Sunday, July 24, 2016

Donald Trump as an Ayn Rand character

Would Ayn Rand Approve of Rule by a Rich and Powerful Capitalist? | Foundation for Economic Education - Christopher Machold:

July 22, 2016 - "As we get closer to the full swing of the general election cycle, those sympathetic to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism will face this question: 'Shouldn’t an Objectivist be in favor of Donald Trump? He’s selfish and a powerful businessman, right?'... USA Today’s Kirsten Powers, in an interview with the now-official GOP nominee back in April, wrote this nugget: 'He identified with Howard Roark, the novel's idealistic protagonist who designs skyscrapers and rages against the establishment'....

"It’s a common slur used any time a conceited, cold-hearted politician emerges within the GOP: He’s straight out of an Ayn Rand novel. As a student of philosophy and a fan of Rand’s literature and ideas, I completely agree. But, far from the ideal characters of John Galt (Atlas Shrugged) or Howard Roark (The Fountainhead), Donald Trump is a cozy fit with another figure in The Fountainhead: Peter Keating, Howard Roark’s classmate and competitor....

"About Keating, Rand writes this: 'The exact opposite of Howard Roark, and everything a man should not be. A perfect example of a selfless man who is a ruthless, unprincipled egotist – in the accepted meaning of the word. A tremendous vanity and greed, which lead him to sacrifice all for the sake of a "brilliant career".’

"In other words, the 'ruthless, unprincipled egotist' – in our case, Donald J. Trump – is not what she means when she talks of selfishness as an ideal....

"This is confirmed in Rand’s opening remarks in The Virtue of Selfishness: 'In popular usage, the word "selfishness" is a synonym for evil; the image it conjures is of a murderous brute ... who cares for no living being and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.' One may note that these descriptions sounds much like Dan P. McAdams’ account of Trump’s narcissism in the Atlantic....

"A man constantly mired in fraud-related lawsuits and accused of defrauding his customers and contractors is not Howard Roark. The man accused by the ACLU of promoting countless unconstitutional violations of individual rights is not the same man who swore against violating the rights of any other man. A narcissist who brags incessantly and dishonestly about his wealth and IQ is not the self-confident and self-sufficient producer depicted in The Fountainhead. The candidate who has been dangerously anti-free trade is not the hero of a woman who believes in the morality of laissez faire capitalism.

"Donald Trump is an unprincipled, immoral and dangerous 'second-hander,' to use Roark’s (and thus Rand’s) own vocabulary.

"Peter Keating did, and was, those things too – 'everything a man should not be'."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment