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hat did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should," she wrote, gushing that Hickman had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people.'"
Hare states that: "Lacking in conscience and empathy, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse". He previously stated that: "What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony".
For politics, of course, arise, though the author of Atlas Shrugged stares stonily past them, as if this book were not what, in fact it is, essentially — a political book. And here begins mischief. Systems of philosophic materialism, so long as they merely circle outside this world's atmosphere, matter little to most of us. The trouble is that they keep coming down to earth. It is when a system of materialist ideas presumes to give positive answers to real problems of our real life that mischief starts. In a age like ours, in which a highly complex technological society is everywhere in a high state of instability, such answers however philosophic, translate quickly into political realities. And in the degree to which problems of complexity and instability are most bewildering to masses of men, a temptation sets in to let some species of Big Brother solve and supervise them.
One Big Brother is of course, a socializing elite (as we know, several cut-rate brands are on the shelves). Miss Rand, as the enemy of any socializing force, calls in a Big Brother of her own contriving to do battle with the other. In the name of free enterprise, therefore, she plumps for a technocratic elite (I find no more inclusive word than technocratic to bracket the industrial-financial-engineering caste she seems to have in mind). When she calls "productive achievement" man's "noblest activity," she means, almost exclusively, technological achievement, supervised by such a managerial political bureau. She might object that she means much, much more; and we can freely entertain her objections. But in sum, that is just what she means. For that is what, in reality, it works out to. And in reality, too, by contrast, with fiction, this can only head into a dictatorship, however benign, living and acting beyond good and evil, a law unto itself (as Miss Rand believes it should be), and feeling any restraint on itself as, in practice, criminal, and, in morals, vicious — as Miss Rand clearly feels it to be. Of course, Miss Rand nowhere calls for a dictatorship. I take her to be calling for an aristocracy of talents. We cannot labor here why, in the modern world, the pre-conditions for aristocracy, an organic growth, no longer exist, so that impulse toward aristocracy always emerges now in the form of dictatorship.
You know why? Because the "fittest" are those who know their fate is bound to that of their fellows. And the "lone wolves" who think its all about them are, quite frankly dysfunctional humans. They would be selected against in a heartbeat if only their more social peers would give them exactly what they think they want.
Originally posted by filosophia
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
So a book written in the 50's is responsible for our economic problems? I think that's taking it a bit too far. I may not know much about her personal life but nowhere in any of her books does it advocate a system of corporatism, in fact it opposes it on every level. If Ayn Rand disobeyed this in her personal life, not likely, it's still an exaggeration to say she is responsible for the economic collapse of 2008. That's just some recent notion that tries to desperately link Alan Greenspan to Ayn Rand's philosophy. Alan Greenspan claimed he was for sound money and then turned character, so he most likely lied.