From the Austin Chronicle and a 1964 Playboy article with Rand

"In 1964 Rand told Playboy that Hitler and Stalin's shared problem was that they "lacked self-esteem" and that people who place family and friends above work are immoral." - Austin Chronicle

PLAYBOY: Weren't Hitler and Stalin, to name two tyrants, in control of their own lives, and didn't they have a clear purpose?

RAND: Certainly not. Observe that both of them ended as literal psychotics. They were men who lacked self-esteem and, therefore, hated all of existence. Their psychology, in effect, is summarized in Atlas Shrugged by the character of James Taggart. The man who has no purpose, but has to act, acts to destroy others. That is not the same thing as a productive or creative purpose.


PLAYBOY: According to your philosophy, work and achievement are the highest goals of life. Do you regard as immoral those who find greater fulfillment in the warmth of friendship and family ties?

RAND: If they place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man's life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite; whereas, if he places his work first, there is no conflict between his work and his enjoyment of human relationships.

 Check out the full article @

What a sick b#tch!!  A damn intelligent one too...very scary.

ReformedAutomaton ReformedAutomaton
41-45, M
9 Responses Feb 21, 2009

Very well said. Acting selfishly in the short term can serve as a reward, but I believe that ultimately selfish people shoot themselves in the foot and deep down are really miserable and want to make others that way too. Misery loves company.

She speaks of reality? That sounds like exactly the kind of response I would hear from a Rand fan. Do you understand the nature of reality or the fact that reality has no inherent nature? That reality is subjective? I would suggest you study the world around you, the human and environmental misery brought about by industrialism and/or capitalism. Capitalism is fundamentally amoral in that it's only goal is the accumulation of more and more capital. Surplus value is it's only moral. We live in a human world EnRegalia, any system that puts itself in front of humans is an outrage. Those blind enough to buy into the propaganda that Rand and our modern media propogate are indeed lost in a world of their own beliefs and defenders of abject human and environmental misery. We'll all die in our own filth if the world continues in the same direction that you encourage.

Well I agree with what you say other than that communism cannot work. Well, maybe not communism, but socialism can be a reality, I believe. The working population has all the power but they do not know it and do not work together collectively. But human misery is one of those things that wakes people up and makes them very unhappy with whatever is going on. Revolution is something that can and will happen in the future. It seems ever clearer that capitalism will fail (as all economic systems ultimately have) and we could only hope that what would result would be a system that is not under elite control, but a more truly democratic system controlled buy the population at large. Yeah I may be a utopian guy with stars in my eyes but I would at least not put out of the range of possibility that socialism may come to be.

I hadn't even thought of it that way cloudnine...thanks for the insight! It certainly is subjective and it is an ideology meaning it is a fundamentally limited set of beliefs. I recently read that Alan Greenspan was good friend and believer in Rand. He's maintained his absolute belief in the free market until this recent recession he finally said that this idea has shortcomings.

Thanks man....long ago before I became such a left wing hippie I was a hardcore republican believe it or not. My father was ex-military and an all out right winger. Until I was 17 or so I believed everything he believed. <br />
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I read some of Atlas Shrugged but never finished it. Not cause it offended me but it just didn't capture my interest. I also read Rush Limbaughs "The Way Things Ought to be". I loved and agreed with every second of it. <br />
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It has been a long (and continuing) process but obviously I've come a long way. I never lost the "I'm always right" attitude though. I'm working on that one cause I know it's not good :)

In her comparison to James Taggart and Stalin and Hitler, even if you happen to read the book, you'd have to consider thoughtfully how she'd make such a far-out seeming conclusion. Initially James seems like a warmhearted "help everyone so I can help myself" sort, but slowly it becomes apparent what he really wants.<br />
BTW, in the book James Taggart is one of the most "spotlighted" antagonists, he runs his family's railroad, but he doesn't do anything, instead the sister Dagny ends up making practically all decisions about the family business, and he continuously goes against her, as the country is thrown into more and more turmoil and everytime she digs the company out of a ditch, due to politics involving the brother five more ditches appear "for the good of the people and the nation." Later in the book he realizes the contradiction he lives in his life: He wants success and glorification and power and to live, but he only acquires it through the efforts of others.<br />
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Lol, I'm not going to argue the merits or lack of Rand and this interview (reformedauto and I danced on this before, and we've just accepted there'll always be someone different), just thought I'd highlight a lil' bit on her reference to a character the commenters might not know about. <br />
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Ttfn, ta-ta-for-now!

Yeah that may be true. I personally wouldn't read them though. She was brilliant so I think she could do a really good job of brainwashing people in her text without them knowing it.

Interesting article. I keep meaning to read Atlas Shrugged. I don't subscribe to Ayn Rand's beliefs, but I do enjoy her novels. What I get out of them may not be what she intended, though.

I do think that Hitler and Stalin lacked self-esteem but they most certainly had a purpose to what they were doing. Far too much of a purpose!