Fuck Ayn Rand (a.k.a. Ayn Rand Killed the Housewife)
Thomas Hobbes defined truth as subjective and for a real truth there must be objective philosophy. This is because truth as it exists individually is soiled in bias and cannot be trusted. One can arguably say that Rand was not objective in her philosophies as they all reek of her truths which are just as biased as everyone else’s.
At every turn Ayn Rand denoted the importance of housewives, turning them into sniveling, gossiping tools who have no responsibility and carelessly live off their intelligent, successful husbands. I suppose in an anachronistic attempt at understanding a philosopher who was living a man’s world, I could see how women would have been under scrutiny. Her female characters rarely fit into any respectable role of society. The Fountainhead portrayed Katie, who was faithful, devoted and good-hearted yet by the same token a mess, with no social graces and certainly no sense of style (not to be confused with the style that Toohey encapsulated which was the brainchild of Aristotle, another in the boy’s club of philosophy). Dominique Francon which I believe is yet another character who assumes the perceived persona of Rand herself (Dagny Taggart was up for the job of Rand personified as well, so much for objective truth), is cold on occasion but only when socially necessary but when she meets a man of true integrity the ice is melted.
Now one must understand that both Dominique and Katie are contemptuous women in some way. Katie, who appears to be altruistic, is devoted to a hateful, selfish, conniving, social-climber and Dominique, who appears to be empty and austere is secretly a lonely woman yearning for a man with social and career integrity. This man appears in the manner of a rugged, socially awkward man who rapes her. He eventually emotionally rapes her into loving and respecting him. His only redeeming quality… is just that, the quality and refinement he shows in his profession.
Hank Reardon and Howard Roark share similar dispositions about the industry and their contributions, small differences in personality exist but nothing notable.
Who is John Galt? Is pretty much answered with who is Howard Roark? Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead both had a fair share of cheap shots directed at people living everyday lives. Every philosopher in some respect has decided that the “sheep” deemed by Nietzsche and Hobbes (two, of which were extremely overt in the latter label) has no place in a world of integrity. The sheep do not make the difference.
There is even a place for the unkempt eccentric (Lois Cook) before there is a place for the woman who bathes and feeds her children and lives a life of quiet (at times) contentment. Lois is a “cosmic joke” (ugly is the new pretty, beauty is in the eye… et cetera), whereas, housewives don’t even get that sort of consideration… we are perceived as a joke (period).
She blatantly states in The Fountainhead, “you may see a beautiful woman is inferior to a non-beautiful woman, that the literate is inferior to the illiterate… everything else is just twaddle”. There is no middle ground; humans cannot be both subjective and objective though we certainly are without choice. There is no integrity in the world of Rand when it comes to devotedly listening to the same stories every day, each day adding our own amusing presumptions to a spouse’s redundant and all-important anecdote. There is no integrity in inventing different voices so that our children can distinguish at a young age the differences in tone and manner when we read bedtime stories… and we actually enjoy the giggles that the occasional voice inspires. We don’t have flat stomachs and when we do it is earned, our fingers are delicate at times but usually chapped from cleaning a toilet, a dish or a kid. Still there are some hollering housewives with pearls and motive to squander intellect in the name of popularity. However, there is only a lack of used information; confusion, laziness, and sometimes both.
I am not by any means trying to dissuade the millions of Rand fans from maintaining the conviction of one’s personal truth. However, I would like to bargain with a portion of his or her vanity for rationality. People who seek a truth and harbor the resources with greedy pretention are not really better at all. Rand was big on better; in all her writing I can probably count it a million times. The goal of objectivism, if one simply glanced would appear to be ones better self while remaining selfless and unaware of self; however, there is ego in all we do as ego is self and self motivates one to continue to exist. Whether or not existence is a façade, a rite of passage or a sheepish endeavor, the goal is to please the self. Not in a hedonistic of evil way but in a way that makes said existence pleasant.
A sheep is nothing more than a woman or a man who knows that the cost of freedom is obedience. We are not slaves and sheep to one another, we have only but been convinced that we can fight governmental power and that we must look around to find the problems if we cannot find the solution within ourselves. The problem lies in the fact that the solution is an illusion and that the power of humanity has been muted to a dull roar, silenced by background noise. The noise is not the sheep herding but the sheep being distracted by the power that is too big for all of humanity to take individually. It always has been, even in Ayn Rand’s time. The power of the people depends on a united front. Rand talks about the united front and the fight for novelty and integrity. She shows protagonists with no emotion or soul because objectivism is fiction. Fighting a united front alone would be agonizing; it would be heartbreaking and disillusioning. Rand was the enemy to humanity, pegging people against each other because of social class, education, gender, and priority. The truth of the matter is people are conditioned in behavior, interests and social stature. To assume a person who appears diminutive and insignificant because of the latter is just to rob oneself of a potential experience. A constant theme that I will never understand, even for Rand’s era is her ability to constantly note the worthlessness of other people. As for the housewife, who else is going to let her children read the bleeding literature of Rand, it certainly won’t be my husband.