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The Sociopathic 1 Percent: The Driving Force at the Heart of the Tea Party

In their warped view of society, only the individual exists -- with no social relations, shared history and culture.

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There have been some vigorous defenses of Rand in response to Prescott’s initial discoveries, attempts to suggest that she was young and impressionable, that her thinking evolved. Prescott considers some of those arguments, and is willing to cut Rand some slack in his later essay. But he can’t ignore how little her fundamental outlook seems to have changed over the years. And neither should we. One of the most frightening aspects of Rand’s infatuation with Hickman is the way she demonizes the public, which is quite justifiably appalled by him. Here’s a small snippet from Rand’s journal that Prescott comments on:

The first thing that impresses me about the case is the ferocious rage of a whole society against one man. No matter what the man did, there is always something loathsome in the ‘virtuous’ indignation and mass-hatred of the ‘majority.’… It is repulsive to see all these beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives, virtuously condemning a criminal…

This is not just the case of a terrible crime. It is not the crime alone that has raised the fury of public hatred. It is the case of a daring challenge to society. It is the fact that a crime has been committed by one man, alone; that this man knew it was against all laws of humanity and intended that way; that he does not want to recognize it as a crime and that he feels superior to all. It is the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul.

Like a true murder groupie, Rand seems more outraged at the public than Hickman probably was. But there’s an eerie similarity between her loathing for the public with their unnamed “worse sins and crimes” and the contempt shown by the likes of Perkins and Zell for average Americans who simply long for the promise of the American Dream that their parents and grandparents once took for granted.  How dare some of them seek food stamps to feed their children! Or seek unemployment insurance, simply because there are three job-seekers for every job! Surely, they are guilty of worse sins and crimes than the wheeler-dealers of the 1 percent who destroyed the economy in the first place.

As for Rand’s direct connection to Greenspan’s thoughts and actions, in May of 2012, Gary Weiss, author of “Ayn Rand Nation,” wrote a most illuminating piece, “ Republicans and Ayn Rand, a love-hate affair,” in which he dealt with Paul Ryan and Alan Greenspan’s attempts to distance themselves somewhat from Rand. For Greenspan, this was particularly difficult, considering how close they were. “Greenspan wrote essays for Rand’s newsletters, including one in which he espoused an extremist vision of capitalism, in which all forms of regulation, even building codes, would become a thing of the past,” Weiss noted. “That essay, written in 1963, was published in an anthology called “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal,” which is still in print.”

Weiss also took note of Greenspan’s so-called “flaw speech” in October 2008, when he said he had found a “flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works, so to speak.” Adding that “those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief.”

But after some research, Weiss concluded it was “less a mea culpa than it was a public relations exercise,” saying, “He backtracked on his ‘flaw’ remarks almost as soon as he made them, and he contradicted them at every opportunity.”