Steve Ditko’s Mr. A.
She hated religion and thought faith was “extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason.” She asserted that abortion was “a moral right” and believed the pro-life movement was motivated by “hatred.” For her, creative work was more important than family, friendship or any human relationship. She had no use at all for conservatives, Republicans, or liberatarians. She was a cultural populist, celebrating pulp writers like Mickey Spillane while dismissing celebrated classics like Shakespeare. She heaped scorn on National Review was “the worst and most dangerous magazine in America.” She despised libertarians as “emotional hippies-of-the-right who play at politics without philosophy or consistency.” She was “profoundly opposed to Ronald Reagan” and thought he was motivated by power lust.
As Ed Kilgore notes, Ayn Rand, is enjoying a curious resurgence among conservatives and Republicans, many of who are citing the Objectivist novelist and philosopher as a foundational thinker. Angered by the Obama presidency, these Rand admirers have threatened to “go Galt” (i.e. go on a capitalist strike).
Rand is an odd philosopher for modern conservatives to adopt. She wasn’t a party thinker like William Kristol or Hugh Hewitt, willing to chant out every last phrase of the Republican platform. Rand thought of herself, rightly, as a radical. Her hard-edged and extreme philosophy deserves to be taken on its own term, and not toned down into a rallying cry acceptable to a party and political movement she regarded with contempt and scorn.
(The quotes in the first paragraph are from Ed Kilgore’s excellent essay on Rand, which inspired this post. Steve Ditko’s Mr. A, shown above, is a superhero who voices a Randian philosophy).