Saturday, March 14, 2009

True Believers


For years, it has been chic to snicker at Rand. She's not a good writer. Few grownups take her seriously. Every time her philosophy comes close to being realized, disaster strikes. But her books and philosophy remain seductive to a certain mentality, and that mentality will not go away because it's the object of a little snickering, and it sure won't go away because reality turns out differently than their philosophy predicts it will, any more than followers of one of those crazy cults throw in the towel when, despite predictions to the contrary, the earth continues to exist day after day after day, and no saviour returns amidst a thundering of trumpets and the apocalyptic crash of lightning to save the faithful.

As a semi-aside, Rush Limbaugh is a sort of Ayn Rand for Dummies. Both Limbaugh's listeners and Rand's followers are psychologically similar, and draw the same sorts of psychic nourishment from their oracle. Limbaugh's listeners are told they are morally superior to everyone else; Rand's followers are told they are morally and intellectually superior. The primary difference is Rand's followers tend to be smarter (they got that part right, at least), and so their pap isn't ground down into as fine a paste before they are fed with it.