Midway through my last (semi-first) blog, I realized something dire: I talk about Ayn Rand a lot. People who had read my blog mentioned this to me the day after I posted it, helping to reaffirm this thought. These people then asked me, “Who is Ayn Rand and why do you seem to hate her?” In light of this, I am going to do something that both terrifies and excites me: a brief history of Ayn Rand.
Ayn Rand was born in the USSR 1905, February 2. I have to mention this date because I was born February 2, and when I learned that she shared my birthday I knew that the feelings I had for her weren’t simply mere dislike — she was my mother fucking nemesis. When she was younger, she decided to leave the USSR (I didn’t think you could just, like, get on a train and book it, even then, but apparently you could). Reports say as she left she yelled, “I am going to become famous!” I find it more likely, though, that she really said, “Na-na-na-na-na, I’m better than you, and I hope you communists all starve.” Because she was one classy bitch.
She then moved to LA, but the fact she was born in the USSR is incredibly important to keep in mind because Ayn Rand hated that country. Like, she fucking despised it. She thought that communists were going to destroy the entire planet. She took this hatred to such an extreme that everything she proceeded to write was — quite truthfully — about why she thought communism was awful. Ayn Rand’s hatred was so ardent that she created an entire philosophy called Objectivism — a philosophy that claimed, as you can guess by its name, that there was one truth, and that truth was pretty simply that communism is shitty.
The best example of this is one of her shorter works, Anthem , which is about a society wherein communism has led to people losing all traces of individuality, with singular pronouns like I.
So in her fear she invented the Borg.
For me, what’s the most helpful thing to remember is that Ayn Rand’s works were indeed largely about fear. She constantly portrayed communism in a way that was even more radical than an already radical philosophy because she was so terrified by it — because the USSR and Stalin weren’t scary enough, we had to add people becoming robots to it! And so, instead of communism being a form of government that didn’t necessarily work but you could say, “At least it was altruistic in theory,” it became one where every scrap of individuality stopped, and the altruism was the cause of the problems, not the redeeming quality.
Ayn Rand’s fears of communism became a fear of sharing anything with anyone, and so Objectivism became not only a philosophy about the end to communism; it became a philosophy about extreme forms of commercialism. Because nothing says “objectivity” like responding to a radical form of government with an equally radical form of government, amIright?
Ayn Rand’s intense love of herself is reflected in her books and her quotes. In her works, arrogance is actually considered a virtue, and is quoted with saying, “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.” Yep, she’s a keeper. But that’s not all she says about virtue: “Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.” Wee! I feel like I should make a joke here but… So much anger! Greg… Hulk… Greg Hulk smash!
I could find more quotes, but I think you get the point. I also could talk about how she thinks women should be submissive to men, or how she thinks homosexuality is disgusting, but I won’t. I also apologize that this isn’t funny! It’s difficult to deal with something humorously when you despise them.