If there is any intellectual of the last 100 years who scares the Left, it is Ayn Rand. One needs only to search her name on the internet and they will find that she is perhaps more abused and insulted than Milton Friedman and Reagan. Often the charges that most attack her with can be boiled down to “She believes that people should be self-centered bastards and not give a damn about anyone else.”
While anyone who has taken the time to read her fiction and nonfiction works knows that the above claim isn’t accurate, the fact that Rand is the target of so many wannabe-commentators reveals the amount of anger that the woman brings out in the Left. The question honestly begs to be asked – why? Why does this Russian immigrant, who died in 1982, bring Liberals to the use of such vitriol and character assassination?
The answer is actually quite simple – she makes sense. She is to Socialism what David was to Goliath and the Left simply doesn’t know how to respond to her except to demagogue and paint her as a puppet to the elitists. Unlike some of the more pacifistic fighters for the Right and Libertarianism Rand doesn’t hold back, if anything she removes the veil that the Progressive and Socialist movement has used for decades – the veil of “the Greater Good”. It had been this façade that left far too many Conservatives stammering during the New Deal, with the passing of Social Security, and the growth of Welfare. However she tore it off with her philosophy of the Individual and showed the true face of the Left with her novels.
Rand explained that Capitalism is the only Moral Economic System because unlike Socialism, Feudalism, Communism, Welfare Statism, and the Mixed Economy, Capitalism treats people as Individuals and not the sacrificial animals that all the other systems did. She preached that instead of appeasing everyone else, that one should live for his own happiness. That Innovation is created by Free Individuals and not Government coercion.
This is what infuriates the Left. Ayn makes clear how the “Good Intentions” of government regulation often lead to worldly Hell. Her novella “Anthem” shows how government constraint goes against progress. And her magna opus “Atlas Shrugged” paints the end result of a society that doesn’t give Individuals their freedom. In short, she kills the Left’s Utopian ideals with logic.
It was nearly fifty years ago that Whitaker Chambers savaged “Atlas Shrugged” in the National Review and separated the Conservative Movement from Rand. Now we are beginning to see the reemergence of Randian ideas with the Tea Party and members of the Republican Party who are influenced by her like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul. It is time for the Right to admit it and embrace it – Rand is right.