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America's Revolution proves Ayn Rand wrong

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Ayn Rand promoter of selfishness
Ayn Rand promoter of selfishness
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Ayn Rand, born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, is a darling of the money before people conservatives. One key idea in her philosophy of Objectivism is that altruism is bad and people should instead focus on their selfish interests. The 2008 collapse of the economy due to banksters and crooks on Wall Street doing just that should be enough for anyone to realize a giant gaping hole in Rand's philosophy. Unfortunately it is not.

Recently a movie based on Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged , was released. This novel and movie are intended to show the world what would happen if the leading industrialists (remember them, back when America lead the world in industrial production before Rand's "Atlases" allowed the bulk of them to be moved overseas so the corporations could save cash while American workers were and are kicked to the street?) and other "leaders" went on strike. It's interesting to note that one of the people Rand let preview her book while she was writing it is the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan. Greenspan is responsible for a big part of the cause of the 2008 financial collapse.

In addition to the 2008 economic collapse, Rand's attack on altruism is proven wrong by the American Revolution and all the people who took part in it. All of these people knew that the personal price of progress is very high. Yet, they were willing to risk their personal well-being and the well-being of their families for an ideal. And these heroes came from both the wealthy and the poor.

Many of our founders were wealthy established leaders in society. Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington were all very well off and financially secure in 1776. By today's standards, they'd be considered to be on the lunatic fringe. They had everything they needed under the established system, yet, they wanted to destroy that system and replace it with a progressive one whose benefits touched the lives of many more people. By waging war against the government, they not only risked losing all of their income and wealth and the wealth of the families, they risked losing their very lives. If they failed or were captured/arrested, the would at best be hanged as traitors to the government, at worst, they would be hanged until close to death an then drawn and quartered. Not many people in today's money driven society would chose all those risks over material comfort, but, thankfully the founders did.

Another example is the Deist Thomas Paine. Paine was never wealthy until he wrote Common Sense which was instrumental in getting people to support taking up arms against the government. What did Thomas Paine do with his newly acquired financial wealth? He donated it to the Cause so mittens could be bought for the troops! Rand would think Paine was an idiot.

The rank and file supporters of the American Revolution show the errors of Rand's anti-altruism philosophy. One shining example among thousands of shining examples is Isaac Davis and his family. Isaac was a Minuteman from Concord, Massachusetts. On April 19, 1775 he received word to form-up with his troop as the government/British troops were on their way to confiscate their guns and ammunition. His wife wrote in her diary, "Isaac Davis was my husband. He was then thirty years of age. We had four children; the youngest about fifteen months old. They were all unwell when he left me, in the morning; some of them with the canker-rash.

"The alarm was given early in the morning, and my husband lost no time in making ready to go to Concord with his company. My husband said but little that morning. He seemed serious and thoughtful; but never seemed to hesitate. He only said, 'Take good care of the children,' and was soon out of sight.

"In the afternoon they brought him home a corpse. He was placed in my bedroom till the funeral."

Ayn Rand and her greed-driven cohorts like Alan Greenspan aren't worthy to even say the names of heroes for progress and freedom like Isaac Davis, Thomas Paine, George Washington, etc. These heroes are telling us that Rand is wrong. That true progress and liberty can only be won for a very high price. And winning takes much self-sacrifice and suffering. It's up to each of us if we're willing to pay it.

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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
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