Ayn Rand is a rhetorician who writes novels I have never been able to read. She has just published a book, For the New Intellectual, subtitled The Philosophy of Ayn Rand; it is a collection of pensées and arias from her novels and it must be read to be believed. Herewith, a few excerpts from the Rand collection.
• “It was the morality of altruism that undercut American and is now destroying her.”
• “Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society. Today, the conflict has reached its ultimate climax; the choice is clear-cut: either a new morality of rational self-interest, with its consequence of freedom…or the primordial morality of altruism with its consequences of slavery, etc.”
• Then from one of her arias for heldentenor: “I am done with the monster of ‘we,’ the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: ‘I.’”
• “The first right on earth is the right of the ego. Man’s first duty is to himself.”
• “To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men.”
• “The creed of sacrifice is a morality for the immoral….”
Read more: Comment, July 1961 - Gore Vidal on Why Ayn Rand Sucks and Literary Criticism - Esquire http://www.esquire.com/features/gore-vidal-archive/comment-0761#ixzz2JjD1Aziy