Fleming on Rand

Vis-à-vis our recent discussion on the wretchedness of Ayn Rand and what our possible future Vice-President’s loyalty to her ideals says about him, Thomas Fleming has a delightful essay about the deranged slut and the legion of monsters her writings have spawned (h/t to commenter Daniel S. at Thinking Housewife):

Ayn Rand was dreadful in every way.  As an intellectual, she offered a warmed-over version of Nietzsche seasoned with borrowed bits of Isabel Patterson.  Her ideology of “Objectivism” can be summed up in Rand’s own words as “the virtue of selfishness.”  In other words, greed is good, look out for number one, charity is bunk.  Yes, I get it.  It is the creed of the selfish jerks who make everyday life in America so unpleasant.

Then there are her really dreadful novels.  I did succeed in finishing The Fountainhead, and if someone has a taste for cheap romantic fiction with improbably larger-than-life characters, he might actually like such stuff, though Rand faces stiff competition from the likes of Jacqueline Susann, Harold Robbins, and Victoria Holt.  As for Atlas Shrugged–the book Paul Ryan professed to like–it is really awful beyond words. I well remember my own reaction to the over-quoted first sentence, “Who is John Galt?”  Who could possibly care?

The less said of Rand’s personal life, the better.  The long-running soap opera of her marital infidelities with her disciple “Nathaniel Branden” (not his real name) have been disclosed in excruciating detail by Branden’s wife.  From the bits I read, it was a lot like the cheating and lying that caused the breakup of the rock band Fleetwood Mac.  It is bad enough that such tacky people exist in our society.  What effrontery they have to parade their dirty little secrets in public.

Perhaps the worst thing about Rand is the character of so many of her followers:  nerdy little dweebs (as we used to call them back them) who imagine themselves to be supermen.  I used to run into Objectivists all the time, and I could never decide which of their offensive qualities was the most prominent.  Rudeness, arrogance, or imbecillity.

Towards the end is a little anecdote, which makes Rand out to be so utterly depraved that I have a hard time believing it, in which Murray Rothbard noisily departed from Rand’s company after she tried to compel his wife to repudiate Christ. Does anyone know if it’s accurate?