Yggdrasil on Libertarianism and Atlas Shrugged

Ygg 2012:

Those who refuse to assert their group interest lose, and libertarianism is a moralistic cloak in which those who wish to shirk their collective interests and burdens may wrap themselves, as Ayn Rand understood.

I would go one step further than Gregory Hood, and suggest that the fact that all of her characters are nordic in appearance is not necessarily driven by an unarticulated preference or yearning for the nordic type, but rather – as a good disciple of Edward Bernays – to attract that type, like moths to flame, to a strategy of inevitable defeat.

And in that she succeeded and had her revenge.

Rand’s cult followers were encouraged to read works including Atlas Shrugged. So, one would expect it to exert some Objectivist influence on the reader.

The sense of beauty in Atlas Shrugged is man’s achievement, not God’s. Contrast a factory of rearden metal, every aspect efficient and purposeful, with a hobbit house where the resident is content to live as part of a greater whole, whose slight cosmetic imperfections, variations, and living order simply add to the beauty.

Rand’s focus on progress and superiority is a similar threat. Progress needs to be defined within a religion, but modernity threatens to “progress” outside of all bounds, so that it becomes impossible to distinguish up from down. Some whites seem to identify white heritage as a heritage of pursuing progress, evolving, which is not the same as striving to preserve a people.

GK Chesterton’s Patriotic Idea (which, yes, I link too often) dreampt of a world where nations could self-rule as they saw fit, minding their own affairs, cherishing their distinct homelands, each as subjectively “best”. Such a utopian world could never endure, life is a struggle; but it’s a pleasant goal that I believe humanity naturally yearns for. While Chesterton might have been more moderate on the fluidity of ethnic identity, I expect he’d be in arms if returned to the diverse England of today.

An American activist, acting on Chesterton’s dream, would, I believe, quell the self and pursue power and identity for his group until it could secede to be free, to self-rule as a Chestertonian republic. If such were not possible, then it would seek survival as a minority. The goal: Group survival and glorification of God. Power is only useful as a defence for these First Things, and “progress” increasingly seems to threaten the good life we enjoy today. The modern obsession with progress seems to help fill a need for meaning, though it ironically threatens to destroy our legitimate sources of meaning.

That said, Gregory Hood wrote an incredible article that pulls no punches against the Ayn Rand whose book he defends. In closing, Hood wrote:

Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, is unapologetically selfish. Rand proclaimed “greed is good” well before Gordon Gekko. Family, religion, nation, and race were all collectivist “mysticism” that a free man must ruthlessly wipe aside.

As Nikos A. Salingaros wrote, ideologies and memes are like viruses. They can only reproduce; they cannot sustain a civilisation. Post-Cold War, the West continues to be afflicted with libertarianism and similar ideology.

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