• Dear Mr. President: Please admit it — you’re a Jedi
Methodically, with utmost precision and discipline, you caused your opponents to reveal their darkest and most unattractive secrets — dismissiveness toward the less affluent, cluelessness toward women, the valorization of Ayn Rand — as you weaved around them a mental bubble of self-satisfied illusion that left them totally unprepared for the election outcome that was approaching. On some distant world, a spectral Yoda is smiling with approval.
• • • Tobias Barrington Wolff: The Virtue of Selfishness: Romney, Ryan and Rand
Altruism |The Virtue of Selfishness |Capitalism |Egoism |
To understand the values of Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, it is necessary to understand their intellectual forebear, Ayn Rand. Ms. Rand was one of the most extreme public intellectuals of the twentieth century. As her central creed, she rejected the idea that people in a community should approach each other with charity, compassion, and altruism. According to Ayn Rand, a charitable heart is for suckers. Selfishness is the way to go. Lest you think I am exaggerating, one of Ayn Rand's important works, a collection of philosophical essays, is entitled "The Virtue of Selfishness," and it is an extended attack upon the idea of altruism.