The Ayn Rand Phenomenon--I'm Shrugging Over HereYeah. I read it. I also read the Fountainhead, long before it was newsworthy. I read it for Literature's sake, and because I was intrigued by the author, and because they were well-written (despite the long tedious stretches). I came away with the feeling that they were creepy in the same way that George Orwell is creepy. I don't like when authors hit me with their philosphy of life in a way that makes me feel inferior to them, as if they have figured out something that the rest of us morons have yet to catch onto. I put down those books and walked away with a shrug, literally.
But that is not how all people who read Atlas Shrugged feel. For some of the Republican persuasion this book is a manifesto, a bible, a blueprint for America--the world even!
And they are all the stars.
They identify with the protagonists.
The philosophy is basically that there are smart people and stupid people and the smart people, say the "top 2%" "carry" all of the other people--the other poor, ignorant saps that make up the other 98% of the population. They have all the brains--it is not ba
And boy do they resent the hell out of them.
And that my friends is what we have in Washington right now. Paul Ryan--boy wonder--he says he has a "knack for numbers." Translation: He thinks he is a genius and he --and only he apparently--not the stupid President--can fix this country. He has all the answers, and you know what they consist of?--obliterating that 98% little by little. Okay, perhaps obliterating is a little harsh. He just wants to de-fund any program that assists the poor, and the elderly and the disabled--oh, and they hate minorities and especially immigrants--they are, after all part of the 98% from some other country, upping the numbers of scoundrels looking to tax and take advantage of the 2%ers.
In their world they are the laborers, only they use their intellect and tax loopholes and Wall Street chicanery--SO smart--NO one even caught on to what we were doing! Ha! Stupid morons! Well--sure, I'll pay a few fines--I've got billions now you idiots!
Anyway, the point of this story is that this philosphy is what is driving Washington politics right now and it is laughable. They are quite full of themselves, believe themselves to be the saviors of this country because if you do not protect the 2% the whole thing--the kingdom (the pyramid actually--they are at the very top they think) comes crashing down--then the hapless masses will just devour each other because they are too stupid to understand how life works, how things were meant to be. The rest of us will be scratching in the dirt eating pebbles, pulling lice out of each other's hair-- without them.
I have a good friend who espoused this philosophy when I met him. Over the years he has softened his stance, mainly because it does not stand up to reason and reality. You can go through this life hating your fellow man, finding the lowest common denominator of what you share with others putting yourself above them all and blaming them for all that is wrong with this country, but you will be miserable. We are all in this together. There is no hierarchy as they would have you believe. They are no better than us--they've just convinced themselves that they are. They are bitter, nasty, unscrupulous and even hateful at times towards their fellow citizens and it is disgusting to witness, because they will also claim to have a deep love for God and Christianity. Talk to them --any of them--for any length of time and you will be smacked in the face with hypocracy that even they themselves cannot draw back from when cornered.
That's what my friend found out. It is, in essence, discrimination, hatred and arrogance masquerading as an "ideology."
Paul Ryan insists that his staff read this tome. Small government? Really? How about forced philosophical adherance.
I'm shrugging over here.