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“Jane Smith of Seat 4B Once Put A Quarter In A Church Poor Box, So She Deserved To Be Asphyxiated To Death.”

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Yes, as I think I’ve said before I’d have to say that this passage is pretty much definitive Rand.

As it happens, I’ve been reading Jennifer Burns’s very good Rand-and-the-right book Goddess of the Market , and this is indeed the most remarkable revelation:

Her diaries from that time, while she worked as a receptionist and an extra, lay out the Nietzschean mentality that underpins all her later writings. The newspapers were filled for months with stories about serial killer called William Hickman, who kidnapped a 12-year-old girl called Marion Parker from her junior high school, raped her, and dismembered her body, which he sent mockingly to the police in pieces. Rand wrote great stretches of praise for him, saying he represented “the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatsoever for all that a society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul. … Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should.” She called him “a brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy,” shimmering with “immense, explicit egotism.” Rand had only one regret: “A strong man can eventually trample society under its feet. That boy [Hickman] was not strong enough.”

So I guess that when she made her Ideal Man a rapist she was making a concession to the altruists and parasites…

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