All those liberals out there and their cohorts in the fantasy army of socialists who the right wing says are scheming to tranform America into Sweden should not be surprised that Ayn Rand, the goddess of libertarianism, is making a huge comeback. Rand’s two major works, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, have always been popular books, but these days, amidst all the hysteria from the right, her works are selling over 500,000 copies a year. There is, believe it or not, talk about a movie about her life starring, again believe it or not, the South African beauty Charlize Theron.
For the last ten years or so libertarianism has been creeping up in popularity in American politics as the right and their allies in the corporate world and Wall Street have convinced themselves that not only is greed good, but the epitome of high morality. Of course that means that government intervention and regulation, taxation and the ultimate devil, redistribution of taxpayer money to those at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder, are evil and the height of immorality.
The creed advocated by Rand has now become the mantra of those in America who believe that Obama and his leftist supporters are not only ruining this economy, but are destroying America and its ethic of individualism, self-sufficiency and personal responsibility. The Randites could care less about programs to foster upward mobility or fight social injustice. Quite simply, the Randite view is that if you are facing tough times, well that’s your problem, don’t whine or expect any kind of help.
It is impossible to reason with the libertarians and the devotees of Ayn Rand about the Declaration of Independence reference to ” all men are created equal” or the Preamble to the Constitution’s mission statement about ” providing for the general welfare ” or the 14th Amendments call for “equal protection of the laws.” It is equally fruitless to talk about altruism, the common good, humanitarianism or the Christian moral view contained in the beautitudes or Christ’s call to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” To the Randites it is all about them, all about their money, all about the evil of government and the goodness of their cause.
It is so easy to see that if this country ever adopted the Atlas Shrugged doctrine that we would live in economic chaos, constant social unrest, and a sad state of evil as we consciously and selfishly ignored the human problems and possibilities around us. Despite its growing popularity, the libertarianism of the followers of Ayn Rand, is not only immoral, it is downright crazy.