Monday, November 14, 2011

Shrugging at "Atlas Shrugged"

When you read "Atlas Shrugged" at the age of 16 or 17 to rebel against your parents or your Berkeley-educated teacher, that's one thing. When you are in your 30's or older and live your life by it, that doesn't make you counter-counter-culture any more, it makes you a sociopathic douchebag.

Self-interest to some extent is normal and healthy. Of course you're going to look after yourself to make sure you stay financially stable and ensure that you aren't being taken advantage of. Normal and mature self-interest dictates that you take care of yourself, so that you can take care of others.

However, the self-interest of Ayn Rand goes beyond self-preservation and headlong into the pit of narcissism and greed. It doesn't say "I'll help you so one day maybe you can help me". Instead it says "Fuck you, I got mine." It doesn't say "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" as Jesus said in the Bible. Instead it says "Do unto others before they do unto you." It is an unhealthy atheistic nihilism which dictates that the ends justify the means and that he who dies with the most toys wins. It teaches that there is no moral code which binds us as species to look out for the less fortunate and that crawling to the top on the backs of others is ok.

I suppose if you are a complete nihilist which believes in no higher power, authority or any responsibility to those you use on your way through this life, maybe "Atlas Shrugged" is your thing. Yet, you cannot call yourself a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim or a member of any other religion without acknowledging that you are ignoring the teachings of that religion by being an ego-centric prick. Man is not an island. We weren't predestined to start making "good choices" and working hard at the age of 3, we had help along the way. Nobody got to where they are today without a little help from the right people at the right time. There's many people who worked hard for decades, only to see their jobs shipped overseas or people like myself who worked hard and did the right thing, only to have it come back to bite them in the ass.

Remember how I said in a previous article that the "Anti-Christ was already here"? Well, that entity is here but it isn't a person, it is an idea. It is the perception of the vast majority of the public that they are number one, that they are the most important entity in the universe. It is the belief that the individual is responsible to no one and fucking over other people is OK if that is what it takes to survive.

Personally, I would prefer to shuffle off this mortal coil with a clear conscience and poor, surrounded by people who love me than to die rich and alone. I hope I am not the only one.


  1. You aren't alone, but we are a minority, I'm afraid.

  2. Wonderful! Thank you for putting this into words!

  3. Ayn Rand did nothing but repackage the "wealthy aristocrat-poor peasant" dynamic in Tsarist Russia. The idea was that aristocrats somehow deserved their excellent circumstances due to personal traits such as education, character, love of the land, and an understanding of fair and legal business transactions, while the peasants were simple, huddling masses, giving in to their baser human instincts and they needed strict supervision and strict control, or else they'll rob, kill, gallivant etc. The aristocrats' self interest was an orderly society where they could lord it over in peace over their fast holdings. The peasants' self interest was chaos since it meant less work and the ability to plunder to fill one's belly. She packaged the whole thing with a sprinkling of American self-determinism and called rational self-interest. How pathetic and yet how interesting it caught on.