The prophet of greed…

It’s not surprising that President Trump’s favorite book is Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead or that Rex Tillerson’s is Atlas Shrugged. People call Trump and his cronies populists. I call them narcissistic sociopaths. Their admiration of Ms. Rand, the prophet of greed, is all the proof anyone should need. According to the NY Times, many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs—all one-percenters, of course—even consider her a saint. The fallen Uber CEO is probably a disciple too.

This Libertarian heroine (Paul pere et fils are super-fans—remember the latter’s belief is that the Senate healthcare bill doesn’t go far enough on waging war against the poor and middle classes) preaches the antithesis of social justice. Man’s goal (and the gods’ goal for human beings?) should be a selfish search for his own wealth and happiness, even at the cost of others’. Concern for others isn’t important; greedy self-interest is.

What’s ironic is those who extol her philosophical ramblings actually consider them great literature. The best I can say about the books already mentioned is that they are boring and rambling. English wasn’t Rand’s first language, but that’s not the problem. She simply can’t write. The usual skills associated with plot and character development, creating interesting settings, and writing interesting dialogue are completely missing. The second book even contains a seventy-page speech from the main character—now that’s real snappy dialogue, folks!

Rand fails as a philosopher too. She offers no valid philosophical bonafides and solves no problems of the human condition, mental or physical. Greedy self-interest isn’t a philosophy. It’s an immoral cul de sac. She just doesn’t get it. Neither do her followers.

One of the themes in my novel The Midas Bomb is that Libertarianism is a debunked ideology just like communism. The villain in that book is a complete sociopath obsessed with greed and profit, and therefore a follower of Rand. He redeems himself a bit in later books, most notably in No Amber Waves of Grain, but The Midas Bomb’s not-so-hidden message is a critique of Rand and her rants. A secondary character is even named Gant.

Disciples of Rand aren’t feeble-minded individuals. Reading Atlas Shrugged, for example, is just as much, if not more, a challenge as reading War and Peace (they’d gain more from the latter, of course). But smart people can be greedy sociopaths who try to justify their greed, and Rand offers that salve for greedy souls.

I was aghast that some Dem voters in the last election actually chose the clownish Libertarian candidate over Hillary Clinton after their candidate, Bernie Sanders, was defeated! Huh? Sanders is the antithesis of greed and self-interest—he was more interested in helping others. Mental wires shorted out in their brains? It makes sense that GOP voters chose the Libertarian clown over Trump, although Il Duce’s fandom for Ayn Rand possibly wasn’t known to them. The GOP has become the party of greed, so it’s logical that Ayn Rand is one of their patron saints. On the other hand, true Libertarians think we stick our noses into too many other countries’ problems, and the GOP loves to do that, so GOP voters were probably torn.

The problem with Rand’s Libertarian rants is that believing them is politically suicidal, and maybe the GOP recognizes some of that truth. Hers is a one-percenter political bent, and one-percenters are doomed unless they develop some social and progressive values. The number of poor and needy is increasing in our world, and it will reach a tipping point. At that time, Rand will simply become the spawn of the Devil and no longer a saint but a fallen Angel, just like Lucifer, carrying her followers into the fires the hell they made for themselves on Earth.

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Rembrandt’s Angel (a mystery/thriller from Penmore Press). To what lengths would you go to recover a stolen masterpiece? Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone goes the extra mile. She and paramour/sidekick Bastiann van Coevorden, an Interpol agent, set out to outwit the dealers of stolen art and recover “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a Rembrandt painting stolen by the Nazis in World War Two. Their efforts lead to much more, as they uncover an international conspiracy that threatens Europe. During their dangerous adventures, their relationship solidifies and becomes a full-blown romance. This book is available in ebook format at Amazon and at Smashwords and its affiliate retailers. It’s available as a print version at Amazon, B&N, or your favorite bookstore (if not there, ask for it). Happy reading!

And so it goes…

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