So I was listening to the Thom Hartmann Show this morning in which he did a horrific segment on William Hickman, a cold blooded child murderer, whom Ayn Rand idolized. In her journal circa 1928, Ayn Rand quoted the statement, "What is good for me is right," a credo attributed to a prominent murderer, William Edward Hickman. "The best and strongest expression of a real man's psychology I have heard," she wrote.
In an article, http://www.michaelprescott.net/... Romancing the Stone Cold Blooded Killer, Michael Prescott gives a stomach churning terrifying account of William Hickman's kidnapping and killing of a twelve-year-old girl, Marian (sometimes Marion) Parker.
Warning, graphic description.
Hickman disappeared with Marian, and over the next few days Mr. and Mrs. Parker received a series of ransom notes. The notes were cruel and taunting and were sometimes signed "Death" or "Fate." The sum of $1,500 was demanded for the child's safe release. (Hickman needed this sum, he later claimed, because he wanted to go to Bible college!) The father raised the payment in gold certificates and delivered it to Hickman. As told by the article "Fate, Death and the Fox" in crimelibrary.com,
"At the rendezvous, Mr. Parker handed over the money to a young man who was waiting for him in a parked car. When Mr. Parker paid the ransom, he could see his daughter, Marion, sitting in the passenger seat next to the suspect. As soon as the money was exchanged, the suspect drove off with the victim still in the car. At the end of the street, Marion's corpse was dumped onto the pavement. She was dead. Her legs had been chopped off and her eyes had been wired open to appear as if she was still alive. Her internal organs had been cut out and pieces of her body were later found strewn all over the Los Angeles area."
In his essay, Mr. Prescott questions the sanity of someone who would idolize a sociopathic child killer.
It seems to me that Ayn Rand's uncritical admiration of a personality this twisted does not speak particularly well for her ability to judge and evaluate the heroic qualities in people. One might go so far as to say that anyone who sees William Edward Hickman as the epitome of a "real man" has some serious issues to work on, and perhaps should be less concerned with trying to convert the world to her point of view than in trying to repair her own damaged psyche. One might also point out that a person who "has no organ for understanding ... the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people" is what we today would call a sociopath.
Prescott's essay goes into further discussion of Any Rand's actual comments found in her journals--comments that lead you inside a mind of dark shadows, impossible mazes, circuitous rationalizations, and, ultimately I have come to the conclusion: the mind of an insane sociopath. What does that tell us about her influence on the conservative/libertarian world view?
I encourage you to read the entire piece, as Prescott presents many quotes and comments from AR which support his thesis that she continued --even later in life to believe from the bottom of her heart? soul? being-- that Hickman and those like him are to be admired. Prescott concludes thusly:
That Ayn Rand saw something heroic, brilliant, and romantic in this despicable creature is perhaps the single worst indictment of her that I have come across. It is enough to make me question not only her judgment, but her sanity.
At this point in my life, I did not think it was possible to significantly lower my estimate of Ayn Rand, or to regard her as even more of a psychological and moral mess than I had already taken her to be.
I stand corrected.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/ Democratic Underground and Think Progress put together this video of Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Sean Hannity, and other libertarians extolling the virtues of Ayn Rand, then cue the chilling interview with Mike Wallace in which one wonders how in the hell could anyone find virtue of value in Ayn Rand's twisted and insane thinking?
This video needs to go viral as they say.
So while Paul Ryan's bold economic plan is to literally take food from the mouths of babes (cutting food stamps) and put it into the hands of our aristocratic royalists, you now may have some understanding of the how starving America's children and euthanizing our elderly fits right into a philosophy that considers most of us worthless, unworthy of love--we are all (except the chosen elite) mere "lice."