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I just stumbled upon an article in Salon published today by David Haglund:
 Did You See This? Ayn Rand on Johnny Carson

In it is a two part video uploaded to YouTube by warpicachu of Johnny Carson interview Ayn Rand in depth on her philosophy.  It's amazing, the absolute kiss of death to the Ryan/Romney ticket.  

She explains the core concept of her teaching, the central value, which is selfishness.

See the videos below the fold, and enjoy.



There's so much I could pull out from these videos and quote to you from what this evil woman says... but I just don't know where to begin... every comment she makes is a new ad for the Obama campaign.

Remember, Paul Ryan made Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged required reading for all his staff and interns!  What will the "values voters" say if they know just exactly what his philosophy espouses.


Originally posted to Frisbeetarian on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics.

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  •  Tip Jar (331+ / 0-)
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    •  I don't think many people know how evil she is (117+ / 0-)

      and how polar opposite she is from what we almost universally hold up as moral values.  She sounds like the anti-christ, creepy, evil.

      I think a good add would be pulling some choice clips from this interview and then letting people know that Paul Ryan adores her, that she is required reading in his office, that her philosophy is the foundation of the Ryan (Romney) Plan for America.

      •  Not sure evil is the word. She doesn't understand (76+ / 0-)

        human beings.

        We are not a loner species, we are a collectivist species. Almost everything we do everywhere is done through some sort of collective action. Government, Business, families, circles of friends, we must PAIR WITH ANOTHER to reproduce for crying out loud. Her whole loner thing is great for sociopaths and those who can't cope, but it sounds insane to anyone who stops to think for a moment about the consequences of what she's actually talking about, if we actually lived that sort of perpetually predatory existence.

        "We see things not as they are, but as we are." - John Milton

        by Jasonhouse on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:22:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  She sounds like an iduve, (10+ / 0-)

          a member of the top predator species in CJ Cherryh's Hunter of Worlds. But even they cooperated with each other, out of mutual self-interest. And they absolutely could not understand the (three) other intelligent species they shared their corner of the galaxy with, and for the most part they didn't try very hard. (Chimele, the ship's captain and alpha pack member, was an exception in that she really did try - but she wasn't very good at it.)

          Maybe an iduve could live by "Objectivist" principles. But humans can't.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:12:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  CJ CHERRYH!! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            go read a book!!

          •  I really like your sig. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            When I make comments to wingers on newspaper websites about personal reproductive rights, I always say, "It's none of your business."  

            Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

            by Desert Rose on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:17:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Met CJ Cherryh once (5+ / 0-)

            Years ago, at a science fiction convention.  Nice person.  Pretty good writer.

            I'd read her over Rand any damn day of the week.  I speak from experience, for I once forced myself to read a couple of Rand's books.  What Rand's fans see in her works, I don't get.  It's dreck.

            Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

            by rbird on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 09:10:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Reading Ayn Rand (5+ / 0-)

              I read the Fountain Head back in early 1950s.  I loved the book but found her dubious underlying assumptions more like a advocacy for Social Darwinism.
              Later I started on Atlas Shrugged but couldn't stay awake past the first 100 pages, I never went back.

              •  found reading... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Goodfulf, Gary Owen

                Mein Kamph easier than Atlas Shrugged.  Got, maybe 200 pages into it and had to go take a shower.  Never went back

              •  Early on, she gave away the flaw in her notions (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rainmanjr, Gary Owen

                A rational human, using nothing other than logic.
                Forgetting that this is Earth, not Vulcan.

                What amazes me is that she wasn't deported when she claimed that the government could not conscript men. That was the primary means that the US filled the ranks at that time. She had a point that the quality of soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is higher with a volunteer force, but in that era, it was sheer heresy. Considering the Cold War and primitive civil rights of the era, it's astounding that she wasn't silenced, one way or another.

                The simple fact is, people are not exclusively rational, emotions color thoughts, words and deeds.
                That is why we have laws. When large groups of people work toward a common goal, the actions of the group can also be utterly reprehensible. A fine and horrific example was the Nazi concentration camps.
                So, we have laws that also guide large groups, including corporations, as history repeatedly showed utter disregard for anything but corporate profits, to the grave harm to the public.

                Her biggest problem is a self-admitted one, she only associated with people who reflected her ideals, an echo chamber, where only her views were possible to view and reality was out the window.

                •  I feel like I'm being hypocrtitical (0+ / 0-)

         supporting the draft, since I would have been subject to it for far longer than I was if Nixon hadn't instituted the all-volunteer Army.

                  But I think Americans should care about the adventures our Presidents send our troops into.  I'll never forget a woman snarling at a panhandling veteran just a few steps from the White House, "Well, you volunteered!"

                  A Republican, I guessed.

                  "You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all." -- "The Man Who Was Thursday"

                  by tallen387 on Sat Apr 18, 2015 at 04:36:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I have been meaning to subject myself (0+ / 0-)

                to Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead at least.  Since Ayn Rand's is the closest thing to a "philosophy" shaping our current political and financial systems, I kind of feel it's my responsibility as a citizen to go to the source.

                But it's going to be a hard slog.  I have read the first chapter or so of The Exploding Head, er I mean The Fountainhead, more than once.  It reminds me of nothing so much as the "socialist realism" cranked out by the most ideologically obedient Soviet writers in the thirties.

                •  Film version of 'Fountainhead' is all you need (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  It really is all steely-eyed Gary Cooper, bedroom-eyed Patricia Neal...

                  Saying things is not the same as 'thinking';
                  Saying STUPID things is not 'thinking outside the box';
                  Repeating stupid things is neither 'debate' nor 'persuasion'

                  by chmood on Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 06:39:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Don't bother (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I ended up throwing it across the room.  Others have described it quite well as selfishness, that's how the republicans currently want to rule, for the 1% who have money, whether they work for it or not.  Atlas Shrugged just points out that the world should be run by smart, industrious people and all those who would not work hard and get rich should die by their own hand.

                  the world is my country, all mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion - Thomas Paine

                  by jpatudi on Thu Apr 16, 2015 at 09:04:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Try (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Telemachus Sneezed, instead.
                Atlanta Hope loved it!

            •  Read some Rand a long time ago (6+ / 0-)

              I read "Atlas Shrugged," "The Fountainhead," and "We The Living." All I remember is that: business would do so much better without those pesky safety regulations, science bows to those who trust their guts and are willing to ride trains over bridges made of untested steel, it's cool to cheat on your poor boyfriend with a rich boyfriend so long as the rich boyfriend's presents go to pay for the poor one's medical bills, the way to a woman's heart is forcibly through her pants, and altruism is for suckers. Oh, and some of the speeches were so long that I started skipping pages just to find a paragraph break or an end to the quotation marks.

              "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." --H.L. Mencken

              by Jimmy Rustler on Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 03:26:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That Damn Speech! Ugh! (0+ / 0-)

                After Atlas Shrugged, I figured why bother with the rest.  Life's too short and there's plenty of other rewarding reading out there.  After the first couple pages of that damned speech, cranked up the Evelyn Wood speed reading, after a few more, fast forward to the speech's end.  Happy to assume I didn't miss a damn thing.

                Philosophy delivery via a sledgehammer.  I distinctly remember Galt's rant about the way the altruism of the mill owner was being exploited by the lazy.  OK, I'll accept a small percentage of people are that type in general, but sheesh, give it a rest will ya.

                Some sci-fi elements, but poor after-thoughts, barely L Ron Hubbard level.

                Weird and 'icky' sex scenes, kind of porn-ish.

            •  I like Ayn Rand for one reason (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and that's Bioshock.  As creepy and scary as her philosophy is, it makes for a great video game when you base an underwater society on it, then start the game after it destroyed itself, and you have to go in to pick up the pieces.

            •  I think what they see (0+ / 0-)

              is an affirmation of their already, "frozen at 17 years old" view of the world. And they swoon because she sounds so , well...... Intellectual. Finally, someone that can form smart sounding sentences, that is willing to validate their narcissism and avarice, AND make it sound like a magnificent ethical achievement in the process.

              There is nothing in human existence, short of adolescence, that would stand as a "rational" philosophy in the Rand paradigm. Social Darwinism is an oxymoron.

              •  But it must be true! (0+ / 0-)

                It's got "objectivity" baked right into the name!

                "You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all." -- "The Man Who Was Thursday"

                by tallen387 on Sat Apr 18, 2015 at 06:08:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  As a matter of fact, clueless, self-centered (4+ / 0-)

            people do survive for the simple reason that empathetic, caring people take care of them.
            If they're jealous of the care we extend to others:


            it's because they are obsessive, possessive and jealous and any attention anyone else gets is attention they're not getting but feel they deserve.
            Selfishness by individuals who have no sense of self is making a virtue out of vice.  They feel alone and lonely and rationalize that's how they want to be.
            People feeling lonely in a crowd cannot be helped. There's a disconnect in their heads. I imagine that being blind to self is like being color blind.

            Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

            by hannah on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 01:38:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  An ex of mine had "The Virtue of Selfishness." (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gary Owen, thingamabob

              I read some of it.
              All of the humanity of a broken chunk of concrete.
              My ex became one of the most horrible people I've ever known.
              Saw her on Phil Donahue's tv show.
              She KNEW EVERYTHING.
              If someone in the audience disagreed they were simply ignorant.

          •  LESSING (0+ / 0-)

            I enjoyed Lessing but do not abide by her beliefs.

        •  Bees & ants are collectivist. Humans are social. (33+ / 0-)
          We are not a loner species, we are a collectivist species.
          There have been collectivist tribes and movements in human history and maybe the species had a collectivist ancestor.  But homo sapiens is not intrinsically collective.

          We're so successful as a species precisely because we are  at once both individualistic AND social.   (Well -- that and opposable thumbs and a handful of other critical traits.)  People like Rand who are impaired in one or the other of those domains have trouble thriving.

          She had Asperger's before there was a name for it and developed her hyper-rational persona as a compensation.  The national social and political psychosis in which she grew to adolescence pumped  the compensation into proportions that might well be diagnosed as a form of personality disorder today.

          It's possible to be more charitable or even sympathetic toward her (though still exasperated) when you know more about her early life and how her personality developed.  When you look beyond the bombast there is a confused little girl struggling to make sense of life without some of the tools the rest of us are born with.

          It's harder to be as charitable about some of Rand's devotees who are more of the traditional and exploitative right-wing authoritarian type from which she fled in her youth.

          Ideology is when you know the answers before you know the questions.
          It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

          by Alden on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:12:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  excellent points (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            palantir, KenBee, lcbo, Cedwyn, flowerfarmer, Alden

            Although i still want to see someone cut a Pythonesque vid of her head hinging open and a massive tongue shooting out to nab that fly that was buzzing around the studio.

            Am i the only one that can picture that?

            All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

            by subtropolis on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:36:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't know about the Aspergers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Leap Year, Alden, Jasonhouse

            but I did know she grew up under communism and I just naturally attributed her bent towards "libertarian freedom" in response to that experience.

            I also heard she died penniless but I'm not sure if that's true or not.

            “Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.” ― Jon Stewart

            by zoebear on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 10:55:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Aspergers may have been (8+ / 0-)

              something Rand had to deal with, but it's not an excuse. After all, most people with Aspergers don't develop a cult based on ruthless greed and indifference to the suffering of others. People with Aspergers may have varying degrees of difficulty with the social realm, but (I work in Special Ed, with many kids on the autism spectrum) her brand of cruelty is not at all typical. For those of you who have heard of her, think of Temple Grandin, who is on the autism spectrum and pretty much Rand's polar opposite. In short, people with Aspergers may have trouble DOING social things, and with social thinking, but this does not mean they lack empathy or sympathy.

              •  Appreciate the clarification n/t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kinak, Alden

                “Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.” ― Jon Stewart

                by zoebear on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 03:26:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Right. It was a number of things compounded. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                There are other routes to arrive at her personality than the one she followed.  And even given her the factors that shaped her, she could have turned out differently.

                I think that some of the quotations of her work cited in this thread need to be seen in the light of Stalinism.  There really were people saying that the individual was nothing at all, less than an ant, and that the collective was everything.  Not only did they say that, but they expropriated and mass-murdered under the banner of those ideas.

                As defiance to the genocidal, soul-killing Stalinists, her words often ring not only true but uplifting.  Her entire life was spent in reaction to the unspeakable things she saw and lived up to her 20th birthday.

                However, she tried to formalize all of human experience and values (reactionary values literally -- shaped in reaction to Stalinism) into a formal logical system.  And from there she went on to begin elaborate rationalization of all her personal likes and dislikes.  She said that logic was paramount, but just like Rush and many others, she then used it to rationalize foregone conclusions.  One of her more comical rationalizations was her iconification of cigarette smoking as a pinnacle of the human intellectual development.

                Her worst error was in regarding formal reasoning divorced from emotion to be the only path to human truth.  That's like voluntarily cutting off two arms and an leg before you start the race.

                But she was genuinely perplexed from early childhood by social interactions.  Early in life she had no musical sense whatsoever, being drawn later only to military marches she heard in a park in her childhood.  Then she developed a monomania for Rachmaninoff, or for one particular piano concerto, in fact.  She was bewildered and somewhat frightened by nature, unable to see beauty in a place like Yosemite.  She regarded the music of Beethoven as an embodiment of malevolence.  Almost any one of these things alone provides some clue to the emotional-cognitive handicaps under which she labored.  Taken together they begin to assemble a picture of her troubles as a human being -- not in the sense of being profoundly evil but of being profoundly asea despite a gift for language and reasoning.

                Eventually she came to be a mere mirror image of the authoritarians from whom she had fled. She was just as dogmatic, just as arbitrary, and just as self-serving.  All she did was turn their professed (but not necessarily observed) values 180 degrees from altruism to egoism, collectivism to individualism, etc.  It didn't even require that much creativity.  Whatever collectivists believed, she believed the opposite.

                We see many of her struggles reflected in her devotees, trying to make sense of life while denying all characteristically human type of knowledge outside of pure reason -- and usually in reaction to deficits and traumas.  There is a certain vibe to most of the inner circlists of Objectivism, the True Believers.  (I always think of Strelnikov.)

                Despite all the denial and spite in her life, she lived a human struggle for clarity beginning with a handicapped starting point.  She was not the Great Oz of Selfishness, she was the woman behind that curtain.  She was an inspiration to many who turned out well in the end, an excuse for many who didn't, and thank God she didn't have access to Josef Stalin's resources.

                Ideology is when you know the answers before you know the questions.
                It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

                by Alden on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 01:26:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And she was fearful (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You might not guess it from her writings, but in real life she was somewhat obsessive and fearful.  She was overwhelmed by crowds and nervous in company.  It's easy to see in her videotaped appearances once you begin to have a sense of who she really was.  Just look at her eye movements as Carson talks to her.  Some Aspies I know in real life move their eyes like that if they are capable of making eye contact at all.

                  Ideology is when you know the answers before you know the questions.
                  It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

                  by Alden on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 01:31:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  very good overview, Alden (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Ayn Rand was a very smart, though deeply flawed thinker. A lot of what she wrote makes good sense and a lot of it is ignored by her most enthusiastic worshippers. For instance she says over and over again in her books, and in the interview too, that it is wrong for anybody to do violence to another or to force another person to do anything, but those who love her writings completely ignore that, unless they see their own aims thwarted.

                  Many of her ideas sound good until you examine them more closely too, especially in the context of the real world. Selfishness, the way she writes about it sounds wonderful until you see the way that the ideal can be so easily perverted. If we all wanted a society where nobody suffered and the maximum good was made available to the maximum number of people then a selfish ideal would work brilliantly, but there are too many people obsessed with petty jealousies and hatreds; too many despise others on the basis of irrational beliefs such as race, religion, class, dress, nationality, sex, or sexuality. In such a world pure selfishness is a recipe for violent and unjust chaos.

                  One day, when we are a better species, I think someone will build something better from her ideas. But as they stand, they are too broken to be useful, especially in today's screwy world, but they contain the germ of some good ideas that one day will be reworked into a form that sociopaths can't use as a rationale for doing evil.

                  A while ago I wrote a short novel in which one of the characters (introduced in chapter 12) was a high-functioning psychopath who was engaged in discussions with an extremely empathetic character and through that, came to understand the clear advantages of natural morality and how it grows out of simple logic.
                  In chapter 13 the the empathetic character talks about how important a person's trustworthiness is and explains how most of the truly horrible acts have been done by people with empathy, for example, the slaveowner who was a good husband and father and pillar of the community, but had no problem with whipping a slave to death. The experiments by Stanley Milgram, Philip Zombardo, and Jane Elliot show this very clearly. You don't need to be a sociopath or psychopath to be a monster; almost anybody can become one given the right circumstances. The other side of the coin is that if a sociopath or psychopath can be shown the logical advantages and benefits of a socially responsible and trustworthy life they could easily be good people.

                  ----- The brain is the only organ where you'd prefer to be the donor instead of the recipient.

                  by miriam e on Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 05:03:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)
                  We see many of her struggles reflected in her devotees, trying to make sense of life while denying all characteristically human type of knowledge outside of pure reason -
                  Yes, it is a struggle when so many are governed by pure emotion and do not recognize reason when illustrated to them.  It's difficult to utilize objective reason in a discussion with one that has no knowledge of it.

                  I have always been taught that when possible all of the factors included must add up to your conclusion, and if not, either your factors are wrong or you conclusion is wrong.  This is the scientific method of reasoning, it is the only method that humans have to reach rationale conclusions that correspond accurately to reality.  

                  If you don't use rational reasoning to reach your conclusions, then you do not contribute to the advancement of humanity and in fact impede the advancement.

            •  She died (5+ / 0-)

              on Medicare and Social Security, go figure.  Under her married name so nobody would know.

              I think the fact that her family was Jewish also played a part in her ultimate malfunction; her dad was educated and owned a business (pharmacist).  So there probably was an extra lot of harshness put upon their family for that reason.  I'm sure it made the whole thing feel that much more unfair.  

            •  Penniless and on the collectivist government di... (3+ / 0-)

              Penniless and on the collectivist government dime that she so reviled in her life. Typical hypocrisy of a Libertarian.

            •  I seem to remember reading... (0+ / 0-)

              ... that she had to rely on government charity in the end when she got sick.

              From Wiki:

              "Rand underwent surgery for lung cancer in 1974 after decades of heavy smoking. In 1976, she retired from writing her newsletter and, despite her initial objections, allowed Evva Pryor, a social worker from her attorney's office, to enroll her in Social Security and Medicare."

              Yup, even Rand couldn't live by Rand's principles...

          •  Yes, social, not collectivist... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You know the drill. Write quickly, you're bound to botch a few words, potentially diluting the point to be made.

            Whoops. :)

            "We see things not as they are, but as we are." - John Milton

            by Jasonhouse on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 02:30:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  She was very close to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gary Owen

            being a paranoid schizophrenic.  Don't forget that an extremely common component of paranoia is megalomania, a feature she flaunted in her private life and worshiped in the heroes of her "novels."

        •  and we are not "rational" despite both her and (5+ / 0-)

          Dkos "irrational" insistence that we are.

        •  Thank you. (11+ / 0-)

          I get that she's the bad guy on the other side, but let's not get silly over the top with words like evil.  Torturing war criminal bastards like Bush and Cheney and Yoo are demonstrably evil.  Fringe (as she was at that time) intellectuals talking about values in abstract terms aren't evil.  Not in the same war criminal class.

          And you are right.  We are a collectivist species.  What she said was factually incorrect when she said in the clip that a species that didn't have individuals that preserve their own life would not very long exist.  There are too many examples in the animal kingdom of individual self-sacrifice for good of the hive or the herd.  By doing so, they protect the wider part of their shared genetic heritage by saving their cousins.

          •  Thank you as well (0+ / 0-)

            Allow me to place a more general comment here, under the first commenter I noticed in this thread with a more level-headed viewpoint.  

            The author of this article has grossly misunderstood Ayn Rand and Objectivism, just as the Neo-Cons like Romney, Ryan, Beck and company have misunderstood and misrepresented her for their own benefit. The article’s facile and shallow objections to Objectivism are based purely on a highly tendentious and partisan-based platform.  How can one expeditiously dismiss Rand as an “evil woman” when confronted with her belief in basic human rights of existence, that no one has the right to initiate physical force, that humans should never be compelled to initiate war, that there should be no draft or military conscription, that people should not be compelled to give up their freedoms, or that a foreign war which was unprovoked, such as the one in Vietnam (and I suspect this might extend to Iraq and Afghanistan today) was morally wrong?  Are these proclamations evidence of her evil nature?

            The author of this article should be ashamed of him or herself. There is no journalism or objectivity in this at all, but rather knee-jerk partisanship plain and simple, of the variety of “whatever my opponent supports is odious to me—even that of breathing air.” The Neo-Con circles are no more authentic representatives of Objectivism than they are of Christianity.  These labels are donned as smokescreens for greed and domination of the worst kind, embodied by those in both major parties.  I do not happen to subscribe to Objectivism, but there is nothing that I hate worse than volitional ignorance and lazy scholarship, especially for the sake of furtherance of partisan politics.   Shame upon you, Frisbeetarian, and shame on the lemmings who have sought out their proverbial lynching ropes based on a cursory and shallow comprehension of Rand. Those of you are why there are so many Neo-Cons in power.

            •  I think the problem is partly that the (0+ / 0-)

              philosophy seems like a dark alternative to mainstream beliefs like Christianity.  It's not altogether bad, but the more rational/positive aspects serve to draw in people, who then assume the rest of it makes as much sense and should be followed.
              When you consider the politicians who follow her, and the way they justify/rationalize their negative acts against their constituents, it is easy to make the assumption that it all flows from her views.  I think blaming all of their selfish behavior on her writings is just shifting the blame from these politicians.
              Of course, it's easier to blame the trailblazer (Ann) for these problems, but they are actually generated by people who only pick and choose what they want to follow anyway.

            •  Are these proclamations evidence (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wpmiller, thingamabob

              With all due respect her proclamations that no one should be compelled to commit violence are on the surface quite noble, but as all things Randian are immature and morally myopic. Americas pursuit of military aggression from Vietnam to our most recent clumsy attempts to enforce our will on Iraq and Syria, and I would add after destroying the most successful economy and society on the continent of Africa, is all based on greed.

              It's no secret that America fights wars, or to use the current fashionable euphemism "intervenes militarily",  based on punishing (usually non-European) people for having the gall to build their cities and villages over the top of resources that the corporate machine needs to produce profits or tries to compete with Western banking interests. Rand's pronouncements against war while not addressing directly the causes of said wars, is proof that Randian Objectivism is not a mature philosophy but rather just another pseudo-religion made to sell books and elevate it's Grand Poobah to a form of sainthood within the cult. Evil, no. Ineptly self aggrandizing, yes.

          •  I'm not a herd animal. (0+ / 0-)
        •  We allowed this to happen... (5+ / 0-)

          we went from being we love everyone hippies to mid 70's & 80's yuppies...its all about me, consumerism and making big bucks.

          •  Yeah, (0+ / 0-)

            we've got to make big bucks because we owe big money.  I've got a wife and kids that depend on me for their well being and I have to work, I have to make money, I have to do something valuable to others.

            The people I work with depend on me, if I don't do what is best for me then they will not benefit as much.  If I do well, they do well.

            I am responsible for my actions, I have no "collective" to distribute blame for poor performance to.  Collectivism is the philosophy that politicians use to divert blame to others for their poor performance.

        •  we're both, in my opinion, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and selfishness and compassion are both tendencies that come naturally to us, I think.

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 10:55:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nellgwen, Kinak

          she didn't walk the walk, either.  During all this, she was at the head of a cult wherein her opinions were law.  Her inner circle was known as the collective.  They're oblivious to irony, the lot of them.

        •  agree with you but also, it seems (4+ / 0-)

          that if she grew up in the soviet system, her philosophy might have been kind of a backlash to them. Too much socialist propaganda that was a lie and didn't really fulfill the expectations, might lead someone to have a philosophy of "damn the other guy, I'll take mine". The real problem is that that doesn't work any better than communism run by dictators, or capitalism run by the oligarchs. It is only selfishness run by ego maniacs.

          •  If Lenin's troops hadn't taken... (0+ / 0-)

            ...her father's Leningrad apothecary shop, she would have grown up an apparatchik. In the Stalin-era Soviet motion picture industry. Really, that's where everything is rooted. It was not merely a backlash to the whole Soviet system, it was specifically a backlash to her father's shop being confiscated.

            We STILL need Everybody In, Nobody Out health care in the USA.

            by PanoramaCityChick on Wed Apr 15, 2015 at 12:05:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Sociopaths *reaquire* people to manipulate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The problem with people is, when a small group works toward a common goal, morality is rarely lost "in the big picture", but in large groups, such as governments or corporations, the huge number collaborating at many levels end up losing the view of morality. Each contributor views their contribution as miniscule, so any wrongdoing is thought to be diluted, but the entire group is doing that and the dilution becomes concentration instead.
          That is why we have an FDA, as food was tainted, drugs were worthless or poisonous, we were forced to create an EPA, due to polluting corporations, we were forced to supervise financial institutions and the stock market, the list goes on and on.
          Small groups are innocuous, large collectives turn into destructive assholes.

          That is where she failed, as well as I said below.
          He worst sin was ignoring the living hell out of human history and the history of "the gilded age".

        •  Randian Objectivism in short is... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gary Owen, thingamabob

          Randian Objectivism in short is the raising of pathological narcissism to a virtue. It is self destructive and if left to its own devices would strangle itself out of existence though it's core value of selfish greed. Unfortunately the damage it would cause to society in general would be to great for people with morals to endure.

          In essence her philosophy is one of stamping one's foot in petulant anger while chanting the mantra of "You can't make me grow up". If one has not outgrown Rand by the time they leave puberty behind then I usually suggest in depth counselling and prohibition of any kind of real responsibility.

          •  Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

            If I'm going to be in a collective, each member of that collective had better do the best they can.  It's immoral to require that you carry others that do not wish to expend the effort.

            •  I think you've hit on the core issue here. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thingamabob, shoreline1

              Much of the strife and contention in modern society is everyone watching the "others" instead of focusing on what they themselves are doing to build a better society. Maybe if we were all less interested in "keeping score" and lived our own lives in a productive and just manner we could have a better world.

              If doing less than one is able is immoral then who suffers the moral injury, the slacker or yourself? Part of setting society back on track to being more equitable and just is going to involve the conditioning that outside rewards are the most important goals to achieve.

              If society provided for each individuals needs, freeing them to engage in a productive activity of their own choosing would we need to worry so much about what someone else is doing... or not doing? How does someone's perceived lack of motivation or effort injure you?

              •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And largely, people have different areas of proficiency that hopefully compliment the efforts of others.

                I don't really like the term "collective" as applied to humans, due to the association with communism or something.  And I don't really like the concept of working "for" someone else or them working "for" me.  I do work with people, cooperatively, to the mutual benefit of all involved.

        •  What, (0+ / 0-)

          you're suggesting that humans are no more than an ant like society?  That when you look around the world you see people working together harmoniously towards a common goal?  That everyone looks out for the well being of their neighbor before their own well being?

          It is the collective that is important to you, rather than your own personal needs and desires?  Is you real name Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa?

          Rand's philosophy is a re-statement of Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, with self-actualization at the top of the pyramid.  It's the way we are as humans.  If you think you are better than others because you believe you work with others as a collective, then it is probably because it is in your own personal best interests to do so, or you're not human.

        •  Not being a loner improves survival odds. (0+ / 0-)

          A human being alone is far more likely to die of disease or accident than one with others.  Like that guy in Utah (?), who got an arm pinned under a boulder.   He had to cut it off to survive, whereas even one other person with him could have summoned help in lifting the boulder.

        •  but her sex scenes are hilarious (0+ / 0-)

          I mean, seriously, laugh-out-loud hysterically funny.

          "Try not. DO or NO NOT. There is no TRY." - Yoda

          by vard on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 11:27:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  she was ill (0+ / 0-)

          The context she wrote in was from war trauma. It is a case to be made that you don't follow folks like her. Interesting she took both medicare and Social Security in secret under her married name. I think her anti government sharing stuff came directly from hearing communist rhetoric about sharing and seeing that everyone was starving under that system and no one had any rights. She tried to turn it into a philosophy that became perverse. But her context is very different than the neo cons who follow her. She was just messed up, they are the ones with a real preventable rotten agenda.

      •  Laissez-faire capitalism got us in this mess. (20+ / 0-)

        Such a cold, mean spirited and selfish philosophy.
        But maybe not so to a Republican.

      •  If I was an end-timer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, artmartin

        She'd be the great whore of Babylon.

      •  anti Christ is kind of true (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, beltane, BlackSheep1, qofdisks

        at least in terms of preaching selfishness

        "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
        Mitt Romney is not the solution. He's the PROBLEM

        by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:19:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I do, Frisbeetarian (0+ / 0-)

        Great catch.

        I'm editing Ryan and Rand from some you tube clips.  I'll let you know when my vid is up on youtube.


        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:44:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't understand basic logic, either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        People have at times asked me (I'm a "philosopher" by education) to describe Rand's philosophy. I usually say I can't because it is anti-philosophy. Part of the reason for that is that her assertions are not only counter to actual experience, but they are logically incoherent. For instance, she demands that "reason" be the sole arbiter of choice and value, and therefore that rational self-interest be the highest good. In the next breath she states that no one should therefore "sacrifice himself to others" or have "others sacrificed for him". Why? Surely the only logically consistent view is at times to sublimate immediate self-interest for a higher, longer-term self interest. But if you allow that, all of her nonsense comes crashing down. So there goes logic.

        Furthermore, what kind of "reason" would animate a being to act in ways against their own (and their species) long-term well-being? This is why I compare her "philosophy" to the desire of a 4-year-old to only and always ever eat Fruit Loops for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And why shouldn't they, when doing so is the ultimate expression of moral value as far as Rand is concerned?

        Immediately after her quote about not sacrificing oneself or others to another's interest, she affirms property rights. Hello? What is "property" if not the sacrificing of some individuals' rights to others? That's the problem with Rand and with libertarianism in general: they want to have their cake, eat it too, have yours, and eat that too, all while never gaining weight. It's a lovely fantasy for immature 13-year-olds. In the real world, all of the stuff that libertarians want to have protected by government is stuff that would not exist if libertarians were in charge. The libertarian motto is probably best summed up as: "I got mine, so go f**k yourself!"

        Focus on what matters.

        by thingamabob on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 06:04:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In 2012, Yes. (0+ / 0-)

        Unfortunately, Ryan isn't running for office. As far as his budgets, that's something people are learning about, since the can't eat.

      •  AH! The High Priestess of selfishness (0+ / 0-)

        and guiding light for the sheep like; Walker, Ryan of WI, Paul of KY (gel for when they are fucking you, although causing pain makes them feel more powerful)

      •  Not Evil (0+ / 0-)

        The context within what she wrote and experienced is important here. Interesting you mention evil anti-Christ etc. in that I really agree with you that her big neo-con followers are. But she was just a real traumatized person with some dissociative disorders she probably got from the trauma of being so directly affected in Russia during the Bolshevik take over. Most of us know the vague history of that but don't remember the rhetoric they used. That's where you actually get the vehemence of hers in regards to not helping people based on "need". It was Stalinist rhetoric-but the reality was horrific. She was pretty clueless about our system when she arrived and really screwed up from being raised in their rhetoric and watching her family get driven under and the reality of "sharing" that had nothing to do with the "fairness" that was a catch phrase. She wasn't a nice person at all, but her theories as flawed as they were i don't think had the power or evil intent that many of her followers do. She twisted up several philosophies that were gaining popularity at the time, and then her followers with a truly cruel and evil agenda use her to perpetuate theirs. If you read Atlas Shrugged she was far too zealous about the "greed is good" thing- but she decried corporate malfeasance for pure profit as much as she decried government intervention. I read it at 19. Thought it interesting but very very flawed, and kind of silly middle schoolish with the whole cool secret club thing. Though many secret organizations were popular in Europe because there was always some idiot despot trying to enforce their ideology with armies..

      •  Ayn Rand is very popular with certain people (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindtrain, demongo, G2geek, kurt

        And her writing still to this day seduces a lot of college types. I don't want to disseminate her. There's a whole movement on the right to promote her books. Don't help them.

        •  no, her novels are popular (11+ / 0-)

          People who read Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead in high school and liked it generally aren't familiar with just how radical she was. They will mostly tell you that charity should take care of the poor, and don't know that Rand rejected all charity and turned traditional morality on its head.

          •  One reason for the perennial popularity of her... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Kinak, qofdisks, native

            ...novels might be the fact that the Ayn Rand Institute buys hundreds of thousands of them a year and distributes them for free to schools and libraries.  

            It's a common ploy in the publishing industry -- an author (or publisher) will buy a truckload of his or her own books, which are sold at book signings etc, given as premiums for joining fan clubs, etc...  Orders like this count as sales of the book, even though the publisher itself is the purchaser. It may seem trivial, but such purchases can put a book on the bestseller list.   In the case of Ayn Rand's books, it can place it on the best seller list year after year after year to the point where its the second most "popular" book after the Bible.  

            Ask yourself:   Of everyone you know who has actually read a book by Rand, did any of them actually purchase it themselves?  

            •  You know, she might have popular books, and (0+ / 0-)

              I think I once read one that must have been influenced by her ideas, something with the word Zones in the title. The basic idea was, don't be a victim and do whatever you want.  I thought it was pushing selfishness and wouldn't work for a parent.

              But, to most Catholics, this is totally foreign. I had never heard of this woman before. I think she is on the Index. (a list of forbidden books) But maybe I just didn't study economics or whatever her field is.

            •  Getting Objectivist books through Charity (0+ / 0-)

              The irony is strong with this one.

            •  The Xenu crowd has done this with 'Dianetics' for (0+ / 0-)


              Saying things is not the same as 'thinking';
              Saying STUPID things is not 'thinking outside the box';
              Repeating stupid things is neither 'debate' nor 'persuasion'

              by chmood on Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 07:20:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you, ddn... alas (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think so-called low information voters respond to tone and demeanor above all. E.g. Dick Cheney looked and sounded calm and wise, so no matter what crazy radical nonsense he spouted, those people heard it as rational and smart, and they were lulled. I think Ayn Rand falls into that category. She is calm and confident. And though videos of her will sicken many, maybe most, people who analyze her ideas as she speaks, others--and not in small numbers--I think would judge and respond based on other kinds of cues. They'd see an intelligent person speaking with clarity. And for them it wouldn't be a matter of agree or disagreeing with her. Their take-away would be that Ryan's a smart guy for liking her.

          "Maybe humans are just the pet alligators that God flushed down the toilet." Chuck Palahniuk

          by scilicet on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:16:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree.... It's a huge, nasty wedge to use. (8+ / 0-)

          There's a terrible contradiction in the conservative movement between its religious right wing and its individualist capitalist Randian wing, which only really coexist because they don't acknowledge each other, like an old couple that hate each other but still go everywhere together, never making eye contact.

          Make them confront each other.  I know it drives me fucking nuts, how people like Rush Limbaugh can both rail on and on about Christians being persecuted by the Left and then quote Ayn RAnd.  Ayn Rand hated Christianity.

    •  Actualy, when you listen to her, you (20+ / 0-)

      hear the genesis of the TPers.

      Especially when she's talking about "rational" self-interest, (freedom!)  doing what you want (freedom!) and not having to "serve" the needs of anyone else. (Freedom!)  Pure TP.

      Note, though, how she dodges the idea that someone might decide it's in his "rational self-interest" to mooch off others. Oh, no.  No one following her philosophy would do that.  Her philosophy "frees" people to reach greater heights of productivity.  And there will never be any disagreement between people because RSI will lead everyone to associate only with those who believe as they do.

      As though human society is a series of social clubs that never interact. Sure.

      And Carson let's her dodge right out of the religious question.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:36:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This looks like a pretty good #15 to me. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ksingh, grrr, Kristina40, qofdisks


    •  meh... my son thought she was "just an atheist" (11+ / 0-)

      a famous one.

      I sent him the link to the Paul Ryan's guru Ayn Rand worshipped a Serial Killer who Kidnapped and Dismembered Little Girls and my son literally did an immediate 180 on Ayn Rand.

      And her nasty self-centered ideology. Which may be fine if you are a Neanderthal in the far north wilderness with little hope of survival other than a fierce take-everything-in-your-path. But, in a civilized world of symbiotic relationships, Randism doesn't cut it.

      In my honor he pulled out old forgotten dignity and walked straight in a crooked world. ~~poetry of young Barack Obama

      by bronte17 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:44:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is worse.Mike Wallace 1959.Go to 4 min mark! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland, Kinak, qofdisks, native

      absolutely ghastly from YouTube:

      •  Something strange is going on (0+ / 0-)

        with her eyes in that video. Continual rapid shifting of her gaze from one point to another. It seems to be involuntary.

        "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

        by native on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:23:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's a feature, not a bug. nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Conflicts with Christianity (0+ / 0-)

      I'm surprised that Conservative Christians embrace Rand's philosophy because she is against self sacrifice and is an atheist. Christians believe Jesus sacrificed himself for the rest of us. Any Republican politician that claims to be a Christian and a follower of Rand completely contradict themselves.

    •  Her entry to the show has all the charm... (0+ / 0-)

      Of a "Grim Reaperette" in her long black dress,  all she needs is a scythe.

    •  But they also don't know the real her... (0+ / 0-)

      The woman who went on social security disability when she learned she had lung cancer, from which she later died -- but who did so secretly, under her real name, Alice Rosenbaum.  

      •  Not surprising. (0+ / 0-)

        After all, Gandhi let his wife die without painkillers, to enrich his soul, but when Gandhi caught a cold (or the flu) a month later, he went straight for the medicine.

        Defeat the Washington Machine: Vote Against Rand Paul

        by Proginoskes on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 02:28:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Glenn Beck is not "batshit" (0+ / 0-)

      The man suffers from some serious neurological issues and has announced that.  He's also sought help and made efforts to tone things down.  He deserves some real support and sympathy.

    •  More folks who don't know her stuff than do. (0+ / 0-)

      Ayn Rand's name is more famous than her philosophy due to Ryan's run for V.P. in 2012.

      Yup- Rand has lots of cult worshipers, but they are mostly older now. Ryan's taking her philosophy up wasn't nearly as common in kids his generation than it was in mine, over 30 years earlier. And in conservative hands, her writings have been twisted to fit their agenda better than what she actually wrote, as they think most newcomers to Rand won't bother to do a fact check as they read her stuff.

      Videos have much more impact these days than books, and getting it straight from the source is more powerful than reading it or getting it second hand. No on damns her stupid notions better than Ayn herself. At a time when the richest among us are no longer as universally admired as they were over 40 years ago.

      Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

      by Idaho07 on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 06:24:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ayn Rand, aka Alice Rosenbaum (0+ / 0-)

      has lots of followers who have never read her books and a lot more who don't realize they are fiction.  Even more who don't know she was an atheist.  It's word of mouth from Fox and Glenn.  

  •  I was going to post just that. (33+ / 0-)

    Some folks are just selfish; they don't need Rand to justify it.

    And many Randians are just deluded by her pseudo-philosophical double talk and use it to justify their own persecution complex.

    Thanks, though.

    "Vulture/Voucher 2012"? ¡Venceremos!

    by Free Jazz at High Noon on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:00:17 PM PDT

    •  I've made it to 4 min. and now my computer is (10+ / 0-)

      stuck buffering.
      So far she hadn't said anything revolting, but she's already tripped herself up logically.
      She says that selfishness rules, that no one (under her morality) has the right to sacrifice themselves for others and that no one can sacrifice others for their own interest.

      So therein lies the rub. How do you live by total selfishness without disadvantaging others for your own gain?
      It's a complicated world and I think someone would go mad trying to satisfy that commandment. So you fall back on society and social institutions to level the playing field for exactly those ends.
      She also says that coercion used against others is wrong.
      So that disqualifies her in terms of the authoritarians who are quick to cite her, etc. I also don't know how that squares with her reputed love of the Nazis, but maybe she softened her stand on this in light of their loss.
      I don't think that she's going to be known for her evil as much as she will known for the totally nonsensical nature of her system.  
      I'm still waiting for the video to resume.
      At any rate, "free market, totally unfettered capitalism" is a bigger crock of hooey than Santa Claus. It doesn't exist, it never existed, it will never exist. It's been proven in the last few years that capitalism has to be regulated, or it self-destructs.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:33:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Deregulation of Financials admitted as a "mistake" (0+ / 0-)

        by Alan Greenspan when it was too late and the world economy blew up.
        So true, so true.
        "It's been proven in the last few years that capitalism has to be regulated, or it self-destructs."

      •  Unless proped up by ethics or regulation, (0+ / 0-)

        Free market capitalism is much akin to anarchy, in that both are high energy states prone to collapsing into lower energy states.  Respectively, despotism and company-town despotism.

    •  Devil's Advocate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kevinwparker, rosarugosa, RockyJ

      Let me dawn my flame retardant suit by saying that I think Ayn Rand is totally and absolutely nuts... but I love a good debate so let me argue that there is value in selfishness.

      First off there always has to be some level of selfishness. If both you and I get to a door at the same time, one of us has to put ourselves above the other and go first. If we both try to "out-polite" each other by waiting for the other person to go through, then it will take longer for both of us to go through the door than if one person took the initiative to go first.

      Second, if you take selflessness to the extreme then most decisions in a society are being made not by the ones best able to make the decision, but by those who think they know best what others will want. To put it in a more personable way, I'd rather buy my own birthday present since I know I'll get exactly what I want instead of having someone buy me something that I might not like.

      Third, there is a point to be made about both positive and negative reinforcements being required for proper growth. If a person does not feel pain then they won't know to change their behavior.  So if someone steps in and mitigates the consequences of other's actions, they might be doing more harm than good in the long run. An enabler of an alcoholic is a perfect example of this.

      •  The problem isn't selfishness (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kinak, qofdisks

        The problem is the fantasy of self-sufficiency.

        Of course everyone should act to their own best interest. How else could it work? The entire point of defining yourself as an individual is to look out for your own interests; and if you want other people to be happy, then you want them to look out for their interests too.

        But a wise person recognizes that helping others is in your own best interest. Because we are a social species.

        Ayn Rand's philosophy, like so many other purely theoretical constructs, fails on the brute facts. Ironically, it was exactly that failure that ultimately showed Communism to be nonsense, too.

      •  Selfishness (0+ / 0-)

        Please read Richard Dawkins ("The Selfish Gene").  It is in the interest of an organism's genes for the organism to reproduce, thus perpetuating those genes.  This is why the biggest dog eats first and is more likely to survive to reproduce.  However, we now have 7 billion humans on the earth and reproduction is actually detrimental to our survival.  So, our genes will actually be the death of us unless we unselfishly choose not to reproduce.  The greatest good for the greatest number is the antithesis of selfishness.  Rand's philosophy is the greatest good for me and the hell with you.

        Decisions in a democracy are made by all the citizens (we have universal adult suffrage).  Selfishness or selflessness are both irrelevant to decision making.  Economic selfishness results in an inequitable distribution of wealth under capitalism.  This is bad because as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis stated: "You can either have concentration of wealth in a few hand or you can have democracy, but you can't have both."

        Learning by trial and error is actually bad.  Consider a small child who out of curiosity picks up a poisonous snake.  The negative reinforcement kills her.  So, we have parental authority that tells children not to pick up poisonous snakes.   Children are much more likely to survive and reproduce if they do not learn by trial and error.

  •  The argument that selfishness is and SHOULD be (62+ / 0-)

    the prime mover, is a dangerously seductive one.   It has, in fact, a certain logic to it, and a rather wide appeal.  

    The problem is that it steamrolls right over nuance and complexity.   Like for instance, my self-interest is best served by living in a safe, healthy, harmonious society.  When I support what she calls "collectivism", I'm doing it BECAUSE I think it's in my own best interest.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:01:09 PM PDT

  •  I can't place her accent... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gemina13, drmah, Rogneid

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:07:37 PM PDT

  •  "Man must be guided by reason." Doesn't that (33+ / 0-)

    automatically exclude the Tea Party/Republicans?

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:11:14 PM PDT

  •  Never heard her talk before. (11+ / 0-)

    I bailed after 2:38.

    She sounds like Boris and Natasha.

    And genuinely evil.

  •  You want these to go viral? (8+ / 0-)

    You haven't given me any compelling reason to invest 25-30 minutes of my time watching these.  There's so much you "could pull" that you "don't know where to begin" so you don't transcribe a goddamned THING?

    That's helpful!  Post SOME of the gems so the people you asked to sahre the videos around have a reason to want to watch it in the first place.  I really am sick of these lazy-ass diaries that expect the readers to do the work the author should have done in the first place.

    Finding these is great.  Now convince us they're worth our while.

    In capitalist America, bank robs you!

    by madhaus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:21:06 PM PDT

  •  You could start by providing the date of the (6+ / 0-)


    And simply transcribing the segments.

  •  1 minute in (17+ / 0-)

    she says Churches should not be charged with setting morals or ethics, that they having done so over so many years has been a "disaster."

    Tell the fundies!

    Come a Willing Servant, Go an Able Culprit.

    by Bin Bin on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:27:21 PM PDT

  •  Also read this any time you're feeling down (11+ / 0-)

    and out, and need a laugh:

    Sarah, Proud and Tall's comment on Balloon Juice regarding Atlas Shrugged: The Movie.

    Our very own ThomJeff though it might be the best blog comment of all time.

    "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." ~Sepp Herberger

    by surfbird007 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:30:12 PM PDT

  •  I'm fascinated how this talentless hack, Rand, (30+ / 0-)

    with an utterly shallow, undergraduate-level "philosophy," has been propped up almost entirely by the plutocrats whose egos she fluffs, page after turgid page.

    She is another VERY stupid person's idea of a philospher.

    •  Yup, that's exactly it. Propped up. Hack. n/t (8+ / 0-)

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:41:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the course of their education, (11+ / 0-)

      many undergraduates go through a Rand phase, or a Nietzsche phase, in their process of self-definition.  And then, they move on.

      This seems to happen somewhere in the middle of one's college career, typically in sophomore year - hence the term sophomoric.

      The problem is, the great majority of American adults have not reached the sophomore level of instruction.  So, to many people this pseudo-intellectual drivel sounds quite profound.

      It is the duty of journalism to expose this intellectual fraudulence for what it is.  But instead, the MSM perpetuate the myth that this hyper-individualist ranting is philosophy of the highest order.  In addition, the power of organized money pumps millions (billions?) into right-wing "think-tanks" to propagate these views.

      The Ryan nomination gives us a prime chance to set the record straight.  

    •  She was a branding and marketing expert - a real (4+ / 0-)

      con artist who built up a cult of personality with a message that appealed to the juevenile angst of those who couldn't succeed while behaving nicely (within the usual norms of society).  Her philosophy stoked their frustrated delusions of  grandeur and gave them something to feel good about - enabled them to feel that they were intellectually superior in their frustrated selfishness.

      People who had accomplished things within widely shared ethical boundaries and that were already recognized by society were fools.  Ayn Rand and her devotees are fundamentally anti-social hacks who couldn't achieve their goals operating "within the lines" but who needed some justification to de-ligitimize the lines.

  •  The rationalizations of a sociopath (25+ / 0-)

    To take this fraudulent windbag seriously, one has to be either intellectually 'challenged' (to express it politely) or something of a sociopath oneself.

    To complete the Charlatan Trifecta, Rand spent her last years living on (Gasp!) Social Security and dependent on (Oh, noes!) Medicare.

    It's no wonder that a young, 3rd-rate intellect and sanctimonious blowhard like Ryan would be drawn to an old 3rd-rate intellect and sanctimonious blowhard like Rand.

    A plague on both their houses.

  •  any xscript xcerpts would be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roadbear, mungley, mapamp


    "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" "That's not enough Madam, I need a majority." A. Stephenson

    by CoExistNow on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:46:43 PM PDT

  •  ding dong (0+ / 0-)

    the witch is dead!

  •  Same as Satanism (11+ / 0-)

    Quite literally, Anton Szandor LeVey's brand of Satanism says pretty much the same kinds of things about self interest. That people should act out of their own self interest and only avoid doing nasty things because it gets them in trouble and will ultimately make their lives more difficult, not because of any moral imperative.

    "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:11:14 PM PDT

  •  The kiss of death to the Christian Right (9+ / 0-)

    Is her statement that she doesn't believe in a god.  It's all just rational self-interest.  Logic and rationality only -- no heart,no feelings, no empathy, no understanding of connectedness.  

    Ayn Rand's philosophy cannot survive quantum physics.

    •  Quantum physics? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Some Guy, docmidwest, kurt

      There's enough wrong with Rand's ideas without lugging in turgid tubs of woo. Quantum physics has exactly zero relevance to morality and social thought.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:25:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a curious statement (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mickT, linkage, nellgwen, qofdisks

        If you delve into quantum reality, you arrive at a place where everything is connected in a way we may not be able to yet understand, because it is not cause and effect.  Without highjacking this thread to delve into quantum mechanics, suffice to say that the ultimate understanding one gains from it is that everything is connected, so that one understands that what we do affects everything, backwards and forwards in time.

        The realization that we are all connected and that everything we do affects everything else in the universe has, to my mind, deep relevance to morality and social thought.  It actually is the opposite of Rand's objectivism, as it plumbs the mysteries of reality, which apparently are highly subjective and subject to perceptions by the observer.

        I don't pretend to be an expert, but if you are interested in expanding your view of its relevance, I highly recommend the NOVA programs on PBS featuring Brian Greene and his amazing ability to make the deeply complex understandable.  

        •  I don't wish to hijack the thread either. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          madhaus, docmidwest, badger

          So I'll simply close by noting that in my readings in the history of science, it has been apparent that every new advance in physics has been exploited in this way, and that each one of these attempts has been quite useless in practical terms, and usually rather funny once some time has passed. Rand's exaltation of selfishness kills people. That's all that needs to be emphasized. No need to drag in cosmic laws to decorate the simple, plain conclusion.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:23:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Quantum physics...objectiviy is delusion. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Ed McMahon: Good Question about families (8+ / 0-)

    Ed was actually a Marine and fought in World War 2 in the pacific and retired as a general.

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:18:26 PM PDT

  •  How about her statement re family (12+ / 0-)

    At end of first video where she says she doesn't think the "family is the central unit of society."

    Can you imagine if Obama embraced the Ayn Rand philosophy -- we'd see all these ads saying how he had embraced a godless russian philosopher who didn't believe in god or the think the family was central to society.  Wow!  

  •  Kinda (6+ / 0-)

    makes Rev. Wright look docile............

    "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

    by fugwb on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:30:58 PM PDT

  •  I don't see an evil woman. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, kevinwparker, qofdisks

    I see a woman attempting to make rational sense out of life and coming to an extreme position. Some of what she says makes sense and might at certain times and places be a good corrective to the excesses of guilt-induced collectivism. Nietzche did some of that, calling out religious morality for stifling animal vitality. The Nazis gave him a superficial reading and made him their poster boy. Same way the neo-cons have grabbed onto a complex philosophy and run with it, using it to justify every sort of excess. It's a question of balance between the two poles, the individual and the collective. Ayn Rand is an effective advocate for the individual. Vapors and name-calling just because someone is strong in her views and has influenced a lot of people seems to me counter-productive. The wrong-headed aspects of her philosophy should be easily enough turned aside without resorting to demonization. To demonize someone only gives her added power.

    Our great mother does not take sides, Jake. She protects only the balance of life. -- Neytiri

    by ailanthus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:54:56 PM PDT

    •  Naah, she's just an extreme Broken Clock (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Right exactly twice a day and wrong the rest of the time. And the very biggest problem with her and her teachings is that they "must" be taken entire or not at all - the good, the bad, the ugly, the batshit insane and the stupid wrong. You're not supposed to decide for yourself, "this part is good, I'll take it, but that part just stinks".

      Well, screw that.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:21:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nah, she was evil (8+ / 0-)

      and I don't use the word lightly.  Anyone who sees a serial killer as a hero, sees selfishness as a virtue and social responsibility as the ultimate sin, and whose magnum opus - a doorstop that features a 60 page speech/paean to ethics a 2 year old would find repugnant, delivered by her heroic character based on her serial killer idol - argues that Robin Hood was the most evil figure in history (what was Hitler, chopped liver?) and sees the ethic of Jesus and the Buddha as bad things -- yeah, she was evil.  Maybe not "shove 'em into ovens" or "march 'em into gulags" evil, but evil nonetheless.  Really, she's more the "starve granny 'cause I've got my own wants to tend to" evil.  

      It should also be remembered that she was a cult leader not that different from L. Ron Hubbard, eventually requiring loyalty oaths from her followers. There's a good HBO or Showtime dramatization of this with Helen Mirren as Rand that was made about 10 years ago, pretty sure it was called "The Passion of Ayn Rand". I can understand where her odious ideas came from, but that doesn't excuse them.

      "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

      by Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:33:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More Right wing contradictory logic. (0+ / 0-)

      The false promotion of individualism while at the same time requiring all the kids to be evaluated by a standardized test.

  •  How do you jump from reason to selfiish? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ubertar, qofdisks

    That's her premise, how does she support it?  Everything else is contingent upon that.

  •  Selfishness is not a dirty word...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, kurt Rand supporters. It holds no shock whatsoever. And, in fact, selfishness has broad American support and is winning the philosophical war: the war between the notion that every man is an island and the the idea that we can do more together than we can apart.

    Doing things together for a common purpose is the very nature of government.  

    What we need to do is attack the idea that individualism and collective action are incompatible. They are not. We can build the barn together and then go our separate ways when we are not building barns.

    Obama needs to DIRECTLY ATTACK the notion that government is bad or that it IS THE PROBLEM.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:55:53 PM PDT

  •  I will vote for this woman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if the choice is between her and 90% of GOP in congress. Don't get me wrong, i don't approve of her but she is honest of her intentions. She lays it out for you in black and white no gray area. If the small government advocates or the so call libertarian in congress can be as open and plane as she was and tell us what they believe like she did, the country will be a better place

  •  This is what happens when you hijack a term (6+ / 0-)

    What Rand refers to as "selfishness" is in fact narcissism.

    The sort of individualism Rand idealizes is unworkable in fact. Had she really been true to her supposed ideals she'd have lived in complete isolation and would not have bothered to inform anyone about anything nor associate with anyone. It seems rather ironic, given her taste for what she called "collectivism," that she surrounded herself with acolytes who were referred to, by themselves, as "The Collective."

  •  Anyone that adopts AR as a philosophy (10+ / 0-)

    for their life

    It means they don't have a serious education and they don't understand the whole concept of critical thinking.

    Obama is a very, VERY smart person. So smart he doesn't need to adopt anyone's philosophy except his own (which is, like all smart peoples', the result of learning how to properly think on one's own.)

    Paul Ryan? Not so much. And yet his side considers him to be an intellectual.

    Smart people who know they're smart can be irritating (we have heard this about Obama from time to time) but stupid people who think they're smart often end up being walking disasters.

  •  I am most struck ... (8+ / 0-)

    By how Rand and Carson can explore her controversial views with civility and not have it turn it into a cable TV screaming match. Boy, those were the days.

  •  The Mike Wallace interview from 1959 (7+ / 0-)

    is equally devastating - watch her body language.  Part 1 here.

    "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

    by Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:08:17 PM PDT

    •  Phil Donahue also interviewed Ayn Rand. (4+ / 0-)

      I remember being very excited to see her interviewed on one of Donahue's prime time shows.  I had read Atlas Shrugged in college and thought of it as a love story--I wasn't much interested in political philosophy at the time.  I was so disappointed to see just a mean old woman.

      "This isn't for the ones who would gladly swallow everything their leaders would have them know". Mary Chapin Carpenter

      by malenda on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:16:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Read Atlas Shrugged (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gregsullmich, Liberal Granny, Kinak

    when I was 17, and was very impressed.  Then I grew up.

  •  Someone help please. (0+ / 0-)

    I got a little lost when Johnny Carson asked about how morals affect those around them, then she started talking about ethics and subjectivity. I totally don't understand that part of the conversation and what her point was about morals/ethics, anyone kind enough to explain?

    •  There is a presumption that ultimate self interest (0+ / 0-)

      will result in the highest standard of behavior and attitudes.  She presumes that deregulation or what she believes as "freedom" will naturally result in virtue and righteousness optimizing society as a whole.  This has been empirically proven to be wrong given the economic outcome that we live with today.

  •  Buckley at a loss for words (7+ / 0-)

    Charlie Rose and Bill Buckley chatting in June 2003 about Ayn Rand - Buckley brings up "Atlas Shrugged" and says:

    A thousand pages of  ideological fabulism.  I had to flog myself to read it because it's a ... a ... it's ...
    Rose interrupts to rescue him and they switch to the influence she had.  "She liked me," says Buckley, "until I published a review of her book by Whittaker Chambers."  Surgically panned, she forbade everyone from reading it and thereafter refused to attend any events if Buckley was to be there.  

    More good fun here:

    h/t Roger Ebert

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:27:02 PM PDT

    •  MORE dead men tell tales... (5+ / 0-)

      Christopher Hitchens in February 2004:

      ... to have novels so transcendently awful as "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" sort of undermines my project.  And then though I have some respect for "The Virtue of Selfishness," her collection of essays ... I don't think there's any need to have essays advocating selfishness among human beings.  I don't know what your impression has been, but some things require no further reinforcement.

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:35:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure if she ever appeared on "Firing Line" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but if she had, Buckley would've eaten her lunch.  Buckley was wrong on many issues (especially McCarthyism) and he wasn't as smart as he thought he was, but he had far more intellectual firepower at his disposal than Ayn Rand did.

      "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

      by Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:15:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think he'd have invited her. (0+ / 0-)

         Buckley and Rand never got along.  Buckley was an observant Catholic.  Read his son's account of his life.  Rand was a militant atheist.  On this and other social issues, they were diametrically opposed.

          Of course, he invited liberals on his show, James Baldwin comes to mind.  He had Gore Vidal as a guest.  I think they came to blows at one point, but later reconciled.  Buckley would've respected Vidal's intellect.  And of course, they both came from old wealth.  But Rand?  That's a stretch.  

    •  I disagree with Buckly (0+ / 0-)

      But I really like him.  He's honest.

      •  In the Nixon times (0+ / 0-)

         Spiro Agnew gave a speech where he characterized liberals as a bunch of "effete intellectual snobs".  Someone remarked that the first person who came to mind, hearing that, was Buckley.  It did seem to fit.  But then Agnew had some excellent speechwriters.  Who came up with those "nattering nabobs of negativity"?  Wow.  Do you think he wrote his own stuff?  Nah.  

  •  I find it stunning that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, nellgwen, Kinak, qofdisks

    she believes capitalism doesn't lead to wars.

  •  I find it stunning that she got on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, nellgwen

    Johnny Carson .   Of course selling books was a big deal but the bible belt probably got writers camp from threatning to boycott the show.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:32:47 PM PDT

  •  Transcript? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mapamp, kurt

    This would be easier to read than to watch, the video and sound quality are pretty bad, is there a transcript somewhere?

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:35:46 PM PDT

  •  Apparently I'm in the minority here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cacamp, kurt

    But I don't see any value in spreading Ayn Rand videos around. People here seem to be under the impression that she's little known and is obviously fruity to everyone. I don't know about that. Among a certain college Ron Paul lovin types she remains very popular, and her organizations work around the clock to push her books.

    Basically there's no difference between what Rand is saying and what every other RW group and organization is saying, except that she was an atheist. Nothing she says above would be controversial to them. They do get her, and they love her precisely because she's an extremist. I get tired of disseminating RW bullshit, even for laughs. We went through that with Beck and the teabaggers, and in retrospect we just gave them a bunch of free publicity.

  •  ryan disavows her now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, nellgwen

    He claims she was a youthful passing interest and her being an atheist turned him away from her. Probably bs but that is what he said.
    This woman had a miserable life.

    •  He does *not* disavow her. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nellgwen, qofdisks, kurt

      He was caught off-guard by the attacks against him based on his statements re: the degree to which he was influenced by her writing, so he downplays her influence during interviews.

      There's nothing to suggest he no longer considers her an influence, particularly given that his plans for medicare could have been written by her.

      "When and if fascism comes to will not even be called 'fascism'; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism'" --Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15

      by demongo on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:29:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be fair, she did have the Vietnam War and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, mickT, nellgwen

    involuntary conscription pegged.

  •  I hate to say this, but I remember her interview. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, rosarugosa, nellgwen, Kinak

    I watched it on TV. (How old am I?!!)

    I remember watching her and thinking "what a load of crap!" There were young people who hooked on to her, but she was and is "what a load of crap!"

  •  She was an atheist! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, nellgwen

    And the Bible Thumpers support this?

    They really are dumb.

  •  I always liked Dorothy Parker's take on Ayn Rand (10+ / 0-)

    Of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Parker said: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

  •  Here is her 1964 Playboy interview (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Only Needs a Beat, Kinak, qofdisks

    Among other beauties;

    PLAYBOY: And how would you define altruism?

    RAND: It is a moral system which holds that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the sole justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, value and virtue. This is the moral base of collectivism, of all dictatorships. In order to seek freedom and capitalism, men need a nonmystical, nonaltruistic, rational code of ethics -- a morality which holds that man is not a sacrificial animal, that he has the right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others, nor others to himself. In other words, what is desperately needed today is the ethics of Objectivism.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:23:02 PM PDT

  •  Check out the Mike Wallace interview: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She's a twisted old crone; a fundamentally un-American evil individual.

    "When and if fascism comes to will not even be called 'fascism'; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism'" --Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15

    by demongo on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:25:44 PM PDT

  •  Tie Ayn Rand aroung Paul Ryan's Neck (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demongo, stevej, qofdisks

    We need to tie Ayn Rand around Paul Ryan's and Ryan Paul's and all of the Tea Party GOP's necks.  When the right wing, Christian Evangelicals see Ayn Rand talk about attacking the church and her views on jesus Christ . . .

    yes, This can be a Change Election.  Wake up that sleeping Christian, southern group that jimmy Carter reached out to.

    jesus was a progressive!  Ayn Rand wants to destroy Christianity!

    Dick Cheney said, "Pi$$ on 'em!" And, Ronald Reagan replied, "That's a Great Idea. Let's Call it 'Trickle Down Economics!"

    by NM Ray on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:36:08 PM PDT

  •  it's actually too bad. Self-interest actually (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, qofdisks, melo

    has a lot of merit, when pursued in conjunction with community/social interest/altruism.

    The GOP pretends to put this into play from the personal-responsibility perspective--but they've created a Randian farce out of it--so that instead of 'personal responsibility' and self betterment, you get 'Take whatever the hell you can--and the rest of the world be damned'.  The paradox of the thing is that--there's a point beyond which you HAVEN'T achieved everything yourself--but the system has rigged itself to work in your favor: i.e altruism for the top of the top.  'You're rich--would you like complimentary first class seating, sir?'  or 'You're rich--we'd love to seat you and 5,000 friends at the Olympics.'  or 'You're rich--would you like a Titanic lifeboat, sir?"

    So what may first have been achievement becomes this snowball of wealth generating wealth--on the backs of the inadvertent altruism provided at the expense of society.

    However--the Democrats often make the mistake of taking personal responsibility and achievement out of the equation entirely (often for fear of abandoning victims), thereby weakening some of the ideals of actual achievement.  It's for these reasons that the GOP's exaggerated cries of 'Communism!' 'Socialism!' manage to resonate with more people than they should.  

  •  Fascinating. I think her ideas about altrusim (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, qofdisks

    and selfishness are extreme, possibly totally incorrect. However, she was living during a time when the ideal woman was expected to be self-sacrificing. Maybe she just thought it was dumb. ( I don't go for entire self-sacrifice either- I don't think it is healthy)

    On the other hand, if you carry this idea to its logical extreme then you would be an irresponsible parent. It is one thing to put yourself first most of the time, but in a child-parent relationship, it cannot be done.

    I find her take on the war interesting and I do feel that even though she says she was not affected by the Russian Revolution, she seems to be reacting to it.

    She also cites the 19th century as a peaceful time, but she is only thinking about Europe and the US population. What about the Native Americans? (To name a few things)

    The one thing that strikes me is she is an atheist and a feminist and a capitalist. Her views are quite contrary to the views of Christianity and especially so to Catholicism.

  •  Are there transcripts for this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, kurt

    I don't want to listen to her voice.

  •  Carson is just excellent. He is like Charlie Rose, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, qofdisks

    and it is just incredible that he was not considered to be a news program, but an entertainment show. He actually listened to someone with a very controversial point of view, like he was Cenk or somebody.

    We have really lost something. It is rare to see such an in depth interview on television. Can you imagine if someone like that were on Fox news, MSNBC or any of our tv stations today? Even PBS doesn't give that much time to one person.

    Maybe Carson liked her philosophy, after all he was always getting a new wife. LOL

  •  why does my school district have AYn Rand (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, Kinak, qofdisks, kurt

    on the summer readinglist?Can anyone suggest a leftist writer as a foil? I intend to pursue this; as a former English teacher ( Rutgers BA ) I can tell you Rand simply isn't read much in serious lit programs ( since she is not a serious writer )should I suggest Karl Marx?

  •  Randian Christian oxymoron (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, nellgwen

    How does someone like Ryan purport to follow Jesus Christ while being a devotee of Ayn Rand? Their philosophies could not be further apart to the point where no one could not earnestly follow both.
    What a cold, heartless woman! Johnny must have been going bullshit. Ed McMahon was off camera but I bet after a while he was looking at his watch to see when the next commercial break was.

  •  But Yet In The End She Depended On The (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, Crabby Abbey, nellgwen, qofdisks, kurt

    government for help.  I think she went on social security and medicare before she died.  In the end she became a socialist.  LOL.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:07:42 PM PDT

  •  Who knew Ayn Rand opposed the Vietnam war? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:17:27 PM PDT

    •  OH HELL, we all did! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crabby Abbey, nellgwen, qofdisks

      Why do you think she became so popular with students back in the 70s?  

      Ayn Rand might be a contributing factor to the modern crazy version of conservatism, but she was way off the reservation.  People like William F. Buckley (to whom she said, "You are too intelligent to be a Christian!") she was a charming nutcase.

  •  Am I the only one here who felt IMMENSELY PROUD of (7+ / 0-)

    Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon?  Watching that made me feel so ashamed of what happened to the quality of TV in the years that followed.  Even their own show was dumbed down.  They didn't deflate her, which wasn't their mission, but they held their own enough to hold an intelligent discussion without resorting to fart jokes.  There is nothing like that on TV, even with all these fucking cable chanels, today.

  •  "value voters" nothing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, nellgwen, qofdisks, kurt

    This crowd applauds the "let him die" mentality. The name "values voter" is a lie because thy value nothing above themselves.

    It's all about:

    I'm struggling.... let's kick the ___ (insert denigrating term here) to the gutter because maybe there will be more for me with these wastrels out of the way"
    They mistakenly think RyanRomneyBushCheneyetc.. will cut taxesmedicaresocialsecurity and let the phantom gains raise their boats on the rising tide. Not realizing of course that RomneyRyanCheney etc have no intention of sharing anything.

    They're selfish greedy people who pretend not to be the racist gaynotwhitefurriner haters they are and hide behind the "family values" bullshit. Let's start calling them what they are: hate-voters.

  •  Social Darwinism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frisbeetarian, Kinak, qofdisks

    Funny how these pukes belive in Social Darwinism, but not real Darwinism.

    •  i think that's a really good point. really good. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rosarugosa, qofdisks

      and much more effective to exploit as a message than hating on Ayn Rand. She was an interesting thinker and had some good ideas... and some pretty confused ideas. It'd be more fruitful to try and understand her in the context of her time.

      And what's wrong with debating her ideas? It's a great way to sharpen our own thinking rather than just knee jerk reactions to common good et al.

      why do we think common good is a better model? do collectives work towards more stable socieites? why are regulate systems preferable to unregulated ones?

      why shouldn't we be forced to think about our views instead of just repeating them or hiding behind the founding fathers or any other standard bearers.

      time we stood on our own in our time.

  •  I have a theory about Rand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think she was a lot like Coulter or Beck, half batshit crazy ideologue, half bullshit artist carnival huckster desperate to be in and never be out of the limelight and willing to say anything to assure it, and enjoying getting a rise out of people with ever more outrageous statements. I.e. the marriage of radical political ideology and a very severe set of personality disorders.

    Like them, she was full of shit and like them deep down I think she knew it.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:41:23 PM PDT

    •  I can see how she would appeal to some people, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but, I am sort of surprised that Paul Ryan would think she is so wonderful. These ideas are not very Roman Catholic at all. Just about the opposite. Altruism bad? The Church teaches that the most important thing that Jesus did was to sacrifice himself for all of us sinners. Rand seems to think that would be wrong. So, it is quite radical in that sense. Also, the whole "family" not being the central unit of society. Not really something that the religious right would be comfortable with.

      However, I think there are Christian groups that believe that God rewards people who are good (on earth-not in heaven), they might be ok with this idea. But, Catholics, not really.

      The selfish thing doesn't work for Catholics either. Sort of what you're not supposed to do.

      Please don't anyone start talking about pedophile priests, I am just discussing the philosophical/theological values of the Catholic Church, because Ryan has mentioned more than once his Catholic faith and I see this Rand as having a very different outlook on things.

  •  Maddow just ended her... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, kurt

    show with an excellent piece about the Ayn Rand & Paul Ryan connection. Scary its like movies "Brazil", "The Hunger Games" and "Takers" all in one! She points how Ryan is NOT a fiscal conservative and how Bush, Cheney & McCain are not the GOP's representation of the Republican party.
    They made their selection and its Paul Ryan.  

  •  Not evil at all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, pfiore8, kevinwparker

    Let me start off by saying that I am a Progressive and a strong supporter of the president. Romney & Ryan are repunant to me as is the Repugnant party.  However I watched what Ayn Rand had to say and there is nothing evil about it.  She expresses very thoughtful and philosophical arguments about the nature of man and his place in the world.  She talks about making decisions rationally and objectively and as an athiest I totally agree with her.
    However she has other views about the rich and the poor which I find repugnant and which the Rs are slavishly following.  
    So to apply the blanket words "evil woman" to her are wrong and in fact  an indication of the accuser's insecurity.

  •  Cheers for posting, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak one will sit through more than 20-30 seconds of that. In the early days of television, producers were still playing by the rules of older media, like radio or stage. They simply didn't know the grammar and vocabulary of the medium the way we do now.

    Those clips are brutal to watch as people of the television and post-television generations and so they're next to worthless, I'm sorry to say.

    "A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience" -John Dewey

    by mikeplugh on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 07:59:38 PM PDT

  •  Ayn Rand was a nasty piece of work. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  After watching both clips (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, Kinak

    Ms Rand gets points for Bad Hair.

    Otherwise, she's preposterous. None of her theories have ever worked. They could only be tested in a vacuum. Her concept of knowledge and learning is what she has in her own head. Pure bunk.

    "Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six." Leo Tolstoy

    by Miss Pip on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:18:47 PM PDT

  •  i'm VERY surprised vets who've seen combat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marjmar, nellgwen

    didn't shoot this down then or beat her resurgence over the head w/an E-tool now (for you non-groundpounders, 'e-tool' = 'shovel').

    our entire military operates on an 'so others may live' ethos ideal.

    Dear Noah, The flyer said THURSDAY!!!! Seriously, WTF?!?!? jerk. sincerely, unicorns

    by bnasley on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:27:42 PM PDT

    •  You nailed why I despise her (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, Frisbeetarian, nellgwen, Kinak

      I was one of those that went to college for a couple of years, enlisted, did my tour and then returned.  It was the early 70's and the cool rich kids were all being put through school by their well-to-do parents and looking forward to their trust funds and Ayn Rand was the topic of their conversation, so I got a copy of Atlas Shrugged and attempted to wade through the tome, which was full of uncompelling characters making decisions that were counter to what my own experience told me was for the good of society.  "All for one and one for all" was certainly not her idea of a motto, and fighting for the 19 year old from a pig farm in Iowa lying next to you in the jungle of SE Asia was not on the agenda of her accolytes, either.  I returned from that war a radical and a protester and I've mellowed only a bit since then and I still despise her and those short-haired assholes that were carrying her books around campus.

  •  Nope (4+ / 0-)

    26 minute is not going to go "viral" in todays America.

  •  selfishness (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, qofdisks

    l have often classified republican voters into 5 categories.  One of these categories is the selfish.  These are the voters who simply vote because they believe their taxes will be lower.  They don't think of the common good.

    Sorry to say, somehow my brother ended up one of these.  It is impossible to have a rational conversation with him.  

    He seemingly has no interest in any other issues.  Just taxes.  It's very similar to another single issue voter republican category: the pro lifer.  It's really hard to have conversations with them also.

  •  She had me up until "self interest" (0+ / 0-)


    We borrow this world from the next generation, and it is incumbent upon us to ensure that it is left a better place than we found it.  The most direct rout to that goal is to empower the individuals and groups which share that goal.  That is what I've tried to do since the very day I came out (as gay).

  •  Jesus, I can;t even finish the first video (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, Kinak

    Damn, could she be more wrong????

  •  Well she was right about one thing (0+ / 0-)

    Children must be taught to be properly selfish....Ayn Rand rationally selfish.

  •  She was anti death penalty (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, pfiore8, qofdisks

    She was anti Vietnam War.  She wasn't the devil, she's just a person.  I get the same thing from watching these interviews that I get from her books.  She's not a tremendous talent, but she is someone who for some reason wingnuts love to cherry pick and have cherry picked into their own oblivion.

    She even dislikes mysticism being spoonfed to the masses, I do too.

  •  wow.....amazing, love that johnny is part of this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He probably never imagined he might be part of a presidential campaign so much later, but two things, one, with anyone over about 40 years old, they will "GET" Johnny Carson, which builds tremendous credibility to the interview....and secondly, although the whole interview is amazing, watch the last part about the "family unit", at the end, wow, i'm pretty sure she would be for gay marriage/adoption/everything, as long as people are rational....amazing that the Romney camp would not have been able to vet something like this, they are obviously not ready for prime time.

    •  She opposed gay rights except for the right to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      have sex in the privacy of their homes. Anything beyond that she considered "special rights," including laws protecting gay people from hate crimes or being fired for their sexual orientations.

      •  CONTRADICTION! (0+ / 0-)

        Therefore, by her own arguments, she's being illogical, and her philosophy is wrong.

        (It's also interesting how how followers became extremely emotional, and that they devolved into a cult later on.)

        Defeat the Washington Machine: Vote Against Rand Paul

        by Proginoskes on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 02:31:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  very discombobulated woman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, Kinak

    she hardly makes sense

  •  Wow. This is breathtaking. (5+ / 0-)

    it's no wonder the Catholic bishops soundly reject the Paul Ryan plan.  Ayn explicitly rejects the very notion of kindness, grace, support, help, basically anything that to me defines humanity.

    I hope your average Joe/Jane voter understands that these are the principles behind the Romney/Ryan plan.

    If Obama loses we all lose.  

    Thanks for posting.

  •  Ryan is toxic enough in his own right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, qofdisks

    that it doesn't make any sense to attach him 2nd hand through Ayn Rand.

    All it takes is constant reference to the Ryan budget.  

    Catholic bishops & nuns are doing plenty with the brutality (and yes, the selfishness) of the Ryan budget to draw "values voters" away from the republicans.

    Now it's time to firmly tie that millstone around Romney's neck, and every other republican seeking any office anywhere this term.

    The Ryan budget - it's the Romney plan, and it's the republican plan for America. Read it and vote.

    by marking time on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 01:37:23 AM PDT

  •  She is not evil, simply wrong. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, qofdisks

    Her philosophy meant to unchain people from mysticism and authoritarianism. This was a worthwhile pursuit.

    What she could not predict was (1) how her ideal of rational self-interest would be used by the powerful to gain more power, and (2) decades of anthropological and behavioral research that explains in detail what our actual nature is, as social and irrational creatures.

    She didn't understand these things, and how could she. That's fine. What's not fine are the legions of cultists who refuse to read any books published after hers.

  •  What rationality? (0+ / 0-)

    Unregulated capitalism always results in damaged ozone, poisoned oceans, ruined landscapes.

  •  Not evil - just a lady with a warped vision, as an (0+ / 0-)

    aside, it's amazing that she was able to open up like this on a mainstream show.  Contrast this with the babble and bilge that is basically every cable or network news show which doesn't air very early on weekends.

  •  Many animals have empathy and sacrifice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the common good, e.g. elephants, dolphins, gorillas.  

    Children have empathy and sacrifice for others. I've seen it.

    What Ayn Rand extols is in the DSM-III manual, and it is psychopathy!

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 04:46:33 AM PDT

    •  here is the point that Rand followers miss (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Einsteinia, melo, Molee

      empathy/sacrifice and well being of the group fits her model.  It benefits an individual greatly to have empathy, to sacrifice for the group, in so doing that individual assures him/herself a place in that group and can be certain to receive aid and comfort themselves in a time of aid.  How is that not in an individuals self interest to be part of a healthy, caring strong group.

      Its basically an insurance policy first and foremost.

      Next, in strong groups individuals thrive more, and prospects for success are greater, so again, even from a purely economic individual approach, giving and being part of a group in order to make that group strong, is the best Rand approach.

      To think otherwise is to believe a cell doesnt need to be part of a healthy organism to thrive, and that is just nonsense.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:51:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What an Obvious Conflict (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Someone needs to ask Paul Ryan how his worship of Ayn Rand's philosophy of an existence based exclusively on self interest "selfishness" fits with his Christian philosophy of an existence based on caring for the needs of ones fellow man "selflessness".

    The answer of course is it doesn't.  They are completely opposite philosophies which cannot be reconciled with one another.  So which one do you subscribe to Mr. Ryan, Rand's or Christianity's?    

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:41:50 AM PDT

  •  it's predator strategy (0+ / 0-)

    declaim generosity as a faux emotion, a frickin' weakness, then profit off of it till your self-fulfilled prophecy comes true and you've tapped out the human kindness around you and left people embittered, new converts to your selfish cause.

    wall st embodies rand's 'fuck-em all except me, haha' attitude, unsurprisingly, as it was probably read to them as babies as a goodnight story.

    why? just kos..... *just cause*

    by melo on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:22:55 PM PDT

  •  I find it interesting (0+ / 0-)

    That after reading through quite a few of these posts. (I did not read through all of them) nobody has mentioned anything about her idea that the nineteenth century was the most rational and most peaceful century in history. I think that this is an odd statement. Colonialism of Africa, Asia and The Americas was still quite strong. Native Americans were being wiped out just as they had been previously. The U.S fought wars with Mexico and even itself during that century with huge casualties. One could go on and on disproving her statement. I do know that wars of conquest over 'inferior savages' were okay with Ms Rand, so removing that from the equation could have made this time more 'peaceful' than 'rational' people would see it.

    •  Don't forget the "Civil War", which was based (0+ / 0-)

      partially on beliefs involving slavery. That's a double whammy there.

      (Technically, it wasn't a civil war ... In a civil war, both sides are fighting for control of the same country. It was a failed secession.)

      Defeat the Washington Machine: Vote Against Rand Paul

      by Proginoskes on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 02:38:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ayn Rand's Education (0+ / 0-)

    Ayn Rand learned philosophy studying the teachings of Nietzsche, the syphilitic philosopher who helped justify Nazi Germany. She was educated at  Petrograd State University, the same place that produced those populist oriented politicians  (not)  Vladimir Putin and Dimitry Medvedev.

  •  Alan Greenspan was an Ayn Rand camp follower, who (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... as chairman of the Fed, went on the preach and implement the gospel of free-market fundamentalism always trusting that the unseen hand would optimize everything of everyone pursued their own personal greed.

    Following the 2008 collapse he humbly acknowledged that "I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms."

  •  FYI the song that Rand refers to was (0+ / 0-)

    The Impossible Dream from Man of La Mancha, which was sung by a female singer (I can't remember who) before Rand came on.
    I was in the middle of reading Atlas Shrugged and I made sure to watch the show to hear her, and much of it was over my head at the time, being a teenager. I always think of her when I hear this song and am appalled that she was so against the concept of it.

  •  Ayn Rand - Poster child for sociopaths (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This makes a nice companion piece for the recent HBO expose' on L. Ron Hubbard and the nightmare of Scientology.  Even "some" of Hubbard's writings at least make sense, if impractical, idealistic, or unpopular, although his "church" was a sham from the get go.  Probably not many know that one of the early RUSH (Canadian rock band) albums was dedicated to the philosophy of Ayn Rand.  The Journal of Psycho-History also has published recent articles on the sociopathic characteristics of the political right.  All worth looking into.

    One of the symptoms of anti-social personality disorder is "relentlessness".  In other words, whenever you think you have a working agreement and you can relax for a minute, the sociopath is already implementing their next "course of action", and will be back at it again in no time.  All the greedheads of the world are increasingly spiraling into this Ivan Boesky-ism that "Greed is good" because it fosters competition, which yields quality - after the "underperforming" entities have been eliminated.  

    Also, Nietsche didn't "help justify Nazi Germany" - his writings were used toward that end, and he wrote all that stuff before he went insane, due to syphilis.  Really, his writings tend to ring of cocaine use, which exaggerates the intellect over compassion - i.e. adrenaline talk.

  •  Obama's ad campaign? (0+ / 0-)


  •  It's selfishness simply that alone. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Posted on the Youtube post on Part 1 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Her comments on the need for coinciding of the interests of a person and the people who are interacted with, has completely bypassed the thinking of a lot of the laissez faire Darwinists who think she is a valid commentator. Self regulation of the banking industry has destroyed the idea of there being a need  for rational interests of the people who are contracting with each other to be required. That is not happening in the unregulated model. The years of tolerating the right wing drivel about "just get government out of the way" has produced in the investment rules as rubber stamped at the Brisbane G20 meeting this past November -  that effectively destroys the common law of contract and allegiance to the criminal code on the need to prevent any trace of deception in the sale of securities.

    The unregulated investment model has resulted from the G20 investment and banking meetings last year agreement that 1) Securitized debt instruments are a good thing; 2) Derivative holders shall be higher standing creditors of an investment institution than depositors; 3) Significant investment firms shall have the right to reclassify deposits as the firms' assets rather than liabilities in the event of a meltdown.

    These changes, I offer as evidence of the net result of allowing a self regulating ethos to poison the investment industry. It completely destroys the principle on which banks were allowed to operate as services to the public, under common law rules - which was these firms were required as a condition for being allowed to operate - that they would act in the best interests of clients. All of that is destroyed by the constant testing of the limits of lawful practices over the past couple of decades - that has led to the bedlam I have outlined in paragraph 2.

    I would submit that the best way to begin to construct actual requirements for genuinely rational business practices in investment, is to have a serious Code of Practice that puts common law of contract and criminal code rules at the front of investment and banking regulation. The Canada Chapter of the Public Banking Institute is co-ordinating the research on this for the PBI.

  •  So, individual ego is god? (0+ / 0-)

    If you elevate anything to the ultimate level, then it is, de facto, a god. Thus, to her, greed is god. I think it is in my rational self interest to believe that I should be willing to make sacrifices for others because my willingness to make sacrifices serves to assure me that there are others in society willing to make sacrifices for me. Reciprocation... So, what's so irrational about that Ayn?

    We can do what I cannot

    by mlp5376 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 01:59:26 PM PDT

    •  Not God (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The acolytes of Ayn Rand have nothing to do with any concept of God in common usage. Followers, such as Paul Ryan, only delude themselves and their fellow sociopaths with thoughts that they are somehow Christians.

    •  ...not irrational... (0+ / 0-)'s just that her "ideal" there will be reciprocation is a fantasy in the real world. Look at what's happening now. The rich are continually getting the whole pie and then some.

      I too believe we should sacrifice for others, I do and you do. But we can all see the "will" of the majority of those gaining the most is not to do what she proposes.

      It's a theory that would absolutely work if it actually did work in the real world with real humans doing what happens naturally. All theories like this sound like utopia. Hey, if things actually worked the way Karl Marx thought they could, we'd all be rolling in clover. They did try that and it was corrupted immediately and didn't remotely turn out as expected. That's because "expected" is a concept until it pans out. Until then it's a theory only.

      I think it is in my rational self interest to believe that I should be willing to make sacrifices for others because my willingness to make sacrifices serves to assure me that there are others in society willing to make sacrifices for me.
      If most that are "greedy" did as you would, things would be amazingly cool now. They aren't because it's rarely what happens. We have to continually go with the reality of how humans behave in the majority. To have a belief as a functioning adult in 2015 that Ayn Rand's fantasy of her utopian world is simply childish.
      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

      by paradise50 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 07:06:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  HARD OF HEARING! (0+ / 0-)

    A transcript would be great.

    •  Here's a list of quotes most likely to annoy (0+ / 0-)

      the GOP.

      Every man has a right to exist for his own sake, and he must not sacrifice himself to others or sacrifice others to himself.

      The principle which ties morality to politics is the principle that no man has a right to initiate physical force -- violence, compulsion -- against other men.

      Man can achieve the ideal here on Earth.

      The idea of self-sacrifice is a totally artificial, very evil, idea which adults and children learn from others, which is passed from person to person.

      No, I do not [believe in God].

      I regard religion as the infancy of Mankind.

      I don't think that the family is a necessary unit of society.

      The church has set [the moral standards] for much too long and with disastrous consequences.

      [A conscripted army] is a very immoral idea; it is unconstitutional.

      Defeat the Washington Machine: Vote Against Rand Paul

      by Proginoskes on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 02:41:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think she might... (0+ / 0-)

    ...actually be Xenu.

  •  Ayn Rand the epitome of selfishness.. (0+ / 0-)

    Can you imagine a world where everyone lived as she suggests? Where it's all about me me me. I thought of this analogy. The marine corps has a motto leave no man behind. If we all lived as Rand suggests a battle field with many marines wounded would all be left behind. There motto would be every man for himself. Didn't surprise me either that she thought that people who followed religion were in their philosophical infancy. Not a big fan of religion but if I were I'd take that as an insult.

  •  Altruism (0+ / 0-)

    Immediately, she denies he existence of altruism.  Think of that for a moment!  Without altruism can we rightly define human civilization?  Altruism is basic ingredient in the human existence and defines us as a species and societially.  The basic question the, is: Would you want to live in a world without it?

  •  ATHEIST! (0+ / 0-)

    Ron Paul belated claim Rand wasn't named after Ayn the atheist REEKS. Followers of Ayn Rand must be marked as atheists also(.) Randism is a religion in and of itself, and a dangerous one.

  •  I find Ayn Rand's (0+ / 0-)

    philosophy contradictory.

  •  "Objectivism" (0+ / 0-)

    It sounds a lot like Adam Smith except that instead of being an analysis it's an exhortation.  Smith's model made a lot of assumptions ("rational man", etc.) and some were wrong (currency emerged from systems of barter).  But he was trying to figure out what was going on.

    Ayn Rand already KNOWS what's right and wrong.  The depths of her arrogance are plumbless.  

    She'd have been happy if the national motto had been changed from "E Pluribus Unum" to "Every Man For Himself."  

    To put Objectivism in context, she was a refugee from the communist takeover of Russia and hated everything they stood for, which is now called collectivism.  Her philosophy, such as it is, is a great big FU flag.

    The surprising thing is that for so many years she and the group she dominated were a kind of marginal cult, not different in its social dynamics from Dianetics or the rattlesnake handlers of Appalachia.  And in pursuit of rational self happiness, she bedded the men and kicked them out if they didn't play her kind of ball.

    Yet, here is Objectivism today in our own Congress, a rough beast that has slouched into Bethlehem and been born.  

  •  and... (0+ / 0-)

    Ayn Rand exists in her own bubble, daring others to burst it at their expense!

  •  Laissez-faire capitalism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farmerhunt, manifesto2000

    The problems with laissez-faire capitalism are two-fold:

    It is predicated on Adam Smith's notion that when humans act out of rational self-interest, the invisible hand of the market produces the best outcomes.

    1) This begs the question: are humans rational economic actors?.  All market economists simply assume this is true.  Behavioral economists have set out to test the hypothesis (what any good scientist would do) and have found that humans are as irrational when it comes to money as they are when it comes to sex.  There is even a biological basis for this conclusion: the same pleasure centers in the brain that motivate people to seek out sex also motivate humans to seek out wealth.

    Rand is simply naive and her philosophy makes as much sense as saying that if everybody told the truth, the world would be a better place.

    2) The notion that whatever the market produces is good is the naturalistic fallacy (defining good as some natural property).  If the market produces concentration of wealth in a few hands, then this is good by definition.  But no matter what the market produces (a fact), it does not logically follow that this is good.  As David Hume told us long ago: you can't derive a value (what is good) from a fact (what the market produces).

    Marx did not have this problem because his economics was based on a definition of justice: "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need." This will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.  Rand's objectivism is the greatest good for me and the hell with you.

    Rand calls herself a philosopher, yet she ignores philosophers who would be critical of her thinking.  Hobbes thought that when freedom is absolute, the result will be a state of nature where life is "solitary, poor, mean, nasty, brutish and short."  I would be happier if Rand tried to rebut Hobbes instead of ignoring him and pontificating that selfishness is a virtue.

  •  Academia for academias sake. She became so smar... (0+ / 0-)

    Academia for academias sake. She became so smart, she went dumb. Faithless, anti-family, selfish, and a clique - worshipper. When some people reach, attain, or have in their nature, extensive knowledge ... they can be dangerous. The danger lies in the academics refusal to accept common sense solutions to problems, even when such solutions are the best. No, only a convoluted solution is acceptable, because to agree with common sense, is to agree that they have common sense, and they're far beyond that. Their solutions must reflect (and confirm) their superior intellect. And egos? The academic ego makes a rappers ego seem humble. We should admire brilliance, but when it turns into Ayn Rand types, we should isolate it. And we should never allow anyone who is a believer in Ayn Rand, to enter our government.

  •  Imagine if Obama has said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    he admired a Russian atheist!   Double standard, dont you think?

  •  Druggie, Anti-Religion, Adulterer, Welfare Queen (0+ / 0-)

    Ayn Rand (The Druggie, Anti-Religion, Adulterer, Welfare Queen) Worshippers Should Face Facts: Blue States Are the Providers, Red States Are the Parasites. Feb 2012:

    •  Kansas is the Welfare Queen. (0+ / 0-)

      Last week on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart reported on the economic miracle disaster in Kansas. For every dollar Kansas produces, it brings in $1.29 from the federal government.

      Defeat the Washington Machine: Vote Against Rand Paul

      by Proginoskes on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 02:43:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A woman who never loved in the face of adversit... (0+ / 0-)

    A woman who never loved in the face of adversity, who never had hostages to fortune, aka children; a person who couldn't maintain a friendship unless she could control it. She romanticized the two year-old's emotional landscape and thereby did a yeoman's job of shaping the prevailing political landscape.

    In a word--MINE.

    What's most disturbing about Rand is, of course, her utter disregard for the complex nature of human society. Aristotle, her hero, of all virtues revered civic mindedness. She defends her puerile "philosophy " with a tautology: "A is A." The old Greek would've laughed her out of the agora with that one and then would've called for her exile for inciting stupidity in the populace and encouraging an undesirable breakdown in what was a fledgling civilization.

    Rand is enjoying a resurgence in conservative circles because her simplistic credo marches shoulder to shoulder with the long-term ambitions of the One Percent: to wit, to hell with civilization, we'll buy our own f-Ing army.

    After all, if selfishness isn't the highest virtue then they look like assholes, right?

    And the One Percent is a bunch of peacocks that way. If they're not pretty, they'll do what they have to do to make us think they are.

    Hence the enduring attraction of Ayn Rand's "philosophy."

  •  Ayn Rand batshiit, two! from way back! (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah! man! Read the Book! just like "read"
    A. Hitler, he wasn't that bad! Right! What's
    with the 'teabugger batshit Right wing? Ayn
    Rand are "real coco bird in her day, just like
    "Sayray' Palin" and her croaking toad, Tadd!
    or 'Brad!" Whichever of the "Glynn Beck twins!"
    Dang! Ayn Rand would have been scribbling
    on 'Beck's Chalkboard,' and he would be
    pretending to understand the 'trickling' just
    like all his other 'conspiracies!' Why Beck
    was lathering up the Palin cause He had
    heard the same crappe before McCain's
    Big Blunder!

  •  That proved it! (0+ / 0-)

    That proved it right there! Paul Ryan
    said he "made" (ordered) his "slaves"
    (staff) read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged!
    Wonder how many really read it and those
    who fell a sleep? Ryan fell a sleep the first
    page in the book! Never got past the Title
    Page! Betcha He read 'Mien Krapp' from
    cover to cover, and still thinks that would

  •  I can boil all that doen into a simple sentence: (0+ / 0-)

    "Everything for me, nothing for you."

  •  Why waste my time? (0+ / 0-)

    What does she have to do with the president? I am disappointed with KOS for allowing this to be presented in such a convoluted way. I am concerned that KOS is hiding an agenda or playing games-- which is the failure of all so-called balanced or mainstream media. And why allow the president to be dragged into a sentence that uses the word evil. In fact, why even present her views and waste my time?

  •  I did not find what she said to be evil at all.... (0+ / 0-)

    I did not find what she said to be evil at all. The discussion was civil and very informative. I'm not saying that I agree with her philosophy, but her views deserve to be heard and discussed civilly.

    It has spurred me to read more of her writings.

  •  You CAN'T be "Christian" AND an Ayn Rand proponent (0+ / 0-)

    I'm so stupid .. I never thought of this before and it's so obvious. All these Randites who also claim to be "Christians".
    Impossible. All the concepts and philosophy Ayn Rand advanced were so profoundly anti-Christian that any real follower of Jesus Christ would rightly consider her as being the anti-Christ!

    Just look at this exchange, from the above video:

    Carson (@7:40): "Why is it that man —I guess, at least throughout recorded history— seems to need a belief .. which you do not believe in —I assume— you do not believe in the existence of a supreme being or a God or creator or whatever you want to label it. . . "

    Rand: (shaking her head) "No, I do not"

    Carson: " . . .why does man, then, seemed to need that .. every since man has been on earth?"

    Rand: "I wouldn't call it a need. I would say he has resorted to it by default. Because all the content of man's consciousness, he has to acquire.. by thought, by knowledge. He has to discover it . . . "

    . .  And P O W! Way ta go, Ayn! You've knocked any rational defense that anyone who truly supports you also calling themselves "Christian" ... right out of the park!

    Plus —with the idea that man has to fill content of his consciousness by thought, knowledge and discovery (wow, what a revolutionary concept)— means, "Hello, Darwin; Goodbyyyye, Jesus!"

    Ha! "Rational selfishness", my eye! She should have entitled her little ode to selfishness, "Atlas Just Shat on You"

    (Are you listening, Hilary? Go to town, girl ... and make that town, Washington!)

  •  YES!!! (0+ / 0-)

    I have wanted to get this to go viral for a long time. I also posted it on YouTube. It is critical to the political discussion today. Ayn Rand was the Atheist Goddess of Greed. She believed altruism is evil. She told Carson one should think ONLY of oneself.  She was diametrically opposed to everything Jesus Christ ever taught, yet these right wing bible thumpers love her as much as they love trying to explain how Jesus really didn't mean it is impossible for the rich to enter heaven. Seeing she was the polar opposite of Jesus, doesn't that make her anti Christ? Not "The" Anti-Christ, but she was anti Christ. Yet who loves her?

    Force them to confront this hypocrisy.  

    •  I think there is more to her argument than just... (0+ / 0-)

      I think there is more to her argument than just "greed is good." She certainly was no anti-Christ.

      I may be mistaken, but I don't think her goals were as callous as some have presented.

  •  I'm just amazed at the forum this woman was given (0+ / 0-)

    at the birth of televised mass media.  Talk about luck!  Being in the USA with a controversial idea, at a time with only 4 networks on the dial and a rather provincially-minded public looking for answers, and be able to simply declare the relationship of the individual to the community to be irrelevant to the self, is stunning.  And stunning how easily a public has accepted such a premise on its face.  And today, how that premise is being leveraged into radical political movements advocating the dismantlement of American public institutions that have served the nation well, and continue to prevent the unnecessary material destitution of seniors and the disabled, as well as provide public resources for basic education, financial oversight, and infrastructure, and has done so for generations.  

    These destructive things are advocated too often in the name of a libertarianism that holds Ayn Rand and the notion of Objectivism in high esteem.  In this Carson interview, she appears to use the self-centered behavior of children as a kind of 'proof' that Objectivism is rooted in the sublime, but without explaining why the behavior of children should be significant to the philosophy and administration of adult society for adults.  She dismisses altruism as a kind of moral cancer to the right of the Individual to 'express his true nature'.  But without examining whether altruism might be an attribute of rational and civilized adults that no longer entertain the rather juvenile idea that an adversarial relationship is the only correct relationship when an individual is faced with a communitarian demand.  (This is a decidedly unchristian notion, and I fail to see how one can profess being a christian and at the same time hold Ayn Rand as an advocate for a just society.)  

    She is right about one thing though, "Capitalism cannot coexist with altruism".  Properly understood, that should be heard as a threat.  Only the remedy isn't to dismiss public institutions as 'parasitic', it is to think deeply about changing the nature of capitalism.  If capitalism is necessarily a venue for focused economic activity, of limited moral horizons, and a pathological need for success and profit, then let us embrace that by putting it under the oversight of public institutions.  That's where the conversation of competing interests should be happening.  Instead, we're made to believe in an adversarial relationship between the private sector and our public institutions.  As if our public institutions weren't designed to reflect the public will.  

    But the fact that they too often don't isn't the fault of a misguided public directing government to willfully destroy the private sector.  Its the fault of a private sector underwriting a long-term campaign to convince a misguided public to dismantle public institutions that corporations find inconvenient for their purposes.  

    Rather than work to negotiate corporate needs versus social needs in a public arena, as elsewhere in the world, too many American corporate types buy into the Randian notion that government is an enemy and you don't 'negotiate' with the enemy.  In fact, why don't we call government illegitimate? And they've shown themselves willing to ally themselves with unscrupulous political operators to take advantage of an archaic and fragmented electoral system to do it, most recently for causes that encroach on American foreign policy. And foreign policy is never far from nuclear-tipped ICBM's, and mankind cannot afford to entertain national leadership that is compromised by a minority interest holding our political system hostage.

    If we can't see money as a morally corrupting influence on the public discourse in a Republic, and along with it the very idea of being a citizen, and instead simply see it as the medium whereby the mutual interests of the most successful are exchanged, then we'll be blind to the power of private money to influence public opinion to see the private interest as the only legitimate interest to address social needs.  And then those needs will be defined down to a minimum and government then truly will become irrelevant in people's lives.  Grover Norquist and Frank Luntz will have won.  Government will have been reduced to a size that can 'drown in a bathtub'.  And what will we get for it? I predict a latter-day Hobbesian society beset upon itself in the name of competition but which will in fact change the nature of the republic itself, where discourse is replaced by a mass mob mentality of whichever industry happens to hold sway in a fractured and fracturing Washington.  

    If left to their own devices, corporations will become a threat to the public welfare as we understand it today, and we'll have Ayn Rand's facile Objectivism to thank for preparing the ground (and the American mind) for the American fulfillment of "the only thing necessary for evil to prevail, is for good men to do nothing".

  •  No comment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The author of this article has grossly misunderstood Ayn Rand and Objectivism, just as the Neo-Cons like Romney, Ryan, Beck and company have misunderstood and misrepresented her for their own benefit. The article’s facile and shallow objections to Objectivism are based purely on a highly tendentious and partisan-based platform.  How can one expeditiously dismiss Rand as an “evil woman” when confronted with her belief in basic human rights of existence, that no one has the right to initiate physical force, that humans should never be compelled to initiate war, that there should be no draft or military conscription, that people should not be compelled to give up their freedoms, or that a foreign war which was unprovoked, such as the one in Vietnam (and I suspect this might extend to Iraq and Afghanistan today) was morally wrong?  Are these proclamations evidence of her evil nature?

    The author of this article should be ashamed of him or herself. There is no journalism or objectivity in this at all, but rather knee-jerk partisanship plain and simple, of the variety of “whatever my opponent supports is odious to me—even that of breathing air.” The Neo-Con circles are no more authentic representatives of Objectivism than they are of Christianity.  These labels are donned as smokescreens for greed and domination of the worst kind, embodied by those in both major parties.  I do not happen to subscribe to Objectivism, but there is nothing that I hate worse than volitional ignorance and lazy scholarship, especially for the sake of furtherance of partisan politics.   Shame upon you, Frisbeetarian, and shame on the lemmings who have sought out their proverbial lynching ropes based on a cursory and shallow comprehension of Rand. All of you are why there are so many Neo-Cons in power.

  •  No wonder Johnny had to keep swatting... (0+ / 0-) flies.  That's what happens when you book Beelzebub as a guest.

  •  nature (0+ / 0-)

    A complete misunderstanding of nature, both of animals and of humans. I guess you could feel sorry for someone who believes they don't need other people.

  •  She may have been wrong on a number of topics, ... (0+ / 0-)

    She may have been wrong on a number of topics, but she was right about the Vietnam War and that it is immoral to compel another into war without their consent and that everyone who can, should be productive.

  •  Comedy (0+ / 0-)

    My tenant read 'Atlas Shrugged' as a comedic novel. Best use of it yet,

  •  Just imagine had she reproduced.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ayn Rand is valuable if only for the absolute demonstration she provides that all women should NOT be mothers.  Her entire "philosophy" is predicated on the denial of the dependence of all human beings on others-- at the very least, whoever fed and diapered them until they were old enough to fend for themselves.

    It's hardly new, though-- people have been trying to "prove" how all morality REALLY boils down to self-interest for a long time.  Hobbes thought he'd proved it so neatly with his "enlightened self interest" argument from the hypothetical amoral "state of nature", but his argument that being morally good is really just a better, more efficient  way of looking out for number one has a hole in it you can sail a battleship through.  People who think that basic moral tenets like "don't hurt innocents" NEED to be "rationally justified" creep me out-- the proper thing to do seems to me to be to GET AWAY from them, not argue with them.

  •  Rand (0+ / 0-)

    A careful listening of this interview is not much like Rand philosophy is presented in the media.  Making decisions based on science and reason is certainly nothing like Ryan or any GOP politician adheres to in today's world. Of course getting rid of religion doesn't fit with their world view either as they use it to con misinformed people into voting for them.  Her objectivism as applied to capitalism is not quite like their interpretation either. Yes, it's selfish in part but it does not exclude a certain morality of reasonable cooperation being possible.  How she managed to associate with only smart, reasonable, educated people is beyond me which makes her interpretation of objectivism somewhat limited.  Recent scientific advances in social psychology made by the great ant researcher, E.O.Wilson, have added a new dimension to the value of cooperation for the enhancement of personal survival, in a very objective way which she would probably agree with.
    People seem to take from others the part that suits them rather than see the big picture as to what  it is "objectively" .

  •  GOP & Ayn (0+ / 0-)

    This is a dated post and an even more dated interview - a few thoughts. 1. Don't you wish this was the way "thinkers" are interviewed on late night TV rather than coming on and playing bad saxaphone. 2. So many of the GOP accept her philosophy on economics while ignoring her devout atheism. 3. The most important point this woman makes that IS defining the GOP is the idea that self-sacrifice for your fellow man is contrary to the good of man. What I heard from her is this. Only a self-centered me first moral compass shows the way to true North. in other words to sacrifice for your brother is counter productive to society.
    This woman is expressing the philosophy of the GOP platform. My take - we need to go back to "e pluribus unum" because that this the motto, the guiding idea that saw us through our darkest days. "In God We Trust" is a terrific ideal to follow personally but in a land of religious freedom "e pluribus unum" should be brought back as our guiding principle. "In God We Trust" has done nothing but to divide over religious differences, including different factions of those who espouse a Christian philosophy.

    Dream things that never were and ask "Why not"

    by Barry C aka Casey on Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 06:34:53 AM PDT

  •  I read Atlas Shrugged, once in 80's and again 90's (0+ / 0-)

    What I liked during that time was the courage and the individuality of the star characters.  Their belief in themselves and their ability to be creative.
    Now as I have grown older I see what is missing in her writing, spirituality.  There is no idea of, "we are all in this together".  For her it was every man for himself.
    I once saw her husband on a talk show after she had passed away.  He told a story of her affair with the husband of her best friend.  It was an interesting story which spoke of her humanness and struggle with herself.

    I think her writings brought much food for thought and still do.  It is interesting that if you subscribed to her newsletter, THE OBJECTIVIST, you were on the governments subversive list.
    To imagine me on that list gives me a chuckle every time I think of it.

  •  She's wrong in the second video (0+ / 0-)

    She says, "America cannot go statist".  America is statist right now!

  •  USMC vs Objectivism (0+ / 0-)

    I'd LOVE to know what Ed Mahon, former Marine Corps Colonel, thinks of Objectivism !

  •  Ayne Rand's Logical Error (0+ / 0-)

    One can forgive her ignorance of how early children display a sense of fairness (or irritation with unfairness) because that research had not yet been done. But her "rational" logic does not hold water if you play it out over time. As individuals acquire wealth (and land) and pass it on to their children, which they are likely to do in her "moral" scenario, other individuals and their offspring have less and less opportunity to even survive. The whole idea of laissez faire capitalism collapses within a a generation or two because only those whose families that have accumulated the land and wealth have the opportunity to "follow" their conscience. Everyone else bcome serfs supporting the whims and further opportunity of their masters.

    Even Adam Smith recognized the fallacy of her logic when he said that the biggest threat to capitalism is the capitalists themselves because they will do everything in their power not to have to compete.

    The founding fathers at the Constitutional Convention also recognized the same fallacy as much of their discussion was around how to build a democratic system that would keep the rich from using their wealth to manipulate the power structure. This, by the way, was what the Boston Tea Party was all about, the wealthy British merchants used their wealth to reduce the taxes they paid on their goods and shifted the tax burden to the American colonist merchants. It was not about not paying taxes. It was about fair taxes. Sounds a lot like today.

  •  For a belief system to be workable... (0+ / 0-)

    It must not contain any fatal flaws which would render it unworkable.  Once I find the fatal flaw,  I stop reading.  Because,  reading further would be like having a locomotive with no engine,  then harnessing mules to pull it.  Why waste the energy and time,  trying to move a worthless locomotive?  Just unload the freight and have those mules pull it on wagons.

    Once she starts with "each man's own morals" she's done and finished!  Go see what happened when Henry Ford "over paid" his workers,  then see what happened when Westinghouse treated his workers fairly.  But note that despite the effectiveness of these known principles,  most employers went the other way.  

    People seeking work have very little leverage,  they need work because they have dreams that will go unfulfilled and the reality of debts,  bills and survival,  of themselves and their families,  all of which rob them of negotiating power, and leaves them prey to the "advanced capitalist" who seeks to purchase their labor at the lowest possible cost.

    In days gone by,  that left millions of people working at below and often bare subsistence wages,  working families knowing only the grinding poverty of destitution and privation.  It hampered the nation and was a continuing source of dangerous discontent,  thus,  some wise statesmen sought to ameliorate it by using the powers of state to create a minimum wage.  A wage,  such that no person holding a job,  would either need or be eligible for public assistance.  

    Today,  we have people working hard at jobs,  but paid so little they qualify for the same public assistance,  that only went to those who,  for various reasons,  could not work.  If people who do not work and live on public assistance are "parasites",  then workers who do not get paid enough,  to be ineligible for public assistance are "parasites" as well?!  Who would have thought that might ever be the case in these United States?!  

    Where was the "morality" in,  the legislative weakening of  the S&L industry,  so that it could be taken over and plundered for the life savings of the middle classes?    

    Where is the morality of leaving the middle class,  without a safe haven for their savings,  forcing them to hazard their hard earned dollars in the risky stock market,  as their only hedge against inflation?  Each time the market takes a dive,  as it must do regularly,  millions of people will lose their retirement savings,  with no time left for them, to wait for the expected recovery to ensue.  Ensuring that a great number of workers,  through no fault of their own,  will spend their last days in poverty.

    In short,  the gov't has decided that the mules will pull the locomotive that doesn't work,  instead of simply transporting the goods, itself,  to market,  where the people can get them in a timely fashion.  That kind of thinking is caused by a severe lack of statesmen in high gov't offices.

  •  worse than l ron hubbard (0+ / 0-)

    This may be the worst most evil person next to hitler and those like him. This is a perfect example of a phony, ignorant pseudo-intellectual.  She has all the outwardly visible affectations of intelligence but that is it.  She is one of the greatest frauds in history convincing people of her great non-existent intellect. She is an idiot. The same goes for alan greenspan.

    It is amazing how the conservatives, religious zealots, and other crazies follow this idiot. Have the cultists like that fool paul ryan noticed:

    1) she is anti-god
    2) she is anti-religion
    3) she is anti-family and maybe anti-parents

    She clearly states that all religious people are fools and had to be practically forced to admit some of the may have intelligence.

    She clearly believes that capitalism is a form of government instead of an ECONOMIC THEORY just like marxism or communism. She foolishly states that the only right form of capitalism is the kind responsible for The Great Depression of the 30s. Keep in mind that our current is yet another example of this kind of anti-regulation, anti-oversight, anything goes capitalism. It also made a guest appearance in the financial problems of 80s.

    No wonders those of hero worship this idiot are themselves selfish, ignorant, pseudo-intellectual idiots.

    Can you imagine living in a ayn rand utopia?  It would probably last a few days before imploding.

    I don't like book banning but in this case anything ayn rand should be burned.

  •  Ayn Rand/Johnny Carson interview (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks to KOS for those fascinating Ayn Rand /JohnnyCarson interviews; but come now, calling her an "evil woman!"  But then, name calling is so easy compared to explaining how and why one agrees or disagrees with another's idea(s.)

    For example, I consider Ayn Rand to be one of the most fascinating authors I have ever read; however, I think she has made mistakes.  For example, is reason the only means of man's knowledge.  One may say that probably there is no such thing as ESP.  As long as you don't remove the word "probably" from that sentence, I think you are being reasonable.

  •  Big mystery (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    costello7, stowe

    Rand's "philosophy" is so idiotic, the big mystery is how she ever got anyone to take her seriously? Anyone over the age of 15, that is.

    I read her "Atlas Shrugged" in my late 20s and thought it was one of the worst books I ever read. I re-read it again in my early 50s and thought it was one of the worst books I ever read.

    Her "Objectivism" is moronic drivel. For the most part it's basically: "I've got mine, fuck the rest of you!

    Free, unregulated, unencumbered capitalism is not the path to liberty for most people, on the contrary, it is the path to fascism for the majority and concentrated wealth and power for a tiny minority.

  •  I listened to this interview earlier, it seemed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    almost sane in some ways.  Then, a few minutes ago,  I listened to this gentlemen give a TED talk about 13 minutes long.  Now I understand that Ayn Rand was completely insane.  

    Who provided food for Rand?  I don't see her surviving on her own in any way, shape, or form.  She probably developed a anti-society complex young, while under the Soviet system and that disgust was projected onto any form of community whatsoever.  She fails to acknowledge or maybe doesn't see our interconnected nature with the earth, the animal world, and ourselves.

  •  Ayn Rand (0+ / 0-)

    She wrote a few books and claimed to be self reliant while existing in the very society she felt contempt towards.  I've never been required to read any of works, fortunately, so I can't speak to her motivation, possibly she was very lonely.  When her time came she applied for Social Security seemingly ignorant of the implications.  Paul Rand does base his life on what she expounded, so he does want to destroy Social Security for all Americans.  Rand's arrogance shows through as a Tea Party Republican.

  •  A few critiques of mine. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    1.)  She said that values can and properly are derived from rationalism.  I don't think this is possible.  After abandoning my religion, I searched for just such reasons and had to conclude they don't exist.  Reason is for deciding how to live according to some tabula rasa value system, how to choose between conflicting values and how to achieve the aims that follow ones choice of values.  But the choice to adopt some overarching value system over another is irrational.  Religion is one such method, but not the only one.

    2.)  The evidence I have seen so far is that children are born with a degree of altruism.  So are some animals.  Of course, they also follow selfish impulses.  The 2 are in conflict in many cases, and we don't seem to outgrow this conflict.  Perhaps that is possible, but if it is, then I haven't seen it.  It seems more likely that we will always be presented, in our private and public lives alike, with the challenges of living with both.  Some comprise is usually a necessity.  Living an 'uncompromising' existence is possible, I suppose, but it seems to me that such people always are ignoring big chunks of the social reality all around them.  Rand seems to believe in an uncompromised rational self-determination.  I see this as a weakness, not a virtue.  

    3.)   Like Rand, I'm not impressed with self-sacrifice as an ideal.  Terrible things are done by self-sacrificing people.  Such people can sacrifice themselves in the cause of a great evil, according to their own morals as well as those of others.  Self-sacrificing fanatics are the most destructive of all.  We've all seen examples of this in world history, especially during wartime.  But a person can love another to the point of willingness to sacrifice for that other person.  This goes beyond what is known as the elective affinities of like minded people.

    4.)   I would argue that capitalism, understood properly, is just the opposite of what she describes.  It objectifies people in the same sense as pornography objectifies the women and men it portrays.  She might praise such an arrangement, but it seems to me that capitalism itself is a form of collectivism, which she abhors, because it imposes itself on labor, who really have limited options in many cases.  For one thing, labor is always in surplus.  When left to its own devices, capitalism always ensures that this is the case, if it can (by increasing productivity, constricting the money supply to limit the demand for labor, etc.).

      Capitalism, like any social institution, requires a culture that nurtures and protects it ideologically.  It creates values that legitimize capitalism, in other words.  When you examine our culture critically, I think you will find instances where religion demeans people and the power of individual people through their labor to create value and lives.  As she points out correctly, religion is often the source of such cultural beliefs.  What she seems to miss is that religious teaching serves the needs of capitalist subjugation of some individuals.

     Also, the accumulation of appropriated wealth by the few creates political as well as economic inequality.  We can see this at work today in the US.  I don't have to rail against the power of wealth in the American 'semi-free' society, as she would call it.  This process is not an anomaly.  It is the natural consequence of unfettered capitalism.  The New Deal era, which has only recently ended (In the Reagan days, I would say.) served to restrain capitalism and offset its predatory character somewhat.  We can see the result today, and we can expect more of the same in the near future, unless an intervening force serves the same function as the New Deal.  Alan Greenspan, a former Randian, was forced to admit that her philosophy applied to the capitalist system was a failure after the collapse of that system in 2008, only to be rescued by government intervention.  

    •  Responses. (0+ / 0-)

      (1) You don't believe in the Golden Rule, then? It is NOT unique to Christianity, and has been stated in similar (and saner) forms by other people, such as Confucius (to name one example).

      (4) She's referring to the people who run the company, not who work for it.

      Defeat the Washington Machine: Vote Against Rand Paul

      by Proginoskes on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 02:52:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  why is she considered an "intellectual"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She was just a hypocritical, selfish dolt who, in the end, complained that the government was not doing enough for her.

    "Religion and government will BOTH exist in greater purity the LESS they are mixed together", James Madison, the father of the Constitution, from a letter to Edward Livingston, available FREE on the net.

    by matador on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 09:07:45 AM PDT

  •  Stop the world! I want to get off. (0+ / 0-)

    She is fucking scary.

    Trina L.C. Sonnenberg: Author Work is not work when you love what you do.

    by tlcpro on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 09:26:47 AM PDT

  •  Proof that fascism is capitalism's evil little ... (0+ / 0-)

    Proof that fascism is capitalism's evil little brother....


    WHY are we being bothered by this three year old post ?

  •  Ayn Rand insane (0+ / 0-)

    This model of the corporate world was a mental case, a sociopath without a conscience admired by every republican and corporate exec.  

  •  Atlas Shrugged 2: One Hour Later (0+ / 0-)

    as presented by Stephen Notley:

    Defeat the Washington Machine: Vote Against Rand Paul

    by Proginoskes on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 02:54:07 PM PDT

  •  Well, as to her war ideas -- I agree (0+ / 0-)

    Her attributing moral authority to a philosopher who can "prove" his theory is ridiculous. Who can "prove" morality? As if morality is a rationale concept with no emotion behind it.

    But, her view that no individual has the right to take another human being's life -- that I completely agree with.

    Romney's whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. -- David Stockman.

    by CupofTea on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 05:32:58 PM PDT

  •  book (0+ / 0-)

    I could admit to being egotistical. Also spendy. Anti-social. A believer in doing good. Disassociated. Uninspired by others. Rejected. Spiteful. A fellow pusher of buttons. Disliking of offensive humor. Offended by ignorance and stupidity just as well. A loner. Typical even. But Not republican by today's standards.

    I recommend the art of fiction written by Ayn rand.

    We have it easy out here. I can only complain about the past like everyone else. And a bad back.

    Can't ever say drinking was a good idea.

    Also I haven't read fountainhead or atlas shrugged but I wouldn't mind it. I tend to have a gullible awe with people sometimes. I'm sure I'd appreciate her more than the horror swill out there. Definitely among a weird bunch we are. Then of course I'm reminded of my favorite Parker Posey line: I'm. Gonna. Lop. His. Dick off. Like a chicken head. Courtesy of Doom Generation.

    Snark just wants a friend. POW!!!!

    by RKiddo on Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 08:58:05 PM PDT

  •  The Art of Selfishness (0+ / 0-)

    a book i started decades ago; similar cynical philosophy. The thing i remember most vividly is author's claim everyone (in business, at least) is selfish, but the guy who you have to look out for is the self-proclaimed "Christian," because he's a liar & will screw you over every time; whereas you know anyone else is & will, & can meet them on a level playing field.

    Jack Ryan probably liked that Ayn Rand was anti-communist, and so tolerated that she was an atheist.

  •  She ain't got no heart (0+ / 0-)

    If this woman has a heart it must be as dead as dick cheney's.

  •  She sounds like the mother of Count Dracula, an... (0+ / 0-)

    She sounds like the mother of Count Dracula, and the philosophy she espouses is that which the Count followed in his "life." By the way, was she an American citizen? Could we see her naturalization papers, if she was in fact a citizen? This is the "mother" of the belief system which forms the basis of the Paul family's political philosophy? Give me a fucking break!

  •  Selfishness (0+ / 0-)

    Rational self-interest, is not identical with selfishness.  The way she used the word selfish, is not the way most people understand that word.

    You don't do yourself any service, by boiling her philosophy down to one misunderstood point.

  •  Ayn Rand and Eric Cantor (0+ / 0-)

    Why hasn't the media provided follow-up coverage on the upstart, David Brat (whose last name truly describes the typical Ayn Rand devotee, a post-pubescent teen, the most ego-maniacal member of our culture) who unseated Cantor in a true upset? He was hired by Randolph-Macon in Virginia and  his Democratic opponent is a fellow professor there.  Brat is chairman of the Economics Dept. and his Ayn Rand adherence, known for years, was rewarded by Allison, the BBT chairman, who doles out grants of from 50k to 200K to universities who will teach his view of "free-market capitalism" with "Atlas Shrugged" a required read in the curriculum.  Some universities oppose this manipulation, that money can influence what is taught, but the Tea Party that supported Brat believes in just that and Randolph-Macon is now known that it can be bought.  Obviously, Brat is keeping a low profile.  But Ayn Rand's "rehabilitation" must end.  The Johnny Carson videos reveal as nothing else quite could how malicious this woman was, relentless in her pursuit of selfishness.  Rand Paul shares these views, learned at his father's knee.  Cruz would like to but I suspect he can't wade through "Shrugged's" zillion pages.  

  •  Get SERIOUS! (0+ / 0-)

    This "Frisbeetarian" must be some sort of screwed up nutcase!  First, the comment is that  "every comment she makes is a new ad for the Obama campaign," when everything that Obama has done is for others, exactly the opposite of Ayn Rand's selfishness, and THEN, comments something like the fact that Paul Ryan idolizes her.  It's the selfishness so obvious in the greedy Teapublican Mess that uses Ayn Rand's philosophy to the max!  It sounds as if the writer doesn't really understand Ayn Rand, OR President Obama, AT ALL!

  •  Yes...let's make this go Viral. The problem is (0+ / 0-)

    most people out there who do vote, they will not realize what the hell she is trying to state.  

  •  John Hodgman channeling Ayn Rand (0+ / 0-)

    I encourage you to see John Hodgman's channeling of Ayn Rand in his stand-up act, right down to the plain blue dress. It is a much more entertaining summary of her bizarre beliefs, some unexpected takes on her time at Parade magazine, and some information on her strongly pro-choice position on abortion that should make her groupies in the Republican party cringe. So much for ideological consistency in the tea party.

  •  When selfishness triumps over community (0+ / 0-)

    Ayn Rand with out a doubt is the biggest self serving hypocrite in Russian - American history. A daughter of a middle -upperclass  Russian.The subsequent October Revolution and the rule of the Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin disrupted the life the family had previously enjoyed. Her father’s business was confiscated and the family displaced. Her real name was Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum. Her history reads as privileged, and above the masses and poverty of her fellow Russian citizens. She worshipped the dollar and at her grave was a wreath in the shape of a dollar sign. She never got it, that to be an a American; community is real richness of American Life. She is revered as a near god by many republicans, who also believe Abraham Lincoln would approve of her philosophy. In truth, she and President Lincoln are light years apart, in believing of the equality of man.

  •  WORSHIP WHAT GOD? (0+ / 0-)


  •  "Rand" (0+ / 0-)

    Ayn Rand -- Rand Paul...


  •  Ayn Rand (0+ / 0-)

    I read Atlas Shrugged many years ago when I was very young. I found it a compelling story and I saw that it held just enough of a grain of truth as to cause some harm. But even at 19, I could see the wide swath of denial and fiction. She was anti-Christian but not nearly as powerful people believe. Her fans sort of try to make it so.Not really even as compelling an author as seen by followers. She suffered through the Russian Revolution. She was addicted to amphetamines prescribed by a doctor for depression. She was a hypocrite, taking Social Security and Medical under her married name so her fans wouldn't find out. Her philosophy was a very perverse version of a study under Gurdjieff and Ospensky. She was troubled and her attempt to apply it politically is dismal. She sexually harassed her employees. She was a mess, yeah. Paul Ryan is a mess as well. The Neo-cons are pretty awful, but to be fair to the book she would have hated those guys for "selling out to money" as (if you read the book) corporate malfeasance was as much a blight to her vision of excellence as was government assistance. Her glaring flaws was that the aspiration for excellence was innate in every entrepreneur. Silly silly girl

  •  How long has this piece of garbage (0+ / 0-)

    get to capture our attention?

  •  I used to be a big Ayn Rand fan (0+ / 0-)

    and a Libertarian Party member ... when I was 18 (a long, long time ago, FYI). I read all her books. Watching these videos today, I recall how her philosophy of rational selfishness meshed well with the mindset of late adolescence, that feeling of independence and rebelliousness that comes with being 18, having new rights that mom and dad can't take away, seeing everything so "clearly" for the first time, etc. And watching the videos made me realize how internally consistent her philosophy actually is.

    But it is only internally consistent because it ignores everything outside itself, i.e. reality. Fortunately I realized that by my early 20s. What turned me off was her argument for privatizing fire and police services because the free market would rationally determine which fires to put out, which crimes to fight. That was when I started to understand just how disconnected and, frankly, dangerous her ideas really were. That was when I left the Libertarian Party too.

  •  Ayn Rand got it wrong (0+ / 0-)

    For an in-depth analysis of why, read "Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health," by L. Ron Hubbard.  Hubbard got it right.

  •  Why do you keep distributing Ayn Rand Propaganda? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't get it. This has been up every day for days now. It would be one thing if Johnny had said anything that showed what an evil world we would have if her philosophy were implemented. But all this does is give her a platform to distribute her diabolical philosophy. I don't think there are many in the audience of this site that aren't aware of who Ayn Rand is and the basics of her beliefs. Summed up, it is capitalism is incompatible with altruism. In a nutshell, the world should not have any regulations whatsoever and it should be every man for himself. And you are promoting that. I don't get it.

  •  How many here actually listened to the 2nd video? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Z

    Frisbeetarian writes: "every comment she makes is a new ad for the Obama campaign". Really? Maybe on the first video, where Ayn Rand struggles to explain her philosophy in practical terms. I'd say that Johnny did a pretty good job showing its shortcomings just by letting her talk.

    But in the second video, which is mostly about foreign policy, Rand is breathtakingly prescient. Let's see: end the draft and shift to an all-volunteer military; defeat Russia through setting a better example; learn to co-exist with China; eschew wars of aggression, which are immoral. What's there for a liberal not to like?

    I'd say, if anything, most of what she says on the 2nd video would be pretty consistent with Obama's (much-maligned-by-Republicans) foreign policy.

    Oh, and she was not shy to declare herself an atheist. How many people who in their heart of hearts are atheist but fear stating that conviction publicly?

  •  Reason is Powerful, But You Have to Use It (0+ / 0-)

    Ayn starts out by asserting that reason is the only basis for human interaction, an arguable assertion.  Then she immediately skips to asserting the primacy of self-interest without any indication how this is derived by reason.

    The success of simple selfish behavior was logically debunked decades ago, theoretically by mathematicians' discovery of the Prisoner's Dilemma and experimentally by evolutionary biologists' genetic studies.  Self-interest is certainly a factor to consider, but it's almost never as simple, or divorced from altruism, as Ayn Rand assumes.

    Let's exalt reason by all means, but first do the math (and the biology).

  •  Ayn Rand has some excellent insights (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ron Steenblik, DaleValites

    First, I do not defend everything about Ayn Rand.  For example, her reported worship of Duane Hickman.  I do not accept that claim.  I do accept that she was modeling a fictional character on Hickman, but she did call Hickman a "purposeless monster".  Her point seems to have been totally missed.

    Second, I consider myself to be Progressive and probably well to the left of most US citizens.  However, I also believe in individual choice and individual responsibility.  I temper that with the knowledge that "I am my brother's keeper" and "we are all in this together."

    There were some gems to be gained from this interview as well.  Rand's stand against the Vietnam war in 1967 and her stand against conscription are important.

    I enjoyed Rand's novels.  I got something quite different out of them than most people claim to have read.  She set up a dysfunctional government that was run by incompetents (kind of like the Republican Party actually) and showed that such a government would eventually destroy the American Economy.  (Duh!)  

    Her proposed solution though of "creative men" abandoning society and reorganizing in some remote mountain location in Colorado never did make sense to me.  Unless, of course, the idea was to organize society in a more egalitarian way.  

    I get the impression that most people think Rand's support of "the productive members of society" means that she felt everyone else was nothing and nobody.  I did not get that.  She discussed several characters who were engaged in "noble and productive" work but were not members of her "elite" that abandoned everyone else.

    What I got out of this was that we have to be careful who we choose as leaders.  (Duh!)

    On the "Virtue of Selfishness" I disagree with Hitchens, some people do need to examine where they stand.  How many Republican Suckers do you know who insist that the bankers "earned" their place in life?  I cannot imagine someone with only an ounce of self-respect parroting such drivel.  These Republican Suckers need a heavy dose on why it is OK to care about yourself.

    This does not at all mean that you care about yourself to the complete exclusion of others.  If we want to "all get along", we have to know where the boundaries are.  We have to have enough self-respect to stand up to the bullies who demean us (anyone been to Church lately?), but we also have to have empathy for the guy next door who is just pissing you off for no goddamn reason.

    Bottom line for me, yes, the philosophy the Republican Party attributes to Ayn Rand is loathsome and we should stand against it.  But at the same time, those who attack Rand indiscriminately are making a mistake by attacking the voters self-esteem.

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