Ayn Rand’s Ideal Man

1 comment May 5th, 2009at 11:44am Posted by Eli

This is dead creepy, but sure does explain an awful lot.  Here’s Ayn Rand describing her idea of a “real man”:

In her journal circa 1928 Rand quoted the statement, “What is good for me is right,” a credo attributed to a prominent figure of the day, William Edward Hickman. Her response was enthusiastic. “The best and strongest expression of a real man’s psychology I have heard,” she exulted….

At the time, she was planning a novel that was to be titled The Little Street, the projected hero of which was named Danny Renahan. According to Rand scholar Chris Matthew Sciabarra, she deliberately modeled Renahan – intended to be her first sketch of her ideal man – after this same William Edward Hickman. Renahan, she enthuses in another journal entry, “is born with a wonderful, free, light consciousness — [resulting from] the absolute lack of social instinct or herd feeling. He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people … Other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should.”

Now, as it happens, Hickman happened to be a guy who committed multiple armed robberies (killing at least one person in the process), and was finally caught after kidnapping, killing, and gruesomely mutilating a 12-year-old girl.  But even if one didn’t know who he was, or if he were a purely fictional construct, the fact remains that Rand describes her ideal man as a textbook sociopath.  Yes, I know her premise is that people can achieve and create great things when they’re not held back by concern for what others think, but in practice the people with that kind of absolute moral detachment simply take and cheat and destroy.

And this is the woman whose writings so many conservatives have based their ideology on.  It’s a terrifying thought, but it also explains their gleeful amorality – it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.  Any sense of right and wrong, or anything at all beyond naked self-interest, would simply hold them back from achieving their full potential.  And who wouldn’t want people like that in charge of our country?  I mean, look how well it worked out!

Heckuva job, Randie.

(h/t Phoenix Woman)

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans

1 Comment

  • 1. Edward Scheiderer  |  January 18th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Ayn Rand, from Heller and other’s recently discovered info, looks to be a high-functioning ADHDer.
    Her rejection of “the social instinct” or “the herd” could be because of her own evident autistic tendencies. Notice that rather than picturing “Man” as an animal evolution from the primate “troupe”, which would be more factual, she visualizes in terms of a “herd”; she also talked of “ant hills” in social relationships. Some of it was because of her social position as a Russian Jew, but also look at how she treated (and apparently viewed) her Chicago relatives when they helped her to emigrate from Russia to America. She did “lighten up” by eventually recognizing and adopting an American version of her European (Nietzschean) ideal man, but she never fully integrated the view, so she always had a residual deep premise concordant with her original view. Remember, Ayn Rand had trouble “thinking outside (her own) box”, so she periodically regressed to her primary premises: the Nietzschean ones. Part of her genius was that while her absorption of Aristotle tempered that view, made her “lighter” and more “American”, she still retained her childhood fundamentals and they were very anti-social.

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