Hypocrisy Shrugged

If you're not familiar with Ayn Rand, you should be. I enjoyed reading her book, the Fountainhead, a delightful piece of fiction about an architect whose life extolled the virtues of individualism and rejected the restrictions of "statism" and any form of government interference which might inhibit the goals of an individual. A few years later I moved on to her "opus" Atlas Shrugged which was a pretentious and tedious effort at defining a new philosphy of Objectivism, which promoted the "ethics" of egoism and rejecting altruism. Yes, Jesus would have issues with her, and not just because of the nearly 100 page nauseatingly repetitive monologue her protagonist, John Galt, delivers toward the end of the book. That's where the book just became too much to finish. The story got lost and the philosophy was weak, illogical, unsupported, and heartless.

She has had a disproportionate amount of influence among conservatives, whether its her acolyte Alan Greenspan or Congressman Paul Ryan, the architect of Republican efforts to dismantle New Deal legislation. Needless to say she's beloved by libertarians and she's become something of a darling among tea baggers, the ones who can read better than they spell. From time to time, you'll see a reference to someone "going Galt" which is the pretension that what you have to offer the world is so important and valuable that you'll punish the world by withholding it. That was a rallying cry from banksters on Wall Street which ironically was occurring while government was in the process of bailing them out.

As it turns out, Ayn didn't walk the walk either.

A heavy smoker who refused to believe that smoking causes cancer brings to mind those today who are equally certain there is no such thing as global warming. Unfortunately, Miss Rand was a fatal victim of lung cancer.

However, it was revealed in the recent "Oral History of Ayn Rand" by Scott McConnell (founder of the media department at the Ayn Rand Institute) that in the end Ayn was a [hypocrite] as well. An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand's law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand's behalf she secured Rand's Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O'Connor (husband Frank O'Connor).

As Pryor said, "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out" without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn "despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently... She didn't feel that an individual should take help."

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If Only They Knew

If her followers, who believed she eschewed all things government, knew this when they were busy idolizing her...do you think her shining star would be tarnished just a bit?

After all, Teapublicans are famous for their cognitive dissonance.

...searching for the truth...