How Relevant is Ayn Rand to Christian Nationalism?

How Relevant is Ayn Rand to Christian Nationalism?

How relevant is Ayn Rand’s Objectivism to Christian Nationalism?

An important question for the elders of the movement considering how many of us were some species of Randite when we were young.

Sixty years ago, when it was first published the question would have been what relevance does her philosophy have at all.  The answer at that time, according to the National Review was none whatsoever.

… Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal. In addition, the mind which finds this tone natural to it shares other characteristics of its type. 1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation. Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent, or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked. There are ways of dealing with such wickedness, and, in fact, right reason itself enjoins them. From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber–go!” The same inflexibly self-righteous stance results, too (in the total absence of any saving humor), in odd extravagances of inflection and gesture-that Dollar Sign, for example. At first, we try to tell ourselves that these are just lapses, that this mind has, somehow, mislaid the discriminating knack that most of us pray will warn us in time of the difference between what is effective and firm, and what is wildly grotesque and excessive. Soon we suspect something worse. We suspect that this mind finds, precisely in extravagance, some exalting merit; feels a surging release of power and passion precisely in smashing up the house. A tornado might feel this way, or Carrie Nation.

Whittaker Chambers, National Review 1957

Yikes!  Terrifying stuff.  Clearly, this insane Russian Jew should be buried in a peat bog and every copy of her crazy book with her.

And that opinion held for a while.  Although, there was always an intellectual cadre that found Atlas Shrugged on the high side of “kind of interesting,”  it didn’t really amount to much.

Then came a subset of hippies who liked drugs and sex with hippy girls (at least the ones who shaved) but after a bit of self-reflection, courtesy of some really amazing shrooms came to the conclusion that Communism was a just bummer and they actually liked having money (hell even the Maoists they knew got real excited whenever they got a check from Mom).  They discovered that the Bill of Rights was righteous and that shooting guns was groovy.  This was the birth of Libertarianism.   

As a movement, it was always lacking in a few things.  Warm bodies principally, it was pretty much a fringe movement at the time but it was also lacking an intellectual bedrock.  Then one of them sobered up long enough to read Atlas Shrugged.

Suddenly, Libertarianism had its philosophical base even if Ayn Rand herself seemed to have little or no use for them at all:

For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right,” who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultaneously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.

Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements, in order to “do something.” By “ideological” (in this context), I mean groups or movements proclaiming some vaguely generalized, undefined (and, usually, contradictory) political goals. (E.g., the Conservative Party, that subordinates reason to faith, and substitutes theocracy for capitalism; or the “libertarian” hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.) To join such groups means to reverse the philosophical hierarchy and to sell out fundamental principles for the sake of some superficial political action which is bound to fail. It means that you help the defeat of your ideas and the victory of your enemies. (For a discussion of the reasons, see “The Anatomy of Compromise” in my book

Ayn Rand was under the impression that you can pick and choose your fans.  You cannot.

Regardless, neither Objectivism nor Libertarianism made much headway until Generation X started going to college.  That was also about the time that Free to Choose suddenly topped the bestseller lists. There was a brief period in the Eighties where a planet that was drowning in Marxism came up for air and gave Adam Smith a shot.  Atlas Shrugged seemed a perfect fit in this new world.  The corporate raiders wanted a moral band-aid for the thousands of lives they ruined by gutting out companies so they could have a Lamborghini as well as a Ferrari.   The junk bond dealers wanted the same thing for when they convinced little old ladies to sink their life savings into a surefire money-making raid that would turn a huge profit once Disney was bought up and it gets parceled out, oops that didn’t work, sorry you’ve lost everything but technically you knew the risks. College girls for their part liked it because Libertarianism combined with The Pill gave them consequence-free sex with the alpha of their choosing if they were at least a six and the Alpha was drunk enough.  The college boys for their part liked it because they foolishly hoped that since girls in their twenties were now acting like gay men in their forties some of that sex that seemed to be just all over the place, would land on them…it did not.  However, there were other attractions to Rand.  

Annoying Boomer TAs with it was always fun, we had spurned their bullshit liberalism and it tickled us immensely when they would drone on and on about how we were cynics who lacked idealism.   Although it was more accurate to say we rejected their ideals.   

None of it worked out.  It turned out that Milton Freeman’s ideas about free trade were a good way to pour wealth out of a country like piss out of a horse.  The Boomers consolidated their position to maximize their wealth at the expense of all the generations that have the misfortune to follow them.  The TAs became tenured professors and proceeded to destroy higher education.    Papa Bush faked Right, went Left, and obliterated what little Reagan had accomplished.  Bush the First, got his walking papers in consequence but that only meant that Bill Clinton had slimed his way into the White House and Marxism began its inevitable come back now that the parasites had a healthy host to feed upon.  

By the time Bill Clinton left office Gen X was forced to accept the reality that it was going to be the first generation of Americans who didn’t do better than their parents.  Maybe that’s all right.  The number of people who DO get everything they want and DON’T fall to pieces are vanishingly small.  Humans are built for desire, not satiety. 

While all this was going on something odd happened.  Rand became mainstream.  People who were too dim to have heard of her in the 1980s had very strong opinions about Atlas Shrugged by the time the mid-Double-0s rolled around.  They were very stupid opinions of course because these were the opinions of stupid people.  Witness the popularity of Bioshock.  Rand was finally well known enough to become the villain of mid-wits. 

And yet the Nationalist Right is now in process of leaving her behind.  Devout Atheism is Objectivism’s biggest shortfall.  The cult of the self and that no one and no being may stand in judgment of the self you create is at its core, hollow, soulless evil.  

Objectivism’s second-worst problem is its implicit Globalist outlook.  The brotherhood of achievers has a very international flavor to it. 

 And just as trains and steel have become a ridiculous symbol of America’s capitalist might. The economic problems we face, (which Rand did predict,) are nothing compared to the social ones that have divided the American peoples.

While Atlas Shrugged is still a thinking man’s read and should be required reading for anyone who has taken the Red Pill, we have largely abandoned it.

Although its words still have the power to move:

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him?”

I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”

To shrug.”

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Comments (27)

  • furor kek tonicus ( Joe Biden identified WITH evil, stupid pedophiles because Joe Biden identifies AS an evil, stupid pedophile ) Reply

    on the one hand, i saw many of the things that in the real world that Rand portrayed in her books;
    the backstabbing, talentless hacks who succeeded only because of their schmoozing and obsequence to the guy at the top
    the Marxists running rampant everywhere
    the emotional lunacy of the Leftists who proclaimed themselves “rational” and “science based” ( much as Ayn herself )
    .
    otoh, it always seemed to me that the ideas that Rand had taken as gospel from her childhood under Stalin were precisely those most pernicious aspects of Marxist ideology:
    the slavering hatred for religion
    the strange derision for teamwork or community aid to those who had had misfortune befall them.
    .
    and then i found out about how she lived her actual life and the way she ruled her coterie of sycophants with an iron rod and used her younger students to cuckold her husband and realized that, in practice, she wasn’t much better than her cousin Karl.
    .
    i suppose the lesson that i should take from all of this is that it doesn’t do for a Gentile to accept the “gifts” of the Jew too blindly.

    December 1, 2021 at 5:06 pm
    • Wazdaka Reply

      The one gift worth accepting was the one they rejected

      December 2, 2021 at 5:07 am
  • Chief_Tuscaloosa Reply

    “Clearly, this insane Russian Jew should be buried in a peat bog and every copy of her crazy book with her.”

    Clearly.

    Libertarians want to live in an honest, Christian, homogeneous nation, but they still would like to remain agnostic so they can watch the NFL on Sunday, watch their porn late Sunday night after the wife goes to sleep, keep their Netflix subscription, and have illegals trimming their lawn for pennies on the dollar. I understand this because I am a reformed agnostic libertarian. Vox Day’s advocacy for Christian Nationalism convinced me to go back to the big book of my youth (NOT Atlas Shrugged) and re-read it from the perspective that Jesus either was who he said he was, or he was the world’s biggest liar who tricked a large portion of the world into following him (there is no third option of “he was a really good guy but not the Son of God). I landed on the explanation he was who he said he was, and the modern, anti-Christian world makes a lot more sense to me now.

    December 1, 2021 at 5:14 pm
    • EXALT Reply

      “there is no third option of He was a really good guy but not the Son of God”
      Sure there is, and since Most People Are Idiots, it’s probably the most popular option right now.
      There is also a fourth option of “Jesus was just a great human teacher because all that stuff about being the Only Way to the Father and whatnot was put in the Gospels after His death, and I know this because I think there’s been some study at some point that conclusively proved it somehow.”

      December 1, 2021 at 8:22 pm
      • Chief_Tuscaloosa Reply

        I take your point that anyone unable to understand logic and reason will fail to comprehend that if a man says he’s the Son of God, he either is or he isn’t. And yes, unfortunately the gene pool is pretty full of idiocy right now–I’ve had arguments with people who claim “God is love” and doesn’t judge pederasts. When I ask them how God felt about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, they either look confused or angry while walking away.

        Completely unrelated, but is your name from X-Com: Enemy Unknown? Using that game to teach my boy squad tactics…he’s 10 and loves it.

        December 1, 2021 at 8:49 pm
        • EXALT Reply

          “I ask them how God felt about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah”
          That’s a good question, especially since Jesus said that some places will be judged with more severity than Sodom and Gomorrah in the Last Days; but hey, perhaps Peter was just feeling cranky when he asked Matthew to put that in.
          You could also ask them “So Jesus died to save us from what, exactly? God’s unwillingness to judge us?”
          “Completely unrelated, but is your name from X-Com: Enemy Unknown?”
          Nope; it’s a distorted version of Exodia, the most powerful monster from the card game Yu-Gi-Oh, of which I was a fan as a kid; I’ve outgrown the game by now, but I still like the username.

          December 1, 2021 at 9:35 pm
          • Codex

            Children.
            .
            Libertarianism cannot accommodate them.
            .
            Though for a long time they would good for a protest vote.

            December 7, 2021 at 5:01 am
        • Wazdaka Reply

          Based classic game player
          Am playing x com EU now
          Trying to get hold of the classic laser squad

          December 2, 2021 at 5:15 am
        • GW Reply

          Long War mod gang represent

          December 2, 2021 at 10:12 pm
  • Kyle Reply

    What would you say a libertarian presidency would be like? Would it eventually default to a Republican presidency or become its own thing?

    December 1, 2021 at 6:59 pm
    • EXALT Reply

      “Libertarian presidency” sounds like an oxymoron.
      No one will ever vote a libertarian president in – not enough warm bodies, as the Dark Herald put it; and a guy taking power by force could not, by definition, be a libertarian. So how could it ever happen?

      December 1, 2021 at 9:39 pm
    • furor kek tonicus ( guns don't kill people, Alec Baldwins kill people ) Reply

      going by previous platforms, they’d be complete effing morons.
      .
      at one point they were going to eliminate the Income Tax by … auctioning off all government land.
      .
      it’s weird how a supposedly Based ideology which fully endorses Adam Smith doesn’t understand basic concepts like Supply vs Demand. what do you think will happen to real estate pricing if the Feds suddenly flood the market with billions of acres for sale?
      .
      it’s also weird that they would introduce a policy which, by definition, is unsustainable; what happens after you’ve sold off the last of the federal property? you reinstitute the Income Tax? then what is the point in getting rid of it?

      December 2, 2021 at 1:59 pm
  • EXALT Reply

    “Humans are built for desire, not satiety.”
    It’s more “Humans are built to desire something that is not of this world, and the more earthly things they accumulate the more they realize it, at which point they can either accept it – that is, Him – or go to pieces. Most rich people pick the latter.”
    Aside from that, great history lesson, especially the part about Rand* suddenly becoming a Main Villain for the Left – basically the opposite of Fauci suddenly becoming the Avatar of Science despite no one knowing he existed until two years ago.
    *Who was clearly a man in drag; I mean, what the hell is that?

    December 1, 2021 at 8:39 pm
  • Robert W Reply

    There was a scholarship contest in 07 when I was a senior in high school that got me to read Rand. I tore through her writings over the next two years and baffled my philosophy professor at community college for not addressing objectivism in his course.

    Then I got into her personal life and am repelled by the consequences of her beliefs. A wise man said you shall know them by their fruits.

    What is it that Rand brings to the table that is uniquely appealing? That jarred a kid out of evangelical Boomer-Con-inc?
    She doesn’t flinch at anything. Neither hemming nor hawing do her protagonists bring to page. The equivocation and wobbling adams apple belong to the accidental gremlins such as James Taggart.
    She cuts clearly through the influence of the elite by Marxist social movements and the costs it brings to bear on the productive.

    In short: Rand has more balls in her work then all the churches who just shut down for the covid sanctions. That’s what the Christian Nationalist needs to see and hear and DO. That’s what Rand can model for us.

    December 1, 2021 at 8:53 pm
    • Stephenson Reply

      Agreed. She names and destroys Marxist lies well. While at the same time has many of their problems: namely atheist materialism.

      She should be read for spell breaking, knowing her shortcomings.

      December 2, 2021 at 4:00 pm
      • Talos Valcoran Reply

        Having not read Rand, does Objectivism reject morality, or does it go the route if, “if you’re strong enough, whatever moral code you come up with is the right one”?

        December 4, 2021 at 2:59 pm
      • furor kek tonicus ( guns don't kill people, Alec Baldwins kill people ) Reply

        Rand rejects Christian morality but claims to have a morality of her own

        in which being true to yourself is the highest moral objective.
        .
        which raises the question of what to do with obvious social miscreants like De Sade or pedophiles.
        IF a pedophile is true to his actual nature
        THEN he will groom and rape children
        WHICH in Rand’s formulation is the highest “good” the pedophile can aspire too.
        .
        or, we can go in another direction:
        Hitler was true to his ideals, it was the German volk who were not superior enough to implement those ideals. how can this Russian Jew possibly critique Adolph?

        January 10, 2022 at 2:51 am
  • Swami Rabbitima Reply

    The Libertarian scales fell from my eyes when it was pointed out to me that Libertarians favored open borders, and that “migrants” overwhelmingly vote Democrat, thereby ensuring a libertarian state in USA would never happen.

    December 1, 2021 at 10:14 pm
    • Codex Reply

      Children.

      Libertarianism cannot accommodate them.

      Though for a long time they would good for a protest vote.

      December 7, 2021 at 5:01 am
  • Plinio Andreas Dabao Reply

    “The Libertarian scales fell from my eyes when it was pointed out to me that Libertarians favored open borders, and that “migrants” overwhelmingly vote Democrat, thereby ensuring a libertarian state in USA would never happen.”

    You might not have heard of late stage Rothbard(Unleash the cops on the looters) and Hoppe (of free one way helicopter rides for commies fame.)

    It’s pretty compatible with a nationalist state. Simply have a market economy and a King (longer time preferences as per Hoppe and logic duh) that protects property rights of the people herein. So no “free trade” outside or mass immigration.

    December 2, 2021 at 3:22 am
    • furor kek tonicus ( Whipper Snapping Egg Suckers is my band name ) Reply

      *snort*
      as if there have never been short sighted, shorter time preference and stupid royalty.
      .
      the Teutonic peoples have millenia long tradition of electing their rulers, even if they did call them kings.

      December 2, 2021 at 2:03 pm
      • Plinio Andreas Dabao Reply

        “*snort*
        as if there have never been short sighted, shorter time preference and stupid royalty.
        .
        the Teutonic peoples have millenia long tradition of electing their rulers, even if they did call them kings.”

        A long tradition of hunting pigs in a forest without writing or indoor plumbing, while sacrificing children to Donnar and Wotan…. yeah works great.

        December 3, 2021 at 7:55 am
      • furor kek tonicus Reply

        *tilts head*
        you’re not actually pretending to not know that most of the last 2000 years of western European history is the story of Teutonic civilization, are you?

        December 3, 2021 at 7:44 pm
  • Jack Amok Reply

    Is it time to update the old saying? Now it’s “If you weren’t a libertarian when you were in your 20’s, you have no heart, if you weren’t a nationalist by your 40’s you have no brain.”

    But that really only applies to GenX. Every generation is presented with different circumstances. GenX came of age when government was screwing everything up and the private sector still mostly worked, so transferring power from the government to the private sector was a reasonable conclusion. But then the Boomers destroyed the private sector too, turning that into a giant corporate raid on the country’s wealth, then using *that* to recapture government so now we have a complete kakistocracy with societal breakdown at every level and few institutions left functional.

    Now, you have to be an idiot to believe in libertarianism. There are individual elements that still make sense (all philosophies have that), but it fails as a system, primarily because it has no ability to preserve itself, let alone bring itself into existence.

    December 2, 2021 at 8:21 pm
  • furor kek tonicus ( you're a sucker if you think Oprah wouldn't feed your daughter to Harvey Weinstein ) Reply

    Arkhaven OT:
    i’m not seeing an artist credit on Alt-Hero. is that Mark Bright pencil work in the most recent release?
    .
    get Christopher Priest on board and Arkhaven could resurrect “Quantum and Woody”.

    December 3, 2021 at 1:26 am
  • Jorgen Reply

    I didn’t read the novel (atlas shrugs) because I n3ver much liked novels and hate allegory (i assumed it was probably allegory); but I read her other book, the one directly didactic, i.e. For the New Intellectual. All I remember was selfishness as in self-interest is not bad because its what motivates people to invent things, make stuff, create businesses, so it fuels the economy and improves the quality of life for that person, those they employ, and people who buy their cool stuff. Selfishness in terms of wanting the government to tax people more to steal their money and give it to you, however, is bad. This is common sense and I already knew it, so while I obviously agreed with her, I didn’t feel she added anything new to my knowledge.

    December 3, 2021 at 6:49 am
  • Star Tripper Reply

    I read Rand as a teenager which is a good time to do it. Her ideas of letting creative people create was appealing though creating Wall Street Ponzi schemes is likely not what was meant. Overtime and reading by Rand’s personal life I have come to think she made an error that mirrors the error of Communism. Communism took small group values such as looking out for each other and helping others that families and communities do and tried to scale those up to industrial nation-states. Objectivists take large group values like individual liberty and enlightened self-interest and shrink them to the family and individuals. Both are disasters.

    December 7, 2021 at 2:30 pm

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