Why Shakey Pete is not a Randian conservative

by CynthiaYockey on January 29, 2011

I am plotting the demise of Randian conservatism — for real — so I am relieved to learn that dear Shakey Pete rejects it also (boldfacing mine):

I would have been more into the Ayn Rand/Atlas Shrugged crowd if it had not been for Eddie Willers. Remember Eddie? He was the main assistant to Dagny Taggert. While not quite bright enough to be a hero of the story, he was a staunch and steady subordinate. Maybe he couldn’t think of the best solution, when told how to work that solution, there he was, giving his all. Remember the end of Taggert Transcontinental? The train stopped and Eddie, the faithful, left alone. Want to know why I’m not a Randian? It’s right there. No loyalty down. Eddy would have stopped a bullet for Dagny, yet she abandoned him. Somehow this fits with that Gosnell story.

“No loyalty down.” That scene in the book infuriated me, too, but it’s Pete who captures the exact reason why.

“That Gosnell story” is about the Philadelphia abortion doctor who performed late term abortions and murdered babies who could have survived outside the womb. Reading Pete’s entire post, I think the way it fits is that the number of poor black women who are desperate for abortions and receiving such a low standard of care suggests that black and/or Leftist leaders have no loyalty down for them and their babies.

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Havewatch January 30, 2011 at 6:01 am

I’ll admit to harboring certain Objectivist sympathies, but only as far as theory. Ayn Rand never practiced what she preached, and her modern cultists invariably forget the “Enlightened” part of Enlightened Self-Interest. Abandoning people loyal to you isn’t just evil, it’s imbecilic; the market CANNOT work unless we’re willing to make lasting, meaningful connections with each other. Trust, as they say, is a must.

Rand always depressed me, not just because of Atlas Shrugged, but because of her own life. She strikes me as a very bright woman who mistook obstinateness for independence. She ended up winding a cocoon of lies around herself, and could never escape, because to do so she would have to admit she made some serious errors.

Falsehood is supposedly one of Objectivism’s cardinal sins, and it’s sad to see a mind with such potential end mired in hypocrisy.

Liz January 30, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Agreed. How is in someone’s self interest to abandon loyal subordinates? From a purely self interested viewpoint, that’s a one way road to not getting anyone to become a loyal subordinate in the future.

I think I’d have more respect for Ayn Rand as a person and Objectivism as a philosophy if the followers weren’t so staunchly against any correction or criticism, or even debate. Nah, she was a saint. *eyeroll*

M. Simon February 11, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I’m going to be cold here. The underclass is eliminating itself and future Democrat voters.

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Napoleon

But you want to do something about it? Abortion is mostly an economic crime. Make low skill labor profitable.

And you might want to look at another pathology that contributes to making Black families economically marginal:


Michael Teuber February 18, 2011 at 12:02 am

Eddie Willers is Dagny Taggart’s childhood playmate who, as an adult, becomes her assistant. He possesses a dogged loyalty to a woman upon whom he is utterly dependent, intellectually and materially. His dependence on, his devotion to Dagny does not imply a corresponding obligation on her part to abandon her rational, independently arrived at values to serve as the means of his survival. Saving the world and the man she quite properly loves romantically takes moral precedence over providing direction to a man who has defaulted on the obligation, he owes himself, to think and take responsibility for his choices and actions. Eddie Willers represents the everyman who admires men of ability, but chooses to imagine that they will always exist and be available to him as a substitute for his own rational, independent cognition. When the fact that he has no moral or existential claim or hold over them manifests, he is lost.

When Sarah Palin said that Ronald Reagan is not coming back, but an army of Davids must rise to replace him, she is intentionally or not, implying the principle Ayn Rand presents fictionally. You may not be a Dagny Taggart, a John Galt, or a Ronald Reagan, but that will not save you from the consequences of failing to think and act within the scope of your actual abilities. Are you operating on the premise of the independent producer, or simply hoping that some rational hero or heroine will somehow accomplish the feat of defending or achieving the political principles that make your life possible?

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