But by clinging to the superficial commonality of hostility to welfare, tea partiers fail to see (or willfully ignore) something critical: Rand espoused an elitist, oligarchic philosophy that is both fundamentally antiAmerican and deeply at odds with the tea party’s own “we the people” cause.
While tea partiers commend Rand as the champion of individualism, they conveniently forget that in her novels, the only people who seemed to benefit from her aim to protect individualism and the unlimited freedom of action were her Nietzschean tycoons. Indeed, Rand was fully indifferent to the workers in her novels, whom she described as primitive beings – “savages” in the words of Atlas’s steel mogul Hank Rearden, arguably one of Rand’s most beloved personages.
As critic Joe Emersberger put it:
Ayn Rand believed that people were far too stupid to run the economy democratically. She sought to convince the incompetent majority that their survival depends on a tiny group of highly gifted people.
Rand was dead serious about the ideas conveyed in Atlas Shrugged. In her non-fiction, she often quoted from her novels to substantiate her views. Two of her main assumptions were that:
1) Unregulated competitive markets would produce a meritocracy – an aristocracy of talent – in which the most intelligent and determined obtained the most decision making power.
2) This aristocracy would carry the rest of us along on their shoulders like the fabled Atlas carried the heavens – not because they wanted to, but as a fortunate result of their selfish acts. For our own good – in our “rational self interest” as she put it – we should follow this aristocracy’s orders and show them considerable gratitude.
Rand believed in the “virtue of selfishness”: … “Rand has this extremist, intolerant, dogmatic antigovernment stance,” says Brink Lindsey of the libertarian Cato Institute, “and it pushes free-market supporters toward a purist, radical vision that undermines their capacity to get anything done.” (C)
(A) “How is elitist Ayn Rand a tea party hero? The contradiction should concern America.”,
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/1014/How-is-elitist-Ayn-Rand… and some critiques:
(B) “Ayn Rand’s deranged elitism for everyone”,
(C) “Ayn Rand is Good for the Market”,