Her [Ayn Rand] diaries from that time, while she worked as a receptionist and an extra, lay out the Nietzschean mentality that underpins all her later writings. The newspapers were filled for months with stories about serial killer called William Hickman, who kidnapped a 12-year-old girl called Marion Parker from her junior high school, raped her, and dismembered her body, which he sent mockingly to the police in pieces. Rand wrote great stretches of praise for him, saying he represented “the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatsoever for all that a society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul. … Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should.” She called him “a brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy,” shimmering with “immense, explicit egotism.” Rand had only one regret: “A strong man can eventually trample society under its feet. That boy [Hickman] was not strong enough.
Puts a new spin on my favorite game: Libertarian or Serial Killer?
“Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should.” DING DING DING, we have a philosophy.
Ayn Rand is the worst philosopher.
She wasn’t a philosopher. Ask any professional philosopher in the world about Ayn Rand, and they start laughing and won’t stop. She thought she was, but wishin’ won’t make it so.
Everyone is a philosopher. They’re not intrinsically good philosophers, but everyone engages in philosophy. Ayn Rand (along with Friedman as far as I’m concerned) were hugely popular sociopaths. Hugely popular precisely because the bull they spout on a regular basis proved very convenient for people feeling as though they’ve legitimised their own sociopathic tendencies.