Ayn Rand, founder of Objectivism, author of foundational libertarian novel Atlas Shrugged, and ruiner of the minds of countless horny-angry 14-year-old men across the United States, would probably be feeling a little conflicted today. If she wasn’t dead. Which she is.
It’s been revealed this week that the California based Ayn Rand Institute was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of up to US$1 million. Data released by the US Government intimated this money would go towards protecting 35 jobs at the Institute.
Which is all well and good except…
The Institute claims to be dedicated to “applying Rand’s ideas to current issues” and “promoting her philosophical principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism.”
Among those ideas, Rand viewed government intervention in most things as immoral, while treating the individualistic pursuit of happiness as humanity’s noblest goal. (Tl;dr = being a selfish asshole is a good thing).
In Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966), Rand wrote: “Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution, and that the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.”
Although Rand tried to distance herself from the American Libertarian movement, her work nonetheless served as a key inspiration for all those whackos who think taxes are a form of violence while driving pickup trucks along tax-payer funded roads, waving assault rifles around inside Subway sandwich shops, and refusing to wear masks in coronavirus hotspots because of “MuH fReEdOm”.
When pressed by Reuters about the hypocrisy of receiving a government bailout, the Institute referred the news agency to a statement it released in the middle of May. “We will take [taxpayer money] unapologetically, because the principle here is: justice… the government has no wealth of its own…. It can only redistribute the wealth of others.”
Sure thing, Chuck! Sure thing.
Looks like we’ve got a new verse for Alanis Morissette.