Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ayn Rand, the Manosphere, Narcissism and Scapegoating

"To a gas chamber, go!" - Whittaker Chambers on the attitude of nearly every page in Atlas Shrugged.

In my last blog post I made a brief comment about the nutcase "Ayn Rand" (whose real name was Alice Rosenbaum). I'll expand on it.

"Rand" was mentally ill. Specifically she suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder (which is a particularly virulent form of narcissism) and paranoia (which might have been caused by her drug addiction). This is not my opinion; she was diagnosed with these disorders by psychiatrists.

Since she was a narcissist, she had a "grandiose" self and a "devalued" self. Her philosophy was based on projecting her grandiose self onto her "producers" and her devalued self was projected onto her "parasites" (whom she wished to utterly destroy). She even referred to them as "subhumans."

Everything she wrote is worthless. What is good is not original and what is original is horrible.

Narcissists always split everything into all-good and all bad. Then they scapegoat the "all-bad," hoping to annihilate it. Then they believe all the problems in the world will cease to exist - and finally, they will be happy.

This is why her philosophy, Objectivism, appeals to adolescents. I have met more than one teenager who thought she was the greatest thing since bottled beer - until they got older and were horrified they ever took her seriously.

I mentioned Rand was a a leftist. Like all leftists she considered herself intellectually and morally superior to everyone else (she called herself "the perfect woman" and the second-greatest philosopher ever, after Aristotle). She was also eaten up with envy, which is main characteristics of leftists.

No society based on her beliefs could ever exist, the way any house built on sand could ever exist.

Narcissists and leftists always believe in human sacrifice. Leftism may have killed up in 200 million people in the 20th Century.

The same problems apply to the Manosphere. "Alphas" are the grandiose self and Betas/Gammas/Omegas are the devalued self. All problems are projected onto the Betas/Gammas/Omegas. So get rid of them.

Because of these things, the Manosphere is going nowhere until it gives up its adolescent beliefs that Alphas/Betas/Gammas/ Omegas really exist. Or that a "Dark Triad alpha" (a narcissist/psychopath) is "the perfect man."

The late M. Scott Peck referred to scapegoating as "the genesis of human evil." He was absolutely right.

Any philosophy that splits people into "all-good" and "all-bad" will never last. And that is why the Manosphere, for all the good it's done, will never last and ultimately will be absorbed into something else and changed into something more realistic.

As it stands now no society based on the concepts of the Manosphere could ever exist. House built on sand, you know.


kurt9 said...

You can say what you want about Rand. Her fundamental argument that people own themselves should be free to live their own lives on their own terms is the most fundamental and robust basis of liberty. My friend in the 80's, who was both a special forces veteran in his late 40's as well as a successful entrepreneur, who did not care for Rand as a person, nevertheless stood 100% behind this principle and recognized it as Rand's contribution to the world. I agree 100% with my friend. So much for only teenagers being attracted to Rand's world-view.

I will say that Rand was quite the fanatic (probably due to her Russian heritage), which is why I actually do not like her books. In contrast, Murray Rothbard was the textbook definition of the laid-back, live and let live libertarian, and actually did live up to the world-view he espoused. Its hard to argue against someone who merely wants to be left alone to live their life on their own terms, which is the core of libertarianism.

Unlike Rand, I have no desire to scapegoat others. I merely seek autonomy from those I want nothing to do with. I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with this.

I will note that many who criticize Rand do so for the pursue of attacking her notion of individual autonomy. This is an ad hominem argument and is therefor meaningless.

kurt9 said...

The manosphere does have its share of nuts. My personal experiences also does not square with their notion of alphas, betas, and the like. I think many of the manosphere people are projecting their insecurities through this kind of stuff. I read their stuff mostly for amusement than anything else. I have no desire to be a "dark triad", even if it did get me laid a lot with different women, which it won't. I have no desire to go through life in such a manner

Glen Filthie said...

I too have no problem with recognizing Rand's better ideas. A lot of Objectivism is rock solid thinking, and if you watch America falling apart... it's failing exactly the way she said it would 50 years ago. She may have been a shitty woman that wrote shitty novels but she spoke a lot of truth that drives some seriously bad people - nuts! I have not read much of her but pretty much line up with Kurt. Rand was wrong about altruism, obviously but pretty much right about everything else. Her theories accurately describe socialists, accurately predicts their failures, and accurately predicts the paths their failures take. Not bad for a woman the critics are saying is batshit crazy...

Likewise, the Manosphere has serious traction because it does the same thing! It accurately describes the behaviour of shitty women with such accuracy that shitty men can actually play them with Game. (Hey! I don't like it either, Unca Bob, but it is what it is). Filthy pakies like Roosh and Jian Ghomeshi pumping and dumping more trash than a Bomag front end loader at the dump! HAR HAR HAR!

To me all that is kid stuff. Rand and the self proclaimed alpha males are merely processing and capitalizing on what they see - in a way that works for them. There are indeed human derelicts and wastrels and they are destroying the nation. Like Kurt, my only interest in these ideologies is how can I use them to avoid those derelicts and sharing their fate with them.

cecilhenry said...

Ad hominem attacks on Rand do not detract from the basic truth of what she said about many things.

Her personality issues, no doubt present, are not the issue. Using them merely serves to distract from the facts. Don't tell about a person when its not the issue.

Producers and parasites are very real, and call them what you like, its not narcissism. R vs K theory shows these patterns too.

“Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman's tool is values; the bureaucrat's tool is fear.”

"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed."

These are so true and so appropriate to the Western world today. I live their destructive repercussions every day. Stand up and oppose them.

Unknown said...

Rand's "philosophy" cannot support capitalism, only destroy it. Because it is ultimately left-wing - she believed her "supermen" should rule and everyone should die.

cecilhenry said...

A real example of producers and parasites:

A friend wanted to take a second job teaching at a university in addition to his engineering job.

He did it for a year at nights. Then he did the math-- with the parasitism or progessive income tax, he is getting paid MINIMUM WAGE to teach university.

So he said to hell with it. Can't get ahead.

My office closes for a month in the summer every year. Why?? Again, working longer just pays the government and no one else. Its more expense to keep the office open than the benefits or earning more that's just taxed away.

Get that $10000 pay raise for much greater stress, hours and responsibility??? Well its really just $4000 once the taxes are done. Why bother.

Its real. Rand admitted her characters were larger than life on purpose, because people would miss the big issues in the lives of average people. And she saw millions destroyed in the Russian revolution-- such destruction is real.

But these real examples are 'average' productive people. Wake up or go ghost. The superman needs only to rule his OWN life. Why is that a problem? Its not.

Unknown said...

Walmart, McDonalds, Bill Gates and Elon Musk get billions in government welfare. The idea of a strict divide between "producers" and "parasites" is why "Rand" was a nutcase, narcissistic, left-wingJew who didn't know what she was talking about. Among many other things.

Unknown said...

Bob, I respect your experience in the trenches of politics, but you should try to stick to subjects you know. Libertarianism is a cult. The Cult of Ayn Rand. It doesn't need to be logical or consistent, like all cults it only requires followers. Capitalism doesn't work, because it only enriches bankers and lawyers. Everyone else gets pissed on by the trickle down theory of Corrupt Political Whores.
The manosphere is out of your purview. Its not really politics, but Biology. Mankind may not truly be like animals, at least some of them, but the natural hierarchy of Alpha Males, Beta Orbiters, Delta drop-outs and Omega losers are found in all social animals in the animal kingdom, except for ants, termites and bees with a hive and Queen. Natural hierarchies are time tested and mostly stable. Before "democracy" and Egalitarian Fantasies hiding the power hunger of the Darkseid Left pursuing the Anti-Life Equation to subjugate the masses, natural biological hierarchies were what ruled the World.

kurt9 said...


I argue with Bob about Rand. But I think he's spot on about the manosphere. Bob's definition of the alpha is the one that matches my experience. The alpha is the dynamic successful guy who also happens to be good looking and have a good personality. His wife is also super good looking and spends a lot of her time preventing other women from "poaching" her man. The man himself is content with monogamy because 1) he has a really good looking women and 2) he is much more involved in whatever activity that makes him successful (business, profession, etc.) and has little time or inclination to chase after other women.

Think of John Elway. He is the perfect example of the alpha.

In high school, he is the athlete/scholar. The quarterback who also gets straight A's and is really good looking. This is the description of out high school football team's quarterback was like. He is now a successful orthodontic surgeon in my hometown.

I've seen this kind of guy and pattern time and time again since high school.

What the manosphere is calling the alpha is really some kind of sociopathic looser who often has drug and psychological problems to boot. Yeah, this guy pulls women. But they're not the kind of women that reasonable guys would want anything to do with. Again, Bob is spot-on with this observation because I've seen this pattern time and time again as well.

Based on my personal experiences over the years, I generally agree with Bob's description and critique of the "manosphere's" concepts.

DeNihilist said...

Listen, PUA can be boiled down to one thing. Get a fuckin thick skin. The end.

If you want to bang sluts, get used to being rejected. Just keep on going. Eventually one of them sluts will bang you.

Krauser -22 bangs out of 1000 approaches. Thick skin. no method or "game" needed.

Unknown said...

Rand's narcissistic all-good/all-bad beliefs is also the basis of Communism and Nazism, which led to the deaths of perhaps 200 million people.

It won't happen with Objectivism, which is even less than minor. It won't happen with the Manosphere, which is minor but has to give up it's beliefs in Alpha/Beta/Gamma/Omega - which is believed by buffoon/liars/grifters such as Roosh and Roissy, and silly naive fools like Vox Day.

Narcissistic philosophies are always immensely destructive - and many people fall for them since they're easy to understand and fit the worst aspects of human nature.

Glen Filthie said...

Hogwash. What we have is crony capitalism and Rand did not push that. She pushed open competition, fair trade and ambition. What's wrong with that?

Those evil elitists, those supermen as you call Rand's characters - were nothing more than regular people with work ethics.

I dunno... maybe I'm missing something... But I get a totally different message from her than you do.

Unknown said...

She referred to American Indians and Palestinians as "subhuman." To her, those who disagreed with her were always subhuman.

It was her favorite word, along with "parasite."

Glen Filthie said...

Well as far as the palestinkians go - fair comment. Those bungholes have picked every fight they've had with the eeeeevil jooos and lost all of them. That one is what it is, Bob.

As for reservation Indians - again, fair comment. They get free food, free medical, free education, free housing and their tribes are subsidized out the wazoo...and all those red n*****s can do with their windfall is drink, fornicate, fight, and blame all their problems on whitey.

Parasites? Non-producers? If the shoe fits, wear it.

I. Renarde said...

Is it 200 million now? Gotta jack it up from the 100 million, eh?

Go Trump said...

By their fruits, ye shall know them:

ARI Watch

Anonymous said...

Bob wrote a great article explaining his view on Alice Rosenbaum back in 2000. It explains his ideas more clearly.

"The Narcissism, Scapegoating and Leftism of Ayn Rand"

Unknown said...

"Is it 200 million now? Gotta jack it up from the 100 million, eh?"

At least 177 million, perhaps up to 200 million. Who counts Russian and Chinese peasants?

kurt9 said...

Like I said earlier, you can say what you want about Rand. But at the end of the day she defended individual self-ownership and that is what works for me.

What I have noticed is that those who attack Rand do not seek to merely attack her personally. Rather, they seek to attack the notion of individual self-ownership and their attack on Rand is simply because she was the most unapologetic defender of individual self-ownership. It is worth noting that there are others who have articulated self-ownership, most notably Murray Rothbard (who, it might be noted, was just as scathing about Rand as our esteemed host). This is why those who attack Rand often attack Rothbard as well, even though these two individuals could not be more different in personality than any others.

As incomprehensible it may be, there are those of us who believe very strongly in individual self-ownership and yet have no desire to "seek revenge" against others. We merely seek autonomy from others to live our own lives as we see fit. This desire seems problematic for many who attack Rand.

Robert Heinlein once said that political labels such as conservative, liberal, traditionalist, etc. are not primary criteria. Rather, all humans divide politically into only two camps. The first are those who want to control other humans and the second are those who have no such desire. It has been my observation that people who attack Ayn Rand (with the notable exception of Murray Rothbard) are all in the first camp. I'm in the second camp.

Unknown said...

"Rand" gathered a religious cult around her which she ruled with an iron hand and those who did not agree totally with her were kicked out. They even had to smoke, as she did. For all her talk about freedom she did not believe in it. Cult leaders never do.

Go Trump said...

What is this notion that A. Rosenbaum originated the concept of self-ownership? She didn't; it has a long pedigree. (Off the top of my head, Schopenhauer posited it. Many non-socialistic atheists did so long before Rosenbaum.)

As Bob said, what is good in her books in not original, and what is original is not good.

kurt9 said...

"Rand" gathered a religious cult around her which she ruled with an iron hand and those who did not agree totally with her were kicked out.

Yes, Rothbard talked about this in his "How I Left the Ayn Rand Cult". If you can find it, it is actually roll on the floor hilarious. Jerome Tucille describes it in his book "It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand". Rothbard said of the tucille description, that it was not completely factual, but that the spirit of it all was 100% correct.

It was Rothbard who labeled Rand's group as a cult, because it was really was a cult, with Nathaniel Brandon as the executioner.

kurt9 said...

The Ayn Rand Cult:


BTW, you can say what you want about Rand. I might even agree with you on some of it. However, I consider myself to be the owner of my self and my life and you will never convince of anything different. You are more likely to be struck by a meteorite than you are to convince me that I do not own myself/life.

Unknown said...

"Rand" did not come up with the idea of self-ownership. John Locke wrote about that - our natural rights to life, liberty and property. Several hundred years ago.
That's why it reads, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence.

kurt9 said...

"Rand" did not come up with the idea of self-ownership. John Locke wrote about that - our natural rights to life, liberty and property. Several hundred years ago.

Well there we go. Now that we've established that, we can recognize the concept of individual self-ownership (and for those of us who choose such, can reject all memes that fail to recognize this concept) and forget about Rand once and for all. We can all move on now.

However, I still appreciate Rand's in your face moxie presentation on all of this, even though I like Rothbard much better (Rothbard as the anti-Rand).

In any case, i will never surrender myself to any external agency, whether it be a god or a government.

Anonymous said...

A lot of Objectivism is rock solid thinking, and if you watch America falling apart... it's failing exactly the way she said it would 50 years ago. She may have been a shitty woman that wrote shitty novels but she spoke a lot of truth

I disagree.

Atlas Shrugged was her re-telling of social disintegration in Russia.

That closely resembles current social disintegration in the USA.

Objectivism is not rock solid thinking. Godel's proofs are rock solid thinking. Objectivism is amphetamine-fueled ranting, and it is not as logical as Rand thought it to be.

My favorite take-down of Rand is from one of her former worshipers, Michael Prescott.

I won't link to all of his rants, but I recommend him highly.

This rant is too good not to link:


Unknown said...

Rand's paranoia was probably fueled by her amphetamine addiction. Even without it she was still a Borderline, and her own friends to be debate whether or not she was evil.

She was one of those lunatic Jews whose ideas naive goyim always fall for. You know - like Communism.