Unconditional Love, Ayn Rand, and American Politics

Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead book cover. Great example of how unconditional love is dead.
Many years ago I read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It was circulating around my high school at the time. It was the 80s and the country was recovering from the hangover of the sixties and seventies. Hippies were giving up their beads and tie-dye for corporate jobs and mini-vans. We were all looking to Reagan to save us from introspection. No more Carter malaise!

WE WANT TO BUY STUFF!

Ok, so the 80s were a great time to read Ayn Rand, arguably a better time than when it came out four decades earlier. I dove into it. And what blissful, selfish wonders I found.  What satisfaction of the Id. I could be free of morals and love. All I needed was self-interest and judgment... and no social conscience. Sign me up! This is awesome. And it seemed like the whole country was on the bandwagon, whether they had read the beast or not.

Ayn Rand is important because she expresses the modern American Ethos perfectly. She is the spokesperson for American values and American Emotionalism. 

But should she be? Take a look at the video below. It's from a Mike Wallace interview.
When I look back at Ayn Rand now, as an adult, with the distance that comes with time and experience, I see her in a different light.

I no longer admire her depiction of the rugged individual. He's really quite a jerk.

And she is a mean-spirited hypocrite who justifies her selfishness with extraordinary coldness and precision. Her prose deceives you, seduces you like a beautiful vampire-- to promise heaven, but deliver hell.

So, let's get one thing very clear. I'm a conservative... in the old-school mold. I'm for fiscal restraint, personal responsibility. I think states and local governments should be able to make choices and enjoy a fair amount of independent sovereignty. Traditional conservatives have compassion for their fellow citizens and wish to use government as a tool to help them. We're all in this together. All ships rise... that sort of thing. Where I break with modern, so-called conservatives is when they pretend to be for the things I've listed, but are actually interested in using the government to legislate morality, conformity, and subjugation... which pretty much sums up their entire social agenda.

I blame Ayn Rand for giving modern conservatives a cohesive rationale for eschewing compassion and basic morals in favor or worshiping the false idols of unrestrained capitalism and social Darwinism. Ayn sums it up well in the video. She's unrepentant about her lack of humanity.

It's clear that she believes that love is conditional. 

She basically, says that we should turn our backs on the moral teachings of our ancestors. People do NOT deserve love unless they earn it. This is an extraordinarily elitist perspective. It allows her to justify oppression of the poor and other marginal classes because they don't live up to her standards. She is better than everyone else. "Love thy neighbor" a cornerstone of religious and spiritual thought, runs counter to her philosophy.

This thinking allows us to judge the poor for their poverty, the disabled for their disability, and anyone else for that matter. People must earn (word used for both meanings) their rights, not have them granted. We should not extend kindness to our fellow humans... we should only extend kindness to those that deserve it... people like us... people of wealth... producers... you see where that leads, don't you?

It all makes sense when you put modern American politics through this lens. Currently, we see a battle, not of Conservatives and Liberals, Republicans and Democrats--those labels have ceased to have any meaning--we are seeing a battle between those that believe in unconditional love and those who do not.

Have we become a country of judgement and elitism rather than compassion and common sense?

#AynRand #unconditionallove #love #happiness #politics #medicaid #medicare #Obamacare #conservative #liberal

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