Ayn Rand’s Republican naiveté


I agree with this statement regarding the philosophy of Ayn Rand (emphasis added; from Brooklyn Mike’s comment to Douthat; referenced above): "The fallacy of Rand's philosophy lies in the belief that people will always act in their own rational self interest. People will, of course, always act in their own best [selfish] interest... people almost never act rationally when attempting to do so. Once you realize that she relies exclusively on their ability to do so, you soon see how incredible naive she was..."

Here, Mike exposes the basic flaw in the Republican gospel – that "the superior must be allowed to inherit the earth" (which I admit swayed me for almost two decades).

Now, Rand’s core tenets are undone, exposed as merely fallacial, pseudo-intellectual naiveté.

Undone because Rand chose, for rhetorical purposes, to ignore (or otherwise obscure) that history demonstrates individuals are seldom noble or rational.  That such traits are far more commonly demonstrated through culture, through collective and not individual acts!

While I may not believe in God, I do know my Bible.  And like most sustaining artifacts of culture, there is truth in its words.  One example: "where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am also"  which says to me that without plurality, without beneficent culture, without a shared stake in a mutually rewarding outcome, that individualism is more apt to descend to animalism than ascend to God.

History is replete with examples (save arguably one): Alexander, the Caesars, Hitler, traders at AIG -- none (rationally) content with half of everything!  Each sacrificing the world in a vain, irrational swipe to take it all!

Thus, unregulated hedonism – a k a Rand’s “rational self interest” – is conceivably little more than a twisted intellectual’s mask for insanity and invariably its demonstrated end.  Mao, Marx and Jesus knew this.  And now, before it's too late, Republicans must somehow see it too.