The Left’s Endless Smears Against Ayn Rand
I believe that the most vilified, smeared, defamed personality of the past century is none other than Ayn Rand. This bestselling Russian-born American author and philosopher is utterly hated by the Left because of her unassailable
arguments against altruism, self-sacrifice, mysticism, communism, and all forms of totalitarian ideologies. Ayn Rand was an uncompromising advocate of reason, individualism, and free market capitalism.
There’s only one admirable attribute of the left, and it is their ability to concoct very creative, emotional and sensational propaganda and lies to deceive the gullible and the non-critical thinker. Evidence or proof is not important to these half-wit creatures. To them, facts are negligible for the simple reason that reality is their number one enemy. When the left fabricate and publicize propaganda and smear campaigns, expect to see and hear emotional information and creatively packaged materials that appeal to emotion and people’s gullibility.
Ad hominem attack is one of the best weapons of the left, while their defense mechanism consists of context-dropping, misrepresentation and strawman arguments. Take for example their current smear campaign against Ayn Rand. Since they cannot properly and intellectually refute Ayn Rand’s views without resorting to context-dropping, misrepresentation and strawman arguments, the left employ logical fallacies to smear her person and reputation.
The following are just some of the recently discovered ad hominem attacks being used by the totalitarian left against Ayn Rand:
- Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism is a cult;
- Ayn Rand promotes fascism;
- Ayn Rand promotes corporatism;
- Ayn Rand was a fan of a child serial killer named William Hickman;
- Ayn Rand lived on welfare while advocating against it;
- Ayn Rand was a sociopath and psychopath;
- Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan and the Illuminati plotted to rule the world;
With all these newly discovered smear mechanisms against Rand, I suspect that if they were able link Rand to Hitler they would have perfectly done it. I strongly believe that historically, it was the left who created the anti-concept of “conspiracy theory” as a defense mechanism against their propaganda and political agenda. However, it clearly appears that it is the left who have mastered the art of fabricating conspiracy theories. One of the things I learned from Ayn Rand is the virtue of honesty. According to her:
“Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud—that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victims to a position higher than reality, where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions, while their intelligence, their rationality, their perceptiveness become the enemies you have to dread and flee—that you do not care to live as a dependent, least of all a dependent on the stupidity of others, or as a fool whose source of values is the fools he succeeds in fooling—that honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others.”
In effect, she taught me not to rely on and use baseless and unfounded accusations against anybody. She taught me to seek evidence and proof first before making a moral judgment. Any smear or accusation not founded on concrete, solid evidence is a zero; it’s nothing but an anti-intellectual, anti-self mechanism designed to smear and discredit any person or entity. If you blackened the reputation of anybody by using baseless, unfounded claims and assertions, it is only your own self that you had betrayed. What does a dishonest person get from spreading false, ill-founded stories? The answer is artificial happiness or satisfaction, thus smearing is a cunning way to deceive one’s self and to fake reality.
In my study of Objectivism, the following are the rules I learned when dealing with any issue and critics:
1. Rationality above else!
Ayn Rand, in The Virtue of Selfishness (p. 440), regards rationality as man’s basic virtue- “the source of all his virtues.” She said: “Man’s basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know. Irrationality is the rejection of man’s means of survival and, therefore, a commitment to a course of blind destruction; that which is anti-mind, is anti-life.” The phrase “the refusal to know” should be seriously and properly taken into account, for there’s a big difference between “refusal” and “failure.” When one refuses to know, one suspends his consciousness and the validity of his mind. Irrationality is anti-mind and anti-life because rationality is the only guide to man’s actions.
The left love to smear their ideological enemies, as they embraced an irrational, anti-intellectual, anti-mind, anti-man philosophy or ideology. The source of irrationality of the left is Karl Marx’s repudiation or denial of logic and reason. This is best understood by the recent founding leaders of free market capitalism,namely, Rand, Henry Hazlitt and Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. In his book Socialism, Mises wrote: “They could attack logic and reason and substitute mystical intuition for ratiocination. It was the historical role of Karl Marx to propose this solution. On the basis of Hegel’s dialectic mysticism, he blithely arrogated to himself the ability to predict the future.” In fact, Marx said, “Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.”
The anti-reason, anti-logic ideology of the left is what motivates them to disregard and not to value facts and real-world evidence whenever they smear their enemy. They can tarnish or stigmatize, but they can’t destroy. There is big difference between the words “smear” and “destroy.” Smearing is an act of vilification or revilement without any factual basis or evidence. Destruction is an act of fact-based and evidential repudiation or defeating of an issue or someone else’s proposition, assumption, or position through the use of logic and reason. The first is the attack mechanism of the left, while the second is what defeats them. Who are fond of spreading conspiracy theories and lies? The leftists, of course.
True, some leftists know what they’re doing, while many are motivated by sheer ignorance, lack of knowledge, and stupidity. Consider the case of statist Rep. Edcel Lagman who believed in the “undeniable link between overpopulation and poverty” and employed this fallacy to justify the passage of his fascistic Reproductive Health bill. This statist politician is the victim of his own ignorance, as his unaware that the source of poverty is not overpopulation, but the continued disregard of individual freedom, particularly economic freedom.
2. Egoism or rational selfishness as a virtue.
Ayn Rand’s ethics of egoism or rational selfishness challenges the more than 2,000 years of Judea/Christian/subjectivist/Kantian/Marxist ethics. This is the main reason why Rand is hated by both the far-left and the far-right. She championed selfishness as a virtue.
She wrote: “The Objectivist ethics proudly advocates and upholds rational selfishness—which means: the values required for man’s survival qua man—which means: the values required for human survival—not the values produced by the desires, the emotions, the “aspirations,” the feelings, the whims or the needs of irrational brutes, who have never outgrown the primordial practice of human sacrifices, have never discovered an industrial society and can conceive of no self-interest but that of grabbing the loot of the moment.” Philosophically and philologically speaking, there is a big difference between egoism and egotism. Egoism simply means the belief that it is rational to act in one’s self-interest. This is best explained by Rand when she defined her ethics in the following manner: “Man-every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.” This challenges Rand critics who try their best to equate her philosophy with that of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, who was philosophically a mystic and an irrationalist.
True, Nietzsche’s philosophy rejects altruism, however, his cardinal flaw is that he believed in the sacrifice of oneself to others by the sacrifice of others to oneself. In her book For the New Intellectual, Ayn rand said of Nietzsche: “He proclaimed that the ideal man is moved, not by reason, but by his “blood,” by his innate instincts, feelings and will to power—that he is predestined by birth to rule others and sacrifice them to himself, while they are predestined by birth to be his victims and slaves—that reason, logic, principles are futile and debilitating, that morality is useless, that the “superman” is “beyond good and evil,” that he is a “beast of prey” whose ultimate standard is nothing but his own whim. Thus Nietzsche’s rejection of the Witch Doctor consisted of elevating Attila into a moral ideal—which meant: a double surrender of morality to the Witch Doctor.” On the other hand, egotism is ‘characterized by an exaggerated estimate of one’s intellect, ability, importance, appearance, wit, or other valued personal characteristics’.
An egotist is someone who is selfless, and in the word of Rand, a second-hander. By second-hander I mean one who is dependent, as a parasite is, on the service of people, on the dictates of others, on the gullibility of the public, on the propaganda and opinions of the others. A second-hander has no “ego” and without a concept of self. The left champion altruism and selflessness. Since they are without ‘self’, what’s important to them is other people’s opinion or appreciation or admiration.
Ever wonder why most, if not all, leftists love to brag about their school, their family lineage, their educational attainment, their so-called intellectual prowess? These are the kind of people who love to display their diploma at home and to brag about how they care for the poor, the weak, and the victims of social inequality and injustice. They crave for social appreciation; they seek admiration from others. It is others’ adoration or veneration that completes them. It is their selflessness that motivates them to smear and to malign their ideologyical enemies. They lie and slander for an ideological cause. That which motivates them is lack of selflessness.
Observe a person who loves to spread lies and manufactured dissent. There’s something wrong with his mentality. Why does a person have to spread lies? It’s because of his inability to properly argue and to back his arguments with evidence through the use of logic and reason. Before making slanderous utterances or spreading baseless, unfounded accusations or assertions, that person knows that he’s dishonest, thus he’s selfless. Dishonesty is a form of psychological and intellectual weakness. Before one utters a lie, he knows that he’s guilty of lying or fabrication. This makes lying or dishonesty an immoral act.
When the leftists lie, it is their own “selves” and the validity of their mind and consciousness that they first destroy. Take for example the case of a Filipino Freethinker named Karlo Espiritu who had to commit an act of plagiarism in order to spread his lies about Ayn Rand. A person who commits plagiarism knows of his intellectual weakness. This Freefarting plagiarist Espiritu resorted to plagiarism in order to gain admiration from his fellow Freefarters and to defend his anti-reason collective, the Filipino Freethinkers.
3. Do not deal with any issue without studying it first.
Ayn Rand taught me the cardinal value of honesty- first honesty with one’s self, and second honesty with others. This is consistent with her virtue of selfishness. A person who is not honest with his own self cannot be honest with others. Before one takes on any issue, one has to take upon himself to study the matters involved. One has to have an adequate knowledge of an issue before one can make his own moral or intellectual judgment. This is the reason why I only deal with issues that I am very much familiar with. Familiarity with or having sufficient knowledge of any issue or matter saves one’s self from committing any act of dishonesty or betrayal of one’s self, such as lying, plagiarism, smearing, and the like.
When it comes to making propaganda, the leftists believe in the mantra of ‘ideology first before truth’. Since truth or reality is their enemy, the left seek to destroy it with their propaganda and smear campaign. But a big lie has no power to distort the truth and reality. It is powerless. It can deceive the gullible and the unthinking people, but it cannot distort truth and reality. Like Ayn Rand said, reality is objective; it exists apart from and independent of any man’s consciousness. Since reality is indestructible, it is people’s consciousness that the left seek to destroy.
Man’s consciousness can be defeated, destroyed, poisoned with socialist lies and propaganda. This is what they did in Russia, China, Cuba and all socialist slave pens wherein the totalitarian regimes spent millions of looted people’s money to fuel their propaganda machine. Propaganda is the best ally of any scheming socialist scumbag!
4. Deal with your enemy using logic and reason.
The enemy I’m referring to here are those who seek to destroy freedom and man’s rights. We are all engaged in an intellectual and philosophical battle. It is true that many people (like the Filipino Freefarters) regard philosophy as unscientific and immaterial, but it is these people who need it most urgently, as they are most helplessly in its power. Those who declare themselves as “science geeks” or “scientists” or “students of science” should understand that science is the by-product of philosophy.
The science geek’s knowledge of physics, mathematics, geology, or any branch of natural sciences- if they are disinterested in politics- can be very powerless when confronted with the ideological lies and propaganda of the left. In all socialist states, the scientists worked as slaves. They were needed by the dictatorship to fuel the society’s technological defense against dissent, rebellion, or any form of social unrest and discontent. Since the leftists have forgone logic and reason, the only way to destroy people’s view of reality is to resort to lying and propaganda. Their first victims – apart from themselves – are the most gullible, the uncritical thinker, the disinterested in politics, and those who refused to think.
Great men cannot be ruled. No amount of indoctrination or propaganda campaign can ever destroy the consciousness of the men of self-esteem- the egoists- and the individualists. In the Philippines, those who are most vulnerable to leftist indoctrination are those enrolled in public universities, particularly the University of the Philippines. Observe the psychology of some UP students and graduates. Some of them love to brag about the alleged greatness of their school, which is eternally funded by taxpayers’ money. Some of them believe they are “intellectual elites” by virtue of their school card. These are the kind of people who are most exposed to- and dissuaded by- leftist teach-ins and indoctrination. Thus, the only tool to expose the left’s lies, dishonesty, hypocrisy and utter idiocy is logic and reason.
Now let us deal with the lies and smear campaigns of the left against Ayn Rand. The most popular smear-material being currently used against the philosopher is the accusation of “cultism.” This lie, which was originated by anarcho-capitalist Murray Rothbard, had long been debunked by Jim Peron. I stated in a previous post the following: “This “cult” accusation was originated by an alleged Ayn Rand associated named Murray Rothbard, who had to resort to name-calling and dishonest strategy in order to defend himself against accusations of plagiarism.
The book Rothbard wrote, The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult, became very popular to Rand critics who were mostly leftists and anarcho-Libertarians. This “cult” mantra is now being used by liberals, libertarians and conservatives against Ayn Rand to discredit her without properly identifying which part of her philosophy is cultish. Perhaps “cultism” to them simply means agreeing with the idea or ideology of someone else. To me “cultism” means taking something or someone on faith. A good example of cultists are Conservatives who dogmatically believe in the Cult of Christ, and the socialists, communists and liberals who take the ideology of aristocrats Karl Marx and F. Engels on faith.”
In his article Is Objectivism a Cult? Rothbard Unmasked, Peron wrote:
Most of Rothbard’s account is a litany of name-calling. He says Objectivism was “a totalitarian Cult.” He compares his own Circle Bastiat with Rand’s group of friends. His group was a “high-spirited” informal gathering of friends who “combined learned discourse, high wit, song composing, joint moviegoing, and fiercely competitive board games. It all added up to a helluva lot of fun.” On the other hand Rand’s friends were “robotic” and “humorless.” They were “ignoramuses” who trumpeted “their own greatness.” He says that he and his friends “came to look at all these trumped-up jackasses as figures of ridicule.” Branden, in particular, is the target for much of Rothbard’s venom. He refers to him as a “pompous ass,” a “strutting poseur and mountebank” and a victim of “his own enormously excessive self-esteem.” Throughout his article Rothbard spends a considerable amount of time in similar name-calling.
In another article titled Is Objectivism a Cult? Shermer’s Delusions, Peron debunked the lies of Michael Shermer:
Shermer’s analysis is plagued by several errors. While he has read Objectivist material and Rand’s work he doesn’t “know” the subject. This allows him to make obvious errors. He says, for instance, that Rand’s first two novels were failures. This is not true. We the Living sold out of its first printing but the publisher hadn’t expected it and had destroyed the plates. Anthem wasn’t published in the US but in the UK where it sold steadily for some time. They weren’t best sellers but they certainly weren’t failures. And, contrary to Shermer, John Galt never said he would stop the “ideological” motor of the world. This is completely out of context. Shermer also charges that Rand was guilty of a “moral inconsistency” because of the affair with Branden. This must mean that she violated her own morality. This is an interesting charge but I don’t know exactly which Objectivist moral principle he is saying she violated. And Shermer never actually tells us.
As to the accusation that Ayn Rand’s philosophy advocates fascism and corporatism, one has to read her books, particularly Atlas Shrugged to make a valid judgment. Atlas Shrugged tells the critical reader that corporatism or the cronies can be as much dangerous as the government. The real villains in Atlas are the politically connected cronies like James Taggart and Orren Boyle, who corner government subsidies and get rich through political connection and protection. As to the accusation that Ayn Rand “worshiped” a serial killer named William Hickman, here’s what I also stated in a previous post:
Objective facts have no value to liberals and leftists. This is because they consider objective, unimpeachable facts as their enemy. To destroy Ayn Rand, liberal and even libertarian critics try their best to resurrect a highly dishonest, baseless urban legend that the author was a fan of a serial killer named William Hickman. Here’s an except of a left-wing review written by uber-liberal Mark Ames:
One reason most countries don’t find the time to embrace Ayn Rand’s thinking is that she is a textbook sociopath. In her notebooks Ayn Rand worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of ”ideal man” she promoted in her more famous books. These ideas were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe — former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
So when someone in the past wrote that Ayn Rand had this “interest” in a serial killer, the liberals jumped to the conclusion that Rand’s philosophy is all about murder or sociopathy. This is actually one of the most favorite materials being used by liberals and some Libertarians to discredit Rand. What did the author-philosopher actually say about Hickman? In The Journals of Ayn Rand, she is clearly quoted: “[My hero is] very far from him, of course. The outside of Hickman, but not the inside. Much deeper and much more. A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me.” The fact is, Rand’s interest in Hickman was his unconventional attitude and the public’s reaction to it. Anyone who read her books would understand that the philosopher is against any kind of force, whether it be private force or legalized force. She was morally against the crime Hickman committed and throughout her life, she advocated for individual freedom over collective force. But of course, brain dead liberals and leftist don’t understand this concept, as their ideology is all about legalized government force against unarmed individuals.
The leftists have also just discovered a new smear mechanism against Ayn Rand. They’ve been claiming that the philosopher was a hypocrite because she lived on government welfare while denouncing it. The left are now spreading all over the net that Ayn Rand was a “hypocrite”. Hypocrisy is defined as “an unconscious self-contradiction: a state of incongruence between one’s professed beliefs and feelings and one’s actual beliefs and feelings, or an application of a criticism to others that one does not apply to oneself.” According to an article published on BoingBoing, Rand “was also a kleptoparasite, sneakily gobbling up taxpayer funds under an assumed name [note: it might have been her legal name] to pay for her medical treatments after she got lung cancer.” Is there any truth to this leftist claim? None! As to the claim that she “sneakily” gobbled up “taxpayer funds under an assumed name”, the fact is that she used her legal (married) name Ayn O’Connor. In fact, the Ayn Rand Institute lists “Ayn O’Connor” as Rand’s legal name.
As to the claim that she was a “hypocrite” for receiving taxpayer funds while denouncing welfare, let us determine whether there is “an unconscious self-contradiction”, or a state of incongruence between Rand’s professed beliefs and feelings and her actual beliefs and feelings. Here’s what Rand said about the morality of accepting Social Security, unemployment insurance or similar payments in a 1966 (or several years before she received the so-called welfare) article for The Objectivist newsletter:
It is obvious, in such cases, that a man receives his own money which was taken from him by force, directly and specifically, without his consent, against his own choice. Those who advocated such laws are morally guilty, since they assumed the “right” to force employers and unwilling co-workers. But the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money—and they would not advance the cause of freedom if they left their money, unclaimed, for the benefit of the welfare-state administration.
Rand, a bestselling author of top-sell books and Hollywood screenwriter, started paying taxes since she landed her first job in the 1920s. She sold millions of books, delivered most-sought after lectures, was paid a great amount of money for the movie version of The Fountainhead, and wrote screenplays for Hollywood movies before her death. It is obvious that she gave more than she received. Her statement is very clear: “Those who advocated such laws are morally guilty”, while “the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money.” Is there any hypocrisy here? Take note that she wrote this article many years before she refunded her forced contributions to the state. Ayn Rand also wrote the following in “The Question of Scholarships,” The Objectivist, June 1966.
“The recipient of a public scholarship is morally justified only so long as he regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism. Those who advocate public scholarships, have no right to them; those who oppose them, have. If this sounds like a paradox, the fault lies in the moral contradictions of welfare statism, not in its victims. “The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind. It is obvious, in such cases, that a man receives his own money which was taken from him by force, directly and specifically, without his consent, against his own choice. Those who advocated such laws are morally guilty, since they assumed the “right” to force employers and unwilling co-workers. But the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money—and they would not advance the cause of freedom if they left their money, unclaimed, for the benefit of the welfare-state administration.”
Of course, the left can always rationalize their claims, but the fact remains that Ayn Rand was not a hypocrite and that she lived according to her philosophy and convictions.
The left love to call Ayn Rand “sociopath” or “psychopath” simply because she’s advocating a code of ethics that runs counter to the 2,000 years religious/totalitarian altruist ethics. Like religion, the morality of the left and all totalitarian ideologies is altruism or self-sacrifice. According to its main proponent Auguste Compte, altruism means selfless concern for the welfare of others. He stated that it is the moral duty or obligation of individuals to serve the good and welfare of others and put their interests above their own. This code of morality is the foundation of all totalitarian regimes on earth, past and present. During the rule of the Vatican City in the medieval age, the Pope preached the virtue of self-sacrifice in the name of an unknowable supernatural entity.
Lenin and Stalin institutionalized altruism and self-sacrifice in Russia for the sake of what is called the greater good or common good. Adolf Hitler also called for social sacrifice in the name of a greater and dominant Aryan race. The leftists who deny the evils of altruism should look at the result of their ideology. Only a few years after Mao Tse Tung’s implementation of his “Great Leap Forward” program in China designed to institutionalize collective farming to achieve economic progress, more than 70 million people died of mass starvation. Stalin also ordered the slaughter of millions of Russian soldier for the sake of preserving his dictatorship. Hitler sent the entire German nation to war for the sake of global dominance and purging the entire Jewish race. Are these not a good example of sociopathy and psychopathy? Is this what Ayn Rand advocated? Her ethics is very clear: “Man-every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.” Did she ever call or advocate for the sacrifice of others to a leader, a businessman or the state?
In a free society there should be no social sacrifices. Everybody should be equal under the law. Businessmen should not be made to sacrifice in the name of the poor, while the poor should not be enslaved to serve the interests of the oligarchy. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged details why cronies or politically connected businessmen are as dangerous as- or even more dangerous than- the the politicians. In the United States, it is the cronyism of the James Taggarts and the Orren Boyles and the political collusion of the Wesley Mouchs and Thompsons that is destroying the great nation’s economy and individual freedom.
If the left had any brains, they would understand that Karl Marx’s ideology is all about altruism and social sacrifice. Marx’s altruist credo is as follows: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” It is very clear that this social creed speaks of social sacrifices and victims. Those who have the ability will be sacrificed to those who have more needs. This is the social system that caused the death of more than 200 million innocent, gullible, unarmed people in China, Soviet Russia and Germany combined. So who’s the real sociopath or psychopath?
Reality tells us that it’s the left! Let me reiterate a statement I made several months ago: “So far, I have not found a single honest critic who was able to expose “the mythology about the philosophy of Ayn Rand.”
Like I stated in my blog entitled ‘Ayn Rand: The Greatest Philosopher On Earth,’ “I’ve encountered a lot of people who denounced Ayn Rand but never read any of her works. These neo-Ayn Rand critics simply echo the old canard manufactured by her dishonest fabulist and/or equivocators who were simply good at myth-making and unscrupulous propaganda campaign. There are some who even claimed they clearly understood her philosophy, yet uttered nothing but downright lie and/or distortions of her works and ideas. Like I said to a blog critic of mine, “If there’s a philosopher of the past century who was a victim of grave injustice, ignorance, and leftist-conservative propaganda, it would be Ayn Rand.”