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No, I'm not kidding and this is not one of those fake headlines.  This is something I didn't know and just came across, and is one of the most disturbing things I've read in a long time.

Over at Naked Capitalism, is an article by Mark Ames about Ayn Rand that is truly disturbing and should send up a huge red flag when people say they admire Ayn Rand.  It's a long article but well worth the read, and I warn you, it goes into detail about a Psychopathic killer (apparently someone Ayn Rand admired) and the sick crimes he committed.
Paul Ryan's Guru, Ayn Rand worshiped a serial killer who dismembered little girls.

Below the fold are excerpts.

There’s something deeply unsettling about living in a country where millions of people go frothing batshit angry at the suggestion that maybe health care coverage should be extended to the tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it; or when they froth at the mouth in ecstasy at the thought of privatizing and slashing bedrock social programs like Social Security or Medicare. It might not be as hard to stomach if other Western countries also had a large, vocal chunk of their population who thought like this, but the US is seemingly the only place where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor. Where do they find their philosophical justification for this kind of attitude?

It turns out, you can trace much of this thinking back to Ayn Rand, a popular cult-philosopher who plays Charlie to the American right-wing’s Manson Family.

One reason why most countries don’t find the time to embrace her thinking is that Ayn Rand is a textbook sociopath. Literally a sociopath: Ayn Rand, in her notebooks, worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” that Rand promoted in her more famous books — ideas which were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe — former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Paul Ryan, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

...

Back in the late 1920s, as Ayn Rand was working out her philosophy, she became enthralled by a real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation. Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman.

...

“Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” she wrote, gushing that Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’”

This is the “amazing picture” Ayn Rand — guru to the Republican/Tea Party right-wing — admired when she wrote in her notebook that Hickman represented “the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatsoever for all that a society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul. Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should.”

Other people don’t exist for Ayn, either. Part of her ideas are nothing more than a ditzy dilettante’s bastardized Nietzsche — but even this was plagiarized from the same pulp newspaper accounts of the time.

...

Rand denounced the hanging as, “The mob’s murderous desire to revenge its hurt vanity against the man who dared to be alone.”

...

But with Rand, there’s something more pathological at work. She’s out to make the world more sociopath-friendly so that people like Ayn and her hero William Hickman can reach their full potential, not held back by the morality of the “weak,” whom Rand despised.

...

As much as Ayn Rand detested human “parasites,” there is one thing she strongly believed in: creating conditions that increase the productivity of her Supermen – the William Hickmans who rule her idealized America: “If [people] place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man’s life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite.”

There is a LOT more in this article and it's well worth the read if you really want to understand where these cold hearted Republican bastards get their moral compass from.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Rand is a joke (14+ / 0-)

    throughout the world - mainly due to a complete lack of intellectual rigor - but this kind of stuff really didn't help her cause.

    Really - she and Objectivism are a complete laughing stock. The idea that her philosophy would get serious truck in any country is just mind blowing.

    •  This is way beyond a joke (10+ / 0-)

      I knew she was the equivalent an L Ron Hubbard, but I had no idea she went THIS far!  If this article is anywhere near accurate, we should be very afraid of Paul Ryan and the others that hold her up to be a role model.  

      •  If this had been exposed before, (3+ / 0-)

        I think her work and reputation would have suffered appropriately.

        On the recommendation of my best friend and college roommate, the daughter of a librarian, I read two authors: Ayn Rand and Norton Juster.  By the early 80's I had read just about everything Rand had ever had published, plus the biography that revealed the childhood roots of her callousness, as well as some depression in adulthood.

        As much as I, like many others, rejected some of her concepts and tone, I also gained some principles and concepts that have made a significant difference in my life.

        This is a complete contradiction- which she apparently never presented publicly, of her emphasis that the initiation of violence, or any kind of threat to the life of another, is absolutely wrong. Kathleen's specific recommendation on Rand was to read her work in chronological order so as to see the evolution of her ideas. The notebook was apparently written when Rand was 20 to 25 years old.

        I assure you, no one could be experiencing more revulsion than I over this information. Just be clear this is not something that has been known to many of us who found some of her ideas useful. Could you indicate when and who made this notebook public? I am in no way trying to change the reality of it, just wondering how it had been kept out of public knowledge. It would be analogous in my mind to the coverup of Sandusky's crimes.

        Definitely time to read The Phantom Tollboth again.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 09:39:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Looks like Amazon has them from 1999 (4+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure who made them public, but it looks like they've been around awhile.

          •  Thank you. I've only followed (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sfbob, pollwatcher, chimene

            Nathaniel Branden's work* since balancing the last of the values I had initially thought Rand made sense on with counter values. eg intransigence is important in a few areas, compromise is in others and more often.

            This reinforces to me that the Christian advocates of Rand never read or understood her work - any more than they read or understood the Bible, especially Jesus' parts. Anyone who actually found information put it on the very effective 'ignore'.

            Rand ended her relationship and support for Branden in '68. His first wife, Barbara, wrote the bio that exposed Rand's personality and bizarre interpersonal relationships. He went on to repudiate Rand, apologize for promoting her work and to contribute as a psychotherapist to the psychology of self esteem!  

            Yup, evangelicals can become atheists, Republicans can become Democrats (moi), and Objectivists - who are not also sociopaths- can become rational, empathetic humans.  :)

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:37:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not too surprising. American rightwing also (4+ / 0-)

      sailing on denial about climate change (see Greenland ice melting) and they have a darling creationist museum with cavemen riding dinosaurs (presumably from as far back as 6,000 years ago).

      "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

      by TofG on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:38:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just as mind blowing that a book advocating (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      carver

      hatred, violence, and inherent human evil would become the basis of worship for 2.3 billion people currently, not counting all of history. Or to count the 2.2 billion whose worship is based on a subsequent prophet who added to that book's message.

      The violence and destruction to humanity and civilizations by the Abrahamic religions has no equal and probably never will.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:05:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I took Rand seriously for awhile. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, Ginny in CO

      I am not ashamed of that.  She was a wonderful antidote to Catholicism and social hypocrisy for a young girl in 1958.

      I knew long ago about Hickman and her obsession because I read everything I could get my hands on about Ayn Rand. I cannot get excited about her Hickman obsession.  So what?

      Psychopaths are 1% of the population. We have named them.  We know what they are and how they function.  Most do not commit serious crimes.  However, they make up about 80% of the prison population. Everybody is not good.

      The discovery and definition of psychopathy is as startling and important a psychological event as the discovery of IQ.  And dealing with psychopaths the most interesting new frontier in psychology and criminal justice.

      I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

      by CherryTheTart on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:06:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As with other mental disorders, it is difficult (3+ / 0-)

        for people to grasp that it affects people in all walks of life and levels of society.

        Many people with status. wealth and power get a free pass due to denial that they, too, can suffer serious pathology. And their wealth makes it much easier for them to cover over or escape the impact of their problems.

        The sociopaths in the upper strata of society, the white-collar criminals, are the ones who are destroying our lives and the world.

        Two-bit cons who get caught and jailed are nearly nothing in comparison.

        Life is a school, love is the lesson.

        by means are the ends on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:14:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  An accurate description of the situation. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ginny in CO, means are the ends

          The question now is what do we do about it if, indeed, there is anything that can be done.

          The arguments that work with ordinary folks do not work with psychopaths.  

          I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

          by CherryTheTart on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:46:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •   I have sincere doubts that (2+ / 0-)

            once a person has reached the diagnosis stage, any treatment will be much more than control and monitoring.

            The probability for me is that infancy and childhood experiences can block or change the essential trust development of the first year. The next question is whether it happens uniformly or if some other factor helps the individual regain the capacity to trust other humans.

            Many other possibilities as well. This is a big reason for increasing our neuroscience and psychiatric research for diagnosis, causation and treatment, plus a health care system that funds mental health as well as any of the deadly diseases.

            One of the Star Trek original episodes was of the Enterprise going to a planet where the few people whose psychiatric problems had not been able to be treated were sent. Don't remember the specifics of the prisoner featured. I should go back and see if it was classic sociopath. I just vaguely remember raving lunatic.  ;)

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:30:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well said this below. So agree. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ginny in CO
              Many other possibilities as well. This is a big reason for increasing our neuroscience and psychiatric research for diagnosis, causation and treatment, plus a health care system that funds mental health as well as any of the deadly diseases.
              I would like to see that episode of Star Trek very much. I wonder if there is a way to do that within my reach.

              I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

              by CherryTheTart on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:17:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Google and find You Tube sites, plus the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CherryTheTart

                main website. I'd bet it is free somewhere. (I'm trying to get more of my to do list done and not concentrating as ususal.)

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 02:16:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  There is no treatment, in my current understanding (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ginny in CO

              It is a fundamental developmental lack, and internal emptiness, and once the critical period for development of empathy is past, so is the opportunity.

              There is a very, very slight chance that someone would be forced into a situation where all avenues of avoidance and denial were cut off, and forced to face their inner emptiness. This again, is rare and extremely painful, so is avoided at all costs.

              Again, those in prison, who've hit bottom w/drugs or alcohol, or who have had to actually deal with the horrific consequences of their actions, personally, are the ones who can start to change. But it would take a great deal of time and emotional pain.

              And on the contrary, we are currently rewarding the economic monsters in our midst with not only money, but rock star adulation and status, no matter what their crimes. They see this as confirmation of their right to do whatever they want, and will continue until the world is a ruined wasteland, because they just don't care.

              Life is a school, love is the lesson.

              by means are the ends on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:23:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was unclear: there is treatment of some kind (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ginny in CO

                for low-functioning sociopaths, which can socialize them a bit if they are motivated to keep out of trouble.

                But  the high-functioning sociopath typically is able to use intelligence and charm to avoid consequences of their behavior. Thus, they do not perceive themselves as having any problem, but see all problems as external to themselves. Thus, they have absolutely no motivation for treatment, or to change. On the contrary, if necessary, they can be quite good at faking contrition and 'change' if necessary, and then go back to whatever they deem will work for them in the current situation.

                Life is a school, love is the lesson.

                by means are the ends on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:33:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Right, low functioning are sometimes (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                means are the ends

                helped with group situations - if they aren't in prison. I think the European countries have been better at putting them in mental institutions, as long as they haven't committed a crime.

                We have come a long way in identifying neurological differences with functional mental imaging. I saw one this week that was well received in psych/neuroscience circles about a significant difference in hoarders brains that differentiates them from OCD where they were a sub classification.

                Prevention is always far better than treatment, especially when treatment is so difficult and barely effective, if at all.

                they do not perceive themselves as having any problem, but see all problems as external to themselves. Thus, they have absolutely no motivation for treatment, or to change.
                This is the biggest barrier. I've seen it with my Dad all my life. He is far from a true sociopath and still does not accept that his relationships and interpersonal relationship problems are as much him as the other people. I attribute it to his being not quite 4 when his Dad died suddenly. His mother was somewhat reserved, not to the extreme he is.

                Eventually we will figure out that the better we treat children, from conception on, the fewer mixed up, violent ones we will have.

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 02:32:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it doesn't trouble you that a person expresses admiration for a cold blooded murderer?

        •  Depends on what you mean by "trouble me." (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pollwatcher, Ginny in CO

          It is useless to have "feelings" about the doings of psychopaths, which doings, of course, include admiring other psychopaths.  

          "Feelings" in the contemplation of psychopaths are the booby prize.  "Feelings" are the biggest weakness normals have when dealing with psychopaths. Your emotions and normal everyday prejudices and desires are the tools that psychopaths use to achieve their goals.

          Are psychopaths destructive?  Yes they are.  That is a fact. Reality does not care about your or my feelings of indignation.  And psychopaths don't care either.

          I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

          by CherryTheTart on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:56:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CherryTheTart

            I currently have to deal with a psychopath.  It's the pathological lying and constant manipulation that really gets to me.  You can see him constantly reading you to determine if your buying his lies, if he thinks you aren't, he will change his story in mid sentence.  And when he laughs, it's really strange.  He won't laugh until he sees someone else laugh, and it's not a real laugh, it's an imitation of a laugh.  He's a scary and creepy guy.

            •  Yep. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pollwatcher

              Psychopaths are creepy and scary.  And once you have met one, the rest are easy to pick out.  But you have to know what to look for. You have got the picture.

              I have a bipolar disorder which is a garden variety mental illness.  I can pick out another bipolar person within about 20 minutes of meeting him/her. The best thing we can do for normals is help them understand what they are dealing with.  Once you understand a psychopath, you can deal with him/her more effectively and reduce or prevent the harm s/he might do.

              I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

              by CherryTheTart on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:17:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  She may be a joke to you, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher

      but her Teapublican acolytes are deadly serious.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

      by SaraBeth on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:49:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have you ever (12+ / 0-)

    seen Rand in an interview?

    A while back, someone posted some interviews--between Mike Wallace and her.

    She was repulsive--without even considering the content of what she said.  Her pure hatred was palpable, and she had dead looking eyes.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:35:11 AM PDT

  •  Do you remember when Sotomayor? (15+ / 0-)

    I think it was during the hearings for Justice Sotomayor, when she was lauded by the president for having empathy, and the Republicans attacked that as if she had been accused of a shameful crime. Sociopaths are, (pardon me if I am wrong) pretty much defined by having no empathy. It also is a common characteristic of CEOs. (coincidence?)

    Authoritarians, I guess, don't feel anyone else's pain, nor do they recognize that another's struggles have any worth. Sadly, the Republican party has gotten so crazed that lack of compassion, hypocrisy, lying and bullying are considered virtues. I am not surprised when I read that much of Europe considers them to be either a bad joke or a threat to the stability of the world.

  •  Rand also accepted Medicare and Social Security (12+ / 0-)

    after attacking such safety nets.

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:36:29 AM PDT

  •  We will be seeing Paul Ryan doing a lot of (8+ / 0-)

    flip-flopping in the coming weeks.

    Between him and Romney, it'll be like taking out a boat in the middle of a shad spawn.

    All their surrogates will be flip-flopping as well. It's the core of their strategy.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:36:42 AM PDT

  •  And furthermore (11+ / 0-)

    only in America, where the maunderings of a second-rate science fiction writer who cribbed half of his ideas from his more talented contemporaries could become a wealthy "religion": where a 19th century con artist could make up a pile of loony stories and, yes, found a religion, could Rand be considered a profound thinker and role model. Heck, she wasn't even a role model for herself.

  •  Ayn Rand was also a millitant atheist (12+ / 0-)

    Openly contemptuous, nay, violently contemptuous toward any organized religion of any kind. Which makes it even weirder that so many so-called pious conservatives would become her groupies.

    It's bad enough that she was a horrible human being, but she was a shitty writer to boot.  Trying to read Atlas Shrugged is the literary equivilent of having root canal surgery sans Novacaine.  I'd rather read the Twilight series again than have to try and slug through Rand's shit.

  •  She's not a "libertarian" (5+ / 0-)

    She worshipped individual "Supermen" but she wasn't past advocating that they get some help from law enforcement when their lessers didn't stay in their place.

    Notoriously, she was apparently furious at draft dodgers and advocated that they be thrown into camps, even though she apparently also opposed the Vietnam War.

    She also explicitly didn't like libertarians, because she perceived them as anarchists and ultimately collectivists.

    For the most part, Rand's philosophy was surprisingly close in many respects to the Leninist mindset in Russia where she grew up -- just as the Soviet Union was a "dictatorship of the proletariat" because the working class couldn't be trusted to run a worker's revolution, she advocated a "dictatorship of the supermen" to lord over the lessers and parasites -- the only difference is the moral stance one's propaganda takes towards the non-elite.  (Her disdain for the "wrong kind" of conservative is very much in the mold of Soviet-style purges of "counter-revolutionaries.")

    One other thing.  Paul Ryan is a devout Opus Dei style Catholic, and his one deviation from Randian philosophy is to believe in the importance of having his supermen stamp out heresy.

  •  Ok, I already knew that (7+ / 0-)

    Rand was a miserable, average intelligant, horrifyingly crappy writer who was sociopathically self-involved and managed to fuck lots of men and follow up with abortions and hater of Judeo-Xian religious concepts -- BUT -- I had no clue she was this demented.

    Thanks.  Lots of fodder for the Ryan fixation which he will never be able to shake.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:54:28 AM PDT

  •  "other people do not exist for him" (6+ / 0-)

    Captures the mind set of her followers.

    Self above all.
    A cult of self interest and self worship.
    The God of self.

  •  Yeah, this piece is downright chilling! n/t (4+ / 0-)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 09:14:38 AM PDT

  •  I found that attitude.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, retLT

    ....in many of the Young Republicans I went to college with - an unbridled contempt for other students who had financial aid or worked, but who sucked up to the conservative professors on campus.

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:09:23 AM PDT

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