From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, May 19, 2014:
Ayn Rand and the Occult:
The Importance of Objectivism in Magick
Some of you may recognize Objectivism as the philosophy developed by author Ayn Rand in such books as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. And if you know anything about Ms. Rand and her writings, you also know Objectivism is pretty much the exact opposite of any spiritual or occult philosophy. Let me give you a short quote from the Wikipedia entry as an illustration:
“Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic…”
Really, it just gets worse from there. (We’ll talk about Rand’s sad position on human morality shortly.) However, the above is enough for any occultist to shake their head and look elsewhere for wisdom. It posits that consciousness has nothing to do with reality, and that we can always trust our senses to tell us the truth about the world around us. As occultists, we know better, don’t we?
And what about the Objectivist stance on morality? Well, Ms. Rand was born in Russia during a particularly difficult period of their history (this was during the fall of the Russian Empire and the rise of the Bolsheviks), and she doubtlessly suffered some deep traumas during her childhood. As an adult, she preached a philosophy of pure self-interest. The poor should be allowed to starve and die. The rich should be supported and given rule over the rest of us. Get what is yours while the getting is good, and give nothing to the weak. Here is another snippet from the Wikipedia article:
“…the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism…”
A few of you may recognize this as foundational to such worldviews as American political conservatism as well as Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan. (The latter, by the way, are strict atheists.) Certainly this is the kind of philosophy that should be avoided by anyone with a spiritual worldview! Or anyone with an ounce of compassion or charity in their heart. Obviously I have some rants against Objectivism and Ayn Rand (who, by the way, lived out her elder years on the public assistance she would deny to others).
So, why is it that I constantly find myself identifying with fictional characters who embody the Objectivist philosophy?