Last Monday’s Joplin Globe featured a piece by a guest columnist named Scott Holleran. The piece was titled, “Another Ayn Rand novel for our times,” which was ostensibly a rather untimely review of Rand’s 73-year-old novel, We the Living.
I am not sure how the column ended up in the Globe because there is no indication that Mr. Holleran has any ties to our community, and he certainly isn’t a nationally syndicated columnist. But I would like to know.
I’m not going to critique the philosophy of Ayn Rand, since old-style conservatives like William F. Buckley and Whittaker Chambers dismantled it long ago to my satisfaction. But I do want to ask the question, “How the hell did this monstrosity end up in the Joplin Globe?” I mean, this isn’t Rita Crowell sending in her latest dispatch from Our Father in Heaven. This stuff was imported from California, for God’s sake.
Here is a few paragraphs culled from this stunningly stupid commentary, which shows all the effects of someone infected with ruinous Randian thought:
Kira’s [the heroine of We the Living] choice is an expression of what Ayn Rand called the virtue of selfishness—an idea scorned by America’s current administration, which has adopted collectivism and self-sacrifice as the nation’s governing principles.
President Obama has intervened in the economy more than any president since the 1930s—while courting catastrophe by incurring astronomical debt. The administration plans to ask Congress to raise taxes, has effectively forced out CEOs and has effectively nationalized some of the nation’s largest banks, insurers and automobile companies. There’s a major step toward an economic dictatorship like Soviet Russia’s every other day.
Intestingly, the version on Mr. Holleran’s Website was different from above, so someone did some editing on the piece, but not enough to save the author from phantasmal folly.
Among other things, Mr. Holleran fails to mention that it was George W. Bush who popularized “compassionate conservatism,” which out of necessity culminated in his action to “effectively nationalize” most of the financial industry last year in order to keep our economic system from collapsing. In my view, Bush’s intervention would constitute post-1930 unprecedented intervention, since Obama’s actions were essentially just an extension of what Bush began.
And Mr. Holleran is either simply a cultist, hynotized by Ms. Rand’s brilliance, or he is grossly ignorant of history or both, when he writes, “There’s a major step toward an economic dictatorship like Soviet Russia’s every other day.“
Anyone who has read three sentences of the history of the defunct Soviet Union would not utter such contemptible nonsense. But there it was on the editorial page of the Joplin Globe.
But the most offensive and stupid claims awaited us:
The U.S. has been heading toward totalitarianism for a long time. The government controls every aspect of an American’s life, from what car to drive to how much money one can earn. A home may be seized by the state under eminent domain. A radio or television show may be censored. Air travel must be approved by the government. Americans have been incrementally losing their rights for decades; Obama is simply and rapidly hastening the demise.
I’m not sure what state of consciousness Mr. Holleran was in when he wrote this pap, but it undoubtedly is an example of what happens to one’s mind when it falls hopelessly in love with Ms. Rand and her “virtue of selfishness” philosophy.
I just don’t have the slightest idea how it came to be printed on the pages of our local paper, but I’ve had it with the Obama-as-Stalin meme.