.

          Who was the anarchist who helped found the movement? I thought the whole point was to be leaderless?

        2. ScreenName47

          You’ve nailed it. Where people get tripped up is when they try to apply the NAP to the State. Then their big DOES NOT COMPUTE light starts flashing and they start foaming at the mouth, as you see Smith and Strether doing in this thread. I truly want for them to be able to figure it out, and can only shake my head sadly as they try to process the cognitive dissonance produced by assigning virtue to the thugs who point guns at us all.

      2. Chris Stahnke

        No she wasn’t. Libertarians like her but their ideology has different sources and a different attitude entirely. Some libertarians may become Randians but then they are no longer libertarians. Libertarians believe in social order but that order be applied by giving people maximum freedom to work out their own social/political/economic arrangements within a relatively simple code of law. The courts would replace state regulation, thus legal remedies would be applied on a case-by-case basis. The libertarian ideal is that society has become far too complex to make any sense and we need to simplify and rationalize our arrangements. That’s why a libertarian would not want drugs to be illegal but if you do something under the influence of drugs whether causing an accident or committing some crime you would be then prosecuted. Libertarianism is based on the idea of human dignity being paramount and people should have the right to fail or succeed on their own and suffer the consequences of their own decisions. That’s a far cry from Randian selfishness where only the strong have the right to human dignity. Libertarians want to guarantee dignity for all.

        Having said that, I believe it is an overly simplistic view of life because it doesn’t allow for the reality of power-relations but it is a stimulating philosophy that opponents should dialogue with. Unfortunately most libertarians seem unable and unwilling to engage in creative dialogue–but that seems to be the case with all POVs in today’s anti-intellectual climate.

    1. Adam

      Why do you think anything follows from Rand’s ethnic heritage? Most Russian Jewish emigrees of her era leaned left, not right.

  22. brian

    is it that far of a reach for mitt?
    a guy who wears sacred underwear and whose faith baptizes dead people into his faith

    read somewhere this icon ended up living on government assistance in her old age??

    if so another quality of conservative republicans–hypocrisy

  23. sadness

    from far away i’ve always liked the US, the writings of the freer more open more liberal and questionng points of view are all so available – however on my very recent visit to spend a week in the US i immediately felt that i was visiting zombie country, even amongst people i should have liked, even some of the youth – i found it very disturbing and left on the fourth day….as dear Gore passed away -so sorry……i’m hoping it was just my bad luck

  24. Aquifer

    Have to admit – my reaction to this if A(Hinkleman)=B(Rand) and B(Rand)=C(Ryan) then A(Hinkleman)=C(Ryan) stuff is to groan …

    This is precisely the “boogeyman” tactic used by Dems FOREVER to scare folks from prog 3rd parties, such as the Greens – “Shucks, you can’t vote 3rd party – you are helping a serial killer sympathizer into the WH!” The fact that it works so well in spite of the fact that it is so blatant and so transparent is a testament to our, our … Je ne sais quoi …

    How is it that a blatant Rand lover like Paul was applauded for his “courageous” stand against Dem policy not that long ago, when another Rand devotee like Ryan is totally smeared for being so? Was it the policy Paul critiqued? If so, then why weren’t lefty parties with the same critique given equal praise? If there is to be any coherence AT ALL, here shouldn’t the critique be re policy? The problem is if we did that we would have to smear the Dems equally, but by making Rand devotees the ultimate expression of evil, we “safely” exclude Dems(?) from qualifying for the “ultimate” evil category – “Well these guys are schmucks, but at least they aren’t serial killer worshiping Randians, for God’s sake (or Pete’s sake, for atheists)


    Voila! The lattest incarnation of the “lesser evil” meme, rearing its head (or various other body parts) again …

    Sigh ….

    1. Yearning to Learn

      I both share your annoyance but also will defend the argument to a point.

      Paul Ryan is a Randian politician. He requires all of his staffers to read her writings. Her writings are very much a central aspect to his platform.

      thus, it seems that we should understand the woman herself, and the woman herself was quite a doozy. There is so much to attack it’s hard to know where to begin.

      Thus, I just attack the obvious.
      She advocated that everyone fend for themselves. She advocated slashing all public programs. And then when she got into trouble she took Social Security and Medicare.

      Thus, she is a hypocrite.

      her desciple, Paul Ryan, used Social Security to attend a Public University, that is supported by Tax Dollars.
      He now proposes slashing those same programs that he, himself, needed.

      Again, a hypocrite.

      back to your point though… It does make me queasy to follow a dogma proposed by such an evil woman. I have an easier time following the teachings of one I respect such as Ghandi.

      Now, the messager does not always equal the message. Some of the first disciples of Christ were originally weak men with evil in their hearts, and yet the message of Christ can still be compelling.

      Does Individualism rise to that level? I don’t think it can even stand on its own grounds, but when you pair it to the monstrosity that was Ayn Rand I just don’t know.

      1. Aquifer


        I understand – but i am not quite sure if you get what i am getting at – I have no desire to make Ryan look good, to anybody, for any reason, but this article appeals so clearly to the amygdala that it can/will produce no other reaction than the one i suggested – “OMG! Gotta stop Reps at ANY cost, even if that means re-electing Dems – so 3rd parties, go suck eggs!” – and so, IME, can be suspected of being designed to do just that (and if it wasn’t so designed, then it’s authors must be apprised of the fact that this is what it, in fact, will do) … So of course, for all our finely honed and “devastating” critiques of the duopoly, we wind up back in their fold. Rather like the farmer who spends all day milking the cows, then gets up and kicks the bucket over …

        This is suspect, it seems to me, because, being such a disgust inducing piece, it appeals to that part of the mind/brain that lefties are forever excoriating righties for doing …

        Are we so bereft of good, strong, legitimate reasons to vanquish schmucks like Ryan that we have to resort to the “ugh” factor?

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Aquifer, yes, the FIX IS IN: the “choice” between monsters, each within the Trojan Horse for the .01% “Nobility” Reich and its .99% Agency. It’s a tragic farse: a farce for the .01% and their Agents, and a tragedy for us: We the Immiserated People.

          “Not to be born is the best for man.” (W.H. Auden: “Death’s Echo” — Is the injunction to “dance till you drop” the only way to live?

          With this, I retire once more from the stage, “the red shoes” back in the drawer. The Red Shoes were never meant for dancing Anglo-American tragic farce–which is what our “election campaign” has devolved into. The candidates: “Steppin Fetchit” impersonators of meagre talent, within The Trojan Horse of the .01% “Royalty” in America. The New World has been put to shame by the Old. We are abject slaves. The Election 2012, like our economy, is a fraud.

          “Frere Jacques, dormez vous?”

          1. ambrit

            “Mademoiselle From Charl es Ton, parles vous?”
            Don’t retire the Red Shoes. Add a Red Square, and make it an ensemble.

      2. Craig Rachel

        Ayn Rand’s own words re: taking welfare

        “Since there is no such thing as the right of some men to vote away the rights of others, and no such thing as the right of the government to seize the property of some men for the unearned benefit of others—the advocates and supporters of the welfare state are morally guilty of robbing their opponents, and the fact that the robbery is legalized makes it morally worse, not better. The victims do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites who clamored for it. Whenever the welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims should take it . . . .”

        1. F. Beard

          So Rand should have been in favor of restitution for the victims of the government backed/enforced counterfeiting cartel, the banks?

          Yet, I never read of such a thing and I have read nearly all of Ayn Rand.

          1. Karl Rove's Brain

            This from F. Beard is for the ages, I laughed so hard:

            “I never read of such a thing and I have read nearly all of Ayn Rand.”

            Thank you for making my Sunday, F. Beard

            1. F. Beard

              In my defense, I was a High School student and didn’t know any better. I had been raised Roman Catholic and was therefore very ignorant of the Bible which would have been an effective inoculation against her diseased thinking.

              1. Paul Tioxon

                Dear Mr Beard,
                You have no need to apologize for reading anything. It is how we learn. Trial and error. I have somehow bypassed THE RAND CULT. Listen, I read every word in the URANTIA BOOK! We are both no worse for the wear. Don’t apologize for anything to anyone on this site, you don’t need to let your good manners be misconstrued as weakness, which clearly you are not.

                1. ohmyheck

                  Dear Paul, Are you serious? Did you actually read the entire Urantia Book? Hell, most people have never heard of it. That is one mind-twisting effort on your part. Count me impressed!

                2. F. Beard

                  I once read a bit of a book that could have been the Urantia Book based on what wiki says about it. It went off into a lot of spiritually pointless details about Angels and their hierarchies. It seemed like a seductive waste of time -spiritual pornography.

              2. Aquifer

                Huh, I was raised RC too, and think i was “inoculated” even without “the Bible” ….

                There is a lefty liberation theology strain in the Church which too often gets ignored ….

              3. Walter Wit Man

                Hey, I too read ‘Fountainhead’ and ‘We the Living’ in High School.

                I remember her characters, like Roarke, being so focused on their own personal greatness that they can be characterized as sociopaths. I’m not sure she lionized serial killing but rather wanted to show how some people were so driven by their gift (like architecture in Roarke’s case) that they were oblivious to other humans.

                This idea is not unique to libertarianism, objectivism, or Ayn Rand. Our culture is permeated with the idea of the hero. Hell, how many Democrats are guilty of viewing Obama as heroic?

                But yeah, Rand’s books exemplify this cultural shift in our economy, politics, and culture the last 50 years or so.

                1. Jack

                  I’m not sure she lionized serial killing but rather wanted to show how some people were so driven by their gift (like architecture in Roarke’s case) that they were oblivious to other humans.” Walter Wit Man

                  Walt, I’m curious to know what gift it is that Hickman was driven by? Gift is an interesting choice of descriptive for such an individual.

                  And to all those of you who think that this blog is too high brow for the chore of exposing the roots of an individual’s ideology I’d suggest that any manner of exposing a set of facts is acceptable. So long as the information is correct. Read through Michael Prescott’s analysis of the Journals of Ayn Rand and it will seem self evident that Rand had a most peculiar view of human motivation and moralty;

                  That Paul Ryan and other public figures have expressed significant admiration for Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” of life is indeed puzzling. What is there to admire? The quotes from her Journal make her sound immature and vaccuous. That she is a source of inspiration for Ryan is depressing only in that he, Ryan, is now receiving serious consideration as Vice President. They both, Ryan and Rand, seem rediculous. Beneath the level of Yyves usual contributions? Not at all if you undderstand that the purpose is to expose a source of Ryan’s ideological inspiration. Insipid is the word that comes to mind.


        2. patricia

          Yes, it wasn’t hypocritical for Rand to take gov’t help–that presupposes hidden standards or beliefs. Her standards were always open; whatever she did for herself was good. So she took from public coffers to get that which fools gave, and all fools deserve to lose.

          In the same way, Ryan can be un-hypocritically Randian and also be in government. He is doing it for his own gain (that’s where the money is and that’s where the fools are parceling it out), and also continuing the tradition of drowning gov’t in the bathtub.

          It’s rather peaceful to be a sociopath–they have no internal struggle. Lots of convenient lies and negligent truths. Cruelty generally appears when they become angry, and they are certain that they are forced into it by other’s wrongs.

    2. Karl Rove's Brain

      Aquifer, you’re intentionally confusing the issue in order to protect Paul Ryan. Ron Paul was praised by progressives for stands on specific antiwar issues. Ron Paul was not praised by progressives for Dr Paul’s stands against the EPA, against Medicare and Social Security, against public school education, against unions, against corporate and income taxes, against regulating banks, etc etc.
      Dr. Paul and Ayn Rand differ on the issue of wars. Ayn Rand was not antiwar the way Paul is, which is why they’re not as easily confused as you’re pretending—Ayn Rand was “antiwar” more the way Paul Ryan is, which is to say “pro-war” against commies and against “primitive savages.”

      Ayn Rand famously called Arabs “primitive savages” and called for full support for Israel’s wars against Arabs. Ayn Rand’s quote about the Israel Arab wars and why we should support Israel: “When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are.” That is not Dr. Paul. Paul Ryan supports the War on Terror and Israel wholeheartedly.

      1. Aquifer


        I will try again to answer, as my previous attempt apparently got lost in the ether …

        Protect Paul Ryan? BS, oh sorry, i meant LOL

        My point, i thought, was clear – there was no need to use RP as a way to critique Obama’s war policies at all, 3rd lefty parties were doing a damn good job, but Paul was getting all the credit for the critiques, even by progs –

        Methinks it is progs who are a bit confused – ignoring folks like Dr, Stein and the parties that have traditionally championed their values and raising up schmucks like Dr. Paul as examples of what progs should be saying always winds up biting us in the ass, IMO …

        So now when it is “useful” to whack Reps ala Ryan because they are Randians, we are faced with the embarrassment of having praised other Randians – such as you seem to persist in wanting to do … Be careful what you ask for, for you will surely get it – seems to me with your post we could go one equivalency further – if Paul supports Ryan, then Paul = Hickman. Ridiculous? Yes, but that is where this dismal line of thinking could be “logically” taken …

        And now, in inducing the strictly knee jerk reaction (in this case voting Dem) the “ugh” factor (scary Reps) always produces, we once again squash 3rd parties who are desperately appealing to us to stop voting our fears as we have been doing, which has gotten us precisely what we have feared, and to use the vote to get what we want … Lousy Dems, scary Reps – viva la duopoly!

        Sigh … when will we ever learn …

        1. Karl Rove's Brain

          Aquifer, when you went “Sigh…will we ever learn” it really made me pause hard and think, “Gosh, Aquifer carries the whole weight of the world on his/her shoulders. If only we the people listened to Aquifer, our problems would be solved, we would finally find a way out of this mess. Sigh.”
          It must be a heavy burden, being you.

          1. Aquifer


            Actually, it’s getting better – since i stopped taking folks like you too seriously, I have shed considerable weight …:)

            But being KBR, i suppose giving a damn is a foreign concept to you – sigh, too bad ….

            Sighing, in fact, is often good for the brain – increases the O2 and clears the cobwebs – try it sometime –

            OK, altogether now – SIIIIIIGH! Now don’t you feel better?

  25. Lambert Strether

    Boy, they’re all out today, aren’t they? Smarter trolls, please.

    Adding… The threads are a little disjointed because most of the responses to the trolls were pretty funny, so I left them in.

    1. Aquifer

      If you think these are good, you should see some of the stuff on CD – boggles the mind to the point where you don’t even know where to begin ….

  26. Thomas McGovern

    This article is an obvious ad hominem hachet job; 90% of it is about the murder of Marion Ames.

    None of the quotes of Ayn Rand mention the murder or the killer, and no testable reference is given for the quotes. There’s just a claim that they came from Ayn Rand’s notebooks.

    The photograph of the goon holding the “Ayn Rand Institute” sign is phony. Take a close look at it. The sign has been inserted into the picture. It’s a rainy day and everyone except the goon is wearing a rain jacket or holding an umbrella, but there’s no water on the goon or the sign.

    Regarding Ayn Rand’s opposition to government social welfare programs, the founders of this country had the same position. For an explanation of why these programs are wrong, read “Not Yours to Give” by Davy Crockett who was then a congressman from Tennessee.

    1. ohmyheck

      You never know what you are going to learn here at NC on a weekend.
      Davy Crockett was a Founder of this country?Whocouldaknowd?

      I must have missed his signature on all those declarative documents on display in our beloved nation’s capitol.

    2. Yearning to Learn

      Regarding Ayn Rand’s opposition to government social welfare programs, the founders of this country had the same position.

      This is not true. Your ignorance does not make a good argument.

      Most Libertarians who speak of our Founding Fathers have never read their writings. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were very much for an expanded role in Federal Government. Others such as James Madison were not.
      Their grand compromise (which took years to hash out) was the Constitution, which of course was amended over time with the Amendments.

      But as example Franklin strongly supported Welfare and also Public Police and Firefighters, and Jefferson supported Welfare and also PUBLIC EDUCATION. Yes, it was Thomas Jefferson himself who not only supported these, but pushed for them vigorously in his State Government.

      I already know you haven’t done this, but read The Federalist Papers and then read the Anti-Federalist Papers. You can get both for free on in Kindle format.

      as for the current state of Welfare: it is true that none of them envisioned Medicare and Medicaid. However, this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t or couldn’t support the programs, it just means it wasn’t part of the conversation at that time. Just like women’s suffrage. (or will you argue that Women voting is un-constitutional since the Founding Fathers didn’t codify it directly?)

      1. Leverage

        I’m not american and I know that a lot of the founding fathers have ‘progressive bias’ in their era, even if they were somewhat elitists (anyway there is a whole history of how their thought evolved over their lifes).

        Dumb people thinks public government structure (federal vs. state) makes a case against or in favour of interventionism or progressivism but this is wrong. You can be all for decentralizing power towards states and be pro-government or progressive or viceversa (like neocons and the status quo wealthy).

        In fact I may say that lot of founding fathers are way more progressive than nowadays closet conservatives and republicans like Obama who try to appeal capitalists interests instead of the people.

    3. Ping

      Rand was the worst kind of lying hypocrite.

      When she developed lung cancer from chain smoking (she thought the cancer-smoking connection was a hoax) and realized proceeds from book sales wouldn’t cover her medical expenses, she applied for social security and medicare.

      So much for her preaching and moral compass.

      1. Ms G

        Mr. Hayek, (Saint Hayek in the Libertarian Cult), made it a condition of accepting to come to the US that he would fully qualify for Social Security and Medicare (he was getting on in years, you see, and he sure as duck wasn’t going to pay out of pocket for what he intelligently anticipated would be living and health care expenses).

        There is a pattern here.

  27. calabi

    The irony is the people like this, whom extoll these contrary to human nature virtues, are the weakest of all. They would be the first to be squashed in their idealised worlds.

  28. TK421

    If a person wants to dismember children, they should do it the honest and noble way: with drones firing missiles at houses that terrorists might be inside.

  29. Peacock

    Great article. The only thing you missed is that late in life Rand herself applied for and collected Social Security under her married name.

  30. F. Beard

    Too many of us focused elsewhere–until it was too late and the Christian fundamentalist crazies took over America. Mark Ames

    What?! Ayn Rand and Christianity are almost entirely opposed. One CANNOT be a fan of AR and the Bible (including and especially the OT) at the same time.

    But I don’t expect the Left to know this since they are woefully ignorant of the Bible themselves. Too bad. There are numerous verses there to give any Right wing Christian pause.

    1. patricia

      Nope, Beard, can’t let you get by with that.

      The majority of Christians have never read the Bible as a book, all the way through. They are told it is an infallible document. The Word of God=God. When they dip into it, they can’t reconcile what they read with its supposed infallibility, which they assume is due to their own lack of spirituality, so they let it be explicated by leaders who pull verses out willy-nilly to support any old premise they want to prove. And they have devotions, during which they’ll read a few verses under careful guidance.

      Sure, if one reads the book front to back, openly, one knows that Rand and Christianity are opposed. But the majority of Evangelicals (to say nothing of the Fundamentalists) agree with portions of Rand’s philosophy. You can’t deny it–look at whom they’ve elected into office over the years. They’ll be far more willing to put up with Romney because of Ryan. And if this was only a small group among us, politicians wouldn’t bother because as you know, these politicians have no ideology except love of their little ole selves.

      So the logical conclusion is that they haven’t read the material that they believe is the infallible words of their own God. Or if they did, they’re almost impossibly stupid.

      So pick on the “Left”, but know that as long as you do so, you’re peering around the log that blinds the eyes of the group you defend. And please pick on the “Left” for their own flaws rather than loading them with blame for the idiocy of the “Right”. That kind of thinking comes from the same place that blames that whatever pathetic legacy party loses on those who voted third party.

      But you don’t need to defend them, Beard. Defend the best thought that comes from your faith and let the rest collapse under its rocks-for-brains.

      1. F. Beard

        The majority of Christians have never read the Bible as a book, all the way through. patricia

        Sadly true. Even I have not read the whole thing except for the NT; genealogies and construction details bore me silly. Almost all though, and most of it at least twice.


        When they dip into it, they can’t reconcile what they read with its supposed infallibility, which they assume is due to their own lack of spirituality, so they let it be explicated by leaders who pull verses out willy-nilly to support any old premise they want to prove. patricia

        The problem is not with the Bible but with their own preconceptions. Btw, I ignore Christian “leaders” myself.


        They’ll be far more willing to put up with Romney because of Ryan. patricia

        That’s truly ironic. They’ll put up with a non-Christian (sorry Vermilion Squid!) cultist because of an Ayn Rand loving so-called “Christian”?

        So the logical conclusion is that they haven’t read the material that they believe is the infallible words of their own God. patricia


        Or if they did, they’re almost impossibly stupid. Patricia

        Daily Bible reading can even cure stupidity.

        So pick on the “Left”, but know that as long as you do so, you’re peering around the log that blinds the eyes of the group you defend. patricia

        I don’t defend the Religious Right; I defend the Bible, or rather, let it defend itself.

        Nice chatting with you!

  31. F. Beard

    Also, the Left has to bear a lot of blame for the popularity of the Right. Obviously, Leftist solutions are NOT ideal else there would be little reaction to them.

    It was a pretty simple problem that had to be solved in the 1930s – a fascist money cartel had wrecked the economy. The solution then as it is now is to bailout the entire population and abolish that cartel.

    Banking crises are like a recurrent infection. Unless we eliminate banking as a significant part of the economy they will ever plague us. The Glass–Steagall Act was obviously not a permanent solution so reinstating it will not be sufficient.

    1. Aquifer

      There are no “permanent” solutions – just like Glass-Steagall, anything legislated in, e.g. outlawing usury, can be legislated out …

      The process requires eternal vigilance on our part ….

    2. Walter Wit Man

      But the Left was crushed by sheer power starting just before WWI. It was not a fair fight where the superior argument won (neoliberal capitalism).

      In fact, this argument rather sounds like an Ayn Rand argument itself; that the meritorious will rise up to the top and the weak will be naturally weeded out.

      In reality the capitalists bought the politicians and the media and were able to employ propaganda to bamboozle the public. Look how popular Social Security and Medicare are (or were). These socialistic policies were hugely popular. It’s only after decades of Democrats and Republicans attacking these programs and lying to the public that they are finally starting to convince people to give them up. And most people are still reluctant to give these programs up despite the consensus in both parties.

  32. Mike M

    Very creepy story. Thanks for that.

    What was Rand’s and her family’s social sat us back in Russia. Was she escaping the revolution?

    1. just me

      From the NY Times article on Rand that Ames links to:

      She was born in 1905 in Russia. Her life changed overnight when the Bolsheviks broke into her father’s pharmacy and declared his livelihood the property of the state. She fled the Soviet Union in 1926 and arrived later that year in Hollywood, where she peered through a gate at the set where the director Cecil B. DeMille was filming a silent movie, “King of Kings.”

      DeMille gives her a ride to the set and then a job. By her standards, he should have driven past her and left her eating his dust, I know.

        1. just me

          Well come to think of it maybe what’s interesting is the dates. Rand comes to America in 1926 when she’s 21, so she was 22 or so — and recently post Russian revolution, pretty brutal times — when Hickman caught her fancy.

          And it’s 13 years before Auden writes September 1, 1939:

          What huge imago made
          A psychopathic god:
          I and the public know
          What all schoolchildren learn,
          Those to whom evil is done
          Do evil in return.

          and she probably hated this:

          All I have is a voice
          To undo the folded lie,
          The romantic lie in the brain
          Of the sensual man-in-the-street
          And the lie of Authority
          Whose buildings grope the sky:
          There is no such thing as the State
          And no one exists alone;
          Hunger allows no choice
          To the citizen or the police;
          We must love one another or die.

  33. Chase Me Men, I'm in Calgary!

    BITFU has a great comparison of how The Left and The Right view Rand’s “insAYNity”. [Do a simple search for “ayn rand”. If you really want a good laugh, do a more specific search inurl:ayn rand and get a glimpse as to what these LibertarDIAN mouth-breathers actually believe]

    One note that stands out (in addition to this outstanding Ames’ article) is this little ditty from MoonRiver at Democratic Underground:

    “Ayn Rand was a pro-choice atheist.
    Why don’t the rightwing Christian anti-choice nutcases, like Ryan, care? Couldn’t be the inherent hypocrisy in their twisted philosophy could it? Inquiring minds want to know.”

  34. Peter Pinguid Society

    Yeah, as a libertarian and Ayn Rand supporter, one of my favorite books is Bob Woodward’s “Maestro: Greenspan’s Fed And The American Boom”.

    When I’m not using HFT (or other forms of algo trading) to make millions on Wall Street, I like to relax by hunting peasants with my nail gun, axe or chainsaw, although I take my Uzi (with a telescoping bolt) along, just in case.

    But my kill ratio has been way down recently, averaging only twenty, or at best maybe 40 peasants a week. Like that one I left in a parking lot behind some donut shop last week or that other one I met in Central Park, then killed with my chainsaw.

    I need to work on this, and get the kill ratio up to at least 50 or 100 a week.

    That’s one resolution, another is start listening to Adam Davidson’s Planet Money, and reread my collection of Ezra Klein columns.

    Did you know that Ted Bundy’s first dog, a collie, was named Lassie?

    And remember, P*ssy Riot good, Putin bad!

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

  35. jsmith

    I don’t know about some people’s reservations about this piece especially as concerns 3rd parties.

    Ummm, how about 4th, 5th and 6th parties?

    As a socialist whose is long familiar with Stalin being trotted out every time the s-word is dropped by BOTH people on the left and right, I really just look at this piece and think:

    Ayn Rand: sick f*ck with a sick f*ck philosophy.

    That’s about it and any exposure people get to the fact that both Ayn Rand and her philosophy were trash doesn’t necessarily strike me as a bad thing or one that is trapped in the horse-race mentality.

    Just because there are no REAL alternatives to the system we have besides Eggshell, Ecru and Porridge (the Greens) doesn’t mean that it’s not good news that now more people know that Rand was the living breathing embodiment of a philosophy by and for human refuse, should it?

    Stalin didn’t create socialism so the many crimes he committed can’t honestly be laid at the feet of the philosophy in general.

    However, as Rand was the main creator of objectivism her thinking that a child serial killer was the bomb does indeed have something to say about her philosophy as a whole.

    1. Aquifer

      Why js, thanx so much for pointing out that Greens are a REAL alternative to the system – thought you hadn’t noticed :)

      1. jsmith

        I sincerely noticed that you and your Green boosterism weren’t around as much here on NC over the last number of months.

        Hope all is well.

        1. Aquifer

          So you thought you’d fill in for me – how sweet …

          I do agree, tar-and-feathering Rand IS a worthy cause, what i object is using it as a way to scare the crap out of progs who may be tempted to leave the Dem fold, which seems the most obvious use for it … but, it also seems to me, to the extent that this IS what it is used for, it is an admission that those who use it thus are so ideologically bereft that they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to come up with a reason for progs to keep cowering under Dem skirts … Good heavens, if they can’t do better than that, maybe the day of liberation IS at hand :)

          1. Aquifer


            (; (that’s a wink from the other side, i think, but i am totally inept at this online jargon, among other things ..) :)

          2. Up the Ante

            Yes, I often find myself sensing salvation within a political party whose philosophical icon idolized Nightmare on Elm Street-type characters, a party whose messengers are so poorly motivated as to be only able to accuse me of “cowering under Dem skirts” when I realized Ms. Rand needed a high-powered psychiatrist.

            Ayn Rand as Perennial Old World Metrosexual

          3. Aquifer


            Fascinating – so what was your political response when you realized she needed a high powered psychiatrist?

          4. Up the Ante

            “Fascinating – so what was your political response when you realized she needed a high powered psychiatrist? ”

            It confirmed that there is at least two levels of meaning to warnings from the political sphere that these Repubs mean to bring about the Apocalypse, that impressions of Greenspan being a fraud thru the years have expanded down to include even his personal relations in his private life, lol.

            To imagine Rand as somebody said here on NC as a ‘sorority dilletante’ sitting around generating the disjointed out-of-context rubbish and, more importantly, receiving financial backing by faceless sense-inverts, all for the purpose of dragging down the experience of people who live more honestly than she attempted to .. The Big Lie foisted upon the world by sense-invert ‘conservatives’, pathetic.

            She was before their time, but in all honesty she looks to have been an abused child and needed to be introduced to the Hostage Rescue Team of the FBI. She may very well be a political commentary of the Justice Dept.

            She was either schizophrenic, or was employed to front its affect.


            The “political response” you sought, Aquifer, is to view those who present her as anything but a fraud is that now those who continue to do so receive a raised eyebrow and depending upon the response to noting the raised eyebrow, personna-reconstruction may begin.

            Same as bloomberg & reuters censoring their own already-published stories, it don’t fly. Continuing such personna-efforts is only more Rand nonsense “all for the purpose of dragging down the experience of people who live more honestly than .. ”
            ‘Honest’ personnas living such mis-taken lives, is it to be ?

  36. Tony Butka

    I remember briefly loving Atlas Shrugged while in college. Then I discovered that the existentialists were more fun and lighter hearted.

  37. just me

    Wait, there’s more to Greenspan’s letter to the editor.

    Need to correct Ames. He says Greenspan’s letter ends:

    Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.

    Alan Greenspan

    But it doesn’t end there, that’s just as far as the Times quoted it. Their article links to a PDF of Greenspan’s letter, and the full text is:

    To the Editor:

    “Atlas Shrugged” is a celebration of life and happiness. Justice is unrelenting. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment. Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should. Mr. Hicks suspiciously wonders “about a person who sustains such a mood through the writing of 1,168 pages and some fourteen years of work.” This reader wonders about a person who finds unrelenting justice personally disturbing.

    Alan Greenspan, New York

    It’s that last sentence I keep staring at. I’m trying to imagine what unrelenting justice would look like for Wall Street parasites and deviant Attorney Generals and regulators who persistently avoid doing their job.

    1. Up the Ante

      Greenspan gives himself away with his “This reader wonders about a person who finds unrelenting justice personally disturbing. ”

      He posits a concept that is absolute, and the more he fixates upon it it becomes a verb, absoluting, lol. [breaking the Gollum cipher]

      So absoluting that to contemplate the “unrelenting” regenerates the obligation to contemplate only it, so for him to imply that he is no longer disturbed is by definition a lie.
      That becomes his effort. To lie to you about his lying, and so developed his Gollum-project.

      Fusing with his helper, Rand, at arm’s length, in your mind, the mind Gollum intends to SKULLFUCK.

      [broken cipher]

      1. Ms G

        Speaking of Greenspan. Anyone heard of him lately, since his admission before Congress that everything he ever believed about “free markets,” “self regulation,” and the rest of it was bunk?

        1. Up the Ante

          “Speaking of Greenspan. Anyone heard of him lately .. ”

          His spirit is alive here in U.S. Circuit Judge John D. Tinder,

          Sentinel ruling may hurt MF Global clients

          Sentinel Management Executives Indicted Over Alleged $500 Million Fraud

          Court: stealing customer segregated funds is not a crime

          the Spectacle of the Federal Judges

          1. Up the Ante

            Greenspan has also been seen orchestrating trading volumes with an insane leer on his face,

            “is it not a coincidence that trading volume is disappearing at the same time court rulings are coming down that segregated funds are essentially fair game to be stolen? ” Matt_bear


            A highly similar expression was seen on Judge Martin Glenn’s face when blocking the MF Global bankruptcy conversion to Chapter 7,


            And another Greenspan-cloned sense-invert conspirator, U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King, with this type of reasoning,

            “I don’t see anything about this case that’s simple or garden variety,” the judge said then proceeded to award a $410 million settlement in a case with “$4.5 billion that’s gone missing from people’s accounts,”.


  38. enouf

    Here’s a couple quotes;\

    “Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors — when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you — when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice — you may know that your society is doomed.” — Ayn Rand


    “It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own.” — Ayn Rand

    and here’s about one from good ol’ tommy boy

    “Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” — Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819

    Now, i’m not plagiarizing, but these three are someone’s sig in some forum (, and i thought them apropos for here.


    p.s. added bonus;
    “Message to the Voting Cattle”
    (atleast read the Information/about area)

    1. just me

      Re your Jefferson quote — I just read a book review by Justice John Paul Stevens, and he gives an interesting bit of history:

      Stuntz believed that our Constitution overprotects procedural rights and underprotects substantive rights. He begins his discussion on this point by criticizing James Madison’s emphasis on procedure in our Bill of Rights, which he compares unfavorably with the relatively contemporary provisions of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man. Stuntz speculates that Thomas Jefferson, through conversations with the Marquis de Lafayette of the French National Assembly, may have influenced the drafting of the French Declaration. Notwithstanding those similar origins, Stuntz notes that the French document, unlike the American Bill of Rights, contained a definition of “liberty”—”the power to do anything that does not injure others”—and a substantive limitation on the power to criminalize conduct—”only such actions as are injurious to society.” While he recognizes that those French principles did not survive Napoleon’s rule, he implies that comparable provisions in our Bill of Rights might have restricted the virtually unlimited power of legislatures in America “to criminalize whatever they wish.”

      Or the more famous Jefferson quote, or at least the one I know is:

      The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

      ~ From Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-1783

      1. enouf

        Thanks for your insightful follow-up … I learned some more today. I think many of us (the 99%) should really focus like a laser on that ‘… Picks My Pockets …’ thing.


  39. Aquifer

    It does appear that it gets considerably more difficult to comment as a “Reply” in the appropriate place the farther down we go … – why is that?

  40. just me

    It’s funny that Rand and Bachman and the whole Rand-y crew despise “collectivism” so much. From the NY Times article Ames links to:

    Mr. Greenspan met Rand when he was 25 and working as an economic forecaster. She was already renowned as the author of “The Fountainhead,” a novel about an architect true to his principles. Mr. Greenspan had married a member of Rand’s inner circle, known as the Collective, that met every Saturday night in her New York apartment.

    So Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan meet every Saturday night in the Collective and… I know there’s a joke there.

  41. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Re surname RYAN: Connect dots: Follow DNA-money in perpetuity for the .01%:

    Follow the money + DNA of surname RYAN and its implications:

    “St. Louis Post-Dispatch – 1911: Pictured with Karl Marx are J.P. Morgan and partner, George Perkins, Teddy Roosevelt, John RYAN of NATIONAL CITY BANK, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie.” [CAPS mine]
    Text above featured at time 25:06, within a slide featured in a lecture by Jim Marrs in Australia, on YouTube. LINK:

    CONNECT DNA/money: RYAN: National City Bank: Rockefeller: Prescott Bush: NAZIs: BIS: Brown Brothers Harriman: Dulles Brothers: Sullivan and Cromwell: Rockefeller University of Chicago: NeoConLib Fourth Reich: Dulles OSS-CIA: GHW Bush: BCCI and BigOil coup d’etat: Petrodollar: Wall Street: British Gospel of Free Trade: City of London: LIBOR: Barclays: Standard Charter Bank.

    QUESTION to Benjamin Lawsky: Must We the People of the United States, a sovereign nation, REMAIN a PAWN between two European Empires, the “British Empire” and the Victorian/”German Reich” (the Holy Roman Reich I-IV)?

    The State of New York is poised to “deliver us from evil” this Wednesday. Superintendant Lawsky, please Declare our Economic Sovereignty, our Independence from “Old Europe” as you banish Standard Charter Bank, its fraud and treachery, from our shores. Please stand tall, and bless We the People with American Financial Autonomy, for our National Security.

    Without this, “The Secret War Against the Jews” of America shall continue. Has “London” of “Europe” ever loved “the Jews?” Has it ever loved Italians, Irish, Scots, Acadians, Africans, or any other breed of self-made American citizen?

    RECALL the global TYRANNICAL PURPOSE of “London” in America, by treacherous Agents in America, from the top, unto TODAY’S “FREE TRADE” SHOCK DOCTRINE in America, pushed by ROMNEY-RYAN; brought to flower by now British Imperial “Knight” George H.W. Bush, Capo, from the time of his “coup d’etat” for BigOilWallStreetPrivateEquity v. The United States of America, formerly the Constitutional Government of/by/for the We the People. Recall:

    “In 1820 … Acting on the urgings of a powerful group of London shipping and banking interests centered around the BANK OF ENGLAND, and Alexander Baring of Baring Brothers merchant bankers, Parliament passed a Statement of Principle in support of the concept several decades earlier advocated by Scottish economist, Adam Smith, so-called “ABSOLUTE FREE TRADE.” [p. 3]

    “By 1846, this declaration of principle had become formalized in a Parliamentary repeal of domestic English agricultural protection, the infamous Corn Laws. The Corn Laws repeal was based on a calculation of power of powerful financial and trade interests of the CITY OF LONDON, that their WORLD DOMINANCE game them a decisive advantage, which they should push to the HILT. If they DOMINATED WORLD TRADE, “FREE TRADE” could only INSURE [sic.]THEIR DOMINANCE grew at the expense of other less-developed trading nations.” [p. 3. Question: Do Romney-RYAN stand for “ABSOLUTE FREE TRADE” of this kind?]

    “Under the hegemony of FREE TRADE, British merchant banks reaped enormous profits on the India-Turkey-China OPIUM TRADE, while the British Foreign Ministry furthered their banking interests by publicly demanding China open its ports to “FREE TRADE,” during the British Opium Wars.” [p. 3]

    “A new weekly PROPAGANDA JOURNAL of these powerful CITY OF LONDON merchant and finance interests, THE ECONOMIST, was founded in 1943 with the explicit PURPOSE of agitating for the repeal of the Corn Laws.” [p. 3]

    “The British TORY party of Sir Robert Peel pushed through the fateful Corn Law Repeal in May 1846, a turning point not only in British but in world history, for the worse. Repeal opened the door for a flood of cheap products in agriculture, which CREATED RUIN among not only English but also other nation’s FARMERS. The merchants simple dictum, ‘Buy cheap…Sell Dear,” was raised to the level of NATIONAL ECONOMIC STRATEGY. CONSUMPTION was DEEMED THE SOLE PURPOSE of production.” [pp. 3-4]

    “In EFFECT, the repeal of Corn Laws protectionism opened the floodgates throughout the British Empire to a “CHEAP LABOR POLICY.” The ONLY ones to benefit, following an initial surge of cheap food prices in England, were the giant INTERNATIONAL LONDON TRADING HOUSES, and the MERCHANT BANKS which financed them. The CLASS separations of British society were AGGRAVATED by a growing separation of a TINY NUMBER of VERY WEALTH from the GROWING MASSES OF VERY POOR, as a LAWFUL CONSEQUENCE of ‘FREE TRADE.” [p. 4]

    “E. Peshine Smith, and AMERICAN ECONOMIST and fierce OPPONENT of BRITISH FREE TRADE, … summarized the EFFECT of the British Empire’s FREE TRADE HEGEMONY over the WORLD ECONOMY of the 1850’s: … [and] contrasted the “nation as shopkeeper” doctrine of the Britain of Adam Smith & company, to the growing national economic thinking emerging on the Continent of Europe in the 1850’s, especially under the German Zollverein and other national economic policies of Friedrich List…” [pp. 4-5]

    “[Smith is quoted further:} “Accordingly, the great Continent nations, FRANCE, RUSSIA and the GERMAN States–UNITED in the Zollverein or Customs Union–have practically REPUDIATED the idea which has so long controlled the COMMERCIAL POLICY of ENGLAND. What England has gained by that policy is thus described by one of her learned and respected writers, JOSEPH KAY, who speaks of that nation as the one *where the aristocracy is richer and more powerful than any other country in the world, the poor are more oppressed, more pauperized, … and very much worse educated than the poor of any other European nation…*'” [p. 4]

    “So a CAMPAIGN began to shape ruling ENGLISH IDEOLOGY in 1851, using a viciously false malthusian argument of over-population, rather than admit the REALITY of a DELIBERATE POLICY of FORCED UNDER-INVESTMENT IN NEW PRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES. The name given the POLITICAL DOCTRINE which RATIONALIZED THE BRUTAL ECONOMIC POLICY, was ENGLISH LIBERALISM. In essence, English Liberalism, as it was defined towards the end of the 19th century, JUSTIFIED DEVELOPMENT of an EVER MORE POWERFUL IMPERIAL ELITE CLASS, ruling on behalf of the ‘vulgar ignorant masses,’ who could not be entrusted to rule on their own behalf.” [p. 5]

    (Above quotations, all CAPS mine, from F. William Engdahl: “A CENTURY OF WAR: Anglo-American Politcs and the New World Order” – Revised New Edition (Wiesbaden, edition.engdahl, 2011, orig. 1992).

    Is this not precisely what We the People of America have been subjected to, due to the treasonous machinations of the Bush Dynasty, the Rockefeller Dynasty, Sullivan and Cromwell, and other “Anglo-American” Agents of the “British Imperium” in America–such as BANKS of the CITY OF LONDON, like Standard Charter Bank (SCB), ensconced like Trojan Horses in the belly of Wall Street in the Finance Capital of America, within the STATE OF NEW YORK?

    Why has “Wall Street” HFT moved into Rockefeller Country, the Standard Oil State of New Jersey? What is the PURPOSE of HFT within the FRAME of LONDON’S LIBOR? How does SCB fit within this frame of fraud and treachery?

    Connect DNA money: Dulles: Walker: Bush: NATIONAL CITY BANK: I.G. Farben: Fritz Thyssen: Bush: Hamburg-Amerika: Mobile AL: vonMises Institute and “Austrian Economics” – Huntsville AL: vonBraun: NAZI M-I Complex – Birmingham AL: Steel to BigMed’s Bernie Ebbers to GermanAuto.

    Connect DNA money above with Horace Greely Hjalmar SCHACHT–“Born in 1977 into a GERMAN-AMERICAN family” (1)–and the BIS with Hitler, and with the “owners” of the BIS: “the MORGAN-affiliated First National Bank of New York (among whose directors were Harold S. Vanderbilt and Wendell Willkie), the Bank of England, the Reichsbank, the Bank of Italy, the Bank of France, and other CENTRAL bankers. … It was to be a money funnel for American and British funds to flow into Hitler’s coffers and to help Hitler build up his war machine.” (2)

    (Quotations above, all CAPS mine, taken from: (1) Adam Tooze: “THE WAGES OF DESTRUCTION: The Making and Breaking of the NAZI Economy” and (2) Charles Higham: “TRADING WITH THE ENEMY: The NAZI-American Money Plot 1933-1949.”

    SEE the history of the Bush Dynasty’s HUSBANDRY of the policy and dynastic despotic practices of the Anglo-American PRIVATE PROFIT EMPIRE–carrying forward the Anglo-American Imperial mission for “FREE TRADE” and “laisser faire banking–and CONNECT especially with the PRIVATE PROFITS OF WAR IN PERPETUITY, derived from the FIXES through FINANCIAL FRAUD, and FIXES on: Military Industrial MonopolyFinance NEXUS of: BigOil/Chemicals/Drugs/Armaments/Transport/Logistics/Machines/Propaganda(Media)/International Finance in the books above and below.

    NOTE the SURNAMES of DNA Dynasties CONNECTED with evidence of Bush Dynasty HUSBANDRY of Anglo-American TREASON against We the People of America and our Constitutional Government– from the grandfathers (George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush) through the sons of George H.W. Bush, in:

    “GEORGE BUSH: The Unauthorized Biography” by Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin;

    “THE OLD BOYS: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA” by Burton Hersh; “The Anglo-American Establishment” by Carroll Quigley;

    “THE SECRET WAR AGAINST THE JEWS: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People” by John Loftus and Mark Aarons;

    “AMERICAN DYNASTY: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush” by Kevin Phillips;

    “FUNNY MONEY” by Mark Singer;

    “BENJAMIN SILLIMAN: A Life in the Young Republic” by Chandos Michael Brown [Benjamin Silliman, Chemistry at YALE];

    “THE HISTORY OF THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY” by Ida M. Tarbell, Briefer Version Edited by David M. Chalmers;

    “JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER: Oil Baron and Philanthropist” by Rosemary Laughlin;

    “The Texas Republic and the Mormon Kingdom of God” by Michael Scott Van Wagenen;

    “The Texaco Story: The First Fifty Years: by Marquis James;

    “Bless the Pure & Humble: Texas Lawyers and Oil Regulation, 1919-1936” by Nicholas George Malavis;

    “THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” by Naomi Klein;

    “GRIFTOPIA: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America” by Matt Taibbi;

    “TOP SECRET AMERICA: The Rise of the New American Security State” by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin.

    CONNECT revelations in books above with key “Red States,” Cities of Chicago, New York, Houston, Dallas, New Haven, with Dynastic Nexus: Bush, Dulles, Brown Brothers Harriman, Rockefeller, National City Bank, Citibank, Sullivan and Cromwell and SCB TODAY.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Please correct typo: Horace Greely Hjalmar SCHACHT “Born in 1877”

      And for the “conspirary theorists” please note how History Rhymes:

      “The Conspiracy” [anent attempted assassination of Reagan by John Hinckley]:

      “In the midst of the BUSH-James BAKER CABAL’S relentless drive to SEIZE CONTROL over the REAGAN administration, JOHN WARNOCK HINCKLEY, JR. carried out his attempt to ASSASSINATE President REAGAN on the afternoon of March 30, 1981. George BUSH was visiting TEXAS that day. … In FORT WORTH, BUSH had unveiled a plaque at the HYATT REGENCY HOTEL, the old Hotel Texas, DESIGNATING it as a NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. This was the hotel, coincidentally, in which JOHN F. KENNEDY had spent the LAST NIGHT of his life, before going on to DALLAS the next day, November 22, 1963.” [p. 368]

      “In Austin, BUSH was SCHEDULED to deliver an address to a joint session of the TEXAS state legislature. It was Al HAIG who called Bush and told him that the President had been shot… HAIG was in touch with JAMES BAKER III, who was close to REAGAN at George Washington University hospital. BUSH’S MAN in the White House situation room was ADM. DAN MURPHY, who was standing right next to Haig.” [p. 368]

      “DEFENSE Secretary Caspar WEINBERGER’s memoir of THAT AFTERNOON reminds us of two highly relevant facts. The first is that a ‘NORAD [North American Defense Command] EXERCISE with a SIMULATED incoming missile attack had been PLANNED for the NEXT DAY.’ Weinberger agreed with Gen. David JONES, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that this EXERCISE should be CANCELLED.” [p. 369]

      “WEINBERGER further recalls, ‘at almost exactly 7:00, the VICE PRESIDENT [BUSH] came to the Situation Room and very calmly ASSUMED THE CHAIR AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE.’ BUSH asked Weinberger for a REPORT on the STATUS of U.S. FORCES, which Weinberger furnished.” [p. 369]

      “Another EYEWITNESS of these transactions was DON REGAN, whom the TOWER COMMISSION later made the FALL-GUY for BUSH’S IRAN-CONTRA ESCAPADES. … After reports were given and it was DETERMINED that there were NO international complications and NO DOMESTIC CONSPIRACY, it WAS DECIDED that the U.S. Government would carry on BUSINESS AS USUAL. The VICE PRESIDENT would go on TV from the White House to reassure the nation and to demonstrate that he was IN CHARGE.” [pp. 370-371]

      “Curiously enough, press accounts emerging over the next few days provided a prima facie case that there had been a conspiracy around the Hinckley attentat, and that the conspiracy had included members of Bush’s immediate family.” [p. 371]

      “According to the article [copyrighted, in “Houston Post” on March 31], NEIL BUSH [Neil MALLON Bush–GHW Bush’s first-born son named in honor of Bush’s mentor, whom Prescott Bush had made head of Dresser Industries] had admitted on March 30 that he was personally acquainted with SCOTT HINCKLEY [“the suspect’s brother”]….Neil Bush also stated that he knew the HINCKLEY family, and referred to large monetary contributions made by the Hinckleys to the Bush 1980 presidential campaign. Neil Bush and Scott Hinckley both lived in DENVER at this time. SCOTT HINCKLEY was vice president of VANDERBILT Energy Corporation [of DENVER] at this time, and NEIL BUSH was employed as a LANDMAN for STANDARD OIL OF INDIANA. John W. HINCKLEY, Jr., the would-be assassin, lived on and off with his family in Evergreen, Colorado, not far from DENVER.” [pp. 370-371]

      “Was Hinckley a Manchurian candidate, brainwashed to carry out his role as an assassin?” [p. 375]

      “In July 1985, the FBI was compelled to release some details of Hinckley under the Freedom of Information Act. … According to a wire service account, ‘The file made no mention of papers seized from HINCKLEY’s prison CELL at Butner, NORTH CAROLINA, which reportedly made reference to a CONSPIRACY. Those writings were ruled inadmissible by the trial judge and never made public.'” [p. 376]

      “The FBI has refused to release 22 pages of documents concerning Hinckley’s ‘associates and organizations,’ 22 pages about his personal finances, and 37 pages about his personality and character.” [p. 376]

      “The other aspect of the case that would have merited more careful scrutiny was the relation of John W. HINCKLEY, SR., the gunman’s FATHER, to the U.S. INTELLIGENCE community. The line in the press right after the assassination attempt was that ‘the father of John Hinckley is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN WHO DID WORK IN AFRICA.’ Some papers also included the fact John w. Hinckley, Sr. had also worked with WORLD VISION, beginning in 1976. World Vision describes itself as the largest ‘INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN relief and development AGENCY’ active in the Third World. It is officially a joint activity of the EPISCOPAL and PRESBYTERIAN churches.” [p. 376]

      “‘Jack’ HINCKLEY, as the gunman’s father was frequently called, during the 1970’s became a close associate of Robert AINSWORTH, the DIRECTOR of U.S. Ministries for World Vision, Inc. Jack Hinckley’s profile was that of a BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN. … Even before World Vision, Jack Hinckley had carried on “relief work” in GUATEMALA.” [p. 376-377]

      “Robert Ainsworth’s pedigree is impressive: He was a foreign area ANALYST for the U.S. State Department; and ADVISER in Vietnam during the war there; and chaired an INTERNATIONAL committee involved in the negotiation of the CHEMICAL AND BACTERIOLOGICAL WARFARE TREATY OF 1973.” [p. 377]

      “Reagan went into a long convalescence…. NANCY REAGAN … vastly increased her reliance on the ASTROLOGICAL ADVICE of her RESIDENT CLAIRVOYANT, Joan QUIGLEY. Through this channel, the Occult Bureau of BRITISH INTELLIGENCE and its co-thinkers at LANGLEY acquired an awesome capability over the manipulation of the Reagan presidency….” [p. 377]

      “Bush’s key man was JAMES BAKER III, White House chief of staff and the leading court FAVORITE of NANCY REAGAN…. Among Baker, Deaver, and the astrologer, Nancy Reagan could also be manipulated into substantial subservience to Bush’s designs.” [p. 378]

      “At the TREASURY, Bush’s COUSIN, John WALKER, could be assistant secretary for enforcement [x-ref BCCI and its covert purpose for Bush Dynasty]. [p. 378]

      “BUSH’S CHIEF OF STAFF [at time of Reagan assassination attempt] was ADM. DANIEL J. MURPHY, who had represented Bush in the Situation Room until the Vice President had returned from Texas. … Bush’s GENERAL COUNSEL was C. BOYDEN GRAY, a Harvard-educated lawyer who had worked as a PARTNER for the WASHINGTON POWER BROKER law firm of Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering, where he specialized in anti-trust litigation and representing BUSINESSMEN’S GROUPS like the BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE and the AMERICAN MINING CONGRESS. Gray’s family were PLUTOCRATS from NORTH CAROLINA who had sponsored the FORCED STERILIZATION programs described in Chapter 3. Gray’s father, GORDON GRAY, had served as chief of the National Security Council during the Eisenhower administration, and had directly OVERSEEN the very extensive COVERT operatlions of the later Eisenhower years.” [379]

      “During and after REAGAN’S RECOVERY, BUSH put together a MACHINE capable of steering many of the decisions of the Reagan administration. Bush had a standing invitation to sit in on all cabinet meetings and other EXECUTIVE activities, and James Baker was always there to make sure he knew what was going on.” [p. 379]

      — [And, for the cherry on top of How It Works, please note the following] —

      “The First World War elevated PRESCOTT BUSH and his father, SAMUEL P. BUSH, into the lower ranks of the EASTERN ESTABLISHMENT. … As war loomed in 1914, NATIONAL CITY BANK began reorganizing the U.S. ARMS INDUSTRY. Percy A. ROCKEFELLER took direct control of the REMINGTON ARMS company, appointing his own man, Samuel F. PRYOR, as the new chief executive of Remington.” [p. 15]

      “The U.S. entered World War I in 1917. In the spring of 1918, PRESCOTT’S FATHER, Samuel P. Bush, became CHIEF of the ORDNANCE Small Arms and Ammunition Division of the WAR INDUSTRIES BOARD. … Samuel BUSH had been president of Buckeye STEEL Castings Co. in COLUMBUS, OHIO, makers of RAILCAR parts. His entire CAREER had been in the railroad business–SUPPLYING equipment to the WALL STREET-OWNED RAILROAD SYSTEMS. … The WAR INDUSTRIES BOARD was run by BERNARD BARUCH, a Wall Street speculator with CLOSE personal and business ties to old E.H. HARRIMAN. Baruch’s BROKERAGE firm had handled Harriman speculations of all kinds. … In 1918 Samuel BUSH became DIRECTOR of the Facilities Division of the War Industries Board [and] REPORTED DIRECTLY to the Board’s Chairman, Bernard Baruch, and to BARUCH’S ASSISTANT, Wall Street PRIVATE BANKER Clarence DILLON.” [p. 15] — [see Catherine Austin Fitts on Dillon Read]

      “With the WAR MOBILIZATION conducted under the supervision of the War Industries Board, U.S. CONSUMERS AND TAXPAYERS SHOWERED UNPRECEDENTED FORTUNES on war producers and certain holders of raw materials and patents. HEARINGS in 1934 by the committee of U.S. Senator Gerald Nye ATTACKED THE ‘MERCHANTS OF DEATH’–WAR PROFITEERS such as Remington Arms and the British Vickers company–whose salesmen had manipulated many nations into wars, and then supplied all sides with the weapons to fight them.” [p. 15]

      “The EASTERN ESTABLISHMENT, understood as an agglomeration of financier factions headquartered in Wall Street, had been the dominant force in American politics since J.P. Morgan had bailed out the Grover Cleveland regime in the 1890s. … it was determined to be … the UNDISPUTED RULING ELITE of the UNITED STATES AS A WHOLE, from Boston to Bohemian Grove, and from Palm Beach to the Pacific Northwest. It was thus imperative that the constant tendency toward the formation of regional factions be PREEMPTED by the pervasive PRESENCE of MEN BOUND BY BLOOD LOYALTY to the dominant cliques of WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, and the ‘MOTHER COUNTRY, THE CITY OF LONDON.” [p. 139]

      “… the facts: that BUSH’S TRANSFER TO TEXAS was ARRANGED FROM THE TOP by PRESCOTT’S BROWN BROTHERS HARRIMAN CRONIES, and that every step forward made by Bush in the oil business was assisted by the CAPITAL resources of our hero’s MATERNAL UNCLE, George Herbert WALKER, Jr., ‘Uncle Herbie,’ the boss of G.H. Walker & Co., investment firm of WALL STREET.” [p. 139] (N.B. “uncle Herbie,” like Prescott, was a member of YALE’S Skull and Bones; he was the backer of Bush’s ZAPATA Petroleum and ZAPATA Offshore).

      “One CRONY contacted by father PRESCOTT was RAY KRAVIS, who was in the OIL business in TULSA, Oklhoma. … RAY was the SON of a BRITISH TAILOR whose father had come to America and set up a haberdashery in ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. Young Ray had arrived in TULSA in 1925 in the midst of the OIL BOOM that was making the colossal fortunes of men like J. Paul Getty. RAY was primarily a TAX ACCOUNTANT, and he had invented a very special TAX SHELTER which allowed OIL PROPERTIES to be ‘packaged’ and sold in such a way as to REDUCE THE TAX ON PROFITS EARNED from the normal oil property rate of 81 percent to a mere 15 percent. This meant that the national tax base was eroded, and each individual taxpayer bilked in order to SUBSIDIZE the formation of immense PRIVATE FORTUNES; this will be found to be a constant theme among George Bush’s business associates down to the present day. … For many years RAY KRAVIS functioned as the MANAGER of the KENNEDY FAMILY FORTUNE (or fondo), the same job that later devolved to Stephen Smith. … The estimates that RAY KRAVIS [to Wall Street investment houses] … went to the HEART of the oil business, as a GROUND-RENT EXPLOITATION in which current oil production was far less important than the reserves still beneath the soil.” [p. 140]

      “Such activity provided the kind of PRIMITIVE-ACCUMULATION MENTALITY that was later to seen to animate RAY KRAVIS’ SON, HENRY. During the 1980s, as we will see, HENRY KRAVIS personally generated some $58 billion in DEBT for the PURPOSE of ACQUIRING 36 companies and assembling the largest CORPORATE EMPIRE, in paper terms, OF ALL TIME. HENRY KRAVIS would be one of the leaders of the LEVERAGED BUYOUT GANG which became the MAINSTAY of the POLITICAL MACHINE of GEORGE BUSH.” [p. 140]

      (Quotations above, all extraordinary CAPs mine, are from: “GEORGE BUSH: The Unauthorized Biography” by Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin–in which the “Bush history” is well-documented in extensive notes.)

      CONSISTENT are the profiteering DNA and the PATTERN of ELITE corruption: from Prescott Bush/George Herbert Walker unto George H.W. Bush and Sons, including the Savings & Loan Scandal’s Silverado, unto ENRON, unto the Wall Street meltdown, TARP, and the Great Recession. Step by step, the Reich’s SHOCK DOCTRINE marches on, to profit the .01% and its .99% Agency at the expense of the 99%, come what may.

      “TREASON for PRIVATE PROFIT in WAR by Any Name” is the name of the game, the MEANS to the END. ROMNEY (Agent of Kravis’s Way) and RYAN are playing this game TO WIN as the NEXT TROJAN HORSE of the .01%.

      DNA writes Our History: Not dead, “not even past” (Faulkner).

        1. sthrmn

          Exactly, that is the problem here. There is no legitimate place to start. A Rand, however misguided, gives us all a thought process worthy of consideration.

  42. ljm

    The bishop who founded SSPX and got expelled by the Vatican, despised the French Revolution outcome. He was pro-Vichy government in France. I’ve wondered if the likes of Paul Ryan would join SSPX if they returned to the fold and Pope Ben accepted them. They are so far to the right. They have no use for the “social justice” branch of the Catholic Church. It’s not a coincidence the Church has little use for the nuns on the bus.

  43. TruthTeller

    Apparently, given a Zogby poll no too long ago, we’re a nation harboring far too many sociopaths. They found that 8.1% of all adults polled had read Atlas Shrugged, and 17% of college grads had.

    They must be burying all those bodies pretty deep. :)

  44. david j michel jr

    sis-boom,baa! go-obama-go. You voted for him the first time to prove your not a racist,now vote for him a second time to prove your a moron.

  45. Because

    What is with Jews and liberalism(classical)?

    Ron Paul(questions on his fathers side, he may have some jewish blood) and Lew Rockwell(he has “questions” about his father’s racial identity, he may be one as well) have Mises and Rothbard
    Ryan has Rand
    The mainstream Republican party has Friedman and Hayek(who was half-jewish though he hated to admit it).

    Even the originers such as Ricardo was fully Jewish and Menger had long tried to hide his Jewishness on his father side(his mother was a freemason ex-catholic).

    While social democrats Jews(Galbraith,Kruggie ete) ete)………follow white men such as John Law and Adam Smith who really influenced their masters, Keynes/George and gave Jewish mathmen Kalecki and Minsky their ideals.

    This is very important that people forget. Who do you want to pattern yourself over? Ricardo/Marx(thesis and anti-thesis) or Law/Smith in economics? The fact is, every liberal from Paul to Ryan worship Ricardo to such a point, they lose touch with reality just like their other coin side the Marxists did/do. Why even bother with the natural perversion they are? Destruction of the last remanents of the traditional state into a market state does not make us free. It makes us slaves, especially the natural elite. A perversion of nature.

    I would prefer Evola,Spengler or …….but I don’t want to get into that “traditional” school right now……………….

  46. Leeskyblue

    What are you trying to do with this critique? Destroy her in a page? You won’t do it. Yet you will desperately keep trying?
    The point is, she didn’t create the social decay that makes her popular. She is merely an avatar — nice to have a tangible dragon to slay but as dragon she isn’t real.
    What of the millions who are now dancing with Mephisto?
    It is a real disease without a real virus, yet it is infesting all of us while we point and blame other people.
    The Christian right is just a desperate incoherant attempt to preserve the social and moral compass that we know we are losing.
    If we are to gain anything, we need to develop better weapons. Ayn Rand just isn’t the point.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, you are dead wrong.

      Go look at her book sales and then we might have an intelligent conversation.

      Bad ideas don’t get traction out of nowhere. They require propagandists.Greenspan was a Randian. So was the head of the SEC, Chris Cox. And Cox hired Radians. Although the SEC was already headed downhill, you are kidding yourself not to think that Cox’s staffing policies didn’t accelerate its decline.

      1. Leeskyblue

        Yves, please. You are an important commentator, I am not. Your head is important, and right now you are a Roman candle.
        Why? Because Ryan was selected? Granted, it adds immediacy to a reality that some of us see coming. You again mention just one or two players — they would not be possible without the fact of coordinated efforts over the past 40 years that have influenced our universities, courts and legislatures, involved a great many people, while we liberals sat on our behinds. There was a lot of effort, time, foresight and planning involved — and a great many players.
        My point was that we have to start thinking in decades, and not about the two “peanuts” who are running this year.

        As for Miss Rand, she is popular because we are offering nothing better for young people. What do they have as alternatives? We have to reconstruct and revivify the moral and intellectual basis for 20th century progressivism and the New Deal. Right now, all we are doing is sputtering and looking aghast.

        Also, she is a useful tool for a few who have no intention of playing by her rules. Greenspan was not a devil incarnate — he ran his investment business according to a very high standard of integrity. In a field where discrimination still very much exists, he hired only women as his analysts. Otherwise, he was a naive ivory tower academic, a genuine Mr. Smith. The real Mr. Smith gets seduced and flattered and ultimately corrupted because he is too good natured to realize that the people who seem to talk like he does and understand things his way, are really just rats.

        Also, since I’ve been there and done it, I do know something about it. Rand was a troll — the damned fool who can raise more unanswerable dumb questions than a team of wise men can untangle. She ran together a bunch of Zen type oxymorons and called them axioms. She didn’t trouble to evaluate them — with an airy wave, she expected you to figure them out. When pressed, she would answer with snarls and vituperation. She had enough earnest intent to pull it off, and never realized it was a con game.
        For a young person, ideologies of any type can be a vicious trap– often you don’t evade a telling point, instead you have become so immersed in a structure that you just dismiss intelligent and illuminating comment that could save you from yourself, as “irrelevent”. It is a vicious trap.

        Unlike most trolls, Rand didn’t smirk, she was deadly serious about herself, still she was a troll.

  47. enouf

    Is it just me, or does anyone else here read what Craig Rachel 2:49 p.m EST wrote (about Rand) — entirely differently than how i parse those words? Allow me to attempt to decipher (with corrections, ..hopefully with emphasis and clarity, if i may);

    Craig Rachel says:
    August 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Ayn Rand’s own words re: taking welfare

    “Since there is no such thing as the right of some men to vote away the [unalienable] rights of others, and no such thing as the right of the government [Corporations., since all Govt’s are Incorporated, from local municipalities to the US. Federal Corp] to [tax and] seize the property of some men for the unearned benefit of others [Banksters, Global Elite / Corps] — the advocates and supporters of the [Corporate] welfare state, [the Corporations,] are morally guilty of robbing their opponents [small business; i.e., true small business, not hedge funds, K-street groups, etc] , and the fact that the robbery is legalized makes it morally worse, not better. The victims,[WeThePeople, the true Sovereigns,] do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others [which include, but not limited to Big{Oil,Gas(Frackers),Pharma,Agri,Deforestation,Coal,Ore,….}] ; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites [Banksters, NWO, Global Corps who own the Gov’t and are backstopped by the same Critters] who clamored for it. Whenever the [Corporate-]welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims [WeThePeople] should [NOT] take it . . . .”

    I think you can ascertain what i’m getting at — Seems the last line there is the only one i disagree with, since i reversed her position to the negative. ..since it’s not even table scraps (if you read it the way i revised it – nay,’s insulting even).


  48. mario

    You can blame it on Ayn Rand all you want, but the Superman (spiderman, x-man, batman) are here and well if you know what I mean…

  49. Saulius Muliolis

    It is a blatant lie to say that Rand “worshipped” a child killer. She descibed him as “degenerate”. She saw one character trait she wanted to use in one of her stories, but otherwise deplored everything else he was.

  50. Saulius Muliolis

    Ayn Rand calls Hickman “degenerate” and “a purposeless monster”. Especially considering that one of her heroes says that the most depraved kind of man is one without purpose, she is hardly “worshiping” this guy.

    I just bought the Kindle edition of the Journals of Ayn Rand to find the source of this misrepresentation and personal attack, and can vouch that nothing about what Mark Ames says about the relationship between Rand and this serial killer is true.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Ayn Rand is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life. Me too Saulius Muliolis or is it souless mule?

    2. JTFaraday

      “nothing about what Mark Ames says about the relationship between Rand and this serial killer is true.”

      No, but the relationship between Rand and Alan Greenspan is, which is turning out to be about the same difference.

      True? True. I thought libertarians didn’t like teh Fed.

  51. neslo

    You know whats funny? That obvious details that are very important in a person’s life are completely ignored when discussing that person.

    For example, Ayn Rand was incredibly ugly, and no one has ever mentioned this anywhere that I have ever seen. Yet to not consider this when analyzing her numerous quotations is just plain dumb.

    What is also funny is the attempt to demonize Ryan.

    I also like many things that Rand has said, in particular, less government, less regulation, less charity. However, in no way do I like pyscho-killers.

    1. JTFaraday

      “For example, Ayn Rand was incredibly ugly, and no one has ever mentioned this anywhere that I have ever seen. Yet to not consider this when analyzing her numerous quotations is just plain dumb.”


      I expect you to submit your profile photo, pronto.

    2. just me

      Less charity? You would like to see more _____?

      Not a Randian, I’m trying to figure out the devotion of the right to both Rand AND (military) Christian fundamentalism, when the Christianity I remember said charity was the greatest of all. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” 1 Corinthians 13:13. Can you explain this?

  52. concerned citizen

    I’ll confess that I haven’t read all (any) of the comments, so I’m almost certainly walking on a well worn path. But I did read the original blog post (kinda). So let me get this straight: Paul Ryan is a serial killer? or is it Romney? Definitely something that you should notify the NYT about posthaste. I recommend Gretchen Morgenson.

  53. Aquifer

    This thread is a bit of s riot – for a number of reasons, but the one i note here is the failure of “replies” to wind up where they belong – This could wind up being a thread about just about anything (and probably is …) LOL

    1. Aquifer

      Not only are the comments thematically disjointed they are chronologically as well ….

      The times are out of joint – indeed LOL (again …)

      1. Aquifer

        This thread gets funnier every time i read it – and that’s before the wine – but maybe that’s a good thing, sometimes we get a little too serious :)

  54. karen

    It’s what I remember that she said about disabled kids (Wallace, 1982?) that usually makes me despise her, but only because its more personal; it can’t possibly be more sadistic than that true story.

    Whether or not she was superior, in any way, she certainly wasn’t human very much.

    Know what she taught me? That people can be brilliant, and cruel. People can be dense, but good. Brains and goodness are not the same thing, they aren’t synonymous. If you think that doesn’t matter, because you’ll never depend on the goodness of others, you’re a fool. And if you’re a good *and* brilliant person, you are wise. I think its wisdom that matters, not brains alone, and for me she made it obvious. That’s what she taught me.

    1. Up the Ante

      The Bolsheviks were no less unpleasant than the Nazis in driving out the Jews from their country.

  55. Nelson Alexander

    Capitalist Bodice-Ripper Thrills American Youth!

    Okay, it’s true that this article has a tabloid level of specious links to the “shocking truth.” But anything that puts a stake in Ayn Rand’s carbonized heart is okay with me. Let’s not forget that she is “America’s bestselling philosopher.”

    Perhaps the wisest words on the subject were in the FT some time ago, where someone (I forget who) remarked that the two books with the most deleterious impact on young minds are “Lord of the Rings” and “Atlas Shrugged.” As the writer noted, the one is a childish fantasy that stunts mental development, the other involves Orks.

  56. skippy

    Ayn Rand… American exceptionalism writ large… Americas greatness stems from the uniqueness of its brand of individualism… and nothing else… all the murder, genocide, last patch of northern hemisphere not ground up my Abrahamism machinations, 200ish years of almost non stop war with out but a scratch, increasing toxicity, profit or die mentality… etc, etc….

    Skippy… barf!!!!

  57. wryzee

    This post rocks!

    Can’t wait to see PTA’s The Master with PSH playing a kind of hybrid characterization of L. Ron and A. Rand!

    But, to offer something beyond an advert, what this accurately disturbing portrait neglects is the fact that Rand is boring and humorless.

    Extrapolated she’s terrifying. Psychoanalytically, she’s terrorizing. But surfacially she’s uninteresting and utterly unentertaining, even for desperate people. I think she only ever appealed to the unawaredly confused and vapidly self-righteous, ironically characteristics of herself in her convictions for Hickman.

  58. prufrock

    Spending time – even nanosecs – discussing Ayn Rands’ bullshit-style arguments denotes an even more upsetting behaviour than the arguments of the idiot itself. Particularly when you take account that a Big One like Greenspan has been for years the big boss and NOBODY had anything to yell about that.

  59. kthomas

    I’ve read it twice and it gets more stupid with each read.

    Just yesterday I saw some goat-tee wearing trucker proudly display “I am John Galt.” on the back of his rig. Now, when uneducated truckers and Fed Bankers have something to rally around, and that something is an angry, selfish, chain-smoking little godless Jewish lady from the East, we got a problem.

    She was just an ugly little witch. And she knew it.

  60. Unimpressed

    Bill Ayers.. but who’s counting. He tried, but was an incompetent bomber. If he had succeeded there would have been dead law enforcement officers. Instead, he is teaching America’s mush-for-brains college kids.

  61. Daniel Miller

    Please allow me to interlope into your conversation. I am British so whilst I am not directly involved in your situation I can at least put another perspective on the choices that face you all.

    I find it deeply disturbing that the ethos of your country is so driven by money – the Us & Them mentality that pervades so much of American thinking is frightening. You are either a “Have” or a “Have-Not” – a Builder or a Scrounger, a God fearing person (i.e. Practising Believer) or not (or, worse, for many, not a Christian at all) – a person who requires a hand-up the ladder or not. Anyway be that as it may isn’t it rather disturbing, if you allow yourself a moment’s grace to consider it, that the core reason for denigrating Medicare, Medicaid et al are the business interests that thrive from selling Medical Insurance in the first place. Perhaps if there was more thought given to being INCLUSIVE rather than EXCLUSIVE with regard to the provision of health care then not only would the standard of life be better – FOR ALL – but, conceivably, the massive tranche of people living below the Poverty Line in the USA might just possibly be able to build themselves a better future. But I don’t suppose any of this bothers the likes of former “Billionaires For Bush” supporters.

    Just take a few seconds to take that in – BILLIONAIRES FOR BUSH.

    Good luck in November – you may well need it thereafter.

  62. Daniel Miller

    Please allow me to interlope into your conversation. I am British so whilst I am not directly involved in your situation I can at least put another perspective on the choices that face you all.

    I find it deeply disturbing that the ethos of your country is so driven by money – the Us & Them mentality that pervades so much of American thinking is frightening. You are either a “Have” or a “Have-Not” – a Builder or a Scrounger, a God fearing person (i.e. Practising Believer) or not (or, worse, for many, not a Christian at all) – a person who requires a hand-up the ladder or not. Anyway be that as it may isn’t it rather disturbing, if you allow yourself a moment’s grace to consider it, that the core reason for denigrating Medicare, Medicaid et al are the business interests that thrive from selling Medical Insurance in the first place. Perhaps if there was more thought given to being INCLUSIVE rather than EXCLUSIVE with regard to the provision of health care then not only would the standard of life be better – FOR ALL – but, conceivably, the massive tranche of people living below the Poverty Line in the USA might just possibly be able to build themselves a better future. But I don’t suppose any of this bothers the likes of former “Billionaires For Bush” supporters.

    Just take a few seconds to take that in – BILLIONAIRES FOR BUSH.


  63. Jack

    “I’m not sure she lionized serial killing but rather wanted to show how some people were so driven by their gift (like architecture in Roarke’s case) that they were oblivious to other humans.” Walter Wit Man

    Walt, I’m curious to know what gift it is that Hickman was driven by? Gift is an interesting choice of descriptive for such an individual.

    And to all those of you who think that this blog is too high brow for the chore of exposing the roots of an individual’s ideology I’d suggest that any manner of exposing a set of facts is acceptable. So long as the information is correct. Read through Michael Prescott’s analysis of the Journals of Ayn Rand and it will seem self evident that Rand had a most peculiar view of human motivation and moralty;

    That Paul Ryan and other public figures have expressed significant admiration for Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” of life is indeed puzzling. What is there to admire? The quotes from her Journal make her sound immature and vaccuous. That she is a source of inspiration for Ryan is depressing only in that he, Ryan, is now receiving serious consideration as Vice President. They both, Ryan and Rand, seem rediculous. Beneath the level of Yyves usual contributions? Not at all if you undderstand that the purpose is to expose a source of Ryan’s ideological inspiration. Insipid is the word that comes to mind.

  64. Anand Singh

    I loved the “sex philosophy ” of Rand . Hilarious . Her clear indication to girls — BE A WHORE …

  65. exomike

    How far behind the curve can these Sociopathic Tut Tut Randites be?. I guess pretty far, since they read Ayn Rand in high school and never got over it. The the authors of the last two books written about Rand finally had access to her real papers and the Ayn Rand Instituter’s propaganda ended up having so many holes shot in it there was no there there.

    If not a psychopath, Rand was truly a sociopath of the Fascist kind. Not only did she rekindle the Aryan lust for a “master” race but she made one of the seven deadly sins, (greed/selfishness), into a virtue aimed at adolescent minds. It is perhaps the only “virtue” Paul Ryan displays.

    Atlas Shrugged is the second best selling book next the the Bible. Does not this blatant Fascistosexual propaganda give a hint where the current evil trajectory of our culture came from? Ayn Rand the Meth addict with her drug induced grandiose psychosis and her apostles would make Satan himself blush for being far out-striped by the Randites in creating our current “culture” of corruption.

    In reality Rand’s entire life is indeed suited for the Tabloid form. After all Ayn Rand with her amphetamine amplified huge sexual appetite was indeed the prototype “Crack Whore”, long before crack whore’s were “popular” (sic).

  66. Strangely Enough

    Wow. This thread reminds of why those “Best Books of the Century” reader polls are always full of Rand and Hubbard titles…

  67. Jeff

    Is it just me? Or does Ayn Rand so-o-o look like the late Willam F. Buckley (right-wing idelogical agent, founder of National Review) in drag? Did anybody ever see them in the same room together?

  68. Dave Perry

    The relevance of this blog is this: Rand displayed sociopathic tendencies. A Russian Jew who espoused nearly Hitlerian “Nietzschean Superman” ideology and literally foamed at the mouth when denouncing altruistic values. The Jesuits and Catholic authorities in various circles have denounced Paul Ryan’s bold new economic vision as “un-Christian”.

    He can’t distance himself sufficiently from this issue (and Romney can’t rationally distance himself from the obviously heavily vetted VP choice he made). Ryan said it many times, to the press, to friends, to colleagues. He idolizes what turns out to be a narcissistic, sociopathic, intensely atheistic writer.

    Yes, that is VERY relevant in this election.

  69. Fotios Tsimboukakis

    DARWIN! “Come out come out wherever you are”! Remember De Niro. Darwin! Ayn Rand is a BAD Darwinist. Almost Spartan. Ryan Paul and all the modern extreme republicans are believers of the same notion. Survival and prospering of the fittest. The rest they can be a sub class. They excuse it by saying that cutting many entitlements and at the same time taxes for the rich will force the poor,perceived as lazy, to be driven and become rich too. Or succesful. Rand,Ryan,are smart well spoken sociopaths. They remind me of Bundy in Florida.

  70. Nick Marino

    Ames, are you a sociopath for making up these lies? For saying that Rand was a fan of kidnapping, murder and dismemberment.

    Here’s what Wikipedia says about Rand and Hickman:

    In 1928, the writer Ayn Rand began planning a novel called The Little Street, whose hero, Danny Renahan, was to be based on “what Hickman suggested to [her].” The novel was never finished, but Rand wrote notes for it which were published after her death in the book Journals of Ayn Rand. Rand wanted the hero of her novel to be “A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me.”[3] Rand scholars Chris Matthew Sciabarra and Jennifer Burns both interpret Rand’s interest in Hickman as a sign of her early admiration of the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche, especially since she several times referred to Hickman as a “Superman” (in the Nietzschean sense).[4][5]

  71. James

    I for one want to know what is going on in Ryans mind. What drives this person?
    42 years old and 25 of them in DC.
    Does he really have the grip on reality as he claims?

  72. Reason

    Except… it’s not the poor Atlas Shrugged describes as parasites.

    It’s those who are rich through no industry of their own.

    The James Taggarts, the Orren Boyles. the type of people who get propped up by corrupt administrations.

    The article repeatedly pushes the idea that Rand “admired” a killer but offers zero evidence. Studied maybe, perhaps even a little obsessed, but admired? It seems more like something you just wish was true.

  73. Francisco

    If you look at Ayn Rands Objectivist Philosphy in essence= “Respect the rights of others while they respect yours, No one has the right to impose physical force un provoked. Humans have the ability to reason..use it, with productive achievement as the noblest activity and reality is the ultimate arbitrator. Using reason and logic to guide your life in the pursuit of your personal happiness. Based in Laissez-faire Capitalism trading value for value or deciding not to do commerce, the right to chose. Anyone interested should do their own research and find out what Objecticism Ayn Rands Philosphy is here-
    Also, check out Milton Friedman on youtube “Free to Choose”
    I never read anything about advocating serial killing, murdering ect…
    Nice try commie go back to your hut and redistribute in your lower form of living, lower your standard of living to support a village of sloths that don’t pull their own cart.. Another commie hit piece this bs blog is!!!

    1. enouf

      – Agree on philosophical points

      Francisco says:
      August 17, 2012 at 2:08 am
      If you look at Ayn Rands Objectivist Philosphy in essence= “Respect the rights of others while they respect yours, No one has the right to impose physical force un provoked. Humans have the ability to reason..use it, with productive achievement as the noblest activity and reality is the ultimate arbitrator. Using reason and logic to guide your life in the pursuit of your personal happiness. Based in Laissez-faire Capitalism trading value for value or deciding not to do commerce, the right to chose. Anyone interested should do their own research and find out what Objecticism Ayn Rands Philosphy is here-
      Also, check out Milton Friedman on youtube “Free to Choose”
      I never read anything about advocating serial killing, murdering ect…

      – Disagree!, on whom you claim to be commies

      Nice try commie go back to your hut and redistribute in your lower form of living, lower your standard of living to support a village of sloths that don’t pull their own cart.. Another commie hit piece this bs blog is!!!

      Here – let’s try it this way;

      Nice try [Corporate ‘commie’ Capitalist Pig]go back to your hut and redistribute in your lower form of living [,which includes, but is not limited to everyone enjoying their own Mansions, Villas, Yachts, Strings of Poloponies .. Equality for All, Exercising of Sovereign Power over the Agents of the State], lower your standard of living to support a village of sloths [read as: Counterfeiting Bankster Cartel, Global Elites] that don’t pull their own cart [, heck, they can’t even wipe themselves, are not only Useless Idiots, but are Treasonous Felons, along with the CongressCritters and all subordinates that they Own, which is most definitely *not* limited to Politicians].. Another [Corporate ‘commie’ Capitalist Pig] hit piece this bs [Useful, Insightful, Sincere, Hardworking! … although a bit misguided, IMHO as it pertains to how to achieve real change, but otherwise ..] blog is!!!

      There now; Fixed it for ya ;-)


  74. Richard Gleaves

    Anyone who spreads this ridiculous Hickman-serial-killer-smear should be treated with contempt. It’s intellectually dishonest.

    In the 1920s, when Rand was newly from Russia and learning the language, she followed a sensationalist case that was all over the LA newspapers. Like the OJ trial of our time, the central figure was believed by many to be innocent. Ladies groups and the like went on public campaigns against the kid, and it was generally hysteria. It was Rand’s first exposure to a media circus, and THAT is what interested her. Her story was not planned to be about Hickman or modeled on Hickman, who she called “degenerate”, but what the Hickman circus suggested to her — a young man attacked from all sides who defiantly throws it back in the mobs face; a anti-collectivist type story. In her tale the boy would be innocent.

    This was in private journals unpublished until years after her death — she hadn’t written a single novel or figured out her philosophy. She was new to America. In her home country criminals were men who killed to survive despite dictatorship and starvation — read her eventual novel We the Living to understand.

    The modern left drops the context of this obscure Journal entry to smear Rand despite thousands of pages of her mature writing, every word of which speaks to the inviolability of individual rights and the evil of initiating force. This cannot be honest. It’s a cynical and grotesque lie.

  75. Clifton Brice

    What an indictment. It’s like ~ You try to construct a reductio ad absurdum argument (Objectivism = Sociopathy,) only to find out that Rand has already beaten you there – In Fact staked claim to the territory with relish. All you can do is stand there goggling and waiting for them to notice that it’s a cancer, not a virtue

Comments are closed.